Why another olympiad problem book? There are already several good

books still in print in the English language covering prestigious

mathematical olympiads. A few that come to mind are books on

the USA Mathematical Olympiad, the International Mathematical

Olympiad, and the Hungarian Mathematical Olympiad Eötvös

Competition).

Yet when I received the first draft of this book and was reviewing the

manuscript to see if it was worthy of publication, I was

awestruck by the novelty of these problems. As I was reading through

the problems, there were many times when I just had to stop

reading because I wanted to work on the problem I had just read

or I just had to drop everything to peek at the solution.

As an avid problemist as well as publisher, I see thousands of

problems every year, but somehow these problems seemed different.

They have some indescribable property that I can't pin down that somehow

makes them different from most of the (Western) problems that I am used to.

Perhaps it is because we, in the United States, have had little

contact in the past with the mathematics and educational system

of Russia.

Mathematicians, problemists, students, and educators should all

benefit from this collection. One difference I note between these

problems and contests in the US is the large number of problems

that involve games. ("Two players play a game by alternately writing

numbers on a board or removing pebbles from a pile...; who wins

this game and what is the winning strategy?'') Pedagogically, I feel

such problems pull a student into trying to find the winning strategy

and help make mathematics fun, useful, and interesting.

Another difference that I note is the dearth of problems involving

probability or trigonometry. Is this some significant cultural

difference or is it just an accident due to the small sample space

involved?

Whatever makes these problems different from the usual ones,

I am proud to offer you now this delightful collection of problems.

The authors, Professors Kirichenko and Fomin, have done a marvelous

job of preserving the appeal of these problems in their English translation.

I am indebted to Mark Saul who had the inspiration to propose making the

contests from Russia available to the English-speaking world and

who was able to put me in contact with the authors from one of Russia's most

prestigious contests, the Leningrad Mathematical Olympiad.

As a small publisher who puts out very few books a year, I feel

honored to be able to publish this one.

There are several other people who helped make the book a reality.

Alice Cheyer did a masterful job of copyediting. This task was above and

beyond the usual job inasmuch as she had to deal with a very technical

manuscript written by people for whom English is not their native

language. Alice also entered the corrections from the proofreaders.

Paul Anagnostopoulos of Windfall Software did the book design and did

an excellent job as compositor. Material arrived from the authors

by mail, courier, disk, and electronic mail and had to go through

numerous stages of electronic translation before it could be turned

into ZzTeX, our production system. Thanks must go to anonymous

scientists and administrators who created and keep running

the Internet, an electronic communications system that allowed

nearly instantaneous transmission of both text (in ASCII) and

graphics (using encapsulated PostScript) from Russia to the US.

Compuserve Navigator v3.1.1 was used for access to Compuserve Information

Service which provided Internet access. Word Perfect v5.0 files supplied

by the authors were translated into TeX using v2.00E of Publishing

Companion by K-Talk Communicatons, Inc.

All the figures were carefully handcrafted by the authors using

Designer v3.1 from Micrografx and exported to EPS files.

Interchange between DOS and

Macintosh diskettes was accomplished using v6.01 of MacLinkPlus from DataViz.

Windfall Software did the conversion from plain TeX v3.141 to ZzTeX v2.1c.

The problems were proofread and classified by Stanley Rabinowitz.

The cover design was by Kathi Duprey.

I thank Mark Saul for his insightful Foreword.

Stanley Rabinowitz

MathPro Press

Westford, Massachusetts

July, 1993