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MatPlus.Net Forum Competitions Fairy solving
 
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(1) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Monday, Dec 17, 2012 00:01]

Fairy solving


I am doing my revision of bulletin Marianka 2012 and among other interesting articles there is report on fairy solving competition in Marianka too (directed by me). As this was the pioneer try in our area (abroad there was e.g. fairy solving competition at Crete congress in 2010 and some other before), I was quite conservative as far as fairy elements used for competition are concerned. I have used only grasshoppers and nightriders, no fairy conditions and also not so difficult set of stipulations: #2, #2, #3, #4, h#2, h#3, h#4.5, s#2, ser-h#6, ser-h#15, ser-h#18 and hs#3.

For some time I am already thinking about the next year. I'd like to repeat the event, but also I would like to use some other fairy elements. However, I do not want to repulse less experienced solvers and thus I'd like to limit the set of used fairy elements to some acceptable ones.

My questions thus are: which fairy elements would you welcome in fairy solving competition? Which are acceptable (I know G and N are ok, but which other?) and which are unacceptable for you (Köko, Supercirce, other?). I have my view on this, but of course, most probably it is quite biased.

Please, express yourself, if you have your opinion. I plan to set up some poll too and I would like to include some of public suggestions.
 
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(2) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Monday, Dec 17, 2012 04:11]

Circe, Maximummer, Neutrals and Madrasi are well-established and not too difficult to grasp.
 
 
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(3) Posted by Sven Hendrik Lossin [Monday, Dec 17, 2012 09:23]; edited by Sven Hendrik Lossin [12-12-17]

The Chinese pieces are also very familiar to me: Pao, Vao, Leo and even Nao.
Furthermore I agree with Ian with the exception that I would avoid Madrasi.
 
   
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(4) Posted by Neal Turner [Monday, Dec 17, 2012 09:55]

I've also used Reflex mates, Series movers & Proofgames.
Maybe some would consider these not to be 'fairy' - but they don't appear normal solving contests.
 
   
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(5) Posted by Kevin Begley [Monday, Dec 17, 2012 15:03]

I would encourage you not to base your decision according to popularity of a given fairy unit -- that is pure folly.

Instead, consider the following:
1) Does it come from a fundamental family of fairy units?

a) Leapers are fundamental.
Any (n,m)Leaper must be fair -- e.g., Vizir = (0,1)Leaper, Knight=(1,2)Leaper, Giraffe = (1,4)Leaper, etc...
This is the simplest form of the fundamental families.

Kings (and non-royal Kings) are probably the only case where complex combinations should be accepted.
non-royal King = Fers + Vizir = (1,1)Leaper + (0,1)Leaper.
Kings = Royal (0,1)Leaper+(1,1)Leaper + castling options - promotion options.

Otherwise, combinations should be avoided.

b) Riders are fundamental.
Any (n,m)Rider must be fair -- e.g., Rook=(0,1)Rider, Bishop=(1,1)Rider, Nightrider = (1,2)Rider, etc...

Queens [= Rook + Bishop = (0,1)Rider + (1,1)Rider] are probably the only case where complex combo should be accepted.

c) Rider+Leaper combinations:

I would suggest accepting only 3 familiar family-combinations:

Rook+Knight combo, Bishop+Knight combo, and Rook+Bishop+Knight combo.


2) Beyond the fundamental, there are some clearly defined unit families which should be accepted.

a) Rider-Hoppers are secondary, but essential.
Any (n,m)Rider-hopper should be OK -- e.g., Rookhopper = (0,1)Hopper...

Grasshoppers is the rare exception where I'd accept a combinational rider-hopper: (0,1)Hopper + (1,1)Hopper.

Already, you should be noticing a distinct pattern ==> only accept combos of (0,1)+(1,1)!

b) The Locust family is secondary, but simple, clear and essential => should be OK!
Any (n,m)Locust is fair.
The only Locust combination accepted should be: (0,1)Locust+(1,1)Locust (which is, itself, a Locust).

c) The (n,m)Equihopper family is secondary, but simple, clear and essential => should be OK!

d) The Chinese Family of Rider-Hoppers may be fair, but "decomposed" Knights (moa/mao) are not ideal!

If you can describe the entire family simply and clearly, the family is OK.
I would stay away from the Rose Family, the Marine family, double-hoppers, etc.

As for colors: Neutrals are very simple, and should be fair (except perhaps neutral Kings), whereas semi-neutral are not simple (not ideal).
I would stay away from ALL attributes, like semi-neutrals, Royal units, chameleons, etc.
Maybe Kamikaze units are OK, but only as a condition which applies to ALL units!

As for conditions:

Simple Circe (and Acirce) forms are good:
Circe, Anti-Circe, PWC, are very simple.
Also OK might be Equipollents Circe and Antipode Circe {rebirth=(4,4) from capture} -- these are very simple to define.

Not Take&Make, Parrain, etc -- complex circe forms lead to considerable debates (even when rules are supposedly known).

Other good conditions include:
Andernach, Madrasi -- anything you can very easily define (almost completely in 1 sentence).
Not Isardam, for example, where you must define Madrasi first!

No dynamic boards (like in Haan).
Simple Cylinder problems are maybe OK, providing you deal with castling issues.

Constraints are generally a very poor idea (even if easily defined):
Black idles unless checked, Maximummer, Koko, Alphabetiques, etc -- usually just a poor composer's means to extend some idea, well beyond the interest of the audience (these are almost never solver friendly)!

Idle-movers (series problems) are generally poor, too... except maybe in rare cases where perfect thematic analogy exists.

