The Zilber-Pink conjecture predicts how large the intersection of a d-dimensional subvariety of an abelian variety/algebraic torus/Shimura variety/... with the union of special subvarieties of codimension > d can be (where the definition of "special" depends on the setting). In joint work with Fabrizio Barroero, we have reduced this conjecture for complex abelian varieties to the same conjecture for abelian varieties defined over the algebraic numbers. In work in progress, we introduce the notion of a distinguished category, which contains both connected commutative algebraic groups and connected mixed Shimura varieties. In any distinguished category, special subvarieties can be defined and a Zilber-Pink statement can be formulated. We show that any distinguished category satisfies the defect condition, introduced as a useful technical tool by Habegger and Pila. Under an additional assumption, which makes the category "very distinguished", we show furthermore that the Zilber-Pink statement in general follows from the case where the subvariety is defined over the algebraic closure of the field of definition of the distinguished variety. The proof closely follows our proof in the case of abelian varieties and leads also to unconditional results in the moduli space of principally polarized abelian surfaces as well as in fibered powers of the Legendre family of elliptic curves.

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