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MatPlus.Net Forum General obtrusive force: what say you?
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(61) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Tuesday, Feb 5, 2013 12:12]; edited by Nikola Predrag [13-02-05]

Thanks Kevin for a short post, it helps me to see why you (and probably others) did not catch the critical point. Word "supernatural" obviously evokes strong prejudices, it sounds counter-scientific. Here I use that word merely technically (you can offer a better word).

Science explores the concepts in accordance with the fundamental laws of nature by proving that a particular concept DOES or DOES NOT obey these laws - or is it a "natural" or "supernatural" concept. In this wording, the science is actually about looking for the sharp distinction between natural and supernatural.

Our universe exists on its own fundamental natural laws (laws of nature). Some other universe with different own fundamental natural laws would be "supernatural", compared with our definition of "natural" - we could call it a fairy universe.

We can establish any set of rules for Chess. Once established, it would be the "natural chess", "orthodox chess" or simply the Chess. Anything beyond that "natural" set of rules would be the Fairy chess.

Chess, such as millions know it (and easily understand!), is based on a rather simple set of fundamental rules but nevertheless, it offers incredibly rich field of beauty. (Attempts to define one fundamental set of rules for all chess-variants may be a goal, but could it be simple and easily comprehensible?)

All previous sentences are irrelevant, they are only a rough and clumsy introduction. It is pointless or even impolite to analyse them. The crucial point is a sharp distinction between "natural" and "fairy" fundamental rules, including a distinction between "fundamental" and "proclaimed" rules. I don't feel obliged to provide such distinction, personally I see it clearly without any intention to impose it.

But I can't take as serious any discussion which ignores the fundaments, so I ask and remind about them.
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(62) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Tuesday, Feb 5, 2013 19:24]

Congratulations to the scientists you have.
Those who don't admit quantum physics to be "supernatural".

And while it was super natural to find the AUW, before it was found it was thought to be supernatural.
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(63) Posted by Kevin Begley [Tuesday, Feb 5, 2013 22:25]; edited by Kevin Begley [13-02-06]


You pay too much attention to celebrity physicists, and are too eager to fall for new-age religions (masquerading as science).

Have you ever actually studied any physics (especially quantum physics)?
I have -- enough to know this much: in the real world, we don't talk about "supernatural" forces (like Nikola does).
Sure, there are things celebrity physicists will say to secure funding from (or to sell books to) people who can't do algebra.
But, you're not supposed to incorporate their absurd commentary into your free body diagrams.

"Certainly no mystical assertions are justified by any observations concerning quantum processes."
-Victor Stenger (American particle physicist), Quantum Quackery.

Yes, some quantum concepts can be remarkably anti-intuitive -- but, fairy tale terms don't actually help you to understand anything.
It really comes down to accepting a universe which operates based upon a probability function, and trusting the mathematics (that's why the best treatment of the subject requires intensive linear algebra, and very little Newtonian intuition!).

In the real chess world, it is similarly important to recognize that Nikola's divining rod yields many false results.
This should be no surprise: he considers both the current FIDE rule book, and the present CODEX, to be "Supernatural."
That should be a strong indicator that his undefined terms can not apply to the real universe.

That's why the use of his terms has not actually taught you anything (nor yet healed anyone).
You have learned only that Nikola does not consider the fairy condition Maximummer to be supernatural -- that may seem comforting, if you happen to like this fairy condition; but, it doesn't actually say anything about the universe (nor any "parallel universe"), contrary to what Nikola may like to pretend.
I do hope you found his opinions to be worth the price of the collection basket!
If not, I wouldn't bet his continued chanting will help (in any way).

If you're willing to be honest with yourself, you know that Nikola's subjective opinion (which is already contrary to the "natural laws of the real chess universe") provides you nothing useful -- no matter how many times he wants to pretend that his opinions (regarding what is, and what is not, "supernatural") are "critically important."
If he could even provide you a coherent methodology to determine his opinions (what is natural, what is supernatural), it might actually be interesting; but, he can not even manage to define his terms (it seems he's still struggling to translate his ideas into the cumbersome language of our quaint universe).

