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MatPlus.Net Forum General Para-Circe
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(1) Posted by Kevin Begley [Friday, Feb 24, 2023 06:14]


Can somebody please explain the rules of para-circe to me? I don't get it.
Is this also known as Circe Parachute?

I went to the trusty website, in hopes that their glossary might explain things, but the stated rules can't be correct...


Para-Circe RI
On making a capture, any unit (including King) is reborn on its game-array square (see Circe), while the captured unit disappears.
If the rebirth square is occupied, the capturing unit also disappears.

Win Chloe examples (presumably for the default, Rex Exclusive, form) seem to agree with this definition, as does the definition provided there...

When a piece captures (King excluded), it must come back to its rebirth square (according to the "modalités Circé"): if this square is occupied, there is no rebirth. A Pawn capturing on its promotion rank is reborn as a Pawn. A King can't capture.

If these are the rules, and I'm reading them correctly -- the capturing unit is reborn, and the captured unit is annihilated -- somebody needs to explain to me, like I'm a child: why is this not a special feature for Anticirce conditions? This is not a form of Circe (my understanding is that captured units are reborn in Circe, and capturing units are reborn in Anticirce).

Is this a deliberate effort to confuse newcomers?
Has problem chess slipped into the Twilight Zone, or am I missing something?

Any information on who invented this condition (and when it was invented) would be greatly appreciated.

Many sub-forms have since emerged.
I am guessing this is meant as an alternative counter-form of Circe (e.g., Anti-Circe is one counter-form to Circe, and Para-Circe must be intended as an alternative counter-form to Circe).
If so, that does seem a bad strategy (it's only created confusion to call this Circe -- we've seen this movie before, when people turned Martian Chess into Mars Circe).

That's certainly valid, but I do wonder if this naming is not more confusing. Why not instead consider it an alternative Anticirce Form (as "Anticirce Type Cheylan" does)?
Is it not better viewed as an alternative type of Anticirce?

I would further suggest there is a third counter-form to Circe, which obeys Anticirce in every way, except that a King is in check whether the attacking unit has a rebirth or not (I'd suggest this is a "Check Exclusive" form, as it doesn't pertain to captures by a King, only attacks upon a King -- but, maybe somebody can suggest a better name).
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(2) Posted by Sarah Hornecker [Friday, Feb 24, 2023 06:43]

EDIT: Oops, I thought about the wrong condition, it seems.
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(3) Posted by Kevin Begley [Friday, Feb 24, 2023 06:47]



If a piece captures, it is reborn on the same square where it is.

That's a different condition altogether -- perhaps you are speaking about "Para-Circe Exchange"?
Here, in Para-Circe, the captured unit is annihilated, and the capturing unit is reborn as in Anticirce (except that the capturing unit is ALSO annihilated if its rebirth square is previously occupied).


This has mainly implications for castling legality or in connection with other fairy conditions or rules that care about if a piece ever has moved. In most cases it makes no difference to when there is no Circe at all.

Either you have lost me completely, or you're speaking about a different fairy condition.

In Para-Circe (the Rex Exclusive form), a black Knight captures a white Bishop on e3, the white Bishop is annihilated, and the black Knight is reborn on b8 (if and only if the b8 square is unoccupied -- otherwise, both units are annihilated).
This is not the condition where a capturing unit remains on e3 (which is generally like an orthodox capture, but can have different implications from orthodox -- you're probably thinking of "para-circe exchange," where that may be the case).

So, it seems clear to me that the inventor intended Para-Circe to be an alternative ANTI-FORM to Circe (like Anti-Circe), but this naming convention only creates confusion. It should have been a feature of the Anticirce Form (like Type Cheylan) wherein capturing units are reborn according to a different convention.

Para-Circe is an Anticirce form, with slightly different rules. It should have been classified as a TYPE of Anticirce.
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(4) Posted by Kevin Begley [Friday, Feb 24, 2023 07:42]

Funny how easy it is to find a problem featuring "Parachute Circe," and how difficult it is to find the rules for this condition. Sigh.

note: I mean no disrespect to authors who have used this condition -- quite the contrary! -- I only find it absurd that our audience has such difficulty in discovering the rules governing our problems.
If it makes no sense to me, imagine how a newcomer must view this state of chaos.

I don't even want to guess about the example problems I found in "Parachute Circe", to be honest, because these problems have additional fairy elements.
I'm just looking to discover whether Parachute Circe is another name for Para-Circe.

