Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Part №9. The anniversary of the grand master and the captain

“Time in its movement faces obstacles and suffers failures too, and that it why a piece of time can break away and get stuck in any room forever»

Gabriel Garsija Marquez «Hundred years of loneliness»

By the established tradition after each four rounds of a chess marathon, we sum it up and declare three prize-winners of the intermediate finish.
Today we’ll depart from this rule and we will sum up in the following release, and we have a powerful reason for it!

The matter is that the outstanding chess devotee - editor-in-chief of the magazine "The Problemist of Ukraine", the deserved master of sports of Ukraine on chess, the international master and the grand master of Ukraine Yury Markovich Gordian celebrates his birthday on March, 24th.

001Yury Markovich Gordian has a rest after his etude round.
The championship of Ukraine on the decision, Poltava, 2010

Our first acquaintance took place in spring of 1977. In those times I only took my first shy steps on a composer path, testing myself in different genres of chess poetry.

My creative luggage consisted of two small etudes and three problems on a return mate.

That day I left for the regional superiority on chess among the young men to a small town of Balta located in the north of the Odessa region.
There remained five hours left, and I went straight to Pushkin street №8 where Yury Markovich lived in those times.

One of my problems on a return mate was praised by Yury Markovich (subsequently this opus has won the 1st prize in German competition).
Having learnt that I go to Balta, the Odessite advised to me to address on etude parts to Victor Aleksandrovich Melnichenko working there as the editor-in-chief of the regional newspaper: «Victor Aleksandrovich has experience in drawing up of etudes …». But Melnichenko was away, and our acquaintance with one more outstanding composer was postponed till the best times …

After the graduation from the Kiev polytechnical institute in 1986 I was distributed to Odessa on the factory named after the October revolution.
At this enterprise which was producing agricultural ploughs, Yury Markovich worked as the deputy chief of a foundry shop of high-strength cast-iron.

By the way, the shop entrusted to Gordian was the factory card. I remember well that once I met the Japanese delegation studying the process of automation of foundry manufacture in the shop!.

I often came to Yury Markovich for advice both on industrial and on chess questions. And for the time of preparation for any responsible team competitions his office turned into a composer’s staff - during free time from the basic work, certainly!

Great value in my composer growth played the legendary Odessa festivals of chess composers and solvers as well, the motor and soul of which was Yury Markovich Gordian …
He was able to collect round himself a group of adherents, competently distribute the duties and plan a victorious result. His organising talent has especially revealed during preparation for the world team championships …

The gold line in the history of sports of our country was written down by victory of a national team of Ukraine on chess composition in the 5th team superiority of the world. The uniqueness of the event is that there was the first team victory in the history of independent Ukraine won on the world championships among all sports!

It is remarkable that the Cup of world champions was brought to Odessa in 1997 by the President of the Constant commission on a chess composition at FIDE Bedrih Formanek and presented to the captain Yury Markovich Gordian.
Now the trophy is kept in the Museum of Sports Glory of Ukraine. The same year Gordian became the winner of the regional competition «People of business» …

002Bedrih Formanek (on the right) presents Yury Gordian with The Cup of world champions.
Odessa, 1997

And before this triumph Yury Markovich was the world champion five times as a member of a national team of the USSR!
After such successes of a world scale his victories in personal and team championships of the USSR and Ukraine are lost somehow to say nothing about numerous victories in drawing up competitions. And there were a lot of them during his bright chess career!

The total number of all his published masterpieces for today comes nearer to 1000!
It is won about 250 prizes, including- more than 90 of the first prizes.
Now Yury Markovich works as a chess trainer-teacher in a chess school . Among his pupils there are champions of Ukraine and prize-winners of the European championships … On his lessons he often uses a composer heritage, suggesting pupils to find the decision of a beautiful problem or penetrate into logic of struggle of an elegant etude. For me as for a man who plays etudes, it is pleasant to see how his pupils try to find the author's plan, and after its solution … to refute a composition!

003The correct move is found!

5 years ago, on the eve of Yury Markovich 70-s anniversary I interviewed him. I think some savoury fragments from this conversation connected with chess history of the USSR and Odessa,are not the sin to remember once again! And what digression into the history is without original photos?!

- Yury Markovich and how did your hobby for chess poetry begin?

- I was acquainted with chess rules by the father when I was 7 years old. But the present hobby for the game came later - in 1949. That memorable year our fellow countryman Efim Geller excellently debuted in the superiority of the USSR.
Only a half-point separated the Odessite from the first prize-winners Bronstein and Smyslov.
This sport’s feat stirred up all Odessa. The agiotage was great! On this wave I came to the Palace of pioneers to a well-nown Odessa trainer Samuil Nutovich Kotlerman.
The first attempt to make my first chess problem is connected with this period as well.
But, it is obvios that the time of chess has not come yet... The matter was in basketball in which I had first quite good successes and prospects: I played for a youth national team of Odessa, and then - for national teams of Vitebsk and Arkhangelsk areas.

004The youth national team of Odessa attacks. Yury Gordian is the second on the right

But circumstances developed so that after a call for military service I appeared to be torn off from big-time sports for a long time. However, every cloud has a silver lining - thanks to it I have returned to chess!

005Returning in the big chess!

Once I saw the newspaper «Krasnaya Zvezda» in which problems and etudes of army authors were printed. It has appeared that my «first attempt at writing» does not concede on quality to the published problems. In this edition my debut as a chess composer took place.

- The competent instructor is very important for formation of the chess composer ...

-I was lucky doubly! Being a strong enough player, my father was also a great admirer of a chess composition.
Thanks to him I received the general notions about a chess composition, learnt about its themes and schools.
A very big role in my composer educational program played the library of my father. Especially , eight miracle saved releases of the magazine «The Problems and Etudes» which remained in the days of war which associated editor he was. Unfortunately, the most part of father’s library left by him in Odessa was lost during the war...

