57th WCCC: the Awards of composing tournaments

57th WCCC: the Awards of composing tournaments

wccc-bern2014The Awards of composing tournaments
held during the 57th World Congress of Chess Composition:

FAIRY: 12th Romanian Tzuica AWARD | 14th Japanese Sake AWARD | 5th Bulgarian Wine AWARD

Orthodox: 17th Sabra AWARD1st Azerbaijan Helpmate AWARD

The preliminary version of the booklet of the 57th WCCC and the 38th WCSC.

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August 29, 2014 22:30

TZUIKA: Congrats Julia on your nice 2nd HM. The award has so many outstanding problems. Really successful tourney. Franz PAHL’s 1st prize winner is just amazing!

Kjell Widlert
Kjell Widlert
August 30, 2014 01:45

Congrats to Julia not only on that, but on some 4 or so problems awarded in the various tourneys connected to the WCCC. We’ll see all the awards when the official booklet is published att the congress website (this time, there is no printed booklet but there will be a PDF version available for download).

August 30, 2014 11:04
Reply to  Julia

Congrats Julia on the First prize in the Japanese Sake tourney! It is a very good problem ! Happy that our effort was also commended !

Petko Petkov
Petko Petkov
August 30, 2014 18:30

I express my disagreement with some of the criteria of the judges in the tournament Tzuika – 2014.
At first, according to my Meredith (1st Hon.Men.) the judges wrote:
“Giving a double check is possible with one single fairy piece such as the Double Grasshopper. This Meredith shows quadruple check, but by only three pieces. This is why we took the debatable decision not to award it a prize”.
Ок. Formally, the judges have the right to apply such criteria. But in my opinion – NOT POST FACTUM! – the judges should state yet in the announcement: ” If the mate is realized after “n” checks of the opponent’s king, these checks should (or desirable) be given by “n” different pieces!” In such a case I would not send my problem in this tournament!
I could express also a lot of my other arguments, as a sign of disagreement with this award. I will mention only one other fact – the repetition of the move 3.Qe8+ in the problem decorated with a high 2nd prize. I think that there are no real reasons to justify this defect – especially “in combination” with a passive nRa6…In this respect, this problem is obviously highly overrated.
Of course, these are just my subjective thoughts.

August 30, 2014 21:12
Reply to  Petko Petkov

I think you are right Mr.Petkov. While it is the judge’s subjective opinion to rank the problems the reason attributed is not justified here. The judges themselves have stated it is a “debatable decision”. They are correct about that !! 🙂

Eric Huber
Eric Huber
August 31, 2014 01:01
Reply to  Petko Petkov

Of course everyone is allowed to have his own opinion.
However, asserting that the criteria were announced POST FACTUM is not correct. The definition provided in the announcement of the Tzuica tourney was clear in that respect. The definition was:
“Double check: Two pieces check the opposite King.”
Two pieces, not one.
We are aware that it is a debatable topic, but we had to take into account the definition that was given in the announcement. If we had considered that the Double-Grasshopper can give double check by itself, I am quite sure that someone else would have issued a protest, based on that definition.

Concerning “the repetition of the move 3.Qe8+” in the problem awarded 2nd Prize : the move is not repeated. In one solution it is 3.Qh5-e8+ and in the other 3.Qe3-e8+. That observation was addressed in the award.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
August 31, 2014 03:06
Reply to  Eric Huber

Repetated 3.Qe8+ is “only” a half-defect due to different routes 🙂
Are the quadruple checks actually needed? Perhaps I’m wrong, but two checks in each mate do not seem as necessary. The attack on the flights g6 and h5/g5 is accidentally extended to h6.
(I can’t find this condition in Popeye.)

Eric Huber
Eric Huber
August 31, 2014 14:22
Reply to  Nikola Predrag

Circé Kamikaze is defined in Winchloe only. As far as I know, it is not implemented under Popeye.

“Are the quadruple checks actually needed?” In the 2nd prize, try and remove from the initial position one of the units that give check (nRa6, nBf6, bBe1, bRf2): how do you reach the final position? You can’t. Hypothetically removing the units in the stage of the final position and ignoring the moves that lead to it is not how we consider things.

