Julia's Fairies

No.711 (PT&CJF)

Pierre Tritten (France) &
Chris Feather


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

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No.711 by Pierre Tritten & Chris Feather – Very interesting strategy and surprising echo model mates! (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.

No.711 Pierre Tritten &
Chris Feather

France / England

original – 04.02.2015

Solutions: (click to show/hide)

white Qa8 rc8 kf6 pd3 black qc6 be6f3 sg1h2 pg2 kh1

h#2             2 solutions          (4+7)
Take & Make

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Kjell Widlert
Kjell Widlert
February 4, 2015 23:11

Really memorable play where one of the heavy elephants has to go in order to free a promotion square, the other in order to transport a bishop to a black square so it can serve to transport a wS close enpugh to the bK.

This is how a fairy condition should be used.

February 5, 2015 00:59

A beautiful idea by two composers I like particularly for the talent and human qualities !
A comment for Julia: It is diag 711 not 708
Sebastien Luce

Kenneth Solja
Kenneth Solja
February 5, 2015 19:48

Although it is a good problem (I think I have said this earlier to someone in other connection :)) I started to find out how to make it without another white-walking Bishop.

Kh4 Da8 Tc8 bd3
Kh1 Dc6 Lf3 Sg1 Sh2 be2 bf6 bg2
H#2, Take&Make
A diagram
B bLf3->e6
A 1 Dxc8→c4 dxc4→c8=S 2 Lxa8→a7 Sxa7→f2#
B 1 Dxa8→e4 dxe4→a8=S 2 Lxc8→c7 Sxc7→g3#
Another BL disappears, but be2 and bh4 are unfortunately needed.

February 5, 2015 20:09
Reply to  Kenneth Solja

I am sure the composers saw this possibility. Obviously they preferred the two-solution form and one less black unit on the board.

Kjell Widlert
Kjell Widlert
February 5, 2015 20:30

I don’t think the numer of white-squared (or black-squared) bishops matters in fairy chess – we are not afraid to add a grasshopper if needed by the play, so why should we mind an extra orthodox piece.

In T&M, this is even more true: one of the whiite-squared bishops can be the original black-squared one, having changed his square-colour by a normal T&M move (so it doesn’t have to be a promoted pawn). I see no reason at all to regard this as a flaw.

February 5, 2015 22:09

I agree. The fact that the position contains 2 white-squared black Bishops implies, at least to my mind, that replacing wRc8 by a second wQ would neither be a flaw, but on the contrary would show an even better harmony (echo-captures Bishops -> Queens) and would strengtht a bit more the theme (sacrifice of maximal white force).

Of course such a changing provides some damage – 3 extra solutions, which might be eliminated by adding a bPh3. I don’t know if it is a reasonable price to pay.

Kenneth Solja
Kenneth Solja
February 6, 2015 17:57

My point wasn’t to just get rid of the other white-walking Bishop, because I know this is possible in Take&Make, but the point is economy.
And this is just point of view, I don’t say this is any better ..

Kostas Prentos
Kostas Prentos
February 7, 2015 09:14

I will avoid any comments about the content of this original, for quite evident reasons. However, I believe it is OK to state my view for fairy problems in general.

Although I agree that two same-colored Bishops are perfectly fine in Take & Make (or any other condition that allows a color change without a promotion), I disagree with the opinion that 2 Queens or 3 Bishops are also OK. Theoretically, all fairy pieces are promoted pawns, but since retroanalysis is not taken into consideration in fairy problems (with the exception of fairy retros), we may have more than 8 fairy pieces without considering the position illegal. Then, what’s wrong with having 2 Queens or even 10 Queens? It has to do with the principle of economy of means. Even when we use fairy pieces, we, the composers, try to express an idea with the material we have available. Anything over and beyond this material does not feel economical.

This feeling is enhanced, when there are no fairy pieces. Especially, if the same content is possible without the use of extra-set pieces. If this is not possible, then the promoted material becomes an option, but, as in orthodox problems, it will be a flaw, maybe excusable, but a flaw, nevertheless. It is up to the composer first, and then the audience to weigh the pros and cons of such “irregularities”, but the first impression is certainly negative.

Juraj Lörinc
Juraj Lörinc
February 8, 2015 23:33
Reply to  Kostas Prentos

My view strongly differs. As I tried to provide some examples as well as my contribution is slightly longer than it is suitable for comments, I have published a specific page for it at CCM. Shortly speaking: once we are in the fairy land, promoted orthodox force is no problem.

