Encyclopaedia Of Chess Problems
"A lot of courage was needed to undertake, within an extremely tight time table, the "impossible mission" of coping with such a comprehensive task as displayed in this book, which covers practically all aspects of chess composition.
Behind this there stood a special situation, where the general manager of Chess Informant has found it in his interest to invest in such a project, provided that the chief editor is GM Milan Velimirovic. And indeed, one could not ask for a better qualified man for the job. In a lucky coincidence, Kari Valtonen who happened to gather a lot of material suitable for the book joined forces with Milan and these two with the help of several enthusiastic friends managed to present us with this mammoth enterprise the encyclopedia before you.
Every fan of chess composition can find in this book some thing of interest. The undersigned finds appeal in most aspects of the book, but being biased by his personal composing activity, particularly so in the core parts referring to themes and terms. For the undersigned, browsing through these extensive parts has been a fascinating "journey among the stars".
Nowadays it seems that the time of basic themes is over. The time of the more complex themes has come, but these must preserve a number of basic characteristics: internal coherence and logic, a high prospective for inspiring composing and a strong survival capability which can only be verified over time.
The themes should expose the potentials hidden in the contingent rules of chess their power to create things of beauty, which in the case of chess compositions are dependent entities, as they are man-made. Beauty in chess composition is not constant but a dynamic concept. Taste will change over time, and like the stars in the skies, themes have their periods of flourishing and decline, depending on the amount of life or energy they possess, and how long it will take for each to burn its entire vitality before turning into a white dwarf.
This book seems to have taken these or similar criteria into consideration. Hopefully the number of counter-examples is negligible and can easily be adjusted in a future edition.
This comprehensive encyclopedia is special in our field of chess composition and will be enjoyed by chess players as well. It is a must in the library of all lovers of chess problems and studies."
Uri Avner, GM of Chess Composition, Honorary President of the WFCC