He offers only a personal bias for a previous version of the game -- no surprise, it's the same version he happens to have initially accepted!
If he had actually lost a chess game to somebody who could not arrange a helpmate against him, I promise you, his views of "natural" chess rules would quickly shape-shift (into something resembling the present codified version).

If you care to study quantum physics, I'll be happy to direct you to some quality information.
If you are only interested in peddling a new age spirituality -- just don't abuse the public by cloaking it (for sale) in scientific terms.
That I will consider a complete fraud.

If nothing else, remember this: scientific experiments are reproducible, whereas Nikola's supernatural litmus test is only a biased thought experiment.
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(64) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013 01:07]

Yes, I am obviously not able "to translate my ideas into the cumbersome language of our quaint universe" in such a way that you Kevin would be able to understand the simpliest concepts. Any concept or behaviour which is not possible in the real world is simply not real. I call it supernatural or fairy.
I shall explain to you in your language, you say:

"I have -- enough to know this much: in the real world, we don't talk about "supernatural" forces"
Exactly these things you don't talk about I call supernatural or fairy.

Fairies do not and can not exist in the real world, otherwise they are not fairies. Well, I don't beleive that you don't understand such a simple relation of what is real and what is not real.

Could it be possible, that you avoid the point and just distort what I say to mock with my efforts? Just in case, I will not waste my time and energy. Farewell to you Kevin, you will not miss me.
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(65) Posted by Kevin Begley [Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013 02:57]; edited by Kevin Begley [13-02-06]


You must understand, if you can not provide a methodology for assigning your terms (e.g., "supernatural"), the terms themselves are essentially useless.
This should, of course, be self-evident -- given that you refuse to provide any definition for your terms.

Maximummer is a constraint which does not exist in orthodox chess rules; yet, you somehow (quite magically, it would seem) prefer to consider it "natural" (as opposed to other fairy conditions, which you insist have been divined to be "supernatural").
You must understand, this information is neither real nor useful -- it is a fantastical description which does nothing but conceal a subjective prejudice.

I certainly find your subjective opinions to be interesting (and I welcome you to share such opinions).
I'm only asking that you be honest about what you have presented -- it is nothing more than a subjective preference.

If you don't know where you are, and you don't know where you're going, an elaborate map is only useful to perpetrate a hoax.
Please understand: I must object when subjective beliefs are couched in a falsified terminology, in order that they might masquerade as something more substantial.

There is a difference between the the miracle worker (who refuses to admit any slight of hand), and the magician (who only refuses to divulge the trick).
I did not mean to divulge your trick (claiming fairy conditions may be objectively defined by undefinable terms, which may require some shared psychic discernment power).
I'm only asking that you admit your performance is based upon an elaborate slight of hand, which only serves to conceal what is entirely your subjective opinion.

You may continue to believe in "supernatural" conditions; but, you must admit an inability to establish that this amounts to anything real.

You have said:
>"Chess, such as millions know it (and easily understand!), is based on a rather simple set of fundamental rules."

What you fail to accept is: Chess has always been evolving; and even from the time your first learned it, the game has evolved.
Your subjective preference for an older form of the game does not constitute a "Natural Law" (even if some people -- hardly millions! -- happen to share your perception).

Natural Laws are not made by the occurrence of a singular phenomenon (they must account for the long arc of chess, beyond your preferred version)!
Subjective preferences only distort a more complete understanding.
The version of chess which you first learned may have seemed "natural" to you; but, for new recruits "dead reckoning" rules will seem equally "natural."
For many, Shantraj was more natural than "the game of the mad queen" (which is all you are willing to accept).

Everybody recognizes that FIDE has authority to alter the rules of the game.
If you prefer an older variant, that's fine -- but, it is fraudulent to suggest that your preferences are based upon some "Natural Law" philosophy (far worse to pretend this is based upon some scientific terminology).

