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MatPlus.Net Forum General The Fairy Chess Classification Project @ Julia's Fairies
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(1) Posted by Julia Vysotska [Saturday, May 1, 2021 23:51]

The Fairy Chess Classification Project @ Julia's Fairies

JF presents some new steps in the classification of fairy elements. The first release of the Fairy Chess Classification Project (FCCP) was announced on April, 22. It is the result of hard work by the international team of enthusiasts led by Shankar Ram and Chris Tylor.

Apart from browsing the database of about 390 more frequently used elements grouped in 4 main groups (stipulations, pieces, conditions, boards), from today you can also use the search by keywords, including search in the definitions.

Everybody are welcome to see and comment the FCCP at (Under the [FAIRY TERMS] top menu of JF)!

The leaders of the project have a long-term plan to continue the development of the database, extending the information for each element and also adding new elements. So, new releases will be coming! New collaborators are very welcome too! :)
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(2) Posted by Kevin Begley [Sunday, May 2, 2021 05:00]

Thanks to all involved in this noble effort.
The potential for classification improvements is nearly unlimited, and I can't wait to discover the boldness of this endeavor!

EDIT (after ~10 minutes digging into the document, I must offer a retraction):

I must confess, I am greatly disappointed to learn that this group has elected (contrary to any classification rationale) to adopt the pretense that a series-mover is merely an alteration of the "stipulation:play" -- this perpetuates a convenient falsehood.

A series-mover is an alteration of the rules of chess (same goes for reflexmates), and failing to admit this suggests this effort is intent to perpetuate our already illogical classification system (which constitutes the exact opposite of bold leadership).

If alteration of movement is merely an alteration of "stipulation:play," Progressive Chess should not be regarded as a chess variant (or a fairy condition) -- it would be similarly classified as a mere alteration in the "stipulation:play." This, of course, is a falsehood.

While I'm on the subject, please note that paralyzing pieces are accompanied by their own fairy condition (they alter the rules of the game, and, as such, can not merely be classified as a different kind of unit).
If you intend to classify something as a fairy condition, or not, at the very least, I expect you to develop a logical definition for the terms you use to segregate problem elements. Yet, this project has not even begun to address such matters (by the time you get around to it, you will discover that no logical definition will be possible for any of your fundamental terms, given the illogical divisions indiscriminately forged).

There are several other issues here (too many to list), but it is already apparent that the entire philosophy is geared toward bolstering the absurdly illogical classification system we presently suffer. We have little need for this (any rookie can extrapolate your failed classification system from popeye's readme file). I consider this continued disregard for a logical classification system to be the direct opposite of progress, as it only functions to discourage the honest reinterpretation needed.

Speaking of problem solving software, I encourage you to consult more programmers.
I believe the perpetuation of our presently illogical classification system actually discourages developers and impedes future development from all who are so inclined. Classification does matter! This is not merely a petty political issue in my eyes -- this project should aim to provide the fundamental expression for classifying our art form, and failure to logically meet this challenge will serve only to discourage more enthusiasts (composers, solvers, inventors, and software developers alike). It is important that our classification system, at long last, provides newcomers with a logical welcome; short of that, you are just adding spoke decals to what our cowardly illogical history has fashioned into a square-shaped wheel.
If not to right the bad wheel, why waste precious time glorifying a static wagon?

Sadly, I expect a group of complete rookies could produce a far more logical (read: actually useful) classification system, as they would be unhindered by historical bias and favoritism for specific fairy inventors. Lacking the bold logic of rookies, this project will forever be mud-stuck on a smooth runway.
I encourage all involved to rethink their ultimate goal.

NOTE: if classified logically, problemists might discover relationships underlying various fairy conditions (there is a logical relationship between Equipollent Circe and Parrain Circe, for example, which our historically poor naming conventions has managed only to conceal).
This is why this project desperately depends upon the courage of rookies (complete rookies would be unafraid to make the logical alterations necessary to illuminate what our failed categorization system -- rooted in favoritism! -- has only functioned to conceal).

Your mission is to go boldly where no problemist has gone before, not to describe your holodeck experience.
Does this project intend to follow convention (as Lieutenant Reginald Barclay), or to lead (as Captain James Tiberius Kirk)?
From the preliminary philosophy displayed, you're scheming on a thing that's a mirage; and, I'm tryin' to tell y'all, it's a sabotage!

