04 November 2011

A visit to the zoo

Several months have passed without a post mentioning anything related to fairy chess. So, it's high time!

The introduction of new chess pieces is one of the characteristics of fairy chess. I already showed some chess problems with grasshopper and nightrider which are well-known and very popular. Of course, there a many, many more fairy pieces. One category of them are the so-called leapers. A leaper is a piece which moves (leaps) from one square to another by a fixed amount of squares in horizontal and vertical direction. For that reason, you need two integers specifying this vector from the start square to the arrival square and you write (m,n)-leaper.

The term leaper indicates that such a piece cannot be blocked as it jumps over any other piece. Therefore, a check by a leaper can't be parried by interposing, either. You already know this behaviour from the knight in orthodox chess which is — surprise, surprise — the name of the (1,2)-leaper. Interestingly, neglecting checking and castling, the king can be described as a combined leaper. That means it has the movement ability of at least two leapers. The king combines wazir and fers; the wazir is the (0,1)-leaper and the fers the (1,1)-leaper.

As you've already seen, for reasons of convenience, those leapers are assigned names often being taken from fauna and flora. In general, chess diagrams show leapers as a knight rotated by 90 or 270 degrees. Returning to the (m,n)-leapers, I introduce the camel, the giraffe and the zebra (see the following diagrams).

Camel (CA): (1,3)-leaper

Giraffe (GI): (1,4)-leaper

Zebra (Z): (2,3)-leaper

Now, let's have a look at some chess problems featuring those animals. Enjoy!

  1Peter Heyl  
Die Schwalbe 10/2002
Camel a5

  2Erich Bartel  
feenschach 07-09/1979
Camels e3,h6

  3Erich Bartel  
Duplex-Vierer 07/1968
Giraffe e6

  4Erich Bartel  
mpk-Bl├Ątter 06/2004 (Corr.)
Giraffe d6

  5Erich Bartel  
Duplex-Vierer 07/1968
Zebra f2

  6Theodor Steudel  
feenschach 12/1955
  h#3*  (4+3)  
Zebra a4

  7Gunter Jordan  
Ideal-Mate Review 10-12/1991
a) Diagram
b) bPd3 → e3
Zebra a4

  8Daniel Novomesky  
harmonie 12/2001
Zebra b5

11. a1=CA Bf6 2. exf6 e7 3. CAb4 e8=B 4. CAa7 Bc6#
1. a1=R CAd6 2.exd6 e7 3. Rc1 e8=Q+ 4. Tc8 Qxc8#
Miniature with two model mates, mixed promotions (sort of an Allumwandlung) and role change of bishop and camel.
21. Rg8+! hxg8=CA 2. Rc8 dxc8=CA=
The black rook/rook clearance results in an attractive mirror stalemate (all squares of the king's field are vacant) by the four camels.
31. d1=GI Kf1 2. GIh2 GId2#
1. Kf1 Kh2 2. GIf2 d1=Q#
41. - Kf6 2. 0-0 Ke7 3. Kh8 Kxf8=
1. - GIe2 2. Rh4 GIa3 3. Re4+ GIxe3=
51. d1=R Zh5 2. Rg1 Ze3#
1. Zd5 d1=Q 2. Zg3 Qh5#
6*1. - Bd4 2. Kb5 Zd2+ 3. Kxa5 Bc3#
1. Kxc5 Bxb6+ 2. Kb4 Zd6 3. Ka3 Bc5#
Echo and changing sacs.
7a) 1. e1=R Kg5 (Kg3?) 2. Re3 Zc1#
b) 1. e1=N Kg3 (Kg5?) 2. Nd3 Zc7#
Key moves with changing promotions, dual avoidance and ideal mates.
81. - Ze7 2. Kb3 Zc4 3. Ka2 Zf6 4. Ka1 Kc2 5. Ba2 Zd3#
1. - Kd1 2. Kb2 Ze7 3. Ka1 Kc2 4. Be4+ Kb3 5. Bb1 Zc4#

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