[Retros] Questions on Coloring Problems

Kevin Begley kevinjbegley at gmail.com
Thu Jun 30 02:30:40 EDT 2011

I enjoy solving retro-coloring problems, but why do the diagrams employ
(exclusively) white units?
It makes good sense to use neutrals, and stipulate: "color (all) the neutral
units (to either white or black)."

Obviously, some no-fairy journals, with publishing inadequacies, are slow to
Must a republication incur the inadequacies of the original, or aren't we
obligated to higher standards)?

Yes, some journals have, long ago, changed to neutral-coloring problems
(e.g., Thema Dancium, Die Schwalbe, and others)...
But, so far, I have found no evidence that they fully understand why this
choice is more than an aesthetic improvement...
That is: by changing the stipulation to "color the neutral units," composers
are free to use *some* known units (white and black), in conjunction with
the unknowns (the neutrals, to be colored).

What I don't understand is: why do composers of coloring problems seem to
avoid (like the plague) partially-colored diagrams?
It would seem that this combination would have so much more to offer...
Yet, virtually every problem composed in this genre employs a "fully
uncolored set."
Could it really be true that these composers are simply unaware of this
(mixed) possibility?
Or, maybe it somehow considered unaesthetic?

I'd appreciate if anyone can provide an explanation (perhaps some examples,

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