Proof Game Shorties IV

by Mark Kirtley (in: Probleemblad 6-2000)

Once again, here are some shortest proof games (spg) that are short. The solutions are no longer than 7.0 moves (given at the end of the article, which is where you'll also find several composing challenges). In Gianni's #1 the white Pawn at f4 arrives there by two different routes - but that's just a grace note in this composition. In his #2 the two games that lead to the diagram are not only striking but also strikingly dissimilar from each other. His easy-to-solve but charming #3 is, I think, the briefest an spg can be that has two equal-length solutions in which the first black move (besides the first white move) is changed. The previous article (PB 2000-2) made two composing challenges. One was for a second example of a shorty with three solutions (not just variations or twins), following Peter Wong's first-prizewinner quoted in that article. As far as I know, this is still undone, even as a longer spg. If any reader was hoping to see such a marvel, perhaps #4 by the same composer will serve as lots of consolation. The other challenge was for two switchbacks that capture on the return move. Joost de Heer published an answer in the recent september Probleemblad, with one white and one black switchback, and Gianni's #5 has two white ones. Noam's #6 also has something to show here. I'll skip the introductions for the next five problems, except to note that in Noam's #11 there is a tempo trick not seen before in these articles, which is also true of the final three problems. In #12 and #13 Michel employs a "displaced-capture" type of tempo loss. Michel is also the one who devised the surprising tempo reversal for #14.

Many thanks to Gianni, Michel, Noam, and Joost for their editing help and/or permission to use their originals.

1 - Gianni Donati
Quartz 2000

[r1b2qsr/ppppkppp/8/8/5P2/8/PPPPP3/RSBQKBSR] (solution)

14+13. Proof game in 7.0 moves
(b): -wSg1

2 - Gianni Donati

[rs1qk1sr/ppp2ppp/2p5/4p3/8/1b6/PPP1PPPP/R1BQKBSR] (solution)

14+15. Proof game in 6.0 moves (2 solutions)

3 - Gianni Donati

[r1bqkbsr/pppppppp/1B6/8/3P4/1s6/PPP1PPPP/RS1QKBSR] (solution)

16+16. Proof game in 3.5 moves (2 solutions)

4 - Peter Wong
The Problemist 1992
4th HM

[r1bk1b1r/pppspppp/8/5s2/8/2PqP3/PP1P1PPP/RSB1K2R] (solution)

13+15. Proof game in 7.0 moves
(b): bQd3 -> b3
(c): bQd3 -> h4

5 - Gianni Donati

[rsb1k1sr/pppp1pp1/8/8/8/3P4/PPP1PPP1/RSBQKBSR] (solution)

15+12. Proof game in 6.5 moves

6 - Noam Elkies

[1s2kbsr/2p1pppp/8/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RSBQKBSR] (solution)

16+10. Proof game in 6.5 moves

7 - Gianni Donati

[rsbq2sr/pppp1ppp/3k4/4p3/8/1P2b3/P1PPP1PP/RSBQKBSR] (solution)

15+16. Proof game in 6.5 moves

8 - Noam Elkies

[rsbqkb1r/ppppppp1/8/8/8/8/1PPP1PP1/RS1QKBSR] (solution)

12+14. Proof game in 7.0 moves

9 - Thierry le Gleuher
Phénix 2000

[2b1kbnr/2p1pppp/8/8/8/8/1PPP1PPP/R1BQKBNR] (solution)

13+10. Proof game in 6.5 moves

10 - Mark Kirtley & Michel Caillaid

[rsb1k2r/ppp3bp/4p2s/5p2/8/5q2/PPPPPPP1/RSBQKBSR] (solution)

15+14. Proof game in 7.0 moves (2 solutions)

11 - Noam Elkies

[rQbqkbs1/2ppppp1/1p6/7p/3P4/8/PPP1PPPP/RSB1KBSR] (solution)

16+13. Proof game in 5.5 moves

12 - Michel Caillaud

[rsbqk1Sr/pppp1ppp/8/8/8/P7/PBPPPPPP/R1Q1KBSR] (solution)

16+13. Proof game in 6.5 moves

13 - Michel Caillaud

[rsBqk1sr/1pp1pp1p/p2p2p1/8/8/P2PP3/1PP2PPP/RSbQK1SR] (solution)

15+15. Proof game in 6.5 moves

14 - Mark Kirtley & Michel Caillaud
StrateGems 1999

[rsbq2s1/pppp4/4k1p1/4p2p/8/8/PPPPPP1P/RSBQKBSR] (solution)

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