Julia's Fairies

No.556 (JV)

Julia Vysotska


Original Problems, Julia’s Fairies – 2014 (II): May – August

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No.556 by Julia Vysotska – My lovely Chameleons again, but this time in Anti-Circe problem! The main thing is thematic mating finals created with a pairs of neutral Chameleons.

Attention: this problem is C+ by Popeye only as Anti-Circe for Chameleons works differently in WinChloe. Popeye for game-array square of Chameleon piece uses Chameleon‘s current phase; while WinChloe considers Chameleon as any other fairy piece with a promotion square of the file of capture. (JV)


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.

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.

Circe: Captured units (not Ks) reappear on their game-array squares, of the same colour in the case of pieces, on the file of capture in the case of pawns, and on the promotion square of the file of capture in the case of fairy pieces. If the rebirth square is occupied the capture is normal.

No.556 Julia Vysotska
original – 15.06.2014
556-h#2-jvh#2               b) Be8?f6         (3+5+2)
Neutral Chameleons: Qb6, Qc3
Solutions: (click to show/hide)

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June 16, 2014 14:30

Excellent idea to produce different mates with neutral pieces without double check. The chameleon and anticirce are both nicely used for blocking and making captures unavailable. Liked it very much! Keep going Julia !

peter harris
peter harris
June 21, 2014 00:08

The play and final positions are very nice – but not the starts!

The bBe8 in (a) just sits there and in (b) it is just fodder. It would be better to have the following version:

replace bPc7 with a wS
remove the bBe8
and have the twin: move g6 to f6.

peter harris
peter harris
June 22, 2014 12:43

Dear Julia,
What I did not say in my previous post was that having a big fat Bishop [BFB] sitting on e8 doing nothing but occupying it and then being moved to f6 to for the sole purpose of having something there to be captured is U-G-L-Y. If you do not agree that it is so, then I guess that is the end of the matter!

The following should be noted:

the S does perform a function in (b) – doing the work of the bP it replaced. So it has a dual function.

it is in fact the BFB that is unnecessary in (b). It could be removed from the board.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
June 22, 2014 13:37

It is a helpmate and a white officer should function as a white officer in all phases. A function of a mere stone is heavily disgraceful for a white officer. Unacceptable for this content.

Black pieces are not that easily “offended” but still some basic “politeness” is expected. bBe8 is indeed ugly, for the mentioned reasons, and I would say that the nice idea is not realized good enough.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
June 22, 2014 18:47

This is much better in the essence. In one phase there could be a stone on e8 but for the other phase it must be exactly bS which will be actively sacrificed.
It’s maybe not perfect but it’s quite enough for a black officer in h#.

peter harris
peter harris
June 22, 2014 19:48

In my first post I said: the play and final positions are very nice.

I am ill at ease now because very nice is totally inadequate.

The play and the mating positions – so perfectly matched – are really quite amazing.

They are beautiful Julia.

You described everything very well with the Solutions.

I wonder whether the combing of neutral Chameleons with Anticirce has ever been done before to such good effect.

I truly do not know how you could have thought of the wonderful concept and how you were able to bring it to fruition.

Having written this I will sleep better tonight.


peter harris
peter harris
June 23, 2014 00:23

Dear Julia,

In your original:

Remove Pc7h3 Be8
Move c3 > b3
Add Condition Hole e8h3
Twin g6 > f6

Your problem would then be a perfect miniature

And the King of the Fairies in FairyLand would be well pleased.


shankar ram
shankar ram
June 23, 2014 05:26
Reply to  peter harris

Shouldn’t it be Queen — Caissa..! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ca%C3%AFssa) 🙂

peter harris
peter harris
June 23, 2014 14:02

A Hole on e8 means that in Julia’s (b) the Sf6 will not perform a necessary function that of guarding e8. This spoils everything. [This objection I now realize also applies to my wSc7 idea]

In one part e8 has to be occupied and in the other free – so that the Sf6 has that duty [as above].

I have never liked Set play.

The version with Set play enables the e8 occupier to be an S specifically – but this to me is not so important.

Two retain a H#2 twin I do now believe that Julia’s original way moving a Black piece from e8 to f6 is the only possible way.

So I am making a big backtrack here!

A strange thing is that it would be preferable to have the twin f6>e8 instead of e8>f6! It seems to make a big difference.

If nQc3 is moved to b3 the Pc7 could be removed.

The bPg6h3 could be removed if Holes were made. This would mean that the problem would starkly highlight the thematic elements – and would be a miniature [3+2+2n]. But I do not know whether Julia would like the Holes. I would use them here!

peter harris
peter harris
June 23, 2014 15:17

Good Shankar!

But then there is Oberon, Fairies and FairyChess.


peter harris
peter harris
June 23, 2014 17:08

In deciding whether to replace the Pawns with Holes, there is an additional aspect to consider.

The combination Neutral Chameleons + Anticirce is very potent.

This problem must surely be extremely difficult to solve – to imagine the two mating positions.

[I think that had I made the problem there would be complaints about the difficulty!].

If Holes replaced the Ps, Solvers would not have to wonder whether the Ps move, capture or are captured. This greatly reduces the number of possibilities they would have to consider and would help them no end – which with this problem, would be desirable – an encouragement.

A Solver is distinct from non-Solvers who I call Clickers – they who simply Click on Solutions. Clickers would not appreciate the point about help.

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