june 17 2008

For this last session of the season devoted to fairy chess, we deplored the lack of continuity in transport which delayed the start of the lesson, with Daniel (the Key Master) obliged to take his car (the last straw for a retired SNCF employee) to compensate for the work stoppage of a certain category of staff.
One would think that everything possible was being done to sabotage the intensive intellectual exercise that is the Master's course. To crown it all, there was a hecatomb with the absence of Guy, Pierre and a certain number of other fairy-tale lovers.
The Grand-Master was nevertheless present accompanied by Eric to complete the audience.

You will find at the end of this report some holiday homework concocted by the Master. Thanks to him

We start off very strong with a very attractive (or repulsive depending on the camp) genre.

1 - #1 (!) magnetic chess

     magnetic chess : a moving piece attracts the opponent's pieces and pushes away the pieces of its side that are on a horizontal or vertical line. Kings are not attracted or repelled.

W.:   Kc3, Bd7, Ne3, pb4
B.:   Kb5, Bc6, Na6

Very disturbing rule

Another very suspicious rule

2 - #2 Single Combat

      Single Combat : a piece that has played continues to play the next move (after the opponent's move, therefore) until a legal impossibility prevents it from doing so.

A little training for the holidays (and in case you come to Jürmala).A few helpmates, a remarkable long helpmate "with Set Play", which means that besides the 10.5 moves solution, there is also a 10 moves solution; then a festival of the great
Christopher ("you know something is happening but you don't know what it is, do you, Mister Jones ?").

A 6 moves selfmate from the double battery specialist: both thematic variations are easy and indicate the key, the threat is a bit harder. As for the Gamnitzer, it is difficult, of course, but rather less than usual, the key and the first two moves of the threat being found rather quickly by elimination. I leave the solution for the less alert (click on "training" anyway).

Directs : a 4# warm-up with Set play (make Black play their only move, then mate in three). A curious "Christmas tree" in 5 moves by Pauly, easy but less than you would think. Another one (in 4#) by Pauly, a little miracle of pretty
mates. A fun and easy 5# from a famous 19th century duo. Two three-moves: one classic and one modern. Finally three problems #5 rather complex moves where, again (I'm too kind) I omitted to remove the solution. The austrian
Problem is a blockade after the key (i.e. there is no threat, Black is expected to weaken) but also after the 2nd move, which is rarer. And in the Russian problem, it seems incredible that the key also establishes a
blockade. What may well be the weakening of the move 1...h3, for example?

Finally two retros from the latest FIDE album, a PG (from our national super-grand master) and a traditional one. The PG is more difficult than the tradi, but nowadays, few people continue to cultivate the traditional retro, so for most of them,
it can be the opposite.

The master greffier will tell you about the fairy part, and in particular about the continuation of the tribute to Jean Oudot.

At dinner, an albione-like book was mentioned, not as bad as one might think, a sort of replica - albeit less successful - of the famous "Spectacular Chess" by Fornasari and Haik, published a quarter of a century ago. The English work dates from 1995, but
it has just been republished, which perpetuates serious errors, a wrong study, a wrong problem, absurd combinations of games, but has two merits: the number of diagrams is increased, which makes it easier to read on the bus, and a tenth chapter is published, containing a PG of our national super IGM mentioned above MC. I rather extract a "bohemian" 4# from Vladimirov which seemed difficult to me. We know that there are echo-mates, but which ones?

See you at the beginning of October, and may God bless you.


Some retro analysis to support the solution

Chess changes its soul (as Philidor might have said) in the following problem.

3 - h#8 with Berolina pawns


white Kh1 Bf1 BPc2e2g2 black Kg6 BPb3g7d3f3h3
c2, e2, g2, b3, g7, d3, f3, h3: Berolina pawns
      helpmate : Black plays and help White to mate them

      Berolina pawns : pawns advance diagonally and capture by advancing vertically

W.:   Kh1, Bf1, pba2, c2, e2 et g2
B.:   Kg6, pbb3, d3, f3, g7 et h3

Nice footwork in this rather disturbing kind of rule.

A small diversion through the geo-political news.

4 - h#2 Circe Tibet with twin

Cameron K.
The Problemist

white Pc7 Ke4 black Pc2 Kd1
h=2 Circe, Tibet Chess
b) Ke4-->e3
      Tibet Chess  : a capturing black unit becomes white.

In the tradition of the fairy session, here is the theme of the evening: a tribute to the creativity of Jean Oudot.

