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MatPlus.Net Forum Threemovers One of the bigger oversights
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(1) Posted by Marek Kwiatkowski [Wednesday, Mar 14, 2007 16:46]

One of the bigger oversights

A list of famous oversights can be increased by the following problem.

Leopold Szwedowski
1st Pr Fleck JT 1983 (V.)
(= 8+10 )

1.Qe1? ~ 2.Se3+ de3 3.Qc3#
1...Rb4 2.Se5+ Kc5 3.Qb4#
1...Qb4 2.Bd5+ Kb5 3.Qb4#
but 1...Rb3!
1.Qf6! ~ 2.Se3+ de3 3.Qc3#
1...Rb4 2.Bd5+ Kb5 3.Qb6#
1...Qb4 2.Se5+ Kc5 3.Qe7#

Where is the oversight?

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(2) Posted by Darko Šaljić [Thursday, Mar 15, 2007 10:34]; edited by Darko Šaljić [07-03-15]

I found this
(= 9+9 )

1.e5? ~ 2.S3b2+ Kc5 3.Qc4#
1...Qb4 2.Qf7+ (additional change)
and key with battery destruction.
Am I close?
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(3) Posted by Ivan Soroka [Thursday, Mar 15, 2007 14:05]

1. Qf8 can be replaced with Bf8! In my opinion it's a main oversight.
2. The initial position can be enhanced: Pg4 -> g6 and Qh4 -> f1. In this case the keys in try and soltion are more paradoxical - with battery destruction.
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(4) Posted by Marek Kwiatkowski [Thursday, Mar 15, 2007 14:08]

Yes, the white Queen is out of play in the initial position but she can take the ideal place f1 with same solution. A battery-destroying key is the welcome bonus. I think that a shift of pieces should be additionally done. E.g.
(= 8+10 )

It seems to be an excellent form of well known mechanism (Milan Vukcevich, 2nd Pr Problem 1962 and Lev Loshinsky & Vladimir Shif, 3rd Hm 3rd FIDE Tournament 1962).

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(5) Posted by Marek Kwiatkowski [Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 14:07]

It can happen everybody. Where is the oversight in the next beautiful problem?

Milan Vukcevich
1st Pr Starte Games 1998
(= 12+6 )

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(6) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 14:43]

Unbelievable-e-e... :-)

How can you find that? I guess you are trying to study the technique of masters to improve yours and along the way you uncover such blemishes.

Indeed, I do it that way in my areas of composing interest. Recently I managed to spot a few oversights in works of others, but there are other masters of this around who managed to spot blemishes in my own works :-(
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(7) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 15:16]

OK, don't let me die stupid - everything longer
than orthodox 2# is too heavy for me :-)

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(8) Posted by Marek Kwiatkowski [Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 15:20]; edited by Marek Kwiatkowski [08-01-16]

Juraj, perhaps I have intuition or instinct. I can’t qualify it. I am looking over a problem and I hear a jingle. It is rather a glimpse than a deep analysis. Hocus-pocus !!!
Thus, it is possible to take off the ugly Pawn e3 without some changes in the solution. Now the white Queen can take a deep breath, and the composition seems to be much more beautiful.
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(9) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 01:10]

The last case was surely not an oversight. The WPe3 prevents the dual 3.Qe4# in the by-variation 1...Kf1 2.Rh1+ Ke2 with the wonderful switchback mate 3.Qd3!
It is a matter of taste how to value this semi-variation, but the surprising switchback mate adds to the beauty for sure. Marjan
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(10) Posted by Miodrag Mladenović [Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 07:09]

I agree with Marjan. wPe3 prevents dual and problem is better with wPe3.
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(11) Posted by Marek Kwiatkowski [Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 15:12]; edited by Marek Kwiatkowski [08-01-17]

Marjan, you are probably right that it was no oversight.
The brilliant key is the main power of this beautiful problem, but without the ugly Pawn e3 which, in my opinion, very decrease value of the key. Perhaps a threat side variant is something worth for this problem. But what?
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(12) Posted by Miodrag Mladenović [Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 19:34]


In my personal opinion it's not so easy to decide if something is oversight or not. There are multiple reasons why somebody put some pieces or not. I'll give my own problem as an example. Here it is:

Miodrag Mladenović
10th. Pl. Match Macedonia-Serbia 1983
(= 9+10 )


1...Sc7 2.Qxc6#
1...b3 2.Qc4#

1.Sxc6! > 2.Qxb5#
1...Sc7 2.Rxd4#
1...b3 2.Be4#
1...Kxc6 2.Rxd6#
1...Kc4 2.Bxa2#

In this position you can replace bQa2 with bBa2. I saw that when I composed a problem but in my opinion it's better to put bQa2 for two reasons:
1) It does increase a role of wRd2 since after 1.Sxc6! [2.Qxb5#] wRd2 prevents defense 1...Qe2
2) Since white is trying to checkmate black I like more when black has some strong pieces on the board. Of course I would never replace bB with bQ due to only one reason, however in this specific problem I still think that this problem is better with bQ on a2 instead of bB on a2.

Since this was a team match other Serbian problemists also noticed this but since it was my problem we sent it original position with bQa2. It turned out that this was mistake for this specific thematic tournament since judge commented this as a searious flaw. However, I think that even nowdays I would still prefer to see bQa2 and not bBa2. By the way the judge of this tournament was one of the greatest croatian problemist Inž. Ivo tominić whose problems I do admire a lot.

I also know that Fadil published a h#4 with one solution where black on first move captures wQ. That queen does not prevent some cooks and it's only purpose on the board is to create a paradox. Just by simple removing queen from the board problem would become trivial without any value. So you never know what was authors idea to put bQ instead of bB. There may be some hidden reason known to the author. I do not have this problem handy right now but I'll try to find it and print a diagram since it's a great problem.

Also, I know that in early stage of developement of chess problems many authors were putting unnecessary black powns to prevent moves for black knights in order to prevent moves that at time were considered as duals. At the time it was very important not to have multiple defenses that are leading to the same variation. Even nowdays there are some composers that are considering this as a dual (I am not one of them).

Back to Milan's problem. Why do you think that wPe3 decreases a value of Milan's problem? White pieces are all around bKg1 and one wP more or less does not change a lot. However dual in side threate variation is in my opinion defect in problem.
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(13) Posted by Geoff Foster [Friday, Jan 18, 2008 04:34]

In the following problem a black queen was used instead of a rook.

I A Schiffmann, 1st Prize BCF Tourney, 1929-30
(= 11+10 )

1.Be8! (2.Se3)
1..... Kc4 2.Sxd2
1..... Kd3 2.Sec3
1..... c4 2.Sb4
1..... Qxe8 2.Sg5
(1..... Qf8 2.Sg5)

It seems that a queen was used because otherwise there would be a "dual" after 1.... Rf8 (White could play Se3 or Sg5). 1.... Rf8 does not defeat the threat, but it was regarded as a dual at the time. However, the dual remains after random moves of the black queen.
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(14) Posted by Darko Šaljić [Friday, Jan 18, 2008 09:50]

I agree with Misa.
In my following problem I also put a black queen instead of a rook.

Darko Saljic
2 Pl Liga problemista 2007
(= 10+10 )

1... ef4: 2.Sh4#
1.Sh5? (A) ~ 2.Sh4#
1... Sf2 2.Lg5# (B)
1... Ld3:!
1.Le7? ~ 2.Sh4#
1... Sf2 2.Sd5# (2.Sg2?)
1... Sf6!
1.Le5:?! ~ 2.Sh4#
1... Sf2 2.Sg2# (2.Sd5?)
1... De7 2.Le4:#
1... Le1!
1.Lg5! (B) ~ 2.Sh4#
1... Sf2 2.Sh5# (A) (2.Sg2?; 2.Sd5?)
1... Le1 2.Se5:#

The main reason for that was not only to give white bishop a8 a bigger role by mating in one try, but more that I liked a position where black and white are equal in material! You may like it or not, but than we are talking about taste and not about oversight or flaw in construction.
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(15) Posted by Marek Kwiatkowski [Friday, Jan 18, 2008 21:49]; edited by Marek Kwiatkowski [08-01-22]

