Julia's Fairies

No.445 (VC)

Vlaicu Crișan (Romania)


Original Problems, Julia’s Fairies – 2013 (III): September- December

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

No.445 by Vlaicu Crișan – A very complicated and interesting strategy in Take & Make problem! (JV)


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 King’s square.

No.445 Vlaicu Crișan
original – 04.12.2013
hs#4            b) bPh4→e8         (11+9)
Take & Make
Solutions: (click to show/hide)

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shankar ram
shankar ram
December 5, 2013 05:51

Looks like another blockbuster in the making.. similar to his 2010 problem (PCCC 50-JT)..
Still unable to ‘take’ in everything just by looking at the diagram.. pieces flying all over the place.. need to set it up on a board..!
One doubt.. Is BPe8 allowed in T&M..?
The propensity of T&M to generate a large number of positions is evinced by the popeye solution times.. I loaded it up into WinChloe and it’s happily chugging away for the last 1 hour to check just one move..!

Dmitri Turevski
Dmitri Turevski
December 5, 2013 06:51
Reply to  shankar ram

From the Codex of Chess Composition (footnote 18)

“Retroanalysis does not apply to … fairy compositions unless it is essential to the content of the composition.”

So, technically, it is allowed.

December 5, 2013 08:13
Reply to  shankar ram

It is assumed the black pawn e8 landed there after making a T&M capture.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
December 5, 2013 06:48

I also don’t see very much from the diagram, but shouldn’t bPc7 be on b7, at least in the finish of both twins?

shankar ram
shankar ram
December 5, 2013 11:16

@dmitri: I was asking whether Ps are allowed to end up on their 1st ranks as per T&M rules.. and if so, are they inert or can they move/capture..? and if they can move, is it 1,2 or 3 steps..? Obviously, the answers have been programmed into popeye/winchloe..!

btw.. after 6 hours, winchloe is still on 2nd move only.. there’s a notification in the top left corner.. it says “PATIENCE”.. nice!

Vlaicu Crisan
Vlaicu Crisan
December 5, 2013 11:37

When Hartmut Laue initially defined Take&Make, he did not rule out the possibility of having pawns on 1st rank. Subsequently, in 2007, Nicolas Dupont was the first to exploit this interesting effect in three proof games.

Some years later, Hartmut Laue introduced a new rule explicitly forbidding the presence of pawns on 1st rank. It seems this restriction was introduced in order to avoid a tough decision concerning the movement of pawns starting from their 1st rank.

However, due to the fact that this clarification came later, after the genre was implemented in software applications, both Popeye and Winchloe allow the presence of pawns on 1st rank. Popeye considers them as immovable, while Winchloe not. A simple setting (wKb5, wPa1, wPc1 – bKb2, bPb4 h=1 Take&Make) will demonstrate the logic of the applications and the possible moves considered by each.

In the particular case of problem above, the solution is fortunately not affected by any of these rules, since bPe7 also blocks a “Move” attempt after capturing bPe8.

shankar ram
shankar ram
December 6, 2013 05:31
Reply to  Vlaicu Crisan

Winchloe has two versions of T&M.. the “normal one” and “Take & Make – Pions autorisés sur leur 1° rangée”..
When I tried the example position(wKb5, wPa1, wPc1 – bKb2, bPb4 h=1 Take&Make), Winchloe gives solution 1.Rb1 R×b4(Rb3)= but also notes that “Roi en échec au diagramme”.. in which case part b) of No.445 would not be solvable under Winchloe.. since WKd7 would be in check from BPe8..? Or am i missing something..?
Maybe better to change the twinning..?

Vlaicu Crisan
Vlaicu Crisan
December 6, 2013 10:02
Reply to  shankar ram

I think there is another option in WinChloé called “Pions immobiles sur leur 1ère rangée” which must be used (or something similar).

In order to test the problem in WinChloé, I think you should use the following conditions:
Take&Make – Pions autorisés sur leur 1ère rangée +
Pions immobiles sur leur 1ère rangée.

This is actually how Take&Make type Dupont could be defined and the condition I intended to use in 445.

Hartmut Laue
Hartmut Laue
March 9, 2014 22:44
Reply to  Vlaicu Crisan

Absolutely not true. Pawns on the first rank were ruled out right from the beginning, not “some years later”. The first publication of the rules in a journal was in “Die Schwalbe”, Febr, 2008, p. 369. It simply states the rules as defined at the Andernach meeting where the condition was presented for the first time at all. – Anybody may of course feel free to try his hands with variations of any idea in fairy chess. But the confusion by calling a different version with the same name as the clear-cut definition has to be avoided. So please read in “Die Schwalbe” (see above) for a clear definition of the take&make condition and do not give the impression of something which is open for discussion. For example, if someone wants pawns on the first rank, he should know that this does not extend the rules but modifies them, making certain problems with the original take&make condition incorrect, which is of course not tolerable. Therefore, as I said, change the terminology if you want different rules, and nobody will have a problem. For example, “take&make1” or “take&make type …”

Geoff Foster
Geoff Foster
December 5, 2013 12:07

The full definition of Take&Make states: “A capturing pawn cannot shift to its own first rank”. Therefore the bPe8 in b) could not have arrived there after making a T&M capture.

