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Proposed Change to WCh by Susan Polgar



 
 
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  #11  
Old December 11th 16, 01:06 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Posts: 104
Default Proposed Change to WCh by Susan Polgar

On Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 6:11:01 PM UTC-5, Andy Walker wrote:
On 10/12/16 12:08, wrote:
[...] There is always a demand for more time which includes
the new technology of adding time for moves played.


"Adding time for moves played" does nothing to give players
more time [as the added time simply comes off the initial allowance]


?? Some delay systems ADD time, so one's available time goes up. Kasparov's idea is merely to delay the clock starting so that time does not increase.

*except* that it goes some way towards restoring the old "16 moves
per hour" [or whatever] from the trend of the past couple of decades
towards "and after move 60, an hour to finish the game". Its real
merit is in avoiding the more unseemly aspects of time scrambles.
Eg, 4NCL now requires players to score throughout the game, even
when they have less than five minutes on the clock.

I simply question
why a marathon is the best form?


Hm. "Marathon" would seem to be a better description of
correspondence chess. Ordinary standard limits would seem to be
more like the middle-distance runs, as opposed to the sprints of
5-minute chess.


Actually World Championship Marathon times are just over 2 hours, so in fact, they are exactly like classical time.

John Savard is still decrying blitz, which I don't propose, and already wrote that something like an hour would be good - what if it was 30 moves an hour, then finish the game in the next 30 minutes? Total game time is thereby 3 hours. That is longer than a marathon, eg.


Chess will wind up like tennis, with the server taking for ever to
make the perfect serve an ace — and it already seems to favor white
in this way.


Hm, again. I thought you were a proponent of "Black is OK!"?


You haven't understood Black is OK John — it's about precedent and attitude, what expectation. Certainly faster games will improves Black's lot from less than 25% won. Wouldn't that be interesting!?


But there is something unsympathetic to human beings in wanting the
best games — let computers play each other to 6 hour draws! — but
these full games don't test players as much as shorter timelines,


Explanation needed. What is more testing about speeding up
the game to the point where games are decided by lack of time rather
than lack of skill?


False dichotomy. Why is poor time management not a lack of skill?
I am not talking about blitz but proposing a game still lasting 3 hours for which there could be 30 hours of preparation.

"Testing", that is, in an intellectual sense
rather than an athletic sense?

and why are they more interesting?


The WC is not about finding the most interesting player in the
world, but about finding the best.


You honor, council is hiding evidence under tautological statements!

i.e. The best player at classical time controls is the best player in the world!

Even though.... see below


I am watching the London Classic at the moment which is a category 2
with average rating something like 2790 [higher than Fischer!] but
who really understands that level of play during the game except
other 2790 players?


From that point of view, it doesn't matter what the time limit
is. If you are watching the best players in the world, then you are
not going to understand what they play as they play it,


Well, thank you for that, though I think we will understand the game to some degree, right?

but only when
you get the chance to view the games at leisure, and perhaps with the
help of silicon monsters or skilled annotators or both.


And you might still understand it at leisure [if 5 hours weren't enough] or from the Silicon Monster's analysis.

Outright
blunders excepted, of course, but these are not usual among top GMs
even at 5-minute chess.


I think the tide of opinion here is against change — even though players here prefer watching a game they can't understand over 5 hours. Time in chess is probably a factor resulting from an historic lack of preparatory materials, so much more needed to be figured out OTB.

If people really want to see 'Best Chess' which they cannot understand I propose people watch computer games, which logically provide them exactly what they are looking for, and even give them analytics along the way! What is anyone's objection to that?

But we are interested in something else are we not? We are interested in the best player who incidentally, makes fewer mistakes, and also can capitalize on mistakes of others, or like Nakamura or Tal or Morphy, provoke mistakes or complex trade-offs of initiative and material — over time.

To play chess that is interesting in this way is not in any way second best, and might even provoke more interest in the game.

Phil Innes


--
Andy Walker,
Nottingham.

  #12  
Old December 12th 16, 12:09 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Andy Walker[_3_]
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Posts: 54
Default Proposed Change to WCh by Susan Polgar

On 11/12/16 13:06, wrote:
On Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 6:11:01 PM UTC-5, Andy Walker wrote:
On 10/12/16 12:08,
wrote:
[...] There is always a demand for more time which includes
the new technology of adding time for moves played.

"Adding time for moves played" does nothing to give players
more time [as the added time simply comes off the initial allowance]

?? Some delay systems ADD time, so one's available time goes up.


