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MatPlus.Net Forum Twomovers Viggo Klausen's "Holly Grail"
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(1) Posted by Milan Velimirović (+) [Friday, May 9, 2008 13:12]

Viggo Klausen's "Holly Grail"

Viggo Klausen
1. Pr Skakbladet 1947
(= 11+11 )

  1... c3 2.Qxa2#
  1... e3 2.Qg2#
  1... Sc~ 2.Qd4#
  1... Sb~ 2.Qc5#
  1... Ba5 2.Sdf6#
  1... Bxg5 2.Sb6#

1.Qf4! (~)
  1... c3 2.Qxe4#
  1... e3 2.Qxc4#
  1... Sc~ 2.Qe5#
  1... Sb~ 2.Qd6#
  1... Ba5 2.Sef6#
  1... Bxg5 2.Sc7#

Simply, the best mutate ever!
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(2) Posted by Geoff Foster [Tuesday, May 13, 2008 01:05]

The following problem gets my vote for the best mutate ever.

Tony Lewis
The Problemist, 1984

(= 9+11 )

1...B7~ 2.Qxa8
1...Bb7 2.Qxb7
1...Bc6 2.Qxa2
1...S8~ 2.Qe6
1...e6,e5 2.Qd6
1...d3 2.Be6
1...S2~ 2.Rxd4
1...Sxe4 2.Be6

1...Bb8 2.c6
1...Bb6 2.cxb6
1...Bxc5 2.Qxc5
1...Bb7 2.Qxb7
1...Bc6 2.Qc4
1...S8~ 2.Qd7
1...e6,e5 2.Sxf6
1...d3 2.Sc3
1...S2~ 2.Rxd4
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(3) Posted by Milan Velimirović (+) [Tuesday, May 13, 2008 13:53]

I am sorry for my laconic statement in the opening post. I was aware that such rigid claims can be provocative or even irritating, but I was too lazy to explain what I had thought to be obvious.

I do consider the Klausen's problem the best Mutate (ever) ever since I saw it for the first time more than 40 years ago, but that is not only my personal opinion. The veredict it that had been reached by the old-time twomover masters' "esnaf"(*) many years before me. It is the only 6-mate change mutate with perfectly balanced phases (6 set and 6 actual thematic mates). All subsequent attempts to beat this task by (usually) increasing the number of actual mates at expence of set ones lack that balance, even if total number of mates exceeds the number of 12. This task is like a creek which can be crossed by jumping over several rocks. Imagine that doing that at one moment you need to make two jumps exactly 6 metres long. Make one jump longer or shorter and you will wet your shoes! To beat the task one has to find the path which involves two 7-metre jumps and cross it keeping his/her legs dry.

Tony's problem is an improvement of Lazard's 4 to 6 change classic by the ingenious introduction of Rh5-Bf5 battery, but at the end of the day there are 5 to 8 changed mates (and the idle wRh5 after the key). It is an extraordinary achievement but, to my money, cannot be more than next-to-the-best mutate.
F. Lazard
L’Echiquier 1928
(= 7+7 )

set 1.Qb4
1...c2 2.Qa1 2.Qb2
1...B6~ 2.Qxa7 2.c5
1...Bb5 2. " 2.cxb5
1...Bxc4 2. " 2.Qxc4
1...e5 2.Qd5 2.Sf5
1...S~ 2.Qe5 2.Qd6
dif.mates: 4 6
(Note: the unfortunate dual after 1... Bb8 can be eliminated by following changes: (1) move all pieces one row up; (2) move wBf2 to g1 and add bPg2)
For practical reason I quote Tony's enhancement again:
Tony Lewis
The Problemist, 1984
(= 9+11 )

set 1.Qxb5
1...Sxe4 2.Be6 2.Rxd4
1...d3 2. " 2.Sc3
1...B7~ 2.Qxa8 2.c6
1...Bb6 2. " 2.cxb6
1...Bxc5 2. " 2.Qxc5
1...e7~ 2.Qd6 2.Sxf6
1...Bc6 2.Qxa2 2.Qc4
1...S8~ 2.Qe6 2.Qd7
dif.mates: 5 8
I agree with Michael McDowell that the quality cannot be evaluated only by numbers (most=best?). However, I don't agree that the the commonly adopted (not Michael's!) habit to judge the artistry mostly by the economy (light=artistic? - again numbers!). Yes, it's all personal but with some exceptions. However, with a risk to be irritative again, I will conclude with my personal opinion that Klausen's masterpiece is not only the best mutate ever, but also a highly artistic composition!

(*) "esnaf" - I use this instead of for me unknown English word meaning "the union of craftsmen", like "cartel" but for a small manufacture, not the big industry.
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(4) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Tuesday, May 13, 2008 20:54]

There is a special feature worth to be noticed in the Klausen's : after 1...c3 and 1...e3 the mates in both plays are on diagonals a2-d5 and g2-d5, but the diagonals are exchanged!
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MatPlus.Net Forum Twomovers Viggo Klausen's "Holly Grail"