Custom Search

Modify Comment

 Author: Fergus DunihoOnly the author of this comment can edit it. Comment:

Thomas,

For the sake of reference, I will first include a link to the original text of the rules.

http://web.archive.org/web/20041021104951/http://www.chessvariants.com/other.dir/rococo.html

This copy of the text comes from October 21, 2004, and it is stored on the Archive.org website.

I will now compare relevant passages of text from the old copy and from the revised copy:

The original description of the Long Leaper says, 'It may end its move on an edge square only when that is the only way to make a particular capture.' And the description in revised text says, 'It may end its move on an edge square only when that is the only way to make a particular capture.' This text has not changed, and taken by itself, it seems more in line with your position.

In the original version, the general description of the rules says:

The 36 outer squares of the 10 x 10 Rococo board are marked in the diagram below. These marked squares on the edge of the board are edge squares, and a move may only end on an edge square if necessary for a capture. Or in other words, a piece may only end up on an edge square by making a capturing move that would not be possible without landing on the edge square. This includes moves that start on edge squares.'

Here is what the revised passage says. I have underlined and highlighted all additions.

The 36 outer squares of the 10 x 10 Rococo board are marked in the diagram below. These marked squares on the edge of the board are edge squares, and a move may only pass over or end on an edge square if it is necessary for a capture. Or in other words, a piece may only end up on an edge square by making a capturing move that would not be possible without landing on the edge square. This includes moves that start on edge squares. Also, only the mininal number of edge squares may be passed over in order for the capture to occur, thus a Long Leaper on x9 could capture an opposing piece on x2 by landing on x1 (assuming x8-x3 were empty), but may not capture an opposing piece on x2 by landing on x0. (This is a clarification of the original rules which failed unambiguously to define the appropriate behavior in this case.) Moves that captures multiple opposing pieces are not forbidden by edge squares -- the piece may move over as many edge squares as required for the capture. While a capture must be performed crossing as few as possible edge squares, when there is a choice among multiple possible captures, there is no requirement to choose the capture that crosses the fewist possible edge squares.

Peter also adds a formal description, which I will skip here. According to what Peter says above, this is a clarification of the original rules and not a revision to them. But this is not obvious. For one thing, the only thing in the original text that leads to the interpretation that the Long Leaper move was illegal is the use of the definite article in one sentence that begins with the phrase 'in other words.' Furthermore, the original statement of the rules, as so interpreted, leads to paradox, as already described. The paradox is averted by adding the text 'pass over or,' as underlined and highlighted in the above passage. Taking the original text as written and assuming that a paradoxical interpretation would be wrong, we are left with your interpretation, which coincides with the interpretation Antoine used when writing the preset.

But the original text is not the only resource we have. There is also the ZRF, coded by Peter Aronson, one of the game's inventors. Since a ZRF requires a mathematically precise description of the rules, it may sometimes end up being more precise and accurate than the natural language description. When there is a discrepancy between the two, a judgement call has to be made over which is accurate. When the text description and the ZRF were both written by the same person, and that person is a creator of the game, he is naturally the most qualified person to make a ruling on the matter. Peter Aronson wrote both and is co-creator of this game, and he has previously indicated that the ZRF described the rules accurately, and that in the ZRF, the Long Leaper move in question would be illegal.

Anyhow, I have not examined the ZRF. But it appears to me that the best way to justify Peter's additions as clarifications and not revisions is to show that they correspond with how the ZRF enforces the rules. If they do match, and Peter stands by the ZRF description as the most accurate description of his original vision for the game, then it will stand that the move was illegal. Other than that, the only way to claim clarification is to assume that the original description seemed paradoxical only because it incompletely described the rules, and what Peter has added is just what must be in the rules to avoid the paradox.

Using HTML tags in the comment

﻿