Geoff Foster
Geoff Foster
December 5, 2013 12:08

Sorry I made my previous post before seeing Vlaicu’s post!

petko petkov
petko petkov
December 5, 2013 12:29

I categorically disagree with all the “arguments” in favor of the legality of the pawn е8 in Vlaicu’s problem.
A detailed comment explaining my opinion I’ll write on Saturday.

shankar ram
shankar ram
December 6, 2013 16:23

Set up and examined each position move by move..
Really intensive T&M style piece shuffling..
The BS/BR, BS/BB batteries are dismantled and new BR/BB, BB/BR batteries created..
Meanwhile, the WK creates batteries with the WQ/WR/WB..
Excepting the BSs, every thematic piece moves and changes it’s position..
Of course, perfect Orthogonal/Diagonal echoes of every move..
See the final denouement..
For those interested, i’ve created a powerpoint show file..
Can see a sort of animation of both solutions side by side..

December 6, 2013 22:38

Well, the difficulty comes from “disorientated Pawn” (“Pion dépaysé” in French, a nice word invented by Jacques Dupin, if I remember), especially the fact that several rules exist concerning its move possibilities. Maybe Hartmut Laue would had accepted such disorientated pawns in his T&M genre, provided the existence of a unique rule explaining how it can move.

If one day I write a short note to officially define “T&M type Dupont”, I think I will choose the same rule (number 5) Etienne Dupuis and I already used in Circe Cage: “White Pawns may reborn on the first row, from which they can move like ordinary Pawns, including making a double step from the second row (same for black Pawns).” Indeed this choice of convention is clear and easy-minded (the first row is just considered as another row, except the second one) and we adopted it after having got the opinion of various fairy experts.

So I’m afraid, dear Vlaicu, you should explicitly mention in your problem’s stipulation the setting you are using, something like “Pions autorisés et immobiles sur leur première rangée”, in order to avoid any ambiguity.

Vlaicu Crisan
Vlaicu Crisan
December 7, 2013 13:19
Reply to  dupont

This is the full definition of the condition intended to be used in no 445:

1) If a unit Y makes a capturing move to a square s, then, after capturing (“Take”), Y must execute (from s) a further non-capturing move (“Make”) obeying the (orthodox) move laws for the captured unit, as part of the complete capturing move. If there is no such move, Y cannot capture the unit.

2) Checks are orthodox, kings cannot be captured, pawns can move to the first rank of their own color where they are subsequently immobile, pawn promotion takes place only if the pawn move ends on the 8th rank and not immediately after the “Take” part of a Take&Make move.

3) In the combination Take&Make-Circe, a Circe rebirth takes place only after the complete Take&Make move, not immediately after its “Take” part.

One particular specificity of this variation that can lead to interesting effects is that pawns on the 1st rank of their own color can not be captured. This effect can be shown in the original Take&Make (Laue) only using fairy pieces such as Locusts.

As Nicolas wisely suggested, I propose this Take&Make variation to be shortly named as Take&Make type Dupont II.

December 7, 2013 16:00

Maybe it is also worth to mentioned if immobile Pawns may give check or not (I suggest not, as in PWC).

May I also suggest calling this new variation “T&M type Crisan”? It would imply that “disorientated” Pawns are accepted both in type Dupont and in type Crisan, their move possibilities being as in Circe Cage or as in PWC respectively.

Vlaicu Crisan
Vlaicu Crisan
December 8, 2013 19:50
Reply to  dupont

In 445, as there is no move of pawn on the 1st rank during the solution, it would be quite enough to stipulate that “Pawns on 1st rank can’t move” (BTW: this is also Popeye convention).

As Dmitri pointed out, the legality of the position is out of question according to codex. Still waiting to Petko’s detailed comments.

shankar ram
shankar ram
December 9, 2013 06:43
Reply to  Vlaicu Crisan

Depends on how you define “move”.. whether it includes “capture”..?

petko petkov
petko petkov
December 9, 2013 10:19

In my opinion Vlaicu`s problem №445 should be analyzed and discussed according to two main criteria: 1. Legality of the position that we see printedon the website; 2. Aesthetic value of the twin – position “b” (with a black pawn on e8) / if, under some additional conditions, this pawn is legal(acceptable).
I would like to start with a small introduction. In 2010 I’ve published in the magazine “Mat PLUS REVIVE” № 13-14 (Spring – Summer) a detailed article (from page 31 to page 50) on the theme: ” TAKE&MAKE CHESS – BEAUTY AND DYNAMICS!” (Dedicated to my friend Dr. Hartmut Laue)
This article started by me in 2006 – after the first Take&Make T.T. in Andernach – 2006 (the initial idea for Take&Make was born in 2005) was written with an active help of Dr. Hartmut Laue (the discoverer of TAKE&MAKE) who has verified and approved all the text and definitions in the article (with an E-Mail from January, 21, 2010) before its publication.
Here is a quotation from the introduction of my article (page 31 of MP-2010, introduction): “….I have received much interesting material for his invention; important was our contact from the creative and theoretical points of view. Dr. Laue is a professor of mathematics and it is not necessary to prove that such persons mainly love logic and global harmony in all spheres of our life…”
Later I will cite some more texts and definitions from that article.

