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MatPlus.Net Forum Helpmates A very nice h#3 by Marjan
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(21) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012 02:54]

No, I had no intention to question the judgment in this thematic tourney! That’s why I strictly asked if the order of these two would be the same if they participated in an informal tourney.
I wanted to use these two examples to discuss some extreme differences between them in fulfilling the general criteria, such as originality, unity, logic, depth, difficulty of the main idea, quality of the moves, harmony, construction, etc. If it turns out that I’m quite alone in my views, it may be useful to explain them here.
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(22) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012 05:01]

No Marjan, I did not mean that YOU question the judgement, I apologize if my words sounded like that. You clearly wrote that you understand the criteria for a thematic tourney. For me, even (or exactly) in that tourney, your 6th Prize shows a very deep, complex and original reasons for the sacrifices, so it is supremely thematic. This was perhaps not fully recognized. The governing motif are the moves of wK, so I don't understand the comment which the judges gave. But the number and variety of 'strong' entries was intimidating and the counting of thematic sacrifices is not the best, but an understandable criterion. In some informal tourney there should not be such arguments. One problem requires a bit of imagination and a bit of technical exercise while the other requires very, very much of everything.
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(23) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012 11:55]

<<Why is it so easy to criticize the later one >>

I am quoting from your post. I think I was the one who made a comment which might have sounded like a criticism. But in fact I was merely pointing out how some so called critics love to make silly comments about even such beautiful problem like this.

This is an outstanding problem on many counts. The reason for the white grimshaws is very deep involving the White king moves and it is a pity that the judges of the tourney failed to notice the siginificance of it. It is really pity that they liked to compare the quantity rather than the quality, but then quantity is also considered in many such theme tourneys , so I wont fault the judge on that.

Would love to hear what you have promised to write.
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(24) Posted by Uri Avner [Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 07:58]; edited by Uri Avner [12-02-12]

Just a little remark about the "impurity" of 1.Re4 (2nd solution): if it were in black's aim to neutralize the bBg6, this could have been achieved simply by sending Bg6 away from its diagonal. This means that only the selfblock on e4 is the true motivation behind 1.Re4, the "impurity" of which may be given now a much lesser weight, if at all (not that I would mind too much in the present case).

Another remark is about the significance of the wK moves which was criticised by the judges. These wK moves actually determine, in a clever, most economical and perhaps the only way, the order of black's moves - a point which totaly escaped the judges, apparently.
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(25) Posted by Kevin Begley [Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 14:14]; edited by Kevin Begley [12-02-12]

I agree with what Nikola said: (paraphrased) a problem's value depends upon what is thematically PRESENT.
But, I also agree with something an old chess book taught me: (paraphrased) chess has a poetry of empty squares -- there is a real value to ABSENCES.
A truly holistic evaluation depends upon both.

This discussion of "thematic purity" takes me back -- yet again! -- to an excellent article by Milan Vukcevich, concerning purity in the motivation of Bristols.
I expect a similar outcome here: inevitably, the preservation of any art form (or genre) must depend upon changing standards.
The only question is time: was yesterday too soon, or will tomorrow be too late?

My guess is that Marjan's beautiful 6th Prize problem might provide an important pivot for this genre.
Carpe Diem!
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(26) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012 04:16]