Alternative stipulations offer a clear choice (providing they are well defined):
The simplest is alternate aims: stalemate, capture, promotion, PG, A->B, etc.
Combination of play types are sometimes OK too: help-self problems and semi-reflex problems are good.
But, stay away from altered states (e.g., cap-zug, and MAFF), lest you want to see veins popping, and heads exploding.
 
 
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(6) Posted by Kevin Begley [Monday, Dec 17, 2012 15:12]; edited by Kevin Begley [12-12-17]

I would encourage you not to base your decision according to popularity of a given fairy unit -- that is pure folly.

Instead, consider the following:
1) Does it come from a fundamental family of fairy units?

a) Leapers are fundamental.
Any (n,m)Leaper must be fair -- e.g., Vizir = (0,1)Leaper, Knight=(1,2)Leaper, Giraffe = (1,4)Leaper, etc...
This is the simplest form of the fundamental families.

Kings (and non-royal Kings) are probably the only case where complex combinations should be accepted.
non-royal King = Fers + Vizir = (1,1)Leaper + (0,1)Leaper.
Kings = Royal (0,1)Leaper+(1,1)Leaper + castling options - promotion options.

Otherwise, combinations should be avoided.

b) Riders are fundamental.
Any (n,m)Rider must be fair -- e.g., Rook=(0,1)Rider, Bishop=(1,1)Rider, Nightrider = (1,2)Rider, etc...

Queens [= Rook + Bishop = (0,1)Rider + (1,1)Rider] are probably the only case where complex combo should be accepted.

c) Rider+Leaper combinations:

I would suggest accepting only 3 familiar family-combinations:

Rook+Knight combo, Bishop+Knight combo, and Rook+Bishop+Knight combo.


2) Beyond the fundamental, there are some clearly defined unit families which should be accepted.

a) Rider-Hoppers are secondary, but essential.
Any (n,m)Rider-hopper should be OK -- e.g., Rookhopper = (0,1)Hopper...

Grasshoppers is the rare exception where I'd accept a combinational rider-hopper: (0,1)Hopper + (1,1)Hopper.

Already, you should be noticing a distinct pattern ==> only accept combos of (0,1)+(1,1)!

b) The Locust family is secondary, but simple, clear and essential => should be OK!
Any (n,m)Locust is fair.
The only Locust combination accepted should be: (0,1)Locust+(1,1)Locust (which is, itself, a Locust).

c) The (n,m)Equihopper family is secondary, but simple, clear and essential => should be OK!

d) The Chinese Family of Rider-Hoppers may be fair, but "decomposed" Knights (moa/mao) are not ideal!

If you can describe the entire family simply and clearly, the family is OK.
I would stay away from the Rose Family, the Marine family, double-hoppers, etc.

As for colors: Neutrals are very simple, and should be fair (except perhaps neutral Kings), whereas semi-neutral are not simple (not ideal).
I would stay away from ALL attributes, like semi-neutrals, Royal units, chameleons, etc.
Maybe Kamikaze units are OK, but only as a condition which applies to ALL units!

As for conditions:

Simple Circe (and Acirce) forms are good:
Circe, Anti-Circe, PWC, are very simple.
Also OK might be Equipollents Circe and Antipode Circe {rebirth=(4,4) from capture} -- these are very simple to define.

Not Take&Make, Parrain, etc -- complex circe forms lead to considerable debates (even when rules are supposedly known).

Other good conditions include:
Andernach, Madrasi -- anything you can very easily define (almost completely in 1 sentence).
Not Isardam, for example, where you must define Madrasi first!
I'd stay clear of Sentinels -- though I must admit, there are a few lovely problems (notably some #2's) in this condition -- in general, the condition is overly used to produce a false-economy.

Alternate board sizes (especially smaller) are good -- providing special case rules remain clear.
But, no dynamic boards (like in Haan).
Simple Cylinder problems are OK, providing you deal special case issues (especially castling rules).

Constraints are generally a very poor idea (even if easily defined):
Black idles unless checked, Maximummer, Koko, Alphabetiques, etc -- usually just a poor composer's means to extend some idea, well beyond the interest of the audience (these are almost never solver friendly)!

Long idle-movers (series problems) are generally poor, too... except maybe in rare cases where perfect thematic analogy exists.

Alternative stipulations offer a clear choice (providing they are well defined):
The simplest is alternate aims: stalemate, capture, promotion, PG, A->B, etc.
Combination of play types are sometimes OK too: help-self problems and semi-reflex problems are good.
But, stay away from altered states (e.g., cap-zug, and MAFF), lest you want to see veins popping, and heads exploding.

Above all else, limit problems to those with a small set of non-interfering fairy elements, few units, few moves, and avoid special-case moves (castling, en passant, promotion).

It may be fine to have an Andernach, hs#2, with grasshoppers.
But, it's never a good idea to mix multiple conditions -- we immediately become skeptical that a "Parrain circe + Isardam + Republican Chess" problem will even hold up to scrutiny, given the strain.
 
   
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(7) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012 05:41]

Kevin, I'd be inclined to strike AntiCirce off the list: there are 2 sub-forms, requiring extra definition; and its effects are rather mind-boggling and counterintuitive until one gets used to it. Otherwise, everything else you've written makes good sense, in my opinion.
 
   
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(8) Posted by Kevin Begley [Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012 08:54]

Good point, Ian.
Maybe anti-circe isn't quite simple enough.
Unfortunate that the two popular forms seem to diminish the one clear idea.
Same thing happens with equihoppers (though, the non-stop equihopper seems the only logical version, to me).
 
 
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MatPlus.Net Forum Competitions Fairy solving