1. Legality of the position

Obviously, the problem №445 by Vlaicu is illegal – the pawn e8 (in position b) is unacceptable according to the classical definition of theTake&Make”. Therefore the problem №445 is not correct!
I quote this definition, which is published on page 32 (“Mat PLUS REVIVE” № 13-14/2010) of my article: ” Having captured, a unit must immediately, as part of its move, play a non-capturing move in imitation of the 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. In this case promotion to any piece is obligatory – in other words, the Pawn cannot remain on the promotion rank as Pawn. Also, a capturing Pawn cannot shift to its 1st rank. Castling with a capturing Rook which after it Take&Make moves arrive on a1,h1 (resp. a8/h8) is not permitted. Checks and mates are as in normal chess: after the notional capture of the checked (or mated) King, the checkin unit does not move away from the King`s square”.
I repeat – this definition was approved by the inventor Dr. Laue yet in January 2010. On this basis, I consider this definition as the only proper definition of Take&Make condition in its classic form. Any possible violation of the rules in the definition in a problem should be assessed as big mistake, which automatically leads to incorrectness of the problem!
But here we’re faced a very unpleasant, though well known situation. Popeye 4,63 accepts position (b) (with pawn of e8) as a “legal position” and solves the problem with C+ score! Probably on this basis, the author considers his problem as correct and puts C + after its solution!
But it is not difficult to understand that this C+ is the result of a simple program error (bug)!
The evidence of this statement is very simple. View a very simple example – Diagram A. Popeye 4,63 accepts this position as a “legal” (a grave mistake because of the Pawn a8!) but shows no solution! Why? The answer is simple – because the program, according to the classical definition of the Take&Make, does not allow the move 1. Pxf5-Pc8?? (the pawn can not be sent to its first line!!) with a final 1…Qb6#.

[imgcomment image[/img]

But, attention! The programs Popeye 4,61 and Popeye 4,59 and even WinChloe 3,24 show the same mistake!! Many years this error is repeated in a series of versions! Of course, the programs implemented a classical (Laue) Take&Make shall not allow any black or white pawns of their first ranks through the preliminary indication “Illegal position”!
No retro analysis is needed here! If we have in Take&Make a Pawn on its 1st row it is sufficient to signal “Illegal position” and to stop the solving by a program! Because the program can not work against the principles of the definition explicitly saying: “… A capturing Pawn cannot shift to its 1st rank!”
The same wrong is also a view that, the presence of immovable pawns on their first line is a “technical element” that should be accepted! (??)I’ve never heard of “technical elements” (for example – pawns) in chess problems which contravene to their conditions! Therefore no any Code is needed here and no any retro-analysis is required also!
But the position of Vlaicu`s № 445 is not only illegal. This position we cannot test with Popeye or WinChloe, because all these programs allow static pawns on their first line, but in the process of the play does not allow a shift of such pawns from their first lines! It is sufficient to say that at present the testsof Take&Make with these programs with static pawns on theirs 1st rows is not reliable! In another words, this is another reason to tell that the problem of Vlaicu is not C+ but C – according to Popeye!

Of course, there are ways to legalize the black pawn on e8 (in “b” twin) in the problem by Vlaicu. For example:
In WinChloe I’ve found two conditions for solving: 1. Take & Make – Pions autorisйs sur leur 1° rangйe (Taue&Make – Pawns on their first lines are allowed) ; 2. Un Pion est impuissant sur sa premiиre rangйe (A pawn is immovable on its first line) . Or we can write under diagram:
The Pawns on their first lines are allowed and immovable
In the the diagram В you see such a scheme:

[imgcomment image[/img]

The solution (according to WinChloe) is 1.fxg5(Pd8) Sc6 2.dxc6(Pb8) Rc6= (C+). Stalemate because the Pawns on b8/d8 are immovable.
In other words, Vlaicu`s problem we can publish this way:

[imgcomment image[/img]

As I’ve said, here it is an attempt of testing with WinChloe 3,24 using the additional conditions 1. Pions autorisйs sur leur 1° rangйe ; 2. Un Pion est impuissant sur sa premiиre rangйe. But my attempts to check the problem this way were unsuccessful. I am afraid that checking this problem is practically impossible due to the large number of moves here and because of the slow work of the program. Here I note this fact with the C-.

