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# Stranger In A Strange Land 🙃

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The diagram above is a strange scenario where YOU🫵are the puzzle maker for a change.

The rules to make this one fly is the following:

- Black to start the moves and draws the game. (Not to win and nor to lose either)

- You have a single black knight in your hand.

- You place that knight on a free square that is not already occupied by another piece.

- You can place it to give a check if that is what you want to do.

- You do not have to make this a dual-free puzzle

Just place that freaki' knight where ever you want, if it is not already taken, ok?!

Geez... Now get on with it! Set the knight free...

By the way Black king is on a6 if your "soul is scanning the horizon sea and sky endlessly.."

I think I have the solution my freind, clearly Black's first move must be 1...Ka7 otherwise Black gets mated after White unlocks his pieces, so the only spot to place the Knight where the Knight can't make it to a mating square (to mate White) BEFORE white's c2 pawn exhausts it's moves (or guards the d6 and b6 squares from the Black Knight mating the White King AND forcing the draw by moving the Black Knight to b6 on Black's last move) is this:

@drdos7 is as always the man that get's the job done, no matter how hard. My friend it is an honor to have you here.

This puzzle is dedicated to John Torrington "a young man full of hopes and dreams".

(please click on the main diagram to listen and see the song dedicated to him by Iron Maiden)

Thanks @Illbtu for always giving me such a warm welcome, I honestly thought the reference to "Stranger in a Strange Land" was to the book by Robert Heinlein of the same name and I didn't know I could click the diagram, but I just did and the song is pretty good, of course I'm familiar with Iron Maiden, but not too much even though I'm the "right" age so to speak. I was more interested in progressive rock at the time. I'm also familiar with John Torrington from the Franklin Expedition who passed away as a young Stranger in a Strange Land apparently from pneumonia and tuberculosis exacerbated by lead poisoning.

Back in the 80's when I saw the song first time (the video is from 86) I was not familiar with it's background story. It is actually recently that I have become acquainted with the sad narrative of HMS Terror & HMS Erebus and the unfortunate circumstances that annihilated the Franklin Expedition and the entire crew of both ships.

As you wisely have mentioned the illnesses that effected the men, exacerbated with lead poising and possible scurvy, decimated the unfortunate sailors and also the young stoker, John Torrington.

The eerie thing was the exhumation of the graves of John Torrington, William Braine and John Hartnell. That happened in 1984 and after almost 140 years the bodies were still in good condition.

May John Torrington and all the rest, rest in peace.

Осторожно, ЗАХВАТ!

Speaking of "strangeness"!

I have taken my time to translate that with google to "Beware, CAPTURE!" however please keep it in English even if you feel as a "Stranger In A Strange Land"!

Next stage of this "Strange" saga continues with a little twist of fate, one might say:

"The Black King" is moved to a better place (b6) and now you have an extra "white knight in shining armor" in your hand and you might place it where ever you want BECAUSE that will make this a "dual-free stalemate puzzle"!

Btw: "Unlike the first case where a "black knight" could ONLY be added at 1 spot "g2" out of 48 possible squares, I have found 3 such places where a "white knight" can be added to make this a "dual-free-stalemate puzzle."

Illbtu wrote:

Next stage of this "Strange" saga continues with a little twist of fate, one might say:

"The Black King" is moved to a better place (b6) and now you have an extra "white knight in shining armor" in your hand and you might place it where ever you want BECAUSE that will make this a "dual-free stalemate puzzle"!

Btw: "Unlike the first case where a "black knight" could ONLY be added at 1 spot "g2" out of 48 possible squares, I have found 3 such places where a "white knight" can be added to make this a "dual-free-stalemate puzzle."

I think I have the solution to you second challenge my good freind:

This is the third Scenario:

From Franklin Expedition... to honor the man from "Franklin County".

"Plz, add a white knight to this to make it even. Black is in the move as usual."

Among HMS Terror's crew John Torrington was from Manchester

This 1 is for another John how was from Leyton, "Essix" (also a crew of HMS Terror)

we drink to his name with a drink made of multiple of his name

A white Knight in your hand will even things out if you return him home 2...

"So what was his family name in this context?"

"I am certain this "white knight" placement is dual-free. Yet the puzzle, will not be... or... maybe... it will... ... maybe it will!

Illbtu wrote:

This is the third Scenario:

From Franklin Expedition... to honor the man from "Franklin County".

"Plz, add a white knight to this to make it even. Black is in the move as usual."