Yes, but [eg] 4NCL went from "40 in 2h" to "40 in 100m with 30s
increment" -- exactly the same, exc for fringe effects to do with time
scrambles, scoring, and [at later time controls] draw claims.

Kasparov's idea is merely to delay the clock starting so that time
does not increase.


The effect then is simply that if you don't use your full 30s
[or whatever] before the clock starts, then you've lost that time
irretrievably. So, there's no incentive at all to bash out the first
ten moves of your routine Ruy/Sicilian/QGD, which traditionally or
with the normal increment gains you extra time later on.

[I'm not a fan of increments, but I'm not opposed to them
either. The main down side is that you need electronic clocks, but
that's pretty much what serious chess is using anyway these days.]

[...]
I simply question
why a marathon is the best form?

Hm. "Marathon" would seem to be a better description of
correspondence chess. Ordinary standard limits would seem to be
more like the middle-distance runs, as opposed to the sprints of
5-minute chess.

Actually World Championship Marathon times are just over 2 hours, so
in fact, they are exactly like classical time.


Look at the time ratios. There are no chess events in which
the complete game lasts 10s. The shortest competitive chess games
last minutes, so that is what we have to compare with sprints. A
chess games of hours therefore corresponds to a distance of 60 or so
sprints -- a few kilometres, not a marathon! But it's perhaps a daft
comparison anyway.

Chess [...] already seems to favor white
in this way.

Hm, again. I thought you were a proponent of "Black is OK!"?

You haven't understood Black is OK John — it's about precedent and
attitude, what expectation. Certainly faster games will improves
Black's lot from less than 25% won. Wouldn't that be interesting!?


It would be interesting if Black won more games by trying to
win; not so if it was simply a result of random blunders.

But there is something unsympathetic to human beings in wanting the
best games — let computers play each other to 6 hour draws! — but
these full games don't test players as much as shorter timelines,

Explanation needed. What is more testing about speeding up
the game to the point where games are decided by lack of time rather
than lack of skill?

False dichotomy. Why is poor time management not a lack of skill?


We're not talking about time management, but time. I can't
compete with Taimanov spending over an hour on one move, but I've
certainly spent 30m on occasion -- not possible if the control is 30
moves in 30m -- and I've commonly spent 15-20m, sometimes two or three
times on one game. It's part of getting to understand a position, and
of understanding the tactics rather than relying on intuition, hoping
for the best. I observe even the best players taking a long time over
certain moves, and deduce that they too are trying to gain a deeper
understanding, rather than [eg] daydreaming about what to do with the
rest of the evening.

I'm sure that some of the top players would be very pleased to
play at a much faster rate, confident in their ability to intuit moves
better than most/all other players of a similar standard. But I'm also
sure that most of them would like as much time as is consistent with
finishing the games in one session -- already significantly faster than
the time limits of the WC matches [and top tournaments] of history.

I am not talking about blitz but proposing a game still lasting 3
hours for which there could be 30 hours of preparation.


Well, that's fine. There's no reason why we shouldn't have
events at various rates, and the skills required are sufficiently
different that we should not be surprised if the world champions at
5-minute chess, 30m chess, 90m chess and 4h chess are all different,
and all comparatively weak at the other rates, just as no-one is in
the least surprised that neither Usain Bolt nor Mo Farah is [as far
as we know] world class at the 800m.

[...] Time in chess is probably a factor resulting from an historic
lack of preparatory materials, so much more needed to be figured out
OTB.


Nevertheless, modern players still tend to use up as much
time as they have available in order to reach move 40. Is there
any sign that top players really would prefer to have substantially
less time?

If people really want to see 'Best Chess' which they cannot
understand I propose people watch computer games, which logically
provide them exactly what they are looking for, and even give them
analytics along the way! What is anyone's objection to that?


Personally, I don't particularly want to watch long games
at all. Chess is not a spectator sport. My own interest is piqued
primarily by playing through deeply annotated games, esp if these
include evidence from the players about what they were thinking at
the time.

But we are interested in something else are we not? We are interested
in the best player who incidentally, makes fewer mistakes, and also
can capitalize on mistakes of others, or like Nakamura or Tal or
Morphy, provoke mistakes or complex trade-offs of initiative and
material — over time.