Let me compare these two problems I sent for the Halkidiki ICT, on a wider scale (out of the frames of the thematic tourney). As I see them, the 3.Pr PromotionCombination (let’s call it the PC) is a substantially lower class then the 6.Pr GrimshawPin (the GP). Since no one supported such an extreme difference in this Forum, it may be interesting to explain the author’s opinion.
The PC is a well-known and mechanical concept, in a do-as-you-wish execution. The tactical effects are simple and unbalanced; the seemingly nice twins are just shortcuts to solve the technical problems.
What about the harmony? It is easy to spot the slightest impurities in the GP solutions, where in fact all 6 half-moves (almost perfectly) match. On the contrary, in the trivial play of the PC, only W1 & W2 half-moves match, and not entirely – the motivation of the W1 sacrifices obviously differs.
When analyzing the contents as a whole, the GP play doesn’t even need to be set into half-moves in the usual helpmate manner; it could be perceived as a single, complete combination. Both harmony and complexity are organically present in its main idea (sacrifice as the target for self-pin), and even naturally extended through the paradoxical B1 moves (a kind of anti-form of Novotny, turning into a Grimshaw).
Do note, the PC is not a complete task-record, but a deliberate compilation. So there could be no excuses for its drawbacks, and the cheap tricks. The most difficult element to achieve is missing – the WB promotion!
In total, the PC is more of a technical exercise than a real composition – in comparison with the GP. This feeling of mine equals to the amounts of time, ideas and energy involved in both.
Why, then, the others don’t accept the author’s perception of these two? I believe it’s because of the “orange effect” that Georgy Evseev once described. The light and familiar PC is easy to understand and to like, as if someone set an orange into small pieces for you. All is there on the plate, prepared for you to enjoy it.
The heavy and complex GP is an unusual orange you have to set apart yourself. Tired from the effort, with the dirty hands, you easily lose the appetite. To enjoy the GP you have to understand the unusual logic and the inherent difficulties of the mechanism. Then, you have to literally reconstruct the position (the way Jacques and Nikola did), in order to forgive 16 black pieces on the board.
Thanks to this Forum, I understood better the general perception of both problems, while the other readers got the GP orange set apart. Hope this will help enjoying it!
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(27) Posted by Dan Meinking [Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012 06:30]

@Marjan: "Why, then, the others don’t accept the author’s perception of these two?"

We accept your perception, and we accept the judges' perception. Despite their excellence, neither of these problems are so astounding (within their respective realms) as to transcend all differences in judgment. Thus, reasonable judges may reach different conclusions.

Happens all the time. :-)
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(28) Posted by Kevin Begley [Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012 06:40]; edited by Kevin Begley [12-02-15]


A tangential comment you made, I think, best exemplifies the issues of so called "purity / harmony / perfect match."

"Do note, the [Promotion Combination] is not a complete task-record, but a deliberate compilation. So there could be no excuses for its drawbacks, and the cheap tricks. The most difficult element to achieve is missing – the WB promotion!"

Consider that 4th promotion -- just suppose you had 4th solution, where a 4th Bishop sacrifice made way for the impossible 4th promotion (to wB).
Obviously, this would have required a spectacular miracle -- but, ask yourself: would this really satisfy the purists?
I think not.

This would add a spectacular phenix theme to the mix (wB sacrificed, followed by wB promotion), and the other 3 promotions would likely pale in comparison.
For the sake of purity, you would then require something like a Forsberg twinning mechanism (4 sacrifices, and an AUW of phenix promotions)!
Purity would ask the impossible of you.

This seems a rather extreme view, but quite analogous to the perspective from which purists have looked upon your Grimshaw-Pin problem.
The point is, I think, thematic purity should be appreciated on the level it was intended; and, it need not always run to the core of every move's motivation.

But, we can compromise: in your Grimshaw-Pin, there is a unity to be found in each solution's first move for black (even if the motivation is not completely unified).
The purists need to appreciate the unity that is PRESENT, while the rest of need to appreciate the motivations which are not pure.

To constrain composers to complete purity (in every move's motivation), would necessarily confine output to the lesser challenging tasks.
Every decision a composer makes can be likened to chess moves -- each one simultaneously strengthens and weakens your position.
The trick is, then, to know which weaknesses are tolerable, given the challenge in front of you.
An holistic evaluation must identify such weaknesses, but must also tolerate what are necessary trade-offs.
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(29) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012 09:42]

I regularly have troubles with clear explanations of what I think. I repeat what I said in post 22, mentioning that one refers to PC and the other to GP:
'One problem requires a bit of imagination and a bit of technical exercise while the other requires very, very much of everything.'

I also gave the example in post 8, to show that Bg6 is not there to prevent unintended mates Rd1 (by interfering on d3) but prevent unintended mates Rh4 - when bK comes to d4 (by interfering on e4). So 1.Re4 is purely motivated and it is only malicious to look for completely accidental additional motivation. Repeated on a diagram:
(= 7+16 )

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(30) Posted by Kevin Begley [Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012 12:25]; edited by Kevin Begley [12-02-15]


If I understand your comments correctly, I think I can probably play devil's advocate here...
I think purists would say that even a "completely accidental additional motivation" does not discount the fact that such a motivation is contained within the move.

