[Retros] Example 4 (better version of E.P.) Yefim 08/23/2004

andrew buchanan andrew at anselan.com
Tue Aug 24 10:57:41 EDT 2004

Hi Mario,

(1) Your example made me smile, but that's not a serious ambiguity. The phrase "...in this way." can be understood at the end of the e.p. sentence in the Laws. There are other linguistic ambiguities inherent in the word "could". For example, it might be interpreted to mean "could if the pieces were in slightly different positions" :-) rather than the real sense here "could if the player had chosen".

(2) We're not talking about conventions here, we're talking about the Laws of Chess. Our aesthetics have no place. What Kuhlmann or any of us believes would be nice is irrelevant. If there's something the rules don't cover clearly, the Preface to the Laws states that an arbiter will decide.

Admittedly, the Laws don't cover what happens if two senior arbiters disagree, but I've never heard of that happening, and I think it's very unlikely. If it happened, the Arbiters would decide what would happen, so that's not an issue.

If anyone seriously in this forum seriously disagrees with me, that FIDE's interpretation of e.p. would be that it only makes a difference if the e.p. is actually playable, then please contact me and we can wager a reasonably large sum of money on it. :-) I'd be happy to do this.

(3) So we can develop notions of "math position", but only the notion of "chess postion", as it appears in 9.2 and is clarified by arbiters is relevant to the Laws of Chess.

(4) By the way, I agree totally with Francois Labelle that those touting the notion of defining position by game-tree seem very woolly about it (which is a bit ironic since they are complaining about imprecisions in the notion of "chess position" :-)

What is the *purpose* of defining "math position", now that we are hopefully clear that it has nothing to do with elucidating 9.2? :-)

One purpose I can think of is counting chess positions. That's fine. And if we're clear that's what we are doing, it will probably help in defining what we want in a "math position" notion.

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