Julia's Fairies

No.502 (NT)

Neal Turner (Finland)


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

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No.502 by Neal Turner – This is the 2nd author’s problem with unusual combination of SAT and Royal Grasshoppers in s#2 published on JF (the previous one was in September,2013 – No.374). Enjoy a detailed comment by Neal, who believes that “this stuff is so unusual (I’m the only one doing it!) and so radically different from other kinds of orthodox/fairy chess that it seems to be necessary.“!  (JV)


SAT: A king is in check if any of its flight squares are unguarded by opposing pieces.

Grasshopper(G): Moves along Q-lines over another unit of either color to the square immediately beyond that unit. A capture may be made on arrival, but the hurdle is not affected.

Royal piece: Piece that executes a function of the King on the board.

No.502 Neal Turner
original – 21.02.2014
502-s#2-nts#2                                                (7+8)
Royal Grasshoppers c4, f3
Solution: (click to show/hide)

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Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
February 21, 2014 23:31

It’s a fantastic mechanism. At first I wondered about the purpose of wSa7 and wBg3 (except being the hurdles), but a better look nicely justifies everything.

What is not clear from the definition, is a capture of a royal piece allowed?

Juraj Lörinc
February 22, 2014 13:25
Reply to  Nikola Predrag

No, kings and royal pieces cannot be captured. Usually it is not mentioned in any of the equivalent definitions of SAT (see below), but it is an important point.

February 22, 2014 09:16

SAT: Not frequently seen. Can we define this way? “A King is in check if it has any flight square”

Juraj Lörinc
February 22, 2014 13:30
Reply to  seetharaman

There are a few equivalent definitions of SAT, all with the same point. It is a result of the SAT development history as Ladislav Salai sr. had first an idea and then, by trying different points he gradually developed various versions of SAT. (See e.g. this introduction at CCM.) Fortunately, SAT as we know it today is simply defined, because it allows motivation difficult to understand with standard chess background.

Juraj Lörinc
February 22, 2014 15:36

Generally speaking, SAT sems very confusing fairy condition at the first sight, but after getting used to it, multiple composers have found it manageable and productive. Of course both Salais (jr. and late sr.), but there are interesting works by many others – L. Kekely, V, Dyachuk, N. Turner, M. Caillaud, M. Rittirsch (and myself), altogether there are 31 different authors of SAT problems in the big WinChloe db. Some of them have even entered FIDE Albums. In my view the real breaktrough of the condition was a jubilee tourney Club Pongracz 10 in 2002, with two sections for standard SAT rules and SAT with additional fairy rules. Among recent works I found very instructive twomover by M. Caillaud with AUW:

Michel Caillaud
2nd Prize Club Pongracz 20 JT 2012
White : Ka3 Bf6a4 Sb4a2
Black : Kd2 Be1 Sa1 Pd5c3d3e3b2e2
#2 SAT (5+9)

Only two black pawns (b2, d5) can move, two white zugzwang tries are refuted uniquely (1.Bd4? b1Q! and 1.Bd8? d4!), therefore White creates threat:

1.Bh4! thr. 2.Bxd1#
1…b1Q 2.Sxc3# (2.Sxd3+? Qxd3!, 2.Sc1+ Qxc1!)
1…b1R 2.Sxd3#
1…b1B 2.Sc1#
1…b1S 2.Kb3# (promotion removes potential flight a3)

Neal has found long ago that royal grasshoppers are ideal for SAT problems as they have usually limited number of flights and moreover their flights are quite dynamic. As a result even s#2 can show very rich play.

Neal Turner
Neal Turner
February 23, 2014 11:17

Of course when I remarked that I was ‘the only one doing this stuff’ I didn’t mean I was the only one doing SAT – but I do believe I am the only one doing Two-move Selfmates with SAT & Royal Grasshoppers!
There’s an article in the pipeline (where it seems to have got stuck!) setting out my findings after more than 4 years in the Twilight Zone.
Oh no! Now I’ve mentioned this project I’m going to have complete it!

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