[Retros] Level of problems

Noam Elkies elkies at math.harvard.edu
Sat Jan 19 23:47:09 EST 2008

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

J.Saukkola> I disagree. Problem journals should keep high level.
J.Saukkola> Low-level problems are for torturing your friends at home.

Well I suppose the question is just how low is "low-level".
I'm certainly not proposing that journals should publish
every 2# problem with a checking, flight-giving key
that comes in the mail. On the other hand, we can enjoy
the artistry and the solving challenge (yes, solving
can be a pleasure, not just a torture...) of a well-made
problem even if the same "theme" had been shown in
a different way that required less force or exhibited
more effects or is more in tune with modern fashion.
After all we don't stop performing Mendelssohn's
"Italian" symphony because Beethoven already composed
his Seventh... Monsky's 13.0 and 15.5 move proof games
are good enough that they should be published even if
Caillaud and others had already achieved more striking
cross-capture effects in earlier proof games.


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