I went, as planned, to Guy's invitation to his new club.
Since, although you were invited, you were unable to attend, I am doubly obliged to give you a brief report on the event.
I say "doubly", because while you'll obviously be interested to hear about Guy's return, I also had to report some of the content, when you know that Michel was present and that a good part of the session was devoted to some of his works, which he himself finds rather charming ... that's how much content there is! !!!
Guy, first of all.
I thought he was just making his comeback, but not at all: like me, he found himself in the middle of the season (with Sèvres in N3). In addition to a disappointing first and last round, he was able to munch on just about everything he could get his hands on.
Saturday's session featured a few of his exploits: a game as simple as I don't know how to play (that's why I would say "almost simplistic"! ), which systematically gave him the edge in terms of technique and timing, followed by a tactical crushing that was just as good (unlike my own case, where I often got good games but had no more time to finish)..
Finally, (Guy no longer composes for magazines, but he still composes on commission, but it's not possible to say more at the moment. !
Michel was there, as I said. He graced us with a few positions, much to everyone's delight.
A word of clarification: we knew that he was Serbian champion, that he had beaten the world champion there (!) but he is also the current champion of the Netherlands, even if the official title went to the best Dutch competitor present..
First position :
white Pb3a3b2d3e2g3a7 Kh7 black Pg7f7e6d7b5c7b6 Kf4 Bc8
The statement (the true one, for Alain) is
"For which pieces is the capture square defined??"
and as a fine teacher, the Master adjusted the original statement, which became :
"on which square can we say that a R has been captured ?".
For Rémy: this problem can be found (by Alain of course) but also by ourselves. !
But since we're not experts, there's still work to be done..
Of course, we shouldn't look directly for the answer, but we should observe a few characteristics of the position, and ask ourselves how the wK got there..
As always, I was pretty good at raising questions, but much less good at answering them. Fortunately, a club member came up with the solution... which obviously (and not coincidentally) led to more questions..
To vary the pleasures, Guy then performed a (difficult) exercise. :
white Qc6 Pg3f2e2d3a3b5 Kh3 Rc8 Sb3b8 black Qd1 Pf5e6h6 Bg7 Rb2 Kh7-+
Black plays and do his best.
(let's be ambitious and say he wins).
This was followed by a very pretty helpmate 2-moves 4-solutions, designed to give a taste of the genre to an audience that was just partly discovering it.
I'm not giving the position as it hasn't yet been published. Let's respect the author who was kind enough to share it with us..
This was followed by another (easier) exercise suggested by Guy
white Bg2c1 Kg1 Qe2 Pe4f2g3h2c4c3a4 Sh3 Re1a1 black Bh7 Kg8 Qc7 Pf4g5h6f7e6b3a5 Se5 Rd8a8-+
Black to play and win.
It's not very difficult, but it would still be a pleasure to place it in a game !
Now, a nice problem, which immediately makes you want to look, because White is very threatened, so you think it can't be difficult. !
Well, it's not really, but you still have to come up with the idea... which Guy came up with..
white Bg2 Kf6 Qg1 Pd5h5b4f5e3f7 Sa1g7 Re2f2 black Pb5d6d7h6h7 Rg8 Bh8 Kf8
Helpmate 10 moves.
The Japanese liked this problem a lot... which works in their favor..
We then went on to study a brilliant victory achieved by Guy.
And since there were only the brave among the brave left and we had switched from beer to Champagne,
it was champagne for everyone on every floor with the following marvel, the fruit of several years of maturation:
(I can't even bring myself to reduce the diagram)
white Bc1f1 Ke1 Qd1 Pd2b2a2c4f2g2g3 Sb1f3 Ra1c5 black Bf8c8 Ke8 Qd8 Pg7f6e7c7b7a7 Sd5b8 Rg4a8
Proof Game 12,5 moves.
You have to be interested in Pg3, in the missing Ph7, and all in all, it's not very difficult. We found...
but of course, although it was a nice thing in itself, it didn't really have the Master's touch..
All this was quite normal: we didn't have the end of the statement :
And there you have it, the praise that precedes it is understandable..
The miracle happens !!
A pure marvel.
And since Alain is going to be very hot after all these exercises, and now knows that a championship can be lost (and therefore won) on helpmates, here's an helpmate composed for the Japanese who had been demonstrating for months in front of the "Problem Paradise" magazine headquarters to demand a new problem from Michel. Well, as Michel doesn't want to be bothered with this every month, he took care of their case..
white Pe2 Kh1 Rd1 black Qe4 Ph4h3h2c5 Se3f3 Bg1f1 Ka2
Helpmate 6 moves.
We figure that with the little equipment we have, it can't be too difficult..
It is also said that, in general, helpmates of 5 moves or more with a R are cooked because there are so many resources..
Guy, who has a great deal of experience in composition, showed me lots of potential ideas. But for me, after observing diagram 5', such a position completely stunned me..
I'm convinced that if I had to resolve this position to get out of prison, future generations would find my bones there..
One last piece of news from Michel, once again to the glory of the Nipponese people. :
"no Problem Paradise solutionist has found the h#6 solution.
which goes to show that the Japanese aren't the type to plug in their computer when they can't find what they're looking for....".
Thanks to Guy for his warm welcome and his report (!), because as a good idiot equipped with a modern telephone, I didn't waste any time noting the positions, I just photographed them... well from above, so that you can see the squares and positions of the pieces, but not their nature !!!
And once again, bravo Michel..
The lost clerk.