While you are at it, you might ask yourself the same question about Mr. Petkov’s 3rd prize. Is the quadruple check actually needed? More precisely, is the nR useful in the mate positions? Replace theoretically nRe3 with a nPAO: what would be your conclusion?

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
August 31, 2014 19:18
Reply to  Eric Huber

Double-check is not much welcome in principle and unnecessary double-checks should better be avoided if possible.
Of course, everything depends on the content.
But at least, if there is some superfluous feature, don’t mention it as an “achievement”.
If a superfluous multiple check can improve the economy, it’s acceptable but not thematic in principle.

I didn’t analyze the entire award, so I can’t comment it yet.

Eric Huber
Eric Huber
September 7, 2014 15:19
Reply to  Nikola Predrag

@Nikola, about “Double-check is not much welcome in principle and unnecessary double-checks should better be avoided if possible.”
Double check was very welcome in this tourney, because the theme of this year’s Tzuica tourney was “mate by double check”.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
September 8, 2014 01:21
Reply to  Eric Huber

Yes, and I was thinking about participating, but I had no inspiration for an idea which I would consider as thematically acceptable – original and subtle necessity/justification of the multiple check.

If I could have guess that any non-original, unnecessary or trivial presentation would be welcome in this tourney, well, I would not have even think about participating (with the same outcome).

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
August 30, 2014 21:48

Sake tourney indeed produced some problems with interesting BTB-specific strategies (beside the entries showing just BTB tactical effects).

1st Prize additionally shows the superb mechanism in which both black Bishops have a thematic role in both phases, due to the beautiful dual avoidance based on BTB check-parrying 3.Bf5!/Ba7!.
Congratulations to the joint authors, a team which keeps this site at so high level!

2nd Prize is also rich but the mechanism contains one idle bS in each phase. The idea deserves more efforts for improving the B2-moves. But it’s quite beautiful already.

3rd Prize shows another beautiful dual-avoidance in 2 phases when both bSs are simultaneously unpinned and can play to the same square d3/d4. However this is not mentioned in the solution, where it should have been specified which bS plays the move. The proper bS creates a white battery and enables the necessary double-check. Besides, in these phases, the flights d4/d5 are guarded by the ortodhox power of wR/wB, while in the other two phases, d4+e5/d3+d5 are guarded by BTB-power of wB/wR. I like that relation between the 2 pairs of phases.
The analogy within one pair perhaps could be improved, here’s just an example:
White Bc7 Rb5 Pf3 Kg3
Black Pd7 Sc6 Qe6 Ke5 Rf5 Sb4 Bb3
Stipulation H#2
Condition BackToBack

4th Prize is very nice but Kostas has shown much more strategy in his HMs in my view. And there were other very inventive authors, congratulatios to all.

Petko Petkov
Petko Petkov
September 1, 2014 21:33

In the comment https://juliasfairies.com/57wccc-awards-composing/#comment-36848 Eric Huber says:
Circé Kamikaze is defined in Winchloe only. As far as I know, it is not implemented under Popeye.

“Are the quadruple checks actually needed?” In the 2nd prize, try and remove from the initial position one of the units that give check (nRa6, nBf6, bBe1, bRf2): how do you reach the final position? You can’t. Hypothetically removing the units in the stage of the final position and ignoring the moves that lead to it is not how we consider things…”

But this conclusion by Eric is a delusion. Why?

Pay attention to the twin “B” (Fairy Bf6). Watching the authors solution, we understand that the return of this Bishop on the square f8 realizes the fourth check of the white king. But whether this check is needed? The answer is simple – no, of course!

Please see the following position – this is the problem of Themis, but in position b) the neutral Bishop was replaced with white Fairy Bishop:
[imgcomment image[/img]
The solution is the same as that of Themis: 1…Bd2+ 2.Qe3 Rf4 3.Qe8+ Rxf6(Rh8;fBf8)# but the check here is only triple! This means that the role of the fairy figure f6 is not to give a needed fourth check, but only to close the white Qe8!
On this basis in twin b) we can put on the field f6 many other fairy figures – neutral or white! For example – the position b) is correct also with a white or neutral Grasshopper, w.Camel, w.Zebra, etc.
Therefore, the creation of the twin b) here is a completely formal act – on f6 is placed exactly a neutral Fairy Bishop only with a goal to give an unnecessary fourth check! Other weaknesses are undoubtedly the already mentioned “half-repetition” of move 3.Qe8+ and the dubious role of nRa6: in position a) it can be only black, in b) position its “neutral-function” is as a cook-stopper…

September 2, 2014 17:24

Surprised by the results of 12th Ukrainian Composing tourney. The first prize has four solutions with the white moves identical in all the four solutions! —- and the second prize winner has two such solutions with both white moves repeated. What am I missing here? I am not a helpmate specialise, but I would hesitate to publish these two problems had I composed them. Top prizes for these is really surprising!

