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MatPlus.Net Forum Competitions Five knight promotions pawn study competition [closed]
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(1) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 14:33]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [14-11-03]

Five knight promotions pawn study competition [closed]

It is searched for an orthodox study (win or draw) with only kings and pawns in the starting position, where White consecutively promotes into five knights in the course of the solution. No fairy elements allowed.

Do not send any original study to me, have it published in a magazine first! Send the study after publication* to:
Siegfried Hornecker,

The author(s) of the first study to correctly show this task will receive 100 Euro!
No closing date.** This is not a formal or informal tourney, but a competition, a hunt for beauty.

* Please provide a scan or link to the original publication!
** I maintain the right to close the competition at a later point, however. Entries will only count if published before the competition was closed.

EDIT: The competition is closed as of 3 November 2014 due to having a winner!
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(2) Posted by Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen [Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014 09:58]

Sounds good. I was looking for a project to drive me mad. It probably shouldn't take longer than a few decades. I have looked at the topic in your Weltenfern, and the good news is that quite a few schemes seem possible. The bad news is of course that a lot of skilled composers have already spent a lot of time on this.
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(3) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014 14:31]

Dear Steffen,

it is good to know you read (and hopefully enjoyed) my book, which you can of course feel free to share (CC license :-)). As for the study, you are very much invited to try it. I only want to give a small incentive so people concentrate a bit more on this task. I am 96 percent certain it is impossible, but Drumare was 100 percent certain about the orthodox Babson... :-)

Best regards!
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(4) Posted by Geir Sune Tallaksen Østmoe [Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014 20:05]

I also read and enjoyed it. :) And I have looked a bit into the subject, without coming remotely close thus far. Still, it feels more likely that this is achievable, than a Babson study. Who knows, maybe both are possible?
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(5) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Thursday, Oct 30, 2014 11:42]

Yeah, the proof of Fermats Last Conjecture was possible too.
I fear Siegfrieds 100 € won't buy the lucky sod from the future
not even a single Gummibärchen :-)
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(6) Posted by Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen [Thursday, Oct 30, 2014 13:57]

I read and enjoyed it a lot. And the same goes for your awards. It should be mandatory for a judge to provide prose like you do in awards so composers will know your preferences.

I also feel that the five knight promotion study should be possible. I came up with a scheme with four white promotions, but with no real hope of adding a fifth.

A Babson study? No way!
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(7) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Monday, Nov 3, 2014 14:53]

Wow! It seems we already have a winner!

(= 9+8 )

Darius Knight, 3 November 2014

1.b8S+ K:c5 2.S:d7+ Kd6 3.e8S+ K:d7 4.f8S+ Ke7 5.g8S+ K:f8 6.g7+ Kf7 7.h8S+ K:g8 8.Sf6+ K:g7 9.Sh5+ Kh7 10.Sg3 wins

Five consecutive promotions of White pawns to knights in a kings & pawns endgame. Marvelous record!
(Read Only)pid=12949
(8) Posted by Frank Richter [Monday, Nov 3, 2014 17:53]

Nomen est omen ...
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(9) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Monday, Nov 3, 2014 18:15]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [14-11-03]

Another one has appeared on the chessstar website. On request of Mr. Knight, the prize money will be split.

It is by Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen, whom I tried to reach on the phone a few times but never succeeded. :-) Now I know what he was busy with.

If no further ones are published today, that will be it then.
(Read Only)pid=12951
(10) Posted by Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen [Tuesday, Nov 4, 2014 09:37]

Mr. Knight is most chivalrous. Hopefully his identity will be revealed under dramatic circumstances one day.
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(11) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Tuesday, Nov 4, 2014 11:16]

Congrats to the truckload of gummibears, Mr. Knight :-)
(But why not 1...Kb7?)
(Read Only)pid=12955
(12) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Tuesday, Nov 4, 2014 11:18]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [14-11-04]

Steffen, it does not need to be a pseudonym. We currently try to find more information, but may have an incredible answer soon.

