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Dr Ian Shanahan

57 Yates Avenue
Dundas Valley NSW 2117
AUSTRALIA

Sydney, 16 June 2005.

Dr Cedric Lytton
16 Lime Grove
Sheringham
Norfolk NR26 8NX
ENGLAND

Dear Cedric,

Many thanks for your latest letter. Ive enclosed three CDs all pertaining to our mutual
recorder pursuits! Although my earlier thesis topics may hold little interest for you, they do embrace a
wealth of fingering resources etc. (as do my compositions scores on its twin CD) that could be of use to
you. As for the commercial CD, youll see from its sleeve-notes that I was lucky enough to win a
scholarship (worth $4,000) which defrayed all of the production expenses; hopefully, my record label
SIDEREAL might even become self-sustaining well see... Fortunately with my diabetes, Im not on
insulin. Eventually with weight-loss through appropriate diet and exercise my ambition is to be free of
medication and diabetic complications altogether! (Over two years ago, I suffered knee- and foot-
disorders that have precluded long walks; meantime, Im doing hydrotherapy and dieting [not very well, I
must confess].)

On to chess matters. For old times sake, please take a brief look at this:

Ian Shanahan,
Comm. The Problemist 1984 {F745vv}.
~ Dedicated to Bob Meadley ~

Ser.H=11 Ohneschwarzschach,
Reflecting Es h6, h7

(The L is in check from Bh7...)


1.He6?! (Hg8??) 2.Bb5 ... 5.Bc2 6.Bc1b 7.bb2 8.be5
9.bc5 10.ba7 11.He3; 0-0=? But 11...0-0 is illegal!
1.Hg8!! (He6?) 2.Bb6 3.Bc5 ... 6.Bb2 7.Bb1b 8.bc2
9.be2 10.ba6 11.Hd3; Ke2=.

In F745v, I never liked the static pin-line g8-a2; here, its dynamic, and with dual-avoidance
definitely an improvement dont you think? Only the Ae5 is idle in the actual phase, which is a small price

~1~
to pay for the rich content. I do hope Ohneschwarzschach (= Checkless Chess for Black only) is the
correct German; or should it be Schwarzohneschach?

Anyway, to the Ser.H3 Monochrome. How stupid of me to overlook the incarceration of (Gh1) hence
no solution. However, the good news is that not only have I succeeded in overcoming this defect but
Ive also managed to improve the problem [see separate page] by extricating Blacks e.p.-capture from
his promotees retro-play! It is now more economical (just 14 men) and has a retro-content at least as
rich as before. Whats more, the retro-logic now comprises a single chain: i.e. in short, Gg2 (Bg7) was
taken e.p. Bf4 is (Be7) not (Bg7) and Be3 is (Ba7) not (Be7) Bd4Ae3 e.p. Whites last
move could only have been Ah2-h4. Without the first link here, Bf4 and Be3 could be (Bg7) and (Be7)
respectively, hence Whites last move could also have been Kd2-e1 (preceded by Bd4Ge3+, say) or
Ag3Hh4 and so we have no solution. I think this is rather good.

As for unhappiness about solvers having to deduce the Neutral Pawns origins, frankly I dont agree
with your objection, on two grounds: (i) such a deduction flows quite naturally from the solving process
itself (i.e. it is readily inferred that there is no other possibility but that it was put on g4); (ii) Occams
razor finds the Black had a pocket Neutral Pawn stipulation an overkill (i.e. the invocation of pocket
men, and that Black in particular had one) when it is not strictly necessary. But, being the editor, Ill
accept your decision if you insist.

Well, thats about it for now. As ever, I look forward to hearing from you, Cedric. All the very best to
you (Wiz) and Dorothy, and ... Cheers!

Yours faithfully,

Ian Shanahan.

P.S. I really enjoyed your reminiscences and problems from your article in the May issue of The
Problemist; Bob Meadley found it enjoyable, too. Its nice for a change to see the human face behind
the diagrams, so to speak!

~2~