Ultimately, it leads to a subject question: how to judge such a weakness, if this weakness (or some other trade-off) is essential for any realization of the theme?
note: I'm relying upon the assumption that this difficult idea can not be expressed in an ideal setting.
As Marjan said, a judge must first dig deeply into the constructional difficulties, just to understand why some minor disharmony is a necessity.
Were this outside of a thematic tourney, it would present a difficult challenge for a judge -- requiring some time & patience to absorb!

If there were some simple way to avoid this, the judge could dogmatically assert that the construction is faulty.
But, even if some minor weakness is admittedly necessary, the judge must make a subjective determination concerning the suitability of the trade-offs made.

After admittedly very little study, it looks to me like the differences in motivations are "reasonably well obscured" by an alternate form of unity.
That suggests that Marjan has probably chosen carefully which tradeoffs should be made (again, assuming some trade-offs are necessary).

Let's assume that a rigorous study validates my very shallow assessment: say Marjan has made the optimum decisions in order to best express this highly original theme.
If this is the case, I don't see how a theoretical judge (again: outside of this particular TT) could penalize him (in the least) for it.

A mentor once told me, "The theme is King."
The implication is clear: you may expect the author to optimize the expressive form, but everything the storyteller does must serve the central theme.

There is little point debating whether such motivations are "accidental additions" -- there are no accidents in a work of art (the composer takes responsibility for everything)!
If this unusual plot development (disunity in motivations) is required to enable the central theme, it can not possibly detract from the story (to which it inherently serves).
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(31) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Thursday, Feb 16, 2012 02:03]

I am hardly a right choice for discussion about the 'a priori purism'. It simply does not interest me, but you have pulled my tongue and I'll say something, with apologies to all. It is again about the natural 'what is' against the obscure 'what hypothetically should be'.
If I come to a shop to buy a hat and find a beautiful one and then I am told that this particular hat is at half price, I would feel it's my lucky day. A 'purist' would curse his BAD LUCK, feeling forced to buy the other, uglier hat at full price, so nobody could say that his choice was motivated by a price. Missing the beauty for the sake of a 'hollow purism' - I have no interest for such discussion.

Weaknesses, faults, unmatched, disharmony..., such concepts given a priori, do not interest me. Well, they may be useful as a shortcut in some stages of the analysis, but certainly not in the beginning, even before the idea was clearly understood and formulated. One idea must be pure, otherwise it is not one idea. A clear and precise formulation/description of some idea is not always easy, but the intuition can help.

If someone thinks that Marjan's idea were SELFBLOCKS on d3/e4, let him be, I won't discuss it. The VACATION of e3 is a very pleasing introduction to the other surprises on the same square. And these vacations are a part of the pure idea.
Here is the trap, if you formulate it as a vacation for a selfblock, you might question the purity, but if the author does not claim such formulation, nobody else is entitled to impose it.
A vacation certainly must be motivated somehow, but the motivation is irrelevant if only the vacation is a part of the idea.
Now, how I see the remarks about 'impurity'? They are a hidden way (with the excuse in a hollow purism) to say what otherwise would sound ridiculous: Marjan, you have failed to present a perfectly pure vacation for a selfblock (which is expected in every chess composition?!).
I can not understand such investigation of what is NOT the idea, I can equally say that there is no Bristol or Indian in this problem.
For example, to claim a Grimshaw there must be presented the moves which are impossible without these reciprocal line-interferences. In one phase the opposite King may step on the closed line and in the other, a previously pinned piece can vacate the closed pinning line. It is still a Grimshaw, irrelevantly to the slightly various motivations. Happily, Marjan's Grimshaw is uniquely motivated and the 'purists' do not have to look for what is NOT present in that Grimshaw (ugh, I forgot the devastating line-vacation for Rh1-d1#). But as a prey for the purists, here is my new ten-seconds original, a very complex and original idea, spoiled mainly by NOT present perfectly balanced motivation for the Grimshaw (and one or two other things). Well, I will not give a diagram, for the sake of the innocent readers: White Ra7 Ka6 Pf5 Sg4 Ba2; Black Qh8 Rg7 Kh7; h#2,
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(32) Posted by Kevin Begley [Thursday, Feb 16, 2012 09:22]; edited by Kevin Begley [12-02-16]


> "The VACATION of e3 is a very pleasing introduction to the other surprises on the same square."
> "And these vacations are a part of the pure idea."

