Saturday, October 04, 2008


During the 51st World Congress of Chess Composition, in Jurmala Latvia 30/08 - 06/09/2008, various composition contests were organized. In the Quick Composing Tourney, Helpmates section, with Judge Mr Harry Fougiaxis IM, the First Prize was given to the French Grand Master Michel Caillaud, for an Anticirce problem of his.
It is surely worthwhile for us to study this problem and see what this great problemist had composed in less than two hours.

The stipulation of the problem was " h#2 (7+14) Anticirce, Nightriders (1+2) ", that is help-mate in two moves, there are seven white and fourteen black pieces, there are five solutions, the condition is Anticirce, between the pieces there are Nightriders one white and two black.

Let us see all these one by one.
Help- problem is that where Black plays first and helps White to achieve a goal.
The goal here is Mate in two moves, (So this is a helpmate problem).
The problem has five solutions.
The problem belongs to Fairy chess, since there is an Anticirce condition and fairy pieces (Nightriders).
The condition Anticirce states : On making a capture, the captured piece is lost and the capturing piece is reborn on its initial- game- square, but if it cannot be regenerated there the capture is forbidden.
The squares for rebirth of white orthodox pieces are on line-1. The white Pawns are reborn on line-2. The white fairy pieces, which we believe that have appeared on the chessboard during a strange promotion, are reborn on line-8 on the column they made the capture. The lines of rebirth are respectively line-8 for black pieces, line-7 for black pawns, line-1 for black fairy pieces.
The Nightrider is a linear piece, a Rider running on a straight line, and its every step is like a Knight move.
We know that this composer is fond of the theme of multiple promotions (AUW Allumwandlung), where we see four promotions of a Pawn to Queen, Rook, Bishop and Knight. In the position of this problem appears one more kind of piece, the Knightrider. So, the composer will expand the theme AUW to five promotions, (super AUW), and that is why there are five solutions!

(Problem 241)
Michel Caillaud,
First Prize, Quick Composing Ty, 51 WCCC 2008
Helpmate in 2 moves. Anticirce. There are Nightriders.
h#2 Anticirce (10+4) Nightrider (1+2)

The white Nightrider wNc6 keeps the bQ pinned. If the black Queen moves, the Nightrider can capture the black King, because the square g8 for its rebirth is free. Just after the Pawn g7 goes to g8 to be promoted, the black Queen is unpinned!
If the bQ moves, a battery is formed. The threating piece is the wNc6 and covering piece is the promoted piece on g8. If the promoted piece leaves g8, the battery is fired and gives check to the bK.

Let us see the five solutions...

Key : 1.Rf3-h3! g7-g8=Q 2.Qe5-g3 (the bQ is unpinned and goes to g3) Qg8xd5[wQd5->d1]# (with a random move by the wQg8 the wNc6 checks but the bQ can return to e5 and stop it. What is needed then is a double check, and the wQ captures bSd5 and is reborn on d1 and gives also a check).

Key : 1.Nh1-g3! (the bNh1 goes to g3. The square h1 is now empty and a Rook from there can close the flight h3 of the bK) g7-g8=R 2.Qe5-e8 (the bQ is unpinned and goes to e8, helping wRg8 to leave g8 (now wNc6 checks) and capture on a white square and appear on h1. If the bQ had moved to black square b8, then wRg8 capturing the bQ there would appear on a1 and the bK would flee through h3 from the check of wNc6.) Rg8xe8[wRe8->h1]#

Key : 1.Nf1-g3! (the bNf1 goes to g3. The square f1 is now empty and a Bishop from there can close the flight h3 of the bK) g7-g8=B 2.Qe5-e6 (the bQ is unpinned and goes to e6) Bg8xe6[wBe6->f1]#

Key : 1.Rg1-g3! (the bRg1 goes to g3. The square g1 is now empty and a Knight from there can close the flight h3 of the bK) g7-g8=S 2.Qe5-e7 (the bQ is unpinned and goes to e7. The bQ does not capture the Pawn on f6 because the bQ will be reborn on d8 and, when the promoted Knight tries to move, the wS cannot capture and cannot be reborn on g1 and the flight h3 will stay open for the bK to flee from the check of wNc6.) Sg8xe7[wSe7->g1]#

Key : 1.Bh4-g3! (the bBh3 goes to g3 and the wQh6 holds h3) g7-g8=N 2.Qe5xf6[bQf6->d8] (the bQ is unpinned and captures wPf6 (to open a path for wNg8) and is reborn on d8 and pins wNg8!) Ng8xe4[wNe4->e8]# (the Nightrider leaves g8 (the bQ is not giving check - the white move is not yet finished) captures the bSe4 (the bQ is not giving check - the white move is not yet finished) and is reborn on the same file on e8 (the bQ finally is not giving check) giving double check together with wNc6).

The comment of the Judge Harry Fougiaxis was : Transformation of the set pin along the line c6-e5-g4 to a battery yields a super-AUW with five black pieces playing to the same square as additional formal element. A superb piece of work.

Our comment : Michel Caillaud has created a piece of art!

(This post in Greek language).


papadoble said...

Even though I know almost nothing in Circe family problems and fairy pieces, your comments allow to appreciate the depth and beauty of this masterpiece :-)
I can't help thinking though that maybe the great Michel Caillaud had had the idea of the matrix before...

alkinoos said...

Actually, the judge Harry Fougiaxis asked GM Michel Caillaud if he had something already prepared, and he, smiling, answered [Of course not!] in his sincere way.
I do believe him. I personally know that he is a man of great talent and ability.

Anonymous said...

payudara montok : Even though I know almost nothing in Circe family problems and fairy pieces, your comments allow to appreciate the depth and beauty of this masterpiece..!!

Emmanuel Manolas said...

Thank you Payudara Montok.