[Retros] 50 moves rule

Valery Liskovets liskov at im.bas-net.by
Fri Dec 29 06:52:49 EST 2006

Dear retro-friends,

Practically all my retro-life, started in 1965, I knew about
an important discrepancy between the play and composition
50-move rules. In principle I don't count such a situation
inadmissible: in (retro-)composition we need a more stable,
profound and uniform treatment of most sophisticated rules.
Moreover, I have not been satisfied by the fact that the Piran
Codex mentions only castling, not its loss (nor the loss of
starting e.p.).

Naturally I'm disappointed by the currently acting Codex in
this respect, despite that every treatment of this rule can be
fruitful for RA. In particular I composed a speculative by
intention problem with a bit provocative stipulation
"#101 AP(pRA) Current Codex" ("Shakhm. Kompoz.", 2003,
3 Pr.: r3kr1n/Pp1p1pKP/1P1P1Pp1/6Pb/3P2R1/8/3P4/8), where
in the main partial solution with Black to move (AP after Keym),
only 1.d5 prevents from an "anti-Piran" automatic draw after
legalizing 50... 0-0-0 (=); and the same threat motivates 51.d4.
Naturally, I don't consider this to be a noticeable contribution to RA.

As to the history and legal documents, I don't have the Piran
Codex immediately with me and don't remember whether I saw
it in English. Instead, 3 years ago N.Plaksin sent me a curious
8-page document (pp.3-10) entitled
RULES REGELN PRAVILA "The Codex of Problem-chess"
with no other descriptors. It looks like an excerpt from
(or supplement to) "Problem" and is marked "Bilten, Zagreb,
Aug. 1958" by hand. I suspect this is a pre-publication in "Problem",
No 49-54 (?). AFAIK, the official text was published as "Kodex
fuer Schachkompositionen" in "Problem", (Sept.) 1958, No 55-60,
pp.117-124. The Piran Codex was officially approved and came in
force on the XXX FIDE Congress in Luxemburg, Sept. 1959.

Here is Art.5 of the above-mentioned document (without referred

If the solution necessarily asks for more than 50 moves
without any capture, pawn-move or castling, the position is
not a draw.

If provable by retroanalysis that one or more of such moves
directly preceded the solution and the total amounts to or
surmounts 50 moves, the position is automatically a draw.

Is this the finally approved text?

Valery Liskovets

afretro wrote:

> Hello to all,

> Some 30 years ago Nikita Plaksin published in Shakhmaty v SSSR a small article in which he wrote that, according to the (then) recently adopted new version of 50-moves remis rule, castling was proclaimed to play the same part as pawn move or capture. For decades I was convinced that this was indeed so; moreover, FIDE Album 1992-1994 contains problem H19 from S. and Y. Volobuyev (not Volibiev, as in the Album) which is based on the above-mentioned interpretation of the 50-moves rule. Then I discovered that this interpretation is not present in any legal documents. Makes one wonder where that rumor originated from.

> Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it, and a happy New Year to every member of the Retro Corner!

> Yours,

> Andrey

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