Babson-Task: A Key, And Beyond

Babson-Task: A Key, And Beyond

Postby Z Kornin » 10 June 2012, 12:48 am

A Portrait of the Babson-Task as a Young Man ...
Image Joseph Ney Babson in 1873

... In the beginning, there was just a Babson-Task without a key...

(1) Pierre Drumare
"Thèmes 64" 1965
0...f2-f1, #3

FEN 6r1/5P2/7Q/p1K2PpP/R3BP2/3Nk1p1/2pnppp1/2BbR1N1

NOTE (completed june 22th): (To insert this one in Your Chess Engine, the 'f' Pawn should be placed in f2, You play successively to f1 Q, R, B and N and the machine as white will answer with the Echoes Q, R, B, and N) - With the others You insert the FEN and let the machine find the Key, and You can play as black the defenses. The exception is the last one - number (17) - where a thematic try is to be found)

...there was nothing missing, but a proper introduction - and so the sixties gone away without a Babson-Task with a key.

The space race produced a perfect moon landing still in the sixties, but the Babson-Task race went until the early eighties, with some mixed results...

(2) Bo Lindgren "Probleemblad" 1972 #5 1.Qxf3! FEN 1rN3q1/P2R2PR/B4p1K/Bp1n1P1Q/7p/1B1kPr1P/1Pp3P1/8

(3) Pierre Drumare "Memorial Seneca" 1980 Sp Pr #5 1.Rf2! FEN 3R2qB/5P2/1N5B/1K3P2/RPP1pR2/1B1Pn3/Rppkn1p1/bQbrrbrb

(4) Peter Hoffmann "Die Schwalbe" 1982 #4 1.Nh5! FEN Q1bRR3/1P6/1p1NPNP1/1P1Pk3/1Kpn3p/2B1bppr/3pRpBb/3R1nBr

Almost a handfull of complete Babson-Tasks. Some supernumerary pieces (Your engine will not be troubled by them...) - The keys were being slowly improved: Lindgren takes a Rook and three (!) flights, and moreover sets a battery, Drumare fires a battery, and moreover pins both black Knights; and Hoffmann (relativelly the best) just give-and-take a flight and takes another with his Knight jump ...

Then - 1983 came. And novelties from the USSR
(5) Leonid V. Yarosh "Shakhmaty v SSSR" 1983 #4 1.Rxh4! FEN 1q5R/P2N4/5p2/2p2p2/2Pk1b1n/6P1/PNpP1P1K/BQ3R1B

A jump for the Babson-Task, but the "Record of the Twentieth Century" , "Non Perishable Problem", "Resplendent Diamond" could still win an improved version (Mainly because the key was still .. well - Rook takes Knight pining a Bishop and preventing two checks)

(6) Leonid V. Yarosh
"Shakhmaty v SSSR" 1983
1-st Prize
#4
FEN Bq1B1K2/3PpN2/P3Pp2/P1p2P2/2Pk1b1R/1p6/pN1P1P2/QR6 *Key: 1. a7!!

The white Babson-Pawn advance from 'a6' to 'a7', threatening nothing but it's very promotions. This perfectly thematical key was already a favorite in the 'Partial' (or 3/4) Babsons since the middle of the Century. The idea of a white Babson-Pawn 'approaching' the eight horizontal is here associated to a wonderfull algorithm, and Yarosh produces finally "The Eight Wonder", "Diagram of the Century" (Tim Krabbé), and even "Problem of the Millenium" (in a poll of the Dutch Society, covering the years between 1001 and 2000). *****(NOTE: Thanks to David Moody, from Detroit MI, for the Babson photo above)
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Re: Babson-Task: A Key, and Beyond

Postby garykevinware » 10 June 2012, 1:24 am

I covered most of these problems, and more, in my three posts on the Babson Task; The Impossible Dream,
http://www.chessproblem.net/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=543, More On The Babson, http://www.chessproblem.net/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=551, and Even More On The Babson,
http://www.chessproblem.net/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=552
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Re: Babson-Task: A Key, and Beyond

Postby Z Kornin » 10 June 2012, 3:12 am

Yes, Gary - the Babson-Tasks are back and again almost always the same bunch...

A third Yarosh came still in 1983 (7) Leonid V. Yarosh "Themes-64" 1983 1st Pr #4 1.Nxc3! FEN 3r4/2R1P2N/p3Bp2/K2PkP2/1P5P/2p1P3/pBp1R3/Q2N4 As to demonstrate that this new scheme with set flights was fruitful, the next year saw a (so to say) rereading of the same matrix, avoiding, for instance, a flight-taking key, but also non-thematic in this case (8) G. Sakharov "64 — Шахматное обозрение" 1984
Sp Pr #4 1.fxg6! FEN 8/p2P3Q/p2PpPpp/P3kPbR/6K1/2N1PP1N/1Bp5/3BR3

Well, awe-inspiring as all this was, but, after the "Holy Grail" was finally found - and already in 85 - number (10) - new (and extremely fruitful) developments came ... But not better keys - mostly just the possible ones (11) or (almost) the same (12). Emphasis was now on the attainment of a perfect play in the variations, to finally get, an (amongst other qualities) dual-free Babson-Task - with the Babson-Pawn key, of course... (13) - that one a late version of one from 86 by the same author.

But the golden chord for the period 85-88 was :

(9) Karlheinz Bachmann, Martin Hoffmann and Peter Hoffmann
"Die Schwalbe" 1987/88
#4 1.hxg7
FEN 3R4/5Nn1/2pP1k1P/2P2P2/K2P2P1/1BP5/1Qppp3/2R1N3

The famous "Babson-King" , as Siegfried Hornecker called this masterpiece - Economy (just twenty pieces), beauty of the play, cleanness (only a minor dual in the n/N variation), and - of course - the key (the Babson-Pawn advances capturing - but giving the black King a flight!)

(10) Peter Hoffmann "Deutsche Schachblätter" 1985 #4 1.Re3! FEN K1b3B1/PP5P/2P1P1p1/p2kB1P1/R2PR3/8/4ppp1/4N1N1

(11) Peter Hoffmann "Die Schwalbe" 1986 #4 1.Bxh8! FEN 3q3r/K1P3BQ/3P1P1p/P3kP1P/Np6/1p2PB1N/1P4p1/4R3

(12) Leonid V. Yarosh "Vecherny Leningrad" 1986 #4 1.g7! FEN 1N3b2/p1kN3p/K4PPP/P1p1P3/2R2P2/1P1P4/3pppBB/3Q1R2

(13) Peter Hoffmann "Die Schwalbe" 2009 #4
1.fxg7!
FEN 5b2/3P2pk/1Qp2P1p/P1P4P/pK2PR2/P2P4/1BBppp2/3N1N2
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Re: Babson-Task: A Key, and Beyond

Postby garykevinware » 10 June 2012, 11:42 am

Why don't you put up the actual diagrams, instead of just the FEN notation?
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Re: Babson-Task: A Key, and Beyond

Postby Z Kornin » 10 June 2012, 2:54 pm

Because the readers can paste the FENs to a standard chess-playing software and let the machine display the solution - with choice board and pieces, and thematic sounds for the promotions...
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Re: Babson-Task: A Key, and Beyond

Postby garykevinware » 10 June 2012, 6:33 pm

You are certainly taking a lot for granted. The casual reader either doesn't have that capability, or won't bother to do so. You should consider that you're in a 'service industry', not a 'self-serve industry'. If you are just catering to those who are 'already in the know', then we'll never expand our audience.
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Re: Babson-Task: A Key, And Beyond

Postby Z Kornin » 14 June 2012, 4:41 am

Yet a case in point:
(14) Pierre Drumare
"Themes-64" 1985
Dedicated to J. Bertin and G. Fuchs
#5
1.fxg8=Q! FEN 5nq1/2N2PPp/6bP/5Pk1/Qp4N1/1K1prBP1/2pRP1R1/2B5

Why a five-mover, and why the promotion key ?! - Well, answers are both in one: If not, it would be a four-mover with two white Queens (We want it legal and without promoted pieces in the diagram, for sure - although soon a heavy thunderstorm of promotions will take place). As a side effect of the key, there is a triple echo Q / q / Q - mostly casual here. A noteworthy feature in this complex composition, is that the black Babson-Pawn is not in the seventh already in the diagram. This kind of thematic introduction involving the black Pawn is found in a few other examples:
(15) Karlheinz Bachmann "Schach-Echo" 1990 Sp HM #4 key: 1.Nfxd1+! FEN 4r3/K2P1p2/pP3Q2/P1PPnp2/5P2/B1k2B2/1NP1pN1R/2Rr4 Where, after the checking key allowing the black Pawn access to the promotion square, all post-key play is concentrated , the set flights resulting in short-mates ; and also in the following, version of an earlier (from 1986) version of P. Hoffmann's number (13) above:
(16) Marcel Tribowski "Die Schwalbe" 2000 #4 1.Rd1! FEN 3N1r2/2p1P2k/2p4p/2P4P/QK2PR2/PP1P4/3ppp2/BB2RN2 Where the key open the way for the Pawn. (NOTE: To look back also at Hoffmann's number (10) above "Deutsche Schachblätter" 1985 #4 1.Re3! , where the black promoted Knight wins back the flight at 'e4' taking the key piece at 'e3')
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Re: Babson-Task: A Key, And Beyond

Postby Z Kornin » 16 June 2012, 6:22 am

Voilà a reasonable review of item "Key" - and the "Beyond" ? And what's exactly the "Beyond" in Classical Chess ?! Maybe the way how we can unfold new, say - 'dimensions', considering, for instance, possibilities involving SET-PLAY and (or) VIRTUAL-PLAY ...

... a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination


Or, with more circumspection - we should look back at the "Roaring Babson-Task Twenties", to discover what's in Babson's own original project ... :

(S1) Joseph Ney Babson "American Chess Bulletin" 1925

S#3
Selfmate in 3 1.f8=B! FEN 6R1/P1B1rP1P/1N4B1/2k5/Q5P1/1ppP4/pp4Pp/qn1KR1N1

Relevant here is that, in order to demonstrate that the key is sound, is necessary to find the TRY 1.f8=Q? h1=N! , with the sequel 2.a8=N Nf2+! 3.Qxf2+ and no black mate. Could we speak about a 'Babson's Own Ideal' !? - Maybe with some 'Echo-answer' to the Try !!?? ... (NOTE: The underpromotion key in a Babson-Task Selfmate was launched already in 1913 by Babson himself; the suicidal modality favor this feature.)

Alain White and a Mr. Powers from Denver threw a defy to the Chess World: They wanted a Babson-Task with a Promotion Key - the idea of a Thematic Try is implicit, of course... With the sponsorship of the "Rio Grande Railroad", such a Problem would be valued on a five to four proportion ( or 5/4), this was expressed in monetary terms (but nothing that could be compared to the US $ hundred millions atributed by the" Soviet Encyclopedia "as value estimated for the 'Record of the Twentieth Century', the Direct Mate Babson-Task ...) Those "Babson-Task Tourneys" for Selfmates resulted in two types of 'Babson-Tasks with a Try' : One where a try 1.a8=Q? shows no thematic play at all (S2), and another where the try 1.a8=B? finds a non-thematic refutation (S3) - that one Babson's own 'Swan Song' - - - The Selfmate Babson-Task with play unified in one white and one black Pawn plus the key Pawn had a Promotion Key, but not yet a thematic try with unique refutation ...

