Dust jacket, designed by Anke Halumbirek
Dust jacket, designed by Anke Halumbirek

Michael Schlosser and Martin Minski

Asymmetry

A just released problem book by Michael Schlosser and Martin Minski stands in the tradition of T.R. Dawson’s and W. Pauly’s classic Asymmetry (A.C. White’s Christmas Series, 1927). Their work ASymmetrie contains a stupendous wealth of problems from all genres composed in the last ca 170 years, the earliest dating from 1841:

udo degener verlag, Potsdam 2013

646 pp., hardcover with dust jacket
format 16 x 22 cm
weight 1.2 kg
ISBN 978-3-940531-91-9

Price: 20 Euros (incl. postage in Germany)
The postage for foreign shipments (weight above 500 g) is 6 Euros.

You may directly order from the publisher via his online shop (where you can still find further problem books from his publishing house).

This composite work of the two well-known German chess composers is fascinating throughout, they deal exclusively with a special kind of aesthetically attractive problems, i.e. those with a symmetrical initial position and an asymmetric, generally paradoxical solution. From their own collection of 4000 problems they have selected the most interesting items – 649 in total, from orthodox mate problems to endgame studies, fairies and retros, even some originals have been included – you may have a look at the table of contents to get a short overview. Within the chapters all problems are given in chronological order, and each problem is depicted by a diagram followed by the solution, the latter mostly with additional smaller diagrams. The book is completed by a glossary (definitions of fairy & retro terms) as well as indexes of themes and authors.

We also learn from the preface (we link a scan here for our German speaking readers) that the authors have invested many years to finish their project, and particularly in the solutions they have spared no effort to provide entertaining and inventive comments. Fortunately the latter are mostly intelligible to OTB players with some basic knowledge of problem chess (and the help of the a.m. glossary), so this is not only a book for pronounced problem experts. Naturally there is a wide range as to the complexity of the problems and some will be more challenging than others – take it as a good sign of the variety of this absorbing anthology.

In view of the above advantages, the abundant content and the solid get-up of the book the price is very favourable, and I can only recommend this enjoyable publication: It belongs in every problem enthusiast’s library, and it will give you numerous hours of a stimulating read.

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