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MatPlus.Net Forum General Backdated Compositions
 
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(1) Posted by Miodrag Mladenović [Tuesday, May 13, 2014 17:50]

Backdated Compositions


I was not sure how to give title to this post but generally I just noticed yesterday that one of the decisions in Batumi is this one (8.7):

 QUOTE 
Concerning the German proposal of admitting the originals of the October and December 2012
“Die Schwalbe” issues for the period 2010-12 although these issues were published late, the
spokesman reported that the committee considered the previous decision of the Presidium not to
accept these compositions as too strict, although formally according to the Codex. The committee
proposed that the originals of the October 2012 and December 2012 “Die Schwalbe” issues, which
appeared in February-March 2013, are allowed to participate in the 2010-12 Album. Furthermore,
compositions published in a source dated 2012 are allowed to participate in the 2010-12 Album
even if this source appeared later than on December 31st 2012 (but no later than the submission
deadline of June 1st 2013). No formal voting took place, as the proposal seemed to enjoy the
general approval of the Assembly.


In my opinion this is very bad decision because there are many magazines that are late with publishing and this will bring complete mess with anticipations. Can you imagine if someone publish very good problem in January of 2014. But then suddenly in April or May somebody published similar problem dated December 2013. Suddenly problem that is published first will be anticipated with a problem published second. And I know for sure that there are magazines that used to get originals for last issue of previous year at the beginning of next year because publishing is late (I know that this is not the case with Die Schwalbe but this rule allows any problems from any magazines that are published by June 1st). I am wondering what is opinion of other problemists about this. I am almost absolutely sure that this will introduce a lot of problems within our chess problems community.

And yes, I know. The composers are not guilty at all that magazine is published with overdue. But I think the better solution would be to solve this problem by publishing online originals by December 31st if editors are aware that printing of magazine is late. That way there will be no confusion about who published problem first. I am curious to hear opinion of other MatPlus forum members.
 
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(2) Posted by Kostas Prentos [Tuesday, May 13, 2014 20:23]

This decision was only regarding the FIDE album and not the actual matter of priority and anticipations. I see your concerns about magazines that are systematically late, but I believe that the Codex takes care of this, at least in theory. I copy the relevant text:

 QUOTE 

Chapter VI – Priority
Article 22 – Definition of Priority
(1) The priority of a chess composition is determined by its priority date.
(2) The priority date of a chess composition is
(a) the actual date of its first publication [27], or
(b) if it is first published in the award of a formal tournament, the closing date of that tournament.
(3) Whether a chess composition is younger or older than another one is ascertained by comparison of the priority dates of both compositions.

Article 23 – Priority of an Unsound Chess Composition
(1) If a published chess composition is found to be unsound [28], it loses its priority date unless a correction is published within three years after the publication of the unsoundness.
(2) The author of a chess composition which has been published in unsound form retains the following rights:
(a) The right to correct the composition himself, and
(b) The right of being cited as author if a correction is made by someone else [29]

Article 24 – Anticipation
(1) A chess composition is anticipated if there is an identical composition which has an earlier priority date. The anticipated chess composition is not eligible for any award [30]
(2) Chess compositions which are partly anticipated are eligible for awards: their merit is a matter for the judge, who should take account of the degree of anticipation.
(3) A second version of a correct chess composition published in an informal tournament, if published in the same tournament by the same author, is not considered to be partially anticipated by the original version.

And the relevant footnotes:

 QUOTE 

[27] The actual date of a journal is the date on which it is published, whatever the date on its cover.
[28] The author alone is responsible for the soundness.
[29] It is recommended that a correction made by someone else ("B") should, if practicable, be published in agreement with the author ("A"). B’s name may also be mentioned. The following formulae are used (in order of increasing originality of the correction – which is a matter of personal evaluation): "A, correction"; "A, correction B"; "B after A". The correction should be published as a joint composition only if A agrees. This note also applies to improved versions of correct chess compositions.
[30] In case of a claim of priority on the basis of a publication in transient form (Article 20 (1) and (2) (b), (c)), the burden of proof that such publication has actually taken place is on the claimant.

