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MatPlus.Net Forum General The obtrusive bishop
 
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(1) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Friday, Jun 4, 2021 22:30]

The obtrusive bishop


The? :-)

Do you know a problem with a retro-caused promoted
non-bishop, more than promoted piece, etc., of course
outside the retro genre, with no intended retro content
(i.e. it was a giant mishap of the composer :-) ?

I guess the old age of composition, where the technical
abilities were less advanced (or that is what we think),
is more prone for the finding an example.

P.S. Googling came up with this (1915):
www.newspapers.com/clip/2620551/pittsburgh-post-gazette/
Unfortunately, the Wainwright problem is just commented on
and must hide in an earlier issue. No luck in the Albrecht.
Key is Sb3. Should be easy to find.
 
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(2) Posted by Valery Liskovets [Saturday, Jun 5, 2021 12:35]

In the PDB, there are 3 sound directmate problems with an obtrusive rook (black):
P1039238 (#2, 1919), P1233673 (#4, 1950) and P1372236 (#12, 2013).
 
 
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(3) Posted by Rewan Demontay (Real Name: James Malcom) [Saturday, Jun 5, 2021 18:47]

Well, Hauke, you brought to my mind this old fuddy duddy of lore.

Arthur Ford Mackenzie, Jamaica Gleane 1891 #3
(= 3+1 )


While it is perhaps not an unintentional case, it certainly is an obtrusive one.

I remembered it from Krabbe's Dutch AD Magazine #29 "HET PROBLEEM VAN HERMANS"
(https://timkr.home.xs4all.nl/admag/hermans.htm).
 
   
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(4) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Saturday, Jun 5, 2021 19:23]

Dear chess friends,

Standards have changed - retro is much more of a thing when Morse wrote "Tasks & Records". Most deducible promotions can be called just "promoted units". If anything, it enriches the problem to have cute retro action in this way. Where the promotion logic is trivial (e.g. R or B which have "quantum tunneled" to escape their start square) then the negative epithet "obtrusive" can be ok, but even then it can cause offence as I have discovered. Where the count is excessive, we can talk of "non-standard material" instead, also negative.

At least we are free of the appalling "obtrusive" vs "obviously-obtrusive" distinction which Morse tried to apply.

Thanks,
Andrew
 
   
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(5) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Sunday, Jun 6, 2021 13:00]

@Andrew: Thanks but no thanks, I prefer to keep that distinction.
Whereas technically it makes no difference at all why an unit is
promoted, to the fact that it is promoted, I will always be
provoked to avoid it. (BTW, Mansfield was always known for a fine
sense of artistry, so if it's good enough for him, it's good
enough for me.) It's an esthetic matter, and different composers
will feel different about it.

It might be interesting to scan the Albrecht (for "Umwandlungsfigur"
in "Lösung", which is not a catch-all, mind you). I got 36 hits.
Subtract the guy who I always spell wrong on first try :-) who
likes bold cyclic themes which simply are impossible to do otherwise,
leaves 23. Minus one retro, 22. Only very few of these are obtrusive
(rest: the theme can only done this way, thematically or technically),
amusingly more R than B. (Which provokes the question if an obtrusive
B is strictly "meh, who cares" nowadays and is thus not marked in
the comment. Surely I could write a program in five minutes listing
all obtrusive bishops, if I had the interface to read in the positions.)

A few comments on obtrusive (and not) cases:
20.727 explicitely got no price "because of the B", but given that
the key takes a flight, maybe only the judge was polite :P
57.740 A minimal with B promotion. I find promoted piece(s) here
unacceptable since extending the already gargantuan coal mine a bit
it can be easily done without.
92913/148.585/180.643 all suffer from the same R mishap. My verdict:
The Mansfield (see above) can't be "saved", the Howard trivially so
(Sa3 instead of Pa6), the Mackenzie possibly with much reworking.
Methinks this speaks against Andrews idea to treat them all equal.
Another thing, probably we never know, is whether the composers
themselves realized the fact, since it's not "trivially" spotted.

Obtrusive Hauke
 
   
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(6) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Sunday, Jun 6, 2021 17:26]

Square me the circle then Hauke. If some people love their promotions and consider them retro flourish while others despise them and insist on punishing the authors with a sneering term, citing historical precedent, then where should a neutral glossary try to stand on the matter? I honestly do not know.

To be clear we are not talking non-standard material, nor (in Morse’s clumsy and unusable phrase) “obviously obtrusive” promotions i.e. quantum-tunnelling, but just a situation where we can deduce that a promotion must have occurred.
 
   
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(7) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Sunday, Jun 6, 2021 20:03]

Squaring the circle is easy: Don't rely on compass and straightedge ;-)
That said: No, I can't offer a neutral position. We could as well ask:
What about this flight taking? Different judges will judge different,
that's the bane of composing being an art. I probably won't even treat
an obtrusive bishop equal for all problems, as you saw in the rook example.
 
   
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(8) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Monday, Jun 7, 2021 02:26]

Hi,

Rereading this is I think I may have been unclear. The distinction between o and oo concepts doesn’t go away. Actually it is clearer because they won’t be lumped into the same category of o (since no-one will use the term oo). A quantum-tunnelled piece or locked promoted unit (e.g. wBa8 with bPb7) might be described as o. But other examples are just promotions.

There are also situations where we know that a promotion must have taken place because of pawn capture balance arguments. Maybe we know it was captured or maybe it might still be on the board. Most of the time we don’t know what piece it promoted into.

Keywords are of limited usefulness unless they are populated accurately and comprehensively. In PDB which I know best there are far too many cute narrow terms. In cleaning this up there should be a base factual keyword “promotion”. Wherever possible, keywords should be populated automatically by the engine (1) analysing the diagram or solution, or (2) derived from rules. There will be (3) a number of human-populated fields and it’s here that o can be populated. The aesthetics depend on genre, and the term o cannot be applied to a retro because it is in-your-face judgmental. But someone can at least filter on promotion examples e.g. for #2 and decide what needs to be tagged with the o defect.

Mackenzie is kind of an exception. Is it a retro problem, for artistic not functional reasons? I think not. But obstrusive means prominent in a bad way. And good or bad this kind of promotion is often not prominent. That’s another problem with this wretched term.

The same diagram also works as h=1.5* with Thema Null btw. The goal is already achieved in set play.
 
 
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(9) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Monday, Jun 7, 2021 02:26]

Hi,

Rereading this is I think I may have been unclear. The distinction between o and oo concepts doesn’t go away. Actually it is clearer because they won’t be lumped into the same category of o (since no-one will use the term oo). A quantum-tunnelled piece or locked promoted unit (e.g. wBa8 with bPb7) might be described as o. But other examples are just promotions.

There are also situations where we know that a promotion must have taken place because of pawn capture balance arguments. Maybe we know it was captured or maybe it might still be on the board. Most of the time we don’t know what piece it promoted into.

Keywords are of limited usefulness unless they are populated accurately and comprehensively. In PDB which I know best there are far too many cute narrow terms. In cleaning this up there should be a base factual keyword “promotion”. Wherever possible, keywords should be populated automatically by the engine (1) analysing the diagram or solution, or (2) derived from rules. There will be (3) a number of human-populated fields and it’s here that o can be populated. The aesthetics depend on genre, and the term o cannot be applied to a retro because it is in-your-face judgmental. But someone can at least filter on promotion examples e.g. for #2 and decide what needs to be tagged with the o defect. Folk can also (4) have their own uncontrolled tags to apply like Twitter.

Mackenzie is kind of an exception. Is it a retro problem, for artistic not functional reasons? I think not. But obstrusive means prominent in a bad way. And good or bad this kind of promotion is often not prominent. That’s another problem with this wretched term.

The main function of this discussion for me has been to better understand how complex and fraught the usage of a keyword can be. There are many lower-hanging fruit before this one comes to the top of the agenda. Thanks

The same diagram also works as =2* with Thema Null btw. The goal is already achieved in set play.
 
 
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MatPlus.Net Forum General The obtrusive bishop