Eric Huber
Eric Huber
September 7, 2014 16:23

This is a (short) reply to Petko Petkov’s comment “About the 2nd Prize, Themis ARGIRAKOPOULOS, TZUICA 2014 AWARD – FAIRIES SECTION”
It is always a pleasure to read Petko’s comments on problems, whether they are other composers’ problems or his own, but I am afraid that our appreciation may differ on this particular subject.

I would be curious to read Petko’s opinion about the problem awarded 3rd prize and more specifically about the abovementioned replacement of the neutral Rook e3 by a neutral Pao (or a black Pao).
According to the same logic, in the 3rd prize, is the neutral Rook needed to give a check to the white King? Or is it needed only to close the diagonal of the neutral Lion to the black King?

petko petkov
petko petkov
September 7, 2014 21:58

Eric, of course, I will answer you – but this time much detailed because there are a lot of other very serious problems related to your award …

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
September 8, 2014 04:55

1st Prize Tzuica14 fairy, shows indeed an extraordinary thematic complex in the idea. It’s worth to analyze it, both for good and bad features.

To achieve the final double-checkmate, a switchback of the front battery piece must be prevented by pinning. The scheme requires a critical move over 2 critical squares, 1st is for a hurdle which will enable that pin and 2nd is for an interference, to parry the check to wK caused by the arrival of a hurdle on 1st square in B2.
But why that check-parrying interference would not be the last white move by some nLE (a check which forces Black to mate)? Of course, Black would withdraw that nLE from the white checking line.
Therefore in W3, White first parries the antibattery check by a piece which must be neutral and thus capturable by nLE in W4. This allows Black to play another nLE on the future white checking-line and that will result with a pin of nLE which will check bK in W4.
So, 2 critical squares are required to arrange 2 pins in each phase. A pin of a nLE (which checks bK in W4) and a pin of nR/nB (after B4).
The character of batteries with nR&nB as front/rear pieces always requires a pin which prevents a switchback of the mating piece, this is a direct thematic necessity.
A pin of the white checking piece is not thematically needed in general, the author has invented a particular scheme where that additional pin is necessary for achieving the theme of the tourney. And of course, this is what makes the original and deeply complex rendering of the theme.

Quite an extraordinary idea, but…
What about the realization?
If an idea can’t be realized by orthodox means, a fairy realization could be attempted but with even more rigorous care about the used elements.
It is strange to see the especially emphasized features which could actually be forgiven and forgotten only in a rather tolerant comment. “Exchange” of some functions looks more as exchange of “humiliating functions” of some fairy officers, or “exchange of weaknesses”.

This idea intrinsically requires some neutral officers with specific fairy need for hurdles – that’s justified by the original complex. But the author has solved various and hard constructional difficulties by excessive use of some fairy elements. The worst of all is using the officers as the obstacles with a humiliating square-occupying function, even without a flight-blocking purpose.
Particularly the helpselfmate genre becomes strangely considered as a realm outside the logic and art of chess composition.

The idea is “what about we are talking” and its realization is “how we shall tell the story”. The medium for storytelling is not the art of the words, but the art of chess pieces.
I am happy that I’ve heard the beautiful story of this problem and thankful to the author who has managed to tell it anyhow. But some “expressions” were unnecessary so “vulgar” that my pleasure is partially spoiled. Still, enough has remained for the final impression and a “special Prize”.
That’s the purpose of “Special” distinctions – to warn the public that some features should be avoided and certainly not considered as exemplary!

