[Retros] rights & ocassions /answering Andrew

Kevin Begley kevinjbegley at gmail.com
Fri May 16 14:56:56 EDT 2014

Hi Guus,

I appreciate your very thoughtful reply, even though, in places, I found it
rather vague, and difficult to follow -- at least that's my first read; I
plan to reread this a few times, to fully appreciate your meaning (I may
need to reply again, at some later point).

I had the same feeling when I first read Kmoch's "Pawn Power in Chess."
I could sense it was imparting something significant, and could find no
specific fault with the presentation; yet, it was a struggle to fully
digest the implications.

For example, I don't yet appreciate the motivation for (nor the value
contained behind) your defined term, "license to castle."
I remember having the same reaction to Kmoch's many terms (e.g.,
dispersion, distortion, interspan, ... etc etc etc).

At least I did learn that I would very much like to read more from you, on
these matters.
And, I'd like to learn more.


On Fri, May 16, 2014 at 3:21 AM, Guus Rol <grol33 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Kevin,
> You may have norticed my posts are not very short, even when attempting to
> address a single issue. I'm afraid I cannot answer all the points related
> to your message in a single post of decent length. I will therefore
> restrict myself to one paragraph from of my own retro-theory and paradigm.
> There are no isolated retro-issues, everything should in the end, be
> coherent, unambiguous and programmable into one computeralgorithm.
> The "right to castle" in the conventions is not the same as the "castling
> right" in the laws. Some years ago I introduced the designation "castling
> license" (or permit) to replace the "right to castle" in the conventions. A
> castling license is uncertain and its fate depends on the retro-logic
> involved and the line of play. It is fair to state that all
> retro-conventions are a service required to connect the chess laws to the
> retro-logics. Retro-conventions should be limited to treating single
> retro-active properties and counters. Plus the properties that are placed
> in a dependency relationship by the laws such as "repetition and castling
> right". In contrast, the retro logics treat all interference between
> different instances of retro-active properties. Thus, the primary
> components of every retro-active chess problem (orthodox or fairy) are: the
> diagram, the FIDE laws, the applicable retro-convention, the chosen retro
> logic and the stipulation.
> An example on how this relates to the "positonal properties" in your post:
> Let's say "consequent retro variants" - in line with an article by
> Alexander George - constitutes the requirement that a problem solution
> branch must be presented for every possible game history. This is a retro
> logic and it is easy to see that with it, not a single retro-convention is
> required. The logic itself is "big enough" to handle every chess
> diagram.as is. In softer forms such as prA (partial retro analysis) you
> need not deal with uncertainties either since every branch comes with
> preset conditions, e.g. B1 short white castling right, not long, B2 long
> white castling right, not short. These are not licenses but actual
> conditions within their branch. You do need the conventions though to
> establish which branches must be included in the solution. Those are the
> ones with the "maximized combinations of preferred retro-active
> attributes". Things get (seemingly) messy when you start using
> retro-strategy or a posterior logics. A considerable part of the complexity
> in the examples discussed in this thread comes from the mix of
> "conventions" with "retro-strategy". Retro-strategy becomes more digestable
> once you understand its premises and "justification scenario".
>  The "counters" are relatively easy to handle within retro-strategy logic
> but can raise considerable issues in all the retro-variant types such as
> prA. To ignore them violates the basic premise and justification that
> "relevant retro-active conditions are known inside every branch" but
> including them may spawn a number of unrewarding variations. Usually a
> different solution is expected for every prA branch. This, plus the
> additional complications coming from fairy types, is the reason that I
> consider "retro-strategy" (as in post factum) the most appropriate default
> logic for all retro-problems. The current conventions have attempted to
> draw the logics inside the conventional space but this can never work. In
> the long run the retro-logics will be reinstated as an independent
> component and dimension in the retro object space.
> Not nearly an answer to all issues as I said, but a start.
> Guus Rol.
> On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 7:58 PM, Kevin Begley <kevinjbegley at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Hi Guus,
>> Thank you for the clarification.
>> I fully agree that all assumptions should be explicitly stated, somewhere
>> in the Codex.
>> However, there seems to be some confusion concerning the state of a
>> position.
>> An orthodox chess position may be reduced to the following description:
>> 1) the diagram (board orientation, and placement of all pieces upon it),
>> 2) the set of all castling rights,
>> 3) the set of en passant rights, and (the one everybody forgets),
>> 4) the dead-reckoning consideration (if no help-win exists, however you
>> define win, the game is over).
>> The above information is both necessary and sufficient to determine the
>> set of all legal moves, in any position; therefore, the above information
>> forms a basis for the position.
>> Beyond this basis (the state of a position), there also exists some
>> attributes of a position...
>> For example, the counters (50-move counter, and 3-move repetition
>> counter) constitute an attribute of the position.
>> Alteration of these counters does not impact the the basis (or state) of
>> the position -- the attributes have no impact upon the set of legal move
>> possibilities in said position; they only have an impact upon the resulting
>> game outcome.
>> It is important to separate the aims and goals of a given chess game (or
>> problem), from the rules of legal movement, for said game.
>> And, the people who write the rules/Codex should know how to express
>> these rules from a fairy chess perspective (accounting for varying
>> stipulations, aims, goals, etc)...
>> With regard to the second point (castling rights), just consider how
>> orthodox chess skews the proper understanding:  in orthodox chess, castling
>> rights are reduced to a set of four information bits:
>> 1) white has K-side castling rights?
>> 2) white has Q-side castling rights?
>> 3) black has K-side castling rights?
>> 4) black has Q-side castling rights?
>> (each question can be answered by YES/NO, with the default being YES,
>> unless spoiled by retro-analysis).
>> But, the people who write the Orthodox Codex mistakenly believe that this
>> information is fundamental to a position, when it absolutely is not!
>> The programmers who develop a more encompassing representation (e.g.,
>> including Circe/Anticirce forms, wherein castling rights may be renewed
>> when units are reborn onto their game-array squares) must all appreciate
>> that the above 4-bits are a fiction; actually, 6-bits of information are
>> necessary to completely characterize castling rights in a position:
>> 1) white King has castling rights?
>> 2) white K-side Rook has castling rights?
>> 3) white Q-side Rook has castling rights?
>>  4) black King has castling rights?
>> 5) black K-side Rook has castling rights?
>> 6) black Q-side Rook has castling rights?
>>  This example is just one reason (of many) that I've had to constantly
>> remind the orthocentric composers to return to the fundamental truths (and
>> establish sound definitions).
>> It is why I have advocated for a Fairy Codex, for years -- not only
>> improve the prospects for fairy chess, but also to clarify orthodox.
>> You really don't understand the rules of a language, until you encounter
>> the rules of other languages -- so it is with the rules of chess.
>> On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 3:23 AM, Guus Rol <grol33 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hi Kevin,
>>> The concept I am referring to is that repetitions in chess games which
>>> do not genearate positions with the same options for the players (as in the
>>> example given) can still be considered "the same" by the FIDE laws. In our
>>> retro-conventions we are thereby justified doing the same thing. We may
>>> e.g. consider there is still a future possibility to castle - in judging
>>> the sameness of a position - even when we can't actually get there because
>>> of some automatic drawing convention interfering on the way. No two things
>>> in the universe are ever really the same and so it depends on the
>>> properties you wish to include in the comparison.
>>> On a more generalized level I think it is wise to postulate that
>>> no administrative condition (50M and repetitions, automatic and claimed)
>>> can be interpreted against another administrative rule - or a different
>>> instance of the same rule. They are "transparent" to one another. Example:
>>> you can't say that a position is not the same because we are now 47 moves
>>> away from the 50M mark instead of 49 moves. And you can't say a position is
>>> different because one move gives an automatic draw on the second instance
>>> and didn't on the first. Just to show that this issue is not limited to the
>>> subject of "future castling rights". The latter is merely a complex case.
>>> You make a good point about the "implicit" assumption that a diagram
>>> position occurs for the first time. IMHO this is an assumption which
>>> requires an explicit retro-convention. The reason is that the assumption
>>> can interfere with other conventional assumptions such as "castling right"
>>> and requires resolution by a retro-logic. This has been overlooked because