And, if they are indeed the same, yes, absolutely, I'm going to write a book about the breath-taking illogic of the entire problem chess community (to be made into a three-part movie series, featuring the Yoda Puppet morphing into the Gollum puppet).

If a derivative Anticirce form is now robed in the garb of Circe, that would be a scandal worthy of international news attention.
I pray to Caissa this is not the case.
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(5) Posted by Kevin Begley [Friday, Feb 24, 2023 08:18]

Caissa has answered my prayers.

From the Problemesis website:

When a capture is made, the capturing unit (not a King) must come back to its rebirth square (according to the " Circe modalities "): if this square is occupied, there is no rebirth. A Pawn capturing on its promotion rank is reborn as a Pawn. Kings can't move.

Rebirths Circe parachuted
If the rebirth square is occupied, the piece is placed above the piece which occupies the square (which may already cover one or more other units). When the square is evacuated, the hidden pieces reappear according to the order they were stacked (the last recovered is the first released).

Thankfully, it seems Para-Circe and "Circe Parachute" are not the same. That crisis is averted (cancel my book signing events).

I still maintain that the naming of "Para-Circe" was a very poor choice ("Anticirce-3" would have been preferable, or "Anticirce-[INSERT DESCRIPTOR HERE]", as it is a TYPE of Anticirce).

Though para- (not to be confused with peri-), as a prefix has various meanings (it can means beside, between, around, adjacent, near, beyond, resembling, avoiding, on the far side of), it is most commonly associated with a defense against whatever follows the prefix.
Thus, a parachute is a defense against falling (chute, in French, means fall).
Paratrooper = a defense against invading troopers.
Parasol = a defense against the sun.

Yes, there are alternative meanings for this prefix...
Parasite = feed beside.
Paranormal = beyond normal.
Paramilitary = resembling a military.
Paraconsistent = avoiding consistency.
Paraclinical = relating to things not purely clinical.

What is para-circe taken to mean?

It's hardly a defense against Circe (nor is it beside, beyond, or resembling Circe -- it resembles Anticirce).
At best, it might be considered against Circe, or on the far side of Circe; the preferred prefix there is ANTI- (it is an anti-form of Circe).
Thus, para-circe should appear as an alternative type of anticirce.
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(6) Posted by shankar ram [Saturday, Feb 25, 2023 15:24]

This weighty tome (514 pages!) "Kunstschach in Begriffen" by Martin Hoffmann, 2022, has (among many other fairy variants), definitions of Para-Circe and its siblings/children: Para-Circé Coucou, Para-Circé Echange, Paracirce Ibidem, Paracirce Ibidem Rex Inclusiv, Paracirce Malefique, Paracirce Ortho, Paracirce Pions Renaissant Promus, Paracirce Rex Inclusiv, Paracirce Strict, Paracirce Strict Rex Inclusiv (== Anticirce!), Paracirce Symetrique, Paracirce Volcanique, Paracirce X and Paracirce xy. It's available for download here:

The definition of Para-Circe from it:

Para-Circe: Im Gegensatz zum Circe wird nicht der geschlagene, sondern der schlagende Stein auf seinem Ursprungsfeld wiedergeboren, wobei für die Circe-gemässe Wahl des Repulsfeldes das Schlagfeld massgeblich ist; der geschlagene Stein verschwindet vom Brett. Ist das Ursprungsfeld des Schlagtäters von einem dritten Stein besetzt, verschwindet auch der Schlagtäter vom Brett. Ein Bauer, der auf die Umwandlungsreihe schlägt, wird als Bauer wiedergeboren, obwohl er sein Umwandlungsfeld zunächst betritt –sonst könnte es nicht repuls-relevant sein. Könige dürfen nicht schlagen (Details Para-Circé Echange). Paracirce ist eine Abwandlung des ursprünglichen Anticirce, nämlich ohne die Regelung Rex inclusiv und mit der Legalisierung von Schlagfällen trotz anderweitig besetztem Repulsfeld.

