[Retros] Level of problems in magazines

Bernd Gräfrath retromode at web.de
Fri Jan 18 09:29:27 EST 2008

Hi there,

there are already at least two examples of a "solving beginners' corner" (cf. Alain's mail) with (sometimes) retros and proof games; see "Retro für alle" in "Die Schwalbe" and the "Fairy Page" of "The Problemist Supplement".

Best wishes,


*Von:* The Retrograde Analysis Mailing List <RETROS at JANKO.AT>
*Gesendet:* 18.01.08 11:55:24
*An:* retros at janko.at
*Betreff:* [Retros] Level of problems in magazines

Dear retro fans,

First a happy new year to you all, since it's my first appearance
since last year in the rml.

Since my problems are always very low level (very simple to solve,
nothing original) and i'm a poor solver, i'll give my impressions here:

When i started a subscription to a magazine two years ago,
i was disappointed by the high level of the entries. Quite
simply i was not able to solve them (apart from one or two).
Since i think another important task of problem journals is
to bring fresh blood in the Problemists' world, maybe it could
be a good idea to have a "solving beginners' corner", where the
problems to solve would be quite easy (but may have been published
elsewhere), and a "composer beginner's corner", where the
original problems won't need to show something exceptionnal.

But i can understand someone doesn't want to see x times the
same kind of problems without originality.

regards, Alain

>Juha Saukkola juha_saukkola at hotmail.com

>Thu Jan 17 15:51:18 EST 2008


>I disagree. Problem journals should keep high level.

>Low-level problems are for torturing your friends at home.




>> From: elkies at math.harvard.edu (Noam Elkies)

>> Subject: Re: [Retros] Three SPG's from Paul Monsky


>> Well one has to start somewhere, and these seem to be Monsky's first

>> SPG's (other than last year's pawn-tower attempts that turned out

>> to be cooked) -- which makes it a very good start.


>> Even for non-beginners, I can't think of many (any?) composers

>> who won't publish a problem unless it breaks major new ground.

>> Problem journals are full of problems that achieve no more than

>> previous efforts, if that much; they may not win high prizes,

>> but can still challenge and entertain solvers, and there's nothing

>> wrong with that as long as the problem is not actually a copy of

>> an earlier publication. Here no direct anticipation has been

>> claimed, so it seems the problems are good to go.

Alain Brobecker (abrobecker at yahoo.com) |_ _ _ |_
http://abrobecker.free.fr/ |_)(_|(_|| ) of Arm's Tech

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