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MatPlus.Net Forum Fairies Regent chess
 
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(1) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Monday, Jun 20, 2022 20:25]

Regent chess


In the Problemas 34 (April 2021 - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1So-98Cyu1uGpFJO5cLtPqo42fnPlQbyn/view?usp=sharing) the Regent chess was introduced (pages 1097-1112). I was trying to understand it as I have to, but I found it exteremely difficult to grasp. Is there someone out there who managed to understand it and enjoyed it?
 
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(2) Posted by James Malcom [Monday, Jun 20, 2022 23:27]

If Juraj cannot understand it, then it must be difficult indeed...
 
 
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(3) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Tuesday, Jun 21, 2022 06:16]

This entertaining Borgesian endeavour is no less clear to me than most fairy conditions. When I tried to encourage the Augean task of clearing up some of the mess, I was accused of "imposing" [true story, in this very forum] - and asked to defer to one of the (mutually inconsistent) licensed imposers, namely the developers of solving engines. [Again, true story.] The obscure nature of their operation allows some to proceed blithely in the belief that fairy chess has a proper foundation. A catalogue of vague allusions is no foundation. Here is the standard we should compare our work against: https://magic.wizards.com/en/rules Such a foundation could render easier the creation & assimilation of new fairy creatures such as Regent, Prince etc :) Anyway, it's all fun, but I wanted to make the point. And I do love Borges
 
   
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(4) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Tuesday, Jun 21, 2022 07:34]

Well, I was and still am among those who think that especially interactions of all thinkable fairy elements can hardly be defined unambiguously once and forever. MtG example is actually allowing (those who know both realms, fairy chess and MtG) good comparison with at least two clear differences:

1. Official MtG design and development is strictly lead by WOtC, the firm composed of individuals with clear roles - designers, developers, test players, rules experts, decision maker(s) - leads. Once the new mechanics is devised, rules interactions are explored and defined in a lengthy process. Excuse me to say so, but this is exactly imposing rules on all players, whether they like them or not (mostly do - MtG is a successful commercial product). In fairy chess we have large set of independent authors who devise various new fairy elements (mechanics) and most of them do not care about obscure interactions they might appear, but often do not appear because nobody composes problems with such interaction coming into question.

2. For fairy chess problems to work, it is important that rules once defined and used in the compositions do not change in future as this might render some part of compositions invalid. I remember how messy was the beginning of SAT fairy condition when the inventor himself was producing new versions over a few years until the dust settled. While he was ok with this stormy development, it was difficult to compose something that could be sure to last. However in MtG major changes of official rules over time changed the core mechanics of the game and has direct impact on gameplay - like (no) damage on stack change, redirect of damage from player to planeswalker or even change of mulligan rule, to name just what I remembered as I write. Such changes can be accommodated in a played game, but hardly could be in hypothetical "MtG problems" relying on fine interactions of rules. (I know there are some real MtG problems, included e.g. in digital MtG game in single player cmapaigns.)

The point of my question above was different. Here I am talking about single defined fairy condition that required many pages in the magazine just to be somehow (in my view not really well) explained and although I was really trying, it was too much for me to understand. On the other hand, I have feeling, from scanning the text around example problems, that these are quite ambitious and might be even very good. So I am looking for someone who walked the whole path and enjoyed them, to perhaps discuss the condition (other way of explanation) and problems afterwards, if possible.
 
   
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(5) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Tuesday, Jun 21, 2022 08:32]

Hi Juraj,

Thanks for your response, much of which I agree with.

> Well, I was and still am among those who think that especially interactions of all thinkable fairy elements can hardly be defined unambiguously once and forever.

Of course I agree, but that's no reason not to make the best effort we can to have a base foundation of the core concepts, so that simple and advanced fairy elements are all better supported.
Magic too has several joke sets of silver border cards which are explicitly excluded from conforming to the Comprehensive Rules.

> Excuse me to say so, but [Magic Design & Development] is exactly imposing rules on all players, whether they like them or not.

