[Retros] Hit Team theme progress

andrew buchanan andrew at anselan.com
Tue Aug 22 10:29:06 EDT 2017

Summary of progress

Theme: proof game showing a pure mate, where except for the "hit team" of White pieces actually involved in the mate, all pieces including bK are in apparent starting position (homebase).

Details: Wikipedia tells us a pure mate is a checkmating position in chess in which the mated king and all vacant squares in its field are attacked only once, and squares in the king's field occupied by friendly units are not also attacked by the mating side (unless such a unit is necessarily pinned to the king to avoid it interposing to block the check or capturing of mating unit).

(1) What we have. The original two:
www.janko.at/Retros/d.php?ff=rnbqkbn1/ppp1pPp1/4P3/8/8/8/1PP1PP1P/RN2KBNR SPG in 8.5 Yaakov Mintz
www.janko.at/Retros/d.php?ff=rnbqkb2/ppppp1p1/6Q1/8/8/8/PPPP1PPP/RNB1KBNR SPG in 5.5 C+ me
and 4 more new ones by me:
www.janko.at/Retros/d.php?ff=1nbqkbn1/p1ppppp1/8/8/8/8/PP1PPP1P/RNr1K1NR SPG in 7.0 C+
www.janko.at/Retros/d.php?ff=1nbqkb1r/1ppppp1p/8/8/8/8/P1PPPP1P/RN2K1r1 SPG in 9.0 C+
www.janko.at/Retros/d.php?ff=rnQ1k1nr/p1pppp2/8/8/8/8/P2PPPPP/1NB1KBNR SPG in 8.5 C+
www.janko.at/Retros/d.php?ff=rnb1kbnr/ppp1pp2/8/8/8/8/PP1PPP1P/RNB1K1q1 SPG in 7.0 C+

(2) If Yaakov Mintz is reading this, I would be grateful if he can give me a list of his "hit team" compositions. Or if he is not subscribed, perhaps some friend can forward him this please?

(3) Noam's multiple 6. ... Nf3# problems, my 6. ... Nxf3#. And after so many months, I can't remember mine! Did anyone find any of these? One try is:
www.janko.at/Retros/d.php?ff=rnbqk2r/pppp1ppp/8/8/8/2b2n2/PPP1PPPP/R1BQKB1R SPG in 6.0 C+ 
But this is not pure, because d2 is attacked by N&Q. N&Q both deliver check on e1 at the same time, but that's not an issue as each check could be countered if the other unit was not present.

(4) I am no longer pursuing the "total home circuit" challenge, to get a problem where all remaining pieces are on their original squares, and the result is mate. I am informed that a top composer gave up on this, and I am of the same inclination.

(5) Thanks to Bernd Gräfrath for the link to Quartz 37 article on Proof Game checkmates. It's curious that ending a proof game with check may be a minor defect, while to end it with mate is a positive feature. Making a position mate is not really difficult though. Here the additional requirements that the mate be pure and the "homebaseness" of all non-mating units seem to dominate the design.

All the best,
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