[Retros] linguistic hole

Otto Janko otto at janko.at
Sun Feb 21 03:20:36 EST 2010

Ok, now some time has gone without any mail w.r.t. this topic. How do we
come to a conclusion? Voting? Or is there consensus? (If yes, which ohne?)



From: retros-bounces at janko.at [mailto:retros-bounces at janko.at] On Behalf Of
andrew buchanan
Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 3:30 AM
To: The Retrograde Analysis Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Retros] linguistic hole

If consensus can't evolve, then I think voting would be a great idea.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I think that for the general term for surviving promoted pawns, Guus'
suggestion of "parvenu" is better than either of the other suggestions I
made. Parvenu is a word in English, but obviously derives from French.
Sometimes these borrowed words have different meanings. What is the sense in

As far as the specific term for non-Phoenix survivor there are a number of
good suggestions, I am awestruck by the appositeness of Otto's "Horcrux". I
am far too old to know Harry Potter well, but I enjoyed the movies. Key
things that Wikipedia pointed out to me is that the Horcrux creation
precedes the death of the original, that it can be a person (SPOILER WARNING
heh), and that it involves a sacrifice (just as a promotion implies a
capture). It's a 7 letter word ending in "x" referring to a fictional object
and I don't think we could ask for more. Also would be recognizable to
younger newcomers who we ought to be interested in introducing to our little

It also occurs to me that in some proof games it may be difficult to
determine which pieces are Phoenix, and which are "Horcrux".
- a rook is captured
- two pawns promote to rook
- another original rook is captured

Which pawn is the Phoenix? Unless there is some kind of Pronkin action going
on to associate "parvenus" with originals, there is no clear way to do it.

All the best,

PS: I think Parsefal should be made a term some day, for something.


From: Steve Dowd <sdowd367 at gmail.com>
To: The Retrograde Analysis Mailing List <retros at janko.at>
Sent: Tue, January 19, 2010 7:59:38 PM
Subject: Re: [Retros] linguistic hole

Why not ask Milan if the Mat Plus forum survey option could be used for
seeing who likes whichof the various options we have seen here? It seems
perfectly suited to the task, or perhaps another webmaster might post a

On Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 1:27 PM, Forlot <dominique.forlot at wanadoo.fr> wrote:

What do you think about the term:


for these promotions!

Its universal in the meaning, ( everybody Know "his Name" )
A simple man who 'promote' ... and find the graal!

Best regards!

Forlot Dominique.

-----Message d'origine-----
De : retros-bounces at janko.at [mailto:retros-bounces at janko.at] De la part de
andrew buchanan
Envoyé : dimanche 17 janvier 2010 15:09
À : Retros Mailing List
Objet : [Retros] linguistic hole

Dear Retrofriends,

It seems to me there is a hole in our language for describing promotions.

We like promotions, and we like to have diagrams which are free of
non-thematic extraneous promoted units. So if there is a promotion,
something may have to be captured at some point, to keep things looking

- If it's the promoted unit which is captured, we call it Ceriani-Frolkin
and pat ourselves on the back.
- If it's an original unit which is captured, we call the promoted unit
Phoenix *but* *only* *if* *the *original* *unit* *died* *before* *the

We haven't any term for the more general case of a non C-F promotee, where
the diagram is free of extraneous promoted units of that type.

Some problems are sometimes described as "double Phoenix", e.g.:

Henrik Juel
Thema Danicum no. 86, 1997/04
(no. 22 in Alain Brobecker's Introduction to Proof Games)
PG in 6.0 moves.

But actually it isn't - only the second promotion is Phoenix.

What we have here I suspect is another adoption of a non-PG term to the PG
world, where it doesn't quite work the same way. See:


which are referring in the world of directmates to a Nissl theme (as a
subtype of Phoenix I think) where the capture must come *immediately* before
the promotion. Clearly in direct mates it is more elegant for the original
unit to be saced before the promotee reappears. [Hmmm... Nissl could be an
interesting theme for a PG exploration...] (Maybe others on the mailing list
have more experience than I of use of the Phoenix theme in forwards

But what should we do in PG world?
(a) continue to abuse the term "Phoenix" some of the time
(b) use the term "non-C-F"
(c) decide that we don't need a word for this
(d) invent a new term

I think options a-c are unacceptable. I suggest the term "inheritor". So a
Phoenixes is a kind of inheritor (a posthumous one! :). We have still no
term for non-Phoenix inheritors, but let's not worry about that now.

Comments welcome,

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