So, article 22, paragraph 2a and footnote 27 defines the issue. The practical problem is how to know what is the actual date a magazine is published. In all databases, one can only see the date that appears on the cover of the magazine, and not the real date the magazine was published, which may be months or even years later.

A different type of problem related to the aforementioned is what happens when a composer submits his/her problem to an informal tourney, but for one or another reason, publication is delayed for months or even years. In the meantime, a different composer may come up with the same idea and have the problem published faster, "stealing" the priority from the first composer.
 
 
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(3) Posted by Kevin Begley [Tuesday, May 13, 2014 23:02]; edited by Kevin Begley [14-05-14]

This is clearly a terrible decision, even if limited to the FIDE Album.
In fact, the Album limitation creates two separate threads of time/precedent, which introduces ambiguities into any consideration of anticipation.
And, it puts a greater strain on our already overburdened Album judges (without providing them any logical guideline for resolution)!
It becomes an exercise for the reader to determine whether this is shockingly unintelligent, or an engineered corruption (perhaps it's both).

Moreover, this decision gives Die Schwalbe (and journals like it) an unfair advantage over their competition -- many competing journals have neither the means to advance such self-serving petitions, nor the unmitigated gall necessary to burden our delegates with matters of partiality; few would have any reasonable expectation for the shamefully easy success that Die Schwalbe has enjoyed.
In fact, I recall that members of Die Schwalbe voicing adamant opposition to at least one journal's attempt back-date their publications.
I do not recall Die Schwalbe making any petition on behalf of the composers caught in that journal's failures (similar, if not identical, to their own delay issues), yet they waste no time to petition exclusively on behalf of themselves.
They did not petition for a general resolution to this problem, only for an exclusive exemption from rules which still apply to everyone else -- that is inherently a petition for unfair treatment.
This dishonesty represents a corruption at the highest level, and should this toxic atmosphere of unfairness continue unchallenged, it will completely undermine any integrity which remains for all the participants involved in problem chess competitions.

However, that said, I disagree entirely with the proposed remedy, which would impose new responsibilities upon problem journals.
No journal -- Die Schwalbe, or otherwise -- can be held responsible for the timely certification of all problems received (this is certain to result in more disputes, not fewer); problem journals are already burdened enough -- they'll never accept such a remedy.
If this proposal constituted a valid, universal remedy, it need not be limited to informal tourneys (it would also apply to formal tourneys), nor would it need to treat Album deadlines as a special circumstance.
Judgement for several formal thematic tourneys remain outstanding today, which have ignored the deadline of several Albums -- in fact, in several cases, their delay actually spans several tournaments calling for exactly identical content!
The proposed solution offers no remedy to the larger problem.

I propose instead the following, universal remedy:
WFCC should create an online depository, wherein every composer is obligated to anonymously pre-publish their work, and that depository must serve as the primary authority in resolving all future claims of anticipation.
You send the problem to WFCC depository, under a unique, false name; and, WFCC returns to you a certificate of password, by which you are entitled to later claim the problem as your own.
Now, nobody can anticipate you -- even if your problem must wait years for a formal judgement, you have a time-stamp resource, which unambiguously determines priority.

Note the added benefit: this would allow WFCC to provide everyone, for posterity, a complete, searchable database of all future problems -- for once, due diligence might allow composers to avoid anticipations, prior to publication!

This leaves two choices for the Album:
1) Delay the deadlines for consideration of problems, until some period of time has elapsed beyond which any formal judgement is officially rendered invalid (e.g., mandate a period of years for valid judgement of any formal contest, beyond which they render themselves invalid, upon revelation of the authors), or
2) Publish the Albums online, in such a way as to temporarily preserve anonymity (until after the formal judgement has been rendered).

