Kjell Widlert  (Sweden) &
Thomas Maeder (Switzerland)

Warm welcome to Thomas in Original Problems section of JF!


Original Problems, Julia’s Fairies – 2015 (II): July – December

   →Previous ; →Next→List 2015(II)

Please send your original fairy problems to:

No.897 by Kjell Widlert & Thomas Maeder – A new interesting interpretation of the previously published problem by Kjell Widlert, Sp.Prize, 1st Riga Black Balsam TT-2015. Authors comment: “Compared to the Riga Balsam problem, we now have one extra change of phase – which must be chosen very carefully – in each solution.”  (JV)


Half-neutral piece: Piece which can exist in black, white or neutral state and changes its state by the rules:

  • A piece in the neutral state may be moved by Black or White, and after move it changes into black or white state respectively.
  • A piece in the white state may be moved only by White, and after move it changes into its neutral state.
  • A piece in the black state may be moved only by Black, and after move it changes into its neutral state.
  • Only a half-neutral pawn can promote into half-neutral figure.

Additional features of half-neutral pieces:

  • Castling with half-neutral King is possible with hK in white phase on e1 (White castling) and hK in black phase on e8 (Black castling). After castling the hK becomes half-neutral phase and can become mate.
  • A play is possible also with only one half-neutral King on the board (in white, black or neutral phase).
  • By the notation: “h”=half-neutral piece, states are marked with “w”(white), “b”(black) and “n”(neutral).

No.897 Kjell Widlert &
Thomas Maeder

Sweden / Switzerland

original – 17.09.2015
after Kjell Widlert, Sp. Prize
Riga Black Balsam TT2015

Solutions: (click to show/hide)

White Kc7 Bb1 Sd1 Pe6 Pb4 Black Kd4 Qa8 Be8 Sa1 Pa7 Pg6 Pd2 White HalfNeutral Rc5 Sd6 Black HalfNeutral Rc1 Bh2

hs#3.5       b) Sd1→f7           (7+9)
Half-neutrals c1, c5, d6, h2

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
September 18, 2015 09:39

Hesitating moves of HN bishop and rook are beautiful! Well done!

Kjell Widlert
Kjell Widlert
September 19, 2015 00:41

The story is that when I proudly showed my Riga Balsam problem to Thomas in Ostróda, he immediately had the idea of adding the extra “hesitating” phase change. We made several attempts there, but could not find a sound setting in time for the tourney.

At home after the congress, this open and economical (and sound) setting was soon found. We believe the improvement is great enough for publication as a new problem (“after” the Riga Balsam one, of course). Our judge will have to decide how much the forerunner influences the evaluation of the new problem.

Thomas Maeder
Thomas Maeder
September 30, 2015 15:43

Rook and bishop now do a full cycle of color changes (black -> neutral -> white -> neutral -> black).

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x