I quite agree -- I also mentioned there is unity here, which can not be dismissed.
But, you said it better than I did.
When I remarked to the contrary, remember, I was only playing devil's advocate. :)

> "Here is the trap, if you formulate it as a vacation for a selfblock, you might question the purity, but if the author does not claim such formulation, nobody else is entitled to impose it."

True, but the purists will implicitly desire a complete analogy in the matched solutions (right down to the motivation of each move).
And, when they find a blemish, they see that as reason to deduct from the overall value of the problem.

In their defense, this is not blind dogmatism -- in general, we all favor such an analogy, and we all strive (I think rightly) for a perfect analogy.
If Marjan had discovered a way to achieve perfect analogy, I expect he would have preferred such a version (probably even at some cost in material).
If the judge had discovered it was possible to express Majran's Grimshaw-Pin, in a completely analogous form, I doubt he'd have awarded a prize.

For purists, this is good reason to establish strong standards, and hold fast to them (show me perfect analogy, or forget about your prize).
For others, it remains inexcusable to deduct for something which can not be demonstrated to be non-essential (show me an improved version, or award me the prize deserved).

Is the judge really expected to demonstrate a superior version of every problem beneath 1st Prize?
Sometimes it is difficult to determine whether a weakness is essential to a realization -- it may require a mastery from the judge which far exceeds that of the composer!
That is far from a reasonable expectation.

Imagine you are a judge confronted by something on the frontier of Cyclone Themes, which employs fairy elements which are claimed to be essential to guarantee soundness (but definitely non-essential to the core cyclic mechanism).
Now, the onus is on you, to demonstrate improvements upon every grotesque element -- or else what: award them a "satisfactory" prize?
If we're going to insist upon this, we'll need to create a list of themes (or more aptly: a list of authors!) for which such a favoritism would be extended.

Generally, judges resort to one of two options:
1) dogmatically ignore the weaknesses of the non-essential fairy elements employed, or
2) dogmatically deduct value for the fairy elements employed which do not serve the core idea.
In my opinion, either choice constitutes a failure.

I think the purists have an honest critique -- Marjan's problem *definitely* does not conform to ideal standards.
I also think Marjan has an honest retort -- the optimal achievement of his theme *might* be beyond the confines of these narrowly drawn standards.

My intuition suggests that Marjan's retort might hold up.
On the other hand, my intuition also suggests that his 3rd Prize is probably already in ideal form.
I might be wrong on both counts -- only time will tell.

But, I don't see much value debating whether the 3rd Prize is superior/inferior to the 6th Prize.
I leave that to each imperfect human, who -- AT BEST -- makes highly subjective judgements, based entirely upon their own human connection to each work.

Finally, a problem should not be required to adorn its marquee with some critic's subjective opinion.
Let the critics hang their opinions in their own space, otherwise it only does a disservice to the art-work, to the artists, and to the art-form.
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(33) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Thursday, Feb 16, 2012 22:57]

it seems to me that the main difference between these two problems (3rd & 6th Pr.) is the originality.

3rd Pr. is a technical achievement, but the idea and the matrix are far from being new.
6th Pr. shows a new idea, a new paradox, and is also a technical achievement.

So about the judgement, it is clear that the 6th Pr. would have been better placed upper than the 3rd Pr. (to speak only of these two).
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(34) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Friday, Feb 17, 2012 02:34]

Analogies and harmonies are a tool, not a goal. This tool is necessary for humans to create the concepts and mechanisms which will enable them to search a step deeper. Each new step disturbs these concepts and mechanisms untill they are revealed as mere delusions. New analogies and harmonies must be created for the next steps and so on.

Anyone may believe that his concept of harmony is the ultimate one and that it becomes a goal, I can only say 'Bravo, you've reached a Divine understanding'. But I still try to retain a clear distinction between a tool and a goal.

