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MatPlus.Net Forum Helpmates A very nice h#3 by Marjan
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(1) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Sunday, Jan 15, 2012 00:00]

A very nice h#3 by Marjan

Marjan Kovacevic
Internet tourney Halkidiki 2004
6th Prize(= 5+16 )

1.Rd3 Be3 2.Ke4 Ke6 3.S×e3 R×h4‡
1.Re4 Re3 2.Kd4 Kd6 3.B×e3 Rd1‡
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(2) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Sunday, Jan 15, 2012 17:21]

But rather a lot of idle black wood standing by. (All those pawns...)
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(3) Posted by Eugene Rosner [Sunday, Jan 15, 2012 18:18]

but the echoed play is refreshing and beautiful!
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(4) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Sunday, Jan 15, 2012 21:54]

There are here some very unusual features.
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(5) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Sunday, Jan 15, 2012 22:32]

After just reading the solution, without analysis, everyone might think that economy 'surely' is not perfect. Quick attempts for any improvement revael so terrifying range of cooks that the final realization of this beauty looks as a miracle. It seems that a strong belief in composer's own great skill, as well as some luck, were necessary to answer the constructional demands just with the allowed number of black pieces.
It would be interesting to hear from Marjan, for sometimes Fortuna may guide a composer easily to a first correct setting, eliminating the cooks one by one by simply adding the pieces. In such a case the composer might think that improving of the economy would be a leisure. Anyway, before criticizing the economy, one should at least try to remove one pawn and see what happens.
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(6) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Monday, Jan 16, 2012 08:29]; edited by seetharaman kalyan [12-01-16]

It is a beautiful problem. I have no problems with the black pawns. But purists (not me) like to crib that the solutions are not a perfect match - the rook move in one phase is a pure selfblock while it is an interference selfblock in the other phase. :(
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(7) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Monday, Jan 16, 2012 13:28]

The main content, I think is so :

in each solution a w-piece goes to an empty square where it will be captured, the capturing piece being nor a pawn, nor the b-King.
This, by itself is quite rare. Moreover, the motivation of this capture is a b-selfpin! which is completely unique! By the way you have also a Grimshaw that is a paradoxical one : though in any case B will close the line, W has to close it first !
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(8) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 10:07]

- in each solution a w-piece goes to an emptied(!) square (vacated by a black piece)....
This increases the impression of a paradox - 3 pieces occupy e3 in each solution. bR vacates e3 making room for black S/B, in the meantime White occupies that square. For the idea and the thematic mechanism bR on e4 is a pure selfblock, the interference with Bg6 is completely accidental only for technical reasons. bSg4 is necessary for the mechanism and the necessity of technical bSd7 seemingly can not be avoided so instead of a 3rd bS, the Bg6 is on the board. Just a rough example:
White Ke7 Pe5 Pf5 Pg5 Bf2 Re1 Rh1
Black Rf8 Qa7 Sd7 Kd5 Ph5 Pc4 Sg4 Ph4 Pa3 Pb3 Pc3 Re3 Pf3 Sg3 Pb2 Bd2
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(9) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Friday, Jan 20, 2012 00:40]; edited by Jacques Rotenberg [12-01-20]

On one hand, I agree that the 1st b-move has a thematic perfume,
on the other hand, would the whole problem work in 2,5 moves only, it would not lose so much of its value.
The main subtilities lay in 1st w-moves and in the play after.
That's why I chose not to mention that the thematic square is left at the 1st b-move - as a main point -
That's why also I think the slight asymmetry block/block+closing a line between the 1st b-moves does not disturb actually
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(10) Posted by Miodrag Mladenović [Friday, Jan 20, 2012 09:59]

I am not sure who and when created a rule that there should be perfect match between solutions. Personally I like helpmate problem with multiple solutions even where there is no match at all between solutions if each solution is nice for itself. And definition of “perfect match” is very tricky. For example in this problem there is another small mismatch: wRe1 is opening line h1-d1 for wRh1 in one solution. However in other solution wBf2 is not opening line h1-h4. I think that the rule “perfect match” should be relaxed a little bit. In my opinion this is perfect problem even if there are 16 black pieces. Who cares about economy when idea is so strong and so hard to achieve.
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(11) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Friday, Jan 20, 2012 11:55]; edited by seetharaman kalyan [12-01-20]

I entirely agree. I am not a helpmate expert. But I enjoy good helpmates irrespective of whether there is the socalled 'perfect' match between solutions. I think that 'perfect' match actually makes solving easy. The solutions being 'related' (by similarity or contrast) should be the criterion to judge a good helpmate. This one by Marjan is paradoxical and excellent by any standards. I wonder how it was placed only sixth !!
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(12) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Friday, Jan 20, 2012 16:34]

As some field of human creativity is developing, people tend to think that they know what is required for reching the perfection. But many wonderful works just not fit into such frame of mandatories. That is enough evidence for me that such approach is a nonsense. The value is not in something that is MISSING but in the features that are PRESENT in a problem. So every single original idea deserves a full recognition of the content it presents. Anyone can try to enrich the content but untill this is done successfully, the first presentation of the idea is the most perfect that exists. Comparing it with 'some greater perfection' which does not exist is ridiculous.
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(13) Posted by Eugene Rosner [Friday, Jan 20, 2012 18:49]

I'd simply like to add that I'd like to thank Jacques for sharing this problem with us! Any others from the same tourney?, perhaps some of the other prize-winners?
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(14) Posted by Vilimantas Satkus [Friday, Jan 20, 2012 19:26]

6th prize for outstanding work of art is an excellent award from the contemporaries. Outstanding is being outside, a thing that stands out of the understanding of majority of the community. Look up, please, how many years passed before sharp eyes noticed a gem between woods?
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(15) Posted by Kostas Prentos [Saturday, Jan 21, 2012 00:24]

The booklet of the tourney is (still) available at the Congress site:
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(16) Posted by Dan Meinking [Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 02:23]

Marjan's 6th Prize is excellent, but I like his 3rd Prize even more.
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(17) Posted by Vilimantas Satkus [Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 18:56]

Yes, thanks to Kostas, I had a look at award. No doubt I am a contemporary also, but the other prizewinners are not trivial, God forbid!
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(18) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 19:15]

Thank you, Jacques, and all of you, for giving my favourite h#3 a new life! Many interesting points were made, and I could vast all your patience to comment them, but the last Dan’s impression brought me back to an important question:
When comparing these two helpmates of mine (3.Pr –PromotionCombination & 6.Pr.-GrimshawPin), I could understand that judges considered number of sacrifices (3:2) in the thematic tourney. I could also accept that Dan personally likes more the 3.Pr. However, does anyone really think the first one is a better problem (out of the frame of this thematic tourney)?
Why is it so easy to criticize the later one (without a proof it could be made better), and so difficult to name serious conceptual drawbacks of the former one? What is it there to protect this PromotionCombination from criticism: the lighter position, the easy-to-understand theme, or the fact that most of the play is so obviously trivial that we don’t need to mention it?
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(19) Posted by Eugene Rosner [Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 21:52]

something tells me Marjan likes his 6PR better!!
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(20) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012 00:31]; edited by Nikola Predrag [12-01-25]

3rd Prize looks a bit tehnical and not complex as the idea. But, after the mandatory sacrifice, it is white K+P minimal what is left. 3 white moves: sacrifice, promotion (3 different) and mate - no time and resources for a spectacular play. This had to be honoured and it was. Personally I prefer the 6th Prize but the judges had to put in a balance a great thematic tourney as a whole, so I don't have a slightest intention to question their judgement.
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MatPlus.Net Forum Helpmates A very nice h#3 by Marjan