Marianka 2016 - fairy solving competition

Fairy solving competition has become a standard part of the Marianka meeting. Although always only limited number of brave solvers participates, they tend to enjoy the experience. It was a case this year as well, when I have intentionally decreased the difficulty of problems offered them for solving. All of them included only fairy pieces grasshopper and/or nightrider, and/or fairy condition Madrasi or Madrasi Rex inclusive. There were 10 problems to be solved within time limit 77 minutes and each of them could bring 24 points to the solver.

The results were as follows:
1. Michel Caillaud - 213 points (of 240 possible)
2. Ladislav Packa - 147 points
3. Marek Kolcak - 117 points
4. Vaclav Kotesovec - 99 points
5. Abdelaziz Onkoud - 84 points

Of the 10 problems solved during the competition, 4 were already present on the CCM:

- h#2 with grasshoppers - easy helpmate with 6 solutions solved by everyone for 24
- h#3 Madrasi with grasshoppers - difficult helpmate with 2 solution solved by no one - the only problem not giving any points to the winner
- s#2 Madrasi Rex Inclusiv - average difficulty - 3 solvers got full points
- ser-h#12* Madrasi - fully solved only by the winner, other got small points for set play

The other problems from the competition are given below.
Petko A. Petkov
Fairy solving Eretria 2005

1.e7! zz
1...G~ 2.Gd7#
1...Gd8! 2.exd8G#
1...Gf8! 2.exf8N#
1...Kxd5 2.Rd8#

The first problem in the competition was actually used in the solving competition already for the second time. 11 years ago Petko used it specifically in the fairy solving tourney at Eretrie congress.

The content is OK also from the composing point of view, as was the case with all competing problems at least to some degree. Flight-giving key allows grasshopper mate after random nightrider line opening, after two corrections fairy promotions follow.

#2 (9+3)
1+0 nightrider, 1+1 greasshopper

Juraj Lörinc
1st-2nd HM e.a. Marianka Cup 2013

1.Gd7? th. 2.Se7# A
1...Gc5 a 2.Re5# B
1...Gc7 b 2.Sxe3# C

1.Bd5! th. 2.Re5# B
1...Gc5 a 2.Sxe3# C
1...Gc7 b, Re7 2.S(x)e7# A
1...Rxd5 2.Rxd5#

I could not resist providing solvers something with the modern theme to see if they can find and enjoy the real content. In this sense, the choice of problem proved very good: two solvers just found the solution and later even one of them pointed he could not understand the idea of the problem - there is not much analogy or otherwise interesting thematical content within solution only. But if the thematic try is included, we get Shedey cycle - and this was even remarked by the winner in the solution sheet!

#2 (10+11)
2+4 grasshopper

Udo Degener
idee & form 2006

1.f8Q? th. 2.Kb5#

1.f8R? th. 2.Kd3#

1.f8S? th. 2.Kxc5#

1.Rf1? th. 2.Kd3#

1.b5? th. 2.Kb4#

1.f8B! th. 2.Kd4#
1...Sxf8 2.Kxc5#
1...Rxf8 2.Kd3#
1...Qxf8,Qxc7,Qb5+ 2.K(x)b5#
1...Qxb4+ 2.Kxb4#
1...Rf5 2.exf5#

Quite a few tries with most of them leading to the AUW, finished by the key. One solver was actually fooled by one of the listed tries, 1.b5?

#2 (14+8)

Cedric C. Lytton
The Problemist Supplement 2014

1.Gb3! th. 2.Sf7+ Kh7 3.Nxb4#
1...h1G 2.Kd3! th. 3.Be3#
1...h1N 2.Kd5! th. 3.Be6#
1...Gd7 2.cxd7! th. 3.d8N#

And one more problem with promotions to nightrider and grasshopper, this time as defences. Both fairy promotions defend against check in the threat, but at the same time Black gives up some possibilities of checking White king after its precise 2nd move.

Well understandable content and again full points only to the winner.

#3 (9+9)
1+0 nightrider, 3+1 grasshopper

Jakov Vladimirov
5th HM Probleemblad 1965

1.Gh6! th. 2.Qc1+ Rxc1#
1...fxe1G 2.Gd6+ Ge7#
1...fxe1B 2.Rc3+ Bxc3#
1...fxe1S 2.Sd3+ Sxd3#
1...f1G 2.Qe4 Gf6#
1...f1Q 2.Sa6+ Qxa6#
1...f1B 2.Qe2 Bxe2#
1...f1S 2.Qe3+ Sxe3#

There were three reasons why this selfmate was included into set for the competition:
1. s#2 are usually solvable, just some time can be needed to sort out the content,
2. there are 8 variations (including threat) allowing losing some points for imprecise solver,
3. the name over diagram - yes, it is one of the best orthodox composers of near past and now - already more than 50 years ago he made such fairy gem - it is worth knowing.

Those, who found the key, lost some points especially for variation 1...f1Q.

s#2 (14+10)
5+1 grasshopper

Juraj Lörinc
Fairy solving Marianka 2016


1.Gxc5 2.Kxb4 3.Ka5 4.Kb6 5.Ga7 6.Kc7 7.Gd7 8.Kd8 9.Ke8 10.Kf7 11.Ke6 12.Gf5 13.Kf7 14.Kf8 15.Gf7 Rd8#

Until now, much higher proportion of problems provided to solvers were originals - actually usually strong majority. This year this seriesmover was the only original. And it was not the toughest nut to crack, only one solver failed to find solution, everybody had set play for small points.

ser-h#15* (5+3)
0+1 grasshopper

Comments to Juraj Lörinc.
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