Longest Series Tournament


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Introduction & History

Here we are… 5 years later ! I hope all of you are doing fine… I am glad to be back after such a long time, to organize once more a series tournament that is so much fun for many of us. Thanks to Arno for the gentle push šŸ™‚

This time around it will be somewhat different… it will basically be a 4-in-1 tournament, presenting 4 completely different themes. Each one of those could be part of a tournament all by itself.

I sincerely hope that the themes chosen will prove to be interesting… I believe they should be.

As In the previous tournaments, it will be real-time like news updates. Although since there are no per number of pieces categories this time, there will probably be fewer ones.

For those who may not be familiar with this type of tournaments, I invite to check the previous tournaments pages for more info.



Vegan boxes from different shops:



The tournament will last 4 months:

  • Start: 14th of August 2016 @ 22:00 (GMT+1)
  • End: 14th of December 2016 @ 22:00 (GMT+1)


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 WinChloĆ« 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

  • There are four completely different themes, having two categories each:
    • One without number of pieces limitations (category 1).
    • One for having a maximum of 12 pieces in total (category 2).
  • The conditions must be used. The solutions must be invalidated if any is removed.
  • Only non-promoted pieces initially.
  • Promotions during the solutions are ok.
  • Only 8×8 board.
  • No fairy pieces.
  • The black king is allowed to be in check in the initial position.
  • The ranking is defined as follows:
    • The number of points or moves (the more the better).
    • The number of pieces on board (the less the better).
    • The date of sending.
    • The flip of an unbiased coin.
  • Info about all the conditions can be found here and here.

1st Theme (A)

Condition: ExtinctionChess Circe

A paradoxical combination, but seems like a very interesting one, which should leave a lot of room for creative and beautiful ideas…

ExtinctionChess means that – any – piece is checked if it is the last of its kind. Thus the king is no more special, and can be captured like any other piece, even promoted to !

Definition from Christian Poisson’s site: “A side is in check if it is threatened to no more have a kind of piece it owned in the diagram position. Promotions to King are allowed.”

Any of the following stipulations is allowed:

  • ser-h= Black plays always, except on the last move where White plays and stalemates Black.
  • ser-h# Black plays always, except on the last move where White plays and checkmates Black.
  • ser-h!= Black plays always, except on the last move where White plays and stalemates itself.
  • ser-hs= Black plays always, except on the next to last move where White plays and forces Black to stalemate him. The last move by Black must be unique.
  • ser-hs# Black plays always, except on the next to last move where White plays and forces Black to mate him. The last move by Black must be unique.

Simple example:

Theme1ser-h#1, ExtinctionChess Circe

1.Ke7-e8 Kc6*b7[+bRa8] #

Please note that kings are not mandatory at all ! One could have problems without any, or just a white, or black king… The previous problem is mate at the end because of a double check, one on the black king, and one on the rook at a8, and both cannot be reborn since they are already on their reborn squares.

2nd Theme (B)

Conditions: Circe Volcanic (in WinChloĆ« it’s a combination of two conditions: “CircĆ©” + “Renaissances CircĆ© volcanique”). At least 2 volcanic effects/rebirths in total are necessary during the solution, by either black or white (it’s the sum of both colors). Both effects/rebirths must have a clear purpose and play a role in the solution.

Each volcanic effect/rebirth, if and only if the piece reborn plays a part in the solution and cannot just be removed, is worth 5 points. The total number of points is that + the number of moves.

An additionalĀ bonus 5 points will also be granted if there are at least 3 volcanic captures (all the “->v” in popeye’s solution, and every single one of them is justified.

This condition is another great one. What it means is that when a piece is captured, it is reborn as per the Circe rule, except if the square is occupied. In this case it is put in a queue, and when the occupying piece moves, it is then reborn there. Note that several pieces could be captured, which belong to the same rebirth square, and freed as the pieces move from there !

Definition from Christian Poisson’s site: “If the rebirth square is occupied, the piece is placed under the piece(s) which occupy the square. When the square is evacuated, the hidden pieces reappear according to the order they were stacked (the first recovered is the first released).”

Stipulations: the following Parry ones, they are the same as those above, except that when white’s king is checked, it must parry it and can/must play a move to “Parry” it:

  • pser-h=
  • pser-h#
  • pser-h!=
  • phser-s=
  • phser-s#

Simple example (showing Circe Volcanic rebirth only):

Theme2ser-h#1, Circe Volcanic

1.Kg4*h3[+wBf1->v] Rf1-g1[+wBf1] #

3rd Theme (C)

Condition: VerticalMirrorCirce

Stipulations: Same as the 1st theme.

Aim: The king must pass on each of the 4 corner squares. He cannot move to one of those on the very first move, but can start from one, in which case he would need to return to it at one time or another.

Example in the tutorial here below.

4th Theme (D)

Condition: VerticalMirrorCirce Take&MakeChess

Stipulations: Same as the 1st theme.

The Take&MakeChess is a lovely condition, and should make for a nice and creative theme. What it means is that a piece which captures another one makes an additional move according to the piece it captured.

Simple example (of Take&MakeChess only):

Theme4ser-h=1, Take&MakeChess

1.Kf5*f6-a1 Sf1-d2 =



In order to ease the “logistic” side, I would have liked as much as possible the following template to be used for responding:

The themes are in alphabetical order, so 1st theme=A, … and the categories are numbered, so the 1st and 2nd ones are respectively 1 and 2.

Thus 4th theme, 2nd category would be represented as D2.

Subject: Series Tournament: Theme&Cateogry/Points and/or Number of Moves (theme D needs both)/Number of Pieces

Position in FEN (English pieces):


Email: …



First, which programs to use? I know of two such programs WinChloƫ and Popeye. WinChloƫ 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 (WinChloƫ has a GUI built in). The best would be to use a GUI program that interfaces with Popeye. I use Fancy by Marek Kwiatkowski, great tool. I do not know its official site, if anyone knows please tell me. In the meantime, here it is from my site:


There is also another great program, Teddy by Bjorn Enemark. Its site is:


The latest Popeye (4.75) can be downloaded from the following site:


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

The condition and stipulation will be one of those given for each of the themes.

Once the position and the informations are set, one needs to click on “Popeye”.

The following window appears:

Notice the MaxSolutions counter. 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:

Good luck to all !!