# [Retros] Fairy Retros

Thomas Brand t.brand at gmx.net
Tue Sep 8 16:58:50 EDT 2009

Since in the initial thread "Die Schwalbe" was mentioned, I think I should
briefly tell you my view of "fairy retros" and their relationship with
orthodox ones.

My first point is, that it is not a matter of (my) taste to publish quite a
lot of fairy retros in Die Schwalbe: The ratio of orthodox to fairy retros I
receive is anywhere between 1:2 and 1:3 in the last months. (Yes, this is an
invitation to send good orthodox retros to Die Schwalbe!!)

On the other hand I'm very happy to be able to publish six orthodox retros out
of nine in the next (October) issue of Die Schwalbe (plus three math problems)
- including a series of three related problems by Andrey.

I totally agree with Andrey, if he says, that it does not make sense to
compare "orthodox" retro tasks or records with fairy ones. For example, in
orthodox retros there is a natural limit of 30 uncaptures. With very simple
mechanisms in Circe you easily can "break" this limit - and if a judge will
rank such a problem quite high just for this reason, this might be not an
argument against fairy retros - but an argument against this judge...

On the other hand I strongly believe that fairy conditions can be very
fruitful in retro - if these conditions are not used as a kind of "doping"
just to vaporize orthodox records, but to demonstrate original retro ideas
based on this condition. "Schoebelen-Queen" was mentioned before.

To give another quite simple example: In Die Schalbe 14065 (April 09) Bernd
Gräfrath showed a proof game with black pseudo castling. In orthodox proof
games not so original, but here the fairy condition is maximummer. And here it
seems quite surprising, paradox, that Black does NOT castle, although castling
is such a "quite long" move, but has to do single steps with the King.
Obviously the fairy condition is not "simple help" for the composer, but
inherently linked with the contents and the "theme" of this quite paradox
problem.

Just another point: What is "fairy", what is "orthodox"? It's well known, that
some 400 years ago Alfils etc were used: fairy pieces!? Or "very orthodox" ones?

In the October issue of Die Schwalbe you will find a 960chess retro (Fischer
Random Chess). In June 2009 it clearly was a fairy retro, but in July 2009 new
FIDE rules appeared - containig an annex dealing with 960chess. So due to
these official rules this problem is orthodox now? In this case the October
ratio will be 7:2 instead of 6:3...

Best regards,

Thomas