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Old August 19th 04, 03:21 PM
Brandon
 
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Default The "Fumble Factors" of Great Players

The "Fumble Factors" of Great Players

Of any given player, I'm often interested to know, "How many games has
s/he lost when playing with the White pieces?" My personal name for
this factor is "the Fumble Factor", and I think it is an interesting
thumbnail measure of precision of play: other things being equal, a
highly precise player who is among the best living should not lose
playing White.

If we look at "the Fumble Factors" for the greatest players, we find
the following. IMPORTANT NOTE: this is NOT a scientific rating because
I have not subtracted odds games, blitz games, simuls, nor have I
adjusted for age at the time of play, etc. (Also, Paul Morphy is
"itemized" into two listings because of the disproportionately large
number of odds games he played, sometimes at extreme odds). Further,
this is ONLY based on games in the www.chessgames.com database. (For
most of these players, that includes their most signficant games.)

Fumble Factors of Great Players
listed in increasing order of Fumble Factor;
games lost playing White over total games in database

Fischer: 64/2,785 = 0.2298
Petrosian 46/1,988 = 0.2314
Kasparov: 53/2,222 = 0.024
Morphy (odds games removed): 10/362 = 0.028
Spassky 78/2,332 = 0.033
Capablanca 18/512 = 0.035
Botvinnik: 56/1,247 = 0.045
Tal: 139/3052 = 0.046
Euwe: 84/1,381 = 0.061
Morphy (with odds games losses, often at extreme odds):
27/379 = 0.071
Lasker 38/524 = 0.073
Alekhine: 181/2,033 = 0.089
Staunton: 30/296 = 0.101
Steinitz: 71/664 = 0.107
Anderssen: 121/652 = 0.186

A note about Paul Morphy: there is about a century intervening between
Morphy and Fischer/Petrosian/Kasparov, and I think a very good case
could be made that in that century techniques for forcing draws from
unfavorable situations had been vastly improved. When we compare
Morphy to his contemporaries, we get the following (bearing in mind
that his odds games were often at extreme odds):

Morphy (odds games removed): 10/362 = 0.028
Morphy (with (often extreme) odds games losses) 27/379 = 0.071
Staunton 30/296 = 0.101
Steinitz 71/664 = 0.107
Anderssen 121/652 = 0.186

But interpret the numbers howsoe'er we will, they are very
interesting!

To find the "Fumble Factor" of your favorite players, go to
http://www.chessgames.com/ and set up a search thus:

Player "White" is [your favorite player, typed in or selected from the
dropdown menu] Result is "Black Wins"
Hit "Search"
Divide this number by the total number of games in the database.
[Odds games will probably be listed as "Chess Variants", ECO: 000]

A few excellent websites on Paul Morphy:

http://www.paulmorphy.com/

http://www.paulmorphy.org/

Main site for these:

http://www.paulmorphy.net/

A lively discussion about Paul Morphy goes on endlessly at this site,
along with a huge collection of his games, all playable on a
user-friendly board interface:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=16002

Should you choose to visit, I post under the name "BishopBerkeley"
there. The person who maintains the above sites on Morphy posts under
the name "SBC".

Brett
http://www.100bestwebsites.org/
"The best sites on the Web, all in one place!"
  #2   Report Post  
Old August 19th 04, 08:39 PM
Mike Ogush
 
Posts: n/a
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On 19 Aug 2004 07:21:53 -0700, (Brandