[Retros] Illegal moves by grandmasters

Kevin Begley kevinjbegley at gmail.com
Thu May 12 15:27:08 EDT 2011

Thank you, Guus -- though, I do not subscribe to the failed hypothesis of
"intelligent design" (which never bothered to adequately explain an
abundantly evident lack of intelligence inherent in the unfolding of this
universe), I completely agree with your sentiments about retro-analysis &
dead reckoning.
I'd much prefer your analogy be framed in non-controversial, scientific
terms (e.g., retro analysis is akin to discovering the path of evolution).

Now, if we could just, from empty squares, demonstrate "pair production" of
pawns and anti-pawns. :)

On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 10:43 AM, Guus Rol <grol33 at gmail.com> wrote:

> My book on the retrograde type is purely mathematical. Even though

> exactness of definition has never caught on in this field, I have allways

> felt the motivation for starting retro-analysis was the same as for starting

> science in general. If we rate forward chess as "law based, sometimes

> intelligent design" then the retro type serves to extract certain or

> justifiable knowledge from those designs - with limited or no

> direct information on the design process. In an abstract domain like chess,

> the applicable scientific approach can only be "mathematics".


> The rules of chess do not define the legality of positions. The definition

> of a legal position is therefore a mathematical derivative: "A position is

> legal iff a legal proof game for it exists". The legality of the proof game

> can only be established by the "context rules". Mathematicians do

> not discuss those in terms of "right" or "wrong". A position may be legal in

> one context (one set of postulates) and illegal in another (another set of

> postulates). Who cares? the discussion about the grandmaster game is only

> valid in the context of the FIDE game rules and I think it has been properly

> conducted in that context. The retrograde field will fundamentally inherit

> all FIDE rules since it is set up as a slave system to that forward master

> system. Exceptions can be made as explicitly deviant postulates at the risk

> of having the disobedient servant fired by the master. In 1997, all

> retro-designs based on automatic 50 move termination were fired by the PCCC.

> The allmighty one had decided that its postulates strayed to far from the

> "right path" in the preceding decades. As of this day, all composers suffer

> PTSS from this event and have nu clue of what happened at the time.


> Andrew Buchanan has very cautiously copied his postulates from the FIDE and

> can therefore be considered of the "right belief". Anyone bothered by them

> should say so in his "problem stipulations" (divine prerogative) or he

> should try to get his preference in the retro codex.


> Mathematics goes a long way if you only try a little.



> Guus Rol.





> On Tue, May 10, 2011 at 8:09 PM, <tregeryefim at aol.com> wrote:



>> 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 always look the same in forward and backward direction.


>> What does "legal game" mean? This term is also may have several meanings.

>> Upon Fide rules, indeed, a game cannot contain two or more dead positions.

>> But we may consider a game as a sequence of any legal positions, regardless

>> of fide rules (of dead positions, 3-times, 50 moves, etc.). Then there is a

>> set of all such legal games (even infinite ones!) as a mathematical

>> object... Interesting that this set is uncountable (why - I may explain it

>> separately), yet the subset of all finite games (finishing by checkmate or

>> stalemate positions) is countable.


>> Yefim Treger


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