If you aim to classify chess problems (including fairy problems), your first step is to define your fundamental terms.
If you can not (or will not) define the fundamental difference between a fairy condition and a stipulation, you are only adding extraneous units to a fundamentally unsound problem.

Aside from that, nice graphics.
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(3) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Sunday, May 2, 2021 05:05]

Great work all! :) Have posted a comment in the great interface - let's not underestimate the design work just to provide the User Experience.
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(4) Posted by Dmitri Turevski [Sunday, May 2, 2021 08:28]

I have tried to raise basically the same concerns at the project outset and was made to believe that the "holodeck experience" was the only intention.
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(5) Posted by Kevin Begley [Sunday, May 2, 2021 08:36]


I appreciate your efforts.
I hope my "constructive feedback" helps all involved to relearn the art of listening.
If their true purpose is to produce a logical classification system, they can not justify this fundamentally bad product.
Logical classification depends upon unambiguous definitions, yet their entire product hinges upon obscured and deceitful terminology.

Imagine a group of paleontologists attempting to classify dinosaurs based upon the colors of feathers found in artistic renderings!
We can learn nothing from such a fundamentally flawed endeavor, except perhaps that ignorance can be perpetuated.

Seems they took a wrong turn leaving space dock, yet continue at warp speed in this disastrous direction.

If their intent is otherwise, I would encourage others (including bold, logical rookies) to speak out, denounce this misdirection, and help us to produce something that actually does meet the very worthy goal we all share: a logical classification system would be a welcome star map for everyone (many in this very forum have spent years yearning for such a collaboration).

I had such high hopes when I (just today) first learned of this project (not that they'd adopt my specific favoritisms, but that they might develop a classification system that all could at least declare logical). That hope was entirely dashed upon a very brief encounter with their "document."

Maybe they simply did not fathom the intent of their own endeavor. I hope it's that simple. I hope they will appreciate the consequence of their philosophical failures, and will now revisit the misdirection of their most primary steps.

If not them, I am confident bolder adventurers will go forth in a more honest direction.
That's the best thing about Star Trek: there is always a Next Generation...
Whatever surface may seem devoid of intelligent life signs, there's always somebody who can beam us up!

Make it so...
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(6) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Sunday, May 2, 2021 10:50]

@Kevin: Think of the project as the JAVA of problem chess.
Even if it were utter garbage from the axiomatic standpoint
(which I constantly assert, but expect heated discussion
about that), think of all the cool stuff made from it :-)

Does I have to remind you that not even the foundations of
(gasp!) mathematics are in perfect shape? I don't expect
that a system like fairy chess, grown historically into
a veritable Sleeping Beauty hedge, can be trimmed into
shape without giving the one or other problemist a close shave.

I think we should rather ponder how we can milk this project
for good use. I stop now before my metaphors completely warp.
CYa in delta quadrant :-)
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(7) Posted by Dmitri Turevski [Sunday, May 2, 2021 13:20]

which I constantly assert, but expect heated discussion about that

Java bad, Scala good. End of the heated discussion.
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(8) Posted by Joost de Heer [Sunday, May 2, 2021 13:23]

Option 1: Create a framework and have people bitching that it doesn't fit their worldview.
Option 2: Don't create a firework and have the exact same people bitch that there isn't a framework.
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(9) Posted by Dmitri Turevski [Sunday, May 2, 2021 18:50]

not that they'd adopt my specific favoritisms, but that they might develop a classification system that all could at least declare logical

bitching that it doesn't fit their worldview

bitching, noun - the action or practice of making spitefully critical comments.

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(10) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Sunday, May 2, 2021 20:02]

Kevin, a group of chess composers has been volunteering during seven months on the daily bases, and you throw the tones of garbage on them??
If you’d had any generous intention – as they do – you’d offer your remarks and suggestions DIRECTLY to them. Or, you would find time to JOIN the project from October 2020 on.
Instead, you used 10 minutes of reading to start spitting. The price of your private promotion included tens of aggressive offences. It’s a typical blog approach: as higher and stronger you spit, as better you feel.
Do you care who are the people whose work you’ve publicly downgraded, or how they feel now? They didn’t join to offer the ultimate truth, to promote themselves, or to sell something. They don’t represent government, or the WFCC. They are a group of the most unique specimens: they volunteer for the sake of community. And, the community …
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(11) Posted by Julia Vysotska [Sunday, May 2, 2021 22:58]

Dear people, I've posted this announcement for those of you who (1) would be ready to help our team joining it or giving helpful advices; (2) would be interested (curious) to see one more approach to the classification in fairy chess, the hierarchy and great variety of elements in different visualization; (3) would find it useful for their work as composers or judges.

