Julia's Fairies

Original Problems (5)

Original Problems (page 5)

I’ll publish some of my problems here and I’d be happy to receive yours! Diagrams, comments, new ideas, anything to discuss – are very appreciated!

The site is mostly about fairies, but h# and s# are also welcome! Please send your problems to my e-mail: julia@juliasfairies.com

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Before we had Locusts, and had KoBul Kings, but now we have the both in one problem! Fine miniature, Aristocrat –

No.16 – hs#4,5  by Petko A.Petkov

The next one –  the author of article “Block of Neutral Battery-Piece” shows its theme in his own problem:

No.17 – hs#3  by Petko A.Petkov


Locust (L): moves on Q-lines but only by capturing an enemy unit, arriving on the square immediately beyond that unit, which must be vacant.

Rook-Locust (LR): Moves like Locust, but on Rook-lines only.

Bishop-Locust (LB): Moves like Locust, but on Bishop-lines only.

KoBul Kings: See the definition on Page 1 of Original Problems.

Grasshopper(G): Moves along Q-lines over another unit of either color to the square immediately beyond that unit. A capture may be made on arrival, but the hurdle is not affected.

Nightrider(N): A Rider along a straight line on squares lying a Knight`s move away from each other.


No.16 Petko A.Petkov
hs#4,5           2 solutions          (3+3)
KoBul Kings
Black Royal Piece Rb3
Black Rook-Locust h4
I. 1…Be3 2.Rg4 LRxg4-f4 [wrK=rR] 3.rRd1 Bc1 4.rRf1 rRb1 5.Sxf4 [brR=rLR] ! – zugzwang! and follows 5…Bxf4 [wrR=rS] # (1…rRb1?)
II. 1…rRb8 2.Re4 Ba7 3.rKc4 LRxe4-d4 [wrK=rR] + 4.rRa4 rRa8 5.Sxd4 [brR=rLR]! – zugzwang! and follows 5…Bxd4 [wrR=rS] # (1.rRa3?)
Creation of black batteries B/R after manouevres of black Rook and Bishop which stands in initial position not on the battery-line! Three black half-moves are needed for this goal. Thematic sacrifices of white R and S and creation of non-standard final position in which b.B is pinned and should give mate (because of zugzwang) with a specific for this genre unpining-capture (it changes phase of w. rR into w. rS). Ideal echo-mates with only 6 pieces on the board in Aristoсratic form! (Author)

No.17 Petko A.Petkov
hs#3           2 solutions          (4+8+2)
Black Grasshopper d6
Neutral Locusts: b4, g6
Black Locust h8
White Nightriders: b7, e6
I.1.Ned8 Ga3! (1…Gh6??) 2.Nh6! Gd3 3.Qc5+! (3.Qe6+?) nLOxc5-d6#
II. 1.Nc2 Gh6 (1…Ga3??) 2.Na3! Gd2 3.Qe6+! (3.Qc5+?) nLOxe6-d6#
Greation of black anti-batteries on the “d”-vertical, created by Grasshopper as rear piece and neutral Locust as forward piece. Play of white masced battery Q/N , combined with thematic sacrifices of the white Queen on c5/e6 – with a goal – attraction of neutral Locusts on square d6. An important moment in this combination is white blocks on a3/h6 – after these N- moves it is impossible for neutral Locusts to leave battery-line. It’s interesting, that on important thematic squares a3/h6 plays White and Black in every solution. Anti-dual tries of black Gd6 and white Queen. This theme belongs to my present article. (Author)

The diagrams are made on WinChloe and it’s Echecs font is used for Logo design.

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Juraj Lörinc
Juraj Lörinc
May 22, 2012 15:59

No 16. is a composition of a high class. Just necessary fairy elements, just necessary material. And in spite of lean position quite analogous specific strategy in both solutions.

Juraj Lörinc
Juraj Lörinc
May 22, 2012 18:01

No 17. leaves impression of something hidden in the position. In my view the use of nightriders is not required, the scheme works as well with B-R battery instead of N-Q. I even have almost correct position right now, but it requires some further improvements, so I may add it later.

(And in the 1st solution 1.Ned8 should be the first move.)

Juraj Lörinc
Juraj Lörinc
May 22, 2012 22:37
Reply to  Juraj Lörinc

E.g. the following position works.

White : Ke3 Rd5 Bh1 Sc8 Pf7d6f6 Gf8h8
Black : Ka8 Ph6 Ge4 Lb2
Neutral : Lg6c4
b) Ph6->h5

a) 1.Gh5 Gb4 2.Gh7 Ge7 3.Rd4+ nL×d4-e4#
b) 1.Gh4 Gh7 2.Gb4 Ge7 3.Rf5+ nL×f5-e4#

Actually I was trying to make the b) position hs#3,5 with a) position as the set play, but it was too ambitious in the short time I had alloted to the work over the scheme. Still cooked. But I believe it should be possible.

