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MatPlus.Net Forum General 1PR Probleemblad 2008 Fairies
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(1) Posted by Eugene Rosner [Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 18:06]

1PR Probleemblad 2008 Fairies

Just saw the prizewinner as quoted in July Problemist. John Rice points out that the key and threat in both phases are the same and may detract from the over all merit. I see these same features only make the theme of the problem all the more clear. A great cycle! What do you think?
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(2) Posted by Kevin Begley [Friday, Aug 12, 2011 02:31]; edited by Kevin Begley [11-08-12]

>I see these features [repeated key and threat in both phases] only make the theme of the problem all the more clear.
>A great cycle! What do you think?

I can't agree that the exact same key, with the exact same threat, provides any thematic clarity.
Just consider the problem post key:

You have a #1 threat (>2.Sc5#), with 3 completely orthodox defenses: 1...Nb3 a, 1...Rc8 b, 1...Qf8 c (each defending c5 directly).
Each of the three defenses incurs some new weakness in a) madrasi:
a) bNightrider overworked - 1...Nb3 surrenders the Nightrider's own Madrasi-paralyzing defense (...Ne7) against 2.Ng3# A
b) bRook interferes with a non-thematic unit, by occupation - 1...Rc8 blocks the square of bBishop's Madrasi-paralyzing defense (...Bc8) against 2.Bf5# B
c) bQueen interferes with a thematic unit, by obstruction - 1...Qf8 blocks the path of bRook's Madrasi-paralyzing defense (...Rg8) against 2.Rg4# C

First, these variations do not show perfect harmony with one another... ideally, each of the 3 defenses would cause a thematically familiar (better: cyclical) weakness.
Of course, ideal is often asking too much... my point is only this: you might concentrate on better harmony here, if you wanted to make the theme "all the more clear."

Now consider the weakness created by each defense in b) isardam:
a) bNightrider overworked - 1...Nb3 surrenders the Nightrider's own Isardam-pin-paralyzing defense (...Ne7) against 2.Bf5# B
b) bRook interferes with a non-thematic unit, by occupation - 1...Rc8 blocks the square of bBishop's Isardam-pin-paralyzing defense (...Bc8) against 2.Rg4# C
c) bQueen interferes with a thematic unit, by obstructino -- 1...Qf8 blocks the path of bRook's Isardam-pin-paralyzing defense (...Rg8) against 2.Ng3# A

Again, not perfect intra-phase harmony of variations... but, yes, there is perfect harmony between the two phases (inter-phase), and a lovely cycle.
Even John Rice conceded, "this all works very neatly."
But, this is achieved from one static post-key position (it's like a h#1, with 3 inharmonious solutions, yielding a perfectly matched cycle over two condition-altered phases, all cook-stopped by a single threat).

Now, just imagine all this were achieved with two unique keys; and, imagine each carried a unique threat (again, leaving the same 3 defenses).
Instead of a neatly matched cycle from a single, static, post-key position (a twinned h#1), you would have dynamically matched two unique problems (two #2's) together...
And, by no means would such an achievement necessarily degrade thematic clarity -- not in the slightest.

If it had been achieved, this good cyclic problem might have been really great; and, with better intra-phase harmony, it probably would be called, "a masterpiece."
I think the judge, who awarded this 1st prize, was too easily seduced by a tempest in the alphabet soup.
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(3) Posted by Peter Gvozdjak [Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 12:48]

this post brings us to a simple question:
should the repeated key in hybrid problems (or generally, in any type of twins) be considered a flaw or not?

before giving my personal opinion, i will show some important pioneer compositions using this type of twinning in the "cyclone" field (here i have quite a good overview):
no. 239 from "cyclone" (by marandyuk, 12.1970) is an orthodox twomover where the twin is created by transporting a bK.
no. 490 (tura, 4.1972) is a #2/s#2 twin.
no. 515 (kovacevic, 1972) is a #2/=2.
no. 597 (caillaud, 3.-4.1982) is a ortho/circe twomover.
all these pioneers show the lacny cycle. all of them use the same keys in both parts.
why the mentioned authors (btw, all of them grandmasters) did not use different keys? was it too difficult for them? definitely not.
the same key simply underlines the strong paradoxy of the change between both phases. there is not any additional "helping" element, the complete change is caused by the changed condition or stipulation (in hybrids) only.

here i completely agree with these authors, and with eugene as well.
well, there are authors trying to achieve different keys to add some additional "value" for the solver. however, it is then important that the different keys should not "help" to create the cyclic change. rather they should be distinguished by other reason.
even then, i generally prefer the same keys.

for the purpose that somebody would like to analyze and compare concrete positions, i am listing here such "cyclone" problems (as you can see, there are quite a lot of them):

1. hybrid problems. (some of the themes must have different keys, as the key is thematic element.)
- lacny cycle (490-523, 597-606 in "cyclone" and 1830-1850, 1876-1885 in "cyclone 2")
- shedey cycle (816, 848 and 2030)
- kiss cycle (1011-1012)
- djurasevic cycle (1140-1148, 1167-1170, 1197 and 2219)
- rice cycle (1312-1314 and 2336)
- complete lacny cycle (2464-2466, 2468)
- complete djurasevic cycle (1671)

2. non-hybrid twins with the same keys. (here i am listing only 5-fold and longer cycles, as there are many shorter ones.)
- shedey cycle (845 and 2060-2062)
- rice cycle (1319-1321 and 2339-2340)
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(4) Posted by Kevin Begley [Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 20:57]; edited by Kevin Begley [11-08-14]


I appreciate that you've added your voice, and wondered if you could clarify a few minor points, for me...

First, you did not address the matter of this problem repeating the exact same threat, as well.
Can we presume the threat is also repeated, in your examples (with reused keys)?

Second, I wonder if you'd consider this matter from the perspective of poker hands...
The value of each hand (two of a kind, three of a kind, straight, flush, etc) increases directly with the difficulty in obtaining its pattern in the cards.
You would concede, would you not, that it is far easier (regardless what constitutes a challenge for the "Grandmasters") to obtain a cyclic pattern from the same post-key diagram (an identical #1.5 diagram, if you will, resulting from identical keys), as opposed to realizing this from two different diagrams (two separate #1.5 diagrams, resulting from unique keys)?
Is it not a given that 3 identical defenses are more easily obtained from an identical diagram, with an identical key, which makes an identical threat?
So, why not value the hand, according to the difficulty in obtaining it?

Third, I still don't understand how the pattern is necessarily more harmonious, if it arises from a concert of the same instrument, playing in the same "key," on the same scale -- where's the chord?
Is not harmony the combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes -- that is, by definition: two or more different sounds (generally unique keys) coming together to create a pleasing effect for the audience?
Any harmony which comes later, according to theory, would be unaffected by the these previous keys (whether the keys themselves are inharmonious and identical, or otherwise).

Finally, who, if not solvers, constitutes the intended audience for cyclic problems?
Why shouldn't every composer be "trying to achieve different keys to add some additional 'value' for the solver" ?

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(5) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Monday, Aug 15, 2011 01:12]

For the sake of truth, in early 70-es the composers you mentioned were very far from being grandmasters. At least one of them was a pure beginner, and I can clearly recall my dissatisfaction with the poor key-move that had to be duplicated in both #2/=2 twins. This surely wasn’t an intentional choice! Even today, the identical key-moves in “hybrid-twins” appear somewhat mechanical to me, as if one half-move was artificially added.
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(6) Posted by Eugene Rosner [Monday, Aug 15, 2011 05:52]

thrilled with the responses here! this makes for great reading!!
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MatPlus.Net Forum General 1PR Probleemblad 2008 Fairies