Julia's Fairies

No.324 (MR)

Manfred Rittirsch (Germany)


Original Problems, Julia’s Fairies – 2013 (II): May – August

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No.324 – Manfred Rittirsch – The problem below uses a combination of two conditions – Anticirce + Superguards – and by the author’s words can’t be tested by computer, as the both programs Popeye and WinChloe doesn’t treat this combination properly.  The inventor of Superguards condition, Mr.Seetharamanacknowledges it as well. (JV)


Superguards: Any piece (including Kings and pawns), which is observed by another piece of the same color cannot be captured. Pinned pieces also observe.

Anti-Circe: After a capture the capturing piece (Ks included) must immediately be removed to its game array square (necessarily vacant, else the capture is illegal). R, B & S go to the square of the same colour as the capture; Ps stay on the file of capture.

No.324 Manfred Rittirsch
h#2              b) Sf3?h4              (7+9)
Anticirce + Superguards
Solution: (click to show/hide)

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May 31, 2013 09:00

In my view the test for deciding whether a square is observed or guarded (and therefore a friendly piece on that square) is to place the opposing king on that square. If it is check then that square is guarded. Therefore in the above problem when b2 is occupied by black WPb5 ceases to Superguarded by WPa4, as a black King on b5 will not in check.

The idea of this beautiful problem is to use the tactic of blocking rebirths quare to remove Superguard or potential Superguard. Look carefully as to why the alternative moves at B1/B2/W1 will not work. A complex and wonderful problem packing lot of strategy into two moves. Great achievement Manfred ! Note the full effect of the twinning, it is not about changing guards alone !

Manfred Rittirsch
Manfred Rittirsch
May 31, 2013 13:22

Thank you Seetharaman! I am happy that you like the problem!

Unfortunately even your (generally acceptable and adequate) “test” is not fully waterproof. The problem will be obvious when you apply the Circe Rex Inklusive condition. I’m sure you didn’t mean that in the position Ka1 Bb3 Pc2 – Ka8 Rb4 Sd6, Circe Rex Inclusive 1.Rxb3[Bf1] is possible in the diagram, whereas after 1.Se8 it becomes forbidden due to the fact that a bK would be in check on b3 not before e8 was occupied.

I think that it’s much harder than expected to find a definition of “observation” that really covers all eventualities. Even if we obviously agree on the meaning it’s a Herculean task to find the proper words …

May 31, 2013 18:55

I see your point. Actually it might be interesting to accept this test for Circe Rex-inclusive problems. Some peculiar effects might be realised 🙂

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