@Kevin, do you belong to any of those groups? If not, please, don't eat our time and energy!

Create a thread "the subject of my critics of today" and enjoy your time.
But don't spoil the good things!

I won't mind to see you back after at least half a year spent by you on any project useful for our community!

@Shankar and all the members of our team, please, don't spend your time on the endless negative discussions!
Let's keep listening to the words of those who spend their time doing nice things for all of us!
Keep positive and optimistic! You're those who turn the dark jungles into blossoming fairy land!
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(12) Posted by Kevin Begley [Monday, May 3, 2021 02:50]

@Julia and @Marjan,

This is the first I have heard of this project (I have been away, at Starfleet Academy).
I would have happily joined this group.
On day one, I would have insisted that the group define the terms by which they aim to logically classify problem elements.

I have great respect for you both, and I'm sure for a number of problemists who have volunteered.
But, any rookie would know: careful, logical, unambiguous definitions is FUNDAMENTAL (step one!) in any classification process.

I have not insulted anyone personally -- I have attacked only the bad project.
And, I stress, I remain hopeful that my sincere criticism (my entirely fair critique, however scathing) will force the group to rethink their aim.

Do not presume you may lecture us about what dedication these well-intended volunteers have demonstrated to this classification project.

Many of us (right here in Mat Plus) have been fighting (side by side) for this very worthy goal (an honest classification system), against all slings and arrows, for many, many years.

Don't presume you may dare lecture any one of us about taking honest criticism.
I have taken more than my share of heat for volunteering a better classification approach for over a decade, before these volunteers gathered to offer us nothing original (except a graphical view of the popeye readme file).

You must appreciate: this document produced demonstrates an abject failure to define the most fundamental terms!
Come to reality, for goodness sake. This is step #1 in any classification system.

And when we provide honest feedback about this failure, it's somehow treated as an offense that this hypersensitive volunteer crew must ignore??? They are told to press on, without any logical definitions, in their graphical classification efforts???
Without any reflection upon this fundamental failure.
Get real.

And, the best you can do is to attempt to shame us for not volunteering to join with the hive-minded collective?
No. We will not be assimilated by a classification system which has no basis in logic, which has no definitions for the indiscriminate divisions cast.

If, as you suggest, they each have wasted considerable time, yet have managed to produce nothing original (save some nice graphics), and nothing close to the logical classification system promised, their best path is clear: START OVER (and this time, stay true to the fundamental aim).

This is constructive criticism. It's not bitching. It's not a personal insult of anyone involved.

I applaud the effort.
I maintain that their stated goal is noble, and necessary.

I wish that everyone involved would focus on getting this right (and I don't mean in a way that makes me happy -- I only want a logical classification system to emerge).

Finally, @Marjan.
Do not dare presume to declare my intentions are anything other than generous -- that is a slander, and a lie.
I aim only to save these volunteers from wasting more time!
If they intend to produce a logical classification system, as they claim, then every second has been wasted since the minute they all abandoned a logical, definitional basis.

I am willing to assist anyone who honestly aims to achieve what this group has stated as their goal.
But, should the leadership abandon the stated mission, for whatever reason, we all have a duty to proclaim the truth.

I don't claim to know anything of their intentions -- I do not so carelessly ascribe motivations to people (as you have attempted, falsely, to do to me). I question only their commitment to -- and their understanding of -- their stated aim (because the product produced stands in stark opposition to the stated mission).

And, as I have stated repeatedly, I sincerely do hope they will reexamine their motivations, and boldly begin anew.

You should be asking the same questions of them:
Where is their definition of stipulation vs fairy condition?
What is their logical rationale for classifying a series-mover as a stipulation, and not a fairy condition?

Notice: no spokesperson for the collective has provided ANY answer for this!
They spent all this time, and can produce no definition which distinguishes a fairy condition from a stipulation -- the most fundamental terms (terminology they now own!) of their document.

Read the first entry in this thread.
It plainly states there are "4 main groups (stipulations, pieces, conditions, boards)."
This is the fundamental division this team would use to divide fairy elements, in what is billed as a "Fairy Chess Classification Project."

