# [Retros] Fairy Retros - Codex question

per olin per.olin at luukku.com
Mon Sep 7 15:00:16 EDT 2009

Dear Andrey,

Referring to your article in Feenschach: have not seen it and therefore might be asking questions that have already been asked and answered. It is interesting, and gives consolation, to notice that we are at least two persons in the universe who are troubled by the present situation. Your views are, as you state, very important from competitional aspets.

Have myself written about classification of chess problems in Springaren 2001 and Suomen Tehtäväniekat 2008; no response. Perhaps a magazine is not the best forum to try to sort things out. Perhaps RetroCorner is better!

In another message you write that in chess composition things go their natural ways. I fully agree with you here. Below I make my last attempt to indicate what the natural way could be...

Dear Joost,

A comment to your first reponse. You write:
- - - - - -
A problem stipulation has 2 classes:
- Type
- Constraints

E.g. an orthodox #2 has as type 'mate' and as constraint 'orthodox'. A series-stalemate platzwechselcirce has as type 'series-stalemate' and as constraint 'platzwechselcirce'.

For a fairy proofgame the type is proofgame, and the constraint is the fairy condition. I.m.o. all problems with type any of the retro types
(proofgame, release, retractors, etc). belong to the retro section, and the constraint is irrelevant.

- - - - - - - -

If I understand 'constraint' correctly, then for a direct twomover with circe the constraint says that the problem is fairy chess. When we have a retro with circe-condition, then the constraint is irrelevant. Is this a correct interpretation?

Dear all,

The Codex is the bible for chess composition; we should be able to find answers to all questions from there. Below is copied Chapter II - Types of Chess Composition and the corresponding footnotes.

>From the text one could suspect that the Codex stipulates, that chess problems that do not apply the FIDE-rules of the game of chess are fairy chess. On the other hand, as the classifications are irrespective of each other and not exhaustive, we can not say that e.g. retros should be based on the rules of chess and they can not have fairy chess elements.

The weakness of the Codex is that the definitions are overlapping and not exhaustive. I have understood that this is the end result of compromises when the Codex was drawn up. Considering the mess we have, it would, in my opinion, be advisable to review the Codex Chapter II. It should be possible to make such final definitions that they are valid in all foreseeable future. It is not a well managed process we have presently: every other decade things are removed from the dumping area 'fairies'. This has happened to selfmates, helpmates, retros...

When redefining the Codex we could start from scrach. We should have no historical conventions nor restrictions, only the target of making a functioning system. Chess is a logical game, classification of chess problems could also be logical.

As exchanging views through magazines can be a long process with almost no attendants, we could now here have a quick conference and express our views as shortly as possibly; no explanations needed, only an answer 'yes' or 'no'.

Question: is Codex Chapter II in your opinion satisfactory? Please, respond with 'yes' or 'no' (can be done in the headline Re: Fairy Retros - Codex question - YES, Re: Fairy Retros - Codex question - NO).

Best regards

Per

Chapter II - Types of Chess Composition [8]

Article 5 - Classification according to Stipulations

Chess compositions can be classified into several groups according to their stipulation. Besides the historically developed groups, viz studies, direct mates, selfmates and helpmates [9], further groups [10] have developed [11].

Article 6 - Special Types

Additionally, and independent from the classification according to Article 5, there are a number of special types, including:

(a) Retroanalytical chess compositions
(b) Mathematical chess compositions
(c) Constructional chess compositions.

Article 7 - Classification according to Rules

Furthermore, chess compositions can be classified into those which apply the FIDE-rules of the game of chess [12] and those which apply modified rules [13,14].

Footnotes

8 Articles 5 to 7 are not intended to be exhaustive. Other classifications are possible and also practised, for example according to the material used (miniature, minimal, Meredith etc.) or according to other criteria.

9 According to this classification, examples of frequently used stipulations are:

(a1) White to move and force a win, without restriction to a specified number of moves (studies).
(a2) White to move and force a draw, without restriction to a specified number of moves (studies).
(b) White to move and mate the black king in a specified maximum number of moves (direct mate).
(c) White to move and force Black to mate the white king in a specified number of moves (selfmate).
(d) Black to move and cooperate with White in order to obtain a mate of the black king in a specified number of moves (helpmate).

10 Further groups are, for example, stalemate or series stipulations etc.

11 Compositions other than studies are usually called problems.

12 Presently, the rules for the game of chess as agreed during the FIDE-congress 1996 in Yerevan are valid. Relevant for compositional chess are Articles 1 to 5.

13 In this context, the terms orthodox, heterodox, fairy and exo are used.

14 Modifications of the FIDE-rules may for example consist in:

(a) Rules (conditions) on which the composition is based (for example maximummer, circe, seriesmover).
(b) Pieces used in the composition (for example nightrider, grasshopper, chinese pieces).
(c) Chess space on which the composition is based (for example chess board with 10x10 squares, cylindrical chess board, multi-dimensional chess boards).

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