I'm a German chess problem composer (*26.04.1965) and started "constructing" first positions back in 1982. I remember that I was taken with the simple aesthetics of a problem chess diagram and its condition that there is only one solution to kill the black king in a given number of moves. I simply had to do this myself! My first attempts have been awkward. Only as I started studying problem chess books and magazines I discovered the universe of themes and ideas in which I gradually immersed. As a result, the quality of my problems got better. I was lucky to correspond with such renowned experts as the late Hans-Dieter Leiß, Hans-Christoph Krumm and Friedrich Chlubna and the still active Hans Peter Rehm in my first years (not to forget Klaus Neumann, a Dortmund chess enthusiast who ran the problem chess corner in this little newspaper supplement Bunte Wochen-Zeitung and published my first diagrams); they never let me feel like somebody who had to do his homework first. I always received encouragement from them and was treated as a serious composer. Many thanks to you all in retrospect! After my first successes three years later (4#, Schach-Aktiv 85b, 2nd Prize and 4#, Schach-Echo 85, Prize) I already felt like an International Grandmaster! Of course, achieving this rank is simply out of reach for me. My current score is 22.49 points in the FIDE-Albums (including the preliminary results of the Album 1998-2000) and I was awarded the title of a FIDE Master of Chess Composition in 2004; the IM title is within reach (25 points) and I hope that I will fulfill this norm with the next album... One last figure: up to now I've received 57 prizes, 24 of them 1st prizes (I know there are some people out there who are interested in this).
You might call me masochistic, because I quote my first "chess problem" on the left. I simply want to show that it is a long way from starting constructing simple positions with one or two "problem-like" moments until you'll finally be able to compose "real" chess problems (as for example the satisfying #3, Junker-85 JT 93, 2nd Prize). And isn't it comforting for beginners to see the meagre, dualistic start of a now experienced composer?
As you will see, the core of my selection is the threemovers section, regarding both quantity and quality. This can be considered my home ground, although I also like my moremovers and especially the fourmovers among them. The few fairy problems I composed have been a flight of fancy, thanks to my old pals Jörg Kuhlmann, a well known fairy chess theoretician and Marcel Tribowski, a splendid composer, who feels at home in nearly every problem genre.
Due to my first contacts and due to the fact that I "grew up" with the German problem chess magazine Die Schwalbe I was influenced by the so-called New German or Logical school with its stress on main- and foreplans as well as on the principle of purity of aim (see for example: #6, Die Schwalbe 92, 3rd Prize). In the mid-eighties, though, I discovered several Russian problem chess books. The admirable problems by Rudenko, Loschinski or Zagorujko, just to name a few, mostly belong to the Strategic or Tactical school, where - in short - composers strive to show complex ideas in a maximum number of variations (for example, my #4, Sadatschi i Etjudy 98, 1st Prize has been composed in this style). In the beginning of the nineties I met Michael Keller (International Grandmaster and one of the world's leading 3#-composers) at the PCCC meeting in Rotterdam; to my amazement he invited me to sit at the board with him and taught me the secrets of the Modern chess problem with its so-called Reversal themes (see for example: #3, Probleemblad 92, 2nd Prize). Since then we've successfully composed many innovative problems in this vein. With the beginning of the New Millennium we've even started to compose some interesting twomovers (for instance: #2, Die Schwalbe 00, 2nd HM, one of my favourites).
A bit of statistics: on the left you'll find a small table which lists the distribution of my selected and composed problems. These numbers will naturally increase in the future since I'm still actively composing. I'll put a little note on my Main Page (in the "News" section) every time I add new problems.