Still regarding Milan Vukcevich’s problem.
Although the move 1...Kf1 doesn’t defend before the threat 2.Rh1+, white Q gave the flight and many especially elder composers would consider it as defence. Hence, like Marjan wrote, the Pawn e3 is probably present there.
Do such esthetic nuances interest solvers?
That threemover seems to be a tragic example, where such a full-scale key (flight-giving, check-allowing, retreating, triple sacrificing) can also be obvious and very easy to find it. Unfortunately, but the obstacle (Pe3) just points the only way for white Q to prevent the effects of crushing Black’s possibility Qxh2. Without this Pawn the key is no longer so obvious.
Miodrag, your words: “one wP more or less does not change a lot” seem to be very strange argument.
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(16) Posted by Marek Kwiatkowski [Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 15:35]; edited by Marek Kwiatkowski [08-01-22]

Like is written above, there are some esthetic principles which can clash with the standard understanding of chess compositions.
I would like to present a very parallel example, where such esthetic principles were not probably taken into consideration. In this case it applies to a short variation which is always (should rather be: as a rule) discarded in solution. The following problem toke 9,5 points in the FIDE Album.

Sven Trommler
2nd Pr Seider MT 1992
(= 10+14 )


1.Rb8! [2.Rb5+ Kc6 3.Sd4#]
1...Qd3 2.f4 [3.Rxd6#] Kc6 3.Se7#
1...Rxa5 2.dxc3 [3.Se7#] Kc6 3.Rxd6#
1...a6 2.Rb6

The white key gave a flight. Additionally, the obvious flight 1...Kc6 is the main thematic move and is followed by the two thematic mates 2.Se7# and 2.Rxd6#.
Is this problem correct on the whole? If yes, does this short variation cross a border of the good taste?
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(17) Posted by Miodrag Mladenović [Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 20:40]

Marek wrote:
Miodrag, your words: “one wP more or less does not change a lot” seem to be very strange argument.

This statement is taken out of the content. Of course that if you do add pown or any other piece without any "role" then of course it does change a lot position and it's not good. I intentionaly put "role" under quotes because of the examples like Fadil's h#4 where wQ does not have any practical role. However it does add a huge paradox because it's captured on the first move. However in Milan's threemover wPe3 does add a value by preventing dual. In my opinion 1...Kf1 is valid defense since it does change white third move. And personaly I always try to avoid duals on this side variations if possible. In this case wPe3 is well justified and in this content one wP more does not change a lot in position.

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(18) Posted by Miodrag Mladenović [Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 20:45]

Marek wrote:
Is this problem correct on the whole? If yes, does this short variation cross a border of the good taste?

By the definition (codex) this short variation is not variation at all and it does not decrease a value of the problem. Why should black play something where it will help white to achive a goal with a less moves? This is not a helpmate where it would be a cook. I think that this short variation does not cross a border of good taste at all.

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(19) Posted by Marek Kwiatkowski [Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 23:13]

Thanks Miodrag!
Your quoted words, in each content seem to be very risky.
Sorry, but for me, the Trommler’s problem is a total trash or a big kitsch. I think it is a judges’ oversight (or mistake).
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(20) Posted by Miodrag Mladenović [Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008 00:16]

Marek wrote:
Sorry, but for me, the Trommler’s problem is a total trash or a big kitsch. I think it is a judges’ oversight (or mistake).

I think that those are harsh words. There is flight giving key, two nice quite variations + le Grand theme in variations. I agree that perhaps 9.5 pts in FA is too much since I know couple of problems showing Ukrainian cycle (cycle le Grand) in variations. But personally I think that this is a good threemover (above the average problem).

By the way, how you would feel if somebody writes for your problem that it's a total trash. You can write that you do not like some problem but to write that it's a trash it's too much. I would recommend to administrator to remove this comment from the forum. I know that you are experienced problemist but there are some beginners at this forum and we do not want to make them uncomfortable to compose problems. I know that I had some trash problems when I started composing them. However I do remember that Milan, Marjan and other Belgrade problemists never used any harsh words. Even when they did not like the problem they were telling me that in a nice way. I recommend that we do the same here.

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MatPlus.Net Forum Threemovers One of the bigger oversights