Award of 26th TT Chess Composition Microweb C 11.11.2009

(by Juraj Lörinc)

As captures were disallowed in thematic entries and Circe (and its variants) are all about captures, it was necessary to find some way to use Circe elements creatively. There are many possibilities as evidenced by thematic examples and authors of competing problems managed to express the idea in varying ways.

There were two motifs present in relatively large number of problems. The most common was probably the exploitation of Circe self-protection, in which a piece cannot be captured due to a potential check from rebirth square. The other common motive was capture avoidance, where the capture would prevent checkmate (by Circe rebirth) and therefore it is necessary to disable capture possibilities.

But there were many other motifs both in unawarded and awarded problems. I was trying to reward creativity, either expressed by the unusual, original motivation of "no capture" or by original expression of even well known motifs.

Some comments to problems with award chances, but failing to reach it:

26-01 (hs#3 Ke6/Ka8): It is possible to save 3 pieces in otherwise highly original scheme, the author will be contacted by e-mail.

26-05 (hs#12 Kf2/Kd7): Prolonged version of the 2nd HM, but adding of two moves without any deeper supplement is not worth 3 pieces more.

26-15 (ser-h#6 Kc4/Ka6): While motivation of both phases is analogous, there are in fact two large heaps of black pieces on the board needed each in one phase only.

26-18 (ser-h#7 Kh1/Kf3): There is very little Circe content here, the key idea of cyclic exchange of blocking pieces works without Circe too.

26-27 (h#2 Kf8/Kd6): Extremely economical position, but there is just Anticirce guard of d7, nothing more from TT point of view.

26-29 (h=4,5 Kh6/Kh4): Interesting idea combining Checkless Chess and Mars Circe, but it is expressed in an unsatisfactory form.

26-33 (#3 Kc7/Kh8): As much as I would like to award strategic direct threemover with good thematic content, used pseudo-Fleck form and poor key prevent that.

26-39 (ser-h=7 Kb1/Kc5): It would be more appropriate for the previous TT CCM, Circe content is limited to square c4.

26-40 (h#2 Kd6/Kd3): Hybrid with the change of fairy condition is welcome, nevertheless the content is humble.


Congratulations to all authors of awarded problems and big "thank you!" to all participants.

Juraj Lörinc, Bratislava - Levice - Dubnica, 11-12/2009

Gabor Tar
9th Commendation
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

1.Ra2 Ba6 2.Rf2 Be2+ 3.Ke3 Bf4#

1.Ra4 Ba7 2.Rg4 Ke6+ 3.Kf4 Be3#

Not only model mates with Circe self-protection, but also some analogous strategic elements, not bad for 6 pieces.

h#3 (3+3)

Geoff Foster
8th Commendation
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

1.b4 Sb3 2.Bb1 Kc4 3.Kb2 Sa1 4.Kc1 Kc3 5.Ba2 Sb3#

Nine half-moves without any capture in an innocent position suddenly end in the finale with Circe self-protection of two white pawns and then also mating Sb3. Switchbacks underline the fact that initial position is almost the final one, yet it takes so long to reach the aim.

hs#5 (5+3)

Dieter Müller
7th Commendation
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

1.Bd4 2.Bg1 3.Sd4 4.Re6 5.Re5 Se7#

1.Ke5 2.Be4 3.Bb1 4.Qe4 5.d5 Sd7#

Considerable effort was necessary to suppress symmetrical feeling (with hinted axis between files d and e). The final product is analogous enough with slightly unbalanced use of Strict Circe condition (in the first solution Re5 attacks e7, in the second Pd5 does not attack d7).

ser-h#5 (3+10)
Strict Circe

Gilles Regniers
6th Commendation
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

1.Be5 Rc1 2.Bb8 R1c7#

1.Rd7 Ba1 2.Rd3 Bd4#

White unpins black linemovers by arrival on Circe squares and subsequently fires batteries with interposition on the line of unpinned piece. Relatively strong white material with e8 attacked (thus preventing capture by bK) required some cookstoppers. See more Anticirce battery problems in Liga Problemista 2007 (external link).

h#2 (4+9)
Anticirce type Cheylan

Nikola Predrag
5th Commendation
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

a) 1.Ba8 d4 2.Rb7 Ra1#

b) 1.Ra7 d3 2.Bb7 Rh6#

Typical example of capture avoidance. A checkmate along the first line can be parried by a capture of any knight, a checkmate along the h-file by capture of Ph7. The multiple capturing possibilities are eliminated in mostly analogous fashion (Grimshaw on b7 with critical moves, line closings by wP), although withdrawal of bB from b1 in the a) position is unmatched.

