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MatPlus.Net Forum General aesthetics of promoting absent fairy units?
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(1) Posted by Kevin Begley [Friday, Sep 17, 2010 07:45]

aesthetics of promoting absent fairy units?

I found a very simple modification for the following 4-man problem by Alfred H. Kniest, which caused me to wonder about fairy aesthetics.

Diagram und Figuren, 1969
(= 2+2 )

ser.s#7 C+
Princess (B+N combo)
b) b4->a4

a) & b) 5.c8=PR 6.PRf5 7.PRc2+ ...PRxc2#
Circuit + Excelsior.

(= 3+2 )

hs#6 (I think this was C+, but I may have tested with the Princess elsewhere)
Princess (B+N combo)

4.d7 ...bxa2 5.d8=PR ...a1=PR 6.PRf6+ PRxf6#

Phenix, Excelsior.

The question here is: is it worthwhile to add the princess on a2?
It could instead be removed from the diagram, and the bPb7 moved to a7, with the same idea (with a "Princess promotions" condition).
This surrenders the Phenix theme, but it does save a unit (reducing this to a minimal).

I would not have published this -- I only do so to inquire about aesthetics...
My instinct says it's probably worthwhile to involve the Princess, in light of the added theme.
However, I made another example where the line is more blurred...
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(2) Posted by Kevin Begley [Friday, Sep 17, 2010 07:53]; edited by Kevin Begley [10-09-17]

...consider this alternative version:

Version 2
(= 2+3 )

hs#7 C+
Psycho-Rook (psychos are a combo of R+B+N, but temporarily lose the power last used -- pR = last moved as R, so B+N powers)

1.éxf3 d5 2.f4 d4 3.f5 d3 4.f6 d2 5.f7 d1=pB 6.f8=pS pBf2(pS) 7.pSf6(pR)+ pSxf6(pR)#

Same idea, but no longer does it add a Phenix theme (by a precise definition), and the wK must be in check in the diagram.

This too could be shown with only 4-men.
Remove the Psycho from the diagram, shift the wPe2 to f2, call it hs#6.5 (hs#7 would be cooked), and add some condition which allows psycho promotions.

Then 1...d5 2.f4 etc

This seems better with 4-men, right?
But, it also seems to violate a principle of fairy-economy: fairy pieces are more economical than fairy conditions.
And, what about the check in the diagram (this too violates an aesthetic principle)?
Is there some aesthetic priority, which applies, or must composers/judges decide (subjectively) for themselves?

Either way, none of these versions offer much...
I only wonder if there's any consensus on the aesthetic guidelines.
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MatPlus.Net Forum General aesthetics of promoting absent fairy units?