Transformations of special pieces - 1

At the page with announcement of the 12th TT CCM you can read a small bit of theory about special pieces that change their mobility or activity as a result of guard or attack from other units. Let's look at a few examples...
Josif Kricheli
Feenschach 1966

1.Qa7 Rd3+ 2.Kg2 Ga8 3.Qg1 Rf3#

1.Qe4+ Kd6 2.Qa4 Ga5 3.Qd1 Rc3#

Very nice chameleon echo with special transmuting kings' effect: Black royal battery pointed at wK preventing bK from running to flight in mate. For the 12th TT CCM, however, only bK is thematical as it acquires both grasshopper and rook mobility.

h#3 (3+2)
1+1 transmuting king, 1+0 grasshopper

David Brown
Die Schwalbe 1994

1.Kb8! zz
1...Re1 2.Oe5# (Rxe5??)
1...Rxd2 2.Rc5# (Kxc5??)
1...Ra5 2.Sc3# (Kd4??)
1...Bxa2 2.Be4# (Kxe4??)
1...Qxa2 2.Se3# (Ke5??)

Let's look how the orphans transform in variations (only important transformations are noted):

  • 1...Re1: rook > Oe8, Oh5, Oh7, Od7
  • 1...Rxd2: rook > Od7, Oh7, Oh5
  • 1...Ra5: rook > Oh5, Oh7, Od7
  • 1...Bxa2: bishop > Og8, Oh7, Og6
  • 1...Qxa2+: queen > Oa3, Og3, Og8, Oh7, Oh5
Thus together we see that Oh5, Oh7 and Og8 acquire different thematical mobilities. The key is waiting and it provokes check.

#2 (15+14)
7+7 orphan

Paul Raican
Variant Chess 1997

1.d4 Sf6 2.Kd2 Se4+ 3.Kxe4 e5 4.Kxe5 Ke7 5.Bg5+ Kb4 6.Qe1+ Kxe1 7.e4 Qxg5+ 8.Ke8 Qd8+

White transmuting king transforms to knight & queen, black transmuting king transforms to bishop & queen. The result is exchange of their places in a short proof game.

Proof game in 8,0 moves (14+14)
1+1 transmuting king

Christian Poisson
The Problemist 1999

1.Qb4! th. 2.Gc4#
1...S~ 2.Gc8#
1...Sf6! 2.Qb5#
1...Sd6!! 2.Se7#

Of course, almost any check to transmuting king is interesting, after all, the play is usually concentrated on kings. Here defence by bS unblocks flight, any move is represnted here by Sg7. But it opens line for mating move to c8. That's why Black corrects by 1...Sf6!, threatening grasshopper check to wK. But it closes c6-g6 line for queen-skin check. Other correction 1...Sd6!! guards c8 directly, closes c6-g6, but also directly guards b5. Thus new mate must appear, and indeed, it does - it is transmuting king specific selfpin of Re4, allowing Se7# with indirect unpin on g2-c6 line, that is no longer dangerous for White. Very good transmuting strategy - and bK becomes grasshopper, queen and knight.

#2 (10+6)
1+1 transmuting king, 2+1 grasshopper

Erich Bartel
Phénix 2000

1...Qc4+ 2.Kb8 Nd7#

1.Ka6 Qe2+ 2.Ka1 Nd7#

The mating move is the same, but the mates are very different. Black transmuting king becomes a queen first, then a nightrider.

h#2* (3+1)
1+1 transmuting king, 1+0 nightrider

Valerij Nebotov
Anatolij Chandurin

Phénix 2001

1.h8G? th. 2.Qf6#

1.h8R? th. 2.Re8#

1.h8B? th. 2.Bxg7#

1.h8S? th. 2.Sf7#

1.Sxd5! zz
1...Kxd5 2.Bd4#
1...Ke6 2.Sc7#

Black uses transformations of his transmuting king for refutations of tries. It potentially becomes queen, rook, bishop and knight (in solution moreover grasshopper). All tries are refuted by closing line of white guard. The key gives two flights (+), but captures bR (- !).

#2 (11+5)
1+1 transmuting king, 3+0 grasshopper

Valerij Gurov
Georgij Jevsejev

Pat a Mat 2001

1...Ke7 a 2.g8S# A
1...Kxf6 b 2.Ge6# B
1...Kh6 c 2.g5# C

1...Kxe7 a 2.Ge6# B
1...Kf6 b 2.g5# C
1...Kh6 c 2.g8S# A
1...Kd2 2.Gh2#
1...Ke4 2.Nd5#

Already classic thematic use of black TK transformations - different move possibilities on different squares allow cyclical change of white moves after 3 defences - Lacny cycle. The form with checking key is called "a la Sivak" here in Slovakia as Bohuslav Sivak was the first coming with this idea during 6th WCCT entries preparation. Of course, it was found by many people as it is quite natural and acceptable with transmuting king, the most successfull example beeing in my opinion 23rd Place from 6th WCCT showing 6-fold Lacny cycle.

#2 (10+1)
1+1 transmuting king
1+0 nightrider, 4+0 grasshopper

Comments to Juraj Lörinc.
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