Now the analysis of the realization. Simpler scheme might reveal some vital points.
Example 1, hs#3 with only one pin needed. A piece which checks bK in the last white move must be white, and a piece which makes that one pin must be neutral. Therefore the twins.
Example 1
White Pc6 LEf5 Pb4 Kh3
Black Ka6 Sa5 Pb5
Neutral PAb7 Be6 Rd3 LEe3 Qf2
Stipulation hs#3
Twin Exchange e3 f5

a) 1.nBe6-c8 nRd3-d7 2.nLEe3-a3+ Sa5-
b3+ 3.LEf5-d3+ nRd7*d3#
b) nLEe3wLEf5
1.nRd3-a3 nBe6-b3 2.nLEf5-c8+ nPAb7-d7+
3.LEe3-e6+ nBb3*e6#

-Orthodox bSa5 is quite enough for his duty but its entire officer’s function is just one characteristic move, only in one phase.
A relatively smaller weakness.

-nPAb7 is a fairy Neutral only because any black orthodox piece which could play from b7 to d7, would also parry the last white check in b), where 3…nPAd7-d6?? would be a selfcheck. Without a similar effect in a), this can’t be considered as thematic.
A considerable weakness.

-nQf2 only guards the flights but both black and white, enabling a Meredith, functioning as 5 Pawns. Could be quite acceptable.

-There’s a kind of virtual reciprocity of Leos, the twinning might be considered as only an exchange of their white/neutral characteristics. This would not affect the definition of their moving properties, so a reciprocity of their “line-geometry” would actually exist. However, the thematic functions depend exactly on their white/neutral characteristics.
So, there’s no thematic reciprocity of Leos but the twinning itself is generally acceptable.

Example 2 shows a similar content with Lions but it’s incorrect, due to dualistic order of moves. wSh4 is the only half-idle officer. The example shows the troubles with the order of moves because of the neutral pieces.
(For instance, it would be correct in case of a)wLIc4,nLId6,bBd3,nRe6; b)nLIc4,wLId6,nBd3,bRe6, where the “twinning” would actually be: ColourExchange d6/c4+e6/d3 .)
Example 2
White Ka6 Pa5 LIc4 Pg4 Sh4 Pf3 Rg2
Black Rc7 Pd5 Kh3
Neutral LId6 Re6 Bd3
Stipulation hs#3; Twin Exchange c4 d6

a) 1.nBf1 nRe2 2.Sg6 nLIh6+ 3.LIe6+ nRxe6#
(1.Sg6 nBf1 2.nRe2 nLIh6+ 3.LIe6+ nRxe6#)
b) wLIc4nLId6
1.Re2 nRh6 2.nBg6 nLIf1+ 3.LId3+ nBxd3#
(1.nRh6 nBg6 2.Re2 nLIf1+ 3.LId3+ nBxd3#)

If in the example 2, the Lions are replaced by Leos (and bPd5 removed), not only duals disappear but also the solutions. How to make a correct problem of this example, which offers almost good economy. One possibility is accepting the mentioned ” ColourExchange twinning”. A much better but harder way is to increase the complexity of content.
The task is to achieve a perfect balance of the Neutrals and the thematic order of moves. The author has achieved the balance of thematically needed Neutrals, but at a high cost of unneeded neutral and other fairy elements and particularly of the poor functions of the officers.

Great technical difficulties are enlarged by the long time required for testing the schemes. One month is literally a “quick composing” period for such problems.
Despite the drawbacks, the author should be praised for presenting a correct problem in time.
Nevertheless, the public should be warned about the drawbacks.

The following scheme is not tested as hs#4, but after W1&B1, both twins are correct as hs#3. Anyway, it is only an illustration of a balanced use of Neutrals and officers. (Black Nightrider even must be pinned in the end, although that does not really determine W1.)
Scheme C-
White Pa7 Ka6 Pf2
Black Pd5 Sf4 Pg4 Pb3 Pg3 Kh3 Ng2 Ph2
Neutral Ne7 LEd6 Re6 LEc5 LEc4 Bd3 PAb2
Stipulation hs#4; Twin Move g2 h4

a) 1.nBd3-f1 nRe6-e2 2.nLEd6-h6 Sf4-e6+ 2.nNe7-g6 nLEc5-c8 3.nLEc4xe6+ nRe2xe6#
b) Twin Move g2 h4
1.nRe6-h6 nBd3-g6 2.nLEc4-f1 Sf4-d3+ 3.nPAb2-e2 nLEc5-c3 4.nLEd6xd3+ nBg6xd3#

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