Award of 13th TT Chess Composition Microweb - fairy section - C 15.2.2004

(Judgement by Stephen Emmerson)

23 problems were submitted, of which 1 has proved unsound (s#3, Ke1/Kb1) and 7 remain untested. The entry overall was not perhaps of the highest quality, although I trust the award winners merit their place. Some problems were much longer than necessary to show their ideas, if indeed there was an idea to be shown. But, on to the successful problems.


Some notes on other entries: many of the one-liners did not carry a strongly marked theme, or anything particularly striking in the play, e.g. F10 (s#7, Kc4/Kd2), F14 (s#8, Ke5/Kh3). F09 (s#2, Kc8/Ke8) and F18 (s#2, Kh8/Ke6) had some interest but gave the effect of one-liners, the variations as such being effectively black duals. F22 (s#4, Kc4/Kd1) seemed untidy. There were also several computer-generated long solutions, most ending in echoes. I have nothing against this type of problem in general, but mere existence or length of unique solution is no longer a surprise, and the play in most cases here was impenetrable to humans, simply giving the impression that it was a line which worked – therefore the finale becomes the entire idea of the problem. F15 (s#7, Kb4/-) showing four such echoes was an achievement of sorts, but that mate was dull; F01 (s#12, Kb7/Kc2) had a much more interesting mate, but would have been better shown in echo in a problem of much less intimidating length. Otherwise, these and the other similar entries are fine – just not award winners.

Many thanks to all the competitors for providing me with an interesting task, and to Juraj for inviting me to judge this tourney.

Stephen Emmerson
April 2004

Frantisek Sabol (Czechia)
1st Prize
13th TT Chess Composition Microweb C 15.2.2004
Nr F06

1...fxg6 2.Ke2 g5 3.Kf1 g4 4.Kg2 g3 5.Kh1 g2 6.Qa1 Rxa1#
1...fxe6 2.Kc2 e5 3.Kb1 e4 4.Ka1 e3 5.Bb1 e2 6.Qa2 Rxa2#

Good key sets up two variations with echoed strategy on either side of the board, whilst not unpinning the bR too early (1.Qa4?). The route-marches of bP and wK don’t add anything of strategy but work neatly enough and are of the minimum length necessary, before neat specific unpinning forcing moves by the wQ. Excellent economy, with the wR playing its part in forcing the wQ to a1 in one line, and the wB forcing Qa2 in the other.

+++ Composition In the Spotlight (CIS) No. 11 +++

Spotlight comment by Juraj Lörinc:

It is not easy to add something new to judge's comment - if the reader knows how Mars Circe works. But if not?

So what is the definition of Mars Circe? It is a modification of Circe, in which any capture or check starts at Circe square of checking or capturing unit. In the diagram position Pf4 may make 2 moves, captures Pf4(-f7)xe6 and Pf4(-f7)xg6. On the other hand, Rd1 cannot move as this would allow Qe4 to check from d1, i.e. Rd1 is pinned by queen, and Ke1 cannot move as any its move would allow wK to capture the bK, i.e. this would be multiple self-check.

Now what is the solution about? Simply said, white holds bR pinned and marches by the king to the corner, where the mate follows specific move by wQ allowing self-unpin capture by bR. The rook in turn checks wK as it ends mating move on the square of appropriate colour. Skillfully thought up!

s#6 (8+3)
Mars Circe

Raffi Ruppin (Israel)
2nd Prize
13th TT Chess Composition Microweb C 15.2.2004
Nr F08
Correction 12.8.2015

1.Nfb7+? hxg6(g7)!

1.Kc8+! Kc1 2.Kd8+ Kd1 3.Ke8+ Ke1 4.Kf8+ Kf1 5.Qg2+ hxg2(pg7) 6.Ke8+ Ke1 7.Kd8+ Kd1 8.Kc8+ Kc1 9.Kb8+ Kb1 10.Nfb7+ Rxg6(Ra8)#

An entertaining solution, not difficult to find with such a clear scheme. Economically set and the crucial moves 5.Qg2 hg2 nicely exploit the condition to the full, forcing a capture on the g-file to prevent a later capture there.

This version by author himself added bPg4 to remove the following cook found by Guy Sobrecases: 1.Qg1+! Be1 2.Nfb7+ hxg6(pg7) 3.Qg6+ Rxg6(Ra8)# (26.10.2006).

s#10 (9+9)
4+0 nightrider

Frantisek Sabol (Czechia)
3rd Prize
13th TT Chess Composition Microweb C 15.2.2004
Nr F12

1.Rh7? Sxf6+! 2.Kxf2

1.Kxf2? stalemate

1.Sg3? Kh1! 2.Kxf2 Kg1 3.Ke3 Kh1 4.Kd4 Kg1 5.Kc4??

