[Retros] rights & ocassions / not answering Andrew anymore

Kevin Begley kevinjbegley at gmail.com
Wed Jun 4 19:15:24 EDT 2014


>This depends to some degree on ones view on the relationship between
conventions and laws.
> ...actually the 3R and 50M conventions are no typical retro conventions
and need special treatment.
>...By the way, whatever way you read the 3R convention, I do agree with
you that it does not resolve interaction issues with other conventions and
rules such as DR. This again needs separate treatment.

Before the FIDE rule book added rules for imposing dead-position draws (by
Dead Reckoning), players would routinely shuffled a pair of Kings on a
board. Sometimes, this nonsensical shuffling still happens today (though we
can all agree that the game is over, by the official rule book).

Clearly, we do not agree that shuffling into repeated positions, or
shuffling into extended bouts of non-progress, would have the same
consequence upon the game.

There is no evidence that FIDE (or WFCC for that matter) has ever attempted
to institute such an imposition of draw, by the 3R rule (nor by 50M).  Dead
Reckoning has been codified into what you might call "the system"  (what I
would call the Primary Rule Book) -- and if you accept that "Orthodox
Chess" is defined by the latest FIDE rule book, then this decision will
have had a definite (and significant) impact upon the nature of several
problems previously considered "Orthodox" compositions (including even
studies which intended to show several model stalemates, as thematic

So, Andrew has a fair point -- there is no direct evidence that 3R is (yet)
intended to be a systematically imposed ruling, coming from the Primary
Rule Book (same goes for 50M).

I see no evidence to support the theory that the chess problem community
has already decided that 3R, in the context of an orthodox chess problem
(or fairy problem, which defaults to an equivalent orthodoxy), results in
automatic draw (same goes for 50M -- though, in this case, I think the
exclusion is fairly certain, for a non-analogous reasoning).

I stress that 50M is non-analogous, because it has never been established
that 3R has any negative consequence -- 50M severely limits the composer's
free expression, and there is no evidence which suggests that 3R has a
similar impact.

I think, for this reason, your interpretation might be preferable, but it
is a long stretch to suggest that this might already have been established
doctrine (without providing supporting evidence, beyond the strained
semantic discussion that has been advanced).

The best you can do is to argue that WFCC should *want* to impose 3R, in
the same rigorous fashion that they have implemented the Dead Reckoning
rules. Then, if WFCC agrees, they could impose this automatically -- or
systematically, if you prefer -- from their own primary rule book (whenever
they get around to carving out the space to define and codify the meaning
of "Orthodox Chess" -- that complete obscurity, onto which every Fairy
element must forever default).

Given our disparate interests (Fairies & Orthodox Retros), it might seem
ironical that you and I want the same thing (a better Codex, where WFCC
assumes responsibility for establishing the primary rule book which governs
the chess problem realm), but this perception is the real irony;  everybody
requires this, whether to complete an honest introductory chapter on the
nature of Problem Chess, or to answer fundamental questions (e.g., what is
WFCC, and what is the nature of its affiliation?).


On Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 12:23 PM, Kevin Begley <kevinjbegley at gmail.com>

> Andrew,
> Yes, we all know that 50M may be violated in problems with formal
> stipulation -- and we all know that there is a reason for this (we have an
> interest in allowing directmates which extend beyond 50M without progress).
> The same can not be said of 3R -- problem chess (including formal
> stipulations) has no demonstrated interest for extending problems which
> repeat a position.
> Furthermore, Retros are not formal stipulations, and there is no
> demonstrated reason to exclude 3R from the automatic rules (in retro chess
> problems) -- the analogy to 50M does not apply.
> You have yet to make any case for what harm it would cause to accept 3R as
> an automatic rule, for ANY set of stipulations.
> Forget about trying to divine the "semantic" meaning from the Codex -- you
> can't possibly put your faith in your own literalistic interpretation of a
> document which fails to even define its own fundamental terms (e.g.,
> "Fairy", "Orthodox", etc).
> The question is not whether this is the correct reading of WFCC's
> Scripture -- the question is how the chess community can best write its own
> math books.
> There are rules of math, and there are constraints given by the problem
> stipulation, and the two should be kept separate.
> You want to write 3R not as a rule in the Primary rule book, but in some
> tertiary rule book, governed by some random arbiter (essentially leave it
> entirely outside the scope of problem chess, like 50M), but you offer no
> reason (the presumed analogy to 50M is in no way identical -- they each
> have a unique set of circumstances).
> 50M was rendered non-automatic in certain chess problems, only out of
> necessity -- you have demonstrated no analogous necessity for doing the
> same with 3R.
> This is not about the rules of a FIDE chess game -- in terms of a Primary
> FIDE rule book.
> First, WFCC has no authority over the rules of a constantly evolving
> gaming Federation.
> Second, WFCC can not possibly implement FIDE's rule book (a constantly
> moving target) as a default Orthodoxy (the default rules governing all
> Fairy elements require a stationary rule book, which is necessarily unique
> to problem chess, and governed by a problem chess institution).
> What you are debating is the best application of 3R, for an Orthodoxy that
> WFCC is yet to define (orthodoxy is the universal default, the grand
> unification theory -- nothing more, it has no relevance to the game of
> chess). This rule will exist only in the space of problem chess (and
> nowhere else -- certainly not a chess game).
> In that context, kindly explain the danger you foresee in accepting an
> automatic 3R rule; otherwise, in this same context, explain the advantage
> of a non-automatic 3R rule.
> Presume no 50M analogy.
> If you want to debate this with Guus (who has at least offered a problem
> which does express some advantage of accepting an automatic-3R rule), then
> that is your assignment.
> This is not a case for a self-appointed Supreme Semantics Court to decide
> the meaning of a poorly written rule book, which does not even give space
> for problem chess (and, again, does not define its own fundamental terms).
> Best Regards,
>  Kevin.
> On Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 11:14 AM, Guus Rol <grol33 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Andrew,
>> This depends to some degree on ones view on the relationship between
>> conventions and laws. Read my other, unfortunately very long but very
>> important, post on this subject. But actually the 3R and 50M conventions
>> are no typical retro conventions and need special treatment. It helps if we
>> could first find consensus on the basics before we start breaking the
>> "final frontiers".
>> By the way, whatever way you read the 3R convention, I do agree with you
>> that it does not resolve interaction issues with other conventions and
>> rules such as DR. This again needs separate treatment.
>> Best wishes, Guus Rol
>> On Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 7:37 PM, Andrew Buchanan <andrew at anselan.com>
>> wrote:
>>>  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.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Andrew.
>>> *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.
>>> Joost
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