[Retros] Ch5: Place of the Retro Logics

Kevin Begley kevinjbegley at gmail.com
Sun Jun 22 11:51:51 EDT 2014

Correction:  I meant to say...

Either WFCC is a problem federation (such that all rules governing a
problem is considered equally "real"), or it is merely a sub-Federation of
one game federation, with members who happen to enjoy problems (such that
rules constitute an artificial bias, in accord with the parent's realness
If the *latter* is true, then it would inherently constitute grounds for
every fairy enthusiast to seek a "real" problem federation, and leave WFCC
to play the bouncing bishop to FIDE's "REAL" (read: really inconsistent)
base rules.

On Sun, Jun 22, 2014 at 8:39 AM, Kevin Begley <kevinjbegley at gmail.com>

> >"Maybe you’ve got a different concept of “timestamp” in mind from what I
> imagine here. I am thinking of something extremely course-grained: perhaps *one
> tick of the clock every 3-5 years*. "
> Andrew,
> In fact, I understand the concept of your suggestion much better than you
> do, because I posited, many years ago, that this was one of two
> alternatives, which WFCC might consider.
> I wrote that WFCC had two options to define "orthodoxy" (their term,
> which has never been defined):
> 1) Orthodox Chess can either be a single rule book (possibly, but not
> necessarily, one of FIDE's rule books), or
> 2) Orthodox Chess can represent the set of ALL FIDE rule books (past,
> present, and future), specified either according to publication date, or a
> conditional specification of some prior rule book, among the orthodox set.
> So, get this straight:  you certainly were not the first to make such a
> suggestion (in fact, it is very likely that this idea precedes my first
> comments, by several decades).
> And, long before you ever came to this realization, that WFCC might apply
> the latter option, I already understood what you are still struggling to
> understand:  all the reasons why the second option would constitute a
> failure!
> Respectfully, I see no reason to believe that you even comprehend the
> meaning of "course-grained" -- you are certainly not using it correctly.
> For your reference:
> *Granularity* is the extent to which a system
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System> is broken down into small parts... For
> example, a yard [can be] broken into inches, [which] has finer granularity
> than a yard broken into feet.
> *Coarse-grained* systems consist of fewer, larger components than
> *fine-grained* systems; a *coarse-grained* description of a system
> regards large subcomponents while a *fine-grained* description regards
> smaller components of which the larger ones are composed.
> Source: Wiki.
>  *There is nothing "course-grained" about your "timestamp" suggestion (or
> whatever you want to name it, now) -- in fact, it is FIDE, not you, not
> WFCC, which will completely control the granularity. Therefore, you are
> only suggesting that WFCC continue to bow to FIDE. *
> >"Surely even our limited resources could support that kind of geological
> evolution? "
> You are still missing the boat, completely, Andrew.
> There is absolutely no need for us to burden ourselves (and our resources)
> with the maintenance of the false orthodoxy you have belatedly suggested
> -- we gain absolutely nothing from this, except to allow the orthocentric
> composers to preserve the fantasy of "realness" (which, in fact,
> constitutes a gain of less than nothing, for a problem society).
> FIDE Rules (USCF Rules are no better) are inherently incompatible with WFCC
> Orthodoxy.
> These two objects serve two inherently unique, and independent charters --
> the former must benefit a game federation, while the other serves as the
> "base rules" for problem chess.
> I'll make this easy for you -- let's put this in terms I know you will
> understand...
> In problem chess, WFCC is supposed to be a democratic federation
> (presumably of, for, and by the problemists), which has reserved (and
> chartered) authority (and responsibility!) to oversee (and maintain) the
> base rules for problem chess.
> In MtG, there is no democracy -- the base rules are the Intellectual
> Property (IP) of some corporation (which generally operates based upon
> financial incentives -- e.g., to maximize financial profits, over a desired
> period).
> Orthodoxy, in problem chess, is nothing more than a reference to the set
> of "base rules."
> Now, consider how this analogy applies to new cards / new fairy elements
> (read: NEW RULES, which deviate from Orthodoxy)...
> MtG has third-party card manufacturers, which make agreements with the IP
> owners of MtG, in order to license the rights to publish new cards.
> These "owners" license these cards for a set period, for two reasons:
> 1) they realize what you (and WFCC) do not -- they can never permit a
