Award of 27th TT Chess Composition Microweb C 3.3.2010

(by Michal Dragoun)

Very shortly after deadline of the tourney I received from Juraj Lörinc 41 anonymized entries (about the reason, why was this tourney devoted to problems with Leo, will write Juraj himself - maybe :-)).

Intermezzo by JL: Well, it was already mentioned in the announcement, but why not. My son Leo has not got his name quickly and it was quite a coincidence that the name of fairy piece was chosen. My wife Hanka had had a set of favourites, I had had some too, but initially the intersection of our favourite sets was empty. As time passed we have been considering tips on names freely flowing around us and suddenly short name Leo was the one we have been able to agree. Not Leopold, not Leonid, not Leonard, not even Slovak form Levoslav. Leo. And only then I realized the chess composition related element...

By the way, during recent Slovak solving championship Michal has suggested name for our second child, but Hanka has outright vetoed it. I wonder why she did not like beautiful name Diagonalspiralspringer.

Their quality was in my opinion average. After the first round of studying compositions I had clear candidates for higher distinctions (in the final list prize and honourable mentions), but I spent a lot of time with order a number of commendations. Finally I decided to award more problems from the lower limit of possible candidates.

Judging the problems, I had to decide for myself one crucial question: when Leo instead of Pao/Vao is used, is it a flaw? I think that for example using of Rookhopper or Bishophopper instead of Grasshopper is still considered as "more fairy" (maybe because the basic unit defined by T. R. Dawson is Grasshopper). The case of Chinese pieces is different and all of them are considered on the same level (maybe because basic unit is Pao). So for this question I decided to downgrade problems, where Leos are used instead of weaker Chinese pieces - the degree of such downgrading was in specific cases different.

And what should I do when there are more Leos and only some of them could be replaced by Paos/Vaos? On the one hand use of one type of fairy pieces contributes for clearness of the problem and, let´s say, to "fairies economy". On the other hand, Leos are used instead of weaker units and it looks like misconduct against usual criterion of economy. Surely some specific cases could be found in favour of one or other point of view, but here in general I did not consider using only some Leos instead of Pao and/or Vao as a flaw.

Before the award itself, some notes to not awarded problems. It is no surprise, that majority of submitted problems are helpmates. Some of them showed only basic and well known mate by antibattery Leo-Leo (using feature that black piece cannot shield its King because of check by front Leo) or antibattery Leo-Leo-black piece (using opposite fact that black piece cannot move away because of check by rear Leo). But when these mates are not enhanced by some interesting play, it is too small for distinction - to this group belong compositions 1 [f4/h8, h#2] and 5 [f6/e4, h#2]. Something very similar I have to write about problems with two chameleon echo mates in shorter helpmate - there is couple of problems with three echo mates (sure, it is harder to achieve soundness with Leo than with some other fairy pieces and for that reason is Leo for "Bohemian" helpmates used only rarely), but such problems again are usually not good enough to be in award (here I am writing about problems 15 [g4/e5, h#3] and 22 [d4/f6, h#2,5]).

Problems 7 [-/a3, h#9] and 19 [-/d3, h#9] use excessive fairy conditions which are not compensated by their content.

Between entries are in my opinion some groups of problems (or versions) composed by one author: one of them consists in 5 [f6/e4, h#2] and 18 [f7/e5, h#2], the second one in 3 [a2/d5, h#2,5], 13 [a2/c5, h#3] and 34 [h1/d4, h#2,5], and the third one in 6 [d2/g5, ser-h#12], 11 [e1/f3, ser-h#14], 30 [c5/d8, ser-h#12], 35 [c3/f8, ser-h#8] and 39 [h8/f6, ser-h#19]. In the first group is 18 surely better, with three solutions with black blocks and mentioned antibattery created from two Leos, but I disliked use of front Leo in A (no other piece can move between him and black King) and square vacation for black Bishop in C compared with line openings in A and B.

