Thursday, November 13, 2014

Two miniatures by two friends

A problem with a total of up to 7 pieces is a Miniature.

In today's post we will see a direct two-mover by Nikos Pergialis and a helpmate five-mover by Emmanuel Manolas.

Nikos Pergialis, GR

8/8/8/8/3K4/p3S3/s2kp3/Q7 (3 + 4)

Tries : {1.Qe1+? / Qxa2+? K(x)e1!}, {1.Qc3+? Sxc3!}, {1.Sc4+? Kc2!}

Key : 1.Qb1! [2.Sc4#]
1...Sc1 2.Qb4#
1...e1=Q / e1=R 2.Qc2#
1...e1=S 2.Qd1#
1...e1=B 2.Qd1# / Qc2#

In this miniature we see Dual Avoidance in the black answers 1...e1=Q / T and 1...e1=S where, while White can play 2.Qc2 or 2.Qd1 to mate, the black promoted piece inhibits the one of the two white moves. The promotion to black Bishop is not a good black answer.
Also, we see Anti-reversal-Menace. The move 1.Qb1 threatens 2.Sc4#, but the move 1.Sc4 is not threating 2.Qb1#.
The Theme Ropke is present : Two black defences from promotion of a specific pawn to same square are followed by two different white moves.
The Theme Option is present : The key, and at least two tries with different defences, are played with the same piece.

Emmanuel Manolas, GR

3b4/K7/3k1r2/4s3/4b3/8/4P3/8 (2 + 5)
a) Diagram, b) wKa7 to g7

a) Diagram
1.Bb7 e4 2.Sd7 e5+ 3.Kc7 e6 4.Bc8 e7 5.Rc6 e8=S#

b) wKa7 to g7
1.Bc6 e4 2.Sf7 e5+ 3.Ke7 e6 4.Bd7 exf7 5.Re6 f8=Q#

In both solutions the wPe2 starts from its initial position and in the fifth move it gets promoted (to a different piece in each solution) and delivers mate. The course of the pawn is the Theme Excelsior.
The mate is done with self-block (even with sacrifice) of black pieces.
White moves only his pawn. The kind of piece that Black moves is the same in the corresponding moves of the two solutions. Black moves white-squared Bishop, Knight, King, white-squared Bishop, Rook.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Problem-composing machines

Some years ago "The Aesthetic Beauty of chess compositions" was measured by computer, using Chesthetica software by Dr. Azlan Iqbal.

In a recent article Dr. Azlan Iqbal presents a series of three-movers composed by computer, using DSNS (digital synaptic neural substrate).

In a recent post from WCCC in Bern, I said about Mr T. Linß, who presented to the composers of the Congress the past and future of computer software creating compositions. (At present, the demands of storage space limit this software to 6-pieces helpmates and 7-pieces selfmates).

Is there a foreseeable end in human creativity? Let us hope not in this century!