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Reformed Chess



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 23rd 07, 11:24 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
M Winther
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Posts: 364
Default Reformed Chess

It seems like about three quarters of the current world championship
games end in a draw. Although the situation for chess is not acute
(unlike Anglosaxon draughts that has been solved by the computer) I
have the feeling that modern chess is involved in a slow downward
spiral. The theoretical paths are well-trodden to the extent that the
players are too much in control. Positions are becoming very familiar
after haven been played 10.000 times. It could be time for a
reformation of the rules, at least as an alternative to standard
chess. I've been working with several propositions. My latest is this:

In "Reformed Chess" a pawn situated on the enemy side can change place
with an enemy pawn standing before it. If a pawn has passed the middle
line and can move forwards to a square occupied by an enemy pawn, then
the two pawns can change place. Otherwise regular rules apply.

Although the pawn, in a sense, is stronger, it is also more
vulnerable, while it has lost much of its blocking capability. It's
now more rewarding to expand your territory, and it can be dangerous
to play passively with your pawns. Engames are much more likely to end
in a win.
http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/reformedchess.htm

Mats
  #2  
Old September 23rd 07, 01:42 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Chess One
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Posts: 5,003
Default Reformed Chess


"M Winther" wrote in message
news[email protected]..
It seems like about three quarters of the current world championship
games end in a draw.


I counted the first half. It was 9 white wins, 2 black wins and 22 draws,
making an exact ratio of decisive games [DG] to draws [D] of 1:2 or 1/3 to
2/3

Although the situation for chess is not acute
(unlike Anglosaxon draughts that has been solved by the computer) I
have the feeling that modern chess is involved in a slow downward
spiral. The theoretical paths are well-trodden to the extent that the
players are too much in control. Positions are becoming very familiar
after haven been played 10.000 times. It could be time for a
reformation of the rules, at least as an alternative to standard
chess. I've been working with several propositions. My latest is this:


Just before you go on - and this is a good post - I think for /top/ players
it is much as you say, but for most players it ain't. I'm sorry, but I do
not know the DG ratio from USCF rating system, though I expect it to be
much different than above. From anecdote of both OTB fast chess and also
correspondance, very few games seem to be drawn - maybe 15% tops.

In "Reformed Chess" a pawn situated on the enemy side can change place
with an enemy pawn standing before it. If a pawn has passed the middle
line and can move forwards to a square occupied by an enemy pawn, then
the two pawns can change place. Otherwise regular rules apply.


There is another idea for top players, and that is to give them either very
much more time, or much less time - both seem to effect the draw ratio.
There are also novel ideas around [like from Wash. State] on awarding a
decisive result with more points than 2 draws. ie, instead of scoring 1
point, you score 1.5, while still obtaining .5 for a draw and 0 for a loss.
This makes for a very large incentive.

The other 'problem' with top players can be seen with the White:Black ratio
of 9:2. Some novel scoring systems provide black with more score than white
for a win, with or without increasing the DG ratio.

But for most players, chess is so far from being played-out, or
draw-infested, that no changes are necessary. In fact, very few people can
even trot out the first dozen moves of relatively popular lines.

I think you address a real problem, Mat, but changing the way the game is
played to accommodate top GMs seems less acceptable to the great majority of
players, than fiddling with the time controls or with the scoring.

Cordially, Phil Innes

Although the pawn, in a sense, is stronger, it is also more
vulnerable, while it has lost much of its blocking capability. It's
now more rewarding to expand your territory, and it can be dangerous
to play passively with your pawns. Engames are much more likely to end
in a win.
http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/reformedchess.htm

Mats



  #3  
Old September 23rd 07, 05:07 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
M Winther
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Posts: 364
Default Reformed Chess

Den 2007-09-23 14:42:30 skrev Chess One :

[...]


But for most players, chess is so far from being played-out, or
draw-infested, that no changes are necessary. In fact, very few people can
even trot out the first dozen moves of relatively popular lines.

I think you address a real problem, Mat, but changing the way the game is
played to accommodate top GMs seems less acceptable to the great majority of
players, than fiddling with the time controls or with the scoring.