From other of these compositions I choose only the best one representative (in my subjective meaning, of course). Maybe I am wrong, but I would not award weaker problems from these groups anyway. Problem 16 [e1/a6, h#3] touches more as mechanical than analogic. 26 [g7/e3, h#3], showing Zilahi theme, is with all black moves by King quite mechanical too (moreover bK is mated on the same square). 33 [b8/e2, h#2] has full analogy in black blocks and creating of patrouille specific doublecheck mates, but the whole play is simple and there is no interplay between both sides. Symmetry of problem 40 [b7/a4, #2] detracts, all keys pin black Knight and the mechanism for Dombrovskis theme (by possibility or inpossibility to capture by white Leo) could be used better. The tries in 41 [b1/d6, s#2] are not very attractive, the same refutation is a weakness and changed continuations have mechanical character.

My ranking is as follows:


Michal Dragoun
Prague, April 2010

Manfred Rittirsch
"Follow the son"
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010
new version 2.5.2010

a) 1.LEg3 LEb8 2.Rc8 Ke3#

b) 1.LEc5 LEc8 2.Rd8 Kd5#

c) 1.LEa5 LEd8 2.Re8 Ke5#

Almost full analogy in all three positions: black and white Leos arrange their position, so that Black cannot play 3.bxc2(Pc7) because of the Isardam condition. Position of black Leo requires in mate his interference by white King and determines the mating move. I noticed, that in B and C white King interferes black Rook too, but in general is fairy content of this problem the most convincing for me.

Remark J.L.: Original version had a few pieces more and the author himself have noticed the improvement possibility, sent it to me and the judge has changed the text of his award accordingly.

h#2 (4+11)
1+1 leo
b) b8 -» c8
c) b8 -» d8

Franz Pachl
Dieter Müller

1st Honourable Mention
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010

1...Bxe6 2.Sd6# A
1...Sf4 2.Se3# B

1.Rc6? th. 2.Rc5#
1...LEd5 2.Sd6# A
1...Sf4 2.Se3# B

1.Re4? th. 2.Sd6# A, 2.Se3# B
1...LEe5! x

1.Se3+? A, 1...Kf4!
1.Sd6+? B, 1...Kxe6!
1.Re5+? C, 1...fxe5!

1.LEbc5? th. 2.Re5# C, 1...Kf4!

1.LEbb3? th. 2.Sd6# A
1...LEe5 x 2.Se3# B
1...Kf4 2.Re5# C

1.LEaa4! th. 2.Se3# B
1...LEe5 x 2.Sd6# A
1...Kxe6 2.LE7f7#

In set play after two blocks White mates using specific Chinese line effects. These mates reappear as threat and mate after defence 1.- LEe5 in try 1.LEbb3 and solution, thus showing le-Grand theme, try 1.Re4 add specific Dombrovskis paradox (both threats are refuted by move 1.- LEe5). Nice orthogonal-diagonal analogy in "main" try and solution, both giving a flight. For perfection, there should be one more try (similar to 1.LEbc5? thr. 2.Re5X, 1.- Kf4!) by move LEa2-g2 with guard of g file and threat 2.LE7f7X, refuted by 1.- Kxe6! with Dombrovskis theme :-) Try 1.Rc6 enriches in my point of view the content only very little.

#2 (10+7)
6+1 leo

Georgij Jevsejev
2nd Honourable Mention
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010

1.Qxd5 LEd4 2.LEe5 Qf6#
1.Kxd5 LEf5+ 2.Kd4 Qd3#
1.Kd6 LEf4+ 2.Kxd5 Qc4#

1.LEf5 LEe4+ 2.Kxf6 Qg6#
1.Qxf6 LEg5 2.LEf5 Qd5#
1.Kxf6 LEd4+ 2.Kf5 Qg4#

Together 3+3 echo mates, surprisingly in each solution with capture of one white Leo. In the best pair of solutions (1.Qxd5, 1.Qxf6) black Queen opens line for one Leo and mates from vacated squares follow. Some repetition of moves in such economic setting can be hardly avoided. (I intentionally did not use label "HOTF 3x2", because for me the strategic content of the problem is too small.)