2. The aesthetic value of the problem

In my opinion, this question is the most important here. Why we use the additional condition “The Pawns on their first lines are allowed and immovable” here? The answer is – with the only goal to “legalize” the immovable pawn on “e8” in the twin “b”. This additional condition is totally unnecessary in the twin (a). It is also quite obvious that the pawn “e8” is placed on “e8” for the sole purpose – to block this field for the white king. Thus for the solver it is quite clear that in the process of the play he must place the white king on “d7” because there are no real grounds and opportunities for a King to go to another field.
I think that the use of a fairy condition with only a very modest goal – to put an immovable pawn on its first row – is a rough aesthetic mistake! Pay attention also, that such pawn in Take&Make is also uncapturable!
The additional condition “The Pawns on their first lines are allowed and immovable” would make aesthetical sense if only this condition manifests as a dynamic component in the content of the problem (as the solution in Scheme B).
According to this criteria, I think that the published problem of Vlaicu is aesthetically inferior. And here it does not matter whether it is C- or C+.
Therefore, I consider that the problem №445 by Vlaicu is only a great scheme that should be improved! Here the “legalization” of the very bad pawn on “e8” is not necessary – with all sorts of mechanical “tricks.” Here it is necessary to find another twin “b” without this pawn! I understand pretty well that it is very difficult, but the work under this wonderful scheme should be continued.
Of course, this is my subjective opinion, the author is not required to comply with me.

Paul Raican
Paul Raican
December 10, 2013 17:34
Reply to  petko petkov

About legality, St. Emmerson told me some months ago, that Take&Make could be combined with NormalPawn condition by Popeye. This means that a mobile white Pawn on the first rank (a mobile black Pawn on the eighth rank) is allowed (which is equivalent with Take&Make type Dupont). So, the above Diagram B, could have the stipulation hs+2.5 and the conditions Take&Make NormalPawn. In this case, the problem is C+ (Popeye) and we have the solution: 1…f6xg5-d8 2.Se5-c6 d7xc6-b8 3.Kb5-c6 b8-b7 + (or d8-d7+)

Vlaicu Crisan
Vlaicu Crisan
December 11, 2013 10:58
Reply to  petko petkov

Dear Petko,

Thank you very much for sharing with us your views. We all can learn a lot from your experiences and pertinent opinions. Undoubtedly you are the most prominent expert in fairies and your voice must be carefully listened to.

First of all, I must say that I totally agree with some of your conclusions! Let me state which of them:
a) The usage of a fairy condition only with a very modest goal is clearly a drawback and significantly reduces the value of the problem.
b) The value of the problem would increase in case the presentation of the theme is shown with two solutions instead of a twinning.

However, after careful thinking, I am slightly bothered by certain reasoning details, which will open the path to serious theoretical debates. Please answer to the following questions:

A. Is AntiCirce Calvet a single fairy condition?
In my opinion, it is just a single fairy condition. However, WinChloe implementation requests the user to enter two lines:
– AntiCirce
– Captures on rebirth square authorized
The same happens with Circe Strict – in Popeye we must enter a single fairy condition, while in WinChloe we must enter two fairy conditions. Therefore, the reason for having to enter two conditions in WinChloe is not a defect of the composer, but the implementation of fairy conditions in the software.

B. Are compositions featuring PWC and AntiKings (to give just two examples of fairy conditions) inferior due to illegal positions?
In PWC no piece can actually disappear. So the claim of illegality of a position can not be used as a serious argument against the artistic value problem – otherwise many compositions, including some WCCT winners, might be discarded based on this view.

Regarding 445, my opinion is that it uses ONLY Take&Make fairy condition, as implemented in Popeye. The Take&Make fairy condition implemented in Winchloe requests two conditions in Popeye (Take&Make and NormalPawn), while the Take&Make fairy condition implemented in Popeye requires two fairy conditions in WinChloe, as you rightly observed. But I think this is not a flaw of the problem itself, but a matter of the implementation of these fairy conditions in the software programs.

Since I honestly admit 445 can be improved, I would like to open the following challenge for Julia’s Fairies readers – as you have proposed in your last paragraph: I will accept anyone as co-author of this problem who is able to get to a better setting, without any blemishes (i.e. technical figures not active during the play and preferably in a two solutions form). It will be then up to the judge to decide which version he prefers.

shankar ram
shankar ram
December 9, 2013 16:55

Keeping a WSg2(instead of WP)..
with twin b)WSg2-e8 seems an obvious option..
But already tried by the author..?

Vlaicu Crisan
Vlaicu Crisan
December 11, 2013 10:17
Reply to  shankar ram

Dear Shankar Ram,

I did not try this option for one reason: I simply dislike technical figures with no active role in the play, which can be simply replaced by a pawn. I think wSg2 would therefore be a drawback.

shankar ram
shankar ram
December 11, 2013 10:43
Reply to  Vlaicu Crisan

Dear Vlaicu,

I agree.. but in this case it looks like you have to choose the lesser of two evils.. unless of course, you’re able to find a better twin..

By the way, I really love your HS#4(2nd Pr., PCCC-50 JT, 2010).. perfect setting..!

Vlaicu Crisan
Vlaicu Crisan
December 11, 2013 11:08
Reply to  shankar ram

Dear Shankar Ram,

Thank you very much for your appreciation. I was amazed to see your animated presentation of 445 – it clearly makes the problem look better than actually is!

I worked on 445 for about two months and struggled quite hard in order to find a suitable presentation form. In the end I took the decision which seemed more appropriate to my intimate conviction (i.e. usage of bP on e8 instead of a merely inactive figure used as a block). I ignore which is really the lesser of two evils, but would warmly appreciate to learn any opinions from more experienced composers.

