No.887,887.1 (AS&GE)

Anatoly Stepochkin 

No.887.1, 887.2
Anatoly Stepochkin &
Georgy Evseev


Original Problems, Julia’s Fairies – 2015 (II): July – December

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No.887 by Anatoly Stepochkin – Anti-batteries, promotions and captures of white rear battery pieces! (JV)

No.887.1 by Anatoly Stepochkin & Georgy Evseev – Nice improved version to No.887. (JV)

No.887.2 by Anatoly Stepochkin & Georgy Evseev – One more improvement to No.887. (JV)


Lion(LI): Moves along Queen lines over another unit of either color to any square beyond that unit. A capture may be made on arrival, but the hurdle is not affected.

Bishop-Lion(BL): Moves along Bishop lines over another unit of either color to any square beyond that unit. A capture may be made on arrival, but the hurdle is not affected.

Rook-Lion(RL): Moves along Rook lines over another unit of either color to any square beyond that unit. A capture may be made on arrival, but the hurdle is not affected.

Zebra(ZE): (2,3) Leaper.

Giraffe(GI): (1,4) Leaper.

No.887 Anatoly Stepochkin

original – 06.09.2015

Solutions: (click to show/hide)

White ka3 blg6 rlc8 ph7 Black kc2 bd1 pe6g5g7d2 gih1 zg8 lig4

h#2             2 solutions           (4+9)
Zebra g8; Giraffe h1
Lion g4
Rook-Lion c8; Bishop-Lion g6

No.887.1 Anatoly Stepochkin &
Georgy Evseev


version of 887 – 08.09.2015

Solutions: (click to show/hide)

White kh3 sa5 sg8 bb5 bla8 rle8 Black ke4 rf4 lia4

h#2             2 solutions           (6+3)
Lion a4
Rook-Lion e8; Bishop-Lion a8

No.887.2 Anatoly Stepochkin &
Georgy Evseev


version of 887 – 10.09.2015

Solutions: (click to show/hide)

White kd1 bb5 sa5g8 lia8e8 Black ke4 lia4 pf4

h#2             2 solutions           (6+3)
Lion a4, a8, e8

22 Responses to No.887,887.1 (AS&GE)

  1. Stephen Emmerson says:

    Neat Zilahi. The GIh1 however is doing nothing more than legitimising one line. It can be improved (I think) by placing it on g8 and bringing the Z to d2, saving a piece.

  2. Seetharamanseetharaman says:

    While this lateral diagonal mates has been shown many times with orthodox material, it is interesting that the Lion has to capture one of the thematic white pieces before it can selfblock! Stephen’s suggestion is quite good!

  3. Georgy EvseevGeorgy Evseev says:

    In theory, fairy knights (Z and G) are not absolutely necessary for the idea. I’ll check if it is possible to avoid them, making ordinary knight promotion or changing W1 motivation, e.g. for the sake of model mate.

    • Georgy EvseevGeorgy Evseev says:

      Yes, here are two versions.

      1. With promotions.
      W: Ka5 RLc8d7 BLg8 Pe7
      B: Kc4 LIg4 RLd8 Pd4g7

      1.LIg4*c8 e7*d8=S 2.LIc8-c3 Sd8-e6 #
      1.LIg4*g8 e7-e8=S 2.LIg8-b3 Se8-c7 #

      (It is possible to replace RLd7 and RLd8 with orthodox material, but more pieces are required.)

      2. With model mates
      W: Kf2 RLd8 BLh8 Sb8h5 Pb3
      B: Kd4 LIh4 Sg5 Pf3

      1.LIh4*d8 Sb8-a6 2.LId8-d3 Sh5-f6 #
      1.LIh4*h8 Sh5-g3 2.LIh8-c3 Sb8-d7 #

  4. Seetharamanseetharaman says:

    With just one fairy Georgy’s version is very good!

    • Seetharamanseetharaman says:

      I mean, just one ‘fairy type’

    • Stephen Emmerson says:

      Excellent re-composition – what more could be improved? Possibly only that it would be even nicer if the two white pieces used as hurdles for White (S/S) were also those used by Black, instead of B/S. This is meant cheekily! – it’s great as it is, but miracles have already been worked, perhaps there are more…

      • Stephen Emmerson says:

        Also, it is possible to reduce the number of fairy types even further – change bishop-lion and rook-lion into lions, and move wK to d1. So an interesting question of economy arises – fewer types or using the minimum powers necessary? I guess it’s a personal preference.

        • Seetharamanseetharaman says:

          Actually all Lions gives the diagram a better look! But many would go for less power I think 🙂

        • Personally, I would vote for less fairy types than weaker force (given all other things are equal), but I understand some people feel it differently.

          There was a lecture on this topic in Marianka 2014 by Juraj Brabec.
          See youtube video:
          Or in bulletin on p. 27 (but in Slovak only):

          • shankar ram says:

            That used to be customary – using say, 3 Grasshoppers, instead of Grasshopper + Rook Hopper + Bishop Hopper.
            The latter trend seems to have started as a cook prevention device!

            • shankar ram says:

              Only in the case of Chinese pieces, usage of Pao, Vao instead of Leo seems to be “accepted”!
              For the Grasshopper family(Grasshopper, Rook Hopper, Bishop Hopper), Lion family(Lion, Rook Lion, Bishop Lion), and similarly for the Locust and Marine families, such usage may raise an eyebrow or two!

              • Georgy EvseevGeorgy Evseev says:

                Well, I generally check the possibility of replacing the family of line pieces with queen-like unit, but, shame on me, have not done it this time. If I had done it, I would have definitely tried to use only lions. (As an example, we had a version of 2 pl. 8th WCCT problem with lions only, but having 29 pieces instead of 22 was considered too costly.)

                Nevertheless, I have also missed the fact that white king on d1 also prevents the cooks. (I generally prefer to have “unneeded” white king to be placed as far as possible and I have a “feeling” that d1 is more distant than h3.) Also, in this case Rf4 may be replaced with a pawn.

  5. Miodrag Mladenovic says:

    I think problem would be better with one more piece. I think the following changes should be made:
    1) wKd1 => c2
    2) +bPc3 to prevent cooks
    3) -wBb5
    4) +bSb5
    Although in this position there is on piece more I think this is better position because instead of model mates now there are ideal mates.

    • Citing from Encyclopedia by MV & KV: IDEAL MATE – A model mate in which all force on the board, both Black and White, is necessarily used, including all Pawns and the white King.

      I somehow fail to see ideal mates in the suggested version. Do I miss something?

      • Miodrag Mladenovic says:

        Hi Juraj, you are right. I missed definition of ideal mate. However I still think that this version is better because there is no underused white Bishop and white King has a role in both mates.

  6. Bartel Erich says:

    ad 887.2)

  7. Miodrag Mladenovic says:

    There is also possibility to make twins:
    White: Kc2 Sa5 g8 RLe8 BLa8 (5)
    Black: Ke4 Sb1 Pf4 LIe1 (4)
    a) diagram 1.LIxe8 Sh6 2.LIe3 Sc6#
    b) bLIe1=>h1 1.LIxa8 Sb3 2.LIf3 Se7#
    In this version it’s not possible to replace BL and RL with LI because of the cooks. However bLI moves are nicer (longer first move and along same line/diagonal). Not sure if this is improvement or not. I just gave it as a possibility. Again because of the bSb1 not an ideal mates but almost ideal.

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