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MatPlus.Net Forum General Concerns about the future of WFCC
 
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(81) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Sunday, Mar 27, 2022 01:23]

Dear all,

I will advertise here as it is relevant to the topic. My new SOTM is out, which I had sent you the essence of earlier in the thread.
https://en.chessbase.com/post/study-of-the-month-gens-una-sumus-friendship-tourneys

Note that this is my personal opinion, the WFCC has not vetoed it but I made clear in the version I sent to them that it is my personal opinion, and as such it might not represent the WFCC's or any of its other members' official stance.
 
   
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(82) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Tuesday, Mar 29, 2022 14:15]

Siegfried, you brought the situation in chess composition closer to the wider part of our chess community.
It provoked some opposing comments, and the general one by "lajosarpad" seemed quite realistic to me.
 
   
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(83) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022 09:03]

It would be very kind if someone can send me the March "Problemist" article about their banning of Russian composers.

I talked to Mr. Jones, but he refered me to that article.

EDIT: I received it, many thanks! It is only five lines, it seems.
 
   
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(84) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022 10:27]

Siegfried, I see you astonished?! Regardless of which of the
(more than two possible!) sides you are on and you stand
to the decision, it could have be formulated even in three words
(left to imagination :-).
In contrast, Germans being Germans (prejudices for everybody :-)
and the new SCHWALBE coming out any time, I expect at least an
Oversized Special Issue devoted to the whole dire matter...
 
   
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(85) Posted by Kevin Begley [Friday, Apr 1, 2022 01:39]

Unless problemists are competing in a journal for national awards, there is no need to show the flag (or state the country) for an individual composer.
The practice of providing nationality information for individual composers has long been a waste of ink (and of valuable space) in the journals.
Ban that practice.
Every editor should welcome that change.

The same can be said about 99% of FIDE events -- the exception being Olympiads, national team solving contests, national team composing contests, etc.
Even in those cases, I would never ask Russian competitors to surrender their flag.

If a Russian flag disturbs you, talk to a therapist.
Russian people have every reason to love their country, and take pride in their country, same as you and I.
That doesn't mean they agree with the actions of their government, and it doesn't mean they don't agree (they can make up their own damn minds, same as you and I).

I'm from the USA. If you want to ban persons for the hostile military actions of their government, you can start by retroactively banning me.
I demand equal treatment!

And, all my friends at The Problemist should get in line, right behind me (their government whistled right along with the lies peddled by my own government, before the illegal invasion -and during the prolonged occupation- of Iraq).
Where were all their high minded virtues when the torture programs were in full swing?
Did they ban their own countrymen?

I would never ask a Russian person to surrender their flag, or publish under a false banner.
I would never surrender the flag of my country, despite disagreements with uncountable military actions taken by my government. Never.
I love my country too much to do that, in spite of the profound wrongs the government has done in the world (for decades) in my name, I would never accept a false flag.
To ask this of an individual, I believe, constitutes no less than an attempt to covertly censor individuals on the basis of their nationality.
The mere suggestion should properly be received as an act of extreme hostility.

While I strongly disfavor the terrible price people will pay for the military action in Ukraine, I can not pretend Putin's response is irrational. Nor can I pretend Putin is entirely responsible.
It's like my teachers always said, "it takes two to create a proxy war in Ukraine" (or something to that effect).
The west had ample opportunities to resolve this with diplomacy.
Now, everybody wants to show their virtue superiority by banning some Russian chess problem composer from competition -- who are they kidding?
That might make some wicked fool feel good about himself, but it doesn't help the victims of what is a diplomatic failure.

This policy only creates new victims, erects new divisions, and plants the seeds of hatred.
I grateful to all problemists who have rejected this path (especially those willing to resign their valued positions before they will ever participate in escalating hostilities).
 