Yes, but I have not the foggiest why anyone should suppose
that this works better at faster rates. It has always been the case
that some players operate by trying to avoid mistakes and others by
trying to provoke them; some by dampening the game down and seeking
to exploit minute advantages, others by sharpening it up and taking
the fight to the opponent. This is just as true -- indeed, perhaps
more so -- in correspondence chess as in 5-minute chess, suggesting
that it has little to do with the rate of play.

--
Andy Walker,
Nottingham.
  #13  
Old December 12th 16, 03:08 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Quadibloc
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Posts: 533
Default Proposed Change to WCh by Susan Polgar

On Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 5:09:50 PM UTC-7, Andy Walker wrote:
Chess is not a spectator sport.


There was a time when it was a spectator sport.

And _if_ Chess could be popular as a "spectator sport" in some sense, then
inputs of money would flow towards the game: TV networks would bid on the
rights to televise the World Championship, and possibly even lesser events.

Presumably this would be a "good thing"; many Chess players would like it if
more other people shared their interest, for a large number of reasons.

It has always been the case
that some players operate by trying to avoid mistakes and others by
trying to provoke them; some by dampening the game down and seeking
to exploit minute advantages, others by sharpening it up and taking
the fight to the opponent.


That is true enough.

Basically, though, here is what I see from my understanding of the history of Chess:

Chess was "more fun" before Steinitz came along.

During the Romantic era of Chess, one had games like the famous Anderssen-
Kieseritzky "immortal game".

While for decades afterward, there was controversy, and people tried to say
that the "Modern school" might not have the "last word" on Chess, experience
has shown that Steinitz did indeed take Chess and put it on a scientific basis.
A Chess player ignores the importance of developing his pieces, of achieving
the proper Pawn structure, and so on and so forth, at his peril.

And now that, in a typical Chess game, both players *know* how to develop their pieces properly, how to avoid cramped positions, and so on, spectacular Queen sacrifices followed by stunning mates... don't happen as often.

So Chess is less entertaining.

Fixing that by tightening up the time controls - and using blitz games as tie breakers, which will make them the decisive games if the games at more normal time controls continue to be draw after draw - will at least work halfway. It will produce blunders. But will the opponent have enough time to figure out how to exploit them properly?

That's why I'm inclined to say it's time to bite the bullet and actually change
the rules a little bit.

If players are now so much better at not yielding positional advantages to
their opponents... make it possible to put a *tinier* positional advantage "on
the board".

One wants to drive the right behavior - players playing rationally, playing to
win, should naturally yield interesting and exciting games. If there's always
something at stake, if the position can't be made so balanced that it's a
certain dead draw, because now the way games are scored makes every game teeter
on a sharp peak...

for a tiny fraction of a point, yes, so that the game isn't *distorted* too
much, so that stalemate is still nearly a draw, compared to checkmate, and so
on...

but the tiny fraction of a point is what will be decisive in a highly drawish
environment.

Fix the actual problem by addressing it directly, and then deal with time
controls in whatever way suits the practicalities of organizing events.

John Savard
  #14  
Old December 12th 16, 07:18 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Andy Walker[_3_]
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Posts: 54
Default Proposed Change to WCh by Susan Polgar

On 12/12/16 03:08, Quadibloc wrote:
Chess is not a spectator sport.

There was a time when it was a spectator sport.


There is a difference between people wanting to rub shoulders with
the great players [and perhaps being prepared to pay for the privilege --
I don't know whether you had to pay to watch in the Cafe de la Regence or
Simpson's, or even to watch WC matches up to, say, the 1960s] and a game
being suitable for spectators.

And _if_ Chess could be popular as a "spectator sport" in some sense, then
inputs of money would flow towards the game: TV networks would bid on the
rights to televise the World Championship, and possibly even lesser events.
Presumably this would be a "good thing"; many Chess players would like it if
more other people shared their interest, for a large number of reasons.


The way to get real money into chess is to support getting chess
into the Olympics, instead of being sniffy about ["mere"] games not being
["proper"] sports.

[...]
Chess was "more fun" before Steinitz came along.


In the days of "sitzfleisch", you mean?

[...]
So Chess is less entertaining.


I'm not sure that even the "immortal" game, which you mentioned,
could be described as "entertaining". If you had video of Anderssen
making the key moves, would the man in the street pay to watch it?

Fixing that by tightening up the time controls - and using blitz
games as tie breakers, which will make them the decisive games if the
games at more normal time controls continue to be draw after draw -
will at least work halfway. It will produce blunders. But will the
opponent have enough time to figure out how to exploit them
properly?


