[Retros] Baibikov, Caillaud

Pastmaker at aol.com Pastmaker at aol.com
Sun Dec 24 09:19:50 EST 2006

With some trepidation I bring up the subject again, to correct an uninformed
remark I made earlier.

The Baibikov problem is referred to (Orbit, July 2004) is certainly
brilliant, but I was not entirely correct in saying that it was a "new way" to
demonstrate a 50-move draw.

Thanks to better-informed colleagues, I have been apprised of a wonderful
earlier problem by Michel Caillaud (who else?) that appeared as R121 Probleemblad
2001 [rb2k3/2p2p1K/1B6/1RPP1PP1/B1Prbrp1/1Prp1p2/2p2P2/N7 h#2 (12,13)].
This composition uses the technique of having one King screen for the other
King on each side of an exterior rank, with a lengthy journey around a central
blockade that requires enough moves for the 50-move rule. (There are also
some great retroscreens, which I, for some reason, particularly enjoyed.)
Michel's penchant for having units execute lenghthy to and fro maneuvers should be
well known: if you haven't seen them yet, please see the "Tarzan of the apes"
1st prize composition from StrateGems 1999 and another 1st Prize from
Strategems 2001, in which Michel indulges this habit with spectacular results.

Baibikov's position, however, demonstrates the maneuver without the help of
another "helpful" rule involved in Michel's composition and thus presents the
50-move task in a purer form.

Both are wonderful compositions.

Best wishes to all,
Tom Volet

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