   
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(86) Posted by Viktoras Paliulionis [Friday, Apr 1, 2022 02:24]

Kevin, you said you disapprove of your government’s actions, but have you seen at least one Russian composer say he disapproves of this war in this forum? I know that most of them support the war, and the minority that does not support are afraid to say it in public because they face criminal responsibility for it in Russia.
 
   
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(87) Posted by Vitaly Medintsev [Friday, Apr 1, 2022 07:55]

@ Kevin
Bravo!
I totally agree with everything you wrote.

@ Viktoras
Criminal responsibility in Russiaa for not supporting the war is a lie!
There is a criminal responsibility for fake (false) news about the actions of Russian army.
 
 
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(88) Posted by Kevin Begley [Friday, Apr 1, 2022 09:06]

I said I disapprove of some (not all) of my government's military actions.
I am free to decide for myself, on a case by case basis.
Russian and Ukrainian chess problemists may do likewise.

I will not abuse the art of problem chess in a tyrannical effort to compel all others to align their political views with mine.

For what purpose would I engage in this?
If you actually believe this is a legitimate method to persuade a foreign government, you really need to turn off the television.

If you think the people's will has some impact on these matters, that the opinions of some chess problem enthusiast can make a difference, I respectively submit you have been spoon-fed an illusion about democracy.
Whether I consider my government's actions justified, unjustified, or an assault on humanity itself, be assured, I have zero (not merely negligible, but zero) impact on such policies -- and that's far more impact than any other government can provide me.
To claim I am responsible, you would need to suffer under the illusion that a democracy operates according to theories provided to you by those who have a vested interest in pacifying you with silly theories about how a democracy operates.

What possible value would there be (from a chess problem enthusiast's perspective) in holding a chess problemist responsible for the actions of their government?
There is no benefit for problem chess. Period.
This only serves a political interest.

If you want to do that, as I said, do it elsewhere.
If you find this matter so compelling, get your boots on and start marching -- don't waste another breath trying to inhibit some Russian kid who wants only to share their love for problem chess.
This is not the warzone.

Moreover, there are larger political issues here than you seem willing to admit.
You want to pretend invasion is some crime against humanity by some evil character. That's a complete delusion. Somebody fed you that narrative like it's a Disney movie.
There are rational arguments for this invasion, and there are quite valid arguments that Russia was deliberately provoked into this military action.
If you're not willing to admit that, you have not been doing your homework (you've probably been copying from the answers coming from the TV).
This is hardly a black and white case of some evil character seeking to perpetrate crimes against humanity (forgive me, but that's a completely childish understanding).
You will not push any of those childish narratives on me.

Further, I would respectively submit that your "news" media is not capable of providing you enough truth that you can come close to formulating a real picture what is happening.
Even if they wanted to inform you, which they do not, they are not capable. Think back to all the lies they told you since this started, and ask yourself: why should I believe them now?

What if you have it wrong?
What if NATO is responsible for creating a situation where Russia was compelled to invade (for the sake of their own security)?
Should all chess journals shun you for misunderstanding the geopolitical threat posed?
Would that be productive (from a problem chess perspective)?

Chess problem editors are free to decide for themselves what they want to believe.
If they wish to impose their political views on others -- even if you happen to agree with their views -- every intelligent chess problem enthusiast should reject completely their journals for it.
If you value problem chess at all, you will not permit our artform to be used to advance a political agenda (whether you consider that agenda good or evil).

If you want to judge chess problem compositions based upon the political beliefs of the authors, you are no problem enthusiast -- you are a political agent bent on damaging the art of chess problems for the sake of a political cause you want to consider more compelling.

I'm not going to shun any chess problem enthusiast for their political beliefs. I will not violate the sovereignty of the chess problem art to persuade others to believe as I do about politics.
I'm certainly not going to pretend to be so righteous and virtuous in my political beliefs that I would impose them on others (or dare ask others to shun all who may disagree with me).
I would shun only the problem journals which refuse to stay true to a charter which values the art of problem chess.

