Award of 31st TT Chess Composition Microweb C 10.10.2012

(by Vlaicu Crisan)

I received from Juraj Lörinc 52 anonymous entries. The overall quality was slightly below my expectation, but this can be partially explained by the context: this was the first tournament I started to judge immediately after finishing my FIDE Album judge duties (at fairies section).

Even from the beginning I had to make some difficult choices regarding the criteria applied during the judgement process. As this is a thematic tournament (fairy helpmates with set play), the most important step is to learn the main difficulties for the chosen theme:

One delicate remark is related to move repetition. Although I do not consider the repetition as a defect, I was surprised to see that 31 out of 52 compositions had, in a way or another, repetition of moves. In my opinion, the main paradox of the set play appears when it can not be kept in the real play; otherwise the surprise is somewhat dim.

Another delicate aspect is the length of set play compared to real play. There were entries where the difference between the number of moves of real play and set play was more than half a move, including some entries with set play in half move. Other problems had dualistic set play. Finally in other cases, the setting would have been better shown without set play and multi-solutions form. I discarded all these entries, hoping their authors will have better chances in other tournaments. In order to avoid repeating myself too much and get too boring, I also decided not to mention in this award the particular reasons for each not retained compositions.

It was very interesting to learn how successful composers managed to avoid all the above mentioned drawbacks. And now the ranking:

[... see below ...]

Congratulations to the successful composers and pats on the back to unlucky ones - and thanks to all of you for providing some refreshing time after tiring hours of FIDE Album judging tasks.

1st November 2012
Vlaicu Crisan

Manfred Rittirsch
1st Prize 31st TT
Chess Composition Microweb C 10.10.2012

1...Bxb2(Bf8) 2.Bxd6(d2) exd3(d7)#

1.Ba3? Bxa1(Qd8) 2.Qxd6(d2) exd3(d7)+ 3.Qxd3!!

1.Bxc1(Sg1) Bxa1(Qd8) 2.Qxd6(d2) exf3(f7)#

Clearly the best entry from the tournament! The set play can not be preserved, because all possible black moves will introduce a weakening. The idea of substituting the bB with the bQ must be carried out carefully, as the try 1.Ba3 demonstrates. The full use of Circe (100% specificity), the captures of wPd6 in both phases and the analogous model mates (wPe2 supported by wS) show an intense connection between set play and real play. Now that's what a real fairy helpmate with set play must look like!

h#2* (6+10)

Geoff Foster
2nd Prize 31st TT
Chess Composition Microweb C 10.10.2012

1...nSPc8nS 2.nSb6 Kf2 3.nSa8 nSPxa8nB(nSf1)#

1.nSPc2 Kd2 2.nSPc3+ Kxc2(nSPe1nQ)+ 3.nQe2+ Kxc3(nSPe1nR)#

The most surprising Wenigsteiner from the lot, with only two Kings and two neutral SuperPawns on the board. In the set play, both SuperPawns are promoted actively on the 8th rank, while in the solution, totally unexpectedly, they are passively promoted on the 1st rank. The four promotions form an AUW and the Circe Couscous specific effects are essential in both phases. Of course, the mate in the set play is not Circe Couscous specific, but that does not detract from the intrinsic value of this splendid composition.

h#3* (1+1+2)
Couscous Circe
Promotion before rebirth
2 neutral superpawns

Dieter Müller
1st HM 31st TT
Chess Composition Microweb C 10.10.2012

1.LEe7 Sg4 2.Rf2 Be3#

1...b4 2.LEf5 Bd2 3.Re2 Sf3#

The fairy element is reduced to two only black Leos, but they are strategically essential. Leo h7 initially pins both white pieces, while Leo a1 sets up a specific battery with two triggers, ensuring bBs can not move during the solution. Both mating squares (e3 and f3) are initially double guarded by bRs (e8 and f6) and bBs (d1 and g1), so a double black interference must be arranged. LEh7 intercepts one rook unpinning both white pieces, while the other is intercepting the bB. Unfortunately the strong black strategy is not matched by white, who just builds the mating net, with an exchange of roles between wS and wB. Final model mates are pleasant. Solid conception, but not so brilliant compared to previous problems.

h#2,5* (6+10)
0+2 leo

Michael Grushko
2nd HM 31st TT
Chess Composition Microweb C 10.10.2012

1.d3 Sxe7(B) 2.dxe2(S;Pf6) Bxf6(R;Pf1) 3.Sg1(P;Ph5) Rf2(B) 4.h4 Bxh4(R){Kh1}#

1...Sxd4(B) 2.e6(Pd3) exd3(S) 3.e5(Pd2) Sc1(P) 4.exd4(S) cxd2(S;Be5) 5.Sb3(P;Pb1) Sxb3(B){Ka1}#

Many compositions tried to show the stipulated theme requirements using Republican Chess, often combined with other fairy conditions as well. In this way, thanks to the possibility of dropping the black King in the final position, the difficulty of showing both set play and real play is completely gone. Also the difficulty of maintaining the set play in the real play immediately disappears when using Einstein Chess, because obviously tempo moves can not be played. So, the only remaining challenge (interesting strategic contents without move repetition) can be fulfilled by adding a third fairy condition (here Parrain Circe - with quite a very satisfactory density of effects) ensuring the captured pieces can be reused on the board. This is the best problem from the rather big set of entries using the same tricks, with mates given in two different corners and actively using all pieces in the final blow.

h#4,5* (2+2)
Einstein chess
Republican chess
Circe Parrain

Juraj Lörinc
1st Commendation 31st TT
Chess Composition Microweb C 10.10.2012

1...Kf2 2.Kxd2 Bf3 3.c1S Bd5 4.Se2 Kxe2(rSd2)#

1.cxd1S(rBe2) rBb5 2.Sc3+ dxc3(rSc1) 3.rSa2 rBa4 4.Rc1 rBb3#

Nice and elegant trick: the usage of KoBul Kings allows surprisingly economical settings! I liked the promoted bS is sacrificed in both the set and real play - this is Ceriani-Frolkin theme, mostly known in retro field. The selfblock by the bR and the mate delivered by the white KoBul King enhance the unity between the two phases.

h#4* (3+5)
KoBul Kings

Juraj Lörinc
2nd Commendation 31st TT
Chess Composition Microweb C 10.10.2012

1...Rd5+ 2.rSf7 Rf5+ 3.Lxf5-g6(Rh1) Rf1+ 4.rSh8 Rf8#

1.Lxd4-c4(Ra1) Rd1 2.rSf3 Rd3+ 3.Lxd3-e2(Rh1) Rh3+ 4.rSg1 Rg3#

1.rSh7 Rxe4(Le1) 2.rSf6 Re6+ 3.Lxe6-e7(Rh1) Rh6+ 4.rSg8 Rg6#

The best entry with single set play and multiple solutions in the real play. Of course, not much strategy to be expected with three pieces, but two Circe rebirths in each solution and the pleasant distant chameleon echo model mates deserve a commendation. However, it is somewhat difficult to escape the feeling that the set play is rather incidental than intended.

h#4* (1+2)
locust e4, royal knight g5

Comments to Juraj Lörinc.
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