h#2 (4+3)
2+1 leo
b) f1 -» g2

Jan Ducak
3rd Honourable Mention
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010

1.e4? th. 2.LEcxf3# A
1...hxg5 a 2.LEch6# B
1...f2 b 2.LEdxh6# C
1...fxe2 2.LExh6#

1.LEdd6! th. 2.LEcxh6# B
1...hxg5 a 2.LEdh6# C
1...f2 b 2.LEcf3# A
1...fxe2 2.LEcf3#
1...LE~ 2.LExf3#

Threat Lacny with nice diagonal-orthogonal correspondence in activation of capturing power of LEc6 and non-capturing mates after moves of black Pawns. Small question mark remains for me, if capturing and non-capturing moves are really the same, especially in the case of Leo...

#2 (11+4)
5+1 leo

Ramaswamy Ganapathi
1st Commendation
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010

1...Rxe4 2.Sg4 Re3+ 3.Sdf2 LExf2#

1...Rxd3 2.Kg6 Rh3+ 3.Bg2 LExg2#

Pin of two black pieces by Leo is after capture of one of them by white Rook transformed in battery and results after sacrifice of the second one (with function exchange) in doublecheck mates. Captures of black pieces are necessary part of the content, but solutions lack delicacy.

h#2,5 (5+10)
1+0 leo

Juraj Lörinc
2nd Commendation
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010

1.Sb6? th. 2.Sa4#
1...Rxf7(Ra8) 2.Sd7#
1...LEh2 2.LEaa7#
(1...LEg3 2.LEaa7#)

1.Sdb4? th. 2.Sa6#
1...Rxf7(Ra8) 2.Sd3#
1...LEh2 2.LEa3#
(1...Rxf3(Ra8) 2.Sd3#)

1.Sc3! th. 2.Sa4#
1...Rxf7(Ra8) 2.Se4#
1...LEh2 2.LEc1#
(1...LEg3 2.LEc1#, 1...Rxf3(Ra8) 2.Se4#)

Change of two mates in three phases. Knight acts in Leo variations as hurdle from three different directions, in Rook variations uses move (or removing) of the hurdle over which LEh7 guards mating squares. Fine analogy, however I believe that Anticirce could be used better (three white Knights are flaw too, but only small in my opinion).

#2 (11+6)
Anticirce type Cheylan
2+2 leo

Franz Pachl
3rd Commendation
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010

a) 1...LEa2 2.Bf5 LEg5+ 3.Ke6 b3#

b) 1...LEa4 2.R1f5 LEg7+ 3.Kf4 b4#

Full analogy in critical moves of white Leos and black pieces, ending in antibattery mates with function exchange of white Leos.

h#2,5 (4+5)
2+0 leo
b) c7 -» e2

Juraj Lörinc
dedicated to Hanka
4th Commendation
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010

1.LEh1! th. 2.LEh5#
1...Bb1 a 2.LEb5# A
1...Kd5 b 2.LEa5# B

1.LEd1! th. 2.LEh5#
1...Bb1 a 2.LEa5# B
1...Kd5 b 2.LEb5# A

Reciprocal change using different rebirth squares for white Leos in circe and circe inverse respectively. Light example with nice touch in different keys in both twins motivated by different circe types too.