February 9, 2015 06:27
Reply to  Juraj Lörinc

Excellent examples. I agree with your view of course. Your comment on the Unto Heinonin is however interesting !!
“In the final position white queen paralyzes theoretical maximum of 8 black queens”.
What theory are we talking about here? 🙂

Juraj Lörinc
Juraj Lörinc
February 9, 2015 21:54
Reply to  seetharaman

Not very deep theory.
There are 4 queen lines passing each square (except corners) and in a middle of a board there can be 2 black queens paralyzed on each of these lines by white queen standing on the square in question.
In the other words, one white queen is unable to paralyze nine or more black queens as they can’t be seen all at once.

February 10, 2015 10:43
Reply to  Juraj Lörinc

Sorry. I mistook your comment as about possible promoted queens using 8 pawns ! 🙂

February 7, 2015 14:32

Without the fact that the problem contains 2 same colored-square Bishops, I would obviously never have suggested the possibility to introduce a second white Queen. But as far as the problem contains such an “irregularity”, it comes the question of whether or not introducing a second such “irregularity” will doubling the damage.

My feeling is that the answer should be “no”. Once the damage is done, I tend to consider that adding the same kind of damage is more or less “admissible”. And hence, if this second damage reinforces the thematic content, using it might be pertinent in some situations.

Kostas Prentos
Kostas Prentos
February 10, 2015 00:56

I was very pleased to read Juraj’s extensive response to my comment. It expresses clearly and in depth his view, which seems to be exactly opposite than mine. In reality, I believe that our opinions are not so different.

Besides those problems in which the extra-set material is essential for expressing the main idea (e.g., Heinonen’s and Rehm’s examples) and therefore, there is no question about economy, there are some examples that use promoted force as a compromise, in order to make the problem sound. When there is no other way of showing a good idea with the normal pieces, using extra-set pieces is better than not showing the idea, at all. Given a choice, and with all other things being equal, I am sure that most (all?) of us would prefer the “traditional” way of non-promoted force, rather than intentionally going for promoted pieces.

Juraj’s own problem from Em. Manolas’s 60 JT (in which I was the judge) is a perfect example to underline my view. First of all, using a Nightrider that has the role of a Knight is in my opinion a serious defect in a problem (even if we have other Nightriders on the board, that are used well). So, having to choose between a Nightrider(=Knight) and a Knight, I would also prefer the Knight. The question is whether anyone would choose the 4 Knights, if the choice to replace two of them with other orthodox pieces (e.g., Rook or Bishop) was available. I would never deliberately prefer the former option of promoted pieces, if I could avoid it. But then, a new question arises: How far would I go, in my desire to avoid the promoted force? Would an additional black pawn, or a bunch of other pieces be justified, in order to achieve this goal? I guess it depends on each particular case and this has always been a very difficult dilemma for all the composers. I try to follow the established set of rules we use in orthodox compositions, also for fairy problems, but sometimes, this is not adequate. In the end, it comes to each individual’s aesthetic values and ideas.

To talk a little more about the present problem, again without being too specific, one must ask oneself: What do I gain if I use a second white Queen? Is there a concrete reason to violate the economy of the problem (using a Queen instead of a Rook, and not even considering the promoted force), then I may think about it.

Finally, as food for thought, I will give up my self-imposed censorship, to go to the opposite direction and ask an different question: What if we removed the wRc8 for a twinning version b) Qa8->c8? In other words, is the Take & Make effect on B1 (i.e., 1.Qxc8-c4 instead of 1.Qc4 and 1.Qxa8-e4 instead of 1.Qe4) fully justified? And to make the question a little more general again: If we have the choice to play an orthodox move or a fairy move with the same result, which one will we let survive in the problem we are composing? Is it always the more fairy effects, the better? I am not trying to criticize this problem. I am just seizing the opportunity, to open what I see as an interesting discussion.

Juraj Lörinc
Juraj Lörinc
February 10, 2015 21:44
Reply to  Kostas Prentos

As I do not want to fragment the discussion, I am going to follow-up here as long as I do not need to show other examples. A few remarks:
Rehm’s problem uses 3 black queen that aren’t (in my understanding) essential for the idea – as I have pointed, using BS pair instead of QQ would work equally well and surely would be preferred in the orthodox setting.
– Also my SAT example would work equally with wQh6 instead of wRh6.
– Together with #3 from Manolas JT it shows that I am fine with using promoted force freely in problems with fairy pieces. Really, once there are fairy pieces on the board, I see no reason to keep limitation of numbers of orthodox pieces.
– Without fairy pieces (i.e. with fairy conditions or stipulations only) it is more delicate question. In preparing my article I have in fact skipped a few such problems. Some because even I have felt that I would not welcome fairy pieces there, some because the article was long enough without them. So the discussion about specific case of the 2nd wQ in 711 is legitimate. My intention was not to take side in it, rather I wanted to express my views in general.

