Joined: 05 Nov 2005
|Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:03 am Post subject: About the Babson Task
|Mr.Gokul has submitted a batch of problems (#1887-#1899) each one associated to so called Babson task.
What is this all about?
Well if you recall from the Repertoire themes, one theme was called an Allumvandlung or AUW for
short. This theme calls for a pawn promotion to Q,R,B and N in different variations.
The Babson task was further developed by Joseph Babson around 1910-1920 and calls for the following:
(1) White's first move sets up the framework for this task.
(2) Black performs an AUW
(3) White responds with an AUW of her own, so that whichever promotion black did, white will make a similar promotion.
(4) After black's further defense White will fullfil the stipulation in given number of moves.
Normally the shortest Babson is mate in four.
The early history of Babson task shows a '3/4 task' by Wolfgang Pauly in 1912. This is our #1887. All but the bishop/bishop promotions are shown by Pauly. In 1926 a competition was arranged for a Babson task compositions. The winner would have $20 or $25 if the first move was also an underpromotion. The competition was won by H.Bettman (our #1573), but it was a self-mate although showing the full Babson task. Years went by and no-one was coming up with a full Babson in a direct mate problem. The famous study composer A.Cheron went so far as forecast in 1934 that the task will never be achieved.
But the problem world was stunned in 1983, when a relatively unknown football (=soccer) coach from Kazastan named Leonid Yarosh finally published the first correct Babson task in direct mate problems. This is our #1888 and her autumn version #1889. Since then both Yarosh and others - notably P.Hoffman - have published several Babson problems.
Famous Tim Krabbe has keenly followed this thema. His collection can be found at:
I think all of the puzzles submitted by Gokul come directly from this collection. Tim has worked diligently by giving all source data, solutions and the motivations for both black and white underpromotions, which of course are extremely interesting and in the very heart of Babson.
There are only three kinds of chessplayers - those who can count and those who cannot....