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MatPlus.Net Forum General About TZUICA T.T.-2019 (orthodox section)
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(1) Posted by Petko Petkov [Tuesday, Aug 27, 2019 11:49]

About TZUICA T.T.-2019 (orthodox section)

Dear friends,
The following problem was awarded first place in the Tzuica-2019 tournament (Orthodox section):
Paz Einat
Tzuica-2019 (Orthodox section)
1st prize
(= 8+13 )

HS#3 b)Sf3->h4; c)Kg6->h4; d) Kg6->c4
Solutions: a)1.c8=B Sd2 2.Bb7 Sxe4 3.Bxe4+ f5 # b) 1.c8=R Sf5 2.Rc6 Sxd6 3.Rxd6+ f6 # c) 1.c8=S Sh2 2.Se7 Sg4 3.Sg6+ fxg6 #; d) 1.c8=Q Se1 2.Qe8 Sd3 3.Qe6+ fxe6 #.

In my opinion, obviously, the construction of the problem is heavy and uneconomical. Having carefully analyzed this position, I found that it can be improved in many ways. Here is one of the possible versions (with 18 pieces only):
Petko A. Petkov
(A version of the original by P. Einat)
(= 7+11 )

hs#3 (7+11) (C+)
b) Kg6->a2;c) Kg6->h4;d) Rg2->b6
Solutions: a)1.c8=B Re2 2.Bb7 Rxe4 3.Bxe4+ f5#; b)1.c8=Q Rg1 2.Qe8 Ra1 3.Qe6+ fxe6#; c)1.c8=S Rh2 2.Se7 Rh3 3.Sg6+ fxg6#; d)1.c8=R Rb8 2.Rc6 Qxd6+ 3.Rxd6+ f6#.
On August 25th, I reported this fact to the judges Vlaicu Crisan and Eric Huber, the author of the problem and other participants in this section. Unfortunately, I have not received any response…
I think further comments on this story are superfluous. I only note that I do not agree to use my version from other composers, including the author of the original.
Best wishes!
Petko Petkov,
Sofia, August 27th.
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(2) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Tuesday, Aug 27, 2019 13:17]

My personal opinion: Whereas I was once a judge for the
SCHWALBE and did not award a problem which I very much
liked idea-wise but easily could improve the sucking
construction, this was *before* the judging, I was the
judge *myself* and the improvement was *vast*.

Here we have nothing of the three - you did a nice job
but the content - AUW + Pickaninny - was already impressive.
Calling for the death penalty thus seems unjustified to me.
My main point: If this was (in the eyes of the judges)
the best problem in the competition, what difference does
it make prize-wise if it can be done even better?

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(3) Posted by Michael McDowell [Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019 10:02]

Going off at a slight tangent, the most interesting article I have read on the subject of judging was by Hermann Albrecht. It can be found on p.217-18 of the July 1993 issue of The Problemist (viewable on the BCPS website). The original article in German was published in Problem 55-60, January 1959 (viewable on Vaclav Kotesovec’s website)
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(4) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019 14:40]

I agree Hauke. Apart from criticizing the less than perfect construction, no action is needed.
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(5) Posted by Vlaicu Crisan [Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019 22:11]

I think it would be fair to Mat Plus forum readers to reproduce here the reply provided by the author of the problem (Paz Einat) to Petko Petkov's suggestion:

Thank you very much for this nice version.

However, it is not simply that the problem is “not economical”. Your ingenious use of the black rook in the fourth solution solves one of the main issues I had while composing – making sure a black queen on the h-file will have a role in all solutions. But by having the black queen capturing the white pawn d6 the overall unity is compromised. In my original version, the black knight is doing all the job and, as mentioned by the judges, it is twice sacrificed and twice used for self-blocks.

So the dilemma is whether to go for economy or retain the unity. It is not a simple dilemma, as the economical version you achieved is very elegant, with the use of the white rook on b5 an important part of it. At the moment, my tendency, and decision, is to retain the unity and stay with my original version.
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(6) Posted by Mario Parrinello [Friday, Aug 30, 2019 11:45]; edited by Mario Parrinello [19-08-30]

Without going into details regarding the award (on the other hand that's Vlaicu&Eric's duty), I would add some my personal thoughts, to some extent perhaps rather obvious.
Paz was wondering whether we should prefer here economy or unity: ideally we should show both! Again, if possible we should show both!
I'm well aware that sometimes demanding matrix/idea does not allow us to reach the ideal construction but, respectfully interpreting Petko's words, I think it's worth trying given the excellent and beatiful task.
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(7) Posted by Petko Petkov [Saturday, Aug 31, 2019 07:19]

As the discussion of Tzuica -2019 continues, I also want to write some additional comments.
Since Vlaicu published a letter from Paz, I want to publish my answer to Paz:
“…Thanks for the answer. Unfortunately, the matrix of this problem has a “genetic” flaw, which also exists in both versions and which cannot be deleted here. The solution (in the original ) after 2 ... Sxd6 3. Rxd6+ f6# contains not only the idea of the sacrifice of the black S, but also the element of the white block on d6 square after 3. Rxd6+. This is a very interesting moment, but unfortunately, it occurs only in this phase. The solution from a similar Knight`s sacrifice after 2 ... Sxe4 is to a large extent mechanical and inferior to the previous, from another side it is much easier to find. But as I said, it is a drawback of this matrix. Therefore, it is impossible to speak of a complete thematic analogy in all these versions. And if this is so, then, in my opinion, it is necessary to choose the best and most beautiful position. I do not want to demonstrate other schemes in order to demonstrate how and what else can be done better…”
Paz, disagreed with my opinion. As you see, the judge also disagrees. But everyone has the right to his own opinion! At first glance, this marks the end of the discussion.
But in my opinion, another much more important question is left "behind the scenes". More specifically, I`m speaking about my problem, which took second place in the gradation:
TZUICA- 2019 T.T.(Orthodox section)
2nd Prize
(= 5+6 )

hs#2,5 (5+6)
b) Rh7 ->h4
c) Sc8->b3
d) Rh7->f8
a) 1...Qa5! 2.Qxb5+ Kxg4 3.Qf5+ Qxf5#.
b) 1...Qa1! 2.Qxd4 Sb6 3.Qf6+ Qxf6#.
c) 1...Kg6! 2.Kd5+ Kf7 3.Qe6+ Qxe6#.
d) 1...Kh6! 2.Kf7+ Kh7 3.Qg6+ Qxg6#.
I`m quoting the judges' comment:
“Another duel between two pieces (wQ-bQ) in four phases under the form of a HelpSelfmate OfThe Future (HSOTF). The technical mastery of the author allowed him to implement anambitious strategy in Meredith culminating in the mixed-colored Bristol: direct unpins of the wQand ambushes of the bQ in the first duet of solutions, and active play of both Kings in the second duet.This is a superclass work that convincingly demonstrates the qualitative standard that must bereached to obtain a prestigious award in the tourney”.

For comparison, I offer my commentary on the problem submitted along with the problem on August 16th:
Thematic complex:
FIRST DUET: a) and b) solutions:
1. Unpins of the w.Queen after the key-moves of the black Queen.
2. Annihilation captures by the white queen on b5 and d4 for the purpose of
opening the line.
3. Ambush moves of the black queen which follow to dinamic creation of a
two new White-Black Bristol mechanisms on two different lines.
SECOND DUET: c) and d) solutions:
1. The White-Black Bristol mechanism is already masced in the initial
setting and it has a "static status" here.
2.Active play of both Kings in each solution: the white King make 1 move,
b.K - two moves. In general in this two phases the both kings make 6
diffefent moves!
2. The w.King plays as a forward piece of a battery K/Q after the
preliminary steps of the black King on the battery-line.
4. The white king simultaneoulsy opens a thematic line for the static Brsistol
-mechanism w.Q/bQ.
In total: the fourfold White-Black Q/Q Bristol is demonstrated here for the
first time in this genre in Meredith form with very rich additional strategy!

As you see, the judge's commentary omits a lot of important thematic elements that, in my view, are of great importance in the content and evaluation of this problem: about the creation of a "Dynamic Bristol" and play of masked "Static Bristol" (both terms are new) after the preliminary play of the white K/Q battery, Annihilation captures, etc...
It would be much better if, instead of the abundance of praiseworthy words about me and my problem, the judges had briefly mentioned these interesting thematic features.
But the most annoying and the most insulting thing is another: the judges nowhere say that the theme fourfold black and white Bristol Q/Q on three different thematic lines is presented for the first time in the genre HS# (I think, and in general in chess composition!)
This "omission" is extremely strange, given that in his award the judges begin their comment for the problem by Paz so: "The thematic combination enthused us from the start: white Allumwandlung and Pickaninny, made for the first time in helpselfmate ... "
My question: But why for my problem lacking such an assessment? At the end of the comment, I emphasize the originality of my theme and mechanism, emphasizing that they are shown here for the first time. Also, it probably deserves some attention also the fact that such a theme in task form has never been encountered in the form of HSOTF so far? If the judges have any doubts about this, they must communicate their counter-arguments with concrete examples!
The assessment of originality, priority, and copyright (in the particular aspect of a chess composition) is one of the most important elements that must be included in the arbitrators' report! This is the case in all genres of art, but our case is an "exception" and the opinion of the author PAP does not any matter here ...
Concerning the classifying of the problems in the award of Tzuica -2019 (orthodox), I am obliged to state the following:
I am extremely saddened by this ranking that crushes my best and most beautiful Hs# problem composed in the last ten years!! I do not want and no expect any change in the award of the judges! I know that it is a bit immodest and unusual to write in this way, and I apologize to the readers!

Sofia, August 30, 2019
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(8) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Saturday, Aug 31, 2019 16:23]; edited by Nikola Predrag [19-08-31]

The nice diagram of 2nd Prize still hides 4 positions, that's away from 'perfection'.
But the twinning that produces a 'dummy-rook' on f8 is an 'elephant', making the many solemn words about the little bugs of esthetics looking a bit hypocritical.
(BTW, wRh7 to h8, wPg7=bP, and rotation clockwise - I'm sure many esthetic flaws will be found.)

There's at least no such elephant in the 1st Prize.
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(9) Posted by shankar ram [Sunday, Sep 1, 2019 03:38]

Nikola, how is it a dummy? It's needed to block f8 for the WK.
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(10) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Sunday, Sep 1, 2019 03:54]

That's what dummy is, doing nothing but occupying a square. I'm surprised you didn't know that.
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(11) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Sunday, Sep 1, 2019 13:58]; edited by seetharaman kalyan [19-09-01]

Petkov's prize winner is excellent with great content, but I dont see any Bristol in it. This is what he says about Bristol while discussing the pioneer Healey's problem in his wonderful book 'How to compose selfmates' (which is bible to me as regards selfmates)

"In making the keymove 1.Rh1! the rook passes over g1-square .... which is similar to a critical square. I have named this critical square Bristol square (BS). Thus, the Bristol occurs only when, making a move along the thematic line X, "A" passes BS and steps on a square beyond BS. Later, "B" (the rear piece) plays to BS. In all other cases there is no Bristol".

The above is alsothe definition of Bristol theme accepted by everyone.

In Petkov's problem the BQ does not stop on the Bristol Square (ie. critical square). The front piece sacrifices forcing rear piece to capture it. The rear piece does not STOP on the critical square. Hence there is NO Bristol, just ambush & sacrifice ---- which is a common feature of many selfmates. Petkov just shows it fourfold in different lines. GReat, excellent --- but not fourfold bristol!
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(12) Posted by shankar ram [Sunday, Sep 1, 2019 17:37]

That may be the canonical definition when both the pieces are of the same colour.
When they are of different colours or even neutrals then it may be acceptable if the front piece stops on the BS to be later captured by the rear piece.
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(13) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Sunday, Sep 1, 2019 18:29]; edited by seetharaman kalyan [19-09-01]

It is very common in selfmates for the front piece to check and the black piece behind to capture and mate white. Obviously such problems do not show Bristol (even if given new names like Static/Dynamic Bristol).
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(14) Posted by Petko Petkov [Sunday, Sep 1, 2019 21:51]

Dear Seetharaman,
Thanks for your comments!
I think that this little terminological discussion is to some extent interesting and useful, although it is not so important in relation to my problem because everyone knows that the main criterion for assessing one problem is the content and not the name of its theme.
Yes, you are right that the play of the two queens in my problem does not meet the classical definition of the Bristol. But the answer to the question of why I also use the name “Bristol” here like hundreds of other composers in such cases is not as elementary as it seems to you, probably.
Therefore, I promise you that in 3-4 days here I will answer you more specifically and in detail with a small article on this topic. I regret that I am now engaged in other, more important matters and do not have time to immediately answer you.
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MatPlus.Net Forum General About TZUICA T.T.-2019 (orthodox section)