[Retros] linguistic hole

andrew buchanan andrew at anselan.com
Sun Jan 17 09:09:06 EST 2010

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 nice.

- 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 *promotion*.

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 composition.)

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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