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Proof Game Shorties I

by Mark Kirtley (in: Probleemblad 3-1999)

In assembling this batch of proof games having solutions in 7,0 moves or less, I had alot of help from Gianni Donati and Michel Caillaud.

Among 4-movers, the classic #1 is my pick for the trickiest game I've ever seen. And a lot more chicanery can be packed into 7 moves, as with the new #2.
#3 shows a contrast between who captures whom, and how. Henrik admits that having the two solutions start with the same move is a flaw, but I believe any composer would find it hard to improve on this attractive setting. Note the symmetrical position in #4. The stipulation does not tell us the number of moves needed to reach the position, and for good reason - the exact number is part of the theme!
A nice surprise is found in each of the next four examples: no move in the first solution is repeated in the second! The first of these, #5, also has a "pawn-step echo": the number of steps (one or two) made by the pawn on white's opening move is immediately matched both times by a black pawn. Both Gianni and I spent late hours looking for ways to show this effect, not knowing that Gerd had already done it. #6 shows a "pawn-step anti-echo".
#7 and #8 have the artistic touch that all remaining units are at home, and no moves are repeated between solutions, even if you define a move only by its arrival square!
#9 and #10 are an interesting pair. In #9 the white queen and white queen's bishop are innocent and offer themselves for capture, in contrasting ways, while in #10 they get away with murder. #9 also has a pawn-step echo.
What sort of circuits are possible in a shorty? In #11 and #12 the circuiting line-pieces perform uninterrupted 3-point rounds without making a capture. These circuits are tempo-treks, since the featured moves could just as well all be passed, were passing allowed in chess.
In #13, Satoshi gives a captureless circuit performed by a knight, using clearance instead of tempo as a motivation.
What about promotions? One way, although not the only way, to show a phoenix-Pronkin within seven moves is by making room for the promotee imposter by capturing the unpromoted piece at its home. This is done elegantly in #14, with the capturer returning to its own home. And in #15, Michel finds a way to -double- the Pronkin theme. Finally, in #16 the Ceriani-Frolkin theme is doubled.

1 - Tibor Orban
Die Schwalbe 1976
Commendation

[rsbqkbsr/pp3ppp/2p1p3/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RSBQK1SR] (solution)

15+15. Proof game in exactly 4.0 moves


2 - Gianni Donati
Original

[1sbqk2r/p1pp1ppp/4p3/8/P7/1P6/2PPPPPP/2BQKBSR] (solution)

14+12. Proof game in 7.0 moves


3 - Henrik Juel
Thema Danicum 1997

[rsbq1bsr/pp2Bppp/2kpp3/8/8/8/P1PPPPPP/RSQ1KBSR] (solution)

15+15. Proof game in 6.0 moves
(b): Ke1 -> d1


4 - Markus Ott
feenschach 1982

[rs2kbsr/ppB1pppp/3p4/1qp5/1QP5/3P4/PPb1PPPP/RS2KBSR] (solution)

16+16. Shortest proofgame?


5 - Gerd Wilts
Retros Mailinglist 1997

[rsbq2sr/ppppppkp/8/6p1/3P4/8/PPP1PPPP/RS1QKBSR] (solution)

15+15. Proof game in 4.0 moves (2 solutions)


6 - Gerd Wilts
Retros Mailinglist

[rsbqk1sr/pppp1ppp/3B4/4p3/1P6/4b3/P1PPPPPP/RS1QKBSR] (solution)

16+16. Proof game in 4.0 moves (2 solutions)


7 - Gerd Wilts
Retros Mailinglist 1997

[rsbqkbsr/p1pppp1p/8/8/8/8/PP1PP1PP/RSBQKBSR] (solution)

14+14. Proof game in 6.0 moves (2 solutions)


8 - Gianni Donati
Original

[rsbqkb1r/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PP2PPPP/R1BQKBSR] (solution)

13+15. Proof game in 5.5 moves
(b): Proof game in 6.0 moves


9 - Gianni Donati
Original

[rsbqkbs1/pppppp2/8/6pp/3PP3/8/PP3PPP/RS2KBSR] (solution)

13+15. Proof game in 6.0 moves (2 solutions)


10 - Gianni Donati
Original

[rsbqkbs1/ppppp3/5p2/4P1p1/8/4P3/PPP2PPP/RSBQKBSR] (solution)

16+14. Proof game in 5.0 moves (2 solutions)


11 - Gianni Donati
Original

[1sbqkbsr/pQpppppp/1p6/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RSB1KBSR] (solution)

16+15. Proof game in 4.5 moves (2 solutions)


12 - Mark Kirtley & Michel Caillaud
Original

[r2qkbsr/pp1ppppp/2p5/3Ss3/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RSBQKB1R] (solution)

16+15. Proof game in 6.5 moves


13 - Satoshi Hashimoto
Original

[rsbqkb1r/pppppppp/8/8/2s5/8/PPPP1PPP/1SBQKBSR] (solution)

14+16. Proof game in 6.5 moves


14 - Richard Müller
Rochade 1985

[1sbqkbsr/p1p1pppp/3p4/8/8/8/1PPP1PPP/RSBQKBSR] (solution)

14+14. Proof game in 6.5 moves


15 - Michel Caillaud
Original

[r1bqkbs1/pp1pppp1/8/7p/8/8/P3PPPP/RSBQKBSR] (solution)

13+13. Proof game in 6.5 moves (2 solutions)


16 - Michel Caillaud
Original

[rsb1k3/pppp4/4p1pb/5p2/2q5/8/PPPP1PPP/RSBQKBSR] (solution)

15+13. Proof game in 7.0 moves (2 solutions)