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(41) Posted by Kevin Begley [Sunday, May 8, 2011 11:32]; edited by Kevin Begley [11-05-08]

Of this, I am certain: for anyone who can prescribe a methodology to judge such complex tradeoffs, other than by resorting to subjective measures of a problem's comprehensive value, vastly more complex tradeoffs lie in wait.

Nevertheless, your revelation (and analysis) of this alternative has been enlightening (at least for those, such as myself, who do not yet have all our pieces on their best squares). :-)
(Read Only)pid=6937
(42) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Sunday, May 8, 2011 20:49]

The apparent 'statements' from my previous post are in fact merely some of the questions which a judge should answer while evaluating some problem. Uri nicely explained the subtle complexity of the ideas in the problems that he awarded. These details may well be overlooked if we too quickly see the solutions. I am sure that many of us greatly extend and refine our understanding of chess composition with these discussions.
Kostas pointed up the constructional reason for the presence of 2 white Knights on the Shire's diagram - to get 2 solutions instead of twins. But it is commonly accepted that an 'accidental' capture of a white piece in one phase is called thematic, if in the other phase this piece has another thematic function.
So, is it a thematic, Zilahi-like reciprocity or a simple constructional device? Without a THEMATIC FUNCTION, each Knight looks as a weasel in one solution. Antidualistic play caused by the opening of black lines (Ra4/Qb8), with fine overall reciprocity gives the ARTISTIC CONTENT to the problem. The individual evaluation depends on the weight given to ARTISTIC or to ARTIFICIAL/ACCIDENTAL impression. The Knights are artificially placed to be accidentally captured, but the artistic content seams to me as a rather convincing counterweight.
To make a sound problem, a composer must introduce some constructional devices. Sometimes these devices may require an admirable skill and imagination but what is the point in which a technical/constructional feature begins to give a significant thematic/artistic impression? One of pretty clear cases is a constructional mechanism which equivalently works in all phases. A good balance of the interchanged functions of the pieces which are the parts of single mechanism should be treated as basically thematic and artistic, as a principle. Of course, the level of impression would differ from person to person.
The complex idea may be conceived by the author in the beginning or achieved step by step by a constructional improvement of a simplier idea. The final result might be the same.
A simplier dual-avoidance may be developed into a final Shire's problem after attempts to avoid the twinning (or to reduce a number of technical black pieces). One way is the example 1:
(= 5+7 )
h#2; 2.1..
1.Ke5 Sg3 2.Rd5!(Qd5?) Bf4#
1.Ke4 Sg4 2.Qd5!(Rd5?) Rf4#
2-solutions form with the alternatively superfluous white Knights is unacceptable, so the author puts the Knights at e5 and e4. They become thematic in both phases (a bit artificially) and with minor changes, a tehnical bB is out. But the dualistic 1...Sxd6/1...Sc4 destroy the soundness.
(= 6+5 )

It is not easy to avoid these duals in a banal way. The simpliest technical/constructional way for a composer with some experience and imagination would be just as presented in the Prizewinner. So, are Ra4/Qb8 just a constructional device or essentially the thematic pieces? Harmony and interdependent white and black anti-dual play are the great gain from this mechanism so it looks thematic enough.
However, Ra4/Qb8 are thematic only in one respective phase, in the other phase they become black weasels (at least after B1). It is more clear in a version with twins, mentioned by Kostas. Ra4/Qb8 do not reciprocally change their functions. Still, the 2 solutions form gives the impression of a well harmonized mechanism and economy.
Another way, beginning already with similarly complex idea, might show a different technical/constructional development of some scheme. And here, the improved construction seemingly does not add to the thematic content, it 'only' avoids a twinning with two changes and a repeated selfblock - example 2:
(= 5+3 )
h#2; b)Qd8->a2 & Se4->e5
a) 1.Ke5 Sg3!(Sd6?) etc.; b) 1.Ke4 Sg4!(Sc4?) etc.
Even with both examples in mind, a judge still has a good reason to evaluate that the final achievement, as the whole, has well surpassed the sum of partial thematic and constructional elements.
(Read Only)pid=6940
(43) Posted by Administrator [Wednesday, Jun 8, 2011 00:36]

One of first question regarding the helpmate theme, asked by Uri Avner, was if the "deferrable" Anti-Levman is thematic, i.e. if the opening of white masked line can take place on B1 move. My perhaps a little bit thaughtless answer was that it was not thematic. The same question was repeated in e-mail messages by few other composers, always with the same negative answer. However, with each question I was less convinced that it was wise to forbid the early opening(s). Now it's too late to allow this extension for the same tourney, but there's no reason against opening another group for this "loose" thematic form. So, in addition to four groups in the original announcement the jubilee tourney is extended to:

Group "E": Helpmate twomovers (h#2)

Theme: At least two phases ((set play, try, solution, twin) each showing an immediate or delayed Anti-Levman mate. Black on his first or second move opens the existing or prospective masked white line allowing the masking white piece to close another white line on mating move. The moment (move) of black openings, as well as the type of white masked line (existing/prospective or possibly doubly masked line), can be different in different phases. It is only mandatory to have at least once a thematic B1 move (otherwise the problem will be automatically moved to the group "D").

All other details, including the closing date, are the same as in the announcement (see the opening post of this thread).

