[Retros] rights & ocassions / Tom, are you there?

Andrew Buchanan andrew at anselan.com
Mon May 5 09:04:48 EDT 2014

Hi Roberto,

I hope you find the MatPlus discussion useful. To my mind, it was
conclusive, and filled the key hole in the following strategy.

There may be always fun ways to interpret wordings of rules. But there is
surely a vanilla set of rules which is how they are intended to be. This
intention is not so difficult to discern, because the rules of chess are so
simple. For example the chess programming community have converged on a
standard set of rules to judge any engine, and this community agrees with
the arbiters as to how to work castling and en passant in the context of 50M
& 3Rep. I agree with this general interpretation. This allows us to play
chess unambiguously. This programming interpretation incidentally bounds the
scope of chess: it excludes touch move, the clock, responses to errors etc.
Basic robust vanilla chess.

Now, and only now, do problemists come into the discussion. There is a
minimal set of conventions which is then needed to make the transfer from
vanilla game to problem. These fall into two areas:
(1) history. Just looking at a diagram is not sufficient to see what moves
may be legal, due to who's move, castling, ep, number of times position has
repeated, number of moves since last . We have now reasonably comprehensive
understanding of how conventions will work in this area.
(2) decision-making. what can players do? stipulation type (#, h#, s#...)
gives a lot of information, but also decisions about whether draws of
various kinds would be proposed or rejected.
There is a Golden Principle in this, that conventions *only* come in to
remove areas of ambiguity where we cannot deduce using information in the
stipulation and logic what must have happened. Any convention which does not
respect the Golden Principle is worded in too strong a way, and must be
toned down because it's taking us into Fairy Chess.

A few random remarks to finish...
- I remember encountering Sergio Orce in the old days in france-echecs.com.
I hope he is well, wherever he is.
- I think the codex writers had a better lunch, with more wine, than the
laws writers.
- Actually, it's not a problem with the writing, but the subsequent editing.
Nobel Laureate Ernest Hemingway said: "The first draft of anything is s**t."

Thanks & all the best,

-----Original Message-----
From: retros-bounces at janko.at [mailto:retros-bounces at janko.at] On Behalf Of
raosorio at fibertel.com.ar
Sent: 05 May 2014 05:55
To: retros at janko.at
Subject: [Retros] rights & ocassions / Tom, are you there?

Hi friends,

Joost wrote,
To avoid a lot of repetition of arguments pro and con: See also MatPlus:


Thanks Joost for this useful indication.

Many viewpoints can be found there, and this indeed avoid repetitions.
But let's say there is nothing conclusive. Viewpoints.

The challenge here is if we succeed in finding something new, creative or,
at least, interesting.

I'm not in fact interested in the FIDE rules as such. There is an argentine
guy, Sergio Orce, who is a deep thinker, well trained in any type of
systemic set of rules or similar.
An old guy, very well educated in System Analysis from the 60's. He worked
many years for the Organization of American States. He's living in Paris,
and misteriosly / eventually in Buenos Aires from time to time. I never know

We composed from time to time some "monstering" problems based on
provocative borders of the rules. We do like to do this.

He used to say that the guys who wrote the Laws of Chess were a group of
friends that went to a good restaurant, had a beatiful lunch plenty of red
wine and, after that said, "Hey friends!, let's write the Laws of Chess!

Joking about the many unconsistencies and ambiguities included in the laws
(some years ago).
Some of these have been solved, but it is clear that we are imbedded in the
"landscape syntom"':
no matter how much we walk, it is always the same far away.

I am in fact interested in finding the holes, which provide the
opportunities for provocative schemes.

I am convinced that, from the compositional point of view, "the richest the
best" (if something is not clear, use its most interesting interpretation).

Wouldn't this what a lawyer do defending a case?

I remeber a Tom Volet's message, many years ago, stating something similar.

Tom, where are you? you would be very wellcome inserting here some
"anarchist" paragraph.

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