Another possibility is the use of white pieces pair alternatively guarding the square in the bK net and blocking thematical squares, instead of single grasshopper.

Finally also some material perhaps can be saved.

May 23, 2012 10:35
Reply to  Julia

Juraj.. This is a very nice version of Petkov’s idea. It is good that dual avoidance play of the black grasshopper on move 1 is also retained.

Petko A.Petkov
Petko A.Petkov
May 23, 2012 11:29

About Juraj`s comments. Thank You very much to Juraj for your interesting comments of my originals N 16 and N 17! It is always pleasant, when a world known master shows such activity in discussions which have important value for our art!

Of course, now I want to express my opinion about comments of friend Lorinc and his position (version) which I shall designate further as “Lorinc`s position” (LP): White : Ke3 Rd5 Bh1 Sc8 Pf7d6f6 Gf8h8; Black : Ka8 Ph6 Ge4 Lb2; Neutral : Lg6c4 – hs#3; b) Ph6->h5; solutions: a) 1.Gh5 Gb4 2.Gh7 Ge7 3.Rd4+ nL×d4-e4#; b) 1.Gh4 Gh7 2.Gb4 Ge7 3.Rf5+ nL×f5-e4#.

I believe that demonstrating his LP, Juraj is going to show a version which is better than my original N 17. Now it is necessary to discuss a question – whether he was in time?

I think that it is possible to answer on this question, considering LP in two aspects: а) Technical aspect b) Thematic aspect.

A) Technical aspect

Juraj demonstrates a position with 15 pieces (a figure “plus” than No. 17) and a problem which is created with twins (N 17 has 14 pieces with 2 solutions).

But it is obvious that LP is created not perfect, with many technical minuses. For example, Gf8 is a bad technical piece – it controls square b8 and blocks Pf7 (against cook). Unpleasant are white Pawns d6 and f6.

Very easy is to find an other position in which Gf8 is removed and 2 white pawns – replaced with black, for example – Position A: a) 1. Ga4 Gg5 2. Ga2 Gd2 3.Re5+ nLOxe5-d5#; b) 1.Ga5 Ga2 2.Gg5 Gd2 3.Rc4+ nLOxc4-d5#. Many other improvements of LP are possible, better versions as A – position also. I think that LP is made only in “blitz – tempo” from Juraj – therefore – without sufficient depth.

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b) Thematic aspect

Here mine relation to a position of Lorinc (LP) is categorically negative. At first, in LP we see very unpleasant repetition of move 2…Ge7 in both phases! It is a big thematic and aesthetical defect! It is easy to create such anti-batteries with repeated black moves of battery-pieces. Pay attention to the fact that in No 17 the black Grasshopper plays on its second move in both phases on different fields – d2 and d3! This differentiation has great importance (it is rather difficult to demonstrate such thematic feature!) and without it I wouldn’t compose this problem.

But the biggest thematic defect of LP is another. Let we see again solutions of No. 17: I.1.Ned8 Ga3! (1…Gh6??) 2.Nh6! Gd3 3.Qc5+! (3.Qe6+?) nLOxc5-d6#; II. 1.Nc2 Gh6 (1…Ga3??) 2.Na3! Gd2 3.Qe6+! (3.Qc5+?) nLOxe6-d6#. Here we have very important and interesting black tries (with anti dual-effect) on the first black moves: in I solution is false 1…Gh6? because the black Grasshopper takes away square h6 for the white Nightrider (2.Nxh6??) Therefore right is 1…Ga3! 2.Nh6! Analogical in II solution is false (1…Ga3??) because the black Grasshopper takes away square a3 for the white Nightrider (2.Nxa3??)

This anti-dual effect (duel) is a main thematic element in contents of my №17! But it is obviously that there is no such main element in Juraj`s LP – setting! In his positions with twins Gh8 such duel is practical impossible!

Conclusion: the contents of LP is very far in the thematic and esthetic relation from No. 17, which is much better as LP also in technical attitude. On this reason I cannot accept that Juraj`s LP can be any base for eventual improvement of my №17. Also the cited here position A which is obviously better as LP, contains same thematic minuses, as LP.

Juraj Lörinc
Juraj Lörinc
May 23, 2012 12:02
Reply to  Petko A.Petkov

Thank you, Petko, for such instructive response.