NOTE: "Classification is the operation of distributing objects into classes or groups." -- Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
It is worth appreciating that classification is not only a useful tool for ordering and organization -- it has the potential to increase understanding and facilitate development when divisions are based in logic (rather than corrupted by bias and favoritism).

A logical classification (any definitional system from which a rational order may be logically derived) has great potential to advance our understanding of our own artform.

Furthermore, as can be seen in taxonomical classification systems, logical classification system can help us to express (and reveal) relationships between the elements being categorized!
Beyond that, it is not a crazy dream to suggest that logical classification would well serve both software developers and new fairy element inventors.

If such a logical classification is the honest aim here, as has been suggested, the document produced begs the question: where are the logical definitions for their 4 most fundamental terms?
How is it possible they have not yet addressed the very cornerstone of their classification system (their four groups are divided on the basis of nothing more than the illogic of historical precedent and the arbitrary whims of those who assert superior benevolence)?

This team has placed their Pawn in front of the King here, and no honest observer can possibly deny this blunder -- concise definitions (not graphics!) is the primary objective in any coherent classification effort.

So bet it -- we all make mistakes! Nobody is here to judge them. I don't fault them. If they are not actually committed to the stated goal, that's their choice.
I originally came into this thread to enthusiastically support the effort (and to that, I remain committed).
I am here only to encourage a correction -- to plainly ask them to correct their undeniable, gross blunder (or simply admit their goal is misstated).

Yet, instead of welcoming my contribution, it is declared a gormandizing waste of time to ask them to produce the core rational behind their "logical classification" (which they have asserted as their mission).

If their goal is not to provide a logical classification, state that clearly, and I shall gladly (and immediately) retract everything I have said here.
We can then proceed immediately to a graphical display award ceremony, where this orchestra will rush nobody to thank all their agents.

Without a definitional basis, we can not sell any of this as a classification of fairy elements in the present, disordered state.
For that, we require concise definitions which distinguish a fairy condition from a stipulation (or from a fairy board).
Note: we haven't even addressed whether a Horizontal Cylinder should be classified as a fairy condition.

That's precisely why you do not start such an endeavor with a bias for the categorization.
Instead, a person who honestly intends to produce a logical categorization must begin by considering a variety of logical definitions by which they may discover a variety of classification possibilities, in the interest of discovering the most concise fit (with the expectation that they may actually gain, in this process, a completely new perspective on the subject of their classification).

This has clearly not been such an honest pursuit to classify fairy chess problems, and that should trouble everyone who comes across this document -- most especially, the volunteers who have dedicated their work to such a project.

At some point, somebody will provide a logical classification of fairy chess problems -- most likely, some new software developer will decide that it's worth their time to correct the chaotic, incoherent system presented in such historical documents (as continued adherence to a system of historical bias and favoritism becomes increasingly unworkable).

More and more problemists understand the value of an honest classification system.
Maybe we haven't yet reached critical mass, as I had hoped. Eventually, the ready fruit will fall. This is inevitable.
When it does, the previous taxonomy will become instantly obsolete (right along with all documents which failed to grasp the direction the arrow of time has been pointing).

And when that does fall, maybe somebody in that not-too-distant future will have the good sense to recognize the contributions made by problemists here in the Mat Plus forum, who have been fighting against the corruption and illogic of historical bias for years.
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(13) Posted by Kevin Begley [Monday, May 3, 2021 04:17]


"I won't mind to see you back after at least half a year spent by you on any project useful for our community!"

That's hardly a gracious statement.
If any of that is true in your mind, you have my deepest sympathy.

I understand it may be difficult to accept a very fair and honest critique of your effort.
That is deeply misguided. Instead, I urge you to accept my very benevolent criticism as a contribution (one which should be highly useful to anyone who honestly cares to provide a logical classification system, which you have stated is your mission).

You must provide clear and unambiguous definitions for your most fundamental terms (this is the cornerstone in any classification effort).
This preliminary failure is hardly beyond redemption (if success is your goal, make amends).
That's why I volunteered my critique -- if you want contributions only from those will dishonestly protect you, then your definition of "useful contributions" needs considerable reevaluation!

Attempting to shut-down anyone who dares to question your classification is the opposite of useful.
How many others, like Dmitri (who attempted to make useful contributions within your group), and like me, must you silence?

And to do so with this presumption that you are the only one here who has made any contribution to chess problem categorization is as absurd as it is disgraceful!

You are FAR from the first to volunteer your time.

