[Retros] reward for stalemate

Kevin Begley kevinjbegley at gmail.com
Wed Jun 18 01:20:29 EDT 2014

I don't fully agree, Andrey -- particularly as it pertains to proofgames.
Attempt to differentiate between forward and backward play are always based
upon an illusion.
In fact, in terms of entropy, all chess problems can be shown to flow in
the same direction.

First, the proofgame is nothing more than helpgame. In fact, the proofgame
reduces to a help A->B problem, in which A must equate to the game's
arbitrary starting position.
Now, compare this solving process to that of the standard helpmate, and
you'll find that the only difference is that the helpmate solver must guess
from among many possible end positions -- once the correct final position
is guessed, the very same technique may be required to reach that position.

Therefore, if there exists any "backward play" (or retroanalysis) in a
proofgame, it must also exist, to some comparable degree, in every standard
Entropy flows in the same direction (always forward, toward the achievement
of a final position).
The primary difference is that the proofgame solver is given the final
position, and this information constitutes an inherent cook-avoidance
mechanism (the achievement of the one stipulated diagram is necessary, and
by avoiding alternative mating scenarios, the composer is able to devise a
more complex task).
There is no element of "backward play" which inherently distinguishes a
help-diagram (or help-game) from a help-mate.

Furthermore, the entire notion of "backwards play," in any given retro, can
be treated as the "forward play" of a fairy condition, running the opposite
direction. For any problem, entropy runs in the same direction (from the
chaotic circumstance of a diagram, toward the order of satisfying the
Therefore, this whole notion of "purity" in the retro domain is, well,
purely an illusion.


On Tue, Jun 17, 2014 at 8:34 PM, afretro <afretro at yandex.ua> wrote:

> Dear all,
> If an OTB player comes across this debate and reads it and tries to fathom
> on its basis what retroanalysis actually is, he/she may think that
> retroanalysis is all about e.p. captures and castling rights as well as 3R,
> 50 move remis rule and DR. These things, however, pertain to a smaller part
> of retro problems. They are only related to retros with a stipulation
> focusing on forward play. And mind you, *forward play is not
> retroanalysis*; retroanalysis is actually *backward play!*
> Are there any uncertainties involving e.p. capture, castling rights, etc,
> when one is to solve a retro with a stipulation like “Last N single moves?”
> or “Where was the black light-squared bishop captured?” or a shortest proof
> game in X moves? No; all the information that a solver needs to solve
> such a problem is “embedded” in the diagram. *No conventions are needed
> for “pure” retros that are devoid of any forward-play implications.*
> When one deals with a pure retro, *no legal proof game that may have led
> to the diagram position is discarded *on the basis of any conventions.
> The retro stipulation – “Release the position” or “Last N single moves?” –
> simply indicates – either in “a general form” or strictly – what fact(s)
> about the move(s) that may have been played to produce the diagram position
> the solver is to reveal. In doing so, the solver does not have to dismiss
> on the basis of a convention any of the possible legal games. For example,
> when the stipulation focuses on the last X single moves, these moves are
> usually unique (unless there are two or more solutions); the moves that may
> have been played before that are not “dismissed” but “neglected” on account
> of being unessential. But when a forward stipulation is added, like “Mate
> in 3 moves,” and when it involves e.p. capture or castling legality, then a
> convention “brutally” dictates the solver to disregard a multitude of games
> that may have led to the diagram position and select some line of play in
> line with the requirements of this convention.
> Please note that this in fact amounts to “retroanalysis under pressure”
> versus “pure retroanalysis.”
> Yours,
> Andrey
> 18.06.2014, 00:37, "Joost de Heer" <joost at sanguis.xs4all.nl>:
> On 06/17/2014 10:28 PM, Kevin Begley wrote:
>  Whether or not you agree with GM Short's solution, is of no consolation,
>  here.
>  The point is:  FIDE (a game federation) owns the FIDE rule book, and
>  they may do what they like with it, for the purposes of serving their
>  own unique charter.
>  They have no cause to be concerned how it affects a chess problem
>  community.
>  Chess problems predate their game, and should never have been impacted
>  by it.
> Indeed. I keep finding it bizarre that several fairy retractors use the
> game rule '3 fold repetition' for a genre that has absolutely nothing to
> do with game play.
> Joost
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