Cordially, Phil Innes


But computers have ousted the masters. I can set up a tournament on my
computer between engines which generates better chess than most
tournaments in the world, and they will play perfectly in the openings, and
endgames up to 6-pieces. What's the point, then, in including chess in the
Olympic games? The chessmaster has lost his status, and he will continue
to lose status and creative freedom as the computers are designing the
remaining openings and endgames. We have a problem on the horizon.
I would like to play email chess, but half of my opponents are cheating by
using computers, at least intermittently. Had we played chess variants, or
used a swapping pawn move, then they couldn't cheat. So it's not a
problem only to the grandmasters. I also feel that modern people think that
chess is a little slow and tedious. Adding flavour to the game could be
worthwhile. The swapping pawn assists the king attack as pawns are
harder to block.

Mats
  #4  
Old September 24th 07, 08:55 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Ralf Callenberg
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Posts: 383
Default Reformed Chess

23.09.2007 18:07, M Winther:

But computers have ousted the masters.


And? Is it a problem for athletes or for the spectators of the olympics
that most dogs can run faster than the fastest man on earth? And what
has this to do with playing chess variants? Why should I consider
playing a chess variant just because the top players tend to play draws?
As Phill pointed out for the mere mortals chess over the board doesn't
seem to be in a crisis. To the contrary, chess programs have become very
popular partners to play against or to try to improve ones chess.

I would like to play email chess, but half of my opponents are cheating by
using computers, at least intermittently. Had we played chess variants, or
used a swapping pawn move, then they couldn't cheat.


Adapting todays chess programs to new rules is not difficult (you
mentioned draughts: the world's strongest draughts program, Chinook, was
created based on a chess program within a few months). It would be a
matter of a week or two to adopt an open source chess program to a new
chess variant, resulting in a game which would again beat 99% of all
human players. Shall we switch to different rules every fortnight? There
are even programs out there, where you can define a set of rules and
have a playing partner without writing a single line of code. Might not
be as strong as the specialized programs, but good enough to easily beat
the average chess player. Neither your mentioning of the high number of
draws in top chess nor the existance of chess programs give any solid
argument, why a chess variant might be useful for the chess community.

I also feel that modern people think that chess is a little slow and tedious.


Let them play Poker.

Greetings,
Ralf
  #5  
Old September 24th 07, 09:14 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Chess One
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Posts: 5,003
Default Reformed Chess


"M Winther" wrote in message
news[email protected]..
Den 2007-09-23 14:42:30 skrev Chess One :

[...]


But for most players, chess is so far from being played-out, or
draw-infested, that no changes are necessary. In fact, very few people
can
even trot out the first dozen moves of relatively popular lines.

I think you address a real problem, Mat, but changing the way the game is
played to accommodate top GMs seems less acceptable to the great majority
of
players, than fiddling with the time controls or with the scoring.

Cordially, Phil Innes


But computers have ousted the masters. I can set up a tournament on my
computer between engines which generates better chess than most
tournaments in the world, and they will play perfectly in the openings,
and
endgames up to 6-pieces. What's the point, then, in including chess in the
Olympic games?


True! I can set up a race with Ferrari's in the 1000 metres, and no human
will win. Trouble is, Ferrari's are not allowed to compete, and neither are
computers, since they both cheat the rules.

But the point I think you do not understand is that most players of chess do
not compete in the olympics or the world championships, and are far from
being grandmasters. To them, there is no draw problem from their own
experience.

Why then do you suggest that rules need changing?

The chessmaster has lost his status, and he will continue
to lose status and creative freedom as the computers are designing the
remaining openings and endgames.


You do understand that that is as illegal as entering a Ferrari in the 1000
metres, right? You can't look up material during the game, and computers
do - so sorry - that's cheating.

We have a problem on the horizon.
I would like to play email chess, but half of my opponents are cheating by
using computers, at least intermittently.


I play lots of corres chess and experience a cheat rate of less than 10%.
Not half.

Had we played chess variants, or
used a swapping pawn move, then they couldn't cheat.


Sure.

So it's not a
problem only to the grandmasters.


You changed the subject ["its"] from Grandmaster draws to correspondance
cheating. Which is it you reference?

I also feel that modern people think that
chess is a little slow and tedious.


Really? To watch or to play? What's boring about a 2 minute game?

Adding flavour to the game could be
worthwhile. The swapping pawn assists the king attack as pawns are
harder to block.


A diversion from the issue.
What is your issue? Cheating or Grandmasters? Both are minor considerations
to the very great majority of chess play. And changing the rules to
accommodate suspected cheaters, ain't in the spirit of the game of chess,
nor any game.

Phil Innes

Mats



  #6  
Old September 25th 07, 10:38 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
M Winther
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Posts: 364
Default Reformed Chess

Den 2007-09-24 22:14:25 skrev Chess One :


"M Winther" wrote in message
news[email protected]..
Den 2007-09-23 14:42:30 skrev Chess One :

[...]


But for most players, chess is so far from being played-out, or
draw-infested, that no changes are necessary. In fact, very few people
can
even trot out the first dozen moves of relatively popular lines.

I think you address a real problem, Mat, but changing the way the game is
played to accommodate top GMs seems less acceptable to the great majority
of
players, than fiddling with the time controls or with the scoring.

Cordially, Phil Innes


But computers have ousted the masters. I can set up a tournament on my
computer between engines which generates better chess than most
tournaments in the world, and they will play perfectly in the openings,
and
endgames up to 6-pieces. What's the point, then, in including chess in the
Olympic games?


True! I can set up a race with Ferrari's in the 1000 metres, and no human
will win. Trouble is, Ferrari's are not allowed to compete, and neither are
computers, since they both cheat the rules.

But the point I think you do not understand is that most players of chess do
not compete in the olympics or the world championships, and are far from
being grandmasters. To them, there is no draw problem from their own
experience.

Why then do you suggest that rules need changing?

The chessmaster has lost his status, and he will continue
to lose status and creative freedom as the computers are designing the
remaining openings and endgames.


You do understand that that is as illegal as entering a Ferrari in the 1000
metres, right? You can't look up material during the game, and computers
do - so sorry - that's cheating.

We have a problem on the horizon.
I would like to play email chess, but half of my opponents are cheating by
using computers, at least intermittently.


I play lots of corres chess and experience a cheat rate of less than 10%.
Not half.

Had we played chess variants, or
used a swapping pawn move, then they couldn't cheat.


Sure.

So it's not a
problem only to the grandmasters.


You changed the subject ["its"] from Grandmaster draws to correspondance
cheating. Which is it you reference?

I also feel that modern people think that
chess is a little slow and tedious.


Really? To watch or to play? What's boring about a 2 minute game?

Adding flavour to the game could be
worthwhile. The swapping pawn assists the king attack as pawns are
harder to block.


A diversion from the issue.
What is your issue? Cheating or Grandmasters? Both are minor considerations
to the very great majority of chess play. And changing the rules to
accommodate suspected cheaters, ain't in the spirit of the game of chess,
nor any game.

Phil Innes

Mats






I am not out to change the rules. I simply say that *complementing*
the rules could enliven the game. I have chesssplayers in mind who
seem to suffer from an "anal neurosis". They play the same variant of
Bogo Indian defence, decade after decade, and become experts in
bloodless play. I have suggested the following idea:

In "Alternative Chess" the rules are the same as in orthodox chess,
except that one extra piece per player (or two) is placed in the
reserve. Standard chess is included as an option, thereby maintaining
the historical connection. In a tournament, by way of the initial
voting procedure, players can decide to play a traditional game.
Before starting, the players must decide whether they want to use the
extra piece. Practically any piece type can be used. To make a
decision, one can, for instance, turn over a marker, or place the
extra piece in a special way. Only if both players choose not to use
the extra piece, then it becomes a regular game of chess. If white
turns down the extra piece, then black can overrule this. If players
have elected to include external pieces, they may either move a piece
or pawn, or drop the extra piece from the reserve. Pieces may only be
dropped on a friendly pawn on the second rank. The removed friendly
pawn must immediately be relocated two squares ahead of the dropped
piece. This position, and the position in between, must be empty. If
not, the piece cannot be dropped on the friendly pawn.
http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/alternativechess.htm

Comparatively, in table tennis they recently made the ball heavier to
improve the game. In soccer they have with time change the size of the
goal, etc. I don't quite understand why it evokes such irritation. It
is my contention that an enormous amount of time and energy is devoted
to chess with the mere result of bloodless draws. Had the game of
chess allowed it, all this time and energy would have resulted in
creative chess, instead of this form of cleanly perfection, what Freud
saw as an anal neurosis, i.e., to have perfect control at any price,
refusing to throw yourself into an unpredictable struggle. Modern
orthochess revolves too much around prediction. Korchnoi has played
Janus Chess, and he says that it allows for creative play to a much
higher degree than modern orthochess.