You can not be taken seriously as a History Channel if you want to pitch stories of ancient aliens. I don't care how "compelling" you consider these stories.
A chess problem journal that will not stay true to their charter can not continue as a proper chess problem journal.
 
   
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(89) Posted by Administrator [Friday, Apr 1, 2022 17:55]

This forum is dedicated to topics related to problem chess
 
   
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(90) Posted by Viktoras Paliulionis [Friday, Apr 1, 2022 18:32]

@Administrator, you deleted my answer to Kevin's comment as not dedicated to chess, so why don't you delete Kevin's comments where he justifies the war?

Kevin wrote:
 QUOTE 
Moreover, there are larger political issues here than you seem willing to admit.
You want to pretend invasion is some crime against humanity by some evil character. That's a complete delusion. Somebody fed you that narrative like it's a Disney movie.
There are rational arguments for this invasion, and there are quite valid arguments that Russia was deliberately provoked into this military action.
If you're not willing to admit that, you have not been doing your homework (you've probably been copying from the answers coming from the TV).
This is hardly a black and white case of some evil character seeking to perpetrate crimes against humanity (forgive me, but that's a completely childish understanding).
You will not push any of those childish narratives on me.

 
   
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(91) Posted by Administrator [Friday, Apr 1, 2022 18:50]

You are partly right. Kevin's post mentions problem chess and magazines, but your text is not related to problem chess at all.
 
   
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(92) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Friday, Apr 1, 2022 20:43]

So you suggest that writing long posts with a lot of non-chess related content, even foul content, with added chess problem content is ok?

I really liked the March issue of The Problemist. One might disagree with the decision of the Society, but at least they are unambiguously stating their position. Even WFCC has stated its position clearly and as usual, most people are not fully satisfied in that or the other direction.

What is the worst, some chess composers support the aggression in some places, even with the most foul language against Ukrainians, at the same time they are whining how innocent and understanding they are here on the board. Personally, I am disgusted with such hypocrisy and I am slowly making my own personal blacklist of people I do not want to talk with at all.
 
   
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(93) Posted by Alain Villeneuve [Friday, Apr 1, 2022 21:16]

When it comes to hypocrisy, your friends are experts.
 
 
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(94) Posted by Viktoras Paliulionis [Saturday, Apr 2, 2022 01:59]

I agree with Kevin that chess problem compositions should not be judged based upon the political beliefs of the authors. I also agree that sanctions on chess composers will not change the course of the war. But we are not only chess composers, but also humans, and we should state our position about the country that started this unprovoked war (this is the ongoing war, not a war from the past). I think that those magazines who will publish problems of Russian authors could declare that the publishers are against war and call to send their originals those who support this attitude. In this case I could hope that my name will not appear next to supporters of the war.

I miss the times when we could discuss chess problems without thinking about war. I hope that these times will come back, though I am afraid that it will not be so soon. Both Russian and Ukrainian problemists were equal members of our community, but now they are not in equal positions. That’s one of the reasons why I can’t treat Russian composers as if nothing had happened. I know a few Russian and Belarusian composers who are against the war, they said this in our personal correspondence, but it is dangerous for them to say it in public. And they look at sanctions understandingly. Angry of the sanctions are those who support the war.

@Kevin
 QUOTE 
I am free to decide for myself, on a case by case basis. Russian and Ukrainian chess problemists may do likewise.

You live in a democratic country and have access to various information, so you have the opportunity to make your own decisions. In Russia, the information that contradicts the official position is blocked. I can read in Russian fluently and I see what the official media in Russia is writing. They don’t show pictures of the horror of war in Ukraine that can be seen all over the world. If they have to admit the destruction of hospitals, schools or residential buildings, they say it is because Ukraine fighters were there.

 QUOTE 
There are rational arguments for this invasion, and there are quite valid arguments that Russia was deliberately provoked into this military action.

