Impressum  Datenschutzerklärung


Wenigsteiner Annual Prize  Rules

1) AIM
      The aim of the Wenigsteiner Annual Prize is to stimulate, promote and disseminate small arts in chess composition – especially in the field of the Wenigsteiner (4 or less chessmen). Further it is aimed to encourage composers to develop quality in small arts.


      On Sunday, October 21st, 1979, the Wenigsteiner Annual Prize was founded during the annual meeting of the Schwalbe (German association for problem chess) in Sulzbach-Rosenberg. Members of the founding jury (besides founder Hilmar Ebert) were Erich Bartel, Anthony Dickins, Hans Gruber, Peter Kniest, John Niemann, and Werner Speckmann.


     Every Wenigsteiner is eligible that was published in the calendar year in question. Admitted are all kinds of Wenigsteiner problem, orthodox and heterodox, with any chessmen and additional conditions, also studies, retroanalytic problems, chess mathematics etc., as long as the maximum number of 4 men in the diagram position is not exceeded, however, any number of men is allowed within the solution. Problems by jury members are eligible, but jury members do not judge their own problems.
     Submissions can be sent by every chess friend to the organiser (currently Hans Gruber) or to any acting judge, who in turn forwards the suggestions to the organiser. Submissions should be sent by January, 31st, of the following year. The official publication date of the source is decisive. Problems may be included which de facto (despite the printed date) were published up to a half year after the end of the calendar year. Wenigsteiner problems, which were de facto published later, may participate in the next yearly competition. This procedure should ensure that the competition is processed in an orderly manner without substantial delay. On the other hand, problems should not lose the possibility to participate because of a delayed delivery of the source (majority decision by the jury, September 1986).


a) Preselection
      The large number of Wenigsteiner problems published requires that a practicable pre-selection is made. A maximum of 32 problems is preselected if more submissions were made. The preselection screening is carried out by the organiser with the assistance of at least one further judge (jury member). The preselection normally is made between April, 1st, and June, 30th, of the following year. In particular inaccuracies, cooks, and anticipations cause problems to be excluded. Computer testing and database checks are performed where possible.

b) Judging
      The jury normally comprises 7 members. At least 5 judges are required, but not more than 7. Each member of the jury awards 5 points to the problem considered to be the best one, 4 points to the second best, etc., and 1 point to the fifth best. In addition, each member nominates a substitute problem, which is included in the scoring if one of the first 5 problems turns out to be incorrect, anticipated, or ineligible.

     The judging should be made within about 1 month. By special request, the period may be extended by a second month. If a judge is unable to provide the scores after two months or does not respond at all, the organiser may decide whether to wait further or whether to proceed without this member’s scores, as long as the minimum of 5 judges is included.


c) Scoring
     For each problem, the points awarded by the judges are added. As each problem is judged by all jury members except their own problems, a maximum sum of points can be calculated for each problem. This maximum sum equals the number of judges involved times five (points), i.e. 35 points if seven judges are involved, 30 points for six judges (if one judge of a 7-men jury is author), etc.

     For each problem, the sum of awarded points is divided by the maximum sum of points and then multiplied by 100. This results in a percentage score for each problem. 0 per cent indicates that no judge included the problem in her or his five ranked problems, 100 per cent indicates that every judge placed the problem first. The usage of percentage scores is useful for comparing the outcomes of different years.

The three problems with the best percentage scores are published in the award. The first publication is made on the website (since June, 17th, 2003), reprints can (and should) be published everywhere else. The problem ranked first is awarded the title "Wenigsteiner of the year ...".


      If a jury member resigns or dies, a new member is elected as soon as possible. The aim is to compose a jury of 7 members. The organiser may propose a recognised expert after consultation with all remaining jury members. Criteria are: judging experience in general; specific interest in and experience with Wenigsteiner problems; appropriate command of German or English language.

      The election of a new jury member should be made by unanimous decision of the remaining jury members. Only then the candidate will be invited to join the jury. When she or he accepts the invitation it is for life. Any jury member can at any time quit her or his membership with immediate effect by notifying the organiser.


      The organiser sends diagrams and solutions of the preselected problems to the judges, receives the judgments, calculates the results, prepares the calculations and the award and sends them to the judges, and sends the award to chess editors for publication. Any other jury member is encouraged to distribute the award as well in order to have it widely distributed.
website was created and maintained by the founder Hilmar Ebert until 2019. Since then Thomas Brand has acted as administrator of the website.