[Retros] rights & ocassions / not answering Andrew anymore

Kevin Begley kevinjbegley at gmail.com
Wed Jun 4 06:49:53 EDT 2014


If I may intervene here, I would suggest that you state this another way...

Forget the system -- there is no system.
There are, in fact, two separate rule-books, and they require a

The primary rule-book is fixed to no stipulation (no AIM, no number of
moves, no 3R, no 50M), it simply defines the rules of movement, and it
governs any fundamentally terminal game states (e.g., checkmate, stalemate,
or some fairy game state).
In the primary rule-book, there is no specific AIM set for the chess game
(but there IS, necessarily, a variable AIM). Sadly, this variable AIM is
left unstated, because the FIDE Rulebook and the WFCC Codex still read like
Leviticus), but it goes something like this...

The primary rule-book says that "Dead Reckoning" is a draw, and it
terminates the game, but it doesn't know how to apply Dead Reckoning,
because it knows nothing of the AIM.
So, the primary rule-book must create a variable AIM -- it may refer to
this as 'X' for example, and other elements of the stipulation may be
assigned additional variables;  all of these variables MUST be supplied by
some secondary rule-book.

The secondary rule-book governs all aspects of the Stipulation (e.g., who
is playing for what AIM in a game/problem, how many moves do you get to
achieve it, how many repetitions can you make, etc), and this is completely
independent of the Primary book.
The Primary rule book depends upon the Secondary (not the reverse).

So, the variable 'X' is supplied from the stipulation of a problem, or the
presumed stipulation of a game.  The AIM in the game of chess is unlike
that found in any formal chess problem (there is nothing like it found in
any study, either) -- it is vastly more complex:   Win if you can (by
various means, including checkmate, flag, opponent's cell phone goes off,
etc), otherwise try to draw (by various means, including stalemate, 3R,
50M, flag w/ no mating material, etc).

Dead Reckoning presumes that the AIM (of both players) in a chess game is
checkmate (and only checkmate).
Whether you agree with this presumed AIM, or not, it is important to
appreciate that this AIM is supplied by a secondary rule-book, and it has
an impact upon the variable AIM in the first rule-book (which you seem to
want to refer to as "the system" -- but, there is no system).

In fact, one could argue that the game of chess has a third rule-book:
arbitration (by appeal to a referee).

In chess problems, the AIM is supplied by the stipulation (that functions
as the secondary rule book).
With a stipulation which AIMs to mate (e.g., #n, h#n, hs#n, etc), Dead
Reckoning would logically function as normal (X = checkmate aim); change
these checkmate AIMs to stalemate, and it must alter the nature of Dead
In fact, the AIM (whether supplied by the secondary rule-book of the chess
game, or a problem's stipulation) will impact even the rules of the Reflex

The trouble is, you guys are arguing about an unwritten rule, in a rule
book which does yet not exist.
FIDE has absolutely no interest in any disambiguation of their rule-book --
their AIM is always the same, and consequently, they have no need to draft
variable rules for "dead reckoning" (or Reflex Conditions) which depend
upon a supplied AIM. This is WFCC's responsibility (it says so, plainly, in
their charter).  In fact, it's much worse -- WFCC is responsible to
establish a primary rule book that is stationary (they can not base
"orthodoxy" -- something which every fairy element references -- upon
FIDE's evolving target). WFCC somehow has to claim space for itself to
establish a stationary set of rule books (and this poses a gauntlet for
them to mitiage, because it will necessarily impact the definition of
orthodox chess).

But, the good news is that this gives some perspective to your
disagreement. What you are effectively arguing about is ONLY THE NAME --
which interpretation of 3R will get the "orthodox" moniker? Regardless who
wins WFCC favor, the opposing side can always change the stipulation, or
alter the primary rule-book by adding some fairy element.

The question before WFCC, therefore, is not which interpretation is correct
(if there were some means by which they could answer that, it would have
resolved itself according to their codified definitions). Instead, the
question is: which of these interpretations would offer the most promise
for problem enthusiasts, if it were adopted as the new orthodoxy?
Come that fateful day, when WFCC decides to fulfill its charter, that is
the question you will want to have answered.

It makes no sense for you both to continue insisting that your own
interpretation is correct.
I have yet to hear either of you make any explicit case for how your
interpretation offers something better (perhaps I have missed it).

Frankly, I am inclined to presume that your 3R interpretation has far more
interesting possibilities to offer (unless there is a good case against
it), but you should not expect that the delegates will make that same
connection. Show why it is better, just in case they actually decide to do
something about it, someday. You might even want to preempt the opposing
viewpoint, and explain why your more expansive interpretation can not fail
(in special circumstances).

Kind Regards,
 Kevin Begley

On Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 2:26 AM, Guus Rol <grol33 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Joost,
> This is a good semantic point which I noticed before creating my problems
> and my theory.
> I think I do know why the convention states "is considered as a draw"
> instead of "is a draw" but that is fully in the psychological domain to be
> discussed at another occasion. Here I will analyze the convention in a
> formal sense.
> In chess, chess problems and retro problems are 2 type of choices (a)
> player choices (b) system choices. The  player choices are well known but
> examples of system choices are (1) who starts when solving a problem -
> usually it is determined by the stipulation but sometimes by retro
> analysis; if you can prove that white did the last move, then black starts
> (2) in a pRA problem, the variants to be solved are determined by evalution
> of the different rights and mutual exclusions in a particular position.
> Note that neither player decides these issues. Not the solver either,
> since failing to identify the correct decisions results in failure to solve
> the problem. To say that the rules make these decisions misses the point.
> In a game the players implement most of the rules in their moves, but who
> implements the rules given above? Well, I named that abstract authority
> "the system" and it plays an important part in my retro theory.
> When you carefully read the 3R convention, it is clear that the players
> are no longer involved. No player claims, no player decides, and so it is a
> convention decided by the "system". Whatever you may expect of a "system
> decesion", it will not be based on personal or external factors like "it is
> raining today and so we will continue the game for a while" or "white
> definitely has the best chances and so I think they should continue", or
> "lets ask the players what they want". No, the system will only decide on
> the 3R information available and the convention text. And the decision will
> always be the same under the same conditions: if 3R is confirmed then the
> position is either always a draw (which is natural), or it will always
> allow the players to continue. Since the latter choice would imply that the
> convention is completely meaningless in all cases, only the first choice is
> available.
> The conclusion is unavoidable that the convention always draws however
> careful is may be worded.
> Best wishes, Guus Rol.
> On Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 4:10 PM, Joost de Heer <joost at sanguis.xs4all.nl>
> wrote:
>> On Wed, May 28, 2014 16:16, Olli Heimo wrote:
>> > Hi Joost-
>> > I can't decide if I agree or disagree. The Codex says: "Article 18 -
>> > Repetition of Position
>> > A position is considered as a draw if it can be proved that an identical
>> > position [21] has occured three times in the proof game combined with
>> the
>> > solution".
>> Semantics, but "is considered as a draw" isn't the same as "is a draw".
>> IMO the wording of the article doesn't imply an automatic end of the game.
>> Joost
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