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MatPlus.Net Forum General Name for a type of problem
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(1) Posted by Bob Baker [Wednesday, Jul 31, 2019 16:07]

Name for a type of problem

Is there a name for the type of problem in which all of Black's original men remain on the board?
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(2) Posted by Rewan Demontay (Real Name: J. Malcom) [Wednesday, Jul 31, 2019 17:23]; edited by Rewan Demontay (Real Name: J. Malcom) [19-07-31]

Such problem, no matter which color, is called a "Maximal (insert the correct color here.)"

To give you example, here us a famous problem by Otto Blathy.

WTM, N#16

(= 2+16 )

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(3) Posted by [Thursday, Aug 1, 2019 11:24]; edited by [19-08-02]

I have not found any instance of that term ('maximal') except as a kind of opposite of the term 'minimal',
which applies only to side that fulfills the stipulation (i.e. white for direct mates, black for self-mates).

The absence of it from the Encyclopedia suggests that the sources it mentions informally may not contain it

As a matter of general interest, I think a source reference would be useful -- it may be a single author's
usage rather than general usage. (Like 'exo', which is not in the Encyclopedia either, and which seems to
have been used by one single author only.)
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(4) Posted by Bob Baker [Friday, Aug 2, 2019 13:39]; edited by Bob Baker [19-08-02]

"The conversion of the duo into a leuco-bound chain creates a bad ram and enhances the melanpenia of Black's position." - Hans Kmoch, Pawn Power in Chess

How many of those terms appear in the Encyclopedia?
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(5) Posted by [Friday, Aug 2, 2019 16:09]

That's not chess problem terminology. That just plain chess. So Encyclopedia of Chess Problems -- themes and terms wouldn't really have it.

It's also one person's terminology -- I don't think anyone else used it except Kmoch -- so it's more idiosyncratic use than general.
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(6) Posted by Rewan Demontay (Real Name: J. Malcom) [Friday, Aug 2, 2019 18:14]; edited by Rewan Demontay (Real Name: J. Malcom) [19-08-02]

Anders, I pulled the term from yacpdb, as that's what the Otto problem I showed is listed as. See 67659.

The problem is also the length record for the "minimal" checkmating force of a King and a knight.

I've seen the term "minimal" used throughout Morse's book. Thus, does it not make sense to have an anti-counterpart to the word "minimal," as we see with the word "maximal?"
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(7) Posted by Dmitri Turevski [Friday, Aug 2, 2019 19:39]

The YACPDB, by design, can be edited by everyone.
There are indeed a few problems marked by the keyword "Maximal", however, all these edits were made from a single account "Ivo Remes" (edits history is public).
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(8) Posted by [Friday, Aug 2, 2019 22:03]; edited by [19-08-02]

Well, perhaps I'm old-school. To me, usage is established by actual use, so I'm definitely having a hard time with a term like 'exo' which I've been told was/is used by one single person. As it is used in the official text of the codex, it would merit inclusion in the encyclopedia, just because that is an official text, but ... I'd probably not give it a entry of its own, as usage is so extremely limited.

I would take a similar approach with 'maximal': just like most lexicon editors, I would like to see slips cross-referencing sources where this has term has been observed in the wild. If I find only one, or a very restricted set of observations ... perhaps in a meta-discussion such as this ... I'd keep the slip for the future, but I would not add it as a entry to a word book.

You argument that 'maximal' would make sense may be valid, but I think that leaves descriptive usage and goes into prescriptive. I see no wrong in that kind of recommendation, I just want to be clear in my mind that it is one, and not a statement that 'maximal' actually has been observed 'in the wild'.

I've been trying to hunt down the places where I felt sure I had seen term, but I have failed each time, so ... I must back off on my own claim that I have seen it myself. I can only imagine that the close parallel with minimal fooled me, or perhaps that I might have seen it in YACPDB without really thinking about it. As you say ... it does make some sense.

An interesting twist is that to me 'minimal' applies to side-to-fulfil-stipulation only (see Thema-Boek p. 9), and that's not what OP asked about. Encyclopedia does not make that particular distinction. That's definitely a case where I would like to know if the editors of the Encyclopedia have stuck to descriptive usage, or have ventured into prescriptive usage. Or is it useful to talk about minimal help mates?

Probably not.
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(9) Posted by Rewan Demontay (Real Name: J. Malcom) [Friday, Aug 2, 2019 23:44]

Anders, I agree with you that the term "minimal" is used on the stipulation-filling side.

The term means either the King is alone, or Rex Solus, a fancy latin, that is used for those types of problems. Another type of minimal of the King plus one other piece only.

Dimitri (and Anders), it then may be then that that that single yacpdb user invented that term "maximal" to describe positions, and not for the to move side, where one aide has all of their problems.

And it not being an actual term due to no common usage is a perfectly acceptable and logical argument that I completely agree with.

