08 December 2010


Where does a composer get his inspiration? — Always keep your eyes peeled. This might sound like a truism to you. But isn't it simply so? Look at tactical combinations when following games of preferably stronger chess players, solve chess puzzles, read about ideas of other composers, etc. The more often you do that the higher the probability to see something that can be used as a starting point for a composition. Most of the time, you won't immediately find a way to process the data. Hence, it's advisable to collect such material, take notes and look at it, ponder over it, complete it from time to time.

Here is a little story in order to demonstrate that this is not just theory: It was the 4th of November, 2007, when I was shown some mating combinations on a well-known chess server. Among them was the one you see in diagram A, taken from the book "Chess tactics for beginners" by Viktor Vámos as I was told. I quickly "solved" with 1. Kc3?? Of course, 1. Bc3! is the right move. What had happened? — In my mind, I had reversed the colours of all pieces (see diagram B)! And indeed, here, 1. Kc3! is the key move. A nice side effect: both key moves go to the same square (c3).

Black to play and win (#3)

White to play and win (#3)

An interesting phenomenon – my mind playing a trick on me but with the result that still a unique solution exists meeting the same stipulation as before. I still wonder:
  1. Is this a unique incident or has such a thing happened to someone else before?
  2. Are there or can there be other chess puzzles like the one I "composed" with
    • part I: a stipulation (anything you like) for a certain position (like diagram A above)
    • part II: this position with all pieces of opposite colour, (probably) opposite roles as to the stipulation (like in duplex, see here) and (of course) different solutions (like diagram B above)
So, already for over three years, I have an idea in the drawer. But I didn't find the time and patience to further elaborate on it. I am not quite sure whether this will just remain an oddity or whether it's the basis for a new stipulation which I'd like to call Duplex-CR (Duplex with colours reversed). Maybe more inspiration is necessary.


Anonymous said...

This kind of twinning is called 'Polish twins'.

bernoulli said...

Thanks for that! It's always nice to get some feedback.