The second option is easiest to implement; but, the first option has some appeal -- especially if the primary purpose of the Album is to provide a printed record of the best problems for a given period.
Several distinguished composers, including Chris Feather, have steadfastly insisted that this original purpose has been sacrificed -- that the Album has been distorted by the pursuit of titles, and objectivity has been surrendered in the immediacy of our all important quest for points.
The Album's primary purpose can be debated, of course; but the undeniable pity is that we refuse to even consider the enduring protests waged by problem composers of profound stature (so much wisdom, experience and determination -- all squandered)!
Either way, the matter should be clarified -- if only to consider undertaking a collection which serves the alternative purpose.

Unfortunately, anymore, you can dig all you like for consensus, but remedies find no purchase in this soil.
Thanks to the hyper-partisan politics surrounding titles, you can bet that denial -- a familiar pattern found in every blatant unfairness -- will endure, long beyond the faded memories of all good things entertained here.
Here is a magnificent archaeological discovery -- an exquisite specimen of evolution, doomed to relish in the charming denial of its greatest faculty -- and nobody to share it with...
 
   
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(4) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Wednesday, May 14, 2014 10:59]

Actually, I like Kevins proposal, since a) nobody would have
to enter a problem manually into collections like WinChloe, YAPCDB
etc etc (except annotations, but a composer should do most of that
himself, if he's responsible) anymore, and much more b) this system
already exists, is well tested, its advantages and disadvantages
being well known.
It's called ArXiv and is a giant preprint collection for math and
physics. I used to call it the best XXX website on the Net :-)
(xxxlanl.gov, URL still working but now main URL is arxiv.org)

The only problem (no pun intended) I see with the poor saps that
have no internet, but the proposed solution certainly beats
"Haec immatura a me iam frustra leguntur oy" :-)

Hauke

P.S. But another thing, *have* there been "close shave" priorities
quabbles in the past?
 
   
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(5) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Wednesday, May 14, 2014 13:45]

Kevin sadly leaves out composers that have no internet access in his proposal, but otherwise I also agree!
 
   
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(6) Posted by Kevin Begley [Wednesday, May 14, 2014 19:13]; edited by Kevin Begley [14-05-14]

True, I did leave out composers lacking internet access.
But, ironically, I was not faulted for failing to address the set of possible composers who suffer some difficulties in accessing postal delivery.

So, to put this in context: yes, there is a small (and fast shrinking!) population of people, who lack any means to access the internet.
Most among this group will have access to a lifeline: phone a friend / write a pen pal / ask the audience / take six-steps to Kevin Bacon, etc.
True, I have no plan to reach everyone (including the set of all persons lacking access to a chess rule book), but I'm willing to work on that problem, too...

Actually, there is a more troubling issue, which I failed to mention -- specifically: this may have some negative impact upon solving tournaments.

Solutions in the depository can, of course, default to hidden (such that all honorable solvers are responsible to avoid seeing solutions to problems which might appear in active contests).
For the vast majority of problems (read: almost the entire set of C+ compositions), the honor system is already necessary.

However, I can not deny that there may be some cases involving problems not solvable by computer, in which access to intended solutions would be contrary to the interests of a solving tournament director (or the composer, or the editor).

In such cases, the obvious resolution -- to delay the appearance of solutions -- will have some impact upon composers searching for anticipations.
The necessary introduction of latency, with respect to solutions (only), is an important consideration; but, even if a better solution is not suggested (for example, one might prefer to keep a record of all who have seen the solution), I expect everyone agrees this is a manageable problem.

Yes, risks might remain for composers intent upon temporarily hiding their original work, for the purpose of unveiling it in some solving contest; but, a depository would greatly (!!) reduce the latency, thereby significantly decreasing this risk.
Compare that with the present situation -- almost a decade ago, I composed a rather good problem, and to this very day, I have to worry not only whether a false anticipation will surface before publication of the award, I actually have to worry that my composition might never appear (e.g., if the judge should fail to recognize the value of my problem, and something awful happens to me, it might be lost)!
A good mystery writer could easily imagine a worse scenario, in which this system allows for the theft of some remarkable problems; but, even without such a wild imagination, the possibility of losing valuable problems makes it already obvious that the present system posses an absolutely disgraceful situation (especially for our most senior composers, and for any newcomers we would prefer to welcome); and the clear remedy is for WFCC to establish a depository.
 