I have received dozens of private thank you messages (from far more diplomatic problemists) for my willingness to engage in far more controversial topics for the betterment of the entire community.
If you have any doubt of that, ask around.

Contrary to false assumptions made here, I gain nothing personally by providing you with an honest critique.
If that's not useful to you, it's a testament to your own failing.

The Klingons have a saying: "jagh yIbuStaH" Concentrate on the enemy!!

Your primary enemy here (indeed, our shared enemy!) is the historical lack of definitional logic by which problem elements have (historically) been indiscriminately divided.
As noted previously, this failing discourages developers, composers, solvers, and fairy inventors alike.
It is anything but welcoming to suggest that newcomers dare not question the illogical system we refuse to correct.
To assault the contributions of anyone who dares question this illogic will only drive more new enthusiasts away!

I find that incredibly shameful -- not because anything you have said affects my sense of myself (and my contributions), but strictly upon the basis of how your policy negatively impacts newcomers (who will expect a similar rejection of any efforts which fail to align completely with your sense of contribution).

You should really reexamine your statement. Deeply!

It is unwise to make an enemy of any Klingon who offers you a new opportunity to stand boldly against a shared enemy.

I asked you to provide a logical basis for your terms.
I asked for your definitions, which logically divide stipulation from variant game.
And rather than provide us any insight, you suggest we can not question you, until we have spent at least six months making what you deem contributions to problem chess.

Is that what your group tells rookie volunteers?
Pity that, because as I stated originally, rookies could teach our elites plenty about courage (and grace)!

The Kingons have a saying for those who attempt to silence all criticism, based upon presumptions of superior benevolence, too...
But, my forehead is way too smooth to go there!
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(14) Posted by Kevin Begley [Monday, May 3, 2021 05:34]


Yes, I have been made aware there may be troubles in foundations of mathematics.
I am quietly optimistic.

As for JAVA...
I'd have laughed out loud, if not for my fear of an avalanche from the unread JAVA books on my shelf!

Thank you for your wise perspective, with which I will try (yet again) to ground myself.
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(15) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Monday, May 3, 2021 14:29]

Andrew, your attitude and direct involvement on JF brought me some hope for the future!
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(16) Posted by Kevin Begley [Monday, May 3, 2021 15:40]

I encourage anyone who honestly aims to logically classify fairy chess elements to think as a software developer.

First, you want to implement the rules of chess, so that all legal moves may be derived from any valid FEN string (or from whatever extended means is used to define a position -- more on that matter later).

Note: an efficient way to achieve this is to recognize the benefit of classifying some pieces as leapers, and others as riders.
Classification allows you to implement Queens/Bishops/Rooks with a single call to riders, while Kings/Knights may be implemented with a single call to leapers.
Beyond that, Christian Poisson has developed an extensive categorization for fairy chess pieces (as can be seen in Problemesis pages).
Such categorization enables him to quickly realize new fairy chess pieces in his program (Win Chloe).
Furthermore, such a logical, definition-based categorization provides newcomers with systematic charts (which help explain the movement patterns of complex fairy units).
And, if that's not enough, such ordering helps us to learn something about the relationships between a variety of fairy units.
An understanding of these relationships helps fairy element inventors identify the potential for new units.

Second, you want to identify specific aims (which can be attached to positions/moves).
Such aims would include: checkmate, stalemate, double-stalemate, check, double-check, triple-check, capture, en passant capture, castling, movement of a unit to a specific square, etc.

Aims may be detected without any alteration of game rules. Though some (like triple check) can not be detected without a fairy condition, their code remains independent (they can be detected without any alteration of the game rules algorithm).

Third, you want to implement a search function to find your aim in a future position, depending upon a variety of play types (according to the second player's motivation).
The second player may resist the aim of the first, may help to achieve the aim, or may alter between both (according to specific circumstances).

The aim is what our search function is looking to achieve (maybe we want our search function to look for stalemate).
The ordinal tells our search function how deep to look (if we don't achieve the aim in seven ply, forget it).
The play type determines what type of search function is required (black wants to help).
The condition provides the search function with the capacity to generate legal moves.

If you think carefully about this matter, you may begin to appreciate the utility of coding your search function in such a way that a stipulation itself can feedback as an aim!

