Julia's Fairies

No.529 (RK)

Rainer Kuhn (Germany)

Warm welcome to Rainer in Original problems section of JF!


Original Problems, Julia’s Fairies – 2014 (I): January – April

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No.529 by Rainer Kuhn  – Welcome to a new author with a nice Tanagra problem with two fairy conditions!  (JV)

Added by author’s request, after comments, 20.04.2014: In this problem the Mirror-Circe rebirth is first before Take&Make movements, so the problem is C+ by WinChloe where the priority is given to Mirror-Circe and has no solutions by Popeye where the priority is given to Take&Make.


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.

Mirror Circe: Like Circé, but the rebirth square of a piece is the square occupied at the beginning of an orthodox game by a piece of the same kind and of the other side. Related to the square they occupied before the rebirth:

  • Rooks, Bishops and Knights are reborn on the square of the same color.
  • Pawns (including fairy Pawns) are reborn on the same file.
  • Other fairy pieces are reborn on the same file and on the promotion rank of the other side.

No.529 Rainer Kuhn
original – 17.04.2014
529-h#4-rkh#4                                              (2+3)
Take & Make
Solution: (click to show/hide)

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Geoff Foster
Geoff Foster
April 19, 2014 00:48

The stipulation “h~1” (any helpmove) is very useful when Popeye does not give the expected result. The following code uses the position after the third move of both sides.

stipulation h~1
white kc8 ba6
black ka8 bf1 bg1
condition Take&Make MirrorCirce

One of the sequences of moves returned by this code is as follows:

1.Bg1-a7 Ba6*f1-g2[+bBf1] +

On White’s move, the entire Take&Make move is done, then the bB is reborn on f1, so it is not mate. WinChloe uses a different priority when Take&Make is combined with a Circe condition. In WinChloe, when a piece is captured it is reborn before the “make” part of the Take&Make move (in this case after 4…Bxf1 the wB is on f1, so the bB cannot be reborn there, then the wBf1 “makes” to g2).

Rainer Kuhn
Rainer Kuhn
April 19, 2014 20:06
Reply to  Geoff Foster

I see, but what is the right interpretation when Take&Make and MirrorCirce are used.
Now I remember, that I had read about this behavior before: See: http://kobulchess.com/en/tournaments/awards/367-bulgarian-wine-tourney.html
But what is right? I cannot say it.

Georgy Evseev
Georgy Evseev
April 19, 2014 21:13
Reply to  Rainer Kuhn

I consider that there are two possibilities:

1. Mirror-Circe+Take & Make
2. Take & Make+Mirror-Circe

which give sometimes different effects. So these rules are not commutative.

I was thinking about similar situation when there was a thematic tourney for Take&Make+Anti Take&Make (by Dyan Kostadinov, IIRC). I tried to compose a problem with twins where the order of conditions is changed. Unfortunately, I was not able to produce something reasonable in time and then dropped the idea.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
April 20, 2014 02:50
Reply to  Georgy Evseev

Now Georgy when you mention it, here’s a quiz-question for those who didn’t see the award:
Guess who produced something reasonable with changed order of conditions for that tourney? (only one guess for each visitor)

Georgy Evseev
Georgy Evseev
April 20, 2014 13:48
Reply to  Nikola Predrag

This is my big failure. I did not look through tourney results very thoroughly and alltogether missed the fact that such problems were really composed.

Kjell Widlert
Kjell Widlert
April 19, 2014 22:59
Reply to  Rainer Kuhn

Georgy, Nicolas and Thomas have answered indirectly, but to answer explicitly:
There is (of course) nothing right or wrong here, there is no strong reason why the T&M “make” part must take place before the Circe rebirth part of the move, or the other way around. Both are valid forms of fairy chess.
Ideally, solving programs should implement all possible combinations of two rules and let the user somehow indicate which rules are valid in a particular problem – but it is hard to devise a general solution to this, as there are many fairy conditions that clash with each other in many different ways.
To let the user indicate that fairy condition A has priority over fairy condition B will solve some clashes (such as the one in this problem), but will not solve all clashes. And of course – it mat not always be practicable to build both possibilities into the same program.

shankar ram
shankar ram
April 23, 2014 15:25
Reply to  Julia

Re: thread hierarchy..
seems a bit misleading.. one has to post under a specific earlier post to ensure it comes earlier..
maybe better to have a “flat” hierarchy where all posts are ordered strictly by date/time.. reference to other posts can be made by quoting..

