Julia's Fairies

No.514 (MP)

Mario Parrinello (Italy)


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

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No.514 by Mario Parrinello – An excellent hs#3, Take&Make with 5 thematic half-moves in each solutions! (JV)


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.

VAO(VA): Chinese piece operating along Bishop lines: moves as Bishop, but captures only by hopping over a hurdle to any square beyond.

PAO(PA): Chinese piece operating along Rook lines: moves as Rook, but captures only by hopping over a hurdle to any square beyond.

No.514 Mario Parrinello
original – 12.03.2014
514-hs#3-mphs#3              2 solutions            (9+9)
PAO d7
VAO h6
Solutions: (click to show/hide)

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Geoff Foster
Geoff Foster
March 19, 2014 23:45

Creation of white royal Chinese batteries, with interchange of functions between wPA/wVA and bR/bB, and perfect analogy between solutions.

On W1 and B1 the wS helps the bQ get to a square from where it will later be able to mate.

On W2 the wPA/wVA captures the bR/bB on d5/f4 and “makes” to a square from where it will later become the rear piece of a white battery. It is pleasing that the wPA/wVA guards d5/f4 in the solution in which it does not capture.

On B2 the bB/bR captures the wR and “makes” to square from where it can be captured by the wK. It checks the wK, which is important because it forces the move order (not 1.PAxd5-b5? Bxd2-f2 2.Sc7 Qxc7-a6).

On W3 the wK captures the bB/bR and “makes” to become the front piece of a white battery, resulting in check to the bK. The bQ then captures the wPA/wVA and has only one possible “make”, from where it gives mate.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
March 20, 2014 03:06

The idea is beautiful and complex and the clarity of realization can convincingly outweigh the weaknesses. As a whole, it makes a very good or (with softened criteria) an excellent problem.

But what could be forgiven here as an seemingly unavoidable technical tool, should not be forgiven in case of much simpler compositions. wRd2 is a heavily humiliated white officer, placed on the board only to determine the order of moves.

wSe8 is active but still only a “food”. What it truely adds to the content is probably a “matter of taste”. Without wSe8 and bPh7, bQc8 would play the same role in hs#2.5. What is probably not just a matter of taste is that instead of single wS playing symmetrically, two white pieces with reciprocal functions would make a mechanism. Passive in the 1st example and reciprocally active/passive in the 2nd:
White Bc8 PAd8 Se8 Sf8 Pb6 Pc6 Pd6 VAh6 Rd2 Kg1
Black Pg6 Rd5 Ke5 Qf5 Pg5 Pb4 Pc4 Pe4 Bf4 Pg4
Stipulation Hs#2.5
White Qc8 PAd8 Bg8 Pb6 Pc6 Pd6 VAh6 Rd2 Kg1
Black Qe7 Ph7 Pf6 Rd5 Ke5 Pg5 Pb4 Pc4 Pe4 Bf4 Pg4
Stipulation Hs#3

T&M is a condition, not a theme but a particular set of rules. Theme is an abstract idea, realized through a combination of thematic moves. In this problem, thematic moves are W2,W3 and B3. Main theme is a combination of white critical W2 (with the annihilation on thematic line), antibattery check W3 and limiting bQ for the Make-part of B3.
Apparent complexity of W1,B1 and B2 comes out of the fairy condition and not from the motivation which is too trivial and straightforward to make a theme.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
March 21, 2014 19:35

It’s actually not hard to determine the order of moves, without wRd2 as the “passive food”. Functions of active/passive sacrifices of bR/bB could be reversed. Dropping the non-thematic T&M effects would improve the economy the thematic mechanism in hs#2.5:
White PAd7 Pb6 Pc6 Pd6 Qg6 VAh6 Ke2
Black Qc8 Ke5 Pg5 Pb4 Pc4 Pg4 Rd3 Be3
Stipulation Hs#2.5
1…Rd5 2.Pxd5-b5 Qa6 3.Kxe3-c5+ Qxb5-a5#
1…Bf4 2.VAxf4-h2 Qh8 3.Kxd3-g3+ Qxh2-g1#

bQ’s play to get the access to b5/h2 in not thematic, for it is just a trivial improvement of bQ’s initial position.
However, this play may show some complexity if an additional mechanism is constructed. Reciprocal passive functions of guard/sacrifice might just deserve to be considered as a “supporting thematic complex”. Then the T&M effect of passive sacrifice would get a bit of thematic meaning:
White Bc8 PAd8 Se8 Sf8 Pb6 Pc6 Pd6 VAh6 Ke2
Black Pg6 Ke5 Qf5 Pg5 Pb4 Pc4 Pe4 Pg4 Rd3 Be3
Stipulation Hs#2.5
1…Rd5 2.PAxd5-b5 Qxc8-a6 3.Kxe3-c5+ Qxb5-a5#
1…Bf4 2.VAxf4-h2 Qxf8-h7 3.Kxd3-g3+ Qxh2-g1#

Insisting on T&M effect and active white sacrifice in W1 in hs#3, brings again the troubles about the order of moves. Umnov-effect is a great tool for that, but which white pieces would be sacrificed in W1 in one phase and have some purpose in the other?
Pawns may remain unemployed in one phase and the promotions might give additional effect. Not essentially very “thematic” but acceptable:
White Se8 PAd7 Pf7 Pg7 Pb6 Pd6 VAh6 Pf5 Ke2
Black Qh8 Pb7 Ph7 Ke5 Pg5 Pb4 Pc4 Pe4 Pg4 Rd3 Be3
Stipulation Hs#3
1.f8S Rd5 2.PAxd5-b5 Qxf8-d7 3.Kxe3-c5+ Qxb5-a5#
1.g8S Bf4 2.VAxf4-h2 Qxg8-h6 3.Kxd3-g3+ Qxh2-g1#

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