For example, consider a basic help-selfmate problem, where black helps white achieve a position in which black's motivation would change (in the end, black resists the aim).
You can code that as a special search function, but what happens when some problemists embarks upon an alternate possibility?
For example (as of yet not a common occurrence, but there are a few examples), suppose for some number of moves, black is motivated to help white achieve not a selfmate in 1, but a selfmate in 2, or a selfmate in 3...
You don't want to write a million special case search functions to achieve a "help-selfmate in m, n".

What you might prefer is a search which allows the stipulation to function as the aim.
So, you look ahead with a help-search for m moves, and from there you resist-search to see if you've achieved a selfmate in n.
Such a categorization opens the door to a wide range of newly invented stipulations!
That's the beauty of considering alternative categorizations.

Once you allow stipulations to feedback as aims (within a greater stipulation), it's suddenly not so difficult to envision the help-self-help-mate in 3.

Intelligent categorization helps!
Not only can you more easily imagine new ideas, you can more efficiently realize them in software!

Note that stipulations (the search for aims) can be achieved without any alteration of the game rules function!
A fairy condition is easiest defined as anything which requires alteration of the game rules function.

While you could theoretically achieve a semi-reflexmate without alteration of the game rules, the same can not be said of a reflexmate.
A reflexmate requires that you alter the game rules.
Same goes for a series-mover, or a parry-series mover, or a progressive chess problem.

Ask Christian Poisson (or any developer) how they implement the reflexmate stipulation.
I am confident Christian will admit (and others too), it's actually implemented as a fairy condition (which is only presented as a stipulation to appease those who refuse to appreciate the distinction -- those who are trapped in a false understanding, due to the corruption of historical biases).

Ask any developer who is tasked to implement both a Progressive Chess condition and a series-mover stipulation: what's the most efficient method to tackle both goals simultaneously?

Developers are highly motivated to recognize the underlying relationships, and to smartly classify fairy elements.
And if you allow them to break with the corruption of historical conventions, they can provide everyone a far better understanding of this artform. If you want to classify chess problems, talk to them (first and foremost, as many as you can)!!

Better yet, forgo the graphical interface, and implement your own fairy chess program (based upon your classification system).
That's the best way to measure the value of your contribution -- does it even work?

A developer is motivated to appreciate the difference between a fairy condition and a stipulation -- because intelligent categorization makes their programs more efficient, more modular, more robust (read: easier to test).
A stipulation does not require any deviation from their rules algorithm. It's that simple.
The rules are the rules, the aim is the aim, and the goal is the goal. Period.
Any deviation to the rules algorithm can be classified as a fairy condition (or perhaps a variant board -- there is some room for arbitrary implementation decisions).

Now, should these volunteers ever invest in such an endeavor, they will quickly come to appreciate what I have known for some time.
First, we have not yet even developed a fairy FEN string, or a fairy PGN!

Even the FEN implementation for castling is insufficient when it comes to elementary circe forms (the FEN needs to store a more detailed set of castling options, to accommodate castling possibilities after rebirth).
If you want to provide differed circe forms (such as parrain circe -- which is really just a delayed form of Equipollent Circe), you'll need to store the previous capture (perhaps two previous captures).

If you aim to classify chess problems, you need to first ask yourself two questions:
1) How many variants can I cover with a more detailed FEN string? and,
2) Do you feel lucky, punk?
Can your extended FEN cover more conditions, in an efficient method?
Better yet, can you provide a self-extending FEN (which allows for new fairy pieces, and covers new fairy conditions that you have not yet imagined)?

These would be a useful start (set aside this grand delusion that a graphics marketing emphasis will provide feedback on your endeavor to intelligently classify fairy chess elements, and recognize that the proof of concept lies entirely in the implementation).
Unless you recognize what issues the software developer will face, you can not hope to imagine the utility of your classification efforts.

If you want to classify fairy chess problems, you need to think like a software developer.
Let the development process inform you how fairy elements should be logically classified.

Don't waste your time creating graphical marketing candy, because you are only building your house on sand (all such efforts will wash away, unless they are anchored to an honest classification, and rooted in concise definitions).

I maintain that virtually NOTHING presented in your graphical document will endure.
The moment a logical classification emerges, everything you have produced becomes instantly obsolete.
I don't expect even the names of fairy conditions will survive, because a more intelligent classification will render them a pointless relic (who will care to remember the names of the camel chess piece, for example, when it's far more efficient to instruct enthusiasts that your diagram contains a [3,1]Leaper -- the very same will be true for all fairy conditions which can be similarly reduced, and those that can't will likely fade).