The search for examples showing this form in databases was tedious and fruitless, so here are two ad-hoc constructed positions instead:

Milan Velimirovic
original example (1)
(= 6+10 )
h#2   b) move d3 to e3
a) 1.Sxf2 Kf6 2.Sh1 e4#
b) 1.Sc4 Bg2+ 2.Ke5 f4#
Early opening of masked lines.

Milan Velimirovic
original example (2)
(= 4+9 )
h#2   b) exchange c4 and c5
a) 1.Sb6 Re4 2.Bb5 Sb3#
b) 1.Sa4 Qg1 2.Rb5 Sc6#
Opening of prospective masked line: black S opens on B1 move the line e4-a4 (or g1-b6) which is yet to be built on W1 move.

Tourney controller Milan Velimirovic
(Read Only)pid=6996
(44) Posted by Geoffrey Caveney [Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 03:16]

Question on Group C, s#3: 1st move tries are not required by the theme. What if the thematic 2nd move "tries", each with a unique refutation, also happen to be 1st move tries with the same refutations? For example, if the key and the Black replies feature an interference theme, there may be the following situation: On the 1st move, try 1.A? is refuted by move 1...a! and try 1.B? is refuted by move 1...b! After key move 1.K! there are replies 1...k1 and 1...k2. After 1...k1, try 2.A? is still refuted by 2...a! but now 2.B! works. After 1...k2, try 2.B? is still refuted by 2...b! but now 2.A! works. All other things being equal, given the thematic requirement of 2nd move "tries", is the scheme outlined here considered inferior to no 1st move tries at all, superior to no 1st move tries at all, or does it make no difference?

Geoffrey Caveney
(Read Only)pid=7076
(45) Posted by Administrator [Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 02:18]

Geoffrey: Question on Group C, s#3: 1st move tries are not required by the theme. What if the thematic 2nd move "tries", each with a unique refutation, also happen to be 1st move tries with the same refutations?

It is not required that second move continuations also happen as a first move tries, although it may be a nice touch. How these would be evaluated depends on members who will take part in the judging process.

Theme also doesn't prescribe the type of dual avoidance avoidance. It doesn't have to be reciprocal (partial) as in the pattern you, Geoffrey, gave as an example. It may also be total, i.e. the avoided continuation from one variation doesn't have to be repeated as an actual continuation in some other variation. Any pattern is acceptable, provided that the second white move is quiet and that the second move try is uniquely defeated. For instance totally free-form pattern: 1.X! a 2.A!(2.B?), 2...b 2.C!(2.D?) etc. [ 1...c 2.E!(2.F?) ...]

The same applies to group "B" (threemovers) - in fact one and the same theme is stipulated for both groups!

(Read Only)pid=7078
(46) Posted by Sven Hendrik Lossin [Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 20:46]

I see that you are still receiving originals. When does the acceptance of originals ultimately close?

Greets SHL
(Read Only)pid=7233
(47) Posted by Administrator [Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 01:10]

When does the acceptance of originals ultimately close?

It's a real dilemma for me. So far there is the one-figure number of entries in all groups but one (A=9, B=3, C=8, D=27, E=3), much too small for decent tourneys. I am thinking about postponing the closing day for few months in hope that the autumn will bring a more pleasant weather for composing than it was the heat of the summer. The official information about the new closing day will be given shortly. Meanwhile the tourneys remain open for new entries.
(Read Only)pid=7239
(48) Posted by Frank Richter [Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 09:15]

Well, which "heat of the summer"?
Don't worry, Milan, I remember a harmonie theme tourney with only 2 entries in selfmate section - leading to two prizes ...
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(49) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 10:59]

WCCT, Problemist tourney, Jesi meeting, so many Jubilees -- Well... an extension might be welcomed by many.
(Read Only)pid=7244
(50) Posted by Sven Hendrik Lossin [Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011 12:16]; edited by Sven Hendrik Lossin [11-11-24]


Two things from me:
I. When will the Tourneys be open for collective Judgment? When I click on "Make award" then there are no tourneys for judging.
II. I can still see an old version of my s# when I click on "Send Original". This one shouldnt take part in the tourney but the system does not react to my click on "Cancel Entry".

Sven-Hendrik Loßin
(Read Only)pid=7668
(51) Posted by Administrator [Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011 15:18]

The cause of the delay with opening the tourneys for judging was my lack of time to reformat all the authors' solutions to the standard form used in Mat Plus. Anyway, all the problems are presented now as they are, only in anonymous form (i.e. pseudonyms instead of real authors' names), and I will do the cosmetic changes "on the fly".
(Read Only)pid=7669
(52) Posted by Arno Tungler [Friday, Apr 13, 2012 04:21]

Is there any update on the schedule for this tournament? I understand that the number of sent entries is disappointing (especially taking into account that quite some entries were not thematic) and also the team judging did not work as well as in the Liga problemista tournaments. However, for the participants it would be nice to have an idea what is now plan B?!
(Read Only)pid=8267
(53) Posted by Administrator [Friday, Apr 13, 2012 04:33]

I must apologize to the participants. In recent months I have been engaged in an project with, now I realize it, a pretty tight time limit (which I am about to exceed). I hope that the job will be completed in 4-5 weeks and only then I will be able to return to my daily Mat Plus routine. Therefore I must beg for your understanding. Thank you!
(Read Only)pid=8268

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