   
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(7) Posted by Kevin Begley [Wednesday, May 14, 2014 20:51]; edited by Kevin Begley [14-05-14]

One additional merit of a depository, not previously mentioned...

Suppose a formal thematic tourney was announced many, many years ago, with a deadline spanning roughly one year.
Presently, whereas a particular submission may have been the best of the sound entries received prior to the deadline, it might yet fall several places, for nefarious reasons, in the span between deadline and award!

Andre: "Signora, these things do happen."
Carlotta: "And did you stop them from happening? No! ... until you stop these things from happening, this thing does not happen! Ubaldo! Andiamo! Bring my doggy and my boxy!"
-- Phantom of the Opera.

There exists no guarantee against an unscrupulous director/judge allowing modifications (or even additional submissions), beyond the published deadline.
And, in fact, this inherently unfair prospect does happen (some composers are provided a considerable time advantage -- generally to make corrections to a faulty submission, which the parties have agreed, regardless of the formal deadline, to want in the award).
There may even be cases where information is shared, regarding the quality of competing submissions -- such is the distorting nature of any unregulated competition (particularly when external pressures -- friendships, national interests, etc -- may be subconsciously exerted).
At the very least, the public is entitled to an honest accounting of what may have transpired, after the deadline.

If WFCC would establish a chess problem depository, we would, at last, have a mechanism to prevent such injustices.
A formal tourney might be required to draw only from submissions within the depository, and this should disallow the dishonorable practice of awarding compositions which failed to meet the formal deadline (a depository would preserve a time-stamp record of all submissions, and modifications).
Further, a depository would allow greater time for solvers to test the validity of all competing problems.

The primary duty of WFCC, in my view, is to establish and maintain the unimpeachable integrity of problem chess; therefore, our elected delegates have a fundamental responsibility to oversee the fairness of solving/composing competitions!
It is not enough to hope that honorable members will traverse the long, historical arc, bent toward some vague decency; WFCC has a responsibility to provide guidelines, and implement mechanisms which demonstrate the dependable fairness of all our contests (anything less should be considered an abdication of their fundamental responsibility, to problem chess).

Therefore, it is essential that WFCC act, without dereliction, to establish a chess problem depository.
And yet, the odds against are dollars to doughnuts.
Instead, we have a remedy depository, and notary, in this forum, which has remained almost completely undiscovered by the very institution obligated to seek it (the same institution which cast a partial vote in favor of Die Schwalbe's exemption).
Once again, it begs the question: are these failures motivated by chaotic incompetence, organized corruption, or both (simultaneously)?
 
   
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(8) Posted by Neal Turner [Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:53]; edited by Neal Turner [14-05-15]

A depository of problems I think would be difficult to maintain and impossible to make comprehensive - many authors would simply ignore it even if they did have internet access.
If it's not comprehensive then it can't fulfill its function.
And it's not just about storing the problems - if you wanted to find anticipations you'd have to have a way of querying it for problem types, settings, themes etc - much like what you get in WinChloe.

Kevin's concerns about the activities of composing tourney directors would be an interesting topic for another thread.
I myself have been a TD a number of times in formal tourneys and as far as I know there aren't any guidelines on how to go about the job.
For what it's worth my own approach was to simply to act as a conduit between the composer and the judge.
Of course where I could I would check the problems on the computer, but this would just be part of the task of processing the entries - getting the solutions and diagrams into a standard format.
Any cooks, duals or other defects would just be noted in the material I sent to the judge.
I certainly wouldn't enter into a dialogue with the composer!
 
   
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(9) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Thursday, May 15, 2014 14:56]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [14-05-15]

There is something else to be considered: Fake magazines! There are rumors that someone (name is known but shouldn't be named in the thread IMO) who received originals has reprinted them as his own work in his own magazine that nobody else ever has seen. Of course I can't confirm or deny that the rumors are true.

