Julia's Fairies

JV problem No.30

Julia’s Published Problems

Please see my problem you’ve chosen below
or go back to the ?list of my published problems.

Thank you for the interest! Your comments are very welcome! – Julia

No.30 – finished 20-Feb-2012 – A complicated one.. had taken about 2 weeks. Using just learned uncommon pieces here: MAO, MOA, Locust. 

99768 /

Julia Vysotska

The Problemist – 2012, Vol.23 No.11 (Sep-2012), F2990

h#2,5*                         5+5+3
Moa d6; Mao e4
Locusts: a6,b1


Set-play: 1.Qf4 nMO×e4+ 2.Kf5 nMOg3‡

1…Ka4 2.Qe7 nMA×d6+ 3.Kf6 nMAe8‡

  • Block of the neutral Locust by the white King; Zilahi theme;
  • Reciprocal transformation of neutral batteries: Initial battery MOA/LO to MAO/LO and initial battery MAO/LO to MOA/LO after reciprocal captures of their forward-pieces.
  • Bi-valve realized by the black Q: line opening for the neutral Mao/Moa, line closing for the neutral Moa/Mao on the mating move. Distant self-block by the black Q.
  • Pins of black Q by the neutral Mao/Moa.

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Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
October 29, 2012 01:58

The geometry of Mao,Moa and bQ is fantastic, at first I thought that double-check is a weakness but instead of check there is a pin.
I suppose that neutral Locust is on b1 too.

October 29, 2012 07:19

Very nice problem. While setplay format is fine, I would have preferred the two solution format, with white king starting at a3, or b4. Probably you did not like the anticipatory unpin element when WK starts there.

Kenneth Solja
Kenneth Solja
November 2, 2012 21:26

I made a version of Julia’s problem:

W: Kb8, Rook Locust a6, Bishop Locust b1, bd4 = 4.
B: Kg6, De5, Lg5, bg4, bf7 = 5.
Neutral: Moa d6, Mao e4 = 2.
A diagram
B Kb8->e1
A 1. De7 nMA×d6+ 3.Kf6 nMAe8‡
B 1. Df4 nMO×e4+ 2.Kf5 nMOg3‡

I prefer two solutions with equal length although I like Julia’s problem.
This is just matter of taste, I think.

November 2, 2012 21:47

Mr.Kenneth has removed an interesting element in the problem — the use white king for blocking the neutral locusts. From one blocking position in the setplay the white King moves to block the other Locust.

The unpinning effect introduced (in this new version) by the position of WK though interesting is weak as the WK needs to shifted for the twin. If this could be added in addition to the existing Fairy-specific blocking (by the WK) it would be an improvement.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
November 2, 2012 23:10

The “unpinning effect” is completely artificial and superfluous, bQ has already enough reasons to play where it plays. wK may be on a1 or elsewhere and there are 2 solutions. And as Julia said, without the thematic block of neutral Locusts it’s only part of her idea – so there’s no need for Locusts after all, wB and wR would do the job.

Kenneth Solja
Kenneth Solja
November 3, 2012 10:58

Like I said earlier and I repeat: I like Julia’s problem and it’s “effect of unpinning”, however I would prefer the solutions to be equal length .. although it seems that I’m serving the minority here.

November 3, 2012 12:59

Actually you are not in the minority here. I too preferred to two solution version only ! see my first post about this problem.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
November 3, 2012 16:30

There’s no “unpinning effect” in Julia’s problem. Remove from it white Pawns a5&b2, replace wnLa6/wnLb1 by wRa6/wBb1 and there’s h#2; Let’s call it A.
It shows quite enough for h#2. What could be added to that?
Locusts a6/b1 would add nothing. Changing the A into a twin form by moving wK alternatively to b8/e1 adds the “unpinning effect”. It is clearly a constructional tool to separate the two-solution form into the twins. But why?
There’s always a question about what is only a constructional tool and what is the inherent thematic essence of some problem. Version A proves that such “unpin”, shown by Kenneth is not essential, as well as the Locusts.

Since the neutral pieces (MO&MA) are already present on the board in A, it seems logical to add some content with additional neutral pieces. Julia added the content explained in the article: https://juliasfairies.com/pp-block-neutral-battery-piece-1/ .

That was about the content and the equal lenght of solutions is another, independent question. Comparing various forms of the same content might be a matter of taste but only when the essence is well comprehended. Preferences and taste are often an excuse to avoid a deeper analysis.

I don’t prefere some form to another before seeing the logical effects in each particular case. If in the original Julia’s position wK is moved to a3, there are 2 solutions of equal lenght. wK must anyway block a4 or b3, so the additional avoidance of pin after Qe7 is clearly accidental. If someone sees it as a weakness (I don’t), he should try to improve it without sacrificing the original content.

In this particular problem I like the form of set play. 6 possible tempo-moves by wK ruin the solution of set-play. But the attempt Kb3-a4 shows the change of purpose of that move, from a tempo-move into a square-block, the same purpose which wk already had in set-play by not moving from b3. Of course, causing the orthogonal/diagonal change of play that follows.
Paradoxically, the lack of move in the set-play increases the dynamics of the whole problem.

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