Julia's Fairies

No.457 (SD)

Stephan Dietrich (Germany)


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

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

No.457 by Stephan Dietrich – Probably, a new invention in this well known matrix?! (JV)


Poseidon (PO): The Marine King is named “Poseidon”. The Poseidon moves like a King when not capturing, and captures adjacent pieces like a Locust.

PWC: When a capture is made, the captured unit (except a King) is replaced on the square the capturing unit just leaves. A Pawn is immovable on its 1st rank.

Grid Chess: The board is divided not only into its usual 64 squares, but also into 16 larger squares consisting of 4 normal squares each. All moves by both sides must cross at least one line of the grid. Illegal are all settings with white or black King on the squares ‘a1’, ‘h1’, ‘a8’ and ‘h8’.

No.457 Stephan Dietrich
Dedicated to Julia & “Laima”
hs#5                                             (2+2)
Grid Chess
Poseidons: a8, c8
Solution: (click to show/hide)

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December 21, 2013 18:53

Amazing discovery in this famous position ! Beautiful ZZ finale !!

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
December 21, 2013 21:22

-“Illegal are all settings with white or black King on the squares ‘a1’, ‘h1’, ‘a8’ and ‘h8’.”-

Should it be applied to all Royal pieces, including PO or the opposite: orthodox Kings are allowed on these squares in some cases (like T&M).

December 22, 2013 05:30
Reply to  Nikola Predrag

I am sure such a restriction of Kings on corner being illegal applies only to orthodox Kings as they could not have moved there from the adjacent square. I am sure that Royal pieces esp. PO do not have such issues.

Cornel Pacurar
December 22, 2013 08:05
Reply to  Nikola Predrag

RE: ”Illegal are all settings with white or black King on the squares ‘a1’, ‘h1’, ‘a8’ and ‘h8’”

Says who?!

Just as an example, Fabel was not shy in composing a Grid Chess selfmate in 11 with black king at a8 and white king at h1, and Darvall and Kemp were also not shy in awarding the problem a Honorable Mention in the 14th FCR TT (tourney in memory of T. R. Dawson, The Fairy Chess Review, February 1954).

Complaining about the so-called “legality” of a fairy diagram position has always seemed to me to be both fallacious and irrelevant, for so many reasons.

How did a King got to a8 in a Grid Chess diagram position? Simply: the author of the problem has put it there!

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
December 22, 2013 12:23

My question was mainly about orthodox Kings in case of Grid chess+Take&Make, or other fairy conditions where a capturing unit is transferred.

Legality of diagram looks not very important in fairies and often it’s not fully required (e.g. WCCT). But it should not be too easily completely abandoned. The author can’t violate the rules during the solution by putting the pieces where he wants and the diagram also should not violate these rules. The “home square” of each piece or “game array” could be of course variously defined but then the rebirths should follow the same rules.
The author might declare that the diagram is actually a “game array” position in his problem, then Circe would automatically mean Diagram Circe and Pawns would promote only into pieces present on the diagram.
Consistency of the rules is required, at least up to some conventional degree.

Cornel Pacurar
December 22, 2013 17:43

What rules are you referring to in relation to the legality of diagram positions for compositions that do not apply the FIDE rules? There is just one rule, as open for interpretation as it is! “Retroanalysis […] does not apply to fairy compositions unless it is essential to the content of the composition.”

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
December 22, 2013 18:50

That all depends on coventions and they could be changed just as they were created. Any content might be a matter of retroanalysis.

Cornel Pacurar
December 23, 2013 01:10

Under those conventions, most if not all of the not-so-many fairy compositions for which retroanalysis is really essential to their content customarily belong to the Retros sections, do they not?! For the vast remaining majority of fairy compositions, retroanalysis does not necessarily apply. As you said, “consistency of the rules is required, at least up to some conventional degree”. Ultra-purists unwilling to follow current Codex conventions or to objectively define the key terms “essential” or “content” should have bigger reasons to worry about than Grid Chess king-in-the-corner or, let’s say, Hamster-at-the-edge-of-the-board (in the absence of certain helpful fairy conditions, that is) diagram positions. They should start by articulating their arguments and defining their position about the “legality” of numerous compositions employing an array of fairy conditions, starting with but not limited to AntiKings and PWC. Until then, in the absence of better unanimously accepted rules, I really have no problem sticking with illustrious predecessors in the Retros and Fairy fields, like Fabel and Kemp!

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