[Retros] Illegal moves by grandmasters
Daniel Alfredo Sottile
daniel.sota at gmail.com
Wed May 11 09:59:48 EDT 2011
Francois Labelle wrote:
> I don't follow your logic. Andrew's chess page shows a problem with 2
> kings and the caption "Who moved last?". The answer is supposed to be
> White, but here's a game
> Hermansson Emil (2432) vs Nilssen John Arni (2372), Tvoroyri, 2005
> which shows that it's possible for Black to have moved last. So either
> that game is illegal or Andrew's problem is flawed. I don't see how you
> can have it both ways.
Under the same rules applied by Andrew Buchanan, in your game the move 78.
Kxh1 is illegal. Then, Andrew`s problem does have a point. The only (fatal)
flaw I see is that the position in Andrew`s problem cannot be reached by a
game of chess (I agree with Guus Rol). It's kind of a contradiction itself.
Doesn't it mean that the problem cannot be considered a Retro one?
On Wed, May 11, 2011 at 07:16, Kevin Begley <kevinjbegley at gmail.com> wrote:
> Interesting argument... in that the entire matter is absurd.
> At first, I was prepared to agree that games should be published exactly as
> they were played (leave it to editor/annotator/program to note the
> illegality of continuing in dead positions).
> After all, there is some history of illegal moves, and it would seem wrong
> not to annotate the full story of the game.
> But, upon further reflection, I had to abandon this completely absurd
> position (and the unfortunate terms it generated -- such as "fundamental
> The main flaws are:
> 1) the full story of a game need not necessarily be told in annotation
> (there are comments!), and,
> 2) rules are rules, after all.
> Most chess programs today opt to allow movement beyond "dead" positions,
> because it requires an added programming effort to detect dead positions
> (which may -- unnecessarily -- slow the alpha-beta search).
> Besides, there are alternative forms of this game (FIDE has no monopoly on
> However, when it comes to games in a FIDE tourney, I find no merit for this
> "fundamental rules" argument.
> Suppose my opponent moves after I have delivered checkmate, and I capture
> his King -- should we include the capturing of the enemy King as part of the
> official game score?
> It was played after all, and my opponent and I might easily claim that
> capture of the enemy King is the true form of official termination (the
> "fundamental rule").
> Thus, the extra (illegal) moves (his into check + my capture of his King)
> should be part of the game's annotation.
> This is no less absurd than the argument for allowing extra moves (from
> dead positions) to creep into the game score. Even if two super-GMs record
> such moves on their score sheet, it does not make them legal moves.
> In my view, such "illegal" moves should be welcomed in comments (as they
> may relay interesting information about the full story of a game); however,
> they should be excluded (at least in FIDE tourneys, played after the rule
> became official) from the official game score.
> That said, I must also admit, I find this argument both misplaced (in a
> problem forum -- and, a retro forum at that!) and misguided (full agreement
> here, either way, would have little impact on published chess games).
> Long before we problemists go preaching to chess players about extremely
> trivial matters in their game scores, we are responsible to tend carefully
> to flaws in our own rules.
> There are titled problemists who can not even agree about the definition of
> an aim/stipulation/fairy condition (to say nothing of the countless
> disagreements which stem from our ambiguous fairy rules). We can not even
> agree what constistutes a dual (especially in selfmates)!
> What gall we problemists have: we lecture the super-GMs about a lose
> shoestring, while our pants are all ablaze.
> Good show,
> On Tue, May 10, 2011 at 11:29 PM, Francois Labelle <flab at wismuth.com>wrote:
>> I agree that my title is provocative, but I think that the logic behind
>> it is sound, so why not? :)
>> Yefim Treger wrote:
>> > IMO: an illegal move is a move, which breaks fundamental rules of
>> > chess (piece movement, etc.)
>> So according to you, some rules are "fundamental" and others are not,
>> and breaking a fundamental rule would be illegal, but breaking a
>> non-fundamental rule would be called something else (called what?). The
>> FIDE rules make no such distinction.
>> > Mathematically: Imagine the tree of all positions (including dead
>> > ones, etc.). Each position is a vertex, edges between them are the
>> > legal moves. The Illegal moves do not correspond to any edges.
>> Rephrasing the rules of chess as a graph doesn't change anything.
>> Actually I like it because it forces a black-and-white interpretation of
>> the rules. In that graph, Article 5.2b says that dead positions have no
>> outgoing edges, so playing a move from a dead position does not
>> correspond to an edge and so according to your logic it is illegal.
>> Noam Elkies wrote:
>> > This kind of "illegality" is a fun addition to the arsenal of a
>> > problemist, but doesn't change the outcome of over-the-board games,
>> > as long as "dead" draws are still not affected by the clock.
>> It's true that A1.3/A5.2b/A9.6 don't change the outcome (win/draw/loss)
>> of over-the-board games much, but that's irrelevant. The rules are there
>> so Mamedyarov's 69.Kd4 is illegal. If FIDE had wanted 69.Kd4 to be
>> legal, then those rules would not be there or they would have been
>> written differently.
>> Guus Rol wrote:
>> > The reverse however is not true. The (composed) dead positions
>> > published by Andrew Buchanan are indeed illegal as no legal game
>> > can be construed to arrive at them. The "law" does not allways look
>> > the same in forward and backward direction.
>> I don't follow your logic. Andrew's chess page shows a problem with 2
>> kings and the caption "Who moved last?". The answer is supposed to be
>> White, but here's a game
>> Hermansson Emil (2432) vs Nilssen John Arni (2372), Tvoroyri, 2005
>> which shows that it's possible for Black to have moved last. So either
>> that game is illegal or Andrew's problem is flawed. I don't see how you
>> can have it both ways.
>> Retros mailing list
>> Retros at janko.at
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