BTW: The HS#4 – 2nd Prize PCCC-50 JT 2010 is also one of my favorite helpselfmates! It was probably the first time when I realized the immense potential of using rather heavy material in this genre without fearing of cooks. It seems unbelievable such a setting can be sound, and yet… Miracles exist!

shankar ram
shankar ram
December 13, 2013 06:31
Reply to  Vlaicu Crisan

Here’s a youtube video for the animation..
You can mute the music if you don’t it..
If you want to see it as a still image for each position, press pause and move the slider..
the video may look blurred if your internet bandwidth is low or varies.. try selecting “HD” or any other higher resolution by clicking on the gear icon..

shankar ram
shankar ram
December 13, 2013 06:32
Reply to  shankar ram

You can mute the music if you don’t _like_ it..

Vlaicu Crisan
Vlaicu Crisan
October 5, 2015 19:49
Reply to  shankar ram

Sorry for not providing earlier an answer to your question, Shankar Ram!

In a)wSg2 would lead to no solution, because black can play 4…Bxg2->e3 instead of 4…Rxf5->d4#
In b)wSe8 would lead to the dual 1… Bf3 2.Se2 Rxg6->f5/f7 3.Bxc5->b3+ Kxb3->d1 4.Kxd3->f2 Bxe2->d4# and to two other highly unexpected cooks:
1.Kb5 Sd7 2.Sb3 Rc5+ 3.Bxc5->c1 Kxb3->d4 4.Bb2+ Sxb2->a1/a3/c1/c3# with possible interversions
1.Rc8/Rd6 Rxc8/d6->d8 2.Sb3 Kxb3->d2 3.Bxc5->b3 b6 4.Qf4+ Sxf4->e3/f1/f2/f3/f5/f6/f7/f8/g3/g4/g5/h2#

shankar ram
shankar ram
October 6, 2015 11:37
Reply to  Vlaicu Crisan

Thanks Vlaicu!
Well, I thought after the party was over, and every one had gone home, only I and Peter were still arguing..!

Vlaicu Crisan
Vlaicu Crisan
October 7, 2015 00:02
Reply to  shankar ram

Unfortunately, none of Peter’s ideas work either: all the tremendous attempts have been cooked by the merciless silicon sailor. Even after 2 years, I still believe it is a real miracle the problem is eventually sound!

December 10, 2013 18:05

@ Paul,

Do you know which are the moving possibilities of a “normal pawn” on its first rank?

For example, a double step (or even a triple step as in Einstein chess!) seems not allowed, otherwise your hs+2.5 would have no solution. Is a double step allowed once b8-b7 or d8-d7 is played?

Paul Raican
Paul Raican
December 10, 2013 18:51
Reply to  dupont

@ Nicolas:
A Normal Pawn could move a double steep once b1-b2 is played. See the following illustrative problem:
White Kh7 Sf5 Pb1
Black Ra8 Pg7 Ke5 Pb4 Pd4 Sg4 Sb2 Be2
Stipulation ser-#13
Condition Take&MakeChess NormalPawn

Popeye Windows-32Bit v4.58 (1107 MB)

ser-#13 3 + 8

1.Kh7*g7-g5 2.Kg5*g4-f2 3.Kf2*e2-b5 4.Kb5*b4-b3 5.Kb3*b2-c4 6.b1-b2 7.b2-b4 8.b4-b5 9.b5-b6 10.b6-b7 11.b7*a8-g8=Q 12.Qg8-g6 13.Sf5*d4-d3 #

solution finished. Time = 8.008 s

December 10, 2013 19:50

Thanks Paul.

I mentionned above that “T&M type Dupont” should be equipped with the same rules than Circe Cage (concerning the possible moves of Pawns from their first row). It seems it is exactly in the same way that “Normal Pawns” are defined under Popeye. Or am I wrong?

S. K. Balasubramanian
S. K. Balasubramanian
December 13, 2013 05:02

Many may not be knowing that in my recent two prize winners, Vlaicu’s contribution was much. In Julia’s Fairies 2012 Award, I could get the 1st-2nd placing for my problem mainly because the co-author Vlaicu contributed much more than me and refined the problem. In the 3rd FIDE World Cup in Composing 2013, my problem could get 1st place because this No.445 by Vlaicu which was an entry to that tournament was rejected due to controversial twinning. It was just like in a cricket match a team A wins the match as the match between teams B & C is abandoned due to rain.

Now coming to No.445, it is very very unfortunate that such a complex strategy having such a highly rich play in every move could not get appropriate recognition because of controversial twinning. It is generally very very difficult to make a problem with such heavy materials sound. The first move by wQ is marvelous, an anticipatory guard to bK,s flight square which is revealed only at the end! Demolition of initial batteries and creation of new batteries for wK and also creation of royal batteries for bK are remarkable! Lastly, I would like to mention here that 6 out of 8 moves in each phase are T&M moves.

