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MatPlus.Net Forum General Construct a correct #2 with the most stalemate releases
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(81) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Saturday, Dec 5, 2020 12:06]

Classic Brain Block: We stubbornly use a bishie
since it has 13 fields...but only in the best case.
But when it is blocked anyway due to the necessity
of protecting it...why not a knight? 22!

(= 9+6 )

(not dual-free if Black insists on Rf2/Rg3 - that's the advantage
of a Bc4...)

(= 12+5 )

OK, dual-free it is now :-) (Feel free to up
it to 24 with an unblocked P, regardless how
gruesome it looks...)

(= 8+8 )

Clean 21(2). By a 2nd B (+wBc8 -sPb7 +wPb3) easily 22(3).
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(82) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Saturday, Dec 5, 2020 14:04]

@Hauke: I'm sure Gerd will be very happy to hear this. I have several retro record areas that I would like to track in this way, but that's just for me: it will be up to everyone to propose their own.
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(83) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Saturday, Dec 5, 2020 19:39]

(= 5+3 )
R6 (14)
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(84) Posted by Guus Rol [Saturday, Dec 5, 2020 19:49]

Beauty! Miniature+1. Great maximization of wK.
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(85) Posted by Guus Rol [Saturday, Dec 5, 2020 22:55]

Did not find anything essentially better but this version is less "aristocratic". Of course it can be a miniature but only if the wK starts in check.

(= 4+4 )

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(86) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Saturday, Dec 5, 2020 23:03]

I hold your 6 and cheat a 7 :-)

(= 9+3 )

Or this way:

(= 5+4 )

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(87) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 06:45]

diagrams on (81) and (85) are very nice!
Just a word to underline why (85) is much better than (83) :
- it is lighter
- it is less symmetric
- the check to the white king on f4 is useful

btw : to allow kings in check in the diagram - as suggested in (85) by Guus - would be a wide new field to explore
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(88) Posted by Guus Rol [Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 10:42]

There are directmate problems starting with the king in check but from what I recall its because THAT was the theme. Not here of course. I've seen Rewan Demontay post some record attempts starting with kings in check and I thought "may be its MAT PLUS culture" ;-)
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(89) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 10:47]

@Guus: Exactly that question didn't let me sleep tonight -
if White starts in check, can we talk of Black starting
stalemated? The whole question obviously being a
counterfactup :-), as Black can only be stalemated if
it's his move.
P.S. Scratch the last dia, dual after Rd5
P.P.S. With king in check, 7 could be done thus:
(= 7+4 )

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(90) Posted by Guus Rol [Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 11:25]

@Hauke. I think you answered your own question. "Releasing stalemate" is itself a contradiction. It's one of those paradoxical expressions we use to point to something outside the system. We cannot actually "pass" to get to the same stalemated diagram.

And as you show, things get easier with the king in check. It eliminates all the #2 duals.
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(91) Posted by ichai [Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 13:36]

If you have a try 1.K~? Stalemate! then in a way you may say that it is “stalemate avoidance”
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(92) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 14:47]

...because otherwise there wouldn't be such a thing as stalemate in the first place
(I shall stop making dated popcultural references on MPF.
I shall stop making dated popcultural references on MPF.
I shall stop making dated popcultural references on MPF...)
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(93) Posted by Guus Rol [Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 14:58]

@ichai: That sounds about right for the king check setting. In itself "stalemate avoidance" does not require a "stalemated diagram". "Stalemate release" is treated as "set play" which is fundamentally an artificial construction.
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(94) Posted by Guus Rol [Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 15:51]

@Hauke: Yes that is true and it is also an interesting point. Probably you can't consider anything as "set play" when the king is in check, because "king capture" overrides all. So I withdraw my suggestion of a checked king in the context of this particular theme.

