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MatPlus.Net Forum Moremovers Siegfried Hornecker and Martin Hoffmann, SSZ 06/2005 (#9)
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(1) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 17:37]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [07-04-14]

Siegfried Hornecker and Martin Hoffmann, SSZ 06/2005 (#9)

Since every composer should show a problem of his own, here I do.

The original publication can be found here:

(= 8+9 )

(FEN: 2rN4/2P1p3/1N1b2K1/4kpp1/3p2p1/3P2P1/5Pq1/B7)
Siegfried Hornecker and Martin Hoffmann
Schweizerische Schachzeitung, 06/2005, Nr. 14502 (Version by SH, Original)
Mate in 9 moves

It's not the kind of problem that could win a prize but that is fun to see and easy to solve.

You are welcome to comment. Just don't say how awful it is. I have seen worse problems. :D
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(2) Posted by Paz Einat [Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 18:27]

I like it. A nice logical problem with the main point - getting the WS back to d8 before "f4+" so that the capture R:d8 can be answered by c:d8=Q otherwise BQ can check. Nice switch back and round trip by the WS.

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(3) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Tuesday, May 15, 2007 05:29]

It's been on the forum for a month now so I think there'll be no more opinions so I'll write down a few lines about this problem.

I originally had the idea to this problem in 2004 or 2005 (I think, 2004 but I'll have to look at my database if anyone wants to know - no big deal). So I sent the thing to Martin Hoffmann who I learned about by - so the circle closes (I hope this term is used in english) - the Babson king (as I call it). I may talk about this somewhere else later.

Well, Martin Hoffmann was very friendly and greatly helped me out with this. He added the interesting points that were mentioned by Paz Einat - I learned about Paz Einat in 2005 or 2006 by the way, I contacted him once between June 2005 and October 2006 - and Martin Hoffmann also decided to publish it (after we tried everything but I - today, I'd say luckily - couldn't convince him about a more difficult version with eleven or twelve moves where black queens first.

So in 2007 I decided - when I posted it here - to add another black pawn on f5 to get rid of the unprovided set check. The composition works also fine without that pawn (and I wouldn't give anything about it in a study but in a problem this kind of virtual play is considered bad).

The side variation 5. cxd8Q is only there for technical reasons. There (sadly) was no way to avoid it. It was necessary to make the knight perform the rundlauf, I think. There also was a certain reason to use a queen on g2. At a point after en passant black needs to have a check or there would be a dual. Yes, these are construction faults in some way (however, seemingly necessary ones). I'm proud enough that there are no "nightwatchers" (except maybe bQg2 if you're really hard on it) (I don't know the english term for "Nachtwächter" in chess, so excuse me if this direct translation is wrong). Every piece has a certain function:

wK - takes flight fields of bK
wB - necessary fot the end of the solution
wSd8 - main piece
wSb6 - takes a flight field and also seems to be necessary somewhere else
wPd7 - must promote in a side variation
wPd3 - takes a flight field
wPg3 - takes a flight field, saves from check by Qg2 later
wPf2 - adds en passant possibility (logical foreplan)

bK - well, never seen an orthodox problem without
bQ - dual avoiding both by controlling diagonal and vertical line
bRd8 - necessary to avoid a dual and adding a side variation
bBd6 - takes a flight field, avoids a dual somewhere
bPd4/e7 - takes a flight field
bPf5 - was not in the original version, only takes out the unprovided set check by Qe4
bPg4 - used for en passant (logical foreplan)
bPg5 - used for a logical foreplan

Best regards,
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(4) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Friday, Mar 8, 2013 12:25]

While going through it for my essay, I found another mistake in the position: The try play has a dual.

The original problem was this:
(= 8+8 )

I think this form is the best, unless someone has a better idea:
(= 8+10 )

1.Sc6+? Ke6? 2.S:d4+ Ke5 3.Sf3+ Ke6 4.S:g5 mate, but 1.-Q:c6!
1.f4+? g:f3? 2.Sc6+ etc, but 1.-g:f4!
1.Sf7+ Ke6 2.S:g5+ Ke5 3.Sf7+ Ke6 4.Sd8+ Ke5 5.f4+ g:f3 6.Sc6+ Ke6 7.S:d4+ Ke5 8.Sf3+ Ke6 9.Sg5 mate

Sure, after 1.Sc6+ there are still several mates in under 9 moves but only one fastest mate now.
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MatPlus.Net Forum Moremovers Siegfried Hornecker and Martin Hoffmann, SSZ 06/2005 (#9)