I don’t know whether twinning is legal or not. But I agree with Vlaicu that the legality should be ascertained with the actual definition of Take & Make and not by the software programs. Software only implements the conditions and solves the problems in the way the program is written. In Popeye some fairy conditions are not included, for example you cannot solve a problem with the condition Anticirce Clone with Popeye. It does not mean that Anticirce Clone is illegal. Probably (I am not very sure) Popeye & Winchole solves differently the problems in which both T&M and Anti T&M are conditions. So, if keeping bP initially on the 8th rank (or wP on 1st rank) is defined as illegal then the twinning in 445 is definitely illegal; otherwise it is perfectly OK. In a strict sense all fairy play are illegal, and we make things legal by defining illegal as legal! Even if fairy play with proper definition can be treated legal, problems with some of the fairy conditions can be proved always illegal; for example in PWC a captured piece reappears on the square vacated by the capturing piece. This means that in the board always all 32 pieces should remain, which is never the case in any problem with PWC.

However, in aesthetic sense, I definitely would have avoided this type of twinning, if possible. Probably Vlaicu must have tried and I think this poor twinning must have been his last choice.

I wish that the judge will ignore the blemish due to the controversial twin and give appropriate credit to such a wonderful problem.

shankar ram
shankar ram
December 13, 2013 06:21

Vlaicu has already asked for help in improving the twinning..
I’ve already thrown my hat into the ring with my WSg2, twin g2-e8 suggestion.. which he doesn’t agree with.. 🙁 🙂

Vlaicu Crisan
Vlaicu Crisan
December 13, 2013 12:27
Reply to  shankar ram

I will check your proposal and will let you know the outcome!

Hartmut Laue
Hartmut Laue
March 9, 2014 23:18

To not create a wrong impression: I find it great to which extent friends from all over the (fairy chess problem) world discuss the take&make condition. And I have seen ingenious take&make compositions of an unexpected depth. I warmly thank all friends who feel inspired by the idea and devote their time and creativity to it. This includes also attempts to consider modifications of the idea. Fairy chess lives without doubt on mental sprightliness, but exactly this requires on the other hand clearness of terminology, otherwise we will encounter hopeless confusion. As a matter of fact the take&make rules had been discussed and reflected for a whole year, also with others, before they were presented at Andernach, so they are not simply “a moment’s thought”. There is certainly room for differing ideas which may be reasonable and interesting. I see with pleasure that such ideas will be baptized differently, and this is the main request I have. Thank you for everyone’s interest and understanding!

Vlaicu Crisan
Vlaicu Crisan
March 10, 2014 11:17

I apologize for the inadequate comment I made in 5th December 2013. Indeed, mr. Hartmut Laue explicitly ruled out the possibility of pawns rebirth on 1st / 8th rank. This can be seen on Die Schwalbe website. My confusion comes from taking the definition from a different, later source without comparing with the original source.

In order to give a name to the definition of the fairy condition stipulated in the comment from 7th December 2013, I propose the name “Take&Make type 1st rank”. Please let me know if the proposed name is acceptable. Any other suggestions / amendments would be more than welcome!

peter harris
peter harris
July 18, 2015 20:46

About the much discussed problem: I have suggested to Vlaicu that a 2-solution problem may be possible if a Black Rook-Locust was placed on g8 and the pawns on g2 and h4 were removed. My computer is too slow to test whether this is sound. While a Fairy piece would be introduced it would make the problem conform to Take & Make and would avoid twinning.

shankar ram
shankar ram
July 18, 2015 22:17

Adding a fairy piece to this position, which has normal pieces only, would be OK.. only if the new piece could be thematically integrated into the existing solutions.. I think that would be a separate composing project by itself..!

peter harris
peter harris
July 19, 2015 10:14

Quote: “Adding a fairy piece to this position, which has normal pieces only, would be OK, only if the new piece could be thematically integrated into the existing solutions”

I do not believe that this is so. Where is it written so to distinguish between orthodox pieces and Fairy pieces? Strictures such as this suffocate and stifle. They can be looked upon as self-inflicted injuries to the cause of creativity. Are we living in a FairyWorld or not?

And so in the present case forgo the following benefits:

(i) there would be two solutions instead of a twin;

(ii) the RookLocust would be used horizontally in one solution and vertically in the other;

(iii) two pawns could come off the board;

(iv) and most of all, having to invent a new Condition would not be necessary.

[I think that it is aesthetic that the Fairy piece [the RookLocust] would be the only piece not to move].

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
July 19, 2015 19:44
Reply to  peter harris

-“…Strictures such as this suffocate and stifle…”-

It’s far from being clear what this should mean and to what it might refer, even in principle.
In this discussion, it looks as an inconsistent or contradictory statement.
It’s a self-orientated approach, “I’ll tell which strictures should be abandoned and which should be severely imposed”, without even trying to understand the dialectic of these strictures.

shankar ram
shankar ram
July 20, 2015 09:04

“..With great power comes great responsibility..?” 😉

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
July 20, 2015 11:58
Reply to  shankar ram

It is not only about morality, it is about knowing and caring of the source of “power”.
The principle of strictures gives the meaning and weight to a free creativity.