Btw, another question occurs to me. Can a problem where changing the on-move side causes an illegal position, ever have "set play"?
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(95) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 18:07]

Such 'set play' would be quite a nonsense because an 'illegal position' is simply NOT chess. But you might try playing anything, why not football if such an 'illegal position' fits the rules of that game :-)
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(96) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 18:13]

Set play and threats are as bogus as series movers - I'm shocked they're allowed in so-called "orthodox" compositions :) :) If we want to protect ourselves from illegal positions in any however, then obviously we must declare such a composition as a *consequent* #2 etc, and then we are safe :)

Nikola: the problem with the "illegal position is simply not chess" philosophy, is that the legality of some positions is very difficult to determine. So from your perspective, you wouldn't know whether you're playing chess or not - which is an absurd situation to be in, and it actually doesn't matter. In practical terms, position illegality usually make little difference to forward play, and so you can just go ahead and take the risk. The FIDE movement rules don't require that the position be legal. This makes the rules simpler and more robust. The rules do *specify* the concepts of legal/illegal move and illegal position. (Oddly, the concept of legal position is not defined.) The notion of legal/illegal move is pervasive - mentions occur throughout the rules, and of course are particularly important to the definitions of checkmate & stalemate. However the notion of legal/illegal position is subsequently mentioned only once in the entire rule set:

Rapid Chess A.4.4 If the arbiter observes both kings are in check, or a pawn on the rank furthest from its starting position, he shall wait until the next move is completed. Then, if an illegal position is still on the board, he shall declare the game drawn.

And the word "still" indicates a narrower sense of the term "illegal position", restricted to the two sub-cases mentioned. So the earlier definition of illegal position is referenced exactly zero times - less than the number of times that the concept of legal blindness is mentioned! (Once.) To hammer the point home: to end the game in any active way, e.g. checkmate, it is typically required by the rules that only the last *move* be legal and not violating touch-move. There is zero requirement that the *position* be legal. This is incredibly freeing and insightful, to my mind. Hooray for the FIDE Rules Committee!
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(97) Posted by Guus Rol [Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 19:23]

@Nikola Predrag: "Set play" in an orthodox problem assumes the on-move player passes and lets his opponent play first. The problem has a perfectly legal position but the appreciation of its content sometimes requires a "set play" analysis. The set play is therefore not "real" in the sense of the solution but analytical to provide an insight in the construction of the composition. Permitting illegality after the analytical move switch is therefore debatable.

Note that "illegal retractions" in a retro problem may constitute a significant part of the content. Content is not measured only by chess rules but also by our tastes and by the many items on which we base our appreciation".

Having said that, the wrong king in check in the diagram is an obvious transgression of the rules and also stops any further analysis. So that's not the kind of illegality I'm speaking of here!
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(98) Posted by Guus Rol [Monday, Dec 7, 2020 10:50]


"Set play" is bogus by "position analysis" standards, but not by "content" standards. "Content" can be everything, "position analysis" but also "lightness of positions", "themes", "comparison to other compositions", "illegal retraction series", "visual attractiveness" and so on and on. "Set play" is in that category.

One form of "set play" is highly popular and known as "zugzwang". The appreciation for zugzwang comes from the mental side flip we make when analyzing positions. It's one of the steps we do in game playing and problem solving. "What is my opponents threat?", "does he have a decent move?" depend on making that flip.

"Content" is on a meta-level from the chess rules though it draws on them a lot!
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(99) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Monday, Dec 7, 2020 13:14]

@Guus: clearly just two smilies were not enough - of course I was not serious with that paragraph. The distinction you describe is plain. And three smilies would have been too gushing. Next time I will put a third backup smilie in brackets *only* for you, Guus, when I am joking.


I do think the notion of a Consequent #2 is immensely cool though, and well worth executing, through deliberately blurring the distinction.
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(100) Posted by Guus Rol [Monday, Dec 7, 2020 16:48]

Thnx! It's my cultural backlog. I've just forgiven myself.
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MatPlus.Net Forum General Construct a correct #2 with the most stalemate releases