>>> the assumption was just a little bit too implicit. See my second post
>>> yesterday which is also on that subject.
>>> Guus Rol..
>>>  On Wed, May 14, 2014 at 10:30 PM, Kevin Begley <kevinjbegley at gmail.com>wrote:
>>>> ps: perhaps we should encourage a retro competition (especially
>>>> including fairies), wherein the stipulation asks for 3-fold-repetition in
>>>> n-moves (for n < 3, which would obviously imply retro-content)
>>>> On Wed, May 14, 2014 at 1:26 PM, Kevin Begley <kevinjbegley at gmail.com>wrote:
>>>>> Guus,
>>>>> > "...we are left with the question on how to harmonize the
>>>>> original FIDE concept with the addition of automatic draws in the world of
>>>>> composition - still not considering castlings at all. I would suggest that
>>>>> to "continue to ignore possible terminations" is most in line with the FIDE
>>>>> concept. Yes, some repetitions do  change options for the players but so
>>>>> does the original FIDE law in real chess games..."
>>>>> This issue has already been harmonized, by the implicit presumption
>>>>> that such repetition is not inherent in the diagram, unless it can be
>>>>> proved by retrograde analysis.
>>>>> Several retro composers have even attempted to make good use of this
>>>>> presumption (most notably in studies wherein the solver must make use of
>>>>> this to either draw, or avoid draw); unfortunately, I can provide no good
>>>>> example (the concept is obviously very difficult to achieve, which might
>>>>> explain my having no recollection of an entirely successful rendition).
>>>>> Perhaps I am misunderstanding you, because I would have expected that
>>>>> this presumption was inherently obvious (otherwise, it would cast suspicion
>>>>> upon almost every #2 composition).
>>>>> Kevin.
>>>>> On Wed, May 14, 2014 at 12:30 PM, Guus Rol <grol33 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> Starting with a puzzle followed by an introduction, the solution and
>>>>>> an explanation.
>>>>>> Make the followiing changes from PAS (initial game array): Remove
>>>>>> Nb8, move Pe2 to e4, move Bf1 to h5 and  Ng8 to f6. This is an SPG in 4.0
>>>>>> moves but it is not unique. How many legal  forward moves do you need to
>>>>>> play forward at least to make sure that the first 4 moves in the game are
>>>>>> unique (then)?
>>>>>> This puzzle shows many different aspects of the issues discussed. It
>>>>>> also adds a new one: retro-logics. Whenever you do anything in
>>>>>> retro-solving which moves both froward and backward in time, you need a
>>>>>> supporting retro-logic, either implicitly or explicitly. The interaction
>>>>>> between the FIDE laws and the retro-logics is more complex than between the
>>>>>> Laws and the basic retro-conventions. Naturally,since the conventions are
>>>>>> required input for the logics to function besides other concepts.
>>>>>> Note: I hope to discuss some other day why I think that retro-logics
>>>>>> and conventions should be separated. It doesn't matter for the current
>>>>>> story that you subscribe to that view or not.
>>>>>> One of the things the solution shows are the two different
>>>>>> relationships between repetition and castling:
>>>>>> 1. The dependency relationship dictated by the laws and conventions.
>>>>>> Repetition may be dependent on castling right but not in reverse.
>>>>>> 2. The (retro-)logical relationship between repetition and castling
>>>>>> right. Here the choice of forward moves may decide on either a past with
>>>>>> (loss of) castling rights or a drawing repetition. The context is usually
>>>>>> one of retro-strategic logic.
>>>>>> You can imagine that combining a retro-logic for trying to decide
>>>>>> missing information from the past with a dynamic chess Law trying to look
>>>>>> into an uncertain future from that past, at times produces quirky results.
>>>>>> And so, besides solving the puzzle, I wil make a detour into Jumanji with
>>>>>> the idea of "dynamic castling rights".
>>>>>> Solution to the puzzle:
>>>>>> Play forward: 5. Be2 Ng8 6. Bh5 Nf6 7. Be2 Ng8 The next white moves
>>>>>> are not unique, the blacks are e.g. 8.Nc3 Rb8 9.Nb1 Ra8.
>>>>>> By convention, the new position is not a draw unless a repetition
>>>>>> draw can be proved. Such is not the case and we therefore have no draw
>>>>>> here. From that information you can derive only 1 proof game without
>>>>>> drawing repetitions: 1. Pe4 Na6 2. Bxa6 Nf6 3. Be2 Rg8 4. Bh5 Rh8. You can
>>>>>> see that the eighth and ninth black move Rb8 and Ra8 demonstrate the type-1
>>>>>> relationship (castling rights must have been lost there) and 7...Ng8 shows
>>>>>> the type-2 relationship. Before that move, black could have had both
>>>>>> castling rights, after it, one was lost. This shows the common paradoxical
>>>>>> scene of losing castling right without ever moving King or Rook. Well, what
>>>>>> you really lost, was just a "past". Happens all the time in retro-chess!
>>>>>> Now to Jumanji. Suppose move 8 and 9 were not played in that game.