If you want to define fairy chess, you must either base it against:
1) the most current version of FIDE Chess (in which case, your favorite set of rules are already a supernatural fairy condition),
2) a specifically agreed upon set of rules (in which case, we surrender any connection to the game), or
3) all previous versions of FIDE chess (in which case, orthodox represents nothing more than a growing set of favorite fairy conditions).

In any case, we still have failed to exclude other games (Checkers, Tic-Tac-Toe, Connect-Four, etc -- all might yet be considered "fairy chess").
A precise definition of the term "Fairy" (or "Chess Variant") has LONG eluded us.

I submit to you, that the term itself is a supernatural fantasy.
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(66) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013 03:48]

Kevin, you appear to fail to grasp that Nikola is using analogy, perhaps even in a poetic - definitely not a scientific - sense. I understand exactly what he is talking about! Switch off *science* mode; turn on *poetry* mode?
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(67) Posted by Kevin Begley [Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013 03:57]; edited by Kevin Begley [13-02-06]

No Ian -- READ what he's said!
He declares that his preferred version of chess (an older form of the game) is "Natural", whereas "Dead Reckoning" is not.

Such a distortion is not covered under poetic license; nor is the poet to be forgiven for attempting to perpetrate a fact, using fantasy terms (which elude definition), and false references to a well developed philosophy (which does not apply to a singular instance of an unnaturally developed, evolving game).

Switch on comprehension mode, and you'll see clearly that he's only attempting to conceal a subjective favoritism, as if it were objective truth.

ps: maybe you can explain the pentameter here:

Nikola says:
>"We can establish any set of rules for Chess. Once established, it would be the "natural chess", "orthodox chess" or simply the Chess. Anything beyond that "natural" set of rules would be the Fairy chess."

So, Dead Reckoning, which FIDE rulebook has established, and our CODEX has codified, must now be "Natural Chess."
Yet, Nikola declares it is not.

Please, provide the Shakespearean translation...

And, keep in mind, he declares that the majority opinion does not matter; yet somehow, it helps him when many (millions?) fail to stay abreast of new rules (in our evolving game).

If this sounds like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to you, forgive me for suspecting that you're only trying to escape a worse translation (from the literal meaning).

And, if this were poetry, well, allow me to retort:

Roses grow red,
Violet blue you must coax,
The fairy term's dead,
Supernatural's a hoax.
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(68) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013 07:21]; edited by seetharaman kalyan [13-02-06]

It seems that even 'chess' is undefinable :) Perhaps we should start here.
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(69) Posted by Georgy Evseev [Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013 11:47]

There is a difference between rules of _abstract game of chess_ and _tournament chess_. The former are generally unchanged for about 200 years, the latter are changed from time to time.
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(70) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013 15:48]; edited by Nikola Predrag [13-02-06]

Dear Ian, thanks for trying to appreciate at least my efforts. But you also fail to accept the technical meaning of my wording. You see my analogy as poetic, so far it's OK, but I indeed use it in a scientific sense. Since we were talking about Chess and Fairy chess, I tried to give some technical meaning to "fairy", exactly with a goal to use it subsequently in a "scientific" discussion.

Scientific discussion takes some hypothesis and tries to prove it being true or false. My technical meaning for "natural" is "provable as true" and for "supernatural" is "provable as false". First step of "scientific" reasoning is to define a precise "tehnical" meaning of the terms. Anyone who is seduced by and bound to his prejudices and can't abstract the "technical" meaning from the "poetic" meaning of "supernatural" or "fairy", simply is not suitable for "scientific" discussion.

I still can't beleive that it is so hard to abstract and reduce the meaning of "supernatural" to "provable as false" within a particular closed system defined by particular fundamental rules/laws. I am heavily discouraged, how could I expect a reasonable discussion in which some words are considered "scientific" and some are not. The way in which someone treats the meaning of the words might be "scientific" or not, not the words themselves. I asked Kevin for a better word for a specifically reduced and technical meaning of "supernatural", hoping it might help the communication. He ignored it, he is so happy to oppose to what the others say without a true intention to understand what they actually say in the first place.

