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MatPlus.Net Forum Competitions Serpukhov-15 JT 25 years - "blitz theme tourney" for atom chess studies
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(1) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Friday, Sep 26, 2008 08:58]

Serpukhov-15 JT 25 years - "blitz theme tourney" for atom chess studies

On the 25th anniversary of the russian officer Stanislav Evgrafovich Petrov saving the world from a nuclear war in Serpukhov-15 bunker after receiving a false alarm (the whole story can be found on internet, for example, I hereby announce a blitz theme tourney for Atomic Chess studies to the honor of Petrov's decision. (Note: He is not involved in any way in organisation of this tourney.)

- In a draw study of Atomic Chess, Rex Inclusive, the - or one - main line ends in a stalemate that uses atomic chess rules, while in orthodox play the position would not be a stalemate. Originals only! (primary, formal tourney)
- In atomic chess, on the field of a capture, the capturing unit is pulverized as well as the taken unit and all units in the 3, 5 or 8 fields next to the capture field.

Additional rules:
- Moves that destroy both kings are not allowed. Further fairy conditions are not allowed, especially if used to circumvent this.
- Dead Reckoning is excluded (means: if there is a unique way in a so called dead position to reach a stalemate, it can be shown)
- Maximum three studies per author

Examples (probably not useful for studies unmodified):
(= 1+2 )

(= 1+2 )

(= 1+2 )

Siegfried Hornecker

Prize funds:
no prize funds

Tourney director:
Siegfried Hornecker
Matthäusstr. 15
89520 Heidenheim

Entries are sent preferrably by e-mail, but postal is also allowed. Please send early if postal is intended so I receive it until end of October. Date of e-mail or postal stamp counts. Studies will not be anonymized.

Siegfried Hornecker

Publication of award will be in this thread, if allowed. Else publication on another internet address which will - together with the award - be sent via e-mail.

Closing date:
October 26th 2008, GMT+1 or UTC+1
After the closing date it is not possible anymore to correct studies, but until publication of the award they can be withdrawn (without replacement) by the authors.
Award is planned to be published on early November 2008 with claims able to be made for three months.
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(2) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Friday, Sep 26, 2008 11:29]

Methinks the three examples you gave weren't that good
since in the orthodox case White could simply draw by
doing the capture. (Add a gratuituous black pawn.)


P.S. Will the tourney be concluded in case of an
unexpected nuclear war? After all, Internet is said
to survive even that :-)
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(3) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Friday, Sep 26, 2008 18:00]

Special diagram for Hauke

(= 2+7 )

In the case of nuclear war, it depends:
If I survive, it will be concluded.
If I don't survive (or die for other reasons without nuclear war), it won't be concluded by me.
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(4) Posted by Eric Huber [Saturday, Sep 27, 2008 06:39]

This fairy study tourney is an excellent idea.
But in the definition mentioned in the announcement, you say that "all units" next to the capture square are pulverized as well. Atomic Chess is played on the Internet with slightly different rules ( "All pieces (not pawns) that are on squares adjacent to ground zero (horizontally, vertically and diagonally) are destroyed in the explosion."
Pawns or not pawns? that is the question.
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(5) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Saturday, Sep 27, 2008 06:48]

That's a very good remark!

I think, both types should be allowed to enter. Feel free to compose!
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(6) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Saturday, Oct 18, 2008 08:52]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [08-10-18]

Only ten days left. Composers that use postal ways to send studies in countries where the post takes longer to arrive should start to send now! It'd be very nice if I had all until October 31. Remember, deadline is October 26th!
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(7) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Monday, Oct 27, 2008 06:16]

Received was one study by three authors of (I think) one country. Due to the low level of competition and to not take them away the study, I decided to judge it without presenting the diagram nor solution. If the authors wish, it can be added, but I think it would win a high award in other tourneys, too, and don't want to waste it for a non-competitive competition.

Here a few remarks about the tourney.

Why was this stipulation chosen?
It is obvious that the stipulation was chosen to represent the history of September 26th 1983. At that time there was - much like today - a nuclear stalemate by the United States and USSR. This also explains why the theme was chosen: It would not have been possible, even in the same situation, to have such a stalemate with conventional intercontinental weapons. Due to actual political developments, especially about the rocket shield in Poland, we feel it is time to recall the dangers of a cold war and also honor a real hero who may have sacrificed everything to save humanity. Stanislav Petrov was a man with an unusual contribution to the world that would not have been possible before the nuclear age. In a few moments, with neither time nor fear, he decided to mistrust his computer that showed a nuclear attack against Russia. Based on the opinion that a first strike would include not only five missiles, as shown by the computer, but all, he may have saved the life of billions, knowing that nobody - under normal circumstances - would ever hear about this. So this tourney is dedicated to not only Petrov, but all unknown heroes that prevented a nuclear war by a correct decision.
The true measure of a hero is when a man lays down his life with the knowledge that those he saves... will never know
-Outer Limits: The Voyage Home

Read more about Stanislav Petrov on Wikipedia:

We should get to the awards now. 1 entry was received by 3 composers of 1 nation (if more are received by post, this will be updated, by the way, but I honestly doubt so). Note that the unusual high award comes from the requirements of the tourney itself that in the beginning seemed to prevent all good studies.

Honoring Mention
Vlaicu Crisan, Eric Huber & Paul Raican
Nice execution of "WCCT 7 studies theme" (a black piece is destroyed instead a white one which is advantageous for not black but white) which I don't regard as WCCT 7 studies theme since a white piece should be removed if white gets an advantage of it or a black if black gets an advantage of it. If it were, a prize could be awarded. At the given restrictions about the ending position it is very nicely made, although two pawns are used as cookstoppers only. There's also a mutual zugzwang position. What more can you ask for with those restrictions? While being short, the study also is clear. Also notable is the idea to attack a non-existant piece by 2...d2 which prevents promotion of Pg7. Sadly it also gives an indirect check so there's no purity of aim in the move. Nuclear power also is nicely used in the try where black seems checkmated but the white king becomes victim of a long-range bishop-missile. I think, all in all a honoring mention is awardable for this study.

Claims are possible within three monts, until January 27th, 2009. If no claims are made, the award becomes final without further notice. Please send claims to the address mentioned in the tourney announcement.

Siegfried Hornecker
Heidenheim / Germany
October 27th, 2008
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(8) Posted by Kevin Begley [Monday, Oct 27, 2008 10:26]

I very much appreciate the inspiration for this tourney -- it was very well considered.
But, I would have prefered it be open to ANY atomic problem which ends in stalemate; and not restricted to studies.
I speak for myself only, but I suspect this explains the low turnout.
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(9) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Monday, Oct 27, 2008 16:07]

The bad thing is, I am just good in studies and not in all kinds of problems. So it would've been impossible for me to judge it.

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(10) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 00:13]

Find interesting background information here (in German)
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MatPlus.Net Forum Competitions Serpukhov-15 JT 25 years - "blitz theme tourney" for atom chess studies