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Problem 380: Miodrag Mladenovic - Selfmate

miodrag(13.04.2014) A Selfmate by Miodrag Mladenovic with complete destruction of two black batteries. In the threat and the first variation one of them is annihilated and the other one gives a mate. In the second and third variation we have play of a white battery.



     1.e8B! (2.Bxe5+ Qxe5+ 3.Qxe5+ Kxc4 4.Bf7+ Sd5#)

1...Rxe8 2.Rxe3+ Bxe3+ 3.Qxe3+ Kxc4 4.Qd3+ Sxd3#

1...Qxb6/d6 2.Sxe3+ Qxc5 3.Rb3+ Kd4 4.Bxe5+ Qxe5#

1...Bxe1 2.Rxe3+ Kc2 3.Sa3+ Kd2 4.Qd4+ Sd3# 



+1 #1 Miodrag Mladenovic 2014-04-13 06:48
This problem is originally composed for same tournament as #375 (SuperProblem QT-109). However it's eliminated due to same explanations (black duals). Again in threat and thematic variation there are no duplication of moves.

Duplicate defense: 1...Qxb6/d6 could be easily avoided by adding bPb7. However I think that this position is better.
0 #2 Nikola Predrag 2014-04-13 23:50
The logic and form of chess composition is used to show some original thematic idea through a solution of a puzzle. If a solver can solve a puzzle in a different (dualistic) way, he will not see that idea. This is a clear reason why the duals in thematic variation destroy a problem.
The original thematic idea is successfully shown when each THEMATIC variation shows only one and THEMATIC line of play. Therefore, the duals in thematic variations are MAJOR.

In fighting genres, White fulfills the task and Black opposes, so the realization often needs the side-variations. Non-thematic side-variations are IRRELEVANT for the original content which the author wants to present. Therefore, the duals in non-thematic variations are MINOR. They don't disturb the presentation of the original idea, a solver will see it, so the composition fulfills its purpose.
+1 #3 Nikola Predrag 2014-04-13 23:56
So called "black duals" in fighting genres do not disturb the presentation of the idea and they are not even formally considered as duals by the Codex. They are merely a Black's choice to enter a thematic variation, generally showing only a small imperfection in the economy of realization (much lesser than the poor functions of wRh7 or wBb8 in No.375). Of course, there could be cases when "black duals" spoil the idea or a part of it, but Nos.375&380 are not such cases. They should not have been eliminated because of a small imperfection. The author obviously prefers the economy of pieces to the economy of Black's choices so he didn't add bPb7 (No.380) and this should be respected.
0 #4 Nikola Predrag 2014-04-13 23:56
I (miss)use now these problems and judgement for the example but PLEASE NOTE: the main question is about the general principles, without any intention to put a stress on the particular case and persons.
As a principle, a judge may disagree with the author only if the ORIGINAL THEMATIC content is disturbed or not clear and convincing, and about some potentially provable points of economy and mechanism.
Exaggeration of an essentially insignificant detail to a proportion of a great esthetic flaw could be a personal/private liberty, but imposing a personal "ideology" on the others, reduces their liberty.
I don't see any logical reason to consider black duals as significant in principle, and Miodrag also doesn't seem much worried about them. Suddenly, ... the "two or more concurrent defenses by different pieces" is always a flaw...! WHY? And particularly, why the elimination from the tourney?
Because the judge says so?
0 #5 Nikola Predrag 2014-04-13 23:57
Some people and groups/schools try to establish the arbitrary "artistic"/"esthetic" criteria for chess composition. This is surely welcomed in principle, everybody may apply it in his/her own compositions. But many of these criteria come out of the personal preferences/taste. Applying them for judging the globally open tourneys (especially WFCC-official), sometimes becomes a rather violent "Inquisition" against different approaches. This is directly against the spirit of our Codex.

The criteria which significantly determine a value of a composition should rely on the firm unambiguous logic that could be commonly accepted. Personal esthetic preferences might have an influence on the order of similar compositions but within the same level of quality.
Of course, anyone may organize a tourney and announce any specific esthetic criteria which will be applied.
0 #6 Rodolfo Riva 2014-04-14 14:21
The #390 is a very ambitious project about an exceptionally complex idea. Anyone would have appreciated that the result was unobjectionable.
For someone the "concurrent defense" is a choice for a better economy. In my opinion it is an unfortunate lack of accuracy if they can be avoided. While in #375 1...,c5(c6) was a generic move of the same piece, in #380 1...,Qxb6 and 1...,Qd6 are two different defense because the motivation (eclipse and indirect guard on e5/guard on d4) so they amplify the repetitions. It is inexplicable that Miodrag has not focused on the essential point, forcing me to argue with the translator. The main point is that 1...,Qxb6/Qd6 are (parasite) thematic variations. There are captures of thematic piece and mate by thematic pieces as requested by the theme. They would have been side variations if there had been thematic capture whitout thematic mate or vice versa, or Preferably with neither.
0 #7 Rodolfo Riva 2014-04-14 14:34
Unfortunately these defense are unavoidable and the only relation with the intended thematic variations is the repetition of moves. The same can be said of the variation 1...,Bxe1 in#380 and 1...,Kf4 in #375. I hope you agree that there are many unpleasant and useless repetitions in the parasite thematic Variations.
(I think Nicola as never analyzed the problems. For some reasons he has built a few sentences on the basis of the statements of the author or other commenters. It is not the best way to partecipate in the discussion.)
For sure the author tried to avoid the "side variations".
For the serie "excusatio non petita": I agree that some explanations were too synthetic. The judge deserves summary execution, but the above-mentioned is not the main reason...
0 #8 Rodolfo Riva 2014-04-14 14:41
For those who do not yet recognized the right of citizenship of selfmates with Zilahi because no active-Z. :
75 percent of the h#2 qualified as Zilahi in the PDB are passive-Z.
0 #9 Nikola Predrag 2014-04-15 12:57
I solved No.375 too quickly to notice all details of the mechanism, so immediately I made a short analysis to get a complete picture. I did not try to improve the construction but I was aware that wBb8&wRh7 would be the most important weaknesses to start with. "Black duals" 1...e1R/Sg3 are clearly present (and mentioned in the solution) but I never thought that this is something what should be improved at all. If the thematic mechanism could be improved by having more "black duals", I would gladly do it because that is what I see as essential.
0 #10 Nikola Predrag 2014-04-15 13:00
I did not solve nor analyze No.380. It is indeed more complicated case requiring much more abstract explanations and I can't write it now. But my conclusion is that variation Bxe1 could be treated as "accidentally" thematic and in a severest evaluation, it could be counted not as a thematic but as a side-variation.
Despite the different defensive motivations against the threat, black duals 1...Qb6/d6 are just a varied start of single thematic variation which has some minuses and some pluses. Not a great but an acceptable thematic addition to the two main thematic variations.
The threat and 1...Rxe8 etc., look enough clear and sufficient to include this problem in the award.

The question now is what is my personal esthetics which the others can ignore and what makes the essential foundations of anything, including chess composition. And the essential foundations can ignore anyone's personal taste.
0 #11 Nikola Predrag 2014-04-15 13:06
For example:
I want to build a house (within my financial limitations). I care about good fundament, walls, roof etc., about functionality and comfort according to the inteded purpose of the house and about the esthetics that will suit my taste. Someone would prefere an ordinary but comfortable armchair, someone would take a less comfortable but beautiful armchair. That is not a serious issue for judging, everyone's choice should be respected.

But what about this issue - when outside is cold, I'll close the window, when it's hot I'll do the same and when it's loudness I''ll do the same. Judge says: same action for different reasons? Unacceptable, eliminate that house and build one on the top of the mountain, there's never hot nor loudness, so you will close the window only when it's cold.
Stupid example, but why would anyone find it unpleasant to do the same action for different reasons.
0 #12 Nikola Predrag 2014-04-15 13:07
Even if someone finds it esthetically unpleasant, how significant it could be, compared to all other important qualities of the house? It looks quite terrifying when some extremely arbitrary esthetics becomes equally (or more) important as the fundamental issues: original idea, functional mechanism and good economy.
0 #13 Rodolfo Riva 2014-04-16 09:21
In the context of the TT-109, due to some flaws, the #375 would have been awarded if it was the exceptional task without any pre-existing unobjectionable versions. With regard to the examples for a TTy: offering simple examples we don't discourage the participants but we don't give much information, vice versa when we propose the best existing examples. What is the best choice? Any judge may adopt his personal criteria in weighing some flaws, as long he is consistent. We see a few judgements where some works were exluded, due to the anticipation, while Others were placed. In my view the lack of economy is not discriminating if there is a counterpart. For example, a double Salazar instead of a single.
Undue repetitions in a problem are as unnecessary turns of phrase of the critics. Who is at risk of being lost are not the recipient of the message but the author. I think it is superfluous point out the contradictions between the #9-380 and the #11/375, or other similar performances.
0 #14 Rodolfo Riva 2014-04-16 09:30
Nicola, I hope you are not in the building sector.
About oversized foundations, walls, floors,etc. (unfortunately, sometimes what happens is the opposite) and/or unnecessary doors, Windows, stairs,etc., they are contraindicates not only for economic reasons but also technical. With regard to furnishings, a house with many useless tables, chairs, light fixtures,etc. seems a bazaar. Do you want a confortable house or a showroom?
0 #15 Rodolfo Riva 2014-04-16 09:50
Whatever the opinions of Nicola and the need for any theorist to do abstract explanations about a complicate case, we must point out a fact. In the #380, and in a different context, we could hide the Z.-theme and focuse on the destruction of the batteries. I don't know if there are forerunners or better versions of such a theme in selfmate. (For sure an aseptic version with promoted piece is not preferable to the original.) After comparison with some helpmates (with destruction of White batteries) I think the theme is best shown and more difficult to do in selfmate. In the helpmates with battery mates the absence of double check from the surviving battery simplifies the task and sometimes there are thematic piece doing the part-time. While the helpmate without battery mates, quoted somewhere as an example of the theme, regardless to any other consideration, has a poor content in relation to the theme.
0 #16 Rodolfo Riva 2014-04-17 00:32
2b5/1pRpP1B1/3Kp1B1/p1s1s3/1b4P1/2kSQp1r/R2S1Ppq/8 (11+13) C+
1.Bh5! (2,Bxe5+,Qxe5+ 3.Qxe5+,Kxd3 4.Bg6+,Se4#)
1...,Rxh5 2.Rxc5+,Bxc5+ 3.Qxc5+,Kxd3 4.Qc4+,Sxc4#
1...,Qf4 2.Se1+,Qxe3 3.Rc2+,Kd4 4.Bxe5+,Qxe5#
Not the big result but the bB variation is avoided and after 1...Qf4 the repeated thematic moves are 2 instead of 3.

About #15-385, in my opinion both terms are acceptable also in HelpSelf.

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