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MatPlus.Net Forum General Helpmate of the future... how long we have to wait?
 
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(1) Posted by Milan Velimirović (+) [Saturday, Jan 20, 2007 03:16]

Helpmate of the future... how long we have to wait?


Once upon a time, in last Millenium, some wise man invented the term "Helpmate of the future". Now, who is entitled to tell has that future already begun, or how long do we have to wait for it :)

My concrete question is about recent masterpiece by Fadil Abdurahmanović. It took part in a theme tourney, but only two phases are thematic, while additional two (making it a "helpmate of the future"?!) are not, but still very related. Why did that problem have a special treatment? Was it unthematic, or did author take an unfair advantage over other participants (similar to usage of promoted force, or some other kind of "the wind from behind")?. The judge certainly understood the value, but obviously hesitated to estimate it in the same way the "helpmates of the present and past" are estimated.

Here is the masterpiece:
 
Fadil Abdurahmanović
Spec. Prize Belgrade
Internet Tourney 2006
(= 5+9 )
h#2 (4.1.1.1.)
 



1.Bf4: Rc5+ 2.Kd6 Rd3#
1.Sb3: Bc5 2.Kb5 Qa4#
1.Sb4: Qd4 2.Sa2 Rc5#
1.fe5 Be7: 2.e4 Qd6#
Theme required capture of rear (masked) pieces as shown in first two solution, but it seems that author "made a foul" adding another pair of solutions with captures of front pieces.

A question for helpmate experts: does the additional content, i.e. non-thematic extra phase(s), make the composition as a whole non-thematic for a theme tourney? The opinion of a helpmate non-expert: I don't think so.
 
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(2) Posted by Paz Einat [Saturday, Jan 20, 2007 12:50]

Simply a fabulous problem! Regarding the question by the non-expert, here’s an opinion by another non-expert.
If the theme requirement didn’t specifically disallow additional non-thematic solutions they should not cause the problem to be placed in a special category. Such solutions constitute such an enhancement that they must be regarded only positively, and highly so.
For some years no the helpmate genre needs a good shakeup, because of dwindling of originality grounds coupled with much conservatism by many composers and judges. The appearance of the “Helpmate of the Future? was a refreshing change in the right direction, but more is needed. For example, few composers try to push forward the notion that perfect harmony is not necessarily an advantage and presence of disharmony between the solutions can be advantageous. This is like comparing a classical drawing of a vase of flowers done to perfection and is photo-like, to one drawn by an impressionalist, or even a modern painter.
In order not to leave this as an theoretical issue I give an example (out of many that already exist:

Einat, Avner, Rotenberg, Calliaud
1st HM 5 days tourney Wageningen 2006

(= 8+12 )


H#2 ( 8 + 12 )
Twin: Exchange a4 e5
a) 1.Sf6?, Sd2?,
1.Sg3! Rb4 2.Sce4 c4 #

b) 1.Sd7?, Sb3,S:e6?
1.Sb7! Be3 2.Sec5 Rd4 #

In the first solution 1…Rb4 is an interference-unpin of c4 and in the second solution 1…Be3 is an interference of a check line. The rest, including the tries, has a good balance. So, is any of the interferences better then the other?

 
 
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(3) Posted by Paz Einat [Saturday, Jan 20, 2007 12:51]

Small error: "For some years no.." should be "For some years now..."
 
 
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(4) Posted by Thomas Maeder [Friday, Jan 26, 2007 22:43]

> A question for helpmate experts: does the additional content, i.e. non-thematic extra
> phase(s), make the composition as a whole non-thematic for a theme tourney? The opinion
> of a helpmate non-expert: I don't think so.

I agree, and I don't think that the question is specific to helpmates.

Normally, the thematical requirement imposed by a theme tourney is a *minimal* requirement. Fadil's problem fulfilled that requirement and is thus thematic.

[There are exceptions, but they are rare; recently, there was a tourney asking for helpmate problems with exactly three thematical solutions (or was it phases?); obviously fulfilling the minimum of 3 and adding another one is non-thematic in such a tourney.]

Whether the added content improves the problem, is a different question which has to be judged separately for each problem. I find it hard to believe that anybody would think it doesn't in Fadil's problem.

 
 
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(5) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Saturday, Mar 31, 2007 00:57]

I agree with all of you. Adding additional content shouln't decrease the worth in a helpmate. This helpmate also has something not many problems have - humor. It's brillant to see how every white piece except the king is captured in the first move. It's a pity the bPe7 was necessary to be captured but that's the only flaw I can see in this problem.

Is there a link to the judgement report? I'd like to see the judge's comment and the prized helpmates.

However, I understand the judge may have feared to decide wrong with awarding the first prize or he felt it's something really special so he gave a special prize. I don't understand yet why a special prize should be worth less than a normal prize.
 
   
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(6) Posted by Iļja Ketris [Monday, Apr 2, 2007 01:08]; edited by Iļja Ketris [07-04-06]

The tourney results were here.

While this problem is undoubtedly superior to almost any other in that competition, the judges took into consideration only the thematic pair of solutions. One can see that the intensity of thematic realization was the dominating criterion for judgment. E.g., all first three prizewinners exhibited triplication of the theme. I myself have submitted two entries to this tourney, and was slightly surprized by the fact that the clearly superior entry in my own view, was discarded in favor of another, and I suspect this was mainly because it showed the theme only twice.

However, this is a perfectly valid basis for judging a thematic tourney. If this problem were sent elsewhere, it could have probably won the first prize, but if the author's discretion was to compete with it in a theme tourney, while realizing that the problem is only half-thematic, special prize is exactly what it should get.

For example, if otherwise perfect problem would not be thematic at all, it would be rightfully disqualified from a theme tourney, I think that no one would argue with that.
 
 
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MatPlus.Net Forum General Helpmate of the future... how long we have to wait?