I'm unclear as to why anyone want to tinker with the rules in
a way that induces blunders. This is the World Championship, not some
knock-about event in the local club.

That's why I'm inclined to say it's time to bite the bullet and actually change
the rules a little bit.


I think the cure is worse than the disease. Your rules would
mean that the ending books would have to be completely re-written, as
would [eg] the rules for offering/accepting draws. I don't think you
can play the WC as a different game from the one the rest of us play,
so we would all have to learn this new game. Even simple K&P endings
would need to be re-learned ....

--
Andy Walker,
Nottingham.
  #15  
Old December 12th 16, 11:26 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Quadibloc
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Posts: 533
Default Proposed Change to WCh by Susan Polgar

On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 12:18:22 PM UTC-7, Andy Walker wrote:
On 12/12/16 03:08, Quadibloc wrote:


That's why I'm inclined to say it's time to bite the bullet and actually change
the rules a little bit.


I think the cure is worse than the disease. Your rules would
mean that the ending books would have to be completely re-written, as
would [eg] the rules for offering/accepting draws. I don't think you
can play the WC as a different game from the one the rest of us play,
so we would all have to learn this new game. Even simple K&P endings
would need to be re-learned ....


Remember, even stalemate is only worth 1/5 as much as checkmate. And the other
stuff is even less valuable.

So the existing endgame theory would not be obsolete - it would still be
important, whenever a checkmate is possible, not to blunder it away so that
only stalemate is possible.

Endgame theory would indeed change - but the change would be in terms of an
*addition* to the existing body of knowledge, not a removal of anything that is
already there.

John Savard
  #16  
Old December 13th 16, 11:49 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Andy Walker[_3_]
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Posts: 54
Default Proposed Change to WCh by Susan Polgar

On 12/12/16 23:26, Quadibloc wrote:
That's why I'm inclined to say it's time to bite the bullet and actually change
the rules a little bit.

I think the cure is worse than the disease. Your rules would
mean that the ending books would have to be completely re-written, as
would [eg] the rules for offering/accepting draws. [...]

Remember, even stalemate is only worth 1/5 as much as checkmate. And the other
stuff is even less valuable.


Yes, but if you're tied for the lead in a tournament and playing
your chief rival, then even the slightest extra is important. Likewise
if your team is more-or-less level with the opposition, then it may well
matter how good a draw you can get in your scheme.

So the existing endgame theory would not be obsolete - it would still be
important, whenever a checkmate is possible, not to blunder it away so that
only stalemate is possible.


There are many draws other than stalemate -- 50-move rule, lack
of mating material, repetition. At the moment, most drawn endings are
simply abandoned as each player sees that the win can't be achieved;
with your scheme, players would have to play on and on and on to get
the best draw possible.

Endgame theory would indeed change - but the change would be in terms of an
*addition* to the existing body of knowledge, not a removal of anything that is
already there.


But the "addition" takes the form of having to distinguish moves
in what are currently easily drawn endings because some lead to draw by
stalemate, some to repetition, some to a material advantage, and some
just peter out into playing until the 50-move rule is invoked. It's a
mess. Well, perhaps if we'd all learned chess with such complex rules
about better/worse draws, we wouldn't mind; as it is, you're creating
that mess in order to cure a problem which doesn't exist except in the
minds of those who don't like top players drawing with each other.

--
Andy Walker,
Nottingham.
  #17  
Old December 13th 16, 05:56 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Quadibloc
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 533
Default Proposed Change to WCh by Susan Polgar

On Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 4:49:19 AM UTC-7, Andy Walker wrote:

with your scheme, players would have to play on and on and on to get
the best draw possible.


Yes. Precisely. That's the whole point - instead of games ending, overwhelmingly,
in true dead even draws, they would far more often end in victory for one side or
another, but those victories could be lesser or greater ones.

John Savard
  #18  
Old December 13th 16, 06:15 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Quadibloc
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 533
Default Proposed Change to WCh by Susan Polgar

On Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 4:49:19 AM UTC-7, Andy Walker wrote:
as it is, you're creating
that mess in order to cure a problem which doesn't exist except in the
minds of those who don't like top players drawing with each other.


Does a problem exist?

It certainly _is_ true that my rule change isn't needed so that when a
grandmaster plays a tyro, something other than a draw will happen! So, it's
true that Chess isn't a game like tic-tac-toe, where the results in general are
trivial between players with even modest ability.

