Award of 25th TT Chess Composition Microweb C 5.5.2009

by James Quah

The idea of unpinning and re-pinning of a unit in the course of a chess problem solution seems to be an old one, and it is not difficult to find examples. In this contest, being a theme tourney, the unpinning and re-pinning had to have some meaning. A variety of problems of different types took part, but the nature of the theme depended really on the length rather than the fairy condition or stipulation. It was rather unusual to judge types problems that have almost always been kept apart, but I have declined to separate them into sections as each can be judged as though it was in a tourney of its type and then given an appropriate award that can be fine-tuned later. Length would normally have been an advantage since more instances of the theme could be shown, but shorter problems that did a decent job of it could also do well.

There were two #2s which were not interesting, and did not feature in the award. I think composers should have looked at some traditional pinning and unpinning themes and tried to come up with examples of these, possibly using fairy conditions.

There were eight H#2s (one with Anti-Circe). For the theme to be meaningful in H#2, I decided (after looking at the problems) what determined if a problem was properly thematic, and came to some conclusions.

When it is applied to black, the unpin must make the black self-pin possible and the mate must make use of the pin. This requirement was generally "complied with", and two such problems entered the award.

When it is applied to white, there seem to be two possibilities. One is that the unpinned unit unpins another white unit by arriving on the same line, then the unpinned unit moves off the pin line (and pins the first unit) to deliver mate. The two problems attempting to show this were thematically pure in one solution (the only reason for the first move is the unpin) but not the other (guarding a flight square), and could not be rewarded. A successful problem showed the other possibility - a white unit that needed two moves to checkmate, and had to be unpinned twice.

Of the longer helpmates, there were three H#3 and two H#n (1 Circe Parrain with fairy pieces). Only one H#3 showed the theme meaningfully, but unfortunately it used an unacceptable condition that the mate could not be a capture, and could not enter the award.

There were two #n, and one S#n (anti-Circe). All of these showed a unit toggling on and off a square, which was fine, but nothing special. At least they got into the award.

The two series-help-stalemates (one with Circe) were the most successful, receiving the top two awards. The stipulation fits the theme quite well, and in fact many examples of this were quoted in the CCM pages (and even more were not). It may have been difficult to achieve originality, but fortunately they compared well with those others I have seen. The use of Circe was a good way to find a way to absolutely pin a line-pinned piece with the consequence of illegal self-check through rebirth of the pinning unit.

Of the remaining problems, one was a "last five moves" retro, which was good but with probably little originality and not much theme, one was a proof game, and the remaining one asked for a shortest game to show the theme (not really a problem). The proof game entered the award. Having looked at the entries for the tourney, I think the theme was probably rather general, and most composers did not try to find something new. We would surely have liked to see something strikingly original that would stand out, but this did not happen. It was, though, an educational experience to judge it as I had to decide what was or was not in the spirit of the theme, especially in the case of the H#2. Thanks to Juraj Lörinc for giving me this opportunity to judge the tourney, and congratulations to the composers whose problems have entered the award.

Imre Kirchner
motto: "Bishopsnake"
Prize 25th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 5.5.2009

1.Bb4 2.Rd5 3.Bc5 4.Sb4 5.Bd4 6.Rc5 7.Sd5 8.Be5 9.Rf5 10.Bf4 11.Re5 12.Bg5 13.Bxh4 14.Bf6 Rh6=

A series help-stalemate with all black's units pinned is a sensible genre to demonstrate the theme. In this "bishopsnake" problem, most of black's units start off pinned, but they must be absolutely pinned (not line-pinned) next to the black king for the stalemate. The rook is in fact already correctly positioned on c5 but must oscillate to d5 and back to allow the bishop through. After that, the remainder of the solution is straightforward. There are altogether 8 instances of the theme, and meaningful interaction between the black units in the process.

A lot of examples of this idea already exist, and this problem is a comparatively worthy representative of its type. As this is a theme tourney, it can receive a prize.

ser-h=14 (10+9)

Zoltán Laborczi
1st HM 25th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 5.5.2009

1.Kh4 2.Qh5 3.Rg6 4.Rg4 5.Rxf4(f2) 6.Rxd4(Ra1) 7.Rxc4(c2) 8.Rxa4(a2) 9.Rxa2 10.Ra4 11.Rg4 12.Rg5 13.Qh6 14.Kh5 Ra4=

Circe rebirths are used to ensure that the line-pinned pieces cannot capture the pinning pieces as these will appear on their rebirth squares with self-check. It is probably easy to see that the black rook and queen must change places, and the white pawn on f4 must vanish, but the way to achieve this is not so easy to figure out. I think it just misses out on a prize as the black rook makes a lot of moves on its own without interacting with other black units.

ser-h=14 (9+4)

Ingemar Lind
2nd HM 25th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 5.5.2009

