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MatPlus.Net Forum Fairies Kriegspiel
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(1) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Friday, Sep 11, 2009 07:19]


Jacques Rotenberg
Fiedler-50 Jubilee 2007-2009
3-4 Commended
(= 4+3 )

There is a black Bishop on dark squares somewhere
Kriegspiel 15#

Solution (quick):

1.Re6! 2.Se1! 3.Sd3! 4.Ré8! 5.Rg8! 6.Rg6! 7.Rg8! 8.Rg6! 9.Rg8! 10.Rh8! 11.Rh5! 12.Rb5 with two variations :
if 12…"no announce" 13.Rb1 14.Sf2+ B×f2 15.K×f2‡
if 12…"impossible" 12.R×h3! 13.Be5! 14.Sf2+ B×f2 15.R×h2‡

Explanations :

- To win, white need :
- to bring the Rook on the 1st row and the Knight with access to f2 so that it will be possible to play n.Sf2+ B×f2 n+1.K×f2‡
- this needs for the white pieces to pass on black squares :
-to activate the Knight to give access to f2 costs two moves one of whom on black square
-to bring the Rook c5 on the 1st row needs to pass on a black square.

And this means two dangers

-to get captured by the Bishop
-to capture the Bishop and to produce a pat



(if 2."capture on e1" 3.Ke2! 4.Sf3(+) 5.S×h2 6.Re4 7.Bh4 8.Kf3 K×h2 9.Bg3+ 10.Re1‡
if 5…K×h2 6.Kf2 7.Kg3 impossible 7.Té4 8.Rg3 impossible 8.Th4 9.T×h3‡
(if Kg3 possible, then Té1‡), if the black pawn was on h4, it was 8.T×h4‡)
(if 2…"capture on e1" 3.R×e1 4.Kf2‡
if 2…"capture on f6" 3.R×f6 4.Ke2 5.Rf1‡
if 1…" capture on f6" 2.R×f6 3.Sé1 4.Ké2 5.Rf1‡)


(from now :
- "…capture on f6" will be followed with Sf2‡
- to be allowed to play on any black square, white must first be sure that the BB is not on it because of the danger of pat, the BP being perhaps on h3.)

4.Ré8! (if 4."impossible", 4.Sf2‡)
5.Rg8! (if 5."impossible", 5.Sf2‡)
6.Rg6! (6.Tg4? h×g4!; 6.Tg2? h×g2!)
(if 6."impossible", 6.Sf2‡)
7.Rg8!! switchback
(if 7."impossible" 7.Sf2‡)
8.Rg6!! (not 8.Rh8? pat!! black would have played 5…Bh8 6…h4 7…h3)
(if 8."impossible" 8.Sf2‡)
9.Rg8!! 2nd switchback
(if 9."impossible" 9.Sf2‡).

The same position occurs then for the 3rd time with black to move !! This proves the rule of draw by triple repetition of the position to be irrelevant in Kriegspiel.
The moves would have been :
4…Ba1 5.Rg8 Bb2 6.Rg6 Ba1 7.Rg8 Bb2 8.Rg6 Ba1 9.Rg8 Bb2 and, yet, this manoeuvre is needed for white to win !!

10.Rh8!!! at last ! we are sure that the BB is not on h8 !!

In order to bring the WR to the 1st we have to go through a dark square, and h8 is special : the BB has only one entrance for it : g7. If before 6.Rg8-g6 the BB was not on h8 it will not enter this square before 10.Rh8 without being “felt” on g7, and, if the BB was on h8 after 5.Rg8, black will need to play it on g7 at least after the possible maximum waiting moves of the free black pawn, it means at least after 8.Rg8-g6.

The Rook has to be played on h column to be on the “good” white squares, but 11.Rh7? 12.Rb7 13.Rb1 if 13."impossible", BB may be on b6 with control of f2, and on 11.R×h3? the Sd3 blocks the way.

12.Rb5 with two variations :
if 12…"no announce" 13.Rb1 (if 13."impossible" 13.Sf2‡) 14.Sf2+ B×f2 15.K×f2‡
if 12…"impossible" 12.R×h3!
(if 12…"impossible" 12.R×ç5! and 13.Sf2‡ (12…"impossible" 12.Sf2‡))
13.Be5!! (the BB is not on e5 : 12.Rb5 "impossible" meant that the BB was on c5, e5, or g5, after 13.Rh3, it must be played. If it is on c5 or g5, it cannot be played on e5, and if it is on e5, it has to be played and leave the place.)
14.Sf2+ B×f2 15.R×h2‡ (not 14.R×h2+? K×h2!, the BB might be on g3, or f4).

Triple repetition of the position.

A cooked version of it was published - and not judged – in feenschach 1980 (f-50)

A subsidiary question : is it possible to build this problem with the Rook on another departure square
- even to obtain a 14‡ - ?

Answer : no

The initial version with the Rook on a2 -14‡- It was cooked as follow :
1.Ra1 B×a1! 2.B×a1! 3.Se1 4.Ke2 5.Bd4+ 6.Be5 7.Sf3+ 8.B×h2 9.Sd2! 10.Kf1! "impossible" 10.Ke1(or Ke3)! 11.Kf1(or Kf3) K×h2 12.Kf2 13.Sf1 14.Sg3‡

and also :
1.Be5! 2.Sf4 3.Sh3 4.Rg2 5.Sf2+ 6.R×h2‡ if 2…B×f4 3.B×f4 4.R×h2‡ if 1…B×e5 2.Se1 3.Sd3 4.Rd2 5.Rd1 6.Sf2+ 7.K×f2‡ if 1."capture on e5" 2.Se1, Se3 3.R×h2‡.

With the Rook on c4 on initial position for a 14‡ it is cooked as follow :
1.Sf4 2.Sh3! 3.Sf2+ B×f2 4.K×h2 5.Rc1‡ if 1…B×f4 2.R×f4 3.Kf2 4.Kg3 5.Bd4+ 6.Rf1‡ if 1."capture on f4" 2.Sd3 3.Sf2‡ or 2.Kf2 and 3.Rc1‡

With the Rook on c8 it is cooked with 1.Rd8 and so on
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(2) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Friday, Sep 11, 2009 16:09]; edited by Jacques Rotenberg [09-09-15]

Rules of Kriegspiel :

- The players cannot see the moves of the opponent

- An arbiter can see the full board and indicates :

. - if a side plays a move that is not possible (due to the knowledge of the whole board) he says "impossible" and the player proposes another move

. - if there is pat or mate, he says it

. - if a side takes a piece he says it with the square "capture on square X"

. - if a side gives a check he says it, with the direction :

. - - check on horizontal line
. - - check on vertical line
. - - check on long diagonal line (of the checked King)
. - - check on short diagonal line (of the checked King)
. - - Knight check

. - if a side wants to capture with a pawn, he is allowed to ask the judge "are there any ?(capture by pawn)". If he is answered "yes", he has to play a capture by pawn, and if this move is impossible, he can play any move (even not by a pawn)

All questions and answers are done in such a way that each side can hear them
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(3) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Monday, Sep 14, 2009 19:49]

An interesting thing here, is the way the judgement was made :

6 (!) judges had to give points from 0 to 4 - with half points

3 judges gave top mark : 4
1 judge gave 3
1 judge gave 2 - saying seemingly that 15 moves is too long !
1 judge gave 0 - with no comment !
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(4) Posted by Frank Richter [Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009 09:13]

It is necessary to add, that the judges of the Fiedler-JT were no problemists, but "normal" chess players and lovers, like GM Rainer Knaak for ex.
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(5) Posted by Kevin Begley [Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009 17:10]; edited by Kevin Begley [09-09-15]

Can anybody post (or direct me to) the rest of this award?
I'd very much like to see the problems judged equal or better!

How was this panel of judges selected?
Winners of the weekly BINGO, from some local Lawn-Darts-Survivors Group?

Can we be certain these judges understand the rules of Kriegspiel?
the aesthetic value of directmate problems?
the letter whose shape resembles a horsey-move?

Clearly one judge (zero-points?) is one lawn-dart shy of verifying Newton's Law.
I suspect a few others were caught wearing tin-foil protection (propeller included).

Please forgive me if I am too harshly judging these judges.
Without having studied the entire award (or history of Kriegspiel problems), this is certainly unfair.
And, I certainly mean no disrespect to anybody actually harmed by Lawn-Darts.
So, as something of an olive branch, I offer the following short poem:

Recalling Bad Judgement, by K.Begley

A stranger's image in the mirror,
Could find the Lawn-Dart no more nearer,
The point could not retrieved be clearer,
Why don't I see you getting it?
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(6) Posted by Joost de Heer [Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009 18:27]

The 'theme' for this tourney was 'accessible compositions'. No matter how fantastic this composition is, Kriegspiel isn't accessible for the average solver, so one could question whether this composition would've been better suited for an other tourney.


In recognition of the 50th Birthday of Frank Fiedler (10.18.1957) a composition tourney for chess puzzles and chess problems of all kinds is being held - these compositions should be as accessible and entertaining as possible for a promotion of problem chess. The submissions should be of a type that shows an interesting beginning position, and encourages solving, as well as showing a surprising solu-tion. The theme is open, including fairy chess, as much as it can be appealing to a general chess public.

