[Retros] Ch5: Place of the Retro Logics

Kevin Begley kevinjbegley at gmail.com
Fri Jun 20 03:01:55 EDT 2014


>"*Once upon a time in the future, you will receive a message from an
authoritive WFCC body announcing a few changes to the problem

By far, your best post on the subject... to date... and some of your early
posts were fantastic reading!

This one reads positively Orwellian (!!) ... with a strong underlying
current of undeniable Truth to be found in your every sarcastic prophesy.
Brilliant!!  You have allowed the audience to experience both the horror
and the ominous certainty of a tragic future.

I absolutely love the way in which you have rolled out the anticipation for
your coming proposals...


On Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 11:42 AM, Guus Rol <grol33 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Retro-friends,
> Once upon a time in the future, you will receive a message from an
> authoritive WFCC body announcing a few changes to the problem
> presentations. It is subdivided into the following items:
> 1. As of today, we will no longer tell the solver what kind of mating
> problem he is solving, direct mate, helpmate, selfmate or reflexmate.
> 2. He is to assume it is a direct mate in most cases
> 3. But he must make an exception if the white units on the board are
> overwhelmingly outnumbered by black units, in which case he should assume
> it is a helpmate.
> 4. If on the other hand the blacks are overwhelmingly outnumbered by the
> whites and direct mate is too easy, you should take it as a selfmate.
> 5. In all other cases the author should provide the correct stipulation
> being "reflex mate" or another form of mate.
> 6. These new conventions have been carefully prepared by former members of
> the Codex committee for "retro conventions".and we welcome them in our
> midst.
> I guess you will not only find this extremely strange but also completely
> unncessary and unfruitful. To save a few cents in printing ink or a few
> bytes in a digital document (stipulations will be shorter), the independent
> status of basic "goal logics" has been compromised by mixing them up in
> positional evaluations. A worse crime to transparency is hard to imagine.
> The direct-, help-, self- and relex-forms are required logics in
> traditional problem solving to complement the primary commands such as
> "mate in 2" or "stalemate in 5".It is of course OK to nominate the
> direct-form (or any other form) as a default but this requires no reference
> to external factors such as board positions. It is unimaginable that the
> problem solving community would accept the potpourri created by the points
> 1 - 6.
> The role of the global retro logics - mainly pRA, RS, AP and RV (as a
> "rest" group) - in relation to retro problems is roughly the same as the
> role of direct- help- self- and reflex- logics in relation to traditional
> chess problems. They all provide "justifications" for accepting proposed
> solutions to problems. Examples: You can present 1 mating variation to
> satisfy a helpmate problem but the same variation will never count as a
> full solution to a direct mate. You can present a solution with an unproven
> e.p. capture which is OK in AP-logic but not in the other logics. You can
> present a solution where white castles to prevent black doing the same
> (RS-logic) but this would only be half a solution under pRA.
> The common components of a retro-active problem are: Diagram, playing
> rules, basic retro conventions, retro logics, goal logics, remainder
> stipulation.For some unknown reason the retro logics have been.mixed into
> positional evaluation in the same way the goal logics were mixed up with
> board positions in the points 1 - 6 which started this post. The mixup is
> worse than it seems since (a) it makes people believe you actually should
> resolve certain positions through a certain logic where at best the
> applicable logic should be a default value (b) it totally ignores the
> logical effects created by 3R ad 50M. You may not like these effects but
> they are nevertheless completely real. I again refer to my R309 in PB which
> is a good example for almost everything.(c) The beautiful vague term RV
> with a potential to cover the forgotten and unprivileged states was removed
> from the retro-vocabulary; how would you now sell a reflex-mate problem
> where "castling right" provides one solution and "no castling right"
> another? Oh, and I refuse to mention SPRA (d) it obscures the powerful
> archetypal and independent nature of the retro logics.
> The whole program was delivered under the pretext that it covered most or
> all interesting problems found in the retro field. To my knowledge, the
> purpose of problem rules and conventions is not to cover what is already
> there but to make space for creativity and innovation. The cause of all
> this, I believe, is the "scarcity of retro-active issues in orthodox chess"
> which gives an excuse for treating it on a case by case basis. If such an
> approach were continued for retro-activity in fairy problems, the Codex
> committee would produce tons of digital paper for all its different cases!
> The meta-concept at stake here is the "Power of Orthogonality".When
> breaking a subject into individual components one would like to assure
> maximum combinatorial capability as this delivers maximum freedom of
> action. E..g. you wouldn't have an arithmetic that only adds numbers
> without the digit "3" in them. With the retro components listed a few
> paragraphs ago this means ideally the freedom to combine Any diagram with
> Any playing rules (plus connected basic conventions) with Any retro logic
> with Any goal logic and with Any remaining stipulation. I know of quite a
> few reasons why that ideal cannot be attained but straightjacketing the
> retro logics as in the current Codex, is not one of them.
> Best wishes, Guus Rol.
> _______________________________________________
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> Retros at janko.at
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