Is chess in the future only going to attract anal neurotics, who strive
after perfection and total control, or will it allow room for truly creative
fighters, like Spassky, who work from intuition, and not from
preparation? Unlike you guys think, this question involves amateurs,
too, because the nature of a game determines what kind of people are
attracted to it. We must enhance the scope of recruitment, and we can
do this by enhancing the game. I am not desperate to change chess,
I just input my ideas and see where they lead.

Mats



  #7  
Old September 26th 07, 04:19 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
M Winther
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Posts: 364
Default Reformed Chess

To clarify my position:

People are out to reform chess, and I want to have a say because I am
not impressed with their propositions. Reputedly, there are 200.000
people playing Omega Chess ( http://www.omegachess.com/ ). Many are
engaged in Gothic Chess ( http://www.gothicchess.com/ ), and in Janus
Chess ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janus_chess ). And now Seirawan
Chess ( http://www.chessmastery.com/seirawan-chess.html ) is being
launched. Fischer Random Chess
( http://www.chessvariants.org/diffsetup.dir/fischer.html ) is a case in
point, too.

Moreover, Chinese Chess
( http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/chinesechess.htm ) is the world's most
popular game. Why continue playing orthochess then? Moreover, Japanese
Chess ( http://www.chessvariants.com/shogi.html ) is much more
profitable. If you're a talent, you could become a millionaire,
instead of a bum in the orthochess world.

The two latter games are tactically much more creative, something that
appeals to the general amateur. At least Shogi is right now making an
inroad in the West. How will orthochess fare in the competition?

I maintain that most orthochess games constitute of woodchopping.
Orthochess allows for moving pieces around until somebody makes a
mistake. Comparatively, in Shogi you have no other choice than to
create attacking combinations. You must be creative in order to have a
chance. In Chinese Chess games are often rapid, always resolved in a
king attack. Players don't need to waste a lot of time and energy by
many tedious moves.

We don't know what direction chess will take in the future, and one
ought to discuss its future.

Mats
  #8  
Old September 26th 07, 10:02 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Chess One
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Posts: 5,003
Default Reformed Chess

Listen dude, as a mere master I can crush 99.9% of players. If you got a
problem with chess, you need to own what that is. [What is it?]

Only the very top levels of chess suffer draw-death. So are you writing as a
spectator or a player?

Try playing the game, and tell us afterwards what its like, otherwise this
is all a bit like Monday morning quarterbacking.

Phil Innes

"M Winther" wrote in message
news[email protected]..
To clarify my position:

People are out to reform chess, and I want to have a say because I am
not impressed with their propositions. Reputedly, there are 200.000
people playing Omega Chess ( http://www.omegachess.com/ ). Many are
engaged in Gothic Chess ( http://www.gothicchess.com/ ), and in Janus
Chess ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janus_chess ). And now Seirawan
Chess ( http://www.chessmastery.com/seirawan-chess.html ) is being
launched. Fischer Random Chess
( http://www.chessvariants.org/diffsetup.dir/fischer.html ) is a case in
point, too.

Moreover, Chinese Chess
( http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/chinesechess.htm ) is the world's most
popular game. Why continue playing orthochess then? Moreover, Japanese
Chess ( http://www.chessvariants.com/shogi.html ) is much more
profitable. If you're a talent, you could become a millionaire,
instead of a bum in the orthochess world.

The two latter games are tactically much more creative, something that
appeals to the general amateur. At least Shogi is right now making an
inroad in the West. How will orthochess fare in the competition?

I maintain that most orthochess games constitute of woodchopping.
Orthochess allows for moving pieces around until somebody makes a
mistake. Comparatively, in Shogi you have no other choice than to
create attacking combinations. You must be creative in order to have a
chance. In Chinese Chess games are often rapid, always resolved in a
king attack. Players don't need to waste a lot of time and energy by
many tedious moves.