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(7) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009 19:14]

Yes, you are right, when I read

"...The submissions should be of a type that shows an interesting beginning position, and encourages solving, as well as showing a surprising solution. ..."

I thought it could me the case. The starting position is light, the solution is surprising (I believe).

The question left is if it might encourage solving, personally, I think yes, this seems to me to be quite challenging.

Clearly some judges did not think so.
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(8) Posted by Kevin Begley [Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009 20:21]

Thanks Joost,

> ...Kriegspiel isn't accessible for the average solver...

This is starting to make sense.
Perhaps the problem appeared in the wrong courtroom.
The judges might better have rejected it (better to call it non-thematic than to misjudge its merits).
Once accepted as within their jurisdiction, it appears to have been misjudged.
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(9) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Thursday, Sep 17, 2009 20:10]

This problem is one of mine that I like, and I gave the details about the judgement to show another example of "group" judgement.

I did not do so in order to complain, when you send a problem to be judged, you have to be aware that sometimes, there iwill be a gap between what you expect and what you receive!

In fact the whole result of this tournament (F.F. -50-) was for me surprising.
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(10) Posted by Steven Dowd [Thursday, Sep 17, 2009 21:24]

There are problems that were totally ignored by individual judges in informal competitions that have made the FIDE Album. There are of course problems that should be in the Album that aren't, showing a flaw in that arm of judgment. Group or individual, experienced or not, misjudgments will occur.

What really interested me about the misjudgment of Jacques problem - although misjudgment might be a harsh term, since the judges were not, for the most part, experienced in problem judging; they were expected to evaluate the problems, the way I saw it, on a "I may not know what art is, but I know what I like" sort of standard -was the level of the judge (players of different Elos were used) who assigned a "zero" to the problem. It was the person you would have expected to have gotten the most from the problem.

I once lost a local scientific competition due to one judge giving my paper all zeros - out of spite (all the other judges gave me a near or perfect score), so I know how that stings - I later submitted it nationally and it won the national award for article of the year in a prestigious journal!

Some comments on Kriegspiel - I only have seen it played in one club, my first club as a teenager, the University of Illinois chess club. I read in the book on John Nash that it is popular with mathematicians, played over lunch, etc. I don't know if many players would be familiar with it.

The rumor is that Bobby Fischer only liked Kriegspiel problems (he disliked chess problems in general, supposedly), from reading GF Anderson's Kriegspiel problem book. This is a book I always wished I could get.....

Jacques, you should submit that problem to the FIDE Album, and perhaps justice will prevail. Or better yet, compose some more for us, we will enjoy them......
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(11) Posted by Geoff Foster [Thursday, Sep 17, 2009 23:47]

The following Kriegspiel #2 has 3 Indians in the solution! It will soon be this problem's 25th anniversary (how time flies)!

(= 16+0 )
#2 Kriegspiel
Geoff Foster, feenschach, November 1984

White has made 15 pawn captures, so the black king is alone. The black king is either on b5, d3, f7, f3 or h2 (but not a8!).
The key move is 1.Ke5.
If the referee announces "capture on a6" then Black has played 1...Kb5*a6, so mate by 2.Qb6 or 2.Bf1.
If the referee announces "capture on d2" then Black has played 1...Kd3*d2, so mate by 2.Qc3.
If the referee announces "capture on g3" then Black has played 1...Kf3*g3 or Kh2*g3, so mate by 2.Ke4 (the first Indian!).
If the referee doesn't make any announcement after Black's move then the black king must have been on f7.
Attempt to play 2.Kf6. This will be mate if Black has played 1...Kf7-e8 (the second Indian!).
If 2.Kf6 is refused then Black must have played 1...Kf7-g7 or 1...Kf7-e7, so attempt to play 2.Ke6. This will be mate if Black has played 1...Kf7-g7 (the third Indian!).
If 2.Ke6 is refused then Black must have played 1...Kf7-e7, so mate by 2.Sf6.
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(12) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Friday, Sep 18, 2009 01:11]

Steven, Fischer liked all kinds of chess problems, and it was already discussed in this Forum.
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(13) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Friday, Sep 18, 2009 11:07]

@ Steven & Marjan,

If Fisher gave value to chess problems or not gives us more indication on Fisher than on chess problems.
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(14) Posted by Steven Dowd [Friday, Sep 18, 2009 18:16]

Thanks Marjan, as I noted, it was a rumor, one of many Fischer rumors of course.
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(15) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Wednesday, Sep 30, 2009 11:05]

Will anyone find a cook ?
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(16) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Sunday, Oct 25, 2009 20:31]

some orthodox problems are also nice Kriegspiel problems :