April 19, 2014 14:20

I feel uncomfortable while reading that a problem is “C+”, although the condition has not been specifically programmed. And indeed this is the case for the mixed condition T&M + Circe, as Christian Poisson told me.

Here WinChloe is mainly working by itself, and hence the result might not be considered as “official”, which is, more or less, the meaning of “C+”.

Suppose that a solving program interprets another mixed condition in a completely foolish way (it might happen), would it be reasonable in such a case to use the strong symbol “C+”?

Thomas Maeder
Thomas Maeder
April 19, 2014 19:10

Which means that “C+” shouldn’t be considered a strong symbol.

I tend to interpret it as: “somebody says that
a) (s)he has used a computer program in order to attempt to find out whether the problem is correct
b) the program didn’t indicate that it isn’t.”

This saves me from disappointments 🙂

Geoff Foster
Geoff Foster
April 21, 2014 02:08
Reply to  Thomas Maeder

Julia asked why solving programs can’t allow the user to specify the priority of fairy conditions i.e. solving fairy conditions in the order they are mentioned in the notation. This has been suggested before, but it would be a huge amount of work. The Popeye programmers (who do the work in their spare time and are not paid) would have to have an intimate knowledge of every fairy condition and how those fairy conditions could possibly interact. As Kjell said, there are many fairy conditions that clash with each other in many different ways. The programmers would also have to understand the workings of practically the entire Popeye program (programmers who work for a company usually only have to understand a small part of the program they are modifying). If the Popeye team tried to allow the user to set the priority of fairy conditions then they would be “making a rod for their own back”, because after doing a huge amount of unpaid work they would then receive complaints, from users who try combinations of fairy conditions that the programmers had never even thought of (and certainly never tested).

However, possibly Popeye could implement certain specified combinations? For example, perhaps there could be options “Priority_TakeMake_Circe” and “Priority_Circe_TakeMake”? This would just involve modifying the Popeye code for Take&Make and all Circe conditions, which however is still a very big job.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
April 21, 2014 02:58

Anyone may invent a new condition and insist on quick implementation in the solving programs. What can, even a most willing programmer do?
To ask for a seemingly precise definition and do the work. But is that definition absolutely precise? If it is indeed absolute, there would be no ambiguities in possible combinations with other conditions.

Had the inventor defined T&M absolutely? If yes, there’s nothing to discuss about!
If not, the programmers can only apply the commonly accepted default way of combining any conditions.
Is there such a default procedure?

I don’t know it, so I can only speculate:
1. First execute separately and completely Take AND Make. Then the other condition (Circe rebirth)
2. First execute separately and completely Circe, it seems absurd before the capture takes place
3. First execute only Take (capture), then Circe (rebirth, if possible), then Make. Thus, Circe is interpolated between Take part and Make part.
This is actually a new condition: Circe-take&Make with a sequence Take+Circe+Make
2nd option might actually be treated the same way, first Circe (whenever a capture occurs), then the other condition. This still means the interpolation.

Does the inventor’s definition allow any interpolation between Take part and Make part?

What would be a default procedure?
A sequence of conditions (each separately completed), or a mixed sequence of partial effects of various conditions?

Completeness/integrity of some condition would disallow any interpolations. This might be a default principle, otherwise that condition would loose its genuine specific character.

How would such default treat T&M+AntiT&M?
Capture is a common part of both conditions but whatever condition would execute the Make part first, it would be interpolated before the Make part of the other condition.

