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MatPlus.Net Forum Competitions WCCT-11 entries in the 9th World Cup
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(1) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Saturday, Aug 21, 2021 19:10]

WCCT-11 entries in the 9th World Cup

Preliminary awards of the 9th World Cup contain many WCCT-11 entries, published before the official WCCT-11 compositions. Does it match official rules and moral principles?
While we still don't know the names of the authors, it would be interesting to hear your comments.
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(2) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Saturday, Aug 21, 2021 20:43]

Important question in my view, unfortunately djinn has already left the bottle long ago...

From the rules point of view, there is no way to prevent publication of WCCT themed problems anytime. In the official rules ( the very last sentence says:

"Editors of chess magazines are asked not to publish originals with themes of this tournament before the closing date of submission to WCCT"

So as you probably know, WFCC acknowledges its factual lack of power to prevent publication of WCCT-themed problems and in fact appeals to editors, not even authors. In the past such appeal had much stronger power, if I remember correctly, WCCT-themed problems were not published until the award (which might take a lot of time).

However, a few WCCTs back some authors actively sought publication of their WCCT-themed problems before the awards were known and I remember that as PAT A MAT editor I have even rejected some such tries. The motivation of authors might have been varying - from positive to really negative, e.g. having their good works published soon, providing some false "anticipations" to works of other countries... But I know some other editors were not so scrupulous as myself and I have seen many WCCT-themed problems published during the judging period. Frankly speaking, I was angry, but it seems there were no repercussions and so I have accepted the status quo as an acceptable practice.

At least now during WCCT preparation period I have not seen any second-class or better problems that could score high in WCCT (but of course, my knowledge is only limited).

And now the World Cup - with closing date of WCCT 1.7.2021 and publication of World Cup awards only afterwards, one cannot speak about any anticipation. WCCT-competing problems cannot be anticipated by World Cup awarded ones.

(I have no intention to publish any my WCCT-themed problems before the award of WCCT is published. It is not question of rules or ethics, I just think the old approach was better. But djinn...)
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(3) Posted by shankar ram [Sunday, Aug 22, 2021 03:41]

Not ok.
From the next WCCT, the rule should be restored to its previous form:
"Editors of chess magazines (and webmasters of online sources and directors of the World Cup and other competitions!) are asked not to (accept and) publish originals with themes of this tournament before the publication of WCCT award."
We should avoid unnecessary situations like a World Cup award winner being similar or identical to a WCCT entry.
The cycle time for the WCCT entries document publication, judgement and the award publication should also be shortened. Currently it is 2 + 9 + 4 = 15 months long.
Since we now have faster electronic communication and publishing software as compared to the earlier traditional methods, the above request is reasonable.
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(4) Posted by Kostas Prentos [Sunday, Aug 22, 2021 03:46]

As far as priority goes, the WCCT entries come first, even if they are not "published" yet. Anything that is published after July 1st 2021 may be anticipated a posteriori when the problems of the WCCT become available. There is nothing unusual or unethical about this rule, in my view. For the retros in StrateGems, I have received and will publish in the October issue two proof games that show the theme of the WCCT. It doesn't make a difference that the WCCT entries are not yet published.

We had the same discussion in the past. In my view, the WCCT is just one composing tournament out of many. Not that much more important than any other tourney. It has enough protections that other tournaments don't have and these rules are accepted and followed by most composers and magazine editors. Following the set rules is enough. Going beyond these rules is possible, but not necessary.
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(5) Posted by shankar ram [Sunday, Aug 22, 2021 03:59]

>>> "...I have received and will publish in the October issue two proof games that show the theme of the WCCT."
The WCCT entries document will be available by 1-September.
Will you verify whether those two PGs are similar or identical to any WCCT entries?
Or leave it to your readers? ("Publish and be damned!").
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(6) Posted by Kostas Prentos [Sunday, Aug 22, 2021 05:46]

If the authors are OK with the risk of anticipation, then I am fine, too. I know that it's not plagiarism and this is good enough for me. There is time to remove a problem, if it is identical with one of the WCCT entries, but even if it escapes my scrutiny, the ultimate judgment will come from the judge. It is not that grave of an issue if a problem turns out to be anticipated after it is published. It happens all the time. As long as the priority is clear, we can move on to more important things.
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(7) Posted by Joose Norri [Wednesday, Aug 25, 2021 12:23]

There are themes and themes. I'm thinking about two fairy sections. I don't have the awards to hand right now, but in the 3rd WCCT it was very specific, something about tries failing because of wrongly placed hurdles for hoppers or similar. (I seem to remember that you Marjan got a high placing, and of course I remember the winner, by one of the participants in this thread.) But in a later WCCT (the fifth?) it was just h#2 with Andernach. That's not a theme, just a type of problem. In the latter case I don't see any reason not to publish such problems.
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(8) Posted by Michel Caillaud [Sunday, Aug 29, 2021 17:23]

I see some issues.
OK, we know today about the closing dates. But what will think in some future a reader discovering in FIDE Album 2022-2024 a WCCT problem with same content as a World Cup or StrateGems problem in FIDE Album 2019-2021? A ridiculous situation that shows that the "new rule" is simply a shame (at least with a date before the WCCT entries are known).
I also received as selfmate editor in Phenix some WCCT original, and I suspended the publication to the condition that the problem is not similar to some WCCT entry.
In "spirit", WCCT is similar to olympic games, and participant of "small country" is not supposed to compete with 5th performer of "big country".
As a member of the french judging team in the Retro section, I will find perturbating to find "comparison elements" published as originals in magazines. Of course, I should ignore them, same as when in american films the judge asks the jury to forget what the defense or the prosecution just said, but this is humanly difficult.
There is a point. In the past, I was frustated having to wait for publishing problems with content different from the WCCT entries. Of course, evualuating that the content is different can be subjective.
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(9) Posted by Kostas Prentos [Monday, Aug 30, 2021 03:53]

I am not sure when the rule changed, but I find the previous rule, urging composers and magazine editors to wait until the WCCT award was published, simply unsustainable, in the time of instant circulation of information. It had caused many issues in the past, with some composers and editors not complying. I don’t know whether it would be better to have a later date, like September 1st, instead of July 1st for this directive, but once the rules are set, complying with them is both legal and ethical.

In this case, there was another prestigious composing tourney (the FIDE World Cup) coinciding with the timeline of the WCCT. There is still time for the judges to correct the preliminary awards of the FIDE World Cup, if such an action is needed. But what would be the alternative? Should the director of the FIDE World Cup not accept entries with the WCCT theme and on what basis? Or should the judges disqualify these entries? Or perhaps, the composers should not send their problems in the first place, when the rules are clear that they can?

As for problem magazines, the issue is practically nonexistent, in my opinion. Maybe Michel’s approach is better than mine, or at least less complicated. The way I see it, even if a problem is published and turns out to be anticipated, it is not a big deal. It may just be that I am a bad editor, but this is the consequence of my position towards the WCCT restrictions.

The potential issue with the FIDE album that Michel brings is something I had not considered. Are the WCCT entries not eligible for the FIDE album 2019-2021? The problems will be officially “published” on September 1st 2021, but without authors’ names. If they are accepted in the 2019-2021 album, the authors will have to send them before the WCCT award is published, thus revealing their names and potentially compromising the anonymous status of the WCCT judging. If they are not included in this album, changing the dates originals can be published from July 1st to September 1st would not help at all.

The correlation between WCCT and the Olympic games is an interesting idea, but the argument is flawed. The participants of small countries do not compete against the 4th, 5th, or nth performer of the big countries in the WCCT. The nth problem of the big country competes with other problems outside the WCCT, in other composing tourneys.

My final comment is about knowing similar problems that were published later, when judging a tourney. This happens all the time, with thematic and non-thematic tourneys, and judges should ignore such problems. It can become especially hard to adjust and consider the problems at hand when the judgment is delayed for several years, but in this case it is quite simple. There will be very few problems for comparison and likely worse in quality. I have no doubt that the French judging team will do an excellent job.
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(10) Posted by Kostas Prentos [Monday, Aug 30, 2021 08:16]

Now that I had a little more time, I went back to reading the other comments on this subject more carefully. I fully support Shankar Ram's proposal (in post no.3) for a faster paced WCCT award. I would extend that to the composing period, as well. The main problem is who would be able and willing to undertake the tremendous task of running this thing. Even under the present timeline, it is too much work for the WCCT director. The part that can be shortened a little easier is the time allowed for judging. 3-4 months seem like an adequate time for dedicated judges to tackle less than 100 problems.

The question is: Do we care? From the struggles to even start this 11th WCCT, select themes, judges, etc, it seems that the WCCT does not have the importance it used to have in the past. It is quite understandable. Things have changed over the years and the WCCT looks like a relic from the past that we still have to do, but we might be better off just getting rid of. I know this is not a popular view, but the challenges to organize a WCCT are enormous and it is questionable if it is worth it.
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(11) Posted by Michel Caillaud [Monday, Aug 30, 2021 16:03]

I think the correlation with Olympic games is relevant, and competition with nth problem, and possibly problems composed after the closing date, even if "at distance" as allowed by the new rule, is unwanted.