We don't know what direction chess will take in the future, and one
ought to discuss its future.

Mats



  #9  
Old September 27th 07, 02:35 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Ralf Callenberg
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Posts: 383
Default Reformed Chess

26.09.2007 17:19, M Winther:


The two latter games are tactically much more creative, something that
appeals to the general amateur. At least Shogi is right now making an
inroad in the West. How will orthochess fare in the competition?


I don't buy your equation "more tactically = more attractive". Maybe
this is the case for the occasional player. But here games of all sort
have been around all the time, where there is much more "action" taking
place. For a lot of people the fact, that so much goes below the surface
in chess is part of the fascination of the game.


I maintain that most orthochess games constitute of woodchopping.
Orthochess allows for moving pieces around until somebody makes a
mistake.


Just moving around pieces without a plan and without regarding the plan
of the other side is quite a sure way of losing a game.

In Chinese Chess games are often rapid, always resolved in a
king attack. Players don't need to waste a lot of time and energy by
many tedious moves.


What you call "tedious" others may call "subtle". Having a wild attack
is definitely a nice thing - from time to time. But for me, for
instance, the game would lose some of its fascination if it were always
a direct attack on the king. I like it that sometimes a game is quite
aggressive in the next game only a small positional error decides the game.

What I find a bit annoying about all those proponents of chess variants
is that they try to sell their babies as improvements, overcoming some
flaws in chess. Actually what they do is changing something in the game
that *they* don't appreciate a lot. And then they try to give the appeal
of some general merit by changing this facette.

The two games are then different and have different characteristics -
but that doesn't imply that one is better than the other.

Greetings,
Ralf
  #10  
Old September 27th 07, 06:09 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
M Winther
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 364
Default Reformed Chess

Den 2007-09-27 03:35:32 skrev Ralf Callenberg :

26.09.2007 17:19, M Winther:


The two latter games are tactically much more creative, something that
appeals to the general amateur. At least Shogi is right now making an
inroad in the West. How will orthochess fare in the competition?


I don't buy your equation "more tactically = more attractive". Maybe
this is the case for the occasional player. But here games of all sort
have been around all the time, where there is much more "action" taking
place. For a lot of people the fact, that so much goes below the surface
in chess is part of the fascination of the game.


I maintain that most orthochess games constitute of woodchopping.
Orthochess allows for moving pieces around until somebody makes a
mistake.


Just moving around pieces without a plan and without regarding the plan
of the other side is quite a sure way of losing a game.

In Chinese Chess games are often rapid, always resolved in a
king attack. Players don't need to waste a lot of time and energy by
many tedious moves.


What you call "tedious" others may call "subtle". Having a wild attack
is definitely a nice thing - from time to time. But for me, for
instance, the game would lose some of its fascination if it were always
a direct attack on the king. I like it that sometimes a game is quite
aggressive in the next game only a small positional error decides the game.

What I find a bit annoying about all those proponents of chess variants
is that they try to sell their babies as improvements, overcoming some
flaws in chess. Actually what they do is changing something in the game
that *they* don't appreciate a lot. And then they try to give the appeal
of some general merit by changing this facette.

The two games are then different and have different characteristics -
but that doesn't imply that one is better than the other.

Greetings,
Ralf




Remember that, today, much chess is played on the Internet, either
interactively, or per email. Just imagine how much woodchopping is
going on! But if people would play chess variants, then they would be
forced to make a creative effort. This would be beneficial to their
development as orthochess players (in physical games).

But the playing strength is generally low among email chess variants
players. Instead of devoting themselves to woodchopping on the
Internet, strong players ought to take an interest in chess variants.
There are thousands of email presets on chessvariants.com. There is
little risk for cheating, unlike in orthochess when people often use
chess engines intermittently.

The variants that I have suggested are much closer to orthochess than
Chinese Chess and Shogi. It is very easy to begin playing them, if you
already know orthochess. They are also faster than the over-ambitious
big-board variants that are often promoted.

Orthochess players have attained a level of accomplishment that could
be put to use in many forms of chess. This implies a release of creativity
and of fantasy. Don't be so boring!

Mats
 




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