You seem to think that confusion and uncertainty are not an imposition? For example, I didn't compose for the RIFACE Fairy tourney, because I couldn't get a proper definition of Volages. I wanted to know the rules: like you with Regent Chess, I'm not trying to impose anything. I was told to check WinChloe problems and use inductive reasoning to see how the problems in there worked. (I guess WinChloe rules over a French tournament!)

And the engine developers DO impose their own world views, like it or not.

If you know Magic, Juraj, perhaps you can remember the shambles before the 6th edition rules in 1997. Random persons, in and out of WotC, would argue about how to resolve the chaos. Two serious attempts to make a computer program to run the game failed. Fairy Chess is still in that kind of sad and completely unnecessary state. The imposition of fog.

> In fairy chess we have large set of independent authors who devise various new fairy elements (mechanics) and most of them do not care about obscure interactions they might appear, but often do not appear because nobody composes problems with such interaction coming into question.

They don't care about the interactions, because there is no foundation so they know they can't get any traction. Geek mentality is about engineering: if precision was possible, then I think today's "large" number of composers would be dwarfed by those who come into the hobby. And retro fairy chess is particularly crippled: if you can't specify the rules clearly, how can you make neat things happen?

> For fairy chess problems to work, it is important that rules once defined and used in the compositions do not change in future as this might render some part of compositions invalid.

Ah now this is a Cursed Problem, by which I mean a conflict in stakeholder interest. (See the brilliant YouTube video about this issue in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uE6-vIi1rQ&t=3s.) We first need to identify the groups of stakeholders. One is indeed historical composers, but we also have to recognize the interest of future composers for many generations ahead, who arguably should not be hamstrung by a messy environment where random inconsistent claims have been staked by earlier generations, that discourage and complicate learning.

In fact, I think that the Imposing Fog is not in historical composers' interest either. Who can really track all the detailed aspects of an interpretation that made sense once? Or suppose that two problems had inconsistent interpretations? So their wonderful problems become unintelligible and forgotten. If we classify the problems properly, then we can catalogue how each landmark problem was intended to be interpreted in its time. The rules do change, conventions change, artistic tastes change, and we can avoid a tyranny of the past by respecting that each problem is as sound as its maximum soundness over time. And with the past properly respected, we can judiciously clean up the rules and conventions. Otherwise, we are increasingly stuck. No-one in Magic would ever go back to pre-6th Ed rules. In Fairy chess we are so used to the misery, we don't see that there is an alternative.

> The point of my question above was different. Here I am talking about single defined fairy condition.

Yes I know, and my response was 50% tongue in cheek. I would be interested to know how Joaquim Crusats has interpreted the Regent Chess article. But honestly I feel the same frustration when I read hopeless vagueness about "guarding" and "controlling" and blah-blah, or the epic convention about PRA - basic things which should be properly nailed down mathematically. And rules for pawns on the first rank? Rank is the word! :)

All the best,
Andrew

EDIT: Imposing Fog does sound like the name of a Magic card :)
 
   
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(6) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Tuesday, Jun 21, 2022 09:51]

With great power [to invent new fairy elements] comes great responsibility
[to invent them clearly] - Spider-King (invented by E.P.White)
 
   
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(7) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Tuesday, Jun 21, 2022 21:38]

Dear Andrew, while we see some points differently, I also think that we agree on more. Thanks for considered reply.

> that's no reason not to make the best effort we can to have a base foundation of the core concepts, so that simple and advanced fairy elements are all better supported.

Indeed, and that is why I applaud the Fairy Chess Classification Project running at JF. I thank everyone contributing their time and energy for its development.

> You seem to think that confusion and uncertainty are not an imposition?

Indeed not. At least myself, I am not commanding anybody to stay in the state of confusion and uncertainty. Believe me, I like clear definitions myself.

> For example, I didn't compose for the RIFACE Fairy tourney, because I couldn't get a proper definition of Volages. I wanted to know the rules: like you with Regent Chess, I'm not trying to impose anything. I was told to check WinChloe problems and use inductive reasoning to see how the problems in there worked. (I guess WinChloe rules over a French tournament!)

