[Retros] rights & ocassions / not answering Andrew anymore

Andrew Buchanan andrew at anselan.com
Wed Jun 4 13:37:27 EDT 2014

Dear friends,


I think the distinction between “is considered a draw” and “is a draw”, which had occurred to me too, is important to viewing the conventions as secondary to the rules. It is similar to the en passant convention, which talks about “permission”, not “legality”.


The word ‘semantic’ is sometimes used pejoratively in English, but if we don’t have meaning what else have we got?


But I think your later analysis is flawed, Guus.


The fact that 3Rep is a system choice (in your terminology), does not mean that the position *is* a draw as far as the rules are concerned. It just means that the convention will truncate the game tree at this point. Yes in a determinate way. But the rules (and specifically A1.3) will not have any “fore knowledge” that the convention will apply. All the rules have is view of the game score, and the future game tree accessible from the current node. They cannot know that the 3Rep convention will step in, by *considering* the game a draw.





From: Retros [mailto:retros-bounces at janko.at] On Behalf Of Guus Rol
Sent: 04 June 2014 17:26
To: joost at sanguis.xs4all.nl; The Retrograde Analysis Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Retros] rights & ocassions / not answering Andrew anymore


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.

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