Kostas Prentos
Kostas Prentos
February 11, 2015 00:44
Reply to  Juraj Lörinc

Juraj, apparently I did not read carefully your text of Rehm’s example. It is indeed possible to replace the two black Queens with a Knight and Bishop. I admit that I am surprised for the choice of Black’s material. It is one thing to choose extra-set material because there is no other option and a totally different case to prefer it over conventional force even when there is such an option. It is also true that the three Queens did not strike me as weird when I looked at the diagram. But, knowing that conventional material was possible, and not preferred by the composer, makes a strong conviction, written in my chess DNA, to shake, especially as it is very hard to see what the three Queens add to the problem. For what it’s worth, I would have chosen the Knight and Bishop.

February 10, 2015 02:20

I already provided 2 reasons for using a Queen instead of a Rook on square c8 – better homogeneity between the solutions (as well as in the diagram position?), and improvement of the theme (sacrifice of maximal white force, according to the authors – no doubt that a Queen is more maximal than a Rook!). However, this is just an idea to be discussed, I’m far from being convinced myself it is a good one!

Is it really true that this changes Rook -> Queen is a violation of the economy? Generally speaking the answer would clearly be yes but, in this particular case, I have some doubt for the same reason mentioned above – the theme which asks for the paradoxical feature of capturing heavy white pieces.

But my main point is rather different: although the changes Rook -> Queen is a violation of the “non-visible promotion” canon, should it be considered as a flaw? The answer would clearly be yes without the 2 white-squared black Bishops on the diagram position. But, as far as the above canon is already violated, one might argue that it doesn’t really matter to violate it once again…

Kostas Prentos
Kostas Prentos
February 10, 2015 08:40

Dear Nicolas, you are a night-owl, aren’t you? I used to enjoy staying up late, too.

I apologize, but I did not intend to make you repeat something you had already explained. That part of my comment (together with many other parts, but anyway) was poorly written and a last minute “correction” made things worse. The correct text was supposed to be:
“If there is a concrete reason to violate the economy of the problem (using a Queen instead of a Rook, and not even considering the promoted force), then I may think about it”.
This was an attempt to generalize and get in the composer’s shoes, in order to decide under which conditions a second Queen could be even considered.

But since we are at it and I already made a comment about the problem, let me give you my opinion on what you are writing: The two black light-squared Bishops are fine in Take & Make. I might give it a second thought, after seeing the diagram for the first time, but in a second or two, I would realize that none of them needs to be promoted, and from that moment on, I would consider them normal Bishops. Second, using a Queen when a Rook could be used is not good economy, regardless of what else is happening on the board. Third, using a promoted piece (a second Queen) is not good economy. Frankly, I would change the wQa8 to a Bishop if I could, but it is not possible (2.Bxa8->a7 requires a Queen on a8). In any case, using a second Queen is not good for the two reasons I mentioned above. To start thinking about two Queens, I need very strong compensation, especially when it is possible to do without. In my opinion (which does not have any kind of authority, everyone is entitled to have one), the problem is fine with the Rc8, and the change to a second Queen would only make it worse.

Maybe someone else, more flexible and open-minded than me on that matter, finds your idea acceptable or even desirable. I will say it once more and end with it: This (and everything else I have ever written) is just my very humble opinion. I do not claim to have any kind of authority or expect others to agree with me.

Manfred Rittirsch
Manfred Rittirsch
February 10, 2015 12:37
Reply to  Kostas Prentos

I generally agree to Kostas, and I especially appreciate what he writes about the 2 black bishops on white squares in 711. If they can be explained by a single move instead of an unlikely process (pawn excelsior) there’s no reason to perceive them as ‘abnormal’.
On the contrary I might have grown an aesthetic affection for details like that – appreciating a constellation that looks rare or strange through orthodox glasses but in fact isn’t with the given fairy condition.

When it comes to promoted force, I even go a little further. I DO care for retroanalysis in fairy problems AND keep trying to avoid fairy pieces that could not be originated by legal pawn promotion. I do not want to forgo those conventions because they are very welcome hurdles squeezing the best economic results out of me. This does NOT mean that I would not ALLOW any violation of those concepts, but I will never hesitate to spend days just for the sake of keeping them íntact. I feel better if I know I did not need to ‘compromise’.

(Imagine Kostas’ perfect disclaimer here.)

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