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MatPlus.Net Forum Moremovers Leonid Yarosh, 1st prize Shakhmaty w SSSR, August 1983 (#4)
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(1) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Friday, Apr 6, 2007 21:59]

Leonid Yarosh, 1st prize Shakhmaty w SSSR, August 1983 (#4)

(= 16+8 )

Leonid Vladimirovich Yarosh
Shakhmaty w SSSR, August 1983, 1st prize
White to move and mate in 4

I think, no collection can be complete without this brillant masterpiece. Most probably all of you have seen this before but if anyone has not, I strongly suggest to solve this without a computer. It will be great to find the theme and how it works.

When you've done with solving it (and only then), you may want to use the FEN string below to create a position and solve it, too. It's the predecessor of this one.

Leonid Vladimirovich Yarosh
Shakhmaty w SSSR, March 1983 (problem number 23)
White to move and mate in 4

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(2) Posted by Dmitri Turevski [Saturday, Apr 7, 2007 11:33]

This famous problem is breathtaking indeed.

Recently i've run over a website which is quite on-topic and may be interesting to the community. Sadly, there's no english version yet, but russian speaking members should correct me if i miss something (afaik Siegfried knows russian).

The site is called "Creative Workshop of Leonid V. Yarosh", i'll give a link below, some important note first: i'm *unsure* that Leonid V. Yarosh is really affiliated with this site, and, of course i'm not affiliated with it anyhow.

The site offers some chess related services like Babson-task lecture (online video conference), promotional campaigns (e.g. figurative chess problems forming your company name are published in newspaper) etc.

Interesting one is: everyone (famous businessmen and bankers are preferred) is invited to be a "co-author of the 20th century record" (which is the Babson task). Deposit is needed (barter[!] is possible), media campaign is promised, references to russian copyright laws are given.
Media campaign includes: "Film version of the world achievment by means of dance theatre, dumb show and other art forms!" (yes, the film version of the dumb show of the babson task -- that is exactly what you get for your money [or goods!])

Another one: everyone (same preferences) is invited to be a "co-author of the 21st century record" (no explanation what it would be). Deposit needed again (money or barter), now references to the Chess Composition Codex are given, promised is winning at a chess composition tourney with money prizes (film versions and other stuff is of course included too).
This is supposed to encourage possible co-authors: "The 20th century record was priced by experts[!] USD 100,000,000 [!!] and included into the chess encyclopedia[!!!] - Moscow 1990".

What's this - a joke? New kind of internet fraud?

The URL:

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(3) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Saturday, Apr 7, 2007 12:27]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [07-04-07]

afaik Siegfried knows russian

I don't, afaik, I can decrypt letters but I understand only the most basic chess words (like "konkurs", "shakhmaty" etc.)
I can read diagrams and notation and most of chess books due to this (I read Kofman's book about selected studies of S.M.Kaminer and M.S.Liburkin ("Izbrannye etiudii Kaminera i Liburkina") three years ago and I have "Lovuschka dlja chernogo korolj" of the brillant K.K.Sukharev but I don't read it anymore since I think my exemplar - that once belonged to KKS - is too precious).

PS: Of course I have seen Yarosh's website long ago (even back in 2005 before I had internet access at home). It's a great website but sadly not completed yet. Some parts are missing and I'd really like to see a scan of the original publication in March 1983.

PS2: I can't believe your translation, this doesn't sound like Yarosh! Are you sure you translated correctly?

PS3: Nevermind, I found it!
The few words I can read talk about a new "mirovogo" record "XXI veka" and later about judging of "odortlenie astorstva <<rekorda XXI veka>>". I agree, this looks like spam or fraud. There's no record of the 21st century to be judged yet.
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(4) Posted by Dmitri Turevski [Saturday, Apr 7, 2007 12:49]

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(5) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Saturday, Apr 7, 2007 13:37]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [07-04-08]

At least then it makes sense...


PS, 02:41, 8th April:
I zhink iz's a miracle he found it! It's a very sad story. There was the young metalurgist Pierre Drumare who started around 1960 to compose it, one hour per day - a few years later four hours per day. He kept on working for a year, two years, five years, ten years, twenty years. And then when he had tried everything and gave up - with apocalyptic words in "Thémes-64" - a russian composer, a young enthusiastic soccer-trainer, appeared. Someone who seemingly only had composed one threemover before. The young composer started from scratch but with the difference that he found the correct matrix.