If so, then Hitler also had rational arguments for all the invasions. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, to justify the action, Nazi propagandists accused Poland of persecuting ethnic Germans living in Poland. They also claimed that Poland was planning, with its allies Great Britain and France, to encircle and dismember Germany. Putin’s arguments are quite the same, you need only change names of countries. The ideology that Germans were the Aryan master race was widely spread among the German public through Nazi propaganda. In Russia, we now see the ideology of Russian world (Russkiy Mir), according to which Ukrainians are just part of Russians and Ukraine’s independent statehood should not exist. The parallels are obvious. You can read the analysis of the Kremlin’s version of Ukrainian history here: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lseih/2020/07/01/there-is-no-ukraine-fact-checking-the-kremlins-version-of-ukrainian-history/ (written in 2020).
 
 
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(95) Posted by Kevin Begley [Saturday, Apr 2, 2022 02:34]

Nobody supports aggression. All parties would prefer a diplomatic resolution.
So, what's the delay?

Meanwhile, how are we helping achieve a peaceful settlement by blacklisting fellow problemists?

My government presently occupies around a third of Syria. Why am I not asked to fly a different flag?

As for that unambiguous message from The Problemist -- they should take a hard look in the mirror.
The UK government is presently providing material support for a genocide currently taking place in Yemen.
So, why have these high-minded virtue crusaders failed to deny participation from their own countrymen?
Until they do this, do not speak to me of their "unambiguous" moral posture.

I certainly don't mean to wade into specific political matters here, but the point needs to be made: once you start using politics as a dividing line for chess problem composition, it will never stop (and you will never apply those standards equally).

To engage in this is folly.
This is not the UN, nor is it the warzone. This is space devoted to an artform -- not a place for playing politics.
I don't care how compelling and righteous you consider your position, political debates can never be tolerated here.

The only thing unambiguous coming from The Problemist is their willingness to misuse this artform in service of their own political aims.
Whether I agree or disagree with the politics, I will not stand for that.

Reasonable people (good people) may disagree completely on the most grave political matters.
Once you accept that, you've taken the first step toward a mutually beneficial diplomatic resolution.
 
   
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(96) Posted by Kevin Begley [Saturday, Apr 2, 2022 02:47]

@Viktoras,

If you want to convince yourself that a political opponent is acting as Hitler once acted, you are beyond reasoning.
This is not a valid justification for blacklisting Russian problemists -- this is a pathetic emotional rationalization for the EVIL that you are perpetrating (in asking us to blacklist fellow problemists entirely on the basis of the absurd parallels you are too eager to find in others).

It is evil to discriminate against any individual composer on the basis of their nationality.
It is both hostile and evil to ask them to disavow their own flag.
It is cowardly to declare a political rival as Hitler, then use that emotional tilt as a justification to call upon the problem community to perpetrate evil upon all who are governed by the character you deem a villain. You are espousing a completely emotional illogic.

You fell for the Fool's Mate of political debate: once you say "Hitler," you have conceded the argument.

I don't care who you think is Hitler, and I don't care how far you are convinced by this nonsense -- even if you weren't fooling yourself, none of what you believe can justify the cowardice and discrimination you would advocate.

Calls for a discriminatory policy against Russian problemists have been soundly rejected in this thread.
Do you imagine the entire problem community is appeasing your Hitler character?

If you see a good move, look for a better one.
If your media provides you a good boogeyman, look for a better one.

But, for the sake of argument, let's just assume the parallels you see are valid.
Ask yourself: is this how Hitler was defeated? Did a bunch of cowards decide to blacklist all the problemists in Germany, until their leader finally crumbled in his bunker?
If you actually believed this Hitler stuff, you might take a lesson from what the Russian people did at that time: they actually put their lives on the line to defeat Hitler's regime.
They did not attempt to defeat Hitler by advocating for discrimination in problem chess journals.