In any case this is an example of backdating that is hard to disprove. What if someone says it appeared in that magazine in 2004 and sends it, but is the only one who actually works at that magazine? How can you disprove that time stamp and prove it was printed only in 2014?

Also, the following composition is nice, one of my earliest works.

(= 2+2 )

Siegfried Hornecker
Papire fuer der Teutschen Staht, 4 July 1623
White wins

I totally did not backdate that. Or did I?

(of course it is G.E. Barbier & F. Saavedra, Weekly Citizen, 4 May 1895)
 
   
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(10) Posted by Olaf Jenkner [Thursday, May 15, 2014 20:51]

Some people steal cars, Madoff has stolen billions of dollars.
So I dont't care about some stolen originals.
 
   
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(11) Posted by Kevin Begley [Thursday, May 15, 2014 22:06]; edited by Kevin Begley [14-05-16]

@Olaf,

You may not care about theft now, but that attitude will not endure, should theft happen to you, personally.
I suspect that you actually do care about consequences -- and how they must apply to Bernie Maddoff, for his actions; and, I have a hunch that you might want assurances that such actions are prevented.

A depository would provide a mechanism to prevent, and recover, stolen problems (among the many other benefits, some of which have been noted).
It will help to prevent, and serve to remedy, future anticipation disputes.
It will provide a searchable collection for all future problems, and central hub for all validation/correction.
It will instantaneously connect composers to all future competitions, spanning the world, while helping to facilitate an easier, universal mechanism for entry, spanning all languages.
It will help bring fairness to all our contests, and promote the integrity of problem chess.

If you care about this artform, you can not care nothing about its future.


@Neal,

Without a time-stamp in the depository, a composer might forfeit any claim to his work -- fat chance that will happen.

And, what if it does... in the way you presume it might...
Consider the composer who does not care enough to prevent the theft of their problem, by notarizing a claim in WFCC's problem depository.
I expect that these actions would say something to the rest of us, including the editor, and the judge -- who would care to publish (or award) such a problem (abandoned by its own promoter)???
Nobody, that's who.

Your presumption of widespread composer laziness lacks only a sense of vision.
Try to envision how a depository might function...

For starters, you presume that composers would continue sending emails to formal tourneys (and most publications).
Not so -- if you want to compete in a formal tourney, you would go through the depository, to forward its link (of the problem you wish to submit, contained in the depository), to the proper tourney (also found in the depository).
If you want to create a formal tourney, you simply register for the reception of problem links, from same depository!
Don't you see -- it's obvious -- this centralized hub will provide worldwide, instantaneous access to problem tourneys, and composers alike.
It doesn't take rocket science to see why this will achieve spectacular lift off.

The composer enters the problem once, and the depository allows one-stop verification, modification, notarization, version-management, preservation, sharing (with all variety of competitions/publications), searching, testing, comparison, commentary, celebration, etc etc etc.
If you really believe that lazy composers will prefer to duplicate every single one of these actions listed (and more), spanning the growing set of all databases, maybe you can refer me to one of these lazy people, so I can offload the task of managing updates.

You would discount our bright future, based upon an attitude of abject apathy in the face of the existential prospect that an insurmountable, systematic laziness will dominate the whole of humanity?
According to this logic, Facebook should never have amounted to anything, because users are too lazy to enter their own data.
OOOPS! Missed it by ~$70,000,000,000. Your error is 11 orders of magnitude -- time to recheck your mathematical modeling of human nature.

Unless you log your problem/tournament in the depository, you would have no effective access (except in cases where somebody else is willing register these things for you).
The depository will actually make it easier for composers to submit their problems, and it will help to prevent and correct republication errors (by allowing everyone to verify the correctness, in one place).
If you want to properly envision how a depository will impact this group of uncountable lazy composers, imagine them having only to correct a single database (from which all changes ripple forward, everywhere); now, you will begin to appreciate why even the members of your tailored grouping will overwhelmingly favor the depository solution.
The same goes for publishers, judges, editors, software developers, etc -- all of whom will, for the first time, enjoy a centralized source of information.

