Julia's Fairies

No.359,360,359.1 (PT&NP)

No.359, 360 
Pierre Tritten (France)
Pierre Tritten 
(France) &
Nikola Predrag


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

 ?Previous ; ?Next ; ?List 2013(II)

Please send your original fairy problems to: julia@juliasfairies.com

No.359 by Pierre Tritten – A very nice Take&Make strategy in Meredith form! (JV)

No.360 by Pierre Tritten – Cyclic Zilahi, a perfect white economy! (JV)

No.359.1 by Pierre Tritten & Nikola Predrag – An interesting version to No.359 with a non-standard board! Published after comments to No.359. (JV)


Triton (TR): A piece that plays as a Rook but captures only as a Rook-Locust

Nereid (NE): A piece that plays as a Bishop but captures only as a Bishop-Locust

Locust (L): moves on Q-lines but only by capturing an enemy unit, arriving on the square immediately beyond that unit, which must be vacant.

Rook-Locust (LR): Moves like Locust, but on Rook-lines only.

Bishop-Locust (LB): Moves like Locust, but on Bishop-lines only.

Empress (EM): R+S

Princess (PR): B+S

Take & Make: Having captured, a unit must immediately, as part of its move, play a non-capturing move in imitation of the captured unit from the capture-square. If no such move is available, the capture is illegal. Promotion by capture occurs only when a pawn arrives on the promotion rank as the result of a take&make move. Checks are as in normal chess: after the notional capture of the checked K, the checking unit does not move away from the K’s square.

No.359 Pierre Tritten
h#2               2 solutions             (3+9)
Nereid g6
Triton b4
Solutions: (click to show/hide)
No.360 Pierre Tritten
h#2               3 solutions           (4+10)
Solutions: (click to show/hide)
No.359.1 Pierre Tritten & Nikola Predrag
France / Croatia
Version of No.359 – 04.09.2013
h#2                   2 solutions               (3+11)
Board 9×8
Princess b7 
Empress a4 
Grasshopper e4  
Bishop-Locust e1
Rook-Locust g6
Solutions: (click to show/hide)

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
August 25, 2013 08:48

359… Too bad. I was working on a similar idea (reciprocal batteries) for the Marine Tourney. Now I have to find another scheme !! Nice problem. The round trip is a great addition to the basic scheme !

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
August 25, 2013 19:35

No.359 is a very nice idea but two points are disturbing.
First, the marine pieces play just like Locusts, only capturing moves. Only Triton is ‘virtually’ justified by a try 1.Ba7? TRd4 2.Be3??
Second, the black Knights are passive, they serve only to be captured. They should have at least some passive function in ‘the other’ solution.

I see it as a fundamental economical and aesthetical issue in a helpmate – the pieces which are on the board only to enable the T&M captures in only one phase, without any other function.
A captured piece has an essentially thematic function in T&M and it should have some function in all phases. I’ll try to illusratate this by an example:
White LRc8 Ke5 LBe3
Black Bb6 Ph6 Ra5 Kc5 Ba4 Pb4 Rc4 Pe4 Qg2
Stipulation H#2
Condition Take&MakeChess
1.Qf2 LBxf2-g8 2.Rb5 LBxc4-e3#
1.Qg8 LRxg8-f6 2.Bb5 LRxb6-c8#

August 26, 2013 08:34

Well done, Nikola, you’re right Marine pieces were no needed, and your use of BQ is wonderful!

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
August 26, 2013 17:59

Thanks Pierre, but my intention was only to draw attention to some facts which have become a bad habit generally in chess composition. Nowadays, it’s so easy to publish problems on the internet. There are many polite comments about the nice ideas and this is great, the.new composers should be encouraged in our small community.
But it’s a pity when a nice idea is not realized properly, especially if simplicity turns into banality, just because it makes the realization easier.
Selfblock is a simple element but in a direct problem it is not banal, Black plays it for some reason as a defence and White uses it – there is some dynamics and fighting tension in it.
In a help-play, a mere selfblock is rather banal, it should be combined with other motivations of the play. In your original, there is an anti-dualistic motivation for the selfblock on e3. That is something but still, bR/bB have a function in only one phase, respectively. And all black moves are ‘wasted’ on a simple anti-dualistic selfblock. The helpmate genre is not used well if the play of one side is not interesting. Only white play is rich and original, it could be shown sufficiently in a seriesmover:
White LRc7 Ke4 LBe2
Black Sg7 Bb5 Pb4 Kc4 Sg4 Pb3 Rc3 Pe3
Stipulation ser-#2
1.LRxg7-g5 2.LRxb5-c7#
1.LBxg4-f6 2.LBc3-e2#

The bQ-sacrifices (example in my previous post) have made a half of the black moves interesting but still the one-move selfblocks are just a bit better than banal (only due to antidualistic play).