This sounds strange to me. Volage is (moderately, but still) known chess condition for many years. Is there any catch in term „proper definition“? FCCP gives definition: Any unit (King excepted) changes colour the first time it moves from a light to a dark square or vice versa. Clear enough, in line with what I have remembered since my greenhorn years. Is it improper?

> And the engine developers DO impose their own world views, like it or not.

That’s the price to be paid for having ability to test something. As long as there are choices necessary (e.g. order of application of fairy elements) either they have to be made at time of coding (imposition) or at time of problem setup (flexibility – is very difficult to code, as you might imagine). But everyone is free to stay away from the programs, with obvious consequences, or can try make better…

> If you know Magic, Juraj, perhaps you can remember the shambles before the 6th edition rules in 1997.

(Un)fortunately, I can’t remember as I started playing much later, in the Shadowmoor season, shortly after the Xth edition. Damage no longer on stack was the first bigger change I had to endure, just after I finally understood the idea and was able to utilize it.

> We first need to identify the groups of stakeholders. One is indeed historical composers, but we also have to recognize the interest of future composers for many generations ahead, who arguably should not be hamstrung by a messy environment where random inconsistent claims have been staked by earlier generations, that discourage and complicate learning.

In my opinion, this is serious exaggeration. In my view majority of compositions worthy of studying now and in 100 years are clear enough that no frontier fairy chess mess would affect them. I speak not only about orthodox works, but also many fairy problems that utilize fairy elements without any ambiguity.

> > The point of my question above was different. Here I am talking about single defined fairy condition.
> Yes I know, and my response was 50% tongue in cheek. I would be interested to know how Joaquim Crusats has interpreted the Regent Chess article.

Yes, or anyone else.


> EDIT: Imposing Fog does sound like the name of a Magic card :)

Makes sense. E.g. Imposing Fog – Instant, Mana Cost: GGG, Text: Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn and two next turns. Metaflavour text: Aggro on draw: Sigh.
 
   
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(8) Posted by shankar ram [Wednesday, Jun 22, 2022 04:42]

>> When I tried to encourage the Augean task of clearing up some of the mess, I was accused of "imposing" [true story, in this very forum] - and asked to defer to one of the (mutually inconsistent) licensed imposers, namely the developers of solving engines. [Again, true story.]

Andrew seems to be referring to this thread:
http://matplus.net/start.php?px=1655865279&app=forum&act=posts&fid=gen&tid=2763
 
   
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(9) Posted by Neal Turner [Thursday, Jun 23, 2022 21:07]

I'm afraid that the idea of a foundation for the core concepts is a lost cause.
How can it happen when THE core concept of chess - giving check - is in doubt.
The FIDE laws specifically state that capturing the king is illegal (Article 1.4.1) yet many fairy conditions work on the assumption that check is in fact a threat to capture the king - for instance in Anti-circe one can answer a check by occupying the checking piece's rebirth square.
SAT doesn't fall into this trap - kings sitting on adjacent squares block each other precisely because kings can't be captured.
 
   
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(10) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Friday, Jun 24, 2022 10:48]

Hi Neal - you are right in pointing out this is a challenge. Castling legality is also a source of difficulty. They indicate the fundamental nature of what needs fixing. But it’s arguably much simpler than the messes of interrupts, static abilities, damage assignment etc that millions of players had to endure, prior to Magic 6th Edition, which did not just make the company literally billions of dollars, but was also genuinely beautiful in many of its solutions.
 
   
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(11) Posted by Neal Turner [Saturday, Jun 25, 2022 16:50]

Going back to the original post, my take is this.
We appreciate Chess (and the other classic games Go & Draughts) because a simple set of rules opens up a game space full of depth, complexity and beauty.
What this Regent Chess seems to be doing is attempting turn it into something like a Dungeons & Dragons strategy game - the very antithesis of Chess.
As the great man once said, there's a fine line between clever and stupid.
 
 
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MatPlus.Net Forum Fairies Regent chess