Some retro-fictions from 10th WCCT to illustrate.

I composed an helpmate that I thought could have got a not too bad place. But Ricardo de Mattos Vieira got the same idea with a much better rendering, by far. His problem got 3rd-4th place and mine 26th-32nd place.
Maybe I am wrong, but without Ricardo's problem, my problem could have got a better place.
What if Ricardo's problem was 4th place in brazilian selection and Ricardo sent it to World Cup?

What if Reto Aschwanden had composed and published his WID730967 before the award, answering from outside to some question I asked myself as a judge about the 1st Place in Retro section (can the idea be demonstrated without promoted force on the diagram?)? I am not sure my note could have been the same.

Note that these are not cases of anticipation, but of some ideas displayed in more or less successful form.

Other questions about WCCT can be discussed but they are not my concern here.
My concern is that the new rule alterates the fairness of the competition.
(and it complicates my work as an editor as my ethics drive me to check that a publication doesn't alterate this fairness of competition).
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(12) Posted by Kostas Prentos [Monday, Aug 30, 2021 18:15]

Thank you, Michel. You make a clear point. Also, thanks for sharing Reto's PG. Although I try to follow the occasional PGs he publishes these days, I missed this one.

To the main point of discussion, though. If I understand correctly, you prefer the old system that urged composers and editors to refrain from publishing WCCT thematic problems until the award was out. This means another year or waiting (July 2022 vs. July 2021). This was the case in the past and it was problematic. I remember several discussions just in this forum and in many cases, problemists were frustrated by the long delay, especially when the WCCT theme was too generic, or sent their problems for publication anyway.

For better or worse, this is changed now. There are different types of issues from the change, some of which you describe in your comments and possibly more that we haven't even considered. But once the new rule is in effect, what do we do? Let me remind everyone that these issues are not specific to the WCCT. Any thematic tourney out there may have the side effects we are discussing now. WCCT is the only one that has this kind of protection. It is an important competition, but it cannot dominate chess composition and dictate what can be published for years.
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(13) Posted by Michel Caillaud [Tuesday, Aug 31, 2021 00:46]

I too was frustrated in the past (see (8)), but in some way, I survived it...

I am not for keeping the same rules forever, but there is a difference between waiting for more than one year and having a decency delay of two or three monthes waiting for the WCCT entries to be known.

For the new rule in combination with WCCT and World Cup having exactly the same closing date(!!), it is difficult for me to find polite words to express what I think. Not only because my english language is limited, it is also difficult in french.
To put it mildly and answer Marjan's initial question, I don't find it morally correct.

The system has changed indeed.
From what I understand, it means that WCCT problems can now be published, not that they must be published.
Composers and editors are free to apply it according to their own ethics.
For my part, I will wait for the WCCT entries to be known and then publish when I consider the publication has few chance to influence WCCT award (as it is a subjective evaluation, there is a margin error...).
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(14) Posted by Michel Caillaud [Tuesday, Aug 31, 2021 01:00]

(post duplicated by mistake; don't know how to delete it...)
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(15) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Tuesday, Aug 31, 2021 01:43]

And the WCCT entries are now available:

From very quick look, in sections I know something about - high quality of the best entries, as usual. Much better standard than World Cup.
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(16) Posted by Kostas Prentos [Tuesday, Aug 31, 2021 02:26]

Michel, you got me reevaluating my lifelong position. I have always been against the special status of the WCCT and consequently, against any restrictions of the kind we are discussing. But I complied with the rules and respected the dates set by the WFCC. Now I am not so sure that the closing date of the WCCT is the best time to allow publication of relevant problems. I could wait two more months for the WCCT problems to become known, before sending my originals or publishing originals by others. Not a whole year, but two months look like a good compromise. It doesn't mean everyone will comply with the new rules (if they change), but at least we will avoid a conflict like the one between the WCCT vs. FIDE World Cup that we had this year. For the current WCCT, there is not much that can be done. After all, we are just a couple of days away from the publication of all the WCCT entries and if some anticipations to the World Cup entries pop up, there is time to remove those problems from the award.

EDIT: The WCCT entries are already available. Release the hounds!
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(17) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Wednesday, Sep 1, 2021 10:21]

The closing dates for wcct-11 and world cup are the same. Technically there is no way to disqualify either entries, as anticipated
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MatPlus.Net Forum Competitions WCCT-11 entries in the 9th World Cup