h#2 (7+9)
b) e6 -» c2

Cornel Pacurar
Arno Tüngler

4th Commendation
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

1.Bb5-a4 2.Kc4-b5 3.Kb5-a6 4.Ka6-a7 5.Ka7-b8 6.Kb8-c8 7.Kc8-d8 8.Kd8-e8 9.Ke8-f8 10.Kf8-g8 11.Kg8-h7 12.Kh7-g6 13.Kg6-h5 14.Kh5-g4 15.Kg4-f4 16.Kf4-e4 17.Rd3-e3 18.Re3-e1 19.Re1-a1 20.Ke4-f4 21.Kf4-g4 22.Kg4-h5 23.Kh5-g6 24.Kg6-h7 25.Kh7-g8 26.Kg8-f8 27.Kf8-e8 28.Ke8-d8 29.Kd8-c8 30.Kc8-b8 31.Kb8-a7 32.Ka7-a6 33.Ka6-b5 34.Kb5-c4 35.Ba4-b3 36.Bb3-a2 37.Ba2-b1 38.Kc4-b5 39.Kb5-a4 40.Ka4-a3 41.Ka3-a2 Bc3-b2=

1.Bb5-a6 2.Kc4-b5 3.Kb5-a4 4.Ka4-a3 5.Ka3-a2 6.Ka2-b1 7.Kb1-c1 8.Kc1-d1 9.Kd1-e2 10.Ke2-f1 11.Kf1-g2 12.Kg2-h3 13.Kh3-g4 14.Kg4-f4 15.Kf4-e4 16.Rd3-e3 17.Re3-e1 18.Re1-a1 19.Ke4-f4 20.Kf4-g4 21.Kg4-h3 22.Kh3-g2 23.Kg2-f1 24.Kf1-e2 25.Ke2-d1 26.Kd1-c1 27.Kc1-b1 28.Kb1-a2 29.Ka2-a3 30.Ka3-a4 31.Ka4-b5 32.Kb5-c4 33.Ba6-b5 34.Bb5-a4 35.Ba4-b3 36.Bb3-a2 37.Ba2-b1 38.Kc4-b5 39.Kb5-a4 40.Ka4-a3 41.Ka3-a2 Bc3-b2=

Two solutions in seriesmover 41 moves long? Well, there is a trap here, solutions have the same final position (with some pieces taboo due to Strict Circe), the same idea and some parts of solutions are identical. Yet, it is fine they are determined softly by the first bishop move resulting in the different direction of bK movements. Some elements are common with the 3rd Prize.

ser-h=41 (11+4)
Strict Circe
2 solutions

Dieter Müller
Franz Pachl

3rd Commendation
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

a) 1.Kb4 2.EQb1 3.Kb5 4.Kc6 5.Gb7 6.Kc7 7.Gac6 Se6#

b) 1.Kd4 2.EQg1 3.Ke3 4.Kf4 5.Gf5 6.Kg4 7.Gff4 Sf6#

Quite good analogy of solutions, especially very precise movements of bK in seemingly unconstrained position. Yet, the use of equihoppers has slightly artificial taste and there is a question of use of black material in the other position.

ser-h#7 (4+9)
Strict Circe
1+5 grasshopper, 0+2 equihopper
b) -wGg6

Raffi Ruppin
2nd Commendation
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009


1.Rg1+! Ke5 2.Rh1+ Kd5 3.Rhd1+ Kc5 4.f8=B+ Bc1 5.Rh1+ Kd5 6.Rg1+ Ke5 7.Rf1+ Kf5 8.Re1+ Kg5#

Standard technique of long Anticirce selfmates (white piece repeatedly moving from one Circe square of white piece to another) dates back at least to 1993 as evidenced by one example from seminal TT of diagrammes. There is still some space for originality left, especially if the content is logically grounded. Use of quiet moves would improve the impression too.

s#8 (9+9)

Václav Kotesovec
1st Commendation
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

1.Kd5 Kd2 2.Kc4 Bb6 3.Kb3 Kd3 4.Ra2 Ba5 5.Ka3 Kc3 6.Ra4 Bb4#

1.Rb7 Bd4 2.Rh5 Bh8 3.Kf5 Kd4 4.Kg5 Ke5 5.Kh6+ Kf6 6.Rh7 Bg7#

Another problem coming from already explored area, yet with original touch. Echo of well known bishop mate is spiced by bishop self-protection against capture by rook, determining precisely the possible mating squares.

h#6 (2+3)

Dieter Müller
5th HM
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

a) 1.Rf1 Sc4 2.Rab1 Be4#

b) 1.Rg1 Bd7 2.Rac1 Bc5#

Familiar effect of blocking the rebirth square resulting in indestructibility of a pieces in Strict Circe is doubled in both solutions, moreover in an attractive Bristol-like form.

