Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Task (3), with Babson promotions

As we have said, task is the composition that achieves the maximum number of variations with a specific characteristic.

Theme: Babson task : White plays first. Black defends with four promotions (Q, R, B, S) (AUW allumwandlung). White answers with four corresponding promotions (Q, R, B, S).

The American composer A. J. Babson proposed this theme in 1925, for corresponding promotion of black and white pawns. The years passed, and the composers managed to present Heterodox problems with the Babson task but failed to construct Orthodox (direct-mates) problems.
In 1934 André Chéron, a specialist in end-games and in problems with promotions declared that an Orthodox Babson will never be composed.
In 1964 the composer Pierre Drumare put as object of his life the Search for the Impossible, that is to compose an Orthodox Babson. What he presented after years of work was a monstrous construct – the pieces of your chess-board are not enough to set the position, because it needs nine Rooks and nine Bishops. In 1982 he quitted, declaring that an Orthodox Babson will never be composed.
In 1983 the unknown until then composer Leonid Vladimirivitch Yarosh published a problem (his third published problem!) and it was a completely correct and legal Orthodox Babson! Indeed Yarosh had a few more Babsons unpublished!

(Problem 122)
L. V. Yarosh,
Published in magazine ‘Shakhmatny v. SSSR’
White plays and mates in 4 moves
#4 (14+8)

Key: 1.Rxh4! (ok, this is not a very nice key, but in the next problem Yarosh took care for this also...)
1...cxb1=Q 2.axb8=Q [3.Qd6] Qxb2 3.Qb3 Qc3 4.Qxc3#
1...cxb1=R 2.axb8=R [3.Rxf4] Rxb2 3.Rb3 Kxc4 4.Rxf4#
1...cxb1=B 2.axb8=B [3.Ba7] Be4 3.Bxf4 Bxh1 4.Be3#
1...cxb1=S 2.axb8=S [3.Sc6] Sxd2 3.Sc6+ Kc3 4.Rc1#

(Problem 123)
L. V. Yarosh,
First Prize, ‘Shakhmatny v. SSSR’
White plays and mates in 4 moves
#4 (16+8)

Key: 1.a7!
1...axb1=Q 2.axb8=Q Qxb2 3.Qxb3 Qc3 4.Qaxc3#
1...axb1=R 2.axb8=R Rxb2 3.Rxb3 Kxc4 4.Qa4#
1...axb1=B 2.axb8=B Be4 3.Bxf4 Bxa8 4.Be3#
1...axb1=S 2.axb8=S Sxd2 3.Qc1 Se4 4.Sc6#

(Since 1983 more than a dozen Babsons have been composed by various composers.
The content of this post comes from texts of Tim Krabbé, whose interesting web page you may find at this address).

[This post in Greek language].

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