World Chess Problem Solving Championships

  • SonofPearl
  • on 11/3/10, 1:24 PM.

If you appreciate the beauty of chess above all else, and enjoy figuring out devilishly difficult puzzles, then solving chess problems could be for you!

The World Chess Solving Championship is one of FIDE's less well known championship events.  The 34th edition of this fascinating competition (31st of the individual championship) recently took place in Crete and was won for the third time by the English GM, chess writer, mathematician and all-round clever-clogs John Nunn (pictured).

In second place was the five-time champion Piotr Murdzia, who led the Polish team to the Gold medal in the team event.

The format consists of six rounds of problems over two days, with 71 participants having to solve the puzzles against the clock.

 Day 1  Round 1  3 twomovers in 20 minutes

 Round 2  3 threemovers in 60 minutes

 Round 3  3 endgame studies in 100 minutes
 Day 2  Round 4  3 helpmates in 50 minutes

 Round 5  3 moremovers in 80 minutes

 Round 6  3 selfmates in 50 minutes


German solver Michael Pfannkuche took the bronze medal.

 Solver Country Rd1 Rd2 Rd3 Rd4 Rd5 Rd6 Total
 1  Nunn, John GBR 15.0 13.5 5.0 12.5 11.0 14.0 71.0
 2  Murdzia, Piotr POL 15.0 15.0 2.0 12.5 10.0 15.0 69.5
 3  Pfannkuche, Michael GER 15.0 13.0 1.0 10.5 15.0 9.5 64.0


The full results can be found here. An example of the fiendishly difficult problems the competitors were set is below.  The variations of the solution are given in the move list.




All the problems and their solutions can be found here.

14726 reads 23 comments
4 votes


  • 5 years ago



  • 5 years ago


    it looks like math olympiad I attend when I was 16. I had stress in it.

  • 5 years ago


    it is the first time I understand the chess problem has a world championship Surprised

  • 5 years ago


    I had never even heard of a puzzle solving competition. Hard puzzle (kind of).

  • 5 years ago


    nice 1 well done
  • 5 years ago


  • 5 years ago


    good one

  • 5 years ago


    Cool! And very tough. 

  • 5 years ago


    cool article. do they get to work it out on a board or are they sitting there staring at an old newspaper clipping? ;)

  • 5 years ago


    Agree with white being up so much material that it isn't all that important to find a difficult mate in 3 although in more even positions it may be crucial.

  • 5 years ago


    That was cool.

  • 5 years ago


    These never captivated me ... White is up so much material, he is undoubtedly going to win ... why do I have to win in 3? Can I win in 7? Is that so bad?Wink

  • 5 years ago


    I have a headache!!

  • 5 years ago



  • 5 years ago


    First!  (just kidding)

  • 5 years ago



  • 5 years ago


    woa.. very interesting!

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