[Retros] Response to Volet
DoubleExclam at comcast.net
Sun Sep 8 14:36:57 EDT 2002
If the 50-move rule is extended to, say, 60 moves, inevitable damage is done to past works based on the 50-move rule. An extra stipulation has to be added to clarify that this problem uses the old rule, but this gives away the intention and ruins future solving interest. The problem is then only of interest to composers who wish to see how to make such an idea function (although, if the rule changes to 250 moves, this theme will be too much trouble!).
Without an extra stipulation or a correction, the old problem has to be considered unsound. Anyone who solves it (or just plays through the solution) will get a solution that makes no sense under the current rules. For example, a problem (by Plaksin, I think), calls for #3. It appears white has a #2, but retro-analysis shows that white is about to make the 50th move with no capture or pawn movement, and that would let black off with a draw. So, white is obliged to capture something, and he can obtain #3 this way. If the rule changes to 60 moves, a solver could correctly contend that the problem is unsound, because white has a perfectly valid #2 even after the retro-analysis is considered.
It appears, in the case of the cylinder, that the extended castling possibility simply went unnoticed until (at least) after some of the first cylinder problems were made. If so, there has never been a rule change, but rather a full realization of what the rules allow.
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