[Retros] Publishing Compositions

Otto Janko otto at janko.at
Tue Aug 11 10:16:53 EDT 2020

One additional remark: Do NOT send a problem to this list or any other
public forum because this would be considered as publishing and you cannot
send it to a magazine as "original" anymore.

-- Otto Janko [mailto:otto at janko.at] [https://www.janko.at]
-- They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary 
-- safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. [Benjamin Franklin]

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Retros [mailto:retros-bounces at janko.at] On Behalf Of 
> Bernd Gräfrath
> Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 8:35 AM
> To: retros at janko.at
> Subject: Re: [Retros] Publishing Compositions
> ... and I want to mention two relevant books:
> John Rice, "Chess Wizardry", entry "Tourneys";
> A.J. Roycroft, "Test Tube Chess", part "The Serious" (on 
> critics, judges, composers).
> B.G.
> Gesendet: Dienstag, 11. August 2020 um 08:28 Uhr
> Von: "Bernd Gräfrath" <retromode at web.de>
> An: "Jack Murtagh" <murtagh.jack at gmail.com>
> Cc: Retros at janko.at
> Betreff: Re: [Retros] Publishing Compositions
> Dear Jack,
> I can give you my personal answers; and I think that most 
> composers will agree with my view:
> 1. When you have composed a problem that you are proud of, 
> ideally you would check in a database of chess problems, 
> e.g., the PDB; see
> https://pdb.dieschwalbe.de/index.jsp?langw=EN
> whether your composition is not anticipated. But you can also 
> submit your retro problem to a good chess problem journal, 
> and the retro editor will most probably know whether your 
> problem is original and good enough for publication.
> 2. Some chess journals are more specialized than others. For 
> example, the magazine "Schach" is mainly aimed at chess 
> players; and although it has a very good problem section, it 
> would not be the right place for complicated retros. Such a 
> problem would be more suitable for specialized chess problem 
> magazines, for example "Die Schwalbe", "The Problemist", 
> "Probleemblad" or "StrateGems"; cf. the list at
> https://www.thbrand.de/retroanalyse/informalturniere/
> 3. The problems published in a magazine of a certain year 
> take place in an "informal tourney": A problem expert acts as 
> a judge and writes an award in which prizes, honourable 
> mentions and commendations are given (with reasons for the 
> placements). These tourneys do not have a specified theme. 
> Formal tourneys have an announcement which gives a date until 
> which compositions must be submitted. Most formal tourneys 
> have a theme (but the FIDE-Cup usually does not). In a 
> thematic tourney, participating problems should not only be 
> good, but must also show the given theme.
> 4. You should NEVER submit a composition to several 
> magazines/tourneys at the same time! If you send it to a 
> magazine and the problem is rejected, then you can send it to 
> another magazine/tourney. If the editor of a magazine tells 
> you that your problem is anticipated, you should not send it anywhere.
> Perhaps this is helpful also for others who might ask similar 
> questions in the future. I do not remember that these topics 
> have been answered in the retro mailing list before.
> An old source for such question is the book
> Best wishes,
> Bernd
> Gesendet: Dienstag, 11. August 2020 um 07:34 Uhr
> Von: "Jack Murtagh" <murtagh.jack at gmail.com>
> An: Retros at janko.at
> Betreff: [Retros] Publishing Compositions
> Hello,
> I recently finished composing a retro problem that I think is 
> worthy of publication or entry to a competition but I have 
> never published a problem and I'm having trouble 
> understanding the landscape here. Some questions I have are:
> 1. When you've composed a problem you're proud of, what do 
> you do next?
> 2. Why choose one publication venue over another? Are some 
> more competitive or better for certain kinds of problems?
> 3. How do tournaments/competitions work? Often when solving a 
> problem, you see the composer's name, year, and "3rd Prize" 
> or "Honorable Mention" - where do these labels come from? Are 
> these usually "informal tournaments"? Do most formal 
> competitions other than the WCCI have pre-specified themes?
> 4. Can you publish a problem in a magazine/journal and also 
> submit it to a competition?
> I apologize if these things have been asked many times 
> before. I've done a lot of research today and had trouble 
> finding definitive answers to these questions.
> Thank you so much for any help,
> Jack
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