[Retros] Beta Chess

Rol, Guus G.A.Rol at umcutrecht.nl
Thu Mar 29 11:30:45 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew,

Having studied Turnbull's article on fuddled men, I am pretty much
convinced that PbyD "Prove it by Doing it" is very similar if not
identical to LbyL "Leap before you Look". We still have an off-line
discussion going on about LbyL but this might be a useful picture to
those who have some affinity with the LbyL-concept.

Turnbull is somewhat inconsistent in his use of "Ceriani Ethics" which
affects at least one of his compositions. In my view 'fuddled men'
provide a good demonstration of the limited scope of "Ceriani Ethics".

The subject at hand with PbyD and Ceriani Ethics is "the processing of
imperfect information". Although we currently have 2 major logical
systems for approaching it - retrostrategy and retrovariants - neither
has been elaborated sufficiently to provide watertight generic rules for
the handling of information holes in unorthodox chess variants. Once
these have been accomplished, there is an ocean of interesting variants
available for retro-composition. Fuddled men and Beta chess are the
easiest of entry points in that they only require single move memories.
What if we play "Mad Max chess"? Each unit starts with (let's say) 3
precious units of gas and plays at the expense of 1 unit per move.
Capturing an opponent implies capturing his fuel reserve. The first
question on any "Mad Max chess" diagram becomes: 'how much fuel units
can be legally available in this position and how should we consider
them distributed?' Do you wanna play 20.000 retro variants or is there
an easier approach?

Guus Rol

> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----

> Van: retros-bounces at janko.at [mailto:retros-bounces at janko.at]

> Namens andrew buchanan

> Verzonden: donderdag 29 maart 2007 15:16

> Aan: 'The Retrograde Analysis Mailing List'

> Onderwerp: [Retros] Beta Chess



> Hi Hugo,


> Your second variant sounds functionally equivalent to the

> pre-existing Refusal Chess, where the player has the option

> to refuse his opponent's first proposed move, but must accept

> the second? There is at least one published composition in

> Refusal Chess, but it's not retro.


> Your first variant sounds novel, and is related to the

> Fuddled Men concept where any unit must "stop for a rest"

> after moving. One clarification required for Beta Chess is at

> what point in the turn cycle the unit unfreezes.


> In Fuddled Men, the unit freezes just after it moves, and

> unfreezes exactly a full turn later when the next unit is

> moved by that player. In Beta Chess, apparently the freezing

> happens before a player moves (and so you can't defend

> against a check by freezing that piece). For simplicity,

> would you want the unfreezing to happen at the same point in

> the cycle, a turn later? So Beta Chess is not an exact

> generalization of Fuddled Men.


> And do you intend that attacking (i.e. checking or prevention

> of castling) is also disabled by freezing?


> I have some fuddled problems on my website, mostly by Ronald

> Turnbull. These aren't retro, but they do use generalizations

> of the orthodox conventions

> (www.geocities.com/anselan/FUD.html) but I hadn't published

> them because I don't really understand the concept of "prove

> it by doing it" or "Ceriani ethics". For what it's worth

> though, here they are.


> Do you intend that every check is mate? If so, can we show

> that White wins this game? (1.e4 seems strong. Must Black

> freeze that pawn at the

> beginning?)


> You specify that the frozen piece must be one that has a

> legal move. This means that when a player only has one

> moveable unit, the game ends in stalemate.


> Note for non-native English speakers: the word "Fuddled" is a

> humorous word meaning confused, especially by drink.


> Cheers,

> Andrew.


> -----Original Message-----

> From: retros-bounces at janko.at

> [mailto:retros-bounces at janko.at] On Behalf Of hv at crypt.org

> Sent: 29 March 2007 12:51

> To: peter.fayers at virgin.net; The Retrograde Analysis Mailing List

> Subject: Re: [Retros] More on en passant chess.


> "peter.fayers at virgin.net" <peter.fayers at virgin.net> wrote:

> :Any more contributions on this topic are welcome: I am

> planning an article in the magazine Variant Chess on this, to

> demonstrate the difficulties of inventing new variants: how a

> seemingly simple idea ("all units can be captured ep") can

> lead to such world-wide debate.


> I was considering another variant (actually 2) a little while

> ago; I think of them as 'beta chess'.


> Before each move a player makes, the opponent must nominate

> one of the player's pieces that has a legal move (1st

> variant) or a legal move the player can make (2nd variant).

> The player is constrained from moving the piece (or making

> the move) so specified.


> A draw by stalemate can be reached either before or after the

> opponent's nomination.


> In the first variant, castling is disallowed if either of the

> pieces has been nominated.


> (I didn't see any great scope for retros with these variants,

> so I hadn't mentioned them before now.)


> Hugo

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