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MatPlus.Net Forum General Chess960 problems?
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(41) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Monday, Jun 8, 2020 14:32]; edited by Andrew Buchanan [20-06-10]

Hi Siegfried,

I have gone through the dialogue between Arisktotle & Rocky64 that you linked me to. Arisktotle's understanding of the conventions is spot on, but I think Kosman's first example may be better explained by a typo rather than a philosophical schism. I'm glad that Rocky64 was there to engage with Arisktotle on this.

The Codex is fairly hopeless as a description or definition of the conventions, but that's not really it's purpose. It's kind of a scoping document: we are missing an more detailed glossary document. If you are an orthodox enthusiast you don't care, but if you want precision in the retro world (as honestly we need and deserve), then you're stuffed. If you think you know what the conventions are already, you might have your prejudices confirmed or refuted depending on your mood. The best other source we had was the Retro Corner, but following Werner Keym's change to the conventions in whenever it was, the Retro Corner was visited one night long ago by some person with editorial rights who marked all the other castling/e.p. convention pages as unreliable: even the ones which were completely unaffected by Werner's change. The intention may have been that this was just a band-aid for a couple of weeks until someone could fix it. But the years went by. Every few years I would write an email to a moderator saying: please let me fix it, but never got a reply until recently hurray!

Werner's Codex change (which I generally am ok with as a basic idea) was meta-meta-level: it defined the precedence of the meta-conventions (RS & PRA). But there's a lot of confusion at the lower levels, and the Retro Corner was and in my opinion still is the best place to see this defined properly. Now that Werner is between books, maybe he has the motivation and the clout to clear up what's going on in the Retro Corner. The wonderful tutorial that he produced for RS/PRA is really at more elevated a level - the Retro Corner should state the basics: e.g. when do the conventions apply at all? Personally, I think any whole Retro Corner rewrite should involve Rocky, if he has the time and inclination. He gets all the subtleties, doesn't get carried away ideologically, is primarily motivated by communication, has great diplomatic skills. Also good graphic design skills & aesthetic taste: the Retro Corner could do with a new coat of paint.

Arisktotle, who I dearly love, has been for years in the throes of writing a "Principia Chessica" which sorts everything out properly, encyclopedically. He is not sure if he is ever going to get it finished, but it would unify all the rules, conventions, meta-conventions, meta-meta-conventions, fairy conditions, many jokes and much more within a single conceptual framework. He has not revealed it all, but what I've heard I mostly agree with. Honestly there are some points where I disagree, and then I am accused of not being willing to shift my paradigm, blah blah. But basically he's right: there should be a consistent framework that encompasses all these things, and allows e.g. fairy composers & their solvers to naturally have a common understanding of how e.g. retro rules would extend to a given condition. I could not match Arisktotle's ability in this area, so if I were to formalize (as is my inclination) I should pick a smaller scope: even to cover orthodox chess would be an accomplishment, to cover illegal positions and the meaning of the term "retro". I hope Arisktotle makes more problems, because he is an awesome composer.

Now the chess960 problem...

White retracts 1.0-0 (Kf1, Rg1). Retracting this move, however, does not prove that the castling was actually a legal move, so White plays 1.0-0. Black has no defense against the checkmate next move, as by castling White proved that the king started on f1.

Retracting any castling *does* prove that the castling was actually a legal move. As my earlier post explained, no forward justification is required.

In the version, there is a try that fails only because retracting the castling wouldn't prove it is actually legal. But I think that is not how the Codex works anymore?

I guess you mean White retracts e.e. 1.0-0 (Kb/c/d1, Rc/d/g1)? These are cooks, because retracting any of these castling moves will indeed prove that Black's castling would be illegal, as the Ks did not begin on the e-file. This is the way I think they've always worked: the idea of uncastle then castle was an artistic feature more than a requirement.

But in both versions there is a major cook: we retract 1.0-0 (Ke1, Rf1) & then play 1.Rf8# directly, and Black is mated already whatever his castling rights may be.
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MatPlus.Net Forum General Chess960 problems?