I used those "poetic" words, natural and supernatural for a good reason, to distinct natural laws/principles and laws/rules proclaimed by humans. I expect that the differece is clear, anyone who wants a precise definition is welcome to produce it. So, "natural laws" and "proclaimed laws".

Another easy abstraction is "natural chess" defined by its "natural laws". Saying that I try to impose "my chess" as natural, given by the Nature, is not only preposterous, it's highly impolite. My struggle to reach the critical point is heavily obstructed by repeated distortion of what I mean. Sisyphus will make one more effort.

Humans define and proclaim the chess rules, establishing a particular closed system named chess. One of the hypothetial systems which might be called chess, is a system recently called Chess, by millions. It is defined by fundamental laws: defined board, defined w/b pieces and their movement and also a chess game is defined by the initial game array, alternate w/b play and mate and stalemate as the end of a game. These laws are simple, clear and they define a self-consistent system. It is a closed hypothetical universe and its fundamental laws may be called natural (of course, only within it).

The term "players" may be avoided when talking about the goals in a game. One side intends to mate the opposite King and to avoid a mate to his own King. Shoud the goals also be considered as fundamental/natural? Personally I don't think so (without imposing it to anyone). Behaviour in the real universe is allowed or restricted by natural laws, irrelevantly to the intentions and goals.

Besides the natural laws, FIDE proclaims additional "proclaimed laws". They have a practical purpose in official games. They might change during each FIDE meeting but so far, they did not essentially affect the fundamental/natural laws of Chess. To proclaim the game finished for any reason except for mate or stalemate is certainly practical but not natural. Non-official game may be played as long as the players have fun in it.

A movement of a Grasshopper or Circe-rebirth are not possible in Chess, according to its natural laws. But a different, relatively supernatural chess could be defined with its own inner fundamental/natural laws. It would belong to a vast family of Fairy chess systems.

I already feel that the stone pushes me down, that's all. If my words can help anyone, fine. If not, also fine.
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(71) Posted by Kevin Begley [Thursday, Feb 7, 2013 05:57]; edited by Kevin Begley [13-02-07]


Once again, you are pretending to offer us some scientific discussion, but you fail to define your terms, "Natural / Supernatural".
I have repeatedly asked you to share the meaning of your terms, but each time, you have refused.

Your terms actually represent nothing more than a subjective favoritism -- anyone can come along an label certain fairy rules "natural / unnatural", based on their own lack of understanding, and some favoritism!
This is a pathetic attempt to undermine fair competition -- I consider this a gross violation (in a competition already replete with disgraceful examples of subjective favoritism, you would add more, without helping to undo any of the damage already done).

Here is a hint: if you are the only one with the psychic power to divine what is "Natural," and what is not, then you are a LONG, LONG way from scientific categorization.

Furthermore, you offer us no value in having such terms defined.
We can not even define the term "fairy" (which is a considerable shortcoming, considering that we divide problems according to such an unclear division).
Now, you want to add more terms, which have no clear definition -- for what purpose?
What good comes from your piling on more fantasy, more favoritism, and more undefined terms?

What do we get for attaching undefined terms, which denote a definite favoritism, to particular fairy elements, which you happen not to understand (or like)?
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(72) Posted by Kevin Begley [Thursday, Feb 7, 2013 07:20]; edited by Kevin Begley [13-02-07]

I agree with Kalyanasundram -- we should begin by defining our most elementary terms.

It is shocking how many so-called "experts" are in complete disagreement about the fundamental meaning of our basic terms.
I'm not only referring to the significance of certain constructional flaws -- I'm saying: there are a vast number of fairy experts who have no basic understanding of what constitutes a fairy element.

In most cases, it is like pulling teeth trying to help some people recognize what a majority already accepts (e.g., promotion duals do not render a problem unsound, series-movers and reflexmates are NOT merely stipulations, extra-long castling *might* be possible on a vertical cylinder board, pawns have a default movements which applies when they are reborn onto the first rank (unless otherwise stated), and, yes, obtrusive force constitutes something of a flaw, which a composer should strive to avoid (whenever possible).