So you are right to say that my rules change is not needed to make it easier,
more entertaining, or more possible, for people to *play* Chess.

When top players play each other, there are a lot of draws. Is that a problem
just because I, and a few other people, just don't "like" it?

You are making a good point... but I thought it was clear how I addressed that
issue.

The problem that I am trying to address - and, indeed, it may very well be
questioned if *even* the radical and drastic expedient I suggest will actually
achieve any significant result in overcoming the problem -

is that Chess isn't all that popular with the general public.

Supposedly, during the Romantic era of Chess, during the years of Morphy and
Staunton and so on, Chess was more popular than it is now.

Then, as Chess became less exciting in the post-Steinitz era, the only thing
that saved Chess from dying out was Soviet sponsorship of the game.

And then Bobby Fischer came along, stimulating American interest in Chess for
the same reason that van Cliburn stimulated American interest in classical
music; hey, we've got somebody who can beat the Russians at their own game!

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, though, Chess has gone into free-fall.

And, thus...

Just as _komidashi_ injected new life into Go in Japan, after Honinbo Shusaku
had perfected scientific Go play to the point where the first player (Black, in
the case of Go) could always win by three stones or so... I figured that an
analogous change to Chess could perhaps do the same for its popularity.

People watch the World Series and major league baseball on television, but in
general they don't pay much attention even to Triple-A games, though they're
inexpensive to attend in person.

It's the games between the top players in any game or sport that potentially
command popular interest by spectators.

So, if a World Championship Match didn't end up being reduced to an Armageddon
game after an interminable series of draws... this would be a win-win. The
match would include serious play, worthy of study by serious Chess aficionados,
and the match would include wins and losses of a sort, so news coverage of the
match - even if the general public doesn't find Chess much of a... spectacle...
at the best of times - would be of some general interest.

If stuff happens, excitement is at least a potential possibility.

John Savard
  #19  
Old December 15th 16, 12:46 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Andy Walker[_3_]
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Posts: 54
Default Proposed Change to WCh by Susan Polgar

On 13/12/16 17:56, Quadibloc wrote:
with your scheme, players would have to play on and on and on to get
the best draw possible.

Yes. Precisely. That's the whole point - instead of games ending, overwhelmingly,
in true dead even draws, they would far more often end in victory for one side or
another, but those victories could be lesser or greater ones.


Games in WC matches may end overwhelmingly in draws, but our ordinary
local tournaments, club championships and leagues don't -- but will still be
subject to the extra complication. Even simple endings will need new theory
to distinguish "level" draws from stalemates and from draws with a material
disparity. The material is also a complication -- eg, other things being
equal, Q&N is better than Q&B, but your material has it the other way round,
so players may have to make worse moves [in classical terms] in order to
keep the material draw in hand. Bleagh!

--
Andy Walker,
Nottingham.
  #20  
Old December 15th 16, 04:28 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
Quadibloc
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 533
Default Proposed Change to WCh by Susan Polgar

On Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 5:46:36 AM UTC-7, Andy Walker wrote:
On 13/12/16 17:56, Quadibloc wrote:
with your scheme, players would have to play on and on and on to get
the best draw possible.

Yes. Precisely. That's the whole point - instead of games ending, overwhelmingly,
in true dead even draws, they would far more often end in victory for one side or
another, but those victories could be lesser or greater ones.


Games in WC matches may end overwhelmingly in draws, but our ordinary
local tournaments, club championships and leagues don't -- but will still be
subject to the extra complication. Even simple endings will need new theory
to distinguish "level" draws from stalemates and from draws with a material
disparity.


Yes, that's true.

The material is also a complication -- eg, other things being
equal, Q&N is better than Q&B, but your material has it the other way round,
so players may have to make worse moves [in classical terms] in order to
keep the material draw in hand. Bleagh!


It is true that if a player intends to derive an advantage from having Q+N as opposed to Q+B, that player will then have to turn it into a non-material win in order to get that advantage on the scoreboard.

Such as ending the game with a perpetual check.

As this is a lot easier to do than forcing a stalemate, let alone checkmate,
there should be some hope. In fact, that's why one of my first modifications to
my scheme was to re-introduce perpetual check, with differential scoring for
White and Black, to it. I had thought I could radically simplify by just
following the Korean lead, and counting a material win, but I realized that the
sort of problem you note would arise - far too much emphasis on material.

John Savard
 




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