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MatPlus.Net Forum General Meeting discussion
 
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(1) Posted by Per Olin [Thursday, Aug 8, 2019 18:47]

Meeting discussion


First Annual Meeting of Proof Game Composers Association (PGCA).

Discussion recorded by ZmartRec at the first annual meeting of Proof Game Composers Association and written by ZmartWrite. The meeting was held in Orthodox on 8th of August 2019 and present were P (Proof Game Composer), C (Chess960 Proof Game Composer) and A (A-to-B Composer).

P: Welcome to this meeting!

C: Thank you for the invitation!

A: I feel honored to be in such a distinguished company! In my humble opinion, I think we should elect a chairman.

C.: Agree and propose P, who has organized this meeting, as chairman.

P: Well, A, you are surprisingly formal taking into account your informal way a composing. I give my consent to chairmanship, do we need to vote about this?

C: There are no other candidates, no voting needed.

A: About voting, if this meeting goes well, I propose to tell a joke at the end of the meeting.

P: A, you are incredibly formal, from where I come we don't propose to tell a joke later, we just tell it.

A: I am happy for you.

P: OK, let's start. In the call for the meeting the agenda says 'Matters of outmost importance and none whatsoever urgency'.

C: Yes, this has made at least me curious. What is important?

P: Nothing is important, it was just my way of getting your attention. But what I want to discuss is how you see the future of your composing area. How do things look like? Let's recall the glorious four decades of proof game composing, do you see such a development in your own area?

C: Well, for Chess960 proof games the future looks good. I think it is gradually understood that Chess960 offers more possibilities as the composer is not tied to one initial position. And look what is happening in FIDE, they are now officially recognizing the World Championship. We will soon have an official World Champion in the game of Chess960. It is organized by the Norwegians, all top players will participate. As Chess960 is gaining terrain, I think it will also become more recognized in problem chess. In these circumstances I always recall the final pages of My Chess Compositions by Dr. Milan R. Vukcevich. The headlines are, if I remember correctly, The Future Form of Chess, Evolve or Disappear and Three Approaches.

P: Sounds like you expect changes, could Chess960 proof games become as popular as normal proof games?

C: Once I was thinking about a motto for Chess960 proof games and the best I could find was a question: Why give the starting position of a proof game, if it can be left for the solver to find out? On the other hand, the starting position of a Chess960 proof game does not need to be unknown, it can be given just as is done every time a normal proof game is published. It can be any of the 960 positions. As a mathematician I have mentally made the following prediction: In some centuries from now the history of proof games will be written. When the best ones are admired, the ones starting from the normal initial game array will amount to less than one percent. With this, my answer to the question about popularity is 'probably yes'. To sum up: Chess960 is coming into the chess world and it is also coming into the problem chess world. Proof games is the only problem form that has anything to benefit from Chess960.

P: Interesting. Easy to make predictions that nobody will live to see if they come true. And A, how do you see the future?

A: Frankly speaking, I am not sure should A-to-B-problems be called proof games. They are more a sort of help play from position A to B. If we think about a helpmate we see the starting position, the end position is unknown, we only know that it is mate. The Chess960 problem is a bit vice versa; we have the end position, but concerning the starting position we only know that it is one out of 960. In A-to-B we know both positions, just as in a normal proof game. I think this means that we must get more content into these problems as so much is revealed by the two positions. Generally speaking, the status of A-to-B is a bit undefined, but I will be happy to be an associated member of this group.

P: And the future?

A: In a recent award the judge mentioned the A-to-B-form to be 'fantastically usable'. Indeed, one is not restricted to a single starting position, not even to any of the 960 possible initial positions, one can totally decide for oneself the starting point of the problem. This I would call artistic freedom. And one fundamental point is economy. Economy is one of the cornerstones of problem chess, not to use more material, or time, than what is necessary. Proof games normally use excess material; this is, of course, due to the definition of proving that the diagram position can be reached from the initial position. I think that the artistic freedom mostly, and economical considerations only marginally, will contribute to, dare I say using the same word as Mr. Chairman earlier, a glorious future. If I am wrong I will not be disappointed, the fewer A-to-B-composers there are, the more space I have myself.