To begin this homage, the start of the Circe rule

5 - h#2  Circe with 8 variants

Diagrammes, 1981

white Pe7d3e2 Kd6 Bd2 black Pb3d7e6f6 Kd4 Rf7
h#2 Circé
8 variations
      Circe, the captured piece reborn on its original square

W.:   Kd6, Bd2, pd3, e2 and e7
B.:   Kd4, Rf7, pb3, d7, e6 and f6

A very nice initiation problem

A major problem to follow

6 - #2 with grasshoppers

Jean OUDOT &
Jacques Savournin
Die Schwalbe, 1965
1st Prize

white Bf4 Ge5f5b5 Ke6 Qe8 Pd6 Sh3d1 Rd5c8 black Pg7d3c4h2 Ke4 Ra8a2 Ba5 Gd4h4
e5, f5, b5, d4, h4: Grasshoppers
      Grasshoppers : pieces moving like a Queen but needing a hurdle to do so. It lands just behind the hurdle if the square is free or occupied by an opponent's piece.

A wonder

A small ride through the selfmate.

7 - s#2 maximum with Grasshopper, Nightrider and Meharis

Feenschach, 1961
2nd prize

white chb7 Ga7 Kf1 Qh8 Sb4 Bd8 Rh6d1 zb1 black Pa2d2f2h3b6 Kd6 Rh2 Ng6
s#2 Maximum
a7: Grasshopper
g6: Nightrider
b7: Camel nightrider
b1: Zebra
      maximum: black is obliged to play the geometrically longest moves.
      NightRider : Extended rider
      Mehari : Prolonged camel. Reminder: the Camel is a bungee jumper (1,3) instead of (1,2) for the Knight.

a direct mat now with an "Andersenian" theme

8 - #6 with Grasshoppers and NightRiders


white Pg2h3g4f4d4b4c6a6 Kf2 Re1 Gh4 Nb6 black Pa7c7d6d5b2b3e2 Kh1 Bf1a1 Gb1
h4, b1: Grasshopper
b6: Nightrider

Very clean

The privilege of youth (the right reflexes) to conclude the tribute.

9 - reflex 2 moves with Grasshopper and Camel

Jean OUDOT (dedicated to J.Hartong)
Probleemblad, 1961
1st Prize

white Re3 Ke1 Bb4h7 Sc1d5 Gh2g8 black Bh6 Gf7g1 Kh8 Qa7 Pd7c2e2g2 Rc8e7 CAh1
h2, g8, f7, g1: Grasshopper
h1: Camel
      réflex : when a checkmate in 1 is offered to one of the 2 sides, he is obliged to play it
      CAmel : jumper(1,3)

This was the end of the tribute to Jean Oudot.

A small riding tour now.
10 - h#2 with English Equihopper 3 solutions

The Problemist, 2007

white Rh3 Ka1 Be5 EQh5 Sf5g2 black Pf6e6g4 Kf1 Re7 EQd1g1f8
3 solutions
h5, d1, g1, f8: Equihoppers
      equihopper : piece which moves in an equipollent way in relation to any occupied square.
      english equihopper : restricted on the Queen's lines to the absence of obstacles up to the occupied square (like a board of appeal)

A few Chinese pieces to counterbalance the Tibetan Circe (a bit of equality of expression !) 

11 - h#2 2 solutions with Paos and Vaos

The Problemist, 2007

white VAa6 Kh4 Bd4 PAc1 black VAe6 Ba4 Kf5 Pg6e4 PAf4 Ra2
2 solutions
c1, f4: Pao
a6, e6: Vao
      Pao : this piece moves like a Rook but needs a hurdle to capture, no matter how many squares it has behind the hurdle
      Vao : as Pao but like a Bishop


At the restaurant, Daniel took out of his pocket 2 completely normal positions

To start a kasparyan study :

12 - White plays and wins
W.:   Kb3, Rh3, Bd3, pa6 and b4
B.:   Kc8, Rb6 and d6

Very pleasant to look for, with a beautiful final picture

Then one by Rinck

13 - whites play and win
W.:   Kd6, Qb6, Bc7, pc5
B.:   Ka8, Re8, Bb5, pa6, c6 and e2

To help you a little, we can ask a question like "which piece surely not mate".
I have told you too much
To close this part of the dinner course, Eric showed us one of his creations that I unfortunately cannot reproduce because it has not been published beforehand, but which will make its way because his idea is really original.

That will be all for this season.
See you tomorrow for corrections.
Good reading to all and happy holidays.

Yours sincerely.

The greffier

Zebra hair


In problem 7, it is a white zebra in b1, not a nightrider. You'll tell me that it will disappear very quickly. Yes, but
The blacks are thus allowed, in addition to making meharis, to make zebras too, finally, to promote as zebras.

I haven't detected any other hair, but who knows?

Happy holidays


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