(= 15+15 )

Pierre Drumare
Seneca-Memorial 1980
Pierre Drumare Special Prize
White to move and mate in 5

Now don't judge this work by it's appearance! That'd be a big mistake! It took 20 years to compose this - while trying millions, if not even billions, of different positions. Drumare ever claimed the nightrider could do it and here this seems to be the proof. He had to build a castle around the king due to the knight. It's still a great pleasure to solve this problem.

Two years later, Drumare wrote (in french): "My last step in the direction to the impossible - 22 years exhausting work on the babson task.", and then he told us the whole story. How his friend Bertin showed him the task back in 1960, how the task poisoned his minds. The best composers tried and failed on this task (even I would do if it wouldn't have been solved). He finished all his work, 22 years, the only sense of his life, with the words "Today, after 22 years of exhausting work, I have certainity that the fourfold echo-promotion will never be realized in an orthodox problem. I don't even want to think about this spectacular task. Today I have made my last step on the path to the impossible!"

Well, the rest of the story is well-known. It was not Drumare, but Yarosh, who finally created this spectacular problem on a position much lighter than anyone could have thought of. Drumare wrote a letter to Yarosh, claiming "Your problem will in future be admired like we admire today the masterpieces of our ancestors in museums and cathedrals."

But still there was something missing. Yes, I composed a babson with a thematic refutation of a try based on Yarosh's matrix, but my position was illegal and I needed a promoted bishop. I never published it until today. Well, I most probably was too late anyway and there is a problem that even has not only a thematic refutation but also a thematic try! The position itself looks as if it could appear in a game (however, more probably in a composed one). With this knowledge one may try to find the thematic try and it's refutation.

(= 16+7 )

Zalmen Kornin
Problemesis 2005
White to move and mate in 4

I just felt like writing this. Just let me add one thing. Pierre Drumare died in April 2001. Nobody knows what he must have felt when he saw Yarosh's Babson. Nobody can even imagine...

I hope to be able to visit his grave - as far as I'm informed it is on a cemetery in Paris - one day and give him the honor he deserves...
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(6) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Sunday, Apr 8, 2007 11:53]

On a completely OT sidenote, doesn't that all remind you
of Fermats Last Theorem?

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(7) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Sunday, Apr 8, 2007 19:02]

On a completely OT sidenote:
No, it doesn't! I was challenged with this long ago and found it's correct (however, I couldn't prove it).
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(8) Posted by Harry Fougiaxis [Monday, Apr 9, 2007 01:19]

Btw, some links from Tim Krabbé's site, for those who might have not come across them :

The Diagram of the Century

Sons of Babson

Diary 77 - Homepage of Babson

Diary 199 - In Kazan with Yarosh (make sure you follow the links)
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(9) Posted by Zalmen Kornin [Monday, Apr 9, 2007 14:54]

Siegfried: A proof game (maybe the shortest?!): [Event ""]
[Site ""]
[Date "10-5-2005"]
[Round ""]
[White "Kornin"]
[Black "Kornin, Z"]
[Result "*"]

1. e4 e5
2. f4 d5
3. d4 ‡c6
4. ‡f3 a6
5. ‡c3 b5
6. a4 ˆb8
7. †e2 †g4
8. O-O ‡a5
9. ‡e1 †f3
10. b4 ˆb6
11. g4 h6
12. g5 c5
13. gxh6 g5
14. bxa5 ˆg6
15. axb5 ‡e7
16. b6 ‹d7
17. †xf3 ‹c6
18. ‡a4 ‹b5
19. ˆb1+ ‹c4
20. †a3 ‡c6
21. ‡b2+ ‹c3
22. exd5 e4
23. dxc5 g4
24. h4 g3
25. ˆc1 g2
26. h5 ‡e5
27. hxg6 †g7
28. ˆf2 e3
29. hxg7 ‰e8
30. gxf7 e2

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(10) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Monday, Apr 9, 2007 17:41]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [07-04-09]

No, it is not necessarily the shortest. White needs 29 moves to get this position.

