The British Chess Variants Society
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George Jelliss reports the death of Masazumi Hanazawa, who was the inventor of An-nan or Southern Chess (ECV 2 page 170, and see also "Proof Games" in the present issue) and contributed several problems to our predecessor Chessics. According to the Japanese problemist Tadashi Wakashima, he was a professor of mathematics at Tokai University, and was a keen composer of problems of all kinds: chess, shogi, and go problems, and mathematical puzzles. Here is the eponymous An-nan problem, from Chessics 4 :

An-nan (Southern) Chess, mate in 2

This is a relay game, where a man immediately in front of another man of the same colour moves as that man and not as its normal self. So here, Nb4 and Rc3 temporarily move as bishops. The key is 1 Rc3-b2, after which Bb3 moves as a rook and the Black king has additional flight squares at a4 and c4, and there are three variations: 1...Kxc4 2 Bc2-d3 (the knight still moves like a bishop and so guards c5 and c3, while the bishop on b3 uses its rook power to guard b4), 1...Ka4 2 Nb4-c5 (the knight now moves like a rook and guards a5 and b5, while the bishop on b3 still moves like a rook and guards a3), and 1...Kxb6 2 Nb4-c3 (which is double check, from the rook at c4 now moving like a knight and the bishop at b3 still moving like a rook, and the Black king cannot run to a7 because it now moves like a pawn).
Tadashi Wakashima tells me that he often used to sign his letters with a little flower, "Hana" being "flower" in Japanese. Our sympathy to his widow.

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