[Retros] No occupied white square

Eric Angelini Eric.Angelini at kntv.be
Tue Dec 10 03:47:00 EST 2013

My two cents -- although I'm sure
those arguments are well known:

- would one give a sculpture award
to the Davide in Firenze rather than
to Michelangelo?
- we know that painters changed
their way to paint when photography
was invented; should the, say, Turner
prize go to artists that don't use
photographic techniques to produce
their canvases?

Yes, there is a human beyond every
artistic proposition -- even if the
materiality of the artistic composition
comes from randomness, hazard,
interactions with the beholder, etc.
We know that in the art domain since
Marcel Duchamp and his ready-mades (not to mention the conceptual
This influences in return the judgments
of the "art world" (as defined by Arthur
Danto and George Dickie, the famous
aesthetic philosophers).
So, nothing new under the sun, this
is a pure intellectual construction /
agreement build by all parties, creators,
judges, experts, players, collectors.
There is no transcendantal truth in
those matters -- only fluctuant worlds
which we try to organize, as we all

To go back to Earth (!), I'm immensly
grateful to people like François who,
of course, are skilled (contemporary)
artists who deserve awards, Belgian
chocolate and flowers!


Le 10 déc. 2013 à 08:04, "Bernd Gräfrath" <retromode at web.de<mailto:retromode at web.de>> a écrit :

There is an old discussion on whether an award goes to a problem or to its composer.
Recently, this discussion has been revived in the field of studies. If I understand this debate correctly, John Roycroft wants to exclude studies from awards if they can be found in the tablebases, while John Nunn writes: "All studies, however composed, should be considered on an equal footing." In this question, I side with John Nunn, although there is some point in John Roycroft's critical question: "Is computer programming skill s composing skill?" (See the debate in "EG" of December 2005, pages 347 and 13.)
A possible problem for my view: If we award the problem (and not the composer), then why do composers receive points and titles through the FIDE-Album? Perhaps Noam's point helps in this respect: It still takes a capable person to produce these problems, even though this production is quite different from traditional composing (cf. the miniature selfmates by Torsten Linß).
By the way: I have discussed these questions in a recent paper in feenschach:
"Darwinistisches Komponieren", feenschach: Zeitschrift für Märchenschach, no. 198, Vol. XXXIII (March-April 2013), pages 49-52.

P.S.: I agree with you, Francois: if you have two relevant proof games of equal length, then the one with fewer captures should be preferred (unless we are talking about massacre proof games).


> On 12/07/2013 02:23 AM, "Bernd Graefrath" wrote:


> > By the way: I think that computer-helped discoveries can also qualify

> > for awards, and even for the FIDE-Album.


> I think so too, although such problems might be harder to judge. A

> problem that is impressive to a human composer might have been easy to

> generate by computer. Is this unfair? On the other hand, treating all

> computer-helped discoveries as "easy to generate" would be wrong,

> because they might not be.

I thought we judged chess problems primarily by their artistic merits,
not difficulty of composition. (Difficulty of *solution* might contribute to
-- or detract from -- artistic merit, but that's a different matter.)
Also even if the positions are "easy to generate" by computer somebody
must still have had the idea to do it, and the skill to implement the idea.

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