Vlaicu Crișan (Romania) &
Andreas Thoma 


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No.738 by Vlaicu Crișan & Andreas Thoma – Unusually long and interesting Retro-play! (JV)


Anti-Circe: After a capture the capturing piece (Ks included) must immediately be removed to its game array square (necessarily vacant, else the capture is illegal). R, B & S go to the square of the same colour as the capture; Ps stay on the file of capture; fairy pieces go to the promotion square of the file of capture.

Proca Retractor: In Retractors, White and Black retract (take back) a given number of moves (-n moves), in order to reach a position in which a forward stipulation (e.g. #1, s#1) is met. Proca is a defensive retractor. Given a choice, Black will retract those moves that avoid or delay White’s goal. Black may defend by mating White through a forward move, if such an opportunity exists after one of Black’s retractions. Unless otherwise specified, forward defense is the default condition of Proca retractors.(def. from StrateGems,

No.738 Vlaicu Crișan &
Andreas Thoma

Romania / Germany

original – 01.03.2015

Solution: (click to show/hide)

white   ke1 Pb2e7 black ke5 Sh8 Pb3

-20 & #1      Proca Retractor     (3+3)

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Kjell Widlert
Kjell Widlert
March 1, 2015 17:24

Effectively doubles the content of 706.1, with only 6 pieces!

Has the draw pendulum in AntiCirce-Proca ever been doubled in miniature form before? I remember only doublings (and one 4-fold setting) with many more pieces.

March 1, 2015 22:01

It is funny to see the 3-move repetition rule for ‘Tournament Chess’ being applied to Anti-circe problems ! Unlike the en-passant, casling or promotions, this is not a chess rule. But more akin to 5o-move draw rule of Tournament Chess. There is no automatic draw after the third repetition. In the tournament, either player has to claim it!

Mike Neumeier
Mike Neumeier
March 16, 2015 08:04

I lost it at Move 2 ( uncapturing Ke2xBd1). How could white have been standing on e2, in check (diagonally flanked) by both bBd1 and bPf3? Never saw a double check like that before. I must be blind to legal retro play.

Kostas Prentos
Kostas Prentos
March 16, 2015 08:19

The bPf3 does not give check in Anti-Circe, because its rebirth square (e7) is occupied.

Mike Neumeier
Mike Neumeier
March 16, 2015 08:32
Reply to  Kostas Prentos

Thanks. Did not know that about Anti-Circe checks being nullified if rebirth square occupied. Knew about how captures themselves applied. Does make sense…wK needn’t move away…an empty threat.