[Retros] Fwd: Are the King and the Rook pieces or what?

pastmaker at aol.com pastmaker at aol.com
Mon Jan 28 19:28:02 EST 2008

I'm never sure that I fullly understand Guus's rich prose (which is not, as he once modestly suggested, a matter of writing in a language other than Dutch), but I venture a short reply.

I was not asking about what happens in a composition (such drama being a little out of my compositional comfort zone), but only about the result in a game under the FIDE rules.? I agree with Guus that the player who declares his resignation simultaneously (and we simply must assume simultaneity for this purpose - - that's not the issue here) with making a checkmating move?should lose the game under the FIDE rules.

My guess is that of those?who care enough to answer the question,?50% would?say that the player lost by resignation,?50% that he won by checkmate, and?50% that?it should be a draw.

And none of this addresses Roberto's excellent point about the Rook.


-----Original Message-----
From: Rol, Guus <G.A.Rol at umcutrecht.nl>
To: The Retrograde Analysis Mailing List <retros at janko.at>
Sent: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [Retros] Fwd: Are the King and the Rook pieces or what?

I see we agree that "intent" is a touchy subject :-)


The analytical challenge here is in the approach to "simultaneous/concurrent events". Of course,? life events are never really simultaneous but they may appear to be within the margins of error connected to our observational capabilities. We?could distinguish two flavours of concurrency: (a) resonant/neutral concurrency (b) dissonant concurrency (my terminology).


Touching King and Rook with castling right simultaneously can be considered resonant concurrency as these events are pointing in the same direction (even the same intent) and can be interpreted together as a single prelude to castling. As there need not be any preference for the one or the other it would be quite?appropriate for the arbiter to require validation of both touches by castling (note: I do not state that this is FIDE rule, I didn't look it up).


If, on the other hand, the castling move is illegal then we have a dissonant concurrency which cannot be resolved by embracing both touches. The same is true for the combination of resignation and checkmate in the example below. Whenever dissonant concurrency is encountered we need an additional decision criterium. "Intent" is not the most likely decider in such a?criterium since the dissonance more or less?invalidates the unified intent - I can invent many different "intentional" stories surrounding the checkmate/resignation events, all somewhat suspect.


I doubt that all the required decision?criteria have been defined in chess, but I think that inserting?some attractive decisioning principles might help. E.g., let's say "Humans over Systems" in games and "Systems over Humans" in compositions. I could supply some arguments for that position!?In the example below the resignation would win the day in an actual game, whereas checkmate would?prevail in the composition. Not much wrong with that.


There is nothing inevitable about this analysis but at least it supplies an angle for discussion.


Guus Rol.


Van: retros-bounces at janko.at [mailto:retros-bounces at janko.at] Namens pastmaker at aol.com
Verzonden: maandag 28 januari 2008 16:49
Aan: retros at janko.at
Onderwerp: [Retros] Fwd: Are the King and the Rook pieces or what?

email problems again. please see message below. Sorry if duplicated.

-----Original Message-----
From: pastmaker at aol.com
To: retros at janko.at
Sent: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 10:47 am
Subject: Re: [Retros] Are the King and the Rook pieces or what?

Hard to trivialize intent.? Please consider this situation.? Black (our friendly obtuse player) is about to move in a position in which he is way behind in material.? He picks up his queen, which has several available moves, one of which can deliver checkmate.? Precisely at the moment that he puts the queen on the very square that would deliver the checkmate, he announces, "I resign.".

The rules say that the game ends at checkmate and at resignation.? Who won???A player?can deliver checkmate without knowing it, and if?he does so without performing another act that has some contrary significance under the rules, he has won whether he knows it or not.? Intent is not a factor in such a situation.

But (without getting into unusual psychological state) resignation is a function of intent.

Who won the game above?

Tom Volet


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