006Mark Filippovich and Yury Gordian

During the second half of the 30-s the father worked as a manager of foreign department of a regional office of the State Bank of the USSR. As obliged he often met foreign consuls and their representatives. And when mass reprisals began, he was almost assured that he will be "taken" too, being accused of «espionage activity». Therefore all big correspondence (the father knew the main European languages well) with foreign composers was set fire …

- You are the participant of eight team superiorities of the world. How did the preparation for such significant tournaments pass?

- So-called Matches of friendship were the forerunner of team superiority of the world on a chess composition. The first such a tournament with participation of 20 teams was held on the initiative of the Soviet party in 1962-1964 and ended with a convincing victory of our team - 635,5 points. I was among the participants invited in 1963 on the training gathering in the settlement of Bakovka situated near Moscow where there was a sports base of the sport committee of physical culture and sports. And though my work did not get to a total dispach of a national team, the acquaintance with outstanding chess composers such as Lion Loshinsky, Henry Kasparjan, Vladimir Bron and others helped me very much with the further creative growth.

On gathering I made friends with young chess composers as well - Victor Chepizhny, Jacob Vladimirov, Valentine Rudenko, Joseph Kriheli, the leaders who later on became the leaders of the world chess poetry.

007The preparation for the first Match of friendship is finished. It is possible to make a collective portrait of participants for history!
Bakovka, 1963

At helding the second Match of friendship (1967-1970) there was not a predicted overlay. At that time in Odessa cholera epidemic inopportunely flashed, and gathering on preparation for the match was not held. As a result - the national team of the USSR acted unsuccessfully (any place, except the first, was considered by the sports country leaders of that time as a failure!), having conceded the first place to national team of Finland.

- Whether thirst of a revenge was an incitement for carrying out in 1972 of the first team superiority of the world?

- For what reason and under whose initiative the beginning of command superiority of the world was necessary, I do not know. But the desire to recoup certainly was! However, and with the first team superiority of the world there was not all smoothly.

Many disputes have arisen around a special kind of a chess composition very popular in the West - so-called «fantastic chess».
The matter is that the thematic task on fantastic section of the first superiority of the world demanded participation of unusual figures - crickets, horsemen, etc. Including figures from the Chinese chess - пао, вао, мао.
But relations with China were strongly spoilt at that time, and the omnipotent head of chess life in the USSR, the lawyer by training (by the way, the inhabitant of Odessa) Victor Baturinsky declared that our national team should ignore fantastic section: «No Mao and not any Bjao!» .
On a twist of fate the names of ancient Chinese figures were conformable with surnames of the top management of the Chinese National Republic. (Mao Tszedun was the chairman of the ruling communist party, and the Minister of Defence Lin Bjao – was his right hand!)

008Victor Baturinsky: «No Mao and not any Bjao!»

To give such odds to foreign teams was dangerous, and the chairman of the Central commission on a chess composition Igor Lyapunov organised a visit of the most deserved chess composers of the country to the chairman of Goskomsport Pavlov . Pavlov listened to the arguments of the eminent walkers, having allowed to play in fantastic section. Moreover, the order of Goskomsport about the development of a chess composition in the USSR was soon issued!
For the first time after a ten years' break all-Union gathering on preparation for the first superiority of the world was held (thanks to this order money resources began to be allocated for carrying out of annual training gathering of our team).
We convincingly won the first team superiority, having considerably outstripped the second and the third prize-winners – the national teams of Netherlands and Denmark.

But, despite such a triumph, carrying out of the further superiority was under a big question. The matter was that though we were allowed to participate in a fantastic genre in the first superiority, but the chess country leaders imposed a strict ban on the further presence of "fairy tales".
And foreign organizers refused to held the superiority without a fantastic genre.
And only in 1980 there was born a compromise (and actually the ugly one!) form when along with the obligatory sections there were also unessential genres.
In the number of the unessential genres entered, naturally, fairy tales and... popular in the USSR etudes! So West punished us for obstinacy, having put in a category of derelicts the closest to practical game etude genre!
These discrimination regulations existed during several superiorities.
But the potential of the Soviet composers was so great that, despite such absurdities, all team superiorities of the world were won by us.

009It is time to give awards! Gordian (in the centre) studies the total table.
Odessa. 2011

There is a heat of the 9th team championship of the world and the team of the Ukrainian chess composers led by its captain Yury Markovich Godian storms the champion top again.
Huge work is done, the best thematic compositions are selected... Now it is necessary only to wait for the judicial verdicts.

The Editorial staff of our site congratulates Yury Markovich Gordian with the anniversary and wishes him health, bright finds on a chessboard and successes in all undertakings. And on his trainer's and captain's path - victories of his wards in the World and Europian championships both on practical chess, and on a chess composition!

010Yury Markovich Gordian with the pupils: Stanislav Bogdanovich and Polina Usoltseva on the youth European championship on chess.
Montenegro, 2005

We represent tasks of the 9th round of a chess marathon

№33. №34. №35.
2012.03.08_1 2012.03.08_2 2012.03.08_3
    #2                                                        #3                                                        Prize                                              
By mistake of the type-setter on the diagramme №33 White have got a superfluous fighting unit … Take it off and solve the problem And on the diagramme №34 there is no white pawn. Its place – is on the initial position … Add the pawn and put a mate in three moves.


№36. A chess question

Often chess composers successfully enough play tournaments on practical chess. Who of wellknown Ukrainian composers occupied the prize-winning places in the championships of Ukraine on chess?

Meet you in a week!
Your heading leader, Honoured Chess Master of Sports of Ukraine Sergey Tkachenko.