Julia's Fairies

No.453 (PH)

Peter Harris (South Africa)


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

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No.453 by Peter Harris – A dance of 8 pieces around the both Kings finishes with 2 different selfmates! A problem is C+ by the old Popeye version 4.47, but have cooks in Py 4.59, 4.61 (Py 4.63 doesn’t solve Chameleon Chess, so can’t be used at all). See author’s comment about the differences in the solutions!

Same as in previous Peter’s problems there’s Chameleon Chess condition which is implemented differently in Popeye and in WinChloe, so please take into consideration that here is Popeye‘s (and also the inventor’s) version. (JV)


Chameleon Chess: All pieces on the board which are displayed as orthodox Q, R, B, S, are Chameleons. A Pawn can promote only in Chameleon-pieces.
Here I’d like to mention that this interpretation works in Popeye‘s versions till 4.61, and doesn’t work in the last version, 4.63 because of the bug which is going to be corrected in the next version.
Also, WinChloe has a different interpretation of Chameleon Chess, where orthodox pieces on the board don’t turn into Chameleons, but a pawn promotes into Chameleon piece. I’d like to offer you a little explanation with examples about WinChloe’s interpretation of Chameleon Chess and Promotion into Chameleon Allowed kindly provided by Christian Poisson.

Chameleon: On completing a move, a Chameleon (from classical standard type) changes into another piece, in the sequence Q-S-B-R-Q… Promotion may be to a Chameleon at any stage in the cycle if any Chameleon piece is presented on the board.

Anti-Circe: =Anti-Circe Calvet (the default type): After a capture the capturing piece (Ks included) must immediately be removed to its game array square (necessarily vacant, else the capture is illegal). Captures on the rebirth square are allowed. Game array squares are determined as in Circe.

Isardam: Any move, including capture of the King, is Isardam illegal if a Madrasi-type paralysis would result from it.

Madrasi: Units, other than Kings, are paralysed when they attack each other. Paralysed units cannot move, capture or give check, their only power being that of causing paralysis.

No.453 Peter Harris
South Africa
original – 09.12.2013
Dedicated to Vlaicu Crisan.
hs#3              2 solutions             (5+5)
Chameleon Chess
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Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
December 9, 2013 23:08

Quite simply: I don’t see the consistency of these rules!
But that’s probably my personal failure.

Georgy Evseev
Georgy Evseev
December 10, 2013 06:37
Reply to  Nikola Predrag

Well, it looks for me more like a program bug than a rule. In case of Anticirce-like conditions I generally use the rule of thumb: the move is illegal if it cannot be finished. And quite opposite logic is declared here.

Kjell Widlert
Kjell Widlert
December 10, 2013 23:08
Reply to  Georgy Evseev

Yes, this interpretation of AntiCirce + Chameleons is very strange.

It violates the basic AntiCirce rule that rebirth is mandatory: 3. – Ba1=R should not be a defence, so 4.Bxe5=R with no rebirth must be possible (also White cannot save his king with 4.Kc5 in the first solution or 4.Ke3 in the second although d8/h8 are occupied, so again rebirth does not seem mandatory).

Furthermore, this interpretation makes the remaining rule about rebirth squares completely arbitrary: occupying d8 stops bQxd4, not because Black is to be reborn there and rebirth is mandatory, as in normal AntiCirce (at least in the Calvet variety), but because … of no compelling reason at all! It’s just because the rule says so, the rule could just as well have been that b7 has to be empty for the bQ to capture.

So to me too, this interpretation looks more like a bug than a feature.

peter harris
peter harris
December 10, 2013 02:30

Alas! Upon using Chameleon pieces instead of the ChameleonChess condition many cooks appear.

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