The list of disagreements goes on and on... owing entirely to a lack of fundamental understanding.

In other cases, it is virtually hopeless trying to convince some misguided editors to help fix a broken classification system (e.g., good luck convincing an editor to correct the old, improper classification for reflexmates, as a stipulation).
You may get them to agree with you -- most will, in fact -- but, you'll find few with the courage to correct this old mistake!

You could go off and write your own fairy codex -- I've seen a few so called "fairy experts" attempt to define everything, by themselves -- but, they always wander off track, and fail. Most prove to have more passion than clarity.

There's little value in one person trying to define these terms -- without a broad consensus, you'll never persuade those with a vested interest in the present unfairness, to display the courage to make a set of necessary (healthy) corrections.
You need the delegates to lend their support to such an effort -- to gather contributors, consider arguments, and sanction only elements which can be clearly formalized.

Generally, the best people to help define these things are the people who write software (databases, solving tools, etc) -- there is a good reason they don't wander off track (it has to work, and they have little interest complicating matters with invented fictional terms, aimed at undermining a variety of fairy elements).

If you haven't considered how to detect logical divisions with software (e.g., as a query), you probably can't fully appreciate the issue.
But, many today are willing to toss problems into a database, and ignore how shifting FIDE rules (CHANGED ORTHODOX RULES) may undermine their intended theme!
Out of sight, out of mind (that's how they would prefer to classify chess problems -- according to no logic, just based upon what they happen to consider "natural").

In other words, they obfuscate and distort the truth (on purpose), to save what they prefer to save (as "orthodox").
The terms have no definite meaning -- it's no wonder people only want to add more terms (like "natural" and "supernatural").
They can't even explain the present terms, because to clarify these terms would undermine their established sense of favoritism.

I consider the entire classification of chess problems to be such a bad joke, that I was actually pleased to see the Olympic Committee deny its attempted entry.
Though, I can't be entirely sure about their reasoning, I have a suspicion that they identified Composition to be a false competition (it would not require much investigation -- just start with the fundamental terms, and watch the experts all disagree)!

If you care about fairness (and what our faulty contests say about the art of problem composition), you should be demanding that the delegates setup some mechanism to define basic terms, sanction fundamental elements, and clarify numerous construction misconceptions.
Only the delegates can do this.

If you fail to provide fair contests, based upon a logical classification system, with clear definitions for your elementary terms, what value is your federation?
And, what good are your elected delegates?
Nobody can deny that this cheapens the value of awards and titles -- yet, the problem community continually fails to recognize that our primary interest should be to correct this dismal situation.

Yet, the resistance to any improvement remains formidable, and we all linger under the shadow of a deliberate failure.
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(73) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Thursday, Feb 7, 2013 07:59]

"... yes, obtrusive force constitutes something of a flaw, which a composer should strive to avoid (whenever possible)."

Now that is a form of "subjective favouritism", is it not?!
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(74) Posted by Kevin Begley [Thursday, Feb 7, 2013 09:52]; edited by Kevin Begley [13-02-07]

Yes, Ian, that is correct -- like all other aesthetic considerations, this particular flaw is similarly based upon a highly subjective criterion.
There is nothing "natural" or objective about a shared determination to generally dismiss retro-illegal orthodox positions, either.

If this were a natural determination, then everybody would agree upon whether a checking key, against a lone King, is a flaw; but, not everybody does agree!
There is no objective truth here -- we have only a subjective agreement, to consider specific aesthetic realizations as flaws.

You might not like hearing that, but the fact is: you can not provide any rational argument favoring obtrusive force, nor against retro-illegal positions -- this is an entirely subjective decision.
It is highly possible that you, in a parallel universe, might easily have accepted a different set of aesthetic guidelines -- perhaps even any position goes (retro-legality-be-damned)!

