Julia's Fairies

No.668 (SL)

Sébastien Luce 


Original Problems, Julia’s Fairies – 2014 (III): September – December

→Previous→Next ; →List 2014(III)

Please send your original fairy problems to: julia@juliasfairies.com

No.668 by Sébastien Luce – Author writes: “Inspired by problem n°665 of Peter Harris, I felt that it was not the maximum of the potential. After some versions with or without promotion in Imitator, I found this position”. A long serial problem with promotion into 3rd Imitator.  (JV)


Imitator(I): Every time a piece moves an Imitator (or a set of Imitators) moves simultaneously in an identical manner. An Imitatorcannot move of itself. If an Imitator cannot imitate the move of a piece, the move is illegal. An Imitator may only pass through or enter an unoccupied square and cannot move off the board. Castling is imitated by decomposing into a King move followed by a Rook move. 

Maximummer: Black must play the geometrically longest move or may choose from among longest moves of equal length, distances being measured from the center of each square. Diagonal and oblique distances are measured from the orthogonal coordinates by using Pythagora’s theorem (take the square root of the sum of the squares of the orthogonal distances). All other orthodox chess rules apply.
White Maximummer: Only White must play the geometrically longest moves, Black plays orthodoxal.

Chameleon Chess: All pieces on the board which are displayed as orthodox Q, R, B, S, are Chameleons. A Pawn can promote only in Chameleon-pieces.

No.668 Sébastien Luce

original – 15.12.2014
After Peter Harris

Solutions: (click to show/hide)

black kg2 white Pb7d7h7g4 neutral Id2 Id3

ser-#31                               (4+1+2i)
Imitator d2 d3
White Maximummer
Chameleon Chess
(no white King)

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
peter harris
peter harris
December 15, 2014 22:47


It is good that you try to improve problems or develop other composer’s ideas – sometimes you will succeed – sometimes not.

When composing 665 with a bK on c3 the ELEMENTS were to be:

3 wPs on 7th rank, one other wP, stipulation ser-#, 2 Imitators, WhiteMaxi, ChameleonChess.

My AIM was: To place the ELEMENTS in such a way that Black is mated in the LEAST number of moves.

665 has 14 moves. It would be good if by using the ELEMENTS in some other way, the number could be REDUCED.

On the other hand [using the ELEMENTS] your problem has as its AIM to make a problem as LONG as possible.

There is no harm in this.

But with the extension to ser-#31 the 19 moves that follow the promotion on move 12 of the third P, are not so interesting.

Your problem may be viewed by some as an achievement.

[It would of course be erroneous to think that extending length means increasing merit – or solver appeal. The reverse can be the case].

It is likely that the 31 could be further increased.

[The trouble inherent with the combination of a SERIES stipulation and the Maxi condition is that many moves play themselves – without any solver decision-making being necessary or possible. This can make things very dull].


You may like to consider having AUW as an AIM – with the bK allowed to be placed anywhere. I quite randomly moved your Pg4 to c6. 4 promotions appear at ser-#23 – R, B, S, I. [Your problem has Q, Q, I]. This AIM would in my view be more worthy of attention than having LENGTH as an AIM. Patience and luck would be needed to find dispositions that achieve an AUW.

December 15, 2014 23:52

Dear Peter,
it is interesting to see that your goal in n°665 was to make the “shorter long problem” with this material ! It is somewhat strange for me. But for me, it was clearly the opposite : make the longer with maximum transformations of the pieces.
I am agree, if you realize an AUW or another specific theme, the lenght is not a particular criteria for the interest of a problem. I sent a H#3,5 Cameleon + White Maximum
to Julia realising AUW precisely. It must be published some time after. So wait …

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x