> third party to gain permanent control of their base rules (their
> orthodoxy), and
> 2) they want cards to expire, in order to increase new card purchases.
> What you have proposed is that WFCC treat FIDE as the holders of
> Intellectual Property -- you would have problemists license FIDE's base
> rules, in 3-5 year increments.
> You can talk endlessly about the granularity of this deal, but you can not
> disguise the fact that this is a bad deal.
> I hate to be the first to tell you this, but FIDE has zero intellectual
> property rights for Chess -- Chess is public domain (it precedes FIDE by
> many centuries)!  The same goes for USCF.
> WFCC has an independent charter, and it (not FIDE) is responsible to act
> as the sanctioning authority for Chess Problems.
> Who are the third-party vendors in this analogy?  Simple -- the inventors
> of new fairy elements, that's who!
> And, whereas WFCC has no legal authority (based upon intellectual property
> rights) to prevent new inventions, they certainly do have sanctioning
> authority.
> Not only authority -- WFCC has a chartered obligation to maintain a
> stable, and logically consistent orthodoxy, and to prevent third-party
> inventors from causing damage to its base rules (whether permanent damage,
> or in the constantly temporary form you suggest).
> >" I like looking at real sets of rules. That basically means rules based
> in FIDE or USCF, Any set of WFCC rules (as opposed to conventions) is not
> real."
> *That is a disgracefully ignorant statement, and its implication is
> profoundly sickening.  *
> From the problem perspective, FIDE rules (and USCF rules) are no more real
> than chess960... or even Circe, and Isardam, on a Mobius board.
> The point is this:  orthodoxy means nothing more than a set of base rules
> -- think of it as a springboard... in fact, as a virtual springboard (since
> the base rules do not even require that a single problem be drafted under
> them).
> From this base set of rules (WFCC orthodoxy), you can realize ANY (and
> EVERY) set of rules -- regardless whether you chose to pretend that the
> realization constitutes "realness" (in some game sense), or a fabricated
> construct, which serves only the interest of problem chess.
> From my perspective -- the problemist perspective -- there is no such
> thing as a game;  only the problem is real.
> There are only rules which define the problem (constrain it, bound it, in
> order that a solution may be logically determinant); no set of rules are
> less real than another.
> There are only two reasons for having orthodox rules in problem chess:
> 1) because every single set of rules can be better defined by referencing
> a single base set of rules (a problem orthodoxy), and
> 2) because we may want to establish an economical context (in measuring
> divergence from the simplest rules).
> The other reason for orthodoxy (to keep the illusion that chess problems
> are anchored to FIDE Chess, generally for the purpose of maintaining the
> illusion of a false equivalence with FIDE Chess titles (e.g., FIDE GM), is
> completely invalid, and should be rejected by everyone associated with
> either form.
> In your terms: the FIDE titles are the best analogy, in problem chess, to
> the corrupting influence of money, in MtG.
> It follows that only poor judgement could favor a specific set of rules,
> based upon the pretense that one has significance for a game. To the
> problem artist, the game does not exist, and can not be significant, in the
> slightest.  If you want to make exercises for training players in a
> specific game,  more power to you;  this endeavor, however, can not be
> confused with the art of chess composition.
> Back to timestamps... or time-ticks... or whatever you want to call
> them... over whatever period that FIDE wants to impose upon you (at
> whatever rate they see fit to make changes, in the interest of their
> players)...
> Consider what you are actually advocating:
> 1) The rules which govern a problem will not be declared in the place
> reserved for describing all the rules of any given problem (in a list of
> fairy elements, and a glossary of fairy units).
> Instead, the person attempting to appreciate a problem will necessarily
> need to cross-reference a deliberately obscured set of rules, to translate
> the meaning of your timestamp.
> I could easily stop here, and rest my case -- by definition, this is an
> improper means to stipulate the rules;  moreover, it is clearly a clumsy
> idea.
> But, your suggestion becomes abruptly worse, when you consider how the
> FIDE winds might destructively impact the definitions for every fairy
> condition...
> 2) If you define a fairy element such that it depends upon checkmate and
> stalemate as a stable base class (orthodoxy), and years later, FIDE alters
> the nature of these position states, it may completely disrupt the