(S2) Henry Wald Bettmann "Babson-Task T" 1926 1-st Pr S#3 1.a8=B! FEN 7N/Ppp2P2/Rrk4P/K1P5/1P2P2P/2P4Q/5p1R/5NB1

(S3) Joseph Ney Babson "Deutsche Schachzeitung" 1928 (after H. W. Bettmann) S#3 1.a8=Q! FEN 3B3N/Pqp2P1R/2k5/K1Pr4/1P2B3/2P4P/3Q2pP/2N5


NOTE: The classification 'orthodox' (as opposed - not to 'reformist' etc - but to 'fairy chess' etc) became somewhat outdated) We tend to regard Selfmates (and also Helpmates), together with Direct and Studies, as part of Classical Chess - but Your engine will not be able to properly solve those - a software for solving of chess problems will do the job)

***** coming soon - - - Babson-Task's Long Slumber 1929-1965 Image

(NOTE: Babsons in various alternative and Fairy Chess forms appeared in that period: but THE Babson-Task in Direct Mate , seemed more and more distant... like a myth or an unattainable ideal.)
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Re: Babson-Task: A Key, And Beyond

Postby Z Kornin » 17 June 2012, 6:32 am

A Babson-Task in the Selfmate form, was envisaged as the possible way to get immediate results - it's actually (plainly) easier than in Directmate (or #n) - or (sic) "Orthodox", but the obtained effects are equally spectacular... Even so, after the Babson-Tasks Tourneys in the 20's, mankind had some Partial Babson-Task (3/4) from time to time to believe that a link was possible between "the most awe-inspiring task" and their beloved game of Chess as played since the XVth Century - and here some of these 3/4s that filled the void between 1929 (J. N. Babson's death) and 1965 (Drumare's first success): item (i) was dedicated to A. C. White 'in memoriam' ; (ii) has an excellent key (perhaps the best) ; (iii) presents even a 'third Babson Pawn' to obtain a set of '3x3 echoes' b/W/W (NOTE: In an earlier - from 1914 - version of Babson's own Selfmate, and in two other 3/4's from the late 60's, by François Fargette, the same key 'Pawn six to seven' reappears , making this the typical Babson Key - cf. (6) , (9), (12) , (13) above )

(i) Theodor Siers "Die Schwalbe" 1951 3-rd Pr #4 1.c7! FEN 8/4Kp2/1PP2P2/3pQ3/3Pn3/2PNk2n/R6p/4N3

(ii) Jean Mayer "Segal MT" 1962 3-rd Pr #3 1.c7! FEN R7/1N1p4/1kPP4/7K/2P4p/4p2B/4P1pp/6N1

(iii) Alois Johandl "Galitsky MT" 1964 5-th Pr #5 1.a7! FEN 2K4N/1P5B/PrP1p1pp/1Pp1n2k/2P1N2p/7P/2p5/8

The 'third Babson Pawn' was originally the Key Pawn - ready to be promoted. In Babson's original 1925 Selfmate (S1) there was even a fourth Pawn, after the unification of the white thematic promotions, the desirable full lenght Try vanished, and became just a 'generic' Try (S2), (S3). In the #n Direct-mate Babson-Task a thematic Try will be possible only with the third (Key) Babson Pawn. But even in those with just one white and one black Pawn a kind of Try - maybe more properly a 'Babson Set Play' is possible - for instance in Yarosh number (7) above 1.exd8=Q ? c1=N! . Consecutive tries with the single white Pawn, answered by Echo Promotions - type 1.W? b! etc - would produce a Two-mover Babson-Task, attained already in Selfmate form
(S4) Jan H. Knöppel "2nd Int Team Match" 1967 3rd Place FEN 8/3Q2P1/1p2P1PB/1p3k1N/1P1K1nR1/prr4B/1b5p/qn3RN1 S#2 1.g8=Q! , Echo answer in Real play being here the defense against post-Key double threat.