Obviously, most journals would prefer an identical method of submission (to that described above, for formal tourneys).
But, beyond that, a depository provides a broader range of benefits for journals.

Think in terms of science journals, and how they continue evolving, in ways which constantly expand the potential benefits of their depository.
The same will apply to chess journals -- a centralized depository will open doors to new composers, new kinds of problem publications, and new possibilities that none of us can presently foresee.
It is important that we be clear why our delegation will fail to agree that WFCC should begin taking steps to implement this good idea.
The only valid choices are: chaotic incompetence, organized corruption, or both (simultaneously) -- unless you can uncover a profit motive.
The coming failure (read: another in the series of short-term impediments to progress) can not be blamed upon an existential threat of lazy users, because this is refuted by all progress made in human history (ponder your past, before you dismiss your future).

Newsflash: The Warriors did not shoot Cyrus; and in the long run, they are destined for Coney Island. Let's keep alert of reality, Boppers.
Somewhere out on that horizon, Out beyond the neon lights
I know there must be somethin' better, it just requires some foresight.
 
   
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(12) Posted by Dmitri Turevski [Friday, May 16, 2014 11:00]

Just a tiny note on electronic mail.

Many free email services (e.g. gmail, yahoo, mail.ru etc) add the thing called 'DKIM-Signature' into the messages that you send through them.

This signature allows the receiver (and later everyone if email is published) to check if the subject, body and timestamp of the message were tampered with after the email has left the email server (email client programs often do that check automatically for you and display badge like "signed by: gmail.com" when it's ok).

It is safe to assume that you can not fake the DKIM signature without having access to secret keys stored at Google (if you use gmail to send your mail).

So effectively, sending an email with your problem to the another inbox of yours at a different server gives you strong cryptographic proof of priority verified by corporate IT security standards. If you are paranoid, you can chain forward the message to add as many DKIM signatures from independant authorities as desired.
 
   
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(13) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Friday, May 16, 2014 11:11]

@Kevin: Of course (and this is a BIG "of course"), *anybody*
must trust the runners of the repository. Timestamps (i.e.
technical solutions) might not be enough. Again I would
like to mention ArXiv - there have been accusations of
foul play, to the point somebody founded Vixra, for all
cranks that had been wrongdone by ArXiv. :-)

Hauke
 
   
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(14) Posted by Kevin Begley [Friday, May 16, 2014 13:56]; edited by Kevin Begley [14-05-16]

Very true Hauke.

But, it's risky to tamper with a collection, which is universally available (both completely and partially, in various formats: CSV, XML, SQL, etc).
Further, the repository website should send a confirmation email, which, as mentioned above, would provide a time-stamp authentication to the composer of any new entry.
Any appeals could be directed to elected WFCC delegates, and for complete transparency, the repository may transparently preserve important evidence involved in such rare alterations/claims.
 
   
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(15) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Friday, May 16, 2014 20:36]

Kevin...
Any thoughts on Dmitri Turevski's post No.12? I think he makes a valid point.
 
   
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(16) Posted by Kevin Begley [Friday, May 16, 2014 22:17]; edited by Kevin Begley [14-05-17]

@Kalyan,

I do not invest credit in schemes which depend upon the foolproof encryption scenario.
Once breached, a thousand chain emails will be worth a millionth of a Bitcoin.

Only the present exists.
History consists of two things: what the present elects to carry forward, plus what the present cannot manage to erase.

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
― George Orwell, 1984

If you care about the future, you need only concern yourself with how the present will shoulder the past (all else is unmanageable, and you can be sure there's no value burdening yourself with the management of the unmanageable).

I believe the past requires the shoulders of everyone in the present.
Thus, an email depository scheme (which is not transparent), is doomed to let you down ... in all the ways a shared, transparent depository would not.