> definition of your fairy element.
> Now, consider that your fairy element may be a base class for another
> fairy element  -- for example, think how Madrasi provides a virtual rule
> base (one further level removed from orthodoxy) for Isardam.
> Most definitions for Isardam will depend, logically, upon Madrasi.
> If you knock out the foundation, the damage is not contained -- the
> definitions of fairy elements begin to successively fail, like dominoes!
> And for what?  Where is the tradeoff for perpetrating these failures upon
> the future?
> What is your compensation for advocating to engineer a malicious
> instability?
> Your only answer:  "Umm, yeah, *you sure kept it REAL.*"
> real chess rules -- something you will never successfully define, but you
> want badly enough to believe in it,  that you actually think that you
> perceive and experience "realness" as a physical phenomenon.
> Realness, for you, has become a self-fulfilling fantasy.
> To maintain a CONSISTENTLY TEMPORARY (time-stamped!!) parity between WFCC
> Orthodoxy, and the rules of one player's federation, you would have only
> succeeded in deluding yourself.
> How do you not see that?
> It does not matter whether the player's federation is FIDE, or USCF -- the
> point you keep missing is: ANY player's federation will necessarily have an
> independent charter (they must do what they must do, to serve the best
> interest of their players).
> WFCC has its own unique charter, which establishes its own unique
> authority (and responsibility).
> In order to serve the best interest of PROBLEMISTS, WFCC has a
> responsibility exclusively to problems (not to any one game).
> *It comes down to this... *
> Either WFCC is a problem federation (such that all rules governing a
> problem is considered equally "real"), or it is merely a sub-Federation of
> one game federation, with members who happen to enjoy problems (such that
> rules constitute an artificial bias, in accord with the parent's realness
> fantasy).
> If the former is true, then it would inherently constitute grounds for
> every fairy enthusiast to seek a "real" problem federation, and leave WFCC
> to play the bouncing bishop to FIDE's "REAL" (read: really inconsistent)
> base rules.
> The plain facts are as follows:
> 1) WFCC knows they can not defend their biased position,
> 2) WFCC knows that no definition can support the position that FIDE rules
> are inherently more valid than those governing any fairy element,
> 3) WFCC knows that their sub-Album classifications can never be logically
> defined (same goes for their specific Judge titles, which have no
> foundation).
> 4) WFCC is well aware that the FIDE rules have often altered the nature of
> "Orthodox" problems, yet they have consistently done nothing about it (talk
> all you like about preserving heritage, meanwhile WFCC carelessly watches
> it burn),
> 5) Nevertheless, WFCC prefers to straddle the fence, likely to maintain
> artificial support, and
> 6) *WFCC deliberately refuses to define itself. *
> Don't believe me?  Visit their website: http://www.wfcc.ch/
> Click the link marked "*What is WFCC?*"
> Note the answer:  "*The World Federation for Chess Composition (WFCC)* is
> the successor of the Permanent Commission for Chess Composition (PCCC)."
> If you noticed that this is not an answer, congratulations -- you either
> have amazing powers of observation, or you simply managed to remember the
> basic question ("Just who does WFCC represent?").
> The same question could be inherently answered, by asking WFCC to provide
> a fundamental definition for the term, "Orthodox Chess"
> Unfortunately, the answer always comes right back with the same shuffling
> of feet -- WFCC simply doesn't have a definition for their term, which
> fundamentally segregates all of the problems.
> I do not mean to cast anyone (individual or organization) in a similar
> light (there is no comparison), but the attitude toward fairy chess
> certainly does remind me of the long, unfortunate period in my own
> country's history, wherein the ignorant masses would justify inhumanity,
> based upon terms they themselves could never define.
> The only reason I dare to mention this, is... I like to think that I
> learned the lessons from that unfortunate history;  one lesson is that we
> must challenge even our friends (perhaps especially our friends) to define
> their terms, before we accept the arbitrariness of their abject favoritism.
> I challenge you -- and WFCC ... indeed, ANYONE -- to justify the attitude
> that FIDE Chess is the only "real" orthodoxy, and that it remains so, with
> each and every alteration (past, present, and future).
> Until you manage this (hint: you will never manage it), I find this
> "realness" attitude entirely revolting.
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