#2 (7+6)
2+0 leo
a) Circe
b) Vertical Mirror Circe

Luis Miguel Martin
5th Commendation
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010

1.Bf3 Re2 2.LExe2 LEef2#

1.Rd4 Rc4 2.LExc4 LEc3#

Two Rook sacrifices prepare cage for hurdle, over which white Leo mates. Nice idea, however, function exchange of white pieces should enhance it.

h#2 (5+10)
2+3 leo

Harald Grubert
6th Commendation
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010

a) 1.Kd4 LEa4+ 2.Kc5 Kc3 3.Kb5 Kb3 4.Ka5 LEa2 5.LEc4 Ka4#

b) 1.Ke4 Ke3 2.Kf3+ Kf4 3.Kg2 Kg4 4.Kh2 LEh5+ 5.LEf3 Kh3#

c) 1.Kd5 Kc3 2.Kc6 Kb4 3.Kb6 LEa5 4.Ka6 LEa3 5.LEc5 Ka5#

d) 1.Kc3 LEa5 2.LEb3 Kd4+ 3.Kb2 Kc4 4.Ka2 Kb4 5.LEc3 Ka3#

Four echo mates, using KöKo condition and twins. I like this problem a little bit more than the third of ungraded Commendations below, because of missing maximum condition.

h#5 (2+2)
1+1 leo
b) b4 -» h3
c) b4 -» c4
d) invert colour of all pieces

Jan Kovalic
7th Commendation
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010

1.LE4e4 LEdd3 2.Kg6 LEg1#

1.LE5g4 LEbe4 2.Kh4 LEd8#

Anticipatory selfpin of both black Leos with function exchange of white Leos.

h#2 (6+11)
2+2 leo

Harald Grubert
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010

1.Kf6 2.Kxf5(LEf4) 3.Kxf4(LEf3) 4.Ke4 5.Kxd4(c4) 6.Kxc4(b4) 7.Kb3 8.Kxb4(b5) 9.Kxb5(b6) 10.Kxb6(b7) 11.Kxb7(Sb8) 12.Ka8 Sc6#

1.Kxf5(LEe5) 2.Ke4 3.Kxd4(c4) 4.Kc5 5.Kb4 6.Kb3 7.Kxc4(d5) 8.Kxd5(e6) 9.Kxe6(f7) 10.Kxf7(Sg8) 11.Kg7 12.Kh8 Sf6#

Echo mates in two corners of the board with two Knight promotions. Nice, but Vao instead of Leo is good enough.

ser-h#12 (3+1)
Equipollents Circe
1+0 leo

Dieter Müller
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010

1.Rf6 Sa3 2.LEd5+ Sbc4 3.LEcc6 d4#

1.Rf4 Sc3 2.LEgc6 d3 3.LE7d6 Sba4#

Model mates with two black blocks and one interference. The whole content is not very fairy (pin of white pieces and unpin by Leo move is used for determining of move order) and Leos on h file can be weaker Chinese units too.

h#3 (5+10)
0+4 leo

Harald Grubert
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010

1...LEd3 2.LEe2 LEc4 3.LEe8 Kb4 4.LEa4 Kb5 5.LEa6 Kb6 6.LEb7 LEc8 7.LEe7 Kc7 8.Ke8 LEb8 9.LEd6 Kd8#

1...Kd3 2.LEg7 LEh6 3.LEc3 Kd4 4.LEc5 Kd5 5.LEf8 LEd6 6.Kg8 Ke6 7.LEf5 Ke7 8.LEf8 LEd8+ 9.LEf6 Kf8#

Two echo mates using recently quite popular combination of fairy conditions.

h#8,5 (2+2)
Köko, Maximummer
1+1 leo

Dieter Müller
27th TT Chess Composition Microweb
C 3.3.2010

1.LEh2 Sc6 2.LEe5 Sb4#
1.LEc3 Bc8 2.LEe5 Be6#

1.Se7+ Sd7 2.Sc6 Sxf6#
1.Bb3+ Bb5 2.Bc4 Bc6#

Two pairs of simple solutions with different ways how white pieces are unpinned.

h#2 (6+9)
0+2 leo
b) f3 -» d4,

Comments to Juraj Lörinc.
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