A Google assisted translation:
Para-Circe: In contrast to Circe, it is not the captured piece but the capturing piece that is reborn on its original square, whereby the capture square is decisive for the Circe-appropriate choice of the rebirth square; the captured piece disappears from the board. If the original square of the capturer is occupied by a third piece, the capturer also disappears from the board. A pawn that moves to the promotion row is reborn as a pawn, even though it enters its promotion space first - otherwise it might not be rebirth-relevant. Kings may not capture (Details Para-Circé Exchange). Paracirce is a modification of the original Anticirce, namely without the Rex inclusive regulation and with the legalization of captures despite the rebirth field being occupied elsewhere.
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(7) Posted by Joost de Heer [Saturday, Feb 25, 2023 16:12]

In case you're wondering whether there's a form of Circe where the piece is reborn under the already occupying piece: Of course! It's called volcanic circe.
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(8) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Saturday, Feb 25, 2023 18:22]

Antivolcanic Circe, piece is reborn OVER it?
Hey, let's ask ChatG...on second thought, don't :-)
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(9) Posted by Sarah Hornecker [Saturday, Feb 25, 2023 18:59]

That already exists, Hauke. It is Parachute Circe.
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(10) Posted by Kevin Begley [Saturday, Feb 25, 2023 19:16]


Paracirce is a modification of the original Anticirce, namely without the Rex inclusive regulation and with the legalization of captures despite the rebirth field being occupied elsewhere.

That's the problem. Yves Cheylan also offered a modification of the Fernand Calvet's original Anticirce (wherein a capturing unit may not capture on its homesquare), but Yves didn't claim to have invented a new form (and give it an independent name). He called it "Anticirce Type Cheylan." That's logical -- this is a TYPE of Anticirce.

There's also "Relaxed Anticirce" (wherein captures may occur without the STRICT requirement that the capturing unit's homesquare is unoccupied -- presumably, this means the capturing unit is annihilated).
That, too, should be viewed as a TYPE of Anticirce (many different kinds of Anticirce can be of this TYPE).

Incidentally, it seems Calvet's Anticirce should have defaulted to the "relaxed" type, so we could simply use the common word, "STRICT", which is used to describe a TYPE of Circe problem.
Yes, I admit, STRICT Anticirce may be more interesting, but the language (and default convention) should appear consistent.

And, there's another TYPE of Anticirce -- where checks to the King (and only those attacks) are RELAXED (it's check even if the rebirth square of the checking unit is occupied).
Maybe that should be called "Check Exclusive" (note: it's not to be called Rex Exclusive -- which is, yep, you guessed it, another TYPE of Anticirce).
This "Relaxed Checks" (or Check Exclusive) type of Anticirce is, in fact, the very TYPE of Anticirce that is used in Take&Make (which is, yes it certainly is, an Anticirce form).

Of all these historical mistakes, however, Para-Circe commits the worst error, because it appears as though it is a newly invented Circe form, when it's a type of Anticirce.
And when somebody invents the anti-form of Para-Circe (which is Anticirce TYPE Para?), what will they call this new Circe form? Para-Anticirce?
We will have come full circle on this historical error. Humiliations Galore!
I've never seen so many brilliant and logical persons make such a farce of something they claim to love (luckily, the health scare industry is working hard to provide us some competition in that regard).

This is why problem chess needs a better classification system -- if the taxonomy is clear and logical, these mistakes can be avoided (it reduces our need to intervene with corrections against inventors who don't appreciate what is the best practice).

Once Anticirce is identified as a FORM, which offers many sub-forms, it's important to distinguish what are the TYPEs which fit this form, and what are the sub-forms.

At some point, ChatGPT may need to rename all our conditions, since we don't want to do it (we appear to be busy racing to make ourselves obsolete).
It can start with Para-Circe.

ps: Rifle Chess is also an Anticirce form, and it's rather funny, because the capturing Rook never actually moves, but you can't castle with it after it shoots (read: is reborn on the square it is said to have never left). It's insane blunders like this which make me suspect a deliberate sabotage effort. Call me paranoid, but this level of absurdity is difficult to dismiss as purely accidental. :)
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(11) Posted by Kevin Begley [Saturday, Feb 25, 2023 20:47]

Hilmar's site ( references Para-Circe... and seems to suggest that Christian Poisson may have invented Para-Circe.

He speaks of this being a PARA-FORM of Circe. There already exists an anti-form of Circe -- it is called Anticirce, and it has many TYPES.

If we need a new prefix for every type of anti-form, we're going to run out of prefixes faster than the drug companies run out of new names for their products.
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(12) Posted by Kevin Begley [Saturday, Feb 25, 2023 21:02]

I asked Christian Poisson, and received a quick reply.
He invented this condition.
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MatPlus.Net Forum General Para-Circe