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Introduction & History

Well, this tournament came about "spontaneously" one could say. I did not think about organizing a new one for quite some time, but finally decided yesterday to go for it one more time.

The previous ones were a lot of fun - but nevertheless serious competition - and some great matrices were composed as a result. Hopefully this one will maintain the tradition, which I believe it would.

The idea for this one I think is very interesting and challenging (although I have practically not investigated it), relatively free in its constraints and should permit a high degree of creativity from the composers.

I believe composers should try this kind of tournament at least once, if only in the low dimensions of the categories. This would give one a sense of what it is about, and how much fun and frills it can bring.

Those tournaments are unfortunately quite rare.

I won't repeat the previous introduction, which of course still holds, I redirect you to: (notice it is recursive, you will have to go several pages back to gather informations)

for more info.



Mechanical puzzles for the first three places in the different categories and to the 1st in the table of the number of records for the categories A2, B2, C2, D2 and E2.



The tournament will last 2 months.

Start: 8th of June @ 00:00 (GMT+1)
End: 7th of August @ 23:59 (GMT+1)

No exceptions. If one sends a solution on the 1st of August at 00:00 (GMT+1), it will not be accepted.


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


For the categories A and B, the goal is to find the longest series help-stalemate, using the Circé condition with the additional Renaissances Circé strict rule (more info can be found here and here).

Black must have at least one piece other than a pawn in the initial position, in addition to its king. This piece must also make at least one move during the solution.

Maximum two pieces for black in addition to its king. A black pawn is ok, as long as there is one other piece as described above.

No solution of lesser number of moves must exist.

Similarly for categories C and D, except that one must have at least two solutions of different number of moves, and no matrices having solutions which repeats themselves infinitely often for different number of moves.


Before it is asked: yes, promotions are ok!


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


Only orthodox pieces are accepted. 8x8 board only.


Here are the categories:

a) two categories for the best solutions with visible promoted pieces, and having a unique solution.
b) two categories for the best solution without visible promoted pieces, and having a unique solution.
c) two categories for the best solutions with visible promoted pieces, having at least two unique solutions of different number of moves.
d) two categories for the best solutions without visible promoted pieces, having at least two unique solutions of different number of moves. 

e) two additional categories for the best solution without visible promoted pieces, and having a unique solution. But where the kings are taken in account for the Immun condition (Rex-Inclusive), but not for the Circe condition (Rex-Exclusive). This means for example, if a piece is on e8, then the black king cannot be checked! Similarly for e1, for the white king.

The "precise number of pieces" categories only go up to a maximum of 10 pieces.


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 and C).
d) The date of sending.
e) The flip of an (unbiased) coin.



In order to ease the "logistic" side, I would like as much as possible the following template to be used for responding:

Subject: Series Tournament: [Category/Total number of pieces/Number of moves/Number of Promoted pieces/Number of pieces in the final position]

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.

Starting Position in FEN (English pieces):




First, which programs to use? I know of two such programs WinChloë and Popeye. WinChloë is very good, but it is not freeware. 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 (4.51) can be downloaded from the following site:

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

For the categories A, B, C and D, the condition will always be: Circe ImmunChess. For category E, the condition will always be: Circe ImmunChess RexInclusiv. The only thing that changes is the number of moves after ser-h=.

This is of course a very simple (bad) example, but I did not wish to give any kind of "real" idea that could be used in the tournament itself.

Indeed, this example is even false (for the tournament). The reason being that the black king is alone, and there must be at least one black piece - other than a black pawn - in addition to the king, and which must also make at least one move during the solution.

To give some encouragements, I found relatively fast a nice B2/5/13, thus much (much) more should be possible.

Once the position and the informations set, one needs to click on "Popeye".

The following window appears:

Notice the MaxSolutions tab. This is very useful to stop Popeye from examining more variations than needed. Then one clicks on "Try Popeye", followed by "View solution". Which gives: