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MatPlus.Net Forum General Problemas - July 2015, issue n. 11
 
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(1) Posted by Joaquim Crusats [Wednesday, Jul 1, 2015 21:56]

Problemas - July 2015, issue n. 11


You are welcome to download the new issue of Problemas, the bulletin of the Spanish Society of Chess Problemists (SEPA), at the Society’s web page: http://sepa64.blogspot.com.es/p/revista-problemas-nueva-epoca.html

The July 2015 issue (n.11) consists of 24 pages and a total of 90 diagrams (34 originals). James Quah presents two interesting original problems in an interesting article with the following introductory words: “Fairy chess exists for composers to demonstrate special effects that are not possible in orthodox. In this article we shall see how an interesting fairy theme, the triple Grimshaw, can be derived from two-movers that come close.”, and Andrew Buchanan presents six original “Lèse Majesté” chess problems; you can find out what they are all about on pages 267-267.

SUMMARY

Joan Capó González, un enamorado del ajedrez (J.Travesset)
La clavada – I (J.A.Coello)
Mate al paso motivado por retro-oposición (J.Crusats)
Memorial Efrén Petite (#2, h#2) (I.Zurutuza)
Recompensas (I.Zurutuza)
From three interferences to triple Grimshaw (J.Quah)
Problema comentado (P.Cañizares)
Selección de finales (P.Cañizares)
QxQ and QxQ+ in a TM 2 problem (J.Crusats)
Galería de compositores españoles (XI) (I.Zurutuza)
Ejercicio de reconstrucción nº 11 (J.A.Coello)
Ejercicio de restauración (9) (J.A.Coello)
Introducción a las piezas de fantasía (P.Cañizares)
“Lèse Majesté” Chess problems exploiting FIDE Law A1.2 (A.Buchanan)
Tres problemas originales de análisis retrógrado (Redacción)
Obra inédita de Efrén Petite (V) (J.A.Coello)

If you want to receive each new issue of Problemas by email (free of charge) send an empty email message to “sepa.problemas@gmail.com” mentioning the words “subscription” (or “unsubscription”) in the subject and you will be included in the distribution list.
 
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(2) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Wednesday, Jul 1, 2015 23:56]

I liked this!

(= 3+5 )

Andrew Buchanan,
Problemas (SEPA), July 2015
Mate in 2
 
 
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(3) Posted by Joost de Heer [Friday, Jul 3, 2015 08:41]

Cook: 1. Kg8# (mate immediately ends the game, and black isn't allowed to capture the white king anyway) :D
 
   
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(4) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Friday, Jul 3, 2015 14:02]

Only you're not allowed to run into a check. :P
 
 
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(5) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 06:04]

Siegfried: thanks for the like. Joost: thanks for the response. I agree with Siegfried that 1. Kg8/g7/h7#? are not allowed. A king cannot enter check on the mating move: see Article 3.9 of the Laws. This is not a fairy problem. The point is that one can play regular chess from a class of illegal starting positions. The original stipulation also specified: "Illegal position. White to move." to make the situation crystal clear.
 
 
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(6) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 18:28]

CODEX for CHESS COMPOSITION
-------------------
Article 7 – Classification according to Rules
Furthermore, chess compositions can be classified into those which apply the FIDE-rules of the game of chess [12] and those which apply modified rules [13,14]
-------------------
14 Modifications of the FIDE-rules may for example consist in:
(a) Rules (conditions) on which the composition is based (for example maximummer, circe, seriesmover).
(b) Pieces used in the composition (for example nightrider, grasshopper, chinese pieces).
(c) Chess space on which the composition is based (for example chess board with 10×10 squares, cylindrical chess board, multi-dimensional chess boards).
 
   
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(7) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 19:33]

Dear Nikola,
Please can you clarify your point. I don't understand, sorry.
Regards,
Andrew
 
   
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(8) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 20:08]

What is fairy chess? You say it's not a fairy problem.
And the point is that one CAN NOT play regular chess from a class of illegal starting positions.
Chess is a system defined by its laws. And they determine what exists in that system.
I believe that anyone who knows these laws can instantly recognize that your position is not chess.
You may put a few stones on a table and if such "position" exists in chess (laws), you might regularly play chess.
If it doesn't exist in chess, drawing the squares and shaping the stones like pieces, wouldn't help to make it a chess position.
However, that might deceive those who don't know the laws of chess. They would "recognize" chess when they see the pieces and not when they see the stones.
I'm pretty sure that you know what is chess and what is not so, this is either a joke or a fairy problem.
 
   
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(9) Posted by Joost de Heer [Friday, Jul 17, 2015 15:50]

By the way, all of these compositions are unsolvable due to A 7.5a. :)
 
   
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(10) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Friday, Jul 17, 2015 17:10]; edited by Nikola Predrag [15-07-17]

There's also A 7.2, but the complete Fide laws are decisive about what is a chess game.
Codex determines the first 5 articles as being relevant for chess composition.
 
   
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(11) Posted by Geir Sune Tallaksen Østmoe [Saturday, Jul 18, 2015 01:22]

Actually, the position could, in theory, arise in a rapid or blitz game. See Appendix A.4b. Black's last move must have been illegal, so White could claim a win, but I don't see anything in the rules that prevents White from playing on.

BTW, it used to be common in blitz chess to capture the opponent's king in order to claim a win if the opponent put his king in check. This is now explicitly illegal, and you can actually lose the game yourself because capturing the king is illegal. I once did just that because I forgot that the rules had changed. I don't know, but I suspect that the reason that the rules explicitly forbids capturing the king, is in order to clarify that the blitz practice of capturing the king is not supposed to be legal.
 
 
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(12) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Monday, Jul 20, 2015 09:52]; edited by Andrew Buchanan [15-07-20]

Hi, if you haven't already I suggest that you read the Problemas article to see where I am coming from. Chess 960 is a chess generalization which plays very well, despite the fact that only 16 of the 960 starting positions are legal in conventional chess (which we might term "Chess 1"). I am looking forward to the happy day in which we can play Chess 13^64, where every possible random assignment of pieces to the 64 squares on the board is a legitimate start position. The most difficult challenge to establishing the rules of this is determining what to do if Black is apparently in check in the starting position. Rule A1.2 covers this point very elegantly by just saying that the Black king cannot be captured. So the only issue with the positions is that they cannot be reached in a normal game. They are no more, and no less, as illegal as a position with e.g. white pawns on a2, a3 & b2.

Are these "joke" or "fairy" problems? Well, no. It's just the initial position that is illegal. And illegality does not imply that a problem is fairy or a joke. Let's take these two terms in turn.

For example, footnote 18 of the Codex says: "Retroanalysis does not apply to illegal positions, except for the purpose of determining that they are illegal. It also does not apply to fairy compositions unless it is essential to the content of the composition." This suggests, correctly to my mind, that illegality & fairiness can be independent concepts.

And I don't like calling such a problem a "joke", because it softens the focus, and lets us off the hook of understanding the actual logical implications of the Rules and Codex that we have. It's like putting a "question mark" on the end of a clue in the London Times Cryptic Crossword, which indicates a looseness or allusiveness in the idea. It would be completely inappropriate in this case, where the whole point is the tightness of the rules and how A1.2 already extends us smoothly towards Chess 13^64.
 
 
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(13) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Monday, Jul 20, 2015 11:00]; edited by Andrew Buchanan [15-07-20]

Footnote 12 of the Codex says we composers should use the Laws agreed in 1996 Yerevan, and that for us, (only) Articles 1 to 5 are relevant. Hence we need not consider Article 7 covering irregularities. However, I don't really enjoy that footnote, for numerous reasons:
(1) In the problem world, we are still stuck in Yerevan 1996, before some current playing grandmasters were born.
(2) It includes Article 4 about Touch Move.
(3) It excludes Article 9 about the drawn game, which needs to be adapted more carefully to the chess composition world.

Really the problem starts with the Laws, which say that the arbiters have discretion over interpreting all the Laws. This gives them completely unnecessary responsibility and hassle. FIDE should, and perhaps one day will, partition the Laws into:
(Part A) A mathematical definition of the way that pieces move, and the ways the game can end. Players can choose amongst legal moves and say certain legal things like "Draw?" or "I resign!" These are the Rules of the Dance. No Judge discretion is required here, since the rules are relatively simple. So now e.g. arbiters would not be responsible for resolving corner cases about repetition of position where castling or en passant is involved.
(Part B) All the stuff about interfacing with the real world: touch move, clocks, cheating, accidents, writing the moves etc. Here a huge amount of Judge discretion indeed wisdom is required.

Part A would hence comprise what are currently Articles 1-3, 5 and a modified version of 9, which gives the bare bones of what the draws are. Part B would comprise the rest including a differently modified version of 9, which includes details about writing down the move, hitting the clock etc.

Then we on the problem side can state that we take their Part A as our basis. There may be some interpretation required, to handle (a) assumptions about the history of the game prior to the diagram (b) conventions about how players will act in the decision protocols (by which I mean draw by repetition and so forth). In the absence of any change in the Laws, we should perform the partitioning ourselves, and not in a sloppy manner of just saying "1-5" will do. Some thinking on Section 9 may be required.

It is clear from reading the Codex, that there is no fundamental issue with illegality, although quite reasonably these are excluded by default. The relevant snippets are:

Article 14 - Legality of Positions
(1) A position is legal if it can be reached by a sequence of moves from the initial array. Otherwise, the position is called illegal.
(2) In studies and problems that apply the FIDE-rules, illegal positions are not acceptable for composition tournaments unless the tournament conditions so stipulate.

Annex 2
Part I. Composition Tournaments
1 Announcement of a Composing Tournament
A primary composing tournament for original chess compositions starts with the announcement which should include the following features:
(c) indication of special conditions affecting composition (e.g. theme; restricted force; if illegal positions are to be admitted in a tournament applying FIDE rules, this should be stated);

Part II. Solving Tournaments
9. A problem with an illegal position is treated like one with a legal position.

So from that perspective I don't think there is much appetite to get involved with Article 7 of the Laws covering Irregularities. It's clearly in Part B. If a problem has an illegal diagram, that does not imply there was a prior game which included an erroneous move. It's just a diagram without antecedent.
 
   
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(14) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Monday, Jul 20, 2015 13:10]

If you look at chess just technically/mathematically, then just apply the rules as they are.
If you want to "modernize" the rules, you should comprehend the whole concept of chess, respecting its ancient origins. If the soul of the concept would be changed, the name should be changed too.
For instance, chess960 is still a modified chess , while "chess13*64" is not chess.

The rules as they are, still might require a relevant interpretation in some details. They are not formulated with a mathematical exactness and sometimes it's not instantly obvious what is a relevant meaning of the words and terms.

Footnote 12 of the Codex is simply an outdated explanation and not the rule. The rule is clear enough without the footnote, "... which apply the FIDE-rules of the game of chess...". For any clarification of FIDE-rules, FIDE has the authority. However, that authority is relevant only for the "basic rules of play" (A 1-5).
The main purpose of "basic rules" is to define the "physical" laws of chess-universe. The subsequent articles give the competitional rules for obviously practical OTB-fairness reasons.
Codex has elegantly used the opportunity to give the rule in a single sentence, by refering to FIDE.
The parts of "basic rules" are simply irrelevant for chess composition but there's no need to complicate the Codex by specifying that.

The "iregularities" simply do not exist in the "basic rules" of chess-universe. They might occur in the practice of OTB games but then you need an arbiter to decide about the outcome.
In your problem, Black may avoid the mate by any "irregular" move and lose without being mated. Or even to win, e.g. by playing Ka8&Qg8# in one move. The mate-position is legal. The question is, when the arbiter gets involved?

Nevertheless, your problem in this thread is nice, mainly due to the "tries", if "i-chess", mentioned in your article, is accepted as a fairy condition.
The "basic rules" hide an unformulated axiom, "the side in check has the move". This axiom automatically disqualifies the different author's claims.
 
   
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(15) Posted by Joost de Heer [Monday, Jul 20, 2015 21:52]; edited by Joost de Heer [15-07-20]

> (1) A position is legal if it can be reached by a sequence of moves from the initial array. Otherwise, the position is called illegal.

Is it me or should that really read 'a sequence of legal moves'?

> In your problem, Black may avoid the mate by any "irregular" move and lose without being mated.

No. That illegal moves occurred in the past doesn't imply that illegal moves can occur in the future.
 
   
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(16) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Monday, Jul 20, 2015 22:54]

All moves in chess are defined by the rules, so an "illegal move" simply doesn't exist in chess, it has only a hypothetical/virtual meaning.

If illegal moves may occur, then they may occur. If not, then not. And the context of my words was the mentioned Appendix A which supposedly "allows" a play after an irregularity. But even Appendix A requires an arbiter who decides which irregularities would be "allowed".
Anyway, I don't say that it is relevant.
 
 
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(17) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Tuesday, Jul 21, 2015 09:47]

Dear Nikola,

I appreciate very much you taking the time to reply on this theoretical question, and also your kind comment on my little problem.

 QUOTE 
If you look at chess just technically/mathematically, then just apply the rules as they are.

The Laws are divided into Basic Rules of Play (Articles 1-5) and Competition Rules. I don't think the laws will be rewritten in a more mathematical style of prose, as readers already know how to play chess, so will not register the many imprecisions. The following changes should nonetheless be made:
- Article 4 should be moved to Competition Rules.
- Criteria for what functionally constitutes a draw which are in Article 9 belong in Article 5.
- In particular, the criteria for draw by repetition should include (in Section 5) an exact definition of position. (Today even the senior arbiters do not agree with one another!)

 QUOTE 
If you want to "modernize" the rules, you should comprehend the whole concept of chess, respecting its ancient origins.If the soul of the concept would be changed, the name should be changed too. For instance, chess960 is still a modified chess , while "chess13*64" is not chess.

Please don't paint me as some kind of barbarian :-) I am familiar with Chaturanga, and also here in Hong Kong play Chinese Chess from time to time. However I can't resist asking you: for what N does ChessN cease to be chess? :-) Chess13^64 is still a kind of chess - like most other variants it's still characterized by (a) different kinds of pieces (b) some kind of grid-like board (c) objective is the King.

A serious point is that the rules should not just apply to legal positions, because otherwise one needs retrograde analysis to determine whether any moves can be made! My semi-humorous proposal for Chess13^64 (note the "^" indicating exponentiation), is intended to explore the logical implications of this. From a problem perspective it would be nice to have a coherent set of rules that allow Chess13^64 to be played. I have been discussing this with Andriy Frolkin and he said he may give it some thought.

 QUOTE 
Footnote 12 of the Codex is simply an outdated explanation and not the rule. The rule is clear enough without the footnote, "... which apply the FIDE-rules of the game of chess...". For any clarification of FIDE-rules, FIDE has the authority. However, that authority is relevant only for the "basic rules of play" (A 1-5).

Mistakes in a living document should simply be fixed. The other problem I mentioned is that the convention insists that we work the rules of chess from 1997. Today's retrograde analysts have a right to work with the Laws of Chess as they are today, and not be fobbed off with some frozen historical replica. It is an easy lazy answer to freeze the conventions, so that we don't need to address the real problem of how changing rules affect the integrity of existing problems. This comes back to a failure to identify the stakeholders in the conventions: to my mind this constituency should encompass: past and future composers in different genres, and future solvers, judges and tournament organizers. Then one can recognize that the interests of all stakeholders need to be respected.

 QUOTE 
In your problem, Black may avoid the mate by any "irregular" move and lose without being mated. Or even to win, e.g. by playing Ka8&Qg8# in one move.

As Joost has pointed out, and as I say in my article, just because the initial position is declared to be illegal, does not mean that one can play illegal moves. That's the whole point: generalizing the class of positions in which one may play legal chess.

 QUOTE 
Nevertheless, your problem in this thread is nice, mainly due to the "tries", if "i-chess", mentioned in your article, is accepted as a fairy condition.

Thanks, but my problem works fine with the regular rules. No fairy condition is required, and i-chess would be inappropriate anyway since it only prunes solution options which already don't work. Also, You have not addressed my argument yesterday that the conventions distinguish between illegality and fairiness.

 QUOTE 
The "basic rules" hide an unformulated axiom, "the side in check has the move". This axiom automatically disqualifies the different author's claims.

All axioms must be formulated. In any case, your "hidden axiom" is not an axiom, but already an implication of the other rules. I am not sure what you mean by your last sentence here.

Let not the large number of points where we differ here conceal the gratitude that I bear you Nikola for taking the time to compose your message.

In affection,
Andrew.
 
   
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(18) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Tuesday, Jul 21, 2015 14:52]; edited by Nikola Predrag [15-07-21]

Dear Andrew,

I have introduced the concept of "hidden unformulated axiom" exactly to avoid the long complicated explanations in many words about some self-evident point.
To prove that your "..problem works fine with the regular rules..", you should prove that the "hidden axiom" is wrong.
So, the burden of proving is on you.
And the point why I've bothered to formulate that "axiom" is exactly that it's implicated by the wholeness of the rules.
We don't need to "compute" all various combinations and relations between the dubious interpretations of separate articles.
- "a side in check has the move" is axiomatic in chess and anything different IS OBVIOUSLY NOT chess.

And, with affection, I still see as obvious that your problem doesn't even exist "with the regular rules", in the first place.
It's as though you've claimed the invention of perpetuum mobile which "works fine with the regular rules". I might check your explanation to find a hole, if I have no better way to use my time. But I just may say "Not in this universe, define your hypothetical universe and we might play with it".

You and Joost would first allow the irregularities and then disallow them as you wish. You should first define the clear rules about that, and what you have defined so far, is simply not chess.

I don't need retroanalysis, not even questioning the legality of the positions!
If your problems are chess, then the side in check has the move. Your claim, that the checking side has the move, instantly implicates that it is not chess. You can't legally play chess if it is not chess in the first place.
A commentator may say "what an intelligent coach, he plays chess with his team in a football game". Is it really playing chess?
Despite the similarities with chess, you can't really play chess in your problems.

Codex formulates as a rule that FIDE has the authority about the chess rules and that means that:
"the rules for the game of chess as agreed during the FIDE-congress 1996 in Yerevan are NOT valid, presently", if FIDE says so.
Ask FIDE about the presently valid rules.

Fairy chess is not defined in Codex, so technically, there's no firm ground to claim that your problems are fairy or not fairy. But they are not orthodox, and you should first define the modification of the chess rules. I suppose that even without a definition in Codex, these modifications should be considered as fairy chess, when compared to what we usually name so.

"..distinguish between illegality and fairiness..."
"illegality" doesn't exist in "basic rules", that term is used only to indicate something that does NOT exist in chess-system(universe).
From the very introduction, Codex is clear about its purpose, to support the free spirit of creation. Therefore, there are some principles to help the creativity, rather than the restrictions which would suffocate it.
I will surely not try to explain the innumerable possible interpretations, it would make an oxymoron by default.
It's about how to USE these principles and not how to MISUSE them!

It is PERFECTLY CLEAR to me, that Codex doesn't consider the illegal positions as orthodox chess IN PRINCIPLE, because Codex is explicit about the acceptability of illegal positions.
What Codex suggests is that, for a GOOD REASON, we might "shut one eye" and "overlook" the illegality of the diagram if everything else would be (FIDE-)chess.
Please, don't misuse the benevolence of Codex by twisting the principles!

I don't have time and energy now to explain the nature of the ancient chess game.
Just a few "axioms":
- capturing a King is UNIMAGINABLE (not just illegal) so,
- attacking the opposing King already, while still "having the move", is UNIMAGINABLE
- equivalent initial arrangement & strength of white/black pieces

The rules may change, but where is a point when chess would become just one among the innumerable mathematically defined games?

in affection, Nikola
 
   
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(19) Posted by Joost de Heer [Tuesday, Jul 21, 2015 20:26]

Nikola,

I can remember a game in which white castled both kingside ánd queenside in the same game. The error was only discovered after the game was over. Are you implying that both players weren't playing chess anymore after the second (actually, third, because black had castled too) castling?

A move is only illegal if it's declared illegal during the game (7.5a). So Andrew's positions are possible in a chessgame following the FIDE rules. In a game, the position before the illegality should be reinstated, but because this is a chess composition, the exact position before the illegality is not known, and thus the 'game' must commence from the diagram position (although one could debate that the initial game array would be the last known legal position before the illegal diagram position). Whether you think this is ugly, or unnatural, is irrelevant. Legal play /can/ be played in an illegal position.

(Writing this, I suddenly think of a puzzle: An illegal position, and we have to find the last legal position before the diagram position, assuming the only illegality 'overlooked' is leaving the king in check)
 
   
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(20) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Tuesday, Jul 21, 2015 20:34]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [15-07-21]

Now of course that game is Heidenfeld - Kerins.

http://timkr.home.xs4all.nl/records/recordstxt.htm#greatest%20number%20of%20castlings


EDIT: As I work on an article on Bláthy (not for EG), the following position will most likely also be included. I would not think it is fairy chess. What do you think?

(= 11+14 )

Otto Titusz Bláthy
Vielzügige Schachaufgaben 1890, no.8
Mate in 30 (illegal position)

"Die Stellungen 8 [etc.] sind in gewöhnlichen Partien nich möglich; eine Korrektur nach dieser Richtung würde entweder der Zügezahl oder der Schönheit mehr oder weniger Abbruch verursachen." (Bláthy, Vielzügige Schachaufgaben 1890, page 3)
My translation: "The positions 8 [etc.] are not possible in usual games; a correction in that direction would more or less either diminish the number of moves or the beauty."
 
   
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MatPlus.Net Forum General Problemas - July 2015, issue n. 11