You are indeed a master of T&M and you surely can use that condition much better than me. Your thematic mechanism is beautiful and I’ll try to provoke your creativity to make a true helpmate of it. The main trouble in the following rough example is still the half-employment of bQb8/bRh7. Is it possible to combine reciprocally the play of black thematic pieces: sacrifices and line-closing/opening?
White LRc6 Ke3 LBe1
Black Qb8 Pc7 Pa6 Pg6 Ph6 Sh5 Bb4 Be4 Pg4 Pb3 Kc3 Pb2 Rc2 Rh2
Stipulation H#2;b) bPg6–>f2
a) 1.Sg3 LBxg3-f5 2.Bg2 LBxc2-e1#
b) 1.Sf6 LRf6-f4 2.Bb7 LRxb4-c6#

August 27, 2013 09:48

Understood, Nikola. It’s surely not the first time I’m more focused on white play than black one. Let’s try to improve with this one, again using Marine pieces:
White : Kd4 Ph4 TRf1 NEd6
Black : Kf4 Qa5 Rf5 Bg3 Pg7 Pa6 Pc6 Ph6 Pe3 Pa2 Pb2 TRg6 NEh3
h‡2 (4+13)
Take & Make

1.Qe1 TR×e1-d1(TRf3) 2.NEg4 TR×g3-h3(TRf1)‡
1.Qb4+ NE×b4-a3(NEd3) 2.TRg4 NE×f5-g6(NEd6)‡

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
August 30, 2013 05:54

Dear Pierre, my expression is not very clear and a lot of patience is needed to guess what I am talking about :-(.
I try to describe what I see and understand, hoping that at least something might be interesting for discussion. Many things are only minor details but some of the ‘details’ look as fundamental to me. I apologize if the long post will be boring to you, especially if you find nothing interesting in it.

That is the trouble with the short description of the theme, it would say that there’s a Grimshaw (mutual interference by bTR/bND) at g4 in your ‘improvement’. But it is not so. The exact play is motivated by the choice of a proper piece for the selfblock at g4. Remove bTRg6 or bNDh3 from the diagram and the play with the respective selfblock would remain the same. Obviously, the play is not motivated by the interferences or Grimshaw at g4.
A true rendering of some theme is when the exact play is clearly motivated exactly by the respective thematic reasons.

The intention of my rough example with bRh2,bQb8 were the line-interferences by bBe4. bB must open a respective white line but also it must arrive exactly to g2 or b7. The arrival square is determined exclusively by bR/bQ.
This line-interference could be an additional separate theme but it is only a one-move strategic element. A true and ultimate reason for the black play are not the interferences on the black lines but the prevention of the interferences on the white lines:

– 2.Be4-g2 opens the diagonal f5-c2 and wLB can annihilate bRc2 but bBg2 also prevents bRh2 to close the orthonogal c6-c2 by reoccupying c2
– 2.Bb7 opens the orthonogal f4-b4 and wLR can annihilate bBb4 but bBb7 also prevents bQb8 to close the diagonal e1-b4 by reoccupying b4

It is deeply connected with your main complex idea. White pieces play around and come to the initial squares. The purpose is obviously not to improve the position of white pieces but to empty the squares c2/b4. Black enables the white play by sacrifices in 1st move and line openings in 2nd move but the most thematic help by Black is to keep c2/b4 empty. The empty thematic squares are the crucial motivation for the original play by both White and Black – all moves are motivated exclusively by that purpose.
The original thematic complex is thus essentially intensified.

Selfblocks in your original do not help the white play, they only help to fulfil the stipulation – to achieve the mates. But the mates do not make a content (in principle), they only stimulate a specific/original play which presents a thematic content.
The original play is often realised with a support by non-original simple elements. But if a most original element could be intensified, then this should be at least attempted.

Anti-dualistic selfblocs by R/B are rather simple and surely in no way original (personally, I might prefere a seriesmover which presents only the original substance).

August 30, 2013 10:07

Nikola, your discerning comments are very useful for me, so, no way they could be boring!
Your example is surely the best way to show the theme, using BBe4 in a brilliant way, but, in my opinion, the twinning spoils the play, closing in the second solution a line closed by BBe4 in the first one. I tried, but could not find a way to remove this twinning.
In my ‘improvement’, my goal was not to show Grimshaw at g4, but only to vacate squares allowing white round trips.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
August 30, 2013 15:45
Reply to  Tritten

Oh, I missed that, Grimshaw is accidental but the square vacation by TRg6/NDh3 is a good true motivation for anti-dual play. But now there’s no need for the additional motivations, they only decrease the importance and clarity of the square vacation. For instance, instead of bTRg6/bNDh3, there could be black Grasshoppers on e6/g2. The opening of thematic white line would be a pure motivation for anti-dualistic selfblock.
I believe that there are still good possiblities for the improvement.

