[Retros] Andrew answering

Andrew Buchanan andrew at anselan.com
Tue May 27 11:41:02 EDT 2014

Hi Joost,

I agree with you, but what others are saying is that under the current
conventions, you can't ignore 3-fold repetition at all.

But in fact even with the current convention, the problem is still sound.
There is a crucial principle (unwritten, like most of the important stuff
apparently) which says that you should apply all the rules (including all
reasoning) exhaustively, and *then* use conventions as a last step to
resolve any residual uncertainty. So we should apply A1.3, which says yes,
this game is alive, indeed the last move prior to the diagram is the key
move in a direct #3. And then we look at how conventions apply. So I never
had any doubt this problem is sound.

If my impatience with the conventions seems strange, it's because I know
that our stupid situation is unavoidable. We are living in something like
the dark days of Magic the Gathering *before* they properly sorted the rules
out (around 1998, with the release of 6th edition rules). It was horrible.
And since Wizards of the Coast invented the stack, layering system,
templates, and all the other beautiful rules concepts which underlie modern
Magic, they've been going from strength to strength. Magic is *far* more
complicated than chess rules+conventions, but the rules are so solid they
don't even need judges for online matches. Check out
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/TCG/Article.aspx?x=magic/rules: both the Basic
Rulebook and the Comprehensive Rules.

What MtG has is a *corporation*, who can just define the rules and say
"that's that". We just have, bless us, a bunch of meandering nice people.
The only way out for us, I think, is if one (1) respected elder statesman
with time on his hands assembles a set of conventions properly founded in
logic. And then the rest of us will moan and complain when he proposes
these, but except for a few edits, what he will say will be accepted,
because it will be such a big step forward in common sense. That's the only
way we can grow our little hobby.

Magic has millions of players today - bigger even than when it started as a
fad in 1993. Why shouldn't retrograde chess problems have a few more
thousand serious enthusiasts than it does today, if we take away the biggest
barrier to entry & retention?

"Vote for Guus!" say I. :)

All the best,

-----Original Message-----
From: Retros [mailto:retros-bounces at janko.at] On Behalf Of Retros
Sent: 27 May 2014 22:52
To: The Retrograde Analysis Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Retros] rights & ocassions / not answering Andrew anymore

On 05/27/2014 11:57 AM, Guus Rol wrote:
> Hi Olli,
> Yes, you got the idea! I am not sure about the precise position and 
> timing but basically DR cooks it if you aim for the position after Bf8.

I don't think so. DR uses article 5.1b ("The game is drawn when a position
has arisen in which neither player can checkmate the opponent's king with
any series of legal moves."). Since ignoring the 3-fold repetition is legal,
there's a legal continuation in which any colour can checkmate.

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