[Retros] Fwd: Proof game promotion task
kevinjbegley at gmail.com
Tue May 11 07:41:01 EDT 2010
I hope I didn't give the wrong impression -- I have great respect,
both for the authors, and for this remarkable achievement...
However, I must admit, I tend to prefer your masterfully "artistic"
proofgames, to this task.
Still, this is a great problem... maybe not top-10, for me, but it
certainly ranks high.
Also, it is not my intention to criticize the use of promoted pieces.
In fact, I wonder if the convention has outlived its usefulness...
even for directmates.
I strive to unlearn such dogmatic problem conventions (much the same
way we all did with opening principles) -- I don't want to limit
myself with the narrow view of beauty.
Unfortunately, history often requires a spectacular event --
something folks can point to, and declare "that problem made us all
realize that promoted force warranted exploration."
I don't think the PG57.5, or the Cyclic-Babson, constituted such an event.
There is something else -- intangible -- missing from these
profoundly remarkable achievements.. call it the human touch...that
one small step that casts, forever, a human footprint upon this, the
highest peak... some emotional response it stirs... I dunno.
Hey, I am not the leading authority here -- and this is nothing more
than my opinion.
I might be wrong.
btw: For anyone curious, I believe the longest ProofGame without
promoted force (indeed, without any promotion) might be
PROBID='P0002554' (see PDB online).
On 5/11/10, afretro <afretro at yandex.ru> wrote:
> Dear Kevin,
> Retroanalysis is not merely an art form; by its nature it is closely related
> to mathematics. Some prefer artistic achievements; others, numerical
> records. For one thing, it is easier to "rank" the latter, as there are
> extensive differences in composers' esthetic preferences.
> Retroanalysis has virtually nothing to do with professional or amateur chess
> playing. Therefore, I don't see any point in bitterly criticizing promoted
> pieces in a problem position because they make the position on the diagram
> "look artificial," etc.
> Since they are seen as being "undesirable hints for solvers," promotees
> should be avoided whenever possible, but many records are simply impossible
> without them.
> As to the current (20-year-old) length record of 57.5 moves, it is indeed
> extremely unlikely that this should be the absolute maximum. The record
> emerged as a result of extending a felicitous sequence of moves proposed by
> Dmitry Pronkin; in fact it was the first sequence he came up with when it
> had dawned on him that a shortest proof game of record length could be
> composed using numerous promoted force. It is of course highly improbable
> that the very first sequence he found was "the theoretically best one."
> Anyway, we did work hard on extending the game: hundreds of hours spent
> within an 11-month period, about 300 hundred intermediate positions
> "manually tested," etc.
> 11.05.10, 10:52, "Kevin Begley" <kevinjbegley at gmail.com>:
> Agreed. Berolina Pawns would only be more challenging.
> They have numerous non-capturing paths to the same square, unlike
> orthodox pawns.
> I know of only one Fairy ProofGame which exceeds 57.5 moves...
> PG65.5 Minimummer (white & black)
> 3rd H.M., Problem Paradise,
> Restricting conditions probably work best: Minimummer, Koko,
> Single-Combat, Bi-chromatic, and the like (or a good combination of
> such conditions).
> Fairy records are certainly interesting; but, such an erosion of
> paradox can occur -- it requires great care to preserve artistic
> integrity when employing such conditions.
> If you trek through the solution to Caillaud's Proofgame (or better
> yet, solve it), you soon realize that his primary interest was to
> present a thematically rich (read: artistic) problem.
> And, the problem does not fail to deliver!
> For the sake of achieving such a task, perhaps no degree of artistry is
> However, unlike Yarosh's Babson, few could gaze upon an
> Cyclic-Babson-Task (in orthodox directmate) without having some pity
> for its grotesque realization -- despite the remarkable achievement.
> I'm not clear why the same is rarely said of the record lengh
> proofgame (which is sited, almost universally, as the best proofgame
> composed -- without any mention of the abundance of promoted force
> this required).
> There seems a disconnect, from one genre to another, as to what
> constitutes an acceptable sacrifice in aesthetics.
> Personally, I wouldn't list the PG57.5 in the top 10.
> In fact, I fully expect its length will be surpassed.
> > I assume this preference is directed at proof games, because I see no
> > obvious or other reason why other captures are "better" than pawn captures
> > in orthodox retroanalysis.
> > Tom Volet
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