As far as the technical aspects of LP are concerned, I’d like to reiterate that LP was just a “proof of concept” that nightriders are not necessary in the scheme. Of course, I was not satisfied with the construction and I have remarked that in my comment.

Further, I do see some potential in the scheme along the lines already remarked above – simply, it should be possible to add strategy or other valuable content, perhaps on the expense of some of Petko’s strategy. This would mean the composition is different and the content shown is different, even if the large part of the scheme – especially the skeleton formed by white battery, black grasshopper and two neutral locusts – would be the same.

Now the thematic aspect. Here, and it can be hardly surprise to anyone, the views may differ. For me, the move 2…Ge7 is not strictly repeated as grasshopper has travelled different paths. Nevertheless I agree that differentiation of arrival squares on the future antibattery line is valuable. Here it is controlled by the distances and angles nL-G-nL, so various configurations are possible with the mentioned skeleton. Even the B-R battery allows that and I have changed Petko’s scheme here purely for technical reasons. It can be cured in various ways.

I do not agree that there is no dual avoidance effects in my position. Actually it is in LP just like in Petko’s position.
a) 1.Gh5 Gh7?? 2.Gxh7 … therefore only 1…Gb4
b) 1.Gh4 Gb4?? 2.Gxb4 … therefore only 1…Gh7
Clearly, as soon as the first move of White is played, the positions are the same from this dual avoidance point of view (for me, of course, views may differ), twinning does not play any role anymore.

My conclusion: yes, Petko’s position is better in some aspects: differentiation of bG arrival on antibattery line and better economy. Yet, the use of nightriders is not necessary (this is what I was mainly trying to show by LP). And of course, like in most cases, I feel it should be possible to find position(s) far superior to all discussed in this conversation. I have remarked some of them in my previous comment.

Finally once again, I really appreciate Petko’s comments, thank you!

Petko A.Petkov
Petko A.Petkov
May 24, 2012 00:35

Thank You, Juraj for your new, very interesting comments!
Further I’ll offer some more explanations. Certainly, this principle reflects my own creative views. This criteria which I apply for more than 50 years in my work as composer appeared successful and fruitful. For this reason I want to explain in more detail some questions which we discuss here. My main goal is eventually to help to some young composers which show interest to this matter. But it is necessary to mean that my criteria (as criteria of each person) have subjective character.

1.Why Nightrider?

Juraj`s opinion that “nightriders are not necessary in the scheme” deserves a special attention.
The first question here is: what means the term “scheme”?
Many answers are possible here, but I accept that: The scheme (mechanism) – it is a structure (of pieces), which author chooses freely and creates itself, with a goal to compose on this basis a chess problem on a concrete theme, according to his creative views and technical possibilities.
Without doubts, creating his own scheme, the author can apply freely any number of fairy pieces or (plus) fairy conditions. Therefore it is wrong to say abstractly – as general conclusion, that at the identical contents, a problem which has 2 kind of fairy pieces (for example Grasshoppers and Locusts) is better than a problem which has 3 kinds of pieces (for example – Grasshoppers, Locusts and Nightrieders).
The quality valuation of a problem is a result of a complex, aesthetic analysis of this work – in thematic and in technical attitude. This valuation cannot be a result from application of only one formal, quantitative criterion, which is the number and kind of fairy pieces on the board.
My scheme in №17 has a masced battery Queen /Nightrider, two neutral Locusts and a black Grasshopper. According to Juraj`s opinion, the same thematic is possible to demonstrate without Nightriders, using only neutral Locusts and Grasshoppers. This Lorinc`s idea leads to the other mechanism in which there is white orthodox battery Rook/ Bishop, and thematic blocks and creation of anti-batteries with rear piece G are realized with Grasshoppers (white and black) only.
More concretely, Juraj considers obviously ( in connection with concrete thematic here), that in every case a problem without w.Ns is better as a problem (for example №17) where exist Nightriders. With a goal to try to prove this concept, he gives an obviously experimental position which has a lot of technical and thematic defects and which considerably concedes on quality to the original №17 and even to the later position “A”.

The second question: why it is necessary to compare problems of identical contents, but with different number of fairy pieces? As I already noted, a very attentive complex assessment is necessary! Practically it means that it is necessary to pay attention to all, even the smallest, thematic and constructive nuances in both problems.
Also, it is clear: In LP – position and in a position A the economy of a material is bad, both settings have technical shortcomings (in this number – technical white figures and Pawns) through fact, that LP and A are composed with twins. Therefore, still it is not proved yet, that removal of NN would have positive еffect after the relation of a design of a problem. On the contrary – №17 has 14 pieces only, without white Pawns and without any white technical figures, which probably are inevitable in any other positions of type “LP” or “A”.

