[Retros] Animal Chess

Alain BROBECKER abrobecker at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 20 05:17:41 EST 2007

Dear Retro-fans,

Animal Chess is a kind of chess problems without diagrams invented
(dreamed?) by Ralph Merridew as you can see here:
It's a bit similar to Eric Angelini's StenoChess.

Peter Fayers gave an excellent definition of it in
Variant Chess 55 (2007/09):

"You are given a game score, but instead of being told which
specific units move, are only told the type of unit. This can
either be Human (K, Q or B), Animal (N or R, harking back the
early days of chess when the Rook was the elephant), or Pawns
(which, being mere foot-soldiers, are not considered human, a
trait followed by the officer class over the centuries).
Captures (and type captured) and checks are noted."

To this i will add that castling is noted HA (but without more precision,
so we don't know if it's short or long range castling), promotion is noted
P=?, en passant capture is noted PxP, + is for all type of checks
(no difference between check, discovered check, double check, etc...)
and mate is noted #.

An introductory problem could be:
1) Find a game that is noted 1.P P 2.H H 3.P H 4.H+ H 5.A#
(Russell Ernest Rice, 2006/12)
Alas Mario Richter computer tested it and found it has two solutions.
Will you find them both?

The problems given in Greylabyrinth's blog were also tested by Mario, and
only one was valid:
2) Find the unique position resulting from a game written
1.A A 2.A A 3.AxP A 4.AxA A 5.AxA A 6.AxA A 7.AxA
(Russell Ernest Rice, 2006/12, C+ by Mario Richter).
The order of moves is not uniquely fixed, but the final position is.

The last example, also computer tested, is a uniquely determined game:
3) Find the unique game written
1.P P 2.PxP A 3.AxA HxA 4.P HxP 5.PxP HxH 6.P=A H 7.AxA H 8.AxH+ H 9.AxH#
(Alain Brobecker, 2007/10, C+ by Mario Richter).
This time all moves are uniquely determined.

You're welcome to compose more Animal Chess problems (proof games?),
i'll include them on my webpage about chess problems without diagrams:

Best regards, and happy solving

Solutions of 1 is:
1.e3 e6 2.Qe2 Ke7 3.d4 Kd6 4.Qa6+ Kd5 5.Nc3#
1.b3 f6 2.Ba3 Kf7 3.e4 Ke6 4.Qg4+ Ke5 5.Nf3#

Other solutions are on my webpage.

Alain Brobecker (abrobecker at yahoo.com) |_ _ _ |_
http://abrobecker.free.fr/ |_)(_|(_|| ) of Arm's Tech

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