h#2 (4+5)
Strict Circe
b) d5 -» b4

Gilles Regniers
4th HM
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

1.RBd3 Rg8 2.RBh7 Sg6#

1.RBc4 Rh7 2.RBg8 Se6#

1.RBb5+ Rh5 2.RBe8 Sd7#

Compare this to the 6th Commendation. The white battery is here same in all solutions and it is already prepared in the diagram position. But there are even three solutions and it is necessary to cut lines of the black reflecting bishop in both directions. I was disturbed by the use of wBh4 instead of bBf2 more than by the passive use of wR and wS in mates.

h#2 (6+8)
1+1 reflecting bishop

Nikola Predrag
3rd HM
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009


      2.Re4 (tempo?) 3.Bd4 c4#
      2.Bf6 Kd5 3.Rd4+ (c3#?)

      2.Bf6 (tempo?) 3.Rd4 c3#
      2.Re4 Kb6 3.Bd4+ (c4#?)


1...Kd7 2.Re4 Kd6 3.Bd4 c4#

1...Kb6 2.Bf6 Kb7 3.Rd4 c3#

More analogous (than the 5th Commendation) example of capture avoidance in Circe is rooted in the use of pawn battery mates. Captures threat to interpose on b2 by rebirth, thus both Black and White have to cooperate closely to remove any capture possibilities. Although there is no move by fairy piece indicated in the solution, there is strong hopping flavour present thanks to neutralization of locust captures from both sides of Pc6 as well as avoidance of move by Pc6.

h#2,5 (5+10)
grasshopper a7, a5, locust h6, f3

Arnold Beine
2nd HM
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

1.d4+ Ke8 2.Ba5 f5+ 3.Ke3 Ke7 4.Be1 Kf6 5.Ba5 Kg5 6.Be1 Kf4+ 7.Kd2 Ke3+ 8.Kc1 Kd2+ 9.Kb2+ Kc1+ 10.Ka1 Kb2#

The way to a1 goes via e8. Moves by wK are made possible by checks by bK and bK can cross line e1-a5 only when wK blocks c1. In spite of very limiting fairy condition there is plentiful use of Anticirce effects.

hs#10 (4+3)
Double Maximummer

Geoff Foster
1st HM
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

Try: 1.Bxe8(Sf7) 2.Rxf7(Sg7) 3.Kxg7(Sf8) 4.Kg8 5.Bg7 6.Bxf8(Sg7) 7.Rfxg7(Sf7) 8.Bxf7(Se8) 9.Kh8 10.Bg8 11.f7 auto=

Solution: 1.Rg8 2.Bg7 3.Rgh8 4.Kg8 5.Bf8 6.Rg7 7.Rhh7 8.Kh8 9.Bg8 10.f7 auto=

As the author pointed, the try with 6 captures is the only "solution" in 11 moves, but it is not solution. The right solution conforming to the theme of the tourney has the same final position with two rooks immobilized thanks to Circe self-protection of Black pieces - and those white rooks has swapped places in the course of solutions as have also wK and wB. Very fresh approach to the theme with stark contrast between try and solution.

ser-auto=10 (7+5)

Cornel Pacurar
Arno Tüngler

3rd Prize
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

1.Ba7-b8 2.Bb8-d6 3.Bd6-f8 4.Bf8-h6 5.Bh6-f4 6.Bf4-g3 7.Bg3-e1 8.Be1-d2 9.Kb2-c1 10.Kc1-d1 11.Bd2-e1 12.Be1-f2 13.Kd1-e1 14.Ke1-f1 15.Kf1-g1 16.Kg1-h2 17.Bf2-g3 18.Kh2-h3 19.Kh3-g4 20.Bg3-f4 21.Kg4-g5 22.Kg5-h6 23.Kh6-h7 24.Bf4-h6 25.Bh6-f8 26.Bf8-d6 27.Bd6-b8 28.Kh7-g8 29.Kg8-f8 30.Kf8-e8 31.Ke8-d8 32.Kd8-c8 33.Kc8-b7 34.Bb8-a7 35.Kb7-a6 36.Ka6-a5 37.Ka5-b4 38.Kb4-c4 39.Ba4-b3 40.Bb3-a2 41.Ba2-b1 42.Kc4-b4 43.Kb4-a5 44.Ka5-a6 45.Ka6-b7 46.Ba7-b8 47.Kb7-c8 48.Kc8-d8 49.Kd8-e8 50.Ke8-f8 51.Kf8-g8 52.Kg8-h7 53.Bb8-d6 54.Bd6-f8 55.Bf8-h6 56.Bh6-f4 57.Kh7-h6 58.Kh6-g5 59.Kg5-g4 60.Bf4-g3 61.Kg4-h3 62.Kh3-h2 63.Bg3-f2 64.Kh2-g1 65.Kg1-f1 66.Kf1-e1 67.Ke1-d1 68.Bf2-e1 69.Be1-d2 70.Kd1-c1 71.Kc1-b2 72.Bd2-a5 73.Kb2-a2 Be3-d4=