That's the reality of what is inevitably coming. If you want to leave something enduring behind, plan accordingly (starting now)!
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(17) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Monday, May 3, 2021 18:29]

@Kevin: To quote Andrew from another thread: "Ha my bug was looking for piecelist='sB' rather than piecelist='b'. Randomly different syntax required in different parts of the UI!"

As a computer science student, I naturally facepalm when I see such a feature. Still, I much rather have a PDB with a syntax that needs the occasional run to the documentation, than have no PDB at all (or in 20 years). You strive for perfection, I can relate to that, but remember (urban legend?!) the Muslim carpet weavers who deliberately place a bug in their carpet because perfection belongs to Allah alone.

Which is perfectly :-) OK with me as long I don't have to fly with the damn thing...

In math, professors all over the world fought the "Grundlagenkrise". Sadly, problemists
do their work as an unpaid hobby, thus don't expect the Unshakeable Foundation of Fairy Chess [tm]
that soon (especially as problemists are natural born trolls and will shoot holes in it
at every occasion - they managed so likewise for the simpler FIDE rules.)
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(18) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Monday, May 3, 2021 18:52]

Thanks Kevin for this interesting and informative post. I am sure this will be discussed and absorbed by the team.---
Added later by editing:
Unfortunately Your earlier posts 2 and 4, bordering on the abusive have vitiated the atmosphere.
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(19) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Tuesday, May 4, 2021 00:36]

Are you sure, Seetharaman?
Or you are ready to help them start all over again?
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(20) Posted by Kevin Begley [Tuesday, May 4, 2021 01:16]

Your point is well taken.
I don't expect we'll get near perfection any time soon, and when AI gets us there, we'll lack the capacity to appreciate it.

In my experience, far more people use this "perfection is impossible" argument to justify doing absolutely nothing.

I do agree there is little motivation for the hobbyist to remedy decades of conventional carelessness.
I expect some highly motivated computer scientists will remedy our situation.

What else is left for them?
They have defeated humans in the chess game, and in Go (which I expected would hold out longer).

Computers are already intricately involved in the composition process, and it will not take too long before AI programs regard human assistance a hinderance.

The minute you see groups of computer scientists motivated to create artificial problem composers, you can wave buh-bye to the corrupted illogic of biased hobbyist conventions! The classifications of hobbyist volunteers will not survive, unless they get it right in the brief window remaining to them.

Alpha-Composer is coming, and Alpha-Fairy-Inventor is right behind it.
The first step to make that happen will be for computer scientists to remedy our illogical classification system (remove all the bias, cut out all the favoritism, rename everything logically, and milk the benefits which naturally accrue from achieving a logically honest perspective).

It's inevitable. We are not going to be competing for prizes with some hobbyist in the future, but with software teams.
And know this: the software teams with the most logical classification will have the advantage!

Either we start over from scratch, or we prematurely surrender the fight to an outside group (which will make us all look incredibly dumb for putting to fancy graphics our absurdly illogical, corrupt classification convention -- which was effectively obsolete before volunteers began carving it into marketing candy).

That's the future, and we all know it. I can promise you, that future is already in motion. Somebody out there is already working on this, and they are light-years ahead of this group in classifying chess problems -- the difference is, they may not be so motivated to share their conclusions (as I am).

How could a computer scientist so quickly get so far ahead of this group of dedicated problemist volunteers?
Simple: they began from the outset with an honest classification, rooted in concise definitions. They are not beholden to the delicate ego of those who want primarily to proclaim their superior contributions -- they just want the truth (and we have left it hanging there for them, like ripe fruit for the taking).
It doesn't take long hours (nor dozens of volunteers) to produce a better classification -- all that is required is the motivation!

You needn't chase perfection, just realize there is rich opportunity here.

When they come for us, it's going to be far, far worse than what Deep Blue did to Kasparov.
Kasparov put up a fight. We have yet to recognize the war is already upon us (we're too busy polishing our courageous contribution medals and bemoaning the impossibility of achieving perfection).

At least Kasparov went down fighting!
That's what a natural born champion does.

Where are our champions?
Are they the people telling you it's too difficult to start over, it's impossible to achieve perfection, our fight is lost?
I don't think so.

It's time to put down the shields and divert all our energy to photon torpedoes!
Get in this fight, because there is no other.

"A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away."
-- Dr. Boyce (The Cage episode, Star Trek).

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