Among HMS Terror's crew John Torrington was from Manchester

This 1 is for another John how was from Leyton, "Essix" (also a crew of HMS Terror)

we drink to his name with a drink made of multiple of his name

A white Knight in your hand will even things out if you return him home 2...

"So what was his family name in this context?"

"I am certain this "white knight" placement is dual-free. Yet the puzzle, will not be... or... maybe... it will... ... maybe it will! "

This one is quite amusing, and the hint lies in the dedication to me, after posting an incorrect solution in post #8, and it is dual free (this time ):

That's all weird and inconsistent logic If the assignment was really for black to play and achieve a draw at all cost then white would defend by inviting or forcing black to checkmate by whatever means. The mission leader is black. He either reaches his goal (by drawing by force) or he fails which means that the solver fails. So white should be most happy to be checkmated and make black fail!

Or, in simpler terms, these are just standard endgame studies for "black to play and draw" (which includes winning lines) after adding the extra knight.

Black to move and win in 16 moves
The last piece added while making this was a pawn to e6. So thanks for the inspirations, to @drdos7🙌

I hope this is dual-free though, for you never know... well I mean... I never know...

That's a different problem - and probably correct! It now is a straightforward "black starts and checkmates in 16 moves" assignment. You lost the feature of adding the black knight on only 1 square which is a pity!

To make a challenge based on a draw end is harder and requires some new ideas!

This is to honor two of my incredible friends here in chess.com, who also have made posts in this very thread. You know who you are. 1 is the 1 who guides and the other 1 is the 1 finding the hard solutions.

This is the forth scenario: "2 Friends, 2 Knights"

"Add a second black knight to this to make a dual-free stalemate puzzle."

Black to Move and Stalemate, that is: ): )

Illbtu wrote:

This is to honor two of my incredible friends here in chess.com, who also have made posts in this very thread. You know who you are. 1 is the 1 who guides and the other 1 is the 1 finding the hard solutions.

This is the forth scenario: "2 Friends, 2 Knights"

"Add a second black knight to this to make a dual-free stalemate puzzle."

Black to Move and Stalemate, that is: ): )

I think I have found a solution my friend:

Always the one that is taking down the barriers in front of him and gets to the goal before others. Well... I am in awe!

1000 Salutes my friend!

Illbtu wrote:

Always the one that is taking down the barriers in front of him and gets to the goal before others. Well... I am in awe!

1000 Salutes my friend!

Thank you my friend, but you deserve some credit too as it is not easy to create such a puzzle with the novel idea of having the solver figure out where to place the piece in order to achieve the goal of a Stalemate (not just merely a Draw or a Checkmate).

Illbtu's concept of a stalemate problem:

Black to start the moves and stalemates the game. (Not to win and nor to lose either)

And those stalemate problems already exist for decades in the world of composition. And they include Illbtu's definition.

The difference is that the composers will say that the solutions are wrong, absolutely, totally wrong. Why? 20 Years ago I would have said: "because you do not understand the rules of chess and the strategies of puzzles". Now I must add another thing: "because you do not understand Engines". "StockFish is a game engine and cannot solve puzzles under non-standard game conditions; it will give you the wrong answers". You need Popeye for that or WinChloe or any in a long list of dedicated composition solvers. In this case any suitable solver will tell you that your puzzles have no solution and that is correct! Cook in last version: white plays 7. f4-f3!! and the only "progress" black can make is by checkmating white. However, the opening sentence tells you that black is not allowed to win and checkmating is most certainly a win. I need not be particularly clever to find that as every composer in the world knows it - the hardest part is not to achieve stalemate but to avoid checkmates by either side.

And now you still believe these are basically good problems and you only need to explain them better .... Hahahahaha !!

P.S. None of the elements of these puzzles are novel in any way. "Ädding pieces" exists and "stalemating" exists and the combination exists because all combinations of all concepts exist implicitly. Many (if not most) fairy problems are multi-dimensional and there is often a list of 2-4 contributing fairy types. Combining is a standard composition tool and is often accompanied by "issues" which result from troublesome connections between different types - like the one discussed here.

drdos7 wrote:

Thank you my friend, but you deserve some credit too as it is not easy to create such a puzzle with the novel idea of having the solver figure out where to place the piece in order to achieve the goal of a Stalemate (not just merely a Draw or a Checkmate).

As the honorable @Arisktotle have explained, I obviously do not deserve any credit at all, since the mathematical rules must now-and-then give way to the Romantical Semantics of the holy land of "Puzzleomania".

However I am grateful for the compliments, coming from someone I respect very dearly.

Much Obliged!