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MatPlus.Net Forum General The case against FIDE ... and PCCC... Composition Titles
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(1) Posted by Kevin Begley [Wednesday, Feb 3, 2010 22:35]; edited by Kevin Begley [10-02-03]

The case against FIDE ... and PCCC... Composition Titles

Suppose that you, acting individually, compose twelve (12) studies in Chess960.
Should they appear in a "FIDE" Album?
Does it matter if an International Federation, for Chess960, has emerged?
Suppose they were Shogi studies -- aren't they better suited for the album of some Shogi Federation (e.g., JSF)?

Under what authority may FIDE (the Mad-Queen Federation) proclaim you a Master of Shogi Composition?
Can the Professional Golf Association declare you a Green Jacket in Chess960 Composition?
Shouldn't you prefer a title within the correct Federation?
It is beyond the charter of FIDE to award titles for the composition of chess variants.

PCCC only awards you ONE album-point per each variant study -- only three-fifths what you'd earn for any FIDE variant study!
This clearly demonstrates that FIDE involvement serves to corrupt PCCC's ability to serve as an impartial arbiter.

Next, consider the method by which PCCC selects problems for the album (leading to album-points, and titles)...
1) There is not ONE album, but a collection of 8 sub-albums (FIDE-study, #2, #3, #n, s#, h#, fairy, retro/math/PG).
There are no metrics to compare the rejected Retro against the accepted Selfmate.
This fact alone should require FIDE to award titles based strictly on a "sub-album" basis (e.g., FM of #3, FM of s#, etc).
A title earned in Retros may be more/less than a FIDE equivalent title, earned in selfmates (I would argue the former).
There is no equivalency in album-points (and thus, the same may be true of FIDE titles).

2) You were required to self-nominate your problems.
A true meritocracy would not reward self-nomination.

3) Ambitious, problems, which later prove incorrect, are never expunged (problems knocked out by them are never reconsidered).
Nothing, more than the list of wrongly accepted problems, better proves that albums are a poor measure.

4) Manufactured allowances (based upon percentage of self-nominated problems), by Genre, are absurd.
Send thousands of incorrect Selfmates (published anywhere!) per year, and selfmate allowances increase, all others suffer inequity.
Think back to the 70s, when helpmates were in bloom, but the FIDE Album was insisting upon reducing the number of helpmate entries.
Think back to more recent pressures placed upon Retro Judges: to reduce the number of problems already deemed worthy.
Even the proposed remedies fall far short of discouraging a sloppy self-nomination process, which inflates genre allowances.

5) Weighting (whether by construction, by genre, or by theme) is never a factor.
Yarosh's Babson is neither equivalent to Hoffman's Babson, nor a selfmate Babson, nor an AUW.
The weight of a problem -- degree of difficulty, if you will -- must also be considered by the judges.

6) Composers may lose their opportunity to retroactively submit works.
Whether entry deadlines were missed due to inability, ignorance, lack of confidence, or even protest...
Problems have no shelf-life, and there should be no statute of limitations upon consideration.
There needn't be artificial, non-meritocratic, and time-limited barriers to entry.

7) A few of the best composers, and many of the best problems, do not participate!
Imagine if Jack Nicklaus had left the PGA tour, for years, to play in his own league -- what might it say about the PGA?
Imagine if he refused to post his winning score (in triplicate) -- what would it say if the PGA were then forced to award another?

Ultimately, this poor selection process diminishes the value of titles, and hampers a fair (cross-genre) equivalency.

Next, consider how the original charter of the FIDE album has been abandoned.
Ask the best helpmate composer you can find: what was the original purpose of the FIDE albums?
If they do not confess that it was designed to document the best compositions, then go find yourself a better helpmate composer.
FIDE albums today do not serve this original purpose -- now, they serve as a short-term measure in the competition for FIDE titles.
All efforts to document the best problems (as considered by top experts), and maintain them, are now lost.

More to the point, unlike the early albums, title decisions are often rendered before the award is ever published.
Thus, new composers are deprived an opportunity to build necessary confidences, in order to self-nominate their problem(s).
And, without the benefit of time, the perspective of judges is dramatically reduced, and their prejudices are less removed.
What was the Nobel Prize for Chess Composition is now Employee of the 3-year-term.

Finally, consider how many problems today are composed purely with the intent of winning titles?
How can this not diminish the artform?
How many cycles, purely for the sake of achieving the guaranteed album-points?
Think of the great composers who ran like dogs in FIDE's title chase (full-speed, wrong direction, pursuant to a mechanical rabbit).
Imagine how their work may have been warped by the gravitational pull toward FIDE's plaque.
It makes you want to weep for those who quit, with no more titles to conquer.
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(2) Posted by Sarah Hornecker [Thursday, Feb 4, 2010 00:40]


Feel bad because you don't have enough album points? Buy some now! Ask FIDE vice president Zurab A. on how to do it and he will organise a tourney in Strumica where you can win 16 of 18 prizes!

The first five buyers will get a live CD from Zurab A. with the best vulgar and inappropriate language, recorded at the arrangements of the 2004 Women World Championship!

See the good references of Zurab A. on and and buy your points today!
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MatPlus.Net Forum General The case against FIDE ... and PCCC... Composition Titles