It is enough to move Ba4 to b1 and n.Ka2 Bd4= solves. But it is of course not so easy. Moving bishop to b1 requires bK at c4 and this is in turn possible only if the other bishop repeatedly shields bK from checks. Skillfully arranged white pieces are largely unnecessary in the stalemate, yet it is not advisable to capture anything in hope of shortening the manoeuvre as this would mean insurmountable block on path to final position thanks to Strict Circe condition. As authors acknowledge, this would be correct are No Captures as well, yet the more delicate Strict Circe condition delays the refutations of tries and emphasizes the idea.

ser-h=73 (13+4)
Strict Circe

Günther Weeth
Klaus Wenda

2nd Prize
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

Considerations: White´s goal is the vacation of the square a1 with the tool of 2 continuous draw-pendulums in order to give the move...& 1.Rh1+ the power of a double-check.

1.Bc5-f8! Qf8-c8+ 2.Bb6-c5 Rd8-b8+ 3.Ra5-a4 [White starts the first draw-pendulum, Zugzwang] Rd6-d8 4.Ra4-a5 Rd8-d6 5.Ra5-a4 Rd6-d8 6.Ra4-a5 b4-b3 [forced to avoid the 3rd repetition of the same position] 7.a6-a7 b5-b4+ 8.Ra5-a4 [White starts the 2nd pendulum] Rd8-d6 9.Ra4-a5Rd6-d8 10.Ra5-a4 Rd8-d6 11.Ra4-a5 Sb3-a1 [forced again] 12.Bd4-b6 & 1.Rh1#

The creative approach to the theme of TT in which the authors have interpreted the thematic requirement for retractors as follows: no retro-captures. Anticirce Proca retractors are well known especially for very specific retro-captures, yet here we have one without any captures whatsoever. The key is old idea of repeating the position with forcing Black to the retracting different move avoiding a draw. This idea is unusually repeated twice here, finally making Black to vacate a1, after which 1.Rh1 becomes lethal double-check.

retro-#12 Proca type (6+8)

Peter Gvozdják
1st Prize
26th TT CCM C 11.11.2009

1.Qd7? th. 2.VAfg2# A, 2.VAa2# B
1...Sd6 a 2.VAde2# C
1...Sf5 b 2.VAhg2# D

1.Qf4? th. 2.VAa2# B, 2.VAde2# C
1...Sd6 a 2.VAhg2# D
1...Sf5 b 2.VAfg2# A

1.Qc5? th. 2.VAde2# C, 2.VAhg2# D
1...Sd6 a 2.VAfg2# A
1...Sf5 b 2.VAa2# B

1.Qg6! th. 2.VAhg2# D, 2.VAfg2# A
1...Sd6 a 2.VAa2# B
1...Sf5 b 2.VAde2# C

Many elements of the top problem were already seen in the winner of the most recent WCCT: virtual AUW of the mating white pawn, alternating opening and closing of black lion lines aimed at white meat to be captured and resulting in the conflict of rebirth on Circe squares of white orthodox pieces. And then also Cyclone theme. There, in WCCT it was complete Shedey cycle, here it is only 4-fold Rice cycle.

But! It is important that mates missing in Rice cycle are present in phases in form of double threats. Thus we get complete (non-Cyclone) cyclic Odessa theme for the first time. Moreover, the geometry underlying the changes is beautiful as well. There are 8 black lines (g5-b5, h6-b6, d3-d8, h7-d3, a3-f8, f3-f8, b8-h2, c8-h3) and wQ makes key moves on some of their intersections (d7, f4, c5, g6) in main phases. (There are also additional tries with 1.Qe6? and 1.Qe5? some added themes.) Queen does not ever check black king directly, it is just queen mobility used for the effect. In a sense this reminds me of Aschwanden's #2 in Circe Parrain, of course, in the completely different framework. Different refutations of phases are a fine touch. Overall impressive work.

By the way, I suppose this work was done long after WCCT closing date. Have it been composed in time in line with WCCT rerquirements (only Chinese pieces or only lions) and proposed by Peter for submission, it would probably have passed into Slovak entry.

#2 (14+15)
Anticirce type Cheylan
0+3 pao, 4+1 vao
0+2 rook lion, 0+4 bishop lion

Comments to Juraj Lörinc.
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