Julia's Fairies

No.781 (EH&VC)


No.781 Eric Huber & Vlaicu Crișan (Romania)


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

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No.781 by Eric Huber & Vlaicu Crișan – An interesting play which surprisingly ends with aristocratic Chameleon-echo mates! (JV)


Nightrider: (1,2) Rider. Operates along straight lines with squares lying a Knight`s move away from each other.

Isardam: Any move, including capture of the King, is Isardam illegal if a Madrasi-type paralysis would result from it.

Super-Circe: When captured, a piece is reborn on any free field on the chess board without causing self-check or selfmate. Possible is also removal of captured piece from the board. The Pawns (white, black, neutrals, half- neutrals) can be reborn on the first or eight row also. When reborn on the first row (for Black) or on the eight row (for White) the promotion is obligatory. When reborn on the first row (for White) or on the eight row (for Black) the Pawns are immovable.

No.781 Eric Huber &
Vlaicu Crișan


original – 17.04.2015

Solutions: (click to show/hide)

white kb7 nd3 pf4 black ke6 nb6 se5

hs#2.5        b) Se5→d5            (3+3)
Nightriders d3, b6

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petko petkov
petko petkov
April 17, 2015 23:23

This wonderful miniature is composed in the style of the great Romanian Duet! Congratulations! The combination Super- Circe + Isardam is very difficult but also very interesting. In this respect I see enormous practical perspectives in HS# genre – especially in long problems (HS#2,5 or more)…but in these cases are needed “marathon computer tests” …

Eric Huber
Eric Huber
April 18, 2015 20:22
Reply to  petko petkov

Thank you Petko for your kind words.

Seeing the three words “Petkov”, “Isardam” and “Nightrider” together on the same page brings to mind a memorable helpstalemate problem which cannot be found in Winchloe or PDB databases. It was included in the Andernach 2004 Solving Tourney and only Joost de Heer was able to find the two solutions. Here it is for Isardam enthusiasts:
The solutions are provided on YACPDB: http://www.yacpdb.org/index.php?id=384698

Kjell Widlert
Kjell Widlert
April 18, 2015 21:58

A very interesting SuperCirce effect also appears, perhaps by chance but still interesting: in both solutions, a White piece is captured twice! So in theory, it could have been brought to its final destination already at the first capture, but something makes this impossible so it has to be put on an intermediate square for a while.

Geoff Foster
Geoff Foster
April 19, 2015 05:14

The double captures of the same white piece happen for different reasons. In the first solution, after 1…Sxd3 the wN must be reborn on b4, because this is the square where the mating move will be made (with the wK on d5). In the second solution, after 1…Sxf4 the wP cannot promote to N on c8, because that is illegal under Isardam rules. Instead the wP is reborn on d6 so that the bK can make the capture, which will be legal after the wK has captured the bNb6! The different strategy between solutions makes this problem very interesting!

April 19, 2015 10:53

Nice Isardam effects. I initially thought that the mechanism does not need Supercirce. But I noticed the double capture of the same white piece and immediately liked it. The author has beautifully used the Supercirce as a handicap ! This I think is special effect of the problem! Great.

Nikola Predrag
Nikola Predrag
April 19, 2015 23:00

bNf4/e4 attacks squares d5/c5. wNb4/d3 allows wK to step on d5/c5 (due to the Isardam). That’s why bS is the only piece suitable for the idea.
wN must not “only” be on a square from which bS will mate, first it must allow wK’s checking moves.

After 1…Sxf4, an immediate promotion into wNc8 is impossible because of bNnb6, but that’s accidental.
In principle, with wNc8, neither bK might step on d6 nor bN could be reborn on e4 before that.

That would be clear (and pure) if the whole position was shifted two ranks lower (Kb5/Ke4).

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