Even as long as the encryption remains reliable, information contained in private emails does not provide everyone the access necessary to contribute.
An email depository would be like a wave without a paddle -- it leaves history up the creek.


ps: If the implication is that email time-stamps are sufficient to prevent the possibility for theft, it can only be a misunderstanding of the scenario I had described.
Imagine a composer who emails a problem to a formal tourney, but does not endure to see the award published (sometimes many, many years).
Unless precautions are taken, there might easily be nobody to uphold the email record, should an unscrupulous judge/moderator take advantage of the situation.
A depository would effectively eliminate this possibility, by serving as every composer's third-party friend who forever endures, to uphold the truth.
Plus, it would help the good judge to identify anticipations, cooks, duals, busts, etc.

If there is a good argument against this idea, and all benefits it promises, I have yet to hear it.
 
   
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(17) Posted by Neal Turner [Tuesday, May 20, 2014 19:23]; edited by Neal Turner [14-05-20]

Well this isn't the first time that Kevin has proposed a Grand Scheme on the premise of curing the perceived ills of the problem community - but some of us don't accept his premise.

Nobody would argue that everything is perfect with the WFCC (but then what is?) but using terms like 'chaotic incompetence' or 'organized corruption' is going too far - not to say insulting.
Unlike Kevin, I know personally many of the people involved in the administration of the WFCC and can attest that they are men of good character, with a high level of competence, doing their best to further the cause of Problem Chess in an indifferent, fast-changing world.
Sometimes a decision may leave them open to criticism - but nobody said the job was easy!

It's also true that, as in any other community, there are some amongst us whose scruples may leave something to be desired, but for the most part this is not the case, which is why we can do our dealings with a higher level of trust and good faith than is usual in the world at large.
Going to the trouble of building, maintaining, policing a depository (even it it were possible) just to catch a small number of anticipations or deter a miniscule number of 'cheats' really would smack of the proverbial sledgehammer to crack a nut.
 
   
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(18) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Tuesday, May 20, 2014 21:17]; edited by Jacques Rotenberg [14-05-20]

Neal,

To say that I agree with you is far from being enough

I love your post.
 
   
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(19) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Tuesday, May 20, 2014 21:28]

I don't see organised corruption either. Yes, not everything is perfect in problem-land. There are a lot of bad things where we have no decision, but the officials do their best to make this world a better place for us.

Many of the officials are rich on life experience, and they are artists themselves. What a wonderful combination? From what other organisation can you say that? Look at any other global organisation and you will see that in almost none of them there are mainly experienced people who are still active in what they govern. I don't see a Kirsan Ilyumzhinov play chess in big tourneys (although quite a few of the FIDE vice presidents do, that is good). I don't see a Sepp Blatter still playing active soccer on a professional level. And the list goes on.

Where else do you have people that still could become World Champion from their level of execution in any of the organisations? That is only possible in art! Chess composition being an art is a blessing that already takes out most ground for corruption. If there are corrupt people, they are not inside our leadership.

No, Kevin, if there is fault from the WFCC, then please name it, ask your delegate to bring it to the WFCC's attention and I am sure they will change things.

And yes, I also love Neal Turner's reply!
 
   
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(20) Posted by Kevin Begley [Wednesday, May 21, 2014 04:28]; edited by Kevin Begley [14-05-21]

Neal,

I wish everyone could love your reply, but I find only a litany of poor excuses...
I'm not asking for excuses -- I'm asking for action.

I see how the wheels turned here... start with an excuse for a specific inaction (chose one never actually alleged!), then work backwards to a false logic...
A problem depository must be a bad idea, because the delegates have not yet built one.
To prove to yourself that a depository is a bad idea, invent a narrow set of false purposes for it (amounting to no purpose).

How can your "proverbial nut" amount to no purpose, while simultaneously encompassing a "Grand Scheme" which I've designed to cure all the ills of this world?
This is not a mixed metaphor -- it's a self-refuting set of delusions!
You took a good idea and made it into something petty, using your own false purpose -- and for what purpose? To advance a careless set of tired excuses!