Pa5 -> 2 moves
Pb6 -> 3 moves
Pc5 -> 2 moves (from d-file)
Pd5 -> 2 moves
Pf4 -> 1 move
Pf7 -> 4 moves (from h-file)
Pg7 -> 4 moves
Kg1 -> 1 move by castling
Qd1 -> 0 moves
Rc1 -> 1 move
Rf2 -> 1 move if castled
Ba3 -> 1 move
Bf3 -> 2 moves
Nb2 -> 3 moves
Ne1 -> 2 moves
For a total of 29. So who tries to make a shorter proof game?

PS: The closest one I got is 31 but with perfect white moves

1. d4 c5 2. dxc5 f5 3. Nd2 f4 4. b4 f3 5. Ngxf3 d5 6. e4 e5 7. exd5 Ne7 8. a4 Nec6 9. Be2 Na5 10. bxa5 b5 11. axb5 e4 12. O-O Kf7 13. Ne1 Kf6 14. b6 Ke5 15. f4+ Kd4 16. Nc4+ Kc3 17. Ba3 a6 18. g4 Ra7 19. g5 h6 20. gxh6 Bf5 21. h4 g5 22. h5 Bg6 23. hxg6 Rf7 24. gxf7 Bg7 25. hxg7 e3 26. Bf3 e2 27. Rc1 g4 28. Nb2 g3 29. Rf2 g2
Now white makes two waiting moves, while black plays Nb8->c6/d7->e5
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(11) Posted by Zalmen Kornin [Tuesday, Apr 10, 2007 11:09]

Thanks, Siegfried! - I remember to have searched for a 29 moves' proof game, and found, for some reason, solutions just in 30 - that one (to add some significance and spice) had a classical Opening and ended with both 'Babson-Pawns' arriving to the 7th...

First appearence of the #4 here under number M76 (aprés Karlheinz BACHMANN) The idea of extending the 'Echo-Promotions Task' to a Try (introducing the key-Pawn) had no known precedents, according to the specialists who wrote me on this subject (including K. Bachmann) - On a background note, I was successesfull in contacting Herr Bachmann just some months after the publication... More on the precedents here
(note, as the proof game in the prededing post appeared in a, so to say, mysterious notation, here is the same with a more reasonable appearance:

[Event ""]
[Site ""]
[Date "10-5-2005"]
[Round ""]
[White "Kornin"]
[Black "Kornin, Z"]
[Result "*"]

1. e2-e4 e7-e5
2. f2-f4 d7-d5
3. d2-d4 Nb8-c6
4. Ng1-f3 a7-a6
5. Nb1-c3 b7-b5
6. a2-a4 Ra8-b8
7. Bf1-e2 Bc8-g4
8. O-O Nc6-a5
9. Nf3-e1 Bg4-f3
10. b2-b4 Rb8-b6
11. g2-g4 h7-h6
12. g4-g5 c7-c5
13. g5xh6 g7-g5
14. b4xa5 Rb6-g6
15. a4xb5 Ng8-e7
16. b5-b6 Ke8-d7
17. Be2xf3 Kd7-c6
18. Nc3-a4 Kc6-b5
19. Ra1-b1+ Kb5-c4
20. Bc1-a3 Ne7-c6
21. Na4-b2+ Kc4-c3
22. e4xd5 e5-e4
23. d4xc5 g5-g4
24. h2-h4 g4-g3
25. Rb1-c1 g3-g2
26. h4-h5 Nc6-e5
27. h5xg6 Bf8-g7
28. Rf1-f2 e4-e3
29. h6xg7 Qd8-e8
30. g6xf7 e3-e2

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(12) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Friday, Apr 13, 2007 14:13]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [07-04-13]

Mario Richter (Germany) found the following game. He kindly allowed me to publish it here. His text says: "It can be realized in 28.5 moves in the following way."
Das läßt sich mit 28.5 Zügen wie folgt realisieren:

