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MatPlus.Net Forum General Special!?
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(1) Posted by Neal Turner [Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021 09:42]


In tourney awards we see, along with the normal categories, 'special' placements: Special Prize, Special HM and even Special Commends.
I always had the idea that this category was reserved for examples which were of the required quality, but somehow broke the rules.
They were mavericks which couldn't placed alongside more conventional problems.

But now more and more we're getting this Special status being given to completely normal problems, where one is at a loss to understand what makes them 'special'.
Can anybody explain what's going on?
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(2) Posted by James Malcom [Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 00:27]

I think one aspect of it may be that there are exceptionally constructed problems, showing some idea, being published more and more. With more such problems submitted to competitions in some form, more and more have "unorthodox" keys or major/minor duals. Judges would like to at least acknowledge these problems in some form.
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(3) Posted by Kevin Begley [Saturday, Jul 31, 2021 14:42]

I received a disproportionate number of these prefixes, frankly -- even when I didn't BEND any rules (problems can not BREAK the rules!), suffer duals, or depend upon "unorthodox" keys.
The meaning of the prefix is, as near as I could tell, to remind us not to give too much heft to awards (declare your distinction a victory, and depart the field). Thus, it is either a meaningless distinction within a distinction, or a backhanded form of higher praise.

For composers looking for a personal challenge: make the special prefix a personal goal, within some set time frame.
With any luck, you'll fail (and you'll not need to challenge yourself to understand what it was you achieved).
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(4) Posted by Frank Richter [Saturday, Aug 14, 2021 10:31]

Current Schwalbe issue brought a new reason for awarding "only a special prize" - because a s#20 could not be checked totally in Brute Force modus ...
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(5) Posted by Michel Caillaud [Sunday, Aug 29, 2021 18:47]

There can be as many reasons as judges.
I used such "facilities" and main reason is not that the problems are so "special", but that the judge is uneasy when ranking them with others.
I used them in a recent RIFACE award so I can explicit them as the reasons are fresh in my mind.
The competition was for tempo moves in corner. I decided to award only problems with at least 2 thematical moves.
Among the Prizes were some with spectacular tempo moves and one spectacular problem with tempo moves. You see? This was a Special Prize. Also at the back of my mind was the fact that the problem was produced with help of computer (not a decisive reason as I awarded a "regular" Prize to such a problem in Memorial Yves Tallec).
Against my resolution, there was a problem with only 1 tempo I liked anyway. Special HM (reason is inconsistency of the judge...).
At last, a problem anticipated except that it was a miniature (8-pieces anticipation). Special Commendation.
I admit this one could have been last Commendation. A new reason for Frank : the judge had the fancy of a nice pattern in his award with a special award of each kind...
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MatPlus.Net Forum General Special!?