However, just for fun, why not state using the term "maximal" for fun here? Perhaps speaking it will cause it to be spoken more if you understand that.
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(10) Posted by Dmitri Turevski [Saturday, Aug 3, 2019 08:09]

Perhaps speaking it will cause it to be spoken more if you understand that.

Nope, sorry :) I would personally prefer "a position with 16 black men" given the rare need for the term and the general state of the problem terminology that is already bloated beyond any reason.

As for the famous Blathy's position, I have ecountered it referred in the literature as "grotesque". This is indeed a term that can be found in the "Encyclopedia of Chess Problems" (Velimirovich/Valtonen) and Basisty's "Glossary of chess composition".
The definition is sort of vague: "A problem or endgame beyond the normal scope, in which the idea is expressed in an exaggerated, unusual form".
Here the exaggeration of the form is that a single unit wins against exactly the whole black army (I believe that the original stipulation was to win, not checkmate in 16, but I could be mistaken).
Pretty close, though I'm not sure whether "grotesque" is the word that Mr Baker was looking for.
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(11) Posted by [Saturday, Aug 3, 2019 19:38]; edited by [19-08-03]

Dmitri writes:

>I would personally prefer "a position with 16 black men" given the rare need for the term and the general state of the problem terminology that is already bloated beyond any reason.

Yes, economy has a place also in terminology, as well as clarity and lack of ambiguity. It seems inconceivable that anyone would need to go to the Encyclopedia to find out
what "a position with 16 black men" means.

>The definition is sort of vague: "A problem or endgame beyond the normal scope, in which the idea is expressed in an exaggerated, unusual form".

Well, as it is stated to be beyond normal scope, and of unusual form, the need for very strict terminology seems to be small, except for pathologists.

'Baroque' may also be a useful term. Both 'grotesque' and 'baroque' seem to have a element of ... well, vague distate or faint repulsiveness to them.
While 'a problem with 16 black men' hardly can be expressed with a fewer number of men, and so isn't really affected by any ordinary rules of
economy, I'd be interested in the question if this problem form has a value over and above that of a curiosity or oddity? (In Blathy's case, I'd suspect
a maximum of men primarily helped in increasing the length of the solution.)

Though 'normal scope' does change: Bolton's triple-knight miniature was probably not regarded as quite correct when it was published, and for some time after.
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(12) Posted by Bob Baker [Saturday, Aug 3, 2019 20:13]

Thank you Anders. Now I know which Encyclopedia you were referring to in your first comment. (I'm rather new here.)
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(13) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Sunday, Aug 4, 2019 11:20]

Somewhat relevant:


Hauke, who would have no problems with a general use of "maximal"
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(14) Posted by Bob Baker [Sunday, Aug 4, 2019 23:39]; edited by Bob Baker [19-08-04]

"Position with 16 black men" would not suffice, but "problem with all of Black's original men" could be used. My question was whether there is an accepted short name for such a problem, and it appears that there is not.
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(15) Posted by Rewan Demontay (Real Name: J. Malcom) [Monday, Aug 5, 2019 03:26]; edited by Rewan Demontay (Real Name: J. Malcom) [19-08-05]

Psssstt......I heard about a term for that.....maybe it's "maximal?".....want to know some more kid?.... ;D
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(16) Posted by Bob Baker [Monday, Aug 5, 2019 06:48]; edited by Bob Baker [19-08-05]

OK, I should have said "widely accepted". But what is your name for a problem with 16 black men, at least one of which is promoted?
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(17) Posted by Peter Wong [Tuesday, Aug 6, 2019 15:06]

Not quite what you're asking for, but "dark doing" is the term for "white minimal + black 16 original units".
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(18) Posted by Bob Baker [Wednesday, Aug 7, 2019 05:59]

Anders or Peter, is "dark doing" in the Dictionary? I haven't heard it, but I know there are a lot of problem names I haven't heard.
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(19) Posted by [Wednesday, Aug 7, 2019 08:10]; edited by [19-08-07]

"Dark Doings Theme"

Problems in which White has only a Pawn or a Knight (apart from his King) against an an apparently overwhelming Black force.

(Apparently from the name of an article by Bláthy in Chess Amateur, 1922. Not quite clear if this article used the definition above,
as Encyclopedia text refers to 'White King accompanied only by one second white piece against the complete (or
almost complete) black force.' and so appears to be slightly different. )

Good catch -- never heard of this one before now. It will probably have different names in different languages--
"Dunkle Täten" is mentioned as a German name.

(I find no online edition of that particular volume of Chess Amateur.)

{Added: after some thought, I'm not sure the term 'theme' is a good one to use here. 'Dark doings' appears to be a form, such as Artistocrat, miniature/Meredith, Rex Solus, or ... rather than a theme, which I think of as more connected with the idea content of a problem.)
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MatPlus.Net Forum General Name for a type of problem