Think about it -- what would it have taken to get you to approve of constructions using a retro-illegal position?
I suspect anyone would have instantly accepted this guideline, if only a few highly respected composers (early on) had pushed for this (particularly a few choice mentors).

So, the whole purpose of this thread, in my view, is to influence a particular subjective favoritism, in search of a short-term advantage.

I'm only suggesting that:
1) we should seek to abide by whatever the considered view of the larger community, and
2) we should seek to formalize this view (as much as possible), in the interest of fairness.
Judges should not only be willing to forgive violations committed by specific composers (I think everybody has some experience with this).

Aesthetics are purely subjective constraints (which vary only in how commonly they are accepted).
I am not suggesting that my own subjective interpretation must be adopted; though, in this case, I would be surprised to see them scuttle such a valuable aesthetic guideline.
The point is: I am willing to accept a shared interpretation (from the delegates/larger community) -- precisely because I recognize that all aesthetic guidelines are merely subjective!

And, please remember two important points:
1) Anyone may freely violate aesthetic guidelines, but the judge may expect you only do this for good reason. And,
2) There is a distinction between the aesthetic suggestions (which delegates may wish to make), and a logical classification system (which delegates should be expected to provide) -- the latter need not be subjective (in any way)!
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(75) Posted by Rajendiran Raju [Thursday, Feb 7, 2013 16:43]

Name Correction in Post 72

Read as Kalyan Seetharaman
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(76) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Thursday, Feb 7, 2013 17:23]

I prefer to be called Seetharaman. Kalyan is the short form of Kalyanasundaram (my father's name), used as surname. In southern India we prefer to be known/called by our personal name rather than the surname. :)
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(77) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Thursday, Feb 7, 2013 17:37]; edited by seetharaman kalyan [13-02-07]

I remember reading about a Sam Loyd quote. When someone asked him how his white bishop 'a1' blocked by the 'WPb2' arrived there, his reply was the cryptic "I put it there !!"

One leading composer did try !
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(78) Posted by Harry Fougiaxis [Thursday, Feb 7, 2013 18:30]

I consider the entire classification of chess problems to be such a bad joke, that I was actually pleased to see the Olympic Committee deny its attempted entry.

Kevin, could you please clarify what you refer to? (I mean in the second part of your sentence).
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(79) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Thursday, Feb 7, 2013 21:34]; edited by Ian Shanahan [13-02-09]

@Kevin. "You might not like hearing that, but the fact is: you can not provide any rational argument favoring obtrusive force, nor against retro-illegal positions -- this is an entirely subjective decision."

Equally, you cannot provide any rational argument supporting your *subjective* assertion that obtrusive force in an orthodox directmate is a flaw! Yet I have previously provided rational argumentation as to why it is NOT a flaw. Illegality in (orthodox) problems is entirely another matter: retro-illegality disqualifies such a problem's orthodox status, because it could never arise from any orthodox game of chess (whereas obtrusive force can). In response to an earlier question of yours, I would NEVER submit an intendedly orthodox problem having an illegal position to a Fairy column: I'd find a way of remedying the illegality (as almost all composers do!).

As for "natural" / "supernatural" in the discussion above, surely a better labeling of this duality would be "orthodox" / "unorthodox" (or Fairy) - even though there is some ambiguity (a continuum?) between the two categories.
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(80) Posted by Kevin Begley [Thursday, Feb 7, 2013 23:19]; edited by Kevin Begley [13-02-07]


>Equally, you cannot provide any rational argument supporting your *subjective* assertion that obtrusive force in an orthodox directmate is a flaw!

LOL -- that's exactly what I said: it is an entirely subjective decision.
Adding an exclamation point to my very own statement, does not qualify as a contrary statement.

One point worth noting: this subjective assertion is not mine alone -- as I have said, I prefer to adhere to a clearly stated, broadly accepted set of aesthetic guidelines.

>Yet I have previously provided rational argumentation as to why it is NOT a flaw.