Among the countless benefits you conveniently neglected to mention, for a depository, you left out even the remedy for "BACK-DATED Compositions" -- which happens to be the title of this thread!
Did you not read Hauke's post?
If this long proven methodology were such a lousy idea, did you ever bother to ponder why mathematicians and physicists would insist upon it?
The fast-paced world was 20 years ago -- everybody is moving much faster, now!
The frustration is not that problem chess lags so far behind, it's the endless failure to put plans on the table!
I say we topple it.

C'mon Neal, let's be honest with ourselves: the excuses pull themselves apart -- they only make our delegates appear to depend upon a desperately false set of conclusions.
I can appreciate that you (and others) may not appreciate my recent post's intentionally controversial tone -- that may be a fair point (and I'll come to that).
But, how do any of your "Grand Excuses" help to advance problem chess?
There are members who constantly elect to silence voices of any dissenting opinion -- to date, that policy has only enabled a consistent failure.
I'm not here to make polite friends with the delegates -- I'm here to rouse them from their slumber, and get them marching in a forward direction!

If you presume that all these good-natured fellas (your personal buddies!) are working so diligently on every idea with any merit, you'll never find reason to petition them to do better (nor to do their jobs, nor to take any responsibility, nor to provide any accounting, ...).
Overwork is no excuse for repeated failures, when not once have they asked for help!
If they had asked, you and I could be programming, rather than cycling through yet another list of excuses.

For the same reason, you want to presume that the depository must be too much work, but never did I ask WFCC to build, maintain, or police a depository (that is entirely your own presumption)!
WFCC should do their jobs (form a committee, consider the matter, provide oversight, solicit volunteers, get the ball rolling) -- nothing more, nothing less.
The majority of the world's ills might amount to nothing -- if we could only agree to take the first step!

How long have people been asking (in this forum, and elsewhere) for some movement on a Fairy Codex?
I hate to break it to you, but the fairy codex was NOT my original idea (please don't credit me for it, it's not mine, and the illusion that it is only seems to affect your capacity for objective evaluation).
aside: I'm quite sure that research would prove that the same could be said of the Depository idea!

Even several distinguished delegates have joined in calling for action on a Fairy Codex!
Have you ever received an update on their progress?
Have you ever actually witnessed any of your personal friends take up this issue, for official consideration?

No -- but if their buddy put a Fairy Codex in their hand, they might be willing to vote on it, probably without ever needing to read it.
That's the way they have voted in the past, for "Study of the Year" -- nobody even looked at the problem, everybody just voted yes on their faith in their good-natured buddy's suggestion.
Nope, absolutely no incompetence/corruption to see here, Neal... everybody please return to your happy places!

That is exactly the problem with the absurd presumption about "good-natured" friends...
Those too close don't allow themselves to see the corrupting influence of an organization plagued by so much friendship!

Nobody asked WFCC to fix every blooming problem -- only to do their job, and assume some responsibility.
If they can't preform these basic functions, they should help elect somebody who can.

I could go on, but at some point, this cycle has to end.
No more excuses -- action!!!

If a Fairy Codex is a bad idea, let the delegates openly proclaim why!
Same goes for a problem depository... same goes for the call for WFCC to provide definitions for their own terms (found in their own Codex, upon which their entire classification scheme is based!).

When I see some action, I promise you Neal, I will promptly retract every inflammatory statement I ever made, concerning their collective competence, and honesty.
Until then, I stand behind my statement.

But, please be aware: I have in no way assaulted the character of any individual delegate -- my comments were only directed at the inner workings of the group!
In the meantime, try not to take it personally (it is not an attack upon any one of your personal friends).

I'm not here to cure all the ills of the world; I'm only here to help the problem community take steps in the right direction, and I'm asking nothing in return.
If the delegates refuse to welcome good ideas (and willing volunteers), perhaps it's time we recruit frustrated problemists, to form our very own Fairy Problem Federation -- because most of us (apparently those without the luxury of personal relationships with the good, overworked delegates) have no vote, and no representation.
 
   
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