In my opinion we can formulate the following aesthetic criteria: If we have two problems (versions) – X and Y, on equal thematic but with different number of kinds of fairy pieces on the board: X = “n”, Y = n+1, the problem Y can be better, if its “kind of fairy piece plus” is used thematic, and if it follows to more economical, and more aesthetical setting as in a problem X! Doing these comparison always is necessary to remember that the problem with twins is almost always worse than problem with two or more thematic solutions.
Therefore, in my opinion №17 (without twins) is better as LP and A (both with twins), because №17 has a perfect and more economical constructions and in this problem the “fairy kind piece plus” – Nightrider plays a very important thematic role.

In LP position (also in A) the thematic blocks on b4/h7 are realized by the white Gh8. OK, but it is obvious that this figure stands bad on square “h8” – de facto – rather isolated and with limited mobility which is, by the by, often typical for this fairy-piece. The bad position of Gh8 hints the necessity of immediate inclusion of this piece in play. From other side, because of the twin, here is obviously the key-move in b) position – 1.Gh4.

In my opinion, in this strange theme, better is to block the thematic squares with powerful white or black pieces, instead of the weak pieces, as Pawns, Grasshoppers, etc. The block with a powerful piece strengthens the effect of “surprise” of the thematic block-move. On this reason, in №17 the blocks on a3/h3 with white Nightrider are in thematic and in aesthetical attitude better and more surprising as the blocks on b4/h7 in LP with the white Gh8. This aesthetic argument was very important in my practical work! More concretely: I aspired to show here thinking about my main theme, also a paradoxical idea – one very strong, centric white figure – Ne6, in process of play carries out blocks, being removed through long moves on endmost verticals of board!

2. About a duel

In my former comment I spoke about “anti-dual effect (duel) as a main thematic element in contents of my №17”. Why duel? Let’s look once again at No. 17. There is a thematic combined play with reciprocal effects between white Nightrider – e6 and black Grasshopper – d5. Concrete features here are: a) White to move: N should play on a3/h6,
b) Black to move: G should play also on a3/h6.
An important moment: each thematic figure should choose exact field (from two possible for it) on which it will step. If N plays on a3, G plays on h6 and in contrary. This reciprocal play with anti-dual effect can be full aesthetic and of full value, if both pieces have equal possibilities to play on a3/h6.
But! In LP position and in A -position there is no such situation! In LP , if Black to move: black Grasshopper can play on b4 and h7. OK. But when White to move – white Gh8 can play only on h7 in a) position and only in b4 in b) position. This small at first sight feature in reality is an important weakness in my opinion. It means, that because of different possibilities of this thematic pieces to occupy thematic squares b4,h7 (Ge4 has 2 possibilities, Gh8 – only one) the thematic duel is not adequate in thematic and in aesthetic attitude. This feature depreciates in some degree also anti-dual tries here.
It is possible to correct this weakness, creating also a setting without twin, which is obviously undesirable in this situation? My answer is: yes. It is possible in such position for example – position B which have character mainly as education example :

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I. 1.Gb8 Gh7 (1…Gb4?) 2.Gb4 Ge7 3.Rf5+ nLOxf5-e4#;
II.1.Gh5 Gb4 (1…Gh7) 2.Gh7 Ge7 3.Rd4+ nLOxd4-e4#.

This position, probably not optimal, shows, that 2 solutions and a perfect G-G duel are possible here. But this version in my opinion signals also, that using this mechanism it is practically impossible to create a position which is sufficient economic, in particular – more economical and more aesthetic as №17. Therefore, the application of Nightriders in №17 is not a causal phenomenon (or author`s error!), but a deeply considered concept which was repeatedly examined in work- experiments.
For this reason, I think, that future work over positions as LP, A or B, would be small effective and small fruitful.

3. About repetition of a move

Here my position is absolutely categorical – not thematic repetition of a move is always a weakness in every kind of chess problem. There is no importance, that one piece “X” comes on field “y” two times but during different ways. For example, if in an orthodox threemover our white Sh1 mates two times on е4 – via f2 and via g3, but this moment have no importance! The repetition 3.Se4# is a fact and it is weakness. In my opinion it is not needed to discuss seriously such elementary questions. For me of course the repetition 2…Ge7 in position B remains also an important minus.

May 24, 2012 06:48

Thanks Petko for this very detailed write-up. It was very interesting and will be useful for composers like me.

Everybody will agree with your comment that multi-solution problems are preferable to twins.

But some (not all) twins can be more interesting. When the twinning is very subtle, the reason why the other solution(s) does not work can be intriguing to find. That can add to the enjoyment of solving.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x