1.Ba8! h3 2.Kb7 Sh4 3.Kc7+ Sg2 4.Kc6 Sh4 5.Kd6+ Sg2 6.Kd5 Sh4 7.Ke5+ Sg2 8.Ke4 Sh4 9.Kf4+ Sg2+ 10.Kf3 Sh4+ 11.Ke2+ Sg2 12.Rf3 Be3 13.Kf1 Bf4 14.Rxh3 Bg3 15.Bxg2#

The first few moves are quite straightforward, but it is not so easy to figure out what happens when the white king comes near enough. After 10. Kf3 S~, white moves 11. Ke2 and then 12. Rf3! safely unpins the knight (and bishop). Eventually white mates by 13. Rxh3 and 14. Bxg2 which the bishop can do nothing about as it is of the wrong colour.

#15 (3+5)

Michal Dragoun
Michel Caillaud
Mario Parrinello

3d HM 25th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 5.5.2009

1.Sf1 c3+ 2.Sc2 Rxf1#

1.Shf3 c4+ 2.Rc2 Qxf3#

1.Qc5 Rxh2 2.Sxc2 Rh1#

1.Bc6 Qxh2 2.Rxc2 Qh5#

Two pairs of related solutions constitute a helpmate of The Future. This one seems quite successful as the solutions are blended harmoniously together. Each thematic black unit is unpinned in two different ways. The more interesting pair is that in which white moves his pawn not to avoid capture but to shut off a black guard.

h#2 (9+14)

Paul Raican
4th HM 25th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 5.5.2009

1.f4 g5 2.f5 g4 3.f6 g3 4.fxe7 Sf6 5.ed8=S Rg8 6.Sc6 dxc6 7.e4 Bh3 8.gxh3 g2 9.Se2 g1=R 10.Sg3 Rg2 11.Bc4 Rf2 12.Be6 Rf3 13.c4 Rc3 14.O-O (wS pinned) Sd7 15.Rf6 Rxc1 (wQ pinned) 16.Rg6 (wS unpinned) f5 17.Sf1 (wQ unpinned) f4 18.Qa4 (wS pinned) f3 19.Qxa7 Sa6 20.Qf2 Bc5 (wQ pinned)

The game begins with a Ceriani-Frolkin promoted knight that gets captured on c6. Black has a (diagrammed) promoted black rook which does some good work when it manoeuvres from g1 to d1. The white knight is pinned when it acts as a shield to allow castling, and then unpinned so that it can release the queen and be pinned once again. But the final pin of the queen is there just to satisfy the theme. While this is a problem of decent quality, the theme makes little impression. When compared with the prize-winners in the Champagne Theme Tourney 2008 which specified almost the same theme, it is not as impressive, so it is only fair that in this tourney it can obtain at most an honourable mention.

Proof game in 20,0 moves (14+12)

Menachem Witztum
1st-2nd Comm e.a. 25th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 5.5.2009

1.Sb6+ Sd5 2.Sd6 (Bd6?) Se7#

1.Sf8+ Bd5 2.Bd6 (Sd6?) Be4#

A white unit starts off pinned and must then be unpinned before self-pinning and is then unpinned again. The choice of second interfering unit on d6 is determined by dual avoidance. Fortunately the inactive white unit in each solution guards a flight square.

h#2 (7+12)

Raffi Ruppin
1st-2nd Comm e.a. 25th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 5.5.2009
corrected version 26.1.2011

1.g7! Ra1 2.g8=R+ Rc1 3.Rg7 Ra1 4.Rg6+ Rc1 5.Rf6 Ra1 6.Rf5+ Rc1 7.Re5 Ra1 8.Rxh5(Rh1)+ Rc1 9.Bf6 h5 10.Re1 Kxc4(Ke8)#

The pinning / unpinning moves are anti-Circe specific. White must give black moves by letting the black rook move off and on c1. The ultimate aim is to block f6 and e1 so that black must play Kxc4 (Ke8). While there is ample use of anti-Circe, the effects seem functional rather than special.

Unfortunately, Bojan Basic 3.8.2010 reported a shorter dual:
3.Sd8!! Ke5 4.Rf8 Kd4 5.Be4 Ke5 6.Rf1 Kd4 7.Bf6 Ke5 8.Sf7+ Kd4 9.Re1 Kx~(Ke8)#

The cook found by Bojan Basic is removed by adding wpf3 by the author.

s#10 (12+5)

Emmanuel Manolas
3rd Comm 25th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 5.5.2009

1.Bd5! d6 2.Ba2 zz d5 3.Ra1 zz d4 4.Bb1 zz B~ 5.Bc2+ Bg1 6.Bd1 zz B~ 7.Be2+ Bg1 8.Bf1 th. 9.Bg2#

The white units move into position while the black bishop can only toggle off and on g1 unable to prevent the inevitable checkmate on g2.

#9 (6+6)

Comments to Juraj Lörinc.
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