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Die Schwalbe

Die Schwalbe is the German chess composition society and issues the bimonthly magazine Die Schwalbe.


Die Schwalbe was founded on 10 February 1924 in Essen as Vereinigung von Problemfreunden zur Förderung der Aufgabenkunst (Society of problem friends for advancement of chess composition art). There had been 15 foundation fathers from the Ruhr Area lead-managed by Dr. Wilhelm Maßmann. Anton Trilling was their first president. In 1972 Die Schwalbe became a member of Deutscher Schachbund (German chess union) initiated by Gerhard Wolfgang Jensch.

Johannes Hinsken from Bottrop proposed the name of the society. The name traces back to a famous four-mover entitled Eine Schwalbe composed by Johannes Kohtz (1843-1918) and Carl Kockelkorn (1843-1914):

Johannes Kohtz and Carl Kockelkorn
Eine Schwalbe, 1911
a b c d e f g h
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Mate in 4 moves

The solution exclusively consists of moves by the white queen, that draws their circles like a swallow (Schwalbe). 1.Qa7? (threatens Qa1#) is refuted by Ra4!, and 1.Qh7? (threatens Qb1#) is refuted by Re4!

1.Qf7! (threatens 2.Nd3+ Kd1 3.Qb3#) Bd5
2.Qa7 (threatens Qa1#) Ra4
3.Qh7 Re4 obstructs the diagonal of the bishop / Be4 obstructs the rank of the rook)
4.Qh1 mate / Qh4 mate

This is also a good example of a Grimshaw: In the third move the black rook and the black bishop mutually obstruct in the point of intersection e4. This is outstanding aesthetically, because in the preceding moves both pieces only have been directed back critically over e4 (the bishop in the first, the rook in the second move). Only after that can white exploit the point of intersection e4 during the third move.


The magazine Die Schwalbe appeared the first time in July 1924. Since that date it issues bimonthly. Only between 1943 and 1946 the appearance had been broken by the war. The then president of the society Wilhelm Karsch bridged that time sending all members Mitteilungen der Schwalbe (notes of the society). Die Schwalbe is worldwide recognised as a trade magazine. In the magazine chess compositions and solutions are published, composition tournaments announced and articles about chess compositions published.