Default meaning of T&M+AntiT&M would allow simultaneous Make part of both conditions, even the moves of both pieces together across the same squares at the same time. This seems as the most plausible consequence of the peculiar AntiTake&Make condition.

Kenneth Solja
Kenneth Solja
April 22, 2014 16:54

Popeye doesn’t find any solution here in helpplay in four moves and I understand why ..

Neal Turner
Neal Turner
April 22, 2014 21:46

All this begs the question of why composers feel compelled to use multiple conditions in the first place.
Some would say that orthodox Chess is just one ‘condition’ among the infinite possibilities, and yet hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of problems have been made with those rules over centuries and still new ideas are being found.
If a new condition has any merit then it should be worth exploring in and of itself without the need to bring in extra conditions.
Or am I just old-fashioned?

April 22, 2014 22:27
Reply to  Neal Turner

Sometimes some questions are better left unasked, no matter how insistently “all this” might beg.
An old-fashioned bystander might enquire what possesses someone to compose selfmates with fairy condition SAT AND with royal Grasshoppers, while there were probably hundreds of thousands of problems waiting to be composed with SAT rules without bringing fairy pieces into that.

Neal Turner
Neal Turner
April 23, 2014 10:44
Reply to  Eric

Well it’s true that SAT has been under-explored and we don’t have hundreds of thousands of examples, but we do have hundreds of examples – enough to show that that the orthodox king isn’t well suited to the condition.
This probably accounts for it’s lack of popularity.
In an up-coming article I attempt to show that the rG isn’t just some random element thrown into mix, but combined with SAT forms an exciting new synthesis taking SAT in a completely new direction.
One can make SAT+rG problems and still be old-fashioned!

April 23, 2014 21:21
Reply to  Neal Turner

I agree with you about the suitability of rG with SAT and I look forward to reading your article. However I don’t think many old-fashioned composers are interested in this mix.
For Rainer Kuhn and other composers, maybe Mirror-Circe and Take&Make is an exciting new synthesis that will revive the interest for Mirror-Circe: who could say?

shankar ram
shankar ram
April 23, 2014 08:25
Reply to  Neal Turner

Hear hear..!
I too get the same feeling..
But this seems to be the latest trend.. fashion..
So.. yes.. maybe it is “old-fashioned” to think otherwise..
Obviously, the development of programs like popeye, winchloe and alybadix has fuelled this trend.. especially after they started supporting more and more combinations of conditions..
So.. composers were emboldened to try their hand at more weird and exotic combinations of conditions..
If the final result.. in terms of content, is substantial enough, then such combinations may be justified.. but then, again.. this is a subjective matter..
While we are on the topic, may I express another “old-fashioned” opinion..? — I think there are too many tourneys..! 😉

Kjell Widlert
Kjell Widlert
April 24, 2014 21:43
Reply to  shankar ram

Too many tourneys? Interesting question!

In several ways, I must agree:
There are so many tourneys that one cannot take part in all the interesting ones. And there is not enough time to study all the results. And composing for thematic tourneys means that you compose similar things to many other composers, instead of producing your own, totally original masterworks. Which deprives our magazines of good originals. And the great number of tourneys means there is an inflation of prizes.

,,, but on the other hand: Tourneys stimulate composition (instead of watching TV). And thematic tourneys can make you try things (themes or fairy forms) that you otherwise would never have tried, and which may suit you perfectly. (Many many years ago, a TT got me started with neutrals, and they’ve been with me ever since!) And tourneys sometimes give you the warm feeling of success and recognition by others!

So the jury is still out on this question, I believe. I’ll just keep on composing what I want, tourney or not!

Bartel Erich
Bartel Erich
September 4, 2015 21:07

to the question “priority of condition” this already
some ten years ago it was a question, see–>

Bartel Erich
Bartel Erich
September 5, 2015 07:03
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