If you actually believe this Hitler narrative, what are you doing here, in a problem chess forum?
Have you, dear human, no sense of duty?
You heard such a profound call to arms, and you did what? You came here, to hide in a chess problem forum?
Your actions betray you.


>> "...we are not only chess composers, but also humans, and we should state our [political] position..."

No, this is NOT the place for you to state your political positions.
It is certainly no place for you to encourage discrimination of other problemists on the basis of their political positions.
If you want to go fight for humanity, and express your moral mettle, lace up your fighting boots and start marching toward a proper combat zone.
This is not the place to signal your virtuousness (try the battlefield).
Your fight is NOT with Russian problemists.

Last I checked, Russian problem composers are humans, too. Stop asking us to deny them that.
 
 
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(97) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Saturday, Apr 2, 2022 04:33]

Deleted by author
 
   
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(98) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Saturday, Apr 2, 2022 04:54]

Two writers I love, one Russian, one American:

The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained.
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, "The Gulag Archipelago"

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies - "God damn it, you've got to be kind."
- Kurt Vonnegut, "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater"
 
 
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(99) Posted by Viktoras Paliulionis [Sunday, Apr 3, 2022 01:19]

As Milomir's message was not deleted by Administrator, I let myself to answer.

I understand the Serbs‘ feelings about the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. It was done without the backing of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Following the bombing, Russia drafted a UNSC resolution that demanded a cessation of the use of force against Yugoslavia. However, only Russia, China and Namibia voted for the resolution, while another 12 UNSC members voted against (Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Gabon, Gambia, Malaysia, Slovenia, the USA, Britain, France, Canada, and Netherlands).

So, I understand your view of Russia as a friend and NATO as an enemy. But if your friend becomes a murderer, should you support the crime just because he is a friend?

Russia has also invaded Ukraine without the backing of the UNSC. Moreover, the issue of Ukraine was not even raised at the UNSC before the Russian military invasion. The situation in Yugoslavia was discussed by the UNSC over bloody ethnic conflicts, and resolutions were adopted in 1998 calling to "cease hostilities and maintain a ceasefire in Kosovo" (quote). No similar resolutions or discussions by UNSC were on Ukraine prior to Russia‘s invasion.

Moreover, the Russian people were gradually (over 8 years) turned against the Ukrainians by falsehood and by propagating the ideology that the Ukrainians are not a separate nation but only "little Russians" and that their statehood is unjustified. Whereas NATO had no goal to seize your country. Serbia is still an independent state, you can elect your government and decide which blocs or unions to join and which not.

As for Bondsteel, it is the US base under an international peacekeeping force in Kosovo (KFOR). KFOR entered Kosovo on 11 June 1999 as a result of the adoption of UNSC Resolution 1244. This resolution was adopted by 14 votes (including Russia), none voted against, only China abstained. KFOR includes not only NATO states, but also Armenia, Austria, Finland, Ireland, Moldova, Switzerland, Ukraine. Russian forces also participated in KFOR until 2003. By the way, the ceremony of the withdrawal of the Russian military contingent included the presentation of the NATO medal for service with NATO on operations in Kosovo to the commander of the Russian military contingent, Major General Nikolay Kriventsov. So, Russia and NATO were not always enemies. Their relationship collapsed in 2014, after Russia annexed Crimea.
 
   
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(100) Posted by Administrator [Sunday, Apr 3, 2022 02:37]

Dear Viktoras, I thought you were just a great composer of h# moremovers.
Now I see that you have more serious problems. I can't understand why and to whom this military-political debate of yours is intended at the forum dedicated to problem chess.
If someone suspected that you had more serious problems than helpmates, now you have removed all dilemmas.
Why can't you find a better place for this than here? Maybe no one around you is listening to you, so you have to empty yourself right here?
Although, honestly, you're not the only one.
 
   
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MatPlus.Net Forum General Concerns about the future of WFCC