We should consider the case as though this was a very first fairy problem. So, there are only the orthodox chess rules and we start from this point/moment.
Vlaicu says “I’ve invented “Crisan chess”, here are the rules”.
We ask about how to treat the Pawns and he explaines:
1) when they come to 1st rank of their own side, they stay there immobile
“OK, it looks reasonable and cute but what might be so interesting to make us bother with these rules?”
“Look at the complex idea which could be convincingly presented thanks to these rules”
Then Vlaicu presents the beauty which we shall call a “fairy problem”. And there’s no convincing reason to complain about bPe8. After all, the completeness of “Crisan chess” itself, asks for defining some special treatment of the Pawns.

Vlaicu could define a different special treatment of a Pawn:
2) it may never come to 1st rank of its own side
Now, the realization of the same idea requires some technical tool to achieve correctness and Vlaicu invents a new piece, naming it “Locust”.
And again we see the same beauty but that new piece is obviously not mandatory for “Crisan chess” and not even for the thematic content.
So, Shankar Ram says: “The modified rules are convincingly used for the content and in such cases we may accept the concept of “fairy chess”. However, that new piece is obviously a mere tool to compensate for a lack of composing skills&imagination. If we accept that, it would be unfair towards the orthodox composers who can’t use even a legally promoted piece. We have to establish some principles of EQUIVALENCE between the orthodox and the “fairy” chess. Present us a convincingly thematic role for your “Locust”, as you’ve presented for your “Crisan chess”. ”

And that’s the ground for exploring and developing within the realm of chess composition.
Abandoning the principles of equivalence would disqualify the “fairies” within the chess realm.

July 20, 2015 12:10

“Where is it written so to distinguish between orthodox pieces and Fairy pieces? Strictures such as this suffocate and stifle.” >>>>
Actually most of the rules of Fairy chess are not written in the WFCC rule books. (As Kevin Begley used to say, even what is Fairy chess is not codified). So everything is merely general opinion. It is upto the individual composer to decide what to accept. But when others express their view, it is not fair to criticize it as “stifling”.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
July 20, 2015 14:24

I’m afraid that any codification of fairies would soon result with a need of “super-fairies”, then “ultra-super-fairies” and so on 🙂

July 20, 2015 14:26
Reply to  Nikola Predrag


peter harris
peter harris
July 25, 2015 11:17

Amongst the Fairy conditions listed in Popeye is Hole. This is a square that cannot be entered or passed through.

[Also listed is HaanerChess: when a piece moves, its square of departure becomes a Hole. I have made a fair number of problems with Holes and with HaanerChess].

With Vlaicu’s problem if the Hole condition was added with Holes at e4e5e7e8g2g3 then:

5 pawns could be removed – e4e5e7g2h4

there would no need to make a new T&M variant and

there would be 2 solutions – not a twin.

I do not know whether someone would say that the Holes are not thematic (!) or whether someone would ask: What about the principle of EQUIVALENCE? (!)

On the other hand Vlaicu might have some other objection – this would be his prerogative as creator.

[I think that 3 pairs of Holes would look rather nice].

We do not used our imagination enough – or make use of all that the FairyWorld offers – often for spurious reasons.

Vlaicu Crisan
Vlaicu Crisan
July 25, 2015 15:18

That’s definitely an interesting possibility! I also considered using Holes instead of pawns, but during the creation process (which took several months) I made the [tough] decision to use other fairy conditions/pieces only as a last resort. From the beginning my aim was that all figures must play an active role in both phases and would like to preserve this constraint.

In the end, I failed to use the genuine Take&Make fairy condition as defined by its creator. Would the problem have been better with “normal” Take&Make and using additional Holes? I can’t answer this question!

My reasoning at that time was that the lesser of two evils is to define a slightly altered version of an existent fairy condition. It happened not once in the past: just think of Isardam, AntiCirce and Singlebox – just to name a few. Some people would consider this compromise as acceptable, others won’t.

What I can say, months after publishing the problem, is that I am still happy with the composition, knowing all the challenges I met while checking its soundness. However I would be very glad to accept any improvement thoroughly tested by any other composer. But, please, if possible, try to keep in mind the constraint I have imposed myself.

shankar ram
shankar ram
July 25, 2015 16:48

“..I also considered using Holes..”
Et tu, Vlaicu? 😉

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
July 25, 2015 19:43

The principle of equivalence means the rules equal for all under the same roof.
I know that it’s only very human to twist the interpretation of rules for one’s own advantage.
Some would agree with it. Not me, my personal taste prefers fairness. Fairy chess may abandon sharing the same roof with chess, it just should be announced.

Introducing the holes for technical reasons is not worth commenting under the chess-roof.

peter harris
peter harris
July 26, 2015 21:27

It is good if an idea is shown in its very essence – without distractions – distractions that distract from beauty.

With this problem the 8 pawns could be said to be distractions – in the sense that whereas they COULD move or capture, they do not in fact do so [in the play] – so it would be nice if they weren’t there.

I did ask myself the question, when I considered using the Hole condition whether ALL the pawns could be removed but on looking at the diagram I saw the wPa4 – it was there I thought to guard b5 and b5 couldn’t be a Hole because the bK passes over it when it moves from b2 to b6. So while the bPa5b7 could be Holes a solitary (w)P would remain. – spoiling things.