On the other hand, in some of the extant Babson-Tasks - for instance numbers (6) and (14) etc - a third Pawn in the seventh is actually an 'extra-piece' needed to get a Problem without promoted pieces in the diagram: at least another proof that the task is really very difficult - in the twilight area between the 'complete realization' and the 'not yet wholly satisfactory'... - (NOTE Hoffmann's number (10) shows also the remarkable feature of not presenting a white Queen already in the diagram, so it's in a category of it's own, despite the extra white pawn on the seventh)
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Re: Babson-Task: A Key, And Beyond

Postby Z Kornin » 17 June 2012, 7:59 am

The Babson-Task from 2001 on - Three links to the year 2005: From Germany, a Babson-Task contest (organized by Hornecker, Hörning and Josten) for Studies ; also from Germany, the extraordinary activity of Peter Hoffmann toward a perfect Cyclic Babson-Task ; and a site in Russian that promised a "Record of The 21st Century" ...

(... and for me it was the "Botticelli Project"):

The apotheosis of Echo-Promotions Theme...
- Some Years ago, I imagined following scheme:

Try: {P=B}? - {QQ - RR - NN} Refutation {P=B}!
Key: {P=Q}! {QQ - RR - NN - BB}

...extending the task to a virtual play! Try (pseudo-key) and try's
refutation (only move) displaying an echo-promotion... (Well - Chess
Composition is 'The Art of the Possible' - After many researches, we
arrived to an unique working position
http://christian.poisson.free.fr/proble ... min47.html


And here a little 'à propos' - the #4 arrived to most CP-databases, the engines recognizes the Complete Babson-Task, but they are not necessarily - say - trained for the register of a Thematic Try, but it is really very important, because otherwise the Problem would be just (even considering that in such hard a theme any change needs a complete reconstruction) would be a version of the matrix of number (15) above; with a key and mechanism similar to number (5) above - in fact that one looks like an 'ortho-diagonal' counterpart, without the third Babson-Pawn. Today we are no longer ready to think in Chess Composition as something 'epic', or at least 'romantic' - however, I had just an engine for test (not that such a Babson-Task could be in some way 'searched' !) Anyway, when we arrive to know exactly how many Babson-Tasks are hidden in the ensemble of Chess positions, surely those "with a try" will still be scarcer than the others ... (NOTE: To display this one properly with Your standard Chess engine, a slightly different method will be advisable: Firstly, You play as white the Try move (or VIRTUAL key) 1.gxh8=B!, and let the machine find the refutation - through the 'thinking lines' tool You can be sure that this is the only refutation for the Try - It works actually as a Babson-variation ... Then You return to the initial position, and change sides with the machine - Now it will find the REAL Key - and You can verify how each of the moves of the black Pawn works ... Considering the relationship between virtual and real echo, that takes the form of a paradox )

(17) Zalmen Kornin "Problemesis" 2005 #4 (after K. Bachmann) FEN 4q2r/5PP1/pP6/P1PPn3/5P2/B1k2B2/1NP1pRp1/2RQN1K1

[Event "until 29 a proof game"]
[Site "by Mario Richter"]
[Date "'Mat Plus' 2007"]
[Round "from 30-th move on number 17"]
[White "the try displayed with"]
[Black "the necessary triple-echo"]
[TimeControl "-"]
[Result "-"]

1.g4 h5 2.gxh5 g5 3.h4 g4 4.a4 d5 5.a5 Kd7 6.e4 Kc6 7.Bg2 Kb5 8.b4 c5
9.bxc5 b6 10.cxb6 Bf5 11.d4 e5 12.exd5 e4 13.Nf3 Nc6 14.O-O Ne5 15.Ne1
Rc8 16.f4 Rc4 17.Na3+ Kb4 18.Nxc4 Kc3 19.Ba3 Bc5 20.dxc5 Ne7 21.Bf3 Bg6
22.hxg6 g3 23.gxf7 N7g6 24.h5 e3 25.hxg6 e2 26.Rc1 g2 27.Nb2 Qd7 28.Rf2
a6 29.g7 Qe8 30.gxh8=B exd1=B 31.fxe8=B Bxc2 32.Ba4 Kd4 33.Bxe5+ Ke3
1/2-1/2
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