1.g2-g4 h7-h5 2.g4xh5 g7-g5 3.h2-h4 g5-g4 4.a2-a4 d7-d5
5.a4-a5 Ke8-d7 6.e2-e4 Kd7-c6 7.Bf1-g2 Kc6-b5 8.b2-b4 c7-c5
9.b4xc5 b7-b6 10.c5xb6 Bc8-f5 11.d2-d4 e7-e5 12.e4xd5 e5-e4
13.Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6 14.0-0 Nc6-e5 15.Nf3-e1 Ra8-c8 16.f2-f4 Rc8-c4
17.Nb1-a3+ Kb5-b4 18.Na3xc4 Kb4-c3 19.Bc1-a3 Bf8-c5
20.d4xc5 Ng8-e7 21.Bg2-f3 Bf5-g6 22.h5xg6 g4-g3 23.g6xf7 Ne7-g6
24.h4-h5 e4-e3 25.h5xg6 e3-e2 26.Ra1-c1 g3-g2 27.Nc4-b2 Qd8-e8
28.Rf1-f2 a7-a6 29.g6-g7

To reach the position with white to move, obviusly the black queen can lose a tempo in move 27.
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(13) Posted by Zalmen Kornin [Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 14:19]

Thanks again, Siegfried, and also for Mario Richter - the proof Game is very elegant, and I believe, a difficult task in itself...

The Babson-Springtime (or as Peter Hoffmann said "The Babson's Flow" (I hope I'm translating properly) that started in 1983, had some milestones - Yarosh discoveries, so to say, broke the hindrances, and Chess Problem's heritage is now enriched by a handful of masterpieces that appeared between 1983 and 1988 - As in every process of elaboration of works of Art, the posterior deliverances are also the more accomplished, this is strongly evidenced by the apparition of the "Babson King": Peter Hoffmann attracted the attention of two skilled composers with an article in the German Magazine "Die Schwalbe", in which some gaps were indicated in the Babson universe - so, in 1987, in a same edition of the Magazine, appeared two #4 with complete Babson Tasks each one, and independently elaborated by Martin Hoffmann in Switzerland, and Karlheinz Bachmann in Germany - still two milestones here: an exemplary with two new Babsons, and Bachmann's was the first with twenty pieces, a miracle of material sparing
Again with Peter Hoffmann, from Germany, author of many original contributions to the Babson Complex, the "Swiss-German Braintrust" found the ideal setting for this scheme:

P. Hoffmann, K. Bachmann and M. Hoffmann
"Die Schwalbe, 1988
(= 14+6 )


(the complete history and documentation of the trio of Babson Tasks with the Black King in 'f6' can be seen in Siegfried Hornecker's site and internal links)
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(14) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Sunday, Jun 24, 2007 08:53]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [07-07-02]

Since I sadly can't edit an earlier posting, I'd like to link to a photo of LY here. Sorry for spam. ;)

[PS, July 1st] There's an interesting Babson in MPR 1, p.64, no.153 (LP 4/2004, 5.p) - 150 on p.63 (2.p) also is a Babson

Dear Mr. Stojnić, keep this good work going!
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(15) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Sunday, Aug 19, 2007 12:37]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [07-09-09]

Just one word!


Ok, since there was confusion about this:
Click on the arrows on the bottom of the page to go to the next page.

PS: The query has expired but the link still works to me. (as of August 21)

PPS, 09/09: Doesn't work anymore! Just search (at "theme") for Babson*. So long:

* = when MPDBS is up again
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(16) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Saturday, Oct 13, 2007 22:55]

Here's a phantastic example of what can be done with a Babson!

(I won't try to type in the diagrams here)

note: S is bishop, knight is J, V is rook
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(17) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Sunday, Oct 14, 2007 03:01]

I would say that the following sibling diagram is even better as there is no Fleck, rather zugzwang, with flight-providing key...

Ladislav Salai jr.
1st-2nd Prize Martin-Zilina 2000-2001
(= 16+9 )

s#3 Madrasi
= grasshopper
= nightrider
= pao
= camelrider
= zebrarider

Key: 1.Sh8!

It is however much easier to construct Babson in Madrasi as many fairy composers do know.
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(18) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Friday, Dec 7, 2007 03:40]

What's the maximum number of echo-promotions? with "standard" fairy conditions (e.g., nothing like "has to promote to the same piece")?

By the way, anyone please send me the article "Mon dernier pas vers l'impossible" by Pierre Drumare in Thémes-64, 1982.
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MatPlus.Net Forum Moremovers Leonid Yarosh, 1st prize Shakhmaty w SSSR, August 1983 (#4)