But for some reason this afternoon I decided to look again.

And lo! I saw that the wPa4 serves no purpose – it can be removed!

Now if ALL pawns can be removed it changes everything – there would be a PAWNLESS diagram. That fact that the Holes fix the e8 problem and make 2 solutions would be incidental benefits.

So: remove ALL pawns and have Holes a5b7e4e5e7g2g3.

The Holes would make a skeleton, a framework, a stage, for all the beautiful and extraordinary play.

It is good if an idea is shown in its very essence – without distractions – distractions that distract from beauty.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
July 26, 2015 22:34
Reply to  peter harris

Should that mean that many complex orthodox problems constructed with the extraordinary skill and imagination, on the edge of what is possible, are very ugly because of too many pieces?

To achieve a visual beauty, it’s better to paint a picture than to print a diagram.

peter harris
peter harris
July 27, 2015 16:33

I find the concept of having only the 12 active / thematic pieces on the board greatly appealing.

By way of analogy:

When the curtain goes up, the theatre audience will see on the stage the 12 actors all of whom will move about and take part in the drama. There will not be 8 additional personae standing stock-still, never moving – just occupying space.

[Had I written the drama – which I have not half the skill enough to do – I would have presented it without the 8 dead-beats – in the manner I suggested].

What can I say about the following incomprehensible comments?

(i) Should that mean that many complex orthodox problems constructed with the extraordinary skill and imagination, on the edge of what is possible, are very ugly because of too many pieces?
(ii) To achieve a visual beauty, it’s better to paint a picture than to print a diagram.

I repeat: I find the concept of having only the 12 active / thematic pieces on the board greatly appealing.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
July 27, 2015 20:29
Reply to  peter harris

I find very many things greatly appealing, but I surely won’t try to force their way into chess composition.

Many orthodox problems could be more appealing with holes or whatever instead of many pieces.
However, then they wouldn’t be orthodox any more but FairyOrthodox.

A fairy problem with the additional technical fairy stuff would similarly become FairyFairy 🙂

I might consider the concept of FairyOrthodox for the sake
of the equivalence.

shankar ram
shankar ram
July 27, 2015 17:28

Dear Peter,
Your comparing with theatre is my cue for quoting Michael Lipton!
…from the epilogue of “Chess Problems: Introduction to an Art”.
“..It might help, for once, to try to say what possibly can’t be said clearly: to outline what marks off the highest, most moving sort of experience of the arts. Two things seem to be needed. First, one must fully understand – follow with the brain, and feel with the stomach – what the artist is expressing, and also the link between this and the way he chooses to express it. Second, there is – linked to the understanding – joy. Of course lots of experiences provide joy – some intenser than others. So it must be the process of understanding which marks off enjoyment of the arts from other sorts of human action.
This process is the appreciation of _economy_. Form and content, if perfectly matched, make one feel that there is absolutely no waste: the subject has been painted, the mood captured, the experience conveyed, the character drawn with complete economy. Art is the arrangement of means (paint, words, notes, chessmen) such that they convey ends (subjects, experiences, themes) with no more use of means than is needed. The joy comes from being pleasantly surprised: suddenly you understand how much a great artist can do with very little..”

With regard to economy, I would think, in today’s fairy chess scene, that the number of different _conditions_ used in a problem should be considered.

peter harris
peter harris
July 28, 2015 03:10

Dear Shankar,

The quotation you give cannot be used as a refutation of my suggestion.

Here are 4 more extracts from Chess Problems: Introduction to an Art that are more pertinent to the matter in hand:

(1) Great composers – in chess problems as well as in music – breakdown conventions by showing masterpieces can be made without them. That is, great works change the standards for judging an art form.

(2) A chess problem, if it is any good, has something to say, says it clearly and without fuss ……. There is no wasted force: every pawn has a purpose, preferably several purposes.

(3) Related to economy are clarity and unity. A clear idea ……..saves the solvers time and avoids distractions.

(4) …. what are the standards of economy? The most obvious is economy of force. ….Economy of aim means that ideas should be shown clearly, unclouded by other elements. …

[The extracts are worth reading twice].

In the present case the use of an additional condition would achieve the following:

(i) removal of 8 pawns.

(ii) removal of the distraction caused by them

(iii) thus improving clarity

(iv) give two solutions instead of having a not so pretty twin

(v) avoid the need to create a new condition – being a variant.

So Shankar, there are 2 questions:

(i) do the above 5 benefits justify the use of an additional condition?

(ii) what would solvers prefer to see?

[Of course the number of conditions used in a problem should be considered – and justified].

peter harris
peter harris
July 28, 2015 21:03

Vlaicu my dear fellow,

I hope the following works.

(1) Remove wPa4 [Do you agree that this is redundant?]

(2) Remove bPh4

(3) Change bPe7 > wPe7

(4) Add nPf7

(4) Twin: f7 > h2

The new problem will be the above changes with the board rotated 180 degrees.

It would be a stroke of luck if the above works – luck that deserted you at the very last hurdle of your magnificent conception.


peter harris
peter harris
July 28, 2015 21:35

The n in (4) should be a b

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