[Retros] Castling temporarily changed and repetition of position

Rol, Guus G.A.Rol at umcutrecht.nl
Mon Oct 22 09:01:07 EDT 2007

In my opinion your comment concerns the terminology of the FIDE rules.
They do not say what they mean. There exists an older similar (though
phaseshifted) example of the same issue. After the move Nd5-c7+
(assuming the knight could not be captured which I don't recall) in the
famous game between Fisher and Najdorf, Najdorfs only option was to play
his king indicating that the permanent castling right was already lost
after Nc7. Nevertheless the FIDE decided - though I have no exact
reference on the ruling - that repeating a position like this after Nc7
two more times would not be considered a draw. In other words, in the
view of the FIDE the permanent castling right was NOT lost after Nc7.
Applying this result to your example, the castling right is not
considered permanently lost during the repetition cycle, even when it is
not longer exercisable by the rapid approach of the 50-moves limit.

This is why I would propose a completely different terminology regarding
castling rights. In an adjective form I would suggest something like
"statutory" or "constitutional" instead of "permanent" and something
like "immediate" or "available" instead of "temporary". But I'd rather
address the noun involved than the adjective:

(a) CASTLING RIGHT. Would only apply to the permanent castling right
which refers to the static game state property of being in possession of
the right to castle.

(b) CASTLING OPPORTUNITY. Would replace the temporary castling right.

(c) CASTLING PRIVILEGE or CASTLING LICENSE. Would refer to the castling
right granted in the composition field. It is non-absolute in the (post
factum) sense that the license/privilege can be taken away by some
competing license during the solution - as in mutually exclusive

In search of a methaphor to justify/communicate the diversity I came up
with the "company parking lot". Next to the head office of a company in
retrograde fashion design is a parking lot for the middle and upper
management. Anyone below that level doesn't even qualify to receive a
license to enter the lot. The middle manager of the personnel
procurement department receives a license but he is not guaranteed a
parking space. On busy days he must compete with other middle managers
in the tailor and materials department. However, when the CEO enters, he
will always have access to the private parking spot which bears the
reservation to his name. He has the unalienable right to park there. If
any manager fails to show up with his car, of course the opportunity to
park will pass by.

Replacing "parking" by "castling" gives us a pretty neat picture of
castling "rights", "licenses" and "opportunities".

Guus Rol.

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: retros-bounces at janko.at [mailto:retros-bounces at janko.at] Namens
Verzonden: vrijdag 19 oktober 2007 6:05
Aan: retros at janko.at
Onderwerp: Re: [Retros] Castling temporarily changed and repetition of

Dear all,
The crucial point here is the exact/all-embracing definition of the
terms "temporary/permanent change of the right to castle." Consider the
following position:
Ke1, Rh1, Bf3 - Ke8, Qa1, Ra2, Rd8; last pawn move/capture was 49.0
moves ago. The 50-moves remis rule is mandatory. Previously, the check
used to "temporarily" prevent the right to castle from being exercised.
Now, however, the right is prevented "permanently" ("for good"),
inasmuch as it can no longer be exercised. The position is not dead:
50.Bd1 Q/Rxd1#; yet no chance for white to castle. Hence, in a way, the
status of the right to castle can change from "temporarily lost" to
"permanently lost." However, indeed there appears to be no way to change
it from "exercisable" to "permanently non-exercisable" under standard
chess rules within the triple repetition framework.
Best regards, Andrey
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