Ha! Dream on -- no, Ian, you have not.
There is no objective rational for why any aesthetic should be accepted/shunned.
The day you can provide a rational argument for/against any aesthetic standard, that's the day this ceases to be a matter of aesthetics!
Look up the word, as it relates to beauty in art; then, consider the underlying philosophy... perhaps then, you may begin to understand why aesthetics are not something definitive.
Beauty is not defined by dogmatic preconceptions, handed down to you (from on high) -- on the contrary, it is entirely a subjective experience.

>Illegality in (orthodox) problems is entirely another matter...

No, Ian... illegality is just a slightly different subjective determination, when compared to aesthetic standards surrounding obtrusive force.
Both standards go hand in glove.

There is no way to objectively determine the value of any particular aesthetic standard.
Sam Loyd was willing to place anything anywhere (legality be damned!).
Your own subjective preferences are largely inherited (had enough mentor composers agreed with Sam Loyd, it's near certain that you'd now appreciate illegal positions).
There is nothing rational or objective about your standards (nor those of anyone else); but, in the interest of competitive judgement, it is necessary to seek clear, shared standards.

>retro-illegality disqualifies such a problem's orthodox status, because it could never arise from any orthodox game of chess (whereas obtrusive force can).

This is no different than saying: "Obtrusive force disqualifies a problem's orthodox status, because it could never arise, without promotions, from an orthodox game of chess."
Both cases (regardless how you may feel about one or the other) offer nothing more than a subjective determination.

Anything you can say about obtrusive force, I can say nearly the same about the retro-illegality (and vice versa) -- all you can do is subjectively decide whether to agree/disagree.

We might very easily have considered problem positions as an abstract art -- we might have agreed that nobody need care whether it depicts reality (read: or even a realizable situation), we might easily have agreed that the ONLY important consideration is the PROBLEM (read: ART!) itself.
It should be very easy to understand that NO aesthetic standard is written in stone, once you begin to appreciate that even illegality might have been dismissed as entirely unimportant (secondary to the purpose of artistic expression).
It would require an extreme dictatorial delusion to think you could provide a rational argument against all abstract forms of art.

>In response to an earlier question of yours, I would NEVER submit an [intentionally] orthodox problem to a Fairy column: I'd find a way of remedying the illegality (as almost all composers do!).

Nice to know that we do share some aesthetic standards.

>As for "natural" / "supernatural" in the discussion above, surely a better labeling of this duality would be "orthodox" / "unorthodox" (or Fairy) - even though there is some ambiguity (a continuum?) between the two categories.

The experts like to be quick to insist upon what is, and what is not a fairy; but, the truth is, they can't even define their terms, and most lack a fundamental understanding of our intended divisions.
Natural versus Supernatural is just a similar attempt at pointless obfuscation -- if the old terms were commonly misunderstood, hey let's create more nonsensical terminology (then refuse to define the terms, and ultimately reject that their nature is entirely subjective)!
Call that science -- ha!!

You can poll the experts on whether something is a fairy condition or a stipulation, and they'll happily sound off (in whatever slanted direction the poll may lean).
Ask any one of the respondents (or the pollster!) to provide you a definition of these two terms, and they'll all go suddenly quiet.
I have asked, repeatedly -- they can't provide a functional definition of the terms -- nor even the need for a distinct separation between the two!

If they knew the fundamental difference between these two deliberately unique expressions, their answers might reflect some basic understanding of the terminology.
As it is, the experts are just too happy to throw around their particular malformed subjective viewpoint.

Let them define their terms by polling data -- let their delegations declare the results of their poll to be correct.
I'm no longer in favor of holding hands with the misinformed -- I'm now in favor of whatever allows the cartoonist to tee-off upon abject stupidity.
If this attitude is not particularly healthy for the art of problem composition, well hey, I'm sorry -- but, I tried (for years) to help fix the problem.
It is defeatist to oppose the stubborn -- far better to lampoon their cartoonish footing.
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MatPlus.Net Forum General obtrusive force: what say you?