Finn Eriksonn
Mora Tidning 1936
(= 10+8 )

2# or Kriegspiel 2#

1…B~ 2.Q×h7‡
1…f3 2.Q×f3‡
1…R~ 2.Q×d3‡

1.Qe6! blocus
1…B~ 2.Sg5‡
1…f3 2.Bg3‡
1…R~ 2.Bc3‡

complete block !

in Kriegspiel :

set : 2.Q×h7‡/2.Q×d3‡/2.Q×f3‡

sol.: 1.Qe6! block 2.Bg3‡/2.Bc3‡/2.Sg5‡ (or 2.Bc3‡/2.Bg3‡/2.Sg5‡) this is not really a dual
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(17) Posted by Geoff Foster [Monday, Oct 26, 2009 10:06]

Here is a Kriegspiel #2 that is also a sound orthodox #2!

P ten Cate, The Problemist, January 1973
(= 4+5 )
Kriegspiel #2

After Black has played, ask "Are there any pawn captures?"
If "Yes", reject with 2.exd3 and attempt 2.Qd4 (the threat).
If refused (1...f4 or 2.Sf4) attempt next 2.Qh8 and then 2.Qg5.
If "No", attempt 2.Qd4.
If refused (1...Rf4) then 2.Qe7.

Some solvers' comments were as follows:
A pseudo-orthodox #2, but neat lightweight setting of separation (R Musson).
It is unfortunate that 1.Qh4 is also the only orthodox key (C C L Sells).
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(18) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Monday, Oct 26, 2009 14:02]; edited by Ian Shanahan [09-10-27]

I recall seeing somewhere within "The Problemist" over the last 30 years some excellent #2 twins - (a) orthodox (b) Kriegspiel - with different solutions between the two phases. Perhaps some of these might be quoted?
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(19) Posted by Steven Dowd [Monday, Oct 26, 2009 14:09]

So I suppose an ideal problem would be

a. diagram, Kriegspiel #2
b. diagram, regular #2

with two different keys


c. xx-yy, Kriegspiel #2
d. xx-yy, regular #2

where the keys were now inverted, the key of a becomes key of d and so on.

with thematic content to be shuffled in a cyclic manner too, of course. :)

Would a Babson in each be too much to ask as well?

On a more serious note, it might be most interesting to see what has been done in a thematic sense with Kriegspiel problems, for example, showing a Fleck or a Shedley in a K-spiel problem.

My personal hold-up with KS is that I never played it. I signed up to play on-line but 3 days a move just can't hold my interest. You would think with today's technology, on-line in real time would be possible - you just need a computer referee.

How does KS relate to the "invisible pieces" that were used in one of the Rio tourneys? Similar but different?
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(20) Posted by Joost de Heer [Monday, Oct 26, 2009 15:07]


On a more serious note, it might be most interesting to see what has been done in a thematic sense with Kriegspiel problems, for example, showing a Fleck or a Shedley in a K-spiel problem.

Jean-Marc Loustau
Thema Danicum 1988
(= 6+9 )

(b) h5->g4

a) 1. Sb2!
2. Ra5(A)# [2. Qa7?, black could've played a7-a6/a5]
If impossible: 2. Qa7(B)# [2. Ra4?, black could've played Sd5]
If impossible: 2. Ra4(C)# [black must've played c5]

b) 1. Sb2!
2. Ra4(C)# [2. Ra5?, black could've played Qh5]
If impossible: 2. Ra5(A)# [2. Qa7?, because black could've played Qh7]
If impossible: 2. Qa7(B)# [black must've played Bf5]

c) 1. Sb2!
2. Qa7(B) [2. Ra4?, because black could've played b5]
If impossible: 2. Ra4(C)# [2. Ra5?, because black could've played b6]
If impossible: 2. Ra5(A)# [black must've played Bd4]

Jean-Marc Loustau
Phénix 1993
(= 7+10 )

#2, 2 solutions

1. Kd6!
If check on the long diagonal: 2. Re5(A)# [e.g. Qe5]
If check on the vertical: 2. Rd5(B)# [e.g. Qd5]
If check on the short diagonal: Rc5(C)# [e.g. Qb4]
If no announcement: 2. Rb5(D)# [e.g. Qa1]

1. Kc6!
If check on the long diagonal: 2. Rd5(B)# [e.g. Qd5]
If check on the vertical: 2. Rc5(C)# [e.g. Qc5]
If check on the short diagonal: 2. Rb5(D)# [e.g. Qa4]
If no announcement: 2. Re5(A)# [e.g. Bf4]

(In both variants: If capture on g5 (Bxg5): 2. Rf4#, if capture on f5 (Qxf5): 2. Qf5#)
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