|By US Chess Federation|
(Also known as Chess Compositions)
Have you ever seen an especially striking chess position which clearly could not have occurred in the course of a normal game, and had to find a breathtakingly unusual - near-impossible, even - solution? If so, you have encountered a chess composition, also known as a chess problem.
There are many kinds of chess problems, usually composed in accordance with generally established rules, and designed to illustrate an idea - usually in an elegant and striking way. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, has an excellent description and quite a few links at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_problem.
Official titles such as GM and IM are awarded both for people who compose chess problems, and for people who excel at solving them. The World Chess Federation (FIDE) has established the Permanent Commission for Chess Competitions (PCCC), which has a web site at http://www.saunalahti.fi/~stniekat/pccc/.
There are many USCF members who enjoy creating and solving chess problems. Elesewhere on our web site, you will find David L. Brown's "Key Crackers" column, featuring a new set of problems every month.
The members of the U.S. Society of Chess Problemists - who call themselves the Good Companions - maintain an extensive web site at http://www.strategems.org/. The site includes a current list of American titleholders, both past and present.
Finally, Lubomir Siran maintains an extensive web site about chess problem activities worldwide at http://www.geocities.com/solvingchess/.