So, how could I seriously discuss about the concepts which are a mere tool with someone who imposes them as the ultimate purpose, penalizing everyone (including himself) for the 'impurity'. I don't mean it's you Kevin, your devil's advocacy only provokes a discussion.
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(35) Posted by Kevin Begley [Friday, Feb 17, 2012 09:16]; edited by Kevin Begley [12-02-17]

Somebody else will have to take over as Devil's Advocate -- I'm finding it increasingly difficult to take the other side of Nikola's fine points.
Also, I'm not the best person suited to provide a philosophical reason why help problems must demand complete analogy (pure in every respect).
Personally, I only consider this a desirable effect (what Nikola calls a "tool"), when it can be obtained.
But, my straw-man surrender should not be taken as a concession by purists -- I still think they may have a philosophical argument to make here (and I, for one, would be very interested to hear it).

Also, Jacques makes a fine point -- and, I would consider originality a paramount goal (and reward accordingly) -- particularly in a heavily worked, orthodox field.
If there is any glory to be awarded in problem composition, the lion's share is owed to originals at the thematic frontier.
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(36) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Friday, Feb 17, 2012 14:25]; edited by Nikola Predrag [12-02-17]

The constant rythm and sounds, repeated endlessly are important for the brains of the babies to develop the firm basic patterns of the perception. Learning to speak, the children endlessly repeat the words and start to recognize the enchanting power of the rhymes, and the poetry begins. The brain still develops and becomes able to recognize the enchanting power of poetry even when the obvious constant rhytm and rhymes are missing. Some people refuse to be enchanted and insist to see the 'matching' elements, so they could RATIONALLY CONCLUDE that something indeed is a poetry.

Analogy and harmony might strongly highlight the idea (just as any other tool) and only then they become an important part of a problem. Marjan puts all the money on e3 and wins! The enchantment is overwhelming and everything else is an infantile aspect, sadly lacking a child's ability to become enchanted.

I share a human rudimentary desire to spot easily the analogies and harmonies, but at least I try not to spoil the genuine enchantment. That's why I try to suppres the rudimentary aspects of my intuition - it regularly mixes up the tool and the goal.

Some byway-harmony can not be missing and should not be searced for, if it is present it might additionally embellish the problem but also to obscure the main idea.
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(37) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Monday, Feb 20, 2012 00:55]

I would extend the Jacques comparison. From my point of view, it is not only originality that makes the GP a better problem than the PC. The GP is superior to the PC in: originality, completeness, intensity, depth, difficulty of the achievement, and …. the harmony.
Why no one minds the miss-matching in the PC? Is it because 2 phases ask for harmony, while 3 don’t? The appropriate model for testing the unity and the harmony of the PC may be the following version, composed by Jacques:

(= 3+11 )

1…Kf3 2.d2 Bc4 (Bh7?) 2.Kxc4 g8=Q+ 3.Kd3 Qb3#
1…Ke4 2.a4 Bb3 (Bh7?) 2.axb3 g8=R 3.Kc4 Rc8#
1…Kg4 2.Be3 Bd5 (Bh7?) 2.Kxd5 g8=S 3.Ke4 Sf6#

Now we have new moments that improve the unity. There is a much superior twin-less form, and the most harmonizing half-move W1, right at the beginning. The WK approaches the “v” squares (echoed to the terminal "v" squares for the BK in B4) instead of being mechanically placed there.
Furthermore, the composition gets more complexity and some depth in the choice of the ever-wrong moves – 1...Kf5? 1...Kg5?
But, is the whole content really worth breaking classic criteria and placing WK into check? Or some contents are destined to be at most sympathetic, in their partial cacophony, and not more than this?
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(38) Posted by Dan Meinking [Monday, Feb 20, 2012 03:54]

The 3Pr is an artistic achievement and the 6Pr a technical achievement. There will never be a good model for comparing the two. Thus a judge will have to draw his own conclusions.

The K-in-check setting is certainly acceptable in my mind, although I don't know that it's "better". Surely one reason the 3Pr was so successful is the elegance of the twins. Yes, the twinning has unity!