EDIT: Of course Steffen's study also should be reproduced here.
(= 8+9 )

Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen, 3 November 2014
White wins

1.f8S+ Kf6 2.e8S+ Kf7 3.Sd6+ Ke7 4.c8S+ Kd8 5.Sf7+ Ke8 6.Scd6+ Ke7 7.Sg6+ Kd7 8.b8S+ Kc7 9.a8S+ wins

And so this story comes to an end. My work on the field of knight promotions in pawn endgames is done. This is my legacy, the heritage I leave for this world as a visionary, an explorer into virgin territory, the promised land, Manifest Destiny. Our journey has come to its end, we have reached the stars. We are no longer children of Earth, but of the stars, of the infinity. Infinite possibilities open to those who believe in it.

And yet - prove me wrong! Create the same task with six knight promotions! I estimate there to be a 0,016 percent chance that it is possible.

But for now I will retire from composing. Maybe I create a study every now and then, but I will mostly do editing and - like here - organisational work from now, and mostly take care of my personal matters. I have climbed every rock in chess composition that I could climb, and then I flied.

I'm still young, and full of energy. Who knows what may be the next impossible thing to achieve. :-)
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(13) Posted by Geir Sune Tallaksen Østmoe [Tuesday, Nov 4, 2014 13:40]

Two brilliant studies! Well done, both of you!

It will surprise me if 6 promotions is possible, but I have (almost) stopped using the word "impossible" in problem chess. Another possibility that has occured to me is whether you can include one or more Black knight promotions.

Hauke, my first thought was also 1...Kb7, but it seems that White can play 2.c6+ dxc6 3.a8Q+ Kxa8 4.Ke4 f1Q 5.Kxe5. Or 2...Kxa7 3.Ke4 with similar concequences. Black will temporarily have an extra queen, but White's king escapes, and then the only problem for White will be to choose which lucky pawn gets to promote first.
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(14) Posted by Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen [Tuesday, Nov 4, 2014 13:50]

Actually Mr. Knight has provided that variation against 1...Kb7

You can click the diagram for solutions.
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(15) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Tuesday, Nov 4, 2014 15:53]

I *could* click for solutions if I deactivate my Flash nuker,
which is usually a bad idea since then my 20 year old computer
explodes :-)

P.S. Could someone post the 1st 5 S study at all (no no-officer
restraint), Korolkov I think?
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(16) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Tuesday, Nov 4, 2014 16:03]

You probably thought about this, but only three promotions to knight from White:

(= 7+7 )

Vladimir Korolkov
64, 24 February 1937, 1st/2nd prize
White wins

1.Rh5+ K:h5 2.Sf4+ Kh6 3.g8S+ Kh7 4.Sgf6+ Kh6 5.S:g4+ Kh7 6.Sef6+ Kg7 7.Se6+ Kf7 8.d8S+ Ke7 9.c8S mate

You can however easily do a CQL search (or I can do it later) with any HHDB for it.
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(17) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Wednesday, Nov 5, 2014 14:53]

Right. That's it. Memory is notoriously unreliable,
I only remember the mate with 5 S and not that 2 were
already on the party. :-)

Another thing about 1...Kb7: As an OTB player, I would have
preferred that such variant doesn't exist at all. Since "all"
White has to do is bring a knight to g3, one could add wPa6,
sBc4, wBc3 and greatly simplify Blacks mating net afterwards
(Ka1 Pb3 Pc3 or so). Is this possible?
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(18) Posted by Geir Sune Tallaksen Østmoe [Wednesday, Nov 5, 2014 20:28]

Hauke, you cannot add White pawns on a6 and c3, because White would then have ten pawns! But maybe you an add wPa6, remove wPc5, and add bPb6? On first glance, it looks like the solution still stands (1...Kd6 is not a refutation, since after 2.e8N+ White promotes to queen with check on the next move) and 1...Kb7 is prevented, at the cost of one extra pawn. But is the position legal? If I have counted correctly, it is still just legal.
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(19) Posted by Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen [Thursday, Nov 6, 2014 10:23]

Of course complicated variations like 1...Kb7 are not desirable, but I like how the white king is used actively on d3, to block the escape routes of the black king. I didn't consider that possibility myself, but just tugged the king away on the first rank. I would love to see an example without the long side variations (my study has a few "computer lines" as well). A five knight pawn study that is solvable to regular chess players must be the next challenge.
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(20) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Thursday, Nov 6, 2014 15:07]

@Steffen: Yes, this IS an obvious construction advantage.
Noted it and never wanted to insinuate the opposite -
I just HATE calculating :-)
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MatPlus.Net Forum Competitions Five knight promotions pawn study competition [closed]