Peter Harris (South Africa)


Original Problems, Julia’s Fairies – 2016 (II): July – December

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No.1097 Peter Harris
South Africa

original – 19.07.2016

Solutions: (click to show/hide)

white qf6 rc3 bb1 pa2 black ka1 se4

h#1.5                                          (4+2)
Super-Andernach Chess
(no wK)

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July 20, 2016 09:44

Why a queen instead of a bishop?

peter harris
peter harris
July 20, 2016 15:16

Good Joost.

1. To make bS*wQ tempting.
2. Taking into account the 3 conditions I did not want a second Bishop on board.
3. I think the problem is more interesting with wQf6 and not wBh8.

This is what is called an artist’s prerogative.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
July 20, 2016 19:54

The problem is beautiful but wQ’s power is outrageous.
A true master of puzzles hides his idea optimally by making it original and unexpected.
The “tempting” moves which are not thematically related to the solution only detract a solver to waste his time. At least in principle, such a way of making a puzzle harder, is using a “crutch” to support a “lame” idea.
There’s anything but artistry in such crutch.

Here, the author’s idea would be optimally hidden with wB instead of wQ.
(I would perhaps prefere h#2* with bS on d1 instead on e4.)

However, in the original, among the cooks&duals, a solver might notice a 3rd thematic possibility, in case of h#2, which would justify wQ, e.g.:
1.Sxf6=wS(wQb3) a3=bP 2.Kxb1(bBb2) Bxa3=bB(bPa1=bB)#
(wRc3 prevents 3.Ba1xf6=wB(wSb2))

This thematic possibility alone, could be more economically shown:
White Pa2 Qe2 Bb1; Black Sc3 Kc1; h#2

Since there is wQ on the board, some other temptations might at least inspire a solver for composing:
White Qh8 Rc3 Pa2 Pe2; Black Sa4 Kb2; h#2
White Qb3 Pa2 Bb1; Black Pf7 Pe6 Ka1; h#2, 2 sol.

So, wQ offers some benefits for imagination 🙂

peter harris
peter harris
July 21, 2016 12:53


Could you not have said that the wQf6 was a big minus (a term used by other commentators) or even a very big minus instead of being outrageous?


White Qb3 Pa2 Bb1; Black Pf7 Pe6 Ka1; h#2, 2 sol.

is also outrageous! I can’t get over it. I don’t know how you made it. The play [with 7 rebirths] is beautiful.

And what can I say about the amazing need to have that bP reborn on f8?

I have only one suggestion and that is you move bPf7 to a3. This will have the effect of altering your

Qb3*e6=bQ [+bPa1=bR] 2.Qe6*a2=wQ [+wPa8=wR]
Qb3*f7=bQ [+bPf8] 2.Qf7*a2=wQ [+wPa8=wQ]


Qb3*a3=bQ [+bPa1=bR] 2.Qa3*a2=wQ [+wPa8=wR]
Qb3*a3=bQ [+bPf8] 2.Qa3*a2=wQ [+wPa8=wQ]

You must ask Julia to publish this as a JF problem. It is simply too good to be buried in Comments.

Although it has the same conditions and the same wBb1 wPa2 bKa1 it is totally different from mine. There would be no need even to say After PH.

Very well done Nikola.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
July 21, 2016 16:32

Peter, I’m not a perfect English-speaker, so I have looked for a word with two main meanings, something like both excessive & disrespectful.
If “outrageous” is not a proper word, that’s my fault and I’m sorry for misunderstanding.

wQ’s power is excessive and that shows a disrespect with regards to the content of (your own) solution. And in principle, I see it eventually as a disrespect for a solver, since the idea is not only well hidden by its own merits, but is also crudely buried under the numerous irrelevant wQ’s “temptations”.

So, I’ve been wasting my time on the “tempting Queen”, revealing absolutely nothing about the solution. wB would immediately make me solve what is there to be solved, instead of “solving” what doesn’t exist (as a relevant content).
The beauty of the relevant content was thus actually spoiled by exploring the irrelevant bluff.
Next time I’ll prevent it, I’ll first read the solution to see what is relevant.

However, I have to admit that my time was not completely wasted. At least, I’ve found some interesting attempts with wQ.
The examples I gave are just the redacted attempts which I had “imagined” during the solving. My “hopes” were in the white promotions, to “activate” Isardam.

Here’s another “redaction” of an attempt which I explored after abandoning the significance of wQ:
White Bf7 Rc4 Pa3 Bc1; Black Pe5 Pa4 Ka2; h#1.5, 2 sol.

1…Rc4*a4=b[+bPb3].. etc. is of course just a nice cook, but the other solution shows what I was indeed thinking about while solving your problem.

(It is instantly obvious that Isardam might have effect only in case of some SuperCirce promotion.)

In my example (W: Qb3,Pa2,Bb1; B: Pf7,Pe6,Ka1), 1.Ka1*b1[+wBb2]..etc. is a cook, created by the computer, not by me. The other solution was my idea, featuring the try 1.f7-f6=wP? which fails due to the changed color of Pf6 3.Qf8xf6=wQ(wP~)

It’s pretty clear that it’s comes from solving your problem, an attempt to use wQ to activate Isardam, for instance:
1…Qf6-e6=bQ 2.Qxa2=wQ(Pa8=wQ) Qxe4=bQ(bSa3/a4), but 3.Qxb1=wQ(wB~)!

Your suggestion about bPa3 is not clear to me. This would only give the additional reason for the capture, the line-clearance. Captures on e6/f7 are motivated exclusively by the arrival of these Pawns. bPa3 must be captured for opening the a-file, to legalize 2.bQxa2 in both solutions.

Well, this would better hide the idea, since 2.bQxa2=wQ seems impossible. You surely have a better feeling for the puzzle-subtleties.
But, when that idea (2.bQxa2=wQ) eventually comes to a solver, he knows that bPa3 must be gone, before asking himself about a possible purpose of bP’s arrival.

Without bPa3, 2.bQxa2=wQ(Pa8=wQ) is a legal possibility from the beginning, so the captures of bPe6/f7 are independently motivated. These captures make sens only after comprehending their pure purposes.

peter harris
peter harris
July 21, 2016 20:20


I should have made it clear that I was only being playful about your use of the word outrageous. I am sorry that I did not do so. And besides: outrageous does convey your feelings very well!

About up-grading Bf6 to a Q: I often choose to confront solvers with as many move choices as possible – in disregard of artistic principles. It is a battle between making a puzzle and composing a problem. [Some solvers will enjoy having been deceived by the Q!]

The main thing for me though with all this is:

Your problem is an exemplary example of what can be done in multi-condition problems and to this extent is a vindication of my views.

There is the possibility that it will be overlooked / forgotten that your wonderful problem combines:

Supercirce, SuperAndernach and Isardam.

I think I will leave this conversation now.

July 25, 2016 14:37

IMO, if your goal is to maximize solving difficulty, you should publish your problem in a magazine that has solvers, and not in an online magazine that prints the solutions next to the diagram.

July 25, 2016 20:03
Reply to  Joost

Interesting comment. Actually I have four issues of “StrateGems”. Just one original of Peter Harris. Probably seeing the comments of solvers is a too long wait (six months at least in most cases). I too like to see the comments in reasonable time…. Anyway, Julia’s site has the option of solvers clicking for the solution if they cant solve.

Dmitri Turevski
Dmitri Turevski
July 25, 2016 23:55
Reply to  seetharaman

You only strengthen the Joost’s point, correct?

July 26, 2016 12:21


peter harris
peter harris
July 26, 2016 21:02


Because solutions are available [if one elects to see them] does not mean there are no solvers.

I am sure JF has solvers.


I have had over 40 problems published in StrateGems.

[I wonder whether you have any issues of Problem Paradise, feenschach, Die Schwalbe, The Problemist, Probleemblad]

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x