Paul Raican
Paul Raican
August 30, 2013 13:53

N.360: bQa1 works as a Bishop.

August 30, 2013 14:34
Reply to  Paul Raican

That’s right, I wish I would have been authorized to use three Bishops…

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
August 30, 2013 17:05

The economy and construction are certainly important for the aesthetic, but a pure and complex content is what makes the originality. One or two fairy pieces might be acceptable addition. I have no time but for illutsrative examples:
White LRc8 Ke5 LBe3
Black Gb7 Bb6 Ph6 Kc5 Pb4 Rc4 Gd3 Qg2
Stipulation H#2; 2 sol.
Condition Take&MakeChess
White LRc6 Ke3 LBe1
Black Rb8 Bh7 Pa6 Ph6 Pd5 Sh5 Bb4 BLe4 Pg4 Pb3 Kc3 Pb2 Rc2
Stipulation H#2; 2 sol.
Condition Take&MakeChess

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
September 1, 2013 01:12

If a perfect mechanism could be realized, it may be worth mitigating the conventions of fairy economy. And if the fairy elements are well used thematically, the realization might be acceptable. Here, a perfect mechanism would mean the reciprocal functions of all thematic pieces in all phases.

The following example with black Princess and Chameleon Queen is ‘almost correct’, I see no way to eliminate the dual but the idea is clear:
Black chameleon Qa4
White LRf6 Kd3 LBd1
Black PRa7 Pb5 Gd4 Bg4 Kf3 Pg3 Rf2 Pg2
Stipulation H#2
Condition Take&MakeChess; Princess a7,Chameleon Queen a4
1.cQb3(*c2)=cS LBxb3-c5 2.Gb6 LBxf2-d1#
1.PRc6 LRxc6-c4 2.Gb4 LRxg4-f6#

PR/cQ are directed towards f2/g4 but bGd4 interferes on their lines. bG will have to open the

lines for white pieces by random move 2.G~ but the negative effect would be the opening of black lines. But a white piece will actively make a hurdle and bG will be able to open a white line without opening a black line, 2.Gb6!/2Gb4!(2.G~?).

Of course, the dual* 1.cQc2=cS ruins it and anyway the combination of bPR&bcQ is not convincing.

I can’t test it but it might be correct, with black Princess&Empress and with an additional “i” file on a board 9×8 (or 9X7):
[imgcomment image[/img]
H#2 2 sol. 3+10
Take&Make; Princess b7,Empress a4
(Board 9×7)
1.EMc3+ LBxc3-d5! 2.Gc6 LBxg2-e1#
1… LBxc3-c6? 2.G~(Gc6??) LBxg2-e1+ 3.PRg2!!

1.PRd6! LRxd6-d4! 2.Gb4 LRxh4-g6#
1… LRxd6-b4? 2.G~(Ga4??) LRxh4g6+ 3.EMh4!!

Princess and Empress show thematical passive functions of their line-components (B/R) and active sacrificial functions of their S-components. wLB/wLR must play the Make-parts of their 1st moves carefully, to allow the proper thematic moves by bG (diagonal/orthogonal).

In the same position (board 9×8), bPR/bEM could be replaced by bB/bR and bPs a5&b6 perhaps would not be needed. But the tries would be lost. Board 10×8 would allow the tries with bB/bR, the position with additional “i” and “j” files would be:
[imgcomment image[/img]
H#2 2 sol. 3+12
1.Rc4! LBxc4-e5 2.Gd6 LBxh2-f1#
1.Bd6! LRxd6-e4 2.Gd4 LRxi4-h6#
The tries: 1.Rb5? LBxb5-d6->2.G~?->3.Bh2!!, 1.Bb6? LRxb6-c4->2.G~?->3.Ri4!!

Why to avoid the fairy boards, is it mainly because of the editing troubles?

Pierre Tritten
Pierre Tritten
September 1, 2013 14:42

Princess + Empress version is perfect., with impressive use of all fairy pieces. Bravo, Nikola!

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
September 1, 2013 21:16

Thanks Pierre, I wonder how the 9th i-file could be accepted. Only 2 squares of it (i4,i5) are actually needed in only 1 solution. And that is even not shown in the solution 🙂

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x