P: Interesting. Should we wrap up by saying that whatever we do the future is bright?

C: Stop, stop! Mr. Chairman, you have not told how you see your own future.

P: Many decades ago it was predicted that the area of direct twomovers will be exhausted, will fade away, everything has been composed. This has not taken place. I see the same for normal proof games, no end in sight, only more fantastic and admirable problems to come. I repeat my question: can we say that future looks bright?

C: Yes.

A: Yes!

P: I declare the meeting ended. A, has this been a good meeting?

A: What do you mean?

P: You promised to tell a joke if the meeting was good.

A: Ah, yes. But I don't know, it is political and might offend.

P: Come on, the intention of a political joke is to offend.

A: Well OK. In a western country the communist party was very split and quarrelsome. Once the chairman got sick, was taken to a hospital, got treatment and gradually recovered. He got delegations visiting him, received flowers, telegrams etc. In one telegram read: 'The Central Committee of the Party wishes quick recovery with votes six against three.'

P: Hahaha, a good one, hahaha! Let's go for a beer! Do we have to vote on this?

C: Let's go!

A: No, we don't have to vote, but to be on the safe side I will ask my wife.

C: Talking about wives, I need to mention a personal matter. Last year when I attended the WFCC meeting my wife left me.

P: How sad, then a beer is a must.

C: Well, the really sad thing is that she left me for a fairy proof game composer.

A: Extremely sad. Can things get worse?

C: Yes. She might come back.

P: Oh, the recorder is still on, I'll turn it off…
 
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(2) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Friday, Aug 9, 2019 22:27]

Why the Fairy proof game composer not invited to the meeting?
 
 
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(3) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Saturday, Aug 10, 2019 03:28]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [19-08-10]

He was invited, but was too busy with the ex-wife of the Chess960 composer.
 
   
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(4) Posted by Rewan Demontay (Real Name: J. Malcom) [Saturday, Aug 10, 2019 04:14]; edited by Rewan Demontay (Real Name: J. Malcom) [19-08-10]

I think that Giuseppe Ponzetto would have liked the Fairy Chess guy to go!
 
   
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(5) Posted by Thomas Brand [Saturday, Aug 10, 2019 08:51]

Very fine meeting minutes -- of course to be continued!

And there are, I think, some topics worth to be discussed in the next meetings (or here...) in more detail:

C: "Why give the starting position of a proof game, if it can be left for the solver to find out?" Indeed: Why?

C: "Proof games is the only problem form that has anything to benefit from Chess960." Here I'm a little bit more optimistic that Chess960 can be valuable for other forms, too.

P: "Many decades ago it was predicted that the area of direct twomovers will be exhausted, will fade away, everything has been composed. This has not taken place. I see the same for normal proof games, no end in sight, only more fantastic and admirable problems to come. I repeat my question: can we say that future looks bright?" Here also I'm quite optimistic.
 
   
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(6) Posted by Per Olin [Saturday, Aug 10, 2019 10:07]

Siegfried probably hit the nail in post 3. According to P, who organized the meeting, the fairy proof game composer was invited, but declined 'due to marital issues'. P further informs that next meeting will be held in Fairyland and he welcomes discussion, opinions and guidelines that can help build the agenda for the meeting.
 
 
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(7) Posted by Rosie Fay [Thursday, Aug 15, 2019 11:27]

Nice story, Per. Thanks!

Thomas Brand: C: "Proof games is the only problem form that has anything to benefit from Chess960." Here I'm a little bit more optimistic that Chess960 can be valuable for other forms, too.

I agree, Thomas. For example:
1. Greater scope for castling.

2. Greater scope for proving that castling is illegal. For example wPb2 so wBa1 is on its home square, so bRa8 has moved and therefore can't castle.

3. Greater scope for mutually-exclusive castlings. For example the kings are on their back ranks but on different files, so at least one of them has moved. The players race to castle, because whoever castles first proves their king was at home so the other king has moved and therefore can't castle.

4. A problem's diagram position has an obtrusive bishop, so that is seen as a blemish. In Chess960 that bishop started on another square, so it isn't obtrusive, and it isn't a blemish.
 
 
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MatPlus.Net Forum General Meeting discussion