>>>>>> Notice that before 7...Ng8 black had both future castling rights and after
>>>>>> it he lost 1 - not to say which but that doesn't matter. Lets now play 8.
>>>>>> Bh5 Nf6 again reaching the same position for the 3rd time. According to the
>>>>>> "future castling law", the position is not the same as the previous times
>>>>>> when there were still both future castling rights/occasions. In reality, by
>>>>>> standard proof game assessment, the position is an unnegotiable draw at
>>>>>> this point. Welcome to the Zoo!
>>>>>> Explanation. The confusion comes from mixing retro-strategy and
>>>>>> retro-analysis. Whenever the term "future" is used one reaches - almost
>>>>>> unconciously - for what seems the appropriate retro-logic. Since there is
>>>>>> no framework for handling repetitions in prA or retro-variants one resorts
>>>>>> to the natural choice that is always available - retro strategy. But
>>>>>> retro-strategy can eliminate roads into the past and thereby narrow down
>>>>>> your (retro) options. Static definitions only refer to past proof games and
>>>>>> need not take data from an ambiguous future. In this case, the proper
>>>>>> retro-analyst arrives at the same conclusion Valery did in his example: a
>>>>>> castling right was already lost by move 4 in all remaining proof games - as
>>>>>> seen in retrospect after move 9.
>>>>>> Well, I never said it is impossible to operate on dynamic rights,
>>>>>> only that it requires an I.Q. of 280 plus a winning lottery ticket. Proves
>>>>>> that you can manage the future.
>>>>>> Guus Rol..
>>>>>> On Wed, May 14, 2014 at 6:47 PM, Guus Rol <grol33 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>> Hi Joost and Valery,
>>>>>>> The way I see it there is a pre-issue to the discussion. The
>>>>>>> FIDE-laws do not know of any automatic draws. Even in the simple case
>>>>>>> without past or future "castling rights", FIDE must have considered that
>>>>>>> "possible moves" would not change across 50M boundaries or repetitions
>>>>>>> within repetition cycles. None of those enforce draws or close gateways
>>>>>>> even when the options for the players do change - i.e. the right to claim.
>>>>>>> Chess players though, are keenly aware of the risks in repeating
>>>>>>> positions. You might say that when the board looks the same for the FIDE
>>>>>>> laws, it looks quite different for the players. Example: Ke4-e5-e6-e5-e4
>>>>>>> (mimicked by the opponent) not only switches back but also spoils the game
>>>>>>> if Ke5 is now the only move to win it!
>>>>>>> Which means that we are left with the question on how to harmonize
>>>>>>> the original FIDE concept with the addition of automatic draws in the world
>>>>>>> of composition - still not considering castlings at all. I would suggest
>>>>>>> that to "continue to ignore possible terminations" is most in line with the
>>>>>>> FIDE concept. Yes, some repetitions do  change options for the players but
>>>>>>> so does the original FIDE law in real chess games - see example above. In
>>>>>>> fact, by down-playing the relevance of future developments in the
>>>>>>> conversion from play to composition, we also take the first step towards a
>>>>>>> static view on repetitions altogether. Do we need more then to justify the
>>>>>>> application of static castling rights in repetitions as well?
>>>>>>> Guus Rol
>>>>>>> On Wed, May 14, 2014 at 4:59 PM, Retros Probleemblad <
>>>>>>> retro at probleemblad.nl> wrote:
>>>>>>>> On 05/14/2014 03:50 PM, Valery Liskovets wrote:
>>>>>>>>> Joost,
>>>>>>>>> In my example, looking in the past, we have enough time for 4
>>>>>>>>> repetitions.
>>>>>>>>> But are they (more exactly, should the Rules be such that they
>>>>>>>>> are) all
>>>>>>>>> identical in both twins? I see no way to pose this question via a
>>>>>>>>> problem
>>>>>>>>> with an ordinary stipulation (unless I overlook anything). As far
>>>>>>>>> as I know
>>>>>>>>> Nikita Plaksin has never discussed this (modern, future-depending)
>>>>>>>>> collision:
>>>>>>>>> is castling _practically_ executable or not? And his corresponding
>>>>>>>>> problems
>>>>>>>>> didn't depend on such nuances of the 3-rep. rule. But maybe any of
>>>>>>>>> them
>>>>>>>>> can be reinterpreted in such framework?
>>>>>>>> Valeri,
>>>>>>>> Although the question is different, the underlying theme is the
>>>>>>>> same: Is castling allowed if it can be proven that, by castling (or in your
>>>>>>>> case: by making it possible to castle), more than 100 single moves without
>>>>>>>> capture, pawn move or castling have occurred?
>>>>>>>> Your example could be changed to something even more extreme by the
>>>>>>>> way:
>>>>>>>> Ke1 Rh1 Sa1 // Ke8 Ph2
>>>>>>>> No captures/pawn moves for 46 full moves. How many times can the
>>>>>>>> sequence Sb3 Ke7 Sa1 Ke8 be repeated until there is a correct claim for
>>>>>>>> 3-fold repetition.
>>>>>>>> Can white really lose his castling rights by moving a piece besides
>>>>>>>> the rook and king?
>>>>>>>> Joost
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