K-in-check is generally frowned upon, but to me it's just another device, one to use with care. I've published 3 KICs, including one with double-check. :-)
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(39) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Monday, Feb 20, 2012 07:57]

In my view the King in check version is equally good. While it is obvious that the white king has to move, the choice of square and W2 moves is far from obvious.
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(40) Posted by Kevin Begley [Monday, Feb 20, 2012 10:23]; edited by Kevin Begley [12-02-20]


I don't want to be disagreeable -- in fact, I mostly agree with you! -- but, two of your terms ("artistic" and "technical") may require more care.
In fact, at first I thought you had them completely reversed (which perhaps indicates only a difference in our personal preference)!
Only upon a second reading did I discover that the terms are equally interchangeable (it's like arguing the direction the ballerina illusion is spinning -- where each viewer's preference reveals only something about themselves).

You call the 3rd Prize (3x promotion) an "artistic" achievement -- since both problems are "artistic" (on different levels), I find little value in such a vague term.
And, you call the 6th Prize (Grim-pin) a "technical" achievement -- but, technicality is the last thing I think of when considering the realization of an original idea.

Both problems may be valued for both their artistic, and their technical, achievements.
I think the significant difference lies in what each achieves: the 3rd Prize achieves a significantly improved construction, whereas the 6th Prize achieves a significant, new idea.

In considering the essential qualities of the Chess Problem, with a view to its appreciation, B.G.Laws wrote:
"Idea (revealed by the solution) and construction (the method of presenting the idea) are the cardinal attributes..."

I would quarrel with him about where ideas are revealed -- novel ideas are hardly confined to the solution (as perhaps they once were).
I would also dispute his terminology for the third essential attribute -- what he calls difficulty (note: his definition of difficulty varies from the standard use), I would replace with paradox.
[I mean genuine paradox -- not to be confused with a formalization of something which is often pawned off as inherently paradoxical, regardless the magical motivation.]
And, there are certainly other qualities to consider -- geometry, depth, economy, etc.

But, I digress... the point is:
Regardless what set of words we select as the essential criteria for evaluating problems, we find ourselves reduced to "apples against oranges" comparisons.
These two h#3 problems represent a very substantial dilemma that any judge may face: compare a polished construction against a truly original idea.
Jacques' version adds yet another layer to this difficulty -- when is it justified to break with convention?
[And, your three examples, I think, well reflect the difficulty judges have when confronted by unconventional beauty.]

I like to think of chess problems as analogous with story telling (where chess is just a language -- one not entirely without dialects!).
Conventions are like the rules of grammar -- they should be broken when it serves the story, but generally a story with correct grammar is most universally understood.
Unfortunately, chess problem grammar has neither an authority (which maintains our language), nor a strong universal standard.
In some sense, our grammar is used as a prejudiced constraint against new composers (whereas the judge will far more readily accept transcendence by a veteran).

I maintain that a film critic has at least the objectivity of a chess problem judge -- in fact, a far better defined set of artistic criteria can be used to evaluate film.
The only difference is, we make the unfortunate decision to pretend that some critic is "official."
And, we insist that this personal favoritism -- of some revolving judge (or small set of judges) -- should be permanently displayed on the theater's marquee!
The art of judging chess problems is something of an extraordinary pretense -- which is imbued with false credibility, in order to appeal to a competitive nature.
In some places, this helps maintain the useful illusion that problem composition is a "sport," in order to secure governmental sponsorship.
The rest of the world maintains the illusion for an even lesser return (personal glory).

Whether sport or art, the critics do serve an important function.
But, I believe statistical evidence would demonstrate that our award system is based upon a complete folly (read: personal bias), which does not well serve the "art."
It's easy to filter the wheat from the chaff; but, judges can be unreliable when asked to isolate critical isotopes among a variety of outstanding problems.

I'm looking for a spotlight on those problems which might be enjoyable (or otherwise beneficial) when: viewed / solved / considered / deconstructed.
Our traditional awards do not well represent such information (which is why awards can be an unsatisfying search query).
A good film enthusiast turns to a trusted critic -- not to the accounting official who seals the envelopes for a politically motivated award show.
Just tell me the nominees... that's honor enough for the judge to dole out (and they'll still occasionally fail to nominate a Cool Hand Luke)...
Let the entire academy select the winner -- and leave the other problems free from displaying the indignities of the inconsequential preferences of an elevated... umm... official.

I mean no disrespect to judges, who thanklessly do their best to perform under difficult circumstances.
It's simply unfair to burden a person with these difficult decisions, when no discerning precedent is established, and no judicial review is provided.
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