Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mario Matous, Chess Composer Extraoridnaire just posted a poignant article about the life, chess compositions and death of Mario Matous. Matous (1947-2013) held a series of mundane jobs during his life, devoting most of his time and energy to his passionate love affair with chess. He reached the master level as a player but his imagination took full flower with his magnificent chess compositions; Matous published nearly 300 studies, more than half of which won awards. Examples of his remarkable conceptions can be found by clicking on the above link to the article and also at Vladimir Grabinsky's chess website.

Here is an excerpt from Emil Vlasak's tribute to Matous:

Matouš published his first endgame study in 1968, and quickly gained an international reputation. He always needed a lot of beer to get an inspiration. But after getting it, he suddenly changed into an austere and hard-working man. He didn’t sleep, drink or eat, and spent many days and nights feverishly working out the idea. Where a normal composer would test one or two versions, Matouš sifted dozens. There were attempts to improve his studies, but usually Mario just laughed. He had almost everything on his “playground” and knew exactly why he went his way.

...his highest compositional level was maintained until about 2009. Then he became completely overwhelmed by creative depression and Mario stopped publishing altogether.

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