1.a3! Bxa3 2.Sxa3 Kh1 3.Kxf2 Kg1 4.Ke3 Kh1 5.Kd4 Kg1 6.Kc5 Kh1 7.Kb6 Kg1 8.Ka6 Kh1 9.Rh7 Sxf6# (9.Rd7? Kxd7!, 9.Rcf7? Kxf7!, 9.Rc8? Sxf6+! 10.Rb8+)

Again, an intricate use of the Mars Circe condition, with possibly deeper content than the 1st Prize. To achieve the goal, the doubly-pinned bS must be released by one wR in order to capture the other, and the ‘flight’ on f2 must be removed. The wRc7 must vacate c7 to allow Black to hold b6, and in unpinning the bS on move 9 the bK is also pinned. For the content, this should have been first place, but my only reservation with this fine logical problem is that the key and bB capture to allow the wK return doesn’t seem integral to the rest of the scheme. If, as seems, six men can be saved and at least one of the white blocking pieces replaced by pawns, then not to do so is a very expensive choice.

s#9 (15+7)
Mars Circe

Michel Caillaud (France)
1st HM
13th TT Chess Composition Microweb C 15.2.2004
Nr F23

1.Kb6! zz
1...d6 2.Kc6 d5 3.Kd7 d4 4.Qc8! dxe3# (5.Kxd3??, 5.Bxd3??)
1...d5 2.Kc5 d4 3.b6 dxe3 4.Qb5! e2# (5.Kxf2??, 5.Rxf2??)

An excellent matrix showing transformation between rook and bishop lines with wQ ambush specifically preventing the wK capture-flights. The discriminant between pawn one-two steps works very well, too – there’s an insignificant blemish in that the bB isn’t used in the 1...d6 line, but the key and play bringing the wK to the action isn’t as interesting as one might have wished.

s#4 (15+4)
1+1 transmuting king

Juraj Lörinc (Slovakia)
2nd HM
13th TT Chess Composition Microweb C 15.2.2004
Nr F21

1.b4! th. 2.Kxb5+ Gf5#
1...Kxd5 2.Ka6+ Ge6#
1...Ke5 (Kd4) 2.Kb7+ Gd4# (Gc3#)
1...Kf4 (Ke3) 2.Kc6+ Ge3# (Gd2#)
1...Kf3 2.Kc5+ Gf2#

Of two entries too similar to reward both, this had the better economy, whereas the other had changed play but only by the virtue of a key capturing a rook. The fairy combination, whilst admirably used, is odd enough that I preferred to stick with the more conventional key!

s#2 (12+9)
Vogtlaender chess
0+5 grasshopper, 1+1 rookhopper, 4+1 bishopper

Cosme Brull Mayol (Spain)
1st Comm
13th TT Chess Composition Microweb C 15.2.2004
Nr F04

1.Kf2! Bh5 2.Qe4+ Kxe4(Qd1) 3.Qh1+ Bf3 4.Ke1 Bxh1(Qd1) 5.Qc2+ Sd3+ 6.Kd1 Bf3#

No great theme, but a tricky one-liner which should keep solvers scratching their heads. The surprise is the key, which pulls it into the award, clearing d1-h1 for the wQ (it is necessary to pull the bB into the corner).

s#6 (3+3)
Maximummer, Circe

Ion Murarasu (Romania)
2nd Comm
13th TT Chess Composition Microweb C 15.2.2004
Nr F03

a) 1.Kd6! LIh2 2.Ke5 LIb8 3.Kd4 LIb4 4.Kc3 LIe1 5.Kc2 Gc1 6.Kc3 LIa5 7.Kb2 LIh5 8.Ka1 LIa5 9.Gb2 Ga3#

b) 1.Kd7! LIa7 2.Ke6 Gf7 3.Gd7 LIe7 4.Kf6 LIh4 5.Kg6 Gh6 6.Kf6 LId8 7.Kg7 LId1 8.Kh8 LId8 9.Gg7 Gf8#

The best of the echoed model mate problems, making good use of the fairy pieces and condition. It’s even conceivable to me that a strong solver could just about find these solutions!

s#9 (2+3)
1+2 grasshopper, 0+1 lion
b) b8 -» h7

Alberto Armeni (Italy)
3rd Comm
13th TT Chess Composition Microweb C 15.2.2004
Nr F07

1.Ke5(+f5)! f6+ 2.Kd6(+e5) fxe5 3.Kc5(+d6) e4 4.Be2(+c4) e3 5.Sbc6(+b4)+ Ka6(+a7) 6.Bb6(+c7) axb6#
3...exd4 4.Kb5(+c5) d3 5.Sac6(+a5)+ Kb7(+a7) 6.Sxd3(+b4) a6#

A slightly bizarre setting, with the variations branching at move 3, but probably marginally better to do this than to start with more wPs in place. The introductory play, bringing the wK into place, seems weak, as in F23 (whereas in the F06 it is necessary to the theme). However, there is nice differentiation between the mates and the piece used to stop the bP.

s#6 (9+2)

Comments to Juraj Lörinc.
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