oliver-sickNo.709, 710 
Oliver Sick

No.709.1 Oliver Sick &
Stephen Emmerson


Original Problems, Julia’s Fairies – 2015 (I): January – June

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No.709, 710 by Oliver Sick – Interesting excelsiors with black underpromotions! (JV)

No.709.1 by Oliver Sick & Stephen Emmerson – Nice improvement to No.709, Miniature! (JV)


Imitator(I): Every time a piece moves an Imitator (or a set of Imitators) moves simultaneously in an identical manner. An Imitator cannot 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. 

No.709 Oliver Sick

original – 03.02.2015

Solution: (click to show/hide)

White Ka8 Pd6 Ph5 Pf2 Black Kh7 Pb7 Pd7 Ph6 Neutral Ia7

h#5                                           (4+4)
Imitator a7
No Imitator Promotion

No.709.1 Oliver Sick &
Stephen Emmerson

Germany / England

version to No.709 – 07.02.2015

Solution: (click to show/hide)

White Ka6 Pf2 Black Kh7 Pb7 Ph6 Neutral Ia5d3

h#5                                   (2+3+2i)
Imitators a5, d3

No.710 Oliver Sick

original – 03.02.2015

Solution: (click to show/hide)

White Kg6 Sh7 Ph6 Pf5 Black Ke5 Pe7 Neutral If8

ser-h#13                                    (4+2)
Imitator f8

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Stephen Emmerson
Stephen Emmerson
February 3, 2015 22:27

Re 709:
8/1p2p2k/K3P2p/8/8/8/5P2/8/ + Ia5
saves 1 wP (miniature?) and does not require “No I promotion”
8/1p5k/K6p/8/8/8/5P2/8/ + Ia5,d3
saves 3 Ps but adds an I (definitely a miniature now!)

Oliver Sick
Oliver Sick
February 4, 2015 22:59

Dear Stephen,

great improvement of my setup, especially the two-imitator version.
I would be very happy to publish it as a cooperation.


February 4, 2015 20:36

Very nice imitator problems! 709 achieves I think for the first time the 100$ task. That Imitator condition can be used for that is a good find. Stephen’s suggestions are also very good. Since Imitator is a “condition”, even the first suggestion is a miniature !

February 8, 2015 00:29

As Imitator is a very useful condition, I wonder if the task might be achieved through a h#6 without any double step from the thematic Pawns.

Kjell Widlert
Kjell Widlert
February 9, 2015 22:31
Reply to  dupont

Great thinking!

I was just about to write that such a h#6 would always be solvable in 5, when I suddenly saw your point… and of course it is possible!

One sound position is
Ka1 Pe4 f2 – Kh7 Pa4 b7 e6 h6 – Ia3
1.b6 f3 2.b5 f4 3.b4 f5 4.b3 f6 5.b2 f7 6.b1S(Ia2) f8S(Ia3)#
Not 6.b1R? because of 7.Rh1(Ig3)!,
nor 6.b1B? because of 7.Bd3(Ic5)!,
nor (surprisingly) 6.e5? because of 7.b1I(Ia2)!

Kjell Widlert
Kjell Widlert
February 9, 2015 22:34
Reply to  Kjell Widlert

… and of course 6.b1I? f8S is not even check – but stalemate for Black.

February 10, 2015 00:29
Reply to  Kjell Widlert

Well done Kjell, a clear improvement! Popeye’s input/output goes as follows:

Stipulation h#6
Pieces white Ka1 Pe4f2 black Kh7 Pa4b7e6h6
Cond Imitator a3

1.b7-b6[Ia2] f2-f3[Ia3] 2.b6-b5[Ia2] f3-f4[Ia3] 3.b5-b4[Ia2] f4-f5[Ia3] 4.b4-b3[Ia2] f5-f6[Ia3] 5.b3-b2[Ia2] f6-f7[Ia3] 6.b2-b1[Ia2]=S f7-f8[Ia3]=S #