FCCP: August-2021 Release (v0.2)

Fairy Chess Classification Project

We are happy to release our next version (0.2)!

  • Various corrections and modifications were made.
    54 new elements added: Stipulations(3), Pieces(7), Conditions(44).
    Now has a total of 476 elements, up from the earlier 422.
  • Almost all additions are from the Popeye supported list.
  • Thanks to Torsten Linss and Christian Poisson for their help with the newly added Reciprocal stipulations.
  • Thanks to Juraj Lorinc and Niels Danstrup for pointing out faulty definitions. They have been corrected!

THE FAIRY CHESS CLASSIFICATION (V.0.2, 30.07.2021)                                                                    – The FCCP Team

Regarding certain concerns raised in the matplus forum

On 1-May-21, Julia made a post  on the matplus forum about our project. After this, many concerns were raised in the thread. This is our response.

We thank all the contributors of the thread for their opinions and insights.
We have added notes, at various points in our document, to present the alternative views expressed:

=> See (hide) more…

We do feel that our work is of value, despite the scepticism and disdain expressed.
During our discussions and correspondence,

  • We have searched for, compiled, catalogued, acknowledged and used a long list of sources on the internet by our other friends covering the same subject.
  • We discovered gaps in various groups which could be filled by new elements.
  • We found and corrected mistakes in existing definitions.
  • We identified and resolved ambiguities in the definitions of some elements.
  • We came across differences in the software implementations of the same element.
  • We saw the relationships between seemingly different elements.
  • We found the same elements existing under different names.
  • We have contacted various friends for help with some elements and they have generously responded.
  • We have presented an easy and searchable interface for the user to navigate and explore the various groups, elements and their definitions in three different modes.
  • In the depressing climate which pervades the world today, our project was a source of friendly interaction and inspiration.
  • Finally, We have, once again, come to understand and experience what TRD meant when he said: “Fairy Chess sets the heart and mind of all who know it aflame with passionate love of its joy“.

Our above response may not satisfy everybody. But we are here for the long haul and all suggestions for improvement will be considered. Gens Una Sumus.

Shankar Ram

“Reciprocal Stipulations” by Shankar Ram

“One of the benefits of our Classification Project is the opportunity to study some rarely used fairy elements and also fill in gaps in their grouping. One such study resulted in this “mini-article”. More such will follow!” (NSR) 

FCCP → Related Articles

To summarise, our list of Reciprocal types are:
1 Reciprocal (Grazer) Helpmate (Reci-h#). Help Play – #1 & h#1 by B.
2 Reciprocal HelpSelfmate (Reci-hs#). Help Play – #1 & s#1 by W.
3 Reciprocal (Grazer) Selfmate (Reci-s#). Direct Play – #1 & s#1 by W.
4 Reciprocal SemiReflexmate (Reci-½r#). Direct Play – #1 & semi-r#1(h#1) by W.

Shankar Ram, June 2021

The Jungle and the Garden

The Jungle and the Garden

We are happy to announce the next release of our classification (v 0.1)!

Our work to make a beautiful garden from the mysterious jungle continues

In this, we have been joined by Andrew Buchanan. A warm welcome to him!

Thanks to Juraj Lörinc and Eric Huber for help with some fairy conditions

Many corrections, modifications, rearrangements and additions have been made

There are now a total of 422 elements, up from 390 earlier

All 173 items in the JF Fairy Terms list are now included!

Some alternative viewpoints about the classifications have been added at various places

The list of other sources on the internet has been updated on the project page

– The FCCP Team

FCCP SEARCH & Fairy Terms menu

FAIRY TERMS menu of JF is updated, so the main page presents 2 subpages:

  • The Fairy Chess Classification Project (created in April, 2021)
  • JF Fairy Terms database (the old JF’s database of fairy elements which is still in use for the definitions of fairy pieces/conditions for the original problems). With the time the FCC should replace the old database fully.

The SEARCH function is added to the Fairy Chess Classification Project!
From the FCCP‘s main page you see:

View the DB:


The Fairy Chess Classification Project: Initial Release!

The Fairy Chess Classification Project: Initial Release!

After nearly 6 months work, Our inaugural release (version 0) with over 390 elements is ready for public viewing!

(v.0, 22.04.2021): 

TEXT Layout | TABULAR View 
PROJECT Presentational Page

We have used the BCPS Glossary as the basis to which we added some more elements found in JF,
the Die Schwalbe MärchenschachlexikonChristian Poisson’s Website, and others on the web.

Our thanks to all the maintainers of these sources.
Going forward, we plan to add more elements from all these sources as well as any interesting elements that are freshly invented.
We will also add more information to each element like history, popularity, solving program support and example problems.
Also planned is a user interface to search and explore the elements.
In these dark days, some light and order!
We welcome you to join us!

Please post your opinions, suggestions and queries!                                    – The Fairy Chess Classification Project Team

The human touch: Chris Tylor

Here’s Chris giving the same pose as his Grandfather, in the painting!

The human touch: Chris Tylor
by Shankar Ram

Some interesting information about Chris Tylor, our most active contributor to the Fairy Chess Classification Project: In December 1888, T. Fisher Unwin, the London publishing house, published a 112 page book of poetry called “Chess: A Christmas Masque” by Chris’s Grandfather, Louis Tylor. (Masque: a type of theatre entertainment including poetry, singing, and dancing, performed in England in the 16th and 17th centuries).

The British weekly The Spectator, in its 22-Dec-1888 issue, described the book as “A LITTLE poem, this, but dealing with great mysteries, and one which will commend itself to those who, like Milton’s fallen angels, love to reason of- ” Providence, Fore-knowledge, Will, and Fate, Fixed Fate, Free-will, Fore-knowledge absolute.

In 2019, Andriy Frolkin and Viktor Kapusta published an article about this on Valery Kopyl’s site, in English and Ukrainian, titled: The Tylors: A Family Chess Poem Created in … 130 Years! and Тайлори: родинна шахопоема творилася… 130 років! (http://www.chess-kopyl.com.ua/ua/novini/978-svitova-antologiya-shakhopoeziji).

Viktor and Andriy quoted this book as a new addition to their anthology of world chess poetry. And with poetic license, they said Chris’s work in chess problems was a creative link to and a continuation of his Grandfather’s book!

The book has been considered culturally important and has been reprinted recently. A public domain PDF is available here.

Somewhat in the spirit of Lewis Caroll, it starts with a dream by a boy who falls asleep on Christmas eve, before a chess board and sees the chessmen start to move and speak. Here are some excerpts:

Louis Tylor relaxing

A pleasant dream. Me thought the smooth square board
Grew rugged as the chequered field of life;
My chessmen took a human shape and moved,
The White with purpose good, and the Black with ill.
When the play is over, and the match is won,
Times of joyous contest ended, joyous rest begun;
Then the players, foes no longer, only rival friends,
Drink a parting health together; So the evening ends
When the play is over.

Read the full book from the link above, or better still, buy a hard copy online!

Published with a gratitude to the initiator and author of this article, the soul of Fairy Chess Classification Project, Shankar Ram! (JV)

Fairy Classification: Concept Map

Just a short notice for now: I would like to let you know that Fairy Classification project highly supported by Shankar Ram, Chris Tylor, Maryan Kerhuel is up and running. I was too busy with office work for some months, same as Shankar Ram. But Shankar has got back to activity faster than me, offering to us an updated Concept Map having in background 19 pages of the structured list of Fairy Elements I hope to present you later as well.

We will keep working and I’ll get back to you with some more presentation when ready!

Fairy Classification: Leapers Evolution! and more…

What happens in our Going Forward to Light and Order project?  While I haven’t followed the project for about 3 weeks, the team was continuously  discovering new highlights and new questions as well. Tonight I couldn’t provide any summary of the current situation, but let me show you some moments jumped into my eyes. Later on the members of the team might comment something more, and of course, all of us would appreciate your comments (and joining to the team as well! 🙂 )

Shankar always makes some nice graphical presentations for us. So, I’d like to share something with you:

I did a small analysis of the way Leapers evolve into Riders, Hoppers and other related types. This scheme generates 116 different pieces – some of them possibly not yet used and/or named!

Note: the 116 pieces are generated from only the 3 basic leapers: Wazir, Fers and Wazir+Fers(Erlking). Another 63 can be added with the Knight evolving into Nightrider/Rose, N-Hopper, Nao, N-Lion, etc. Adding up to 179 Pieces!”

See more! ⇒

Of course, the discussion goes in different directions, and can go continuously deeper and deeper, as Vlaicu commented:
Human imagination has actually no limits! 🙂

But allowing some more imagination to ourselves, we still have to do some practical work to push the results to appear.

What we need to do immediately is make a selection of some popular elements belonging to each of the main groups and fill out the intended details like history, popularity, supporting software and example problems to put into a publicly viewable and searchable database on JF. This will give some immediate benefit and feedback. We can then fine tune our work to improve it further.” (Shankar)

Thanks a lot to everybody involved!

Going Forward to Light and Order!

Going Forward
to Light and Order!

by Shankar Ram

Our chess problem field is not gaining as many new followers as it should. There is a competition for ways to spend leisure time: various other board and video games – most of them available online, as well as the old ways like music, movies, serials, sports – again mostly online. Also, the regular game is experiencing a boom, with more OTB and online tournaments. But here too, players are less interested in chess problems, than before.
In this atmosphere, we should try to make our hobby as attractive as possible for newcomers. The biggest area in chess problems is the category of fairy chess. Here, more and more new forms are being invented. The easy availability of chess problem solving software is probably helping in this. But this has created a big obstacle for the newcomer, who might well be scared away by the plethora of incomprehensible terms under the diagrams!
Therefore, this project is an attempt to provide an easy and helpful way for a newcomer to find the definition of an unfamiliar fairy element, as well as some additional information about its history, popularity, software supporting this element and of course, some carefully selected example problems which bring out the characteristics of the element.

In the process of this project, we need to classify the various elements into groups and sub-groups, along with linkages between similar elements – in short, produce a taxonomy or knowledge organisation of fairy chess elements. This will aid understanding, meet the human need for orderliness, and help to check whether a particular element is already existing.

Of course, various sources are available online, many of which meet the above objectives. These have been used as the basis or foundation for this project. All of them have been listed and acknowledged. However, all of them have some shortcomings in terms of completeness, being up-to-date, clarity, example problems and organisation. Our project is an attempt to address all these shortcomings.

We welcome all comments and suggestions!

A great work to classify fairy elements has been already done mostly by Shankar Ram and Chris Tylor! (Julia)