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For all the Results, please click here. 

Introduction & History

This is a "special" tournament, having no definite schedule or director.

The idea for it is entirely the brainchild of Cornel Pacurar. He worked on it for some time, and came up with a few records, then told me about it (without giving me the matrices).

I also looked at it a little bit, thought it was quite interesting, and came up with a few records of my own. Then it seemed somehow natural to "continue" on this path, by proposing it to more composers, for fun and challenge sake.

Please note that we did not work on it a lot of time, thus there is still most probably plenty to be discovered.

It will end when either another such official tournament comes, or the results just don't change for some time, then we could give a deadline like "in two weeks time".

We hope you will like the idea.

I won't repeat the previous introduction, which of course still holds, I redirect you to:

for more info.



Chess problems books and mechanical puzzles for the first three places in the categories A1 and B1 and for the 1st in the table of the number of records for the categories A2 and B2.



No Schedule. The end of the tournament will be announced as described in the Introduction.

At the end, it is asked from the composers to send me all their results, which will be validated and presented in the results page.


Computers Implication


Computers are only allowed in order to test the validity of a humanly found solution, that is to make it C+. Programs like Popeye and WinChloë are ok.


During the course of the tournament, computers are not allowed to be used for composing (that is, to "solve" or find good solutions). It is only allowed after the tournament. This needs a small clarification, of course, if one analyzes a specific position with a program, and finds other solutions (duals) which are good/better, this is ok to search further! It is the automatic search for solutions that is not allowed. Thus scripting in any way Popeye for example is also not allowed.



The Rules


In the final position of a series help-stalemate, Black should only have two pieces, the King and a Hamster, which plays an active role in the final stalemate position (that is, if the Hamster is removed the position is no longer a stalemate position!), while White can have either one (the King) or two (the King and another piece). Two sections, A -  legal positions with promoted White pieces (Hamsters are considered promoted pieces (but not formally, as given by 7)!), and B - legal positions with no promoted White pieces. Obviously, in the initial position Black can have a maximum of 3 pieces (King and 2 Hamsters are accepted).


Hamster null moves are not allowed (thus it acts like a Jibber!)


Black must have an Hamster in the initial position.


Before it is asked: yes, promotions (including promotion to Hamster) are ok!


The black king is allowed to be in check in the initial position.


With the exception of Hamsters, only orthodox pieces are accepted. 8x8 board only. No fairy conditions.


All initial positions must be legal under the rules of chess. The sum: the total number of White pawns, Hamsters and any other promoted pieces should not exceed 8. Initially placed Hamsters are not formally promoted pieces as such, and thus can be placed anywhere with no restriction (otherwise they would not be able to be placed on the opposite row of their side's promotion one).


Here are the categories:

a) two categories for the best solutions with visible promoted white pieces, and having a unique solution.
b) two categories for the best solution without visible promoted white pieces, and having a unique solution.


To decide the ranking of the different solutions, here is the order of preferences:

a) More moves, the better.
b) Less total pieces the better.
c) Less promoted pieces, the better (categories A).
d) More Hamsters, the better!

Please note that the date of sending is not a criteria!



Please send me just the following:

Subject: Series Tournament: [Category/Total number of pieces/Number of moves/Number of Promoted pieces]
Example: A2/5/20/3 means: Category A2, 5 pieces in total (including the kings), the solution is 20 moves long, and there are 3 visible promoted pieces in the position.

Content: Comments.

Thus please do not send me any matrix, as I am also participating!



First, which programs to use? I know of two such programs WinChloë and Popeye. WinChloë I have not yet used, although I heard it is very good. To use it with Hamsters, one has to add the option: "Coups nuls interdits" (thank you Guy!). It is not freeware though. Popeye has the advantage of being free, it is very powerful and fast, but it has quite a complex syntax if one uses it through the command line (WinChloë has a GUI built in). The best would be to use a GUI program that interfaces with Popeye. I use Fancy, great tool. Its site is:


The latest Popeye (4.47) can be downloaded from the following site:

To use fancy is very simple, when you start it you have:

This would be a tournament position. The total number of pieces is thus 4, and the number of remaining pieces at the end: 3. It is a ser-h= stipulation, which means that black helps white to stalemate its king. White only moves on the last move. Here the game lasts 10 moves.

Now - you may ponder - what exactly is a Hamster?! It is a fairy piece which moves like a Grasshopper, but to the cell before the hurdle. The arrival square is therefore just before the hurdle.

The stipulation and condition will always be the same, only the number of moves will have to change. Do not worry about putting more moves than truly required, it is ok.

Then you click on Popeye, and <Copy Item from Francy>, we get:

Then click on Try Popeye. If you get a "command box" with lots of solutions defiling fast, you can stop it immediately and click on "View Solution". This may give you many solutions for many number of moves, but the only interesting thing is that the one of least moves is unique.

We get:

Quite simple and fast.

An example of a position that is not allowed:

Having the solution: 1.HAd7-d5 Sd4-c6 =

The reason being that the black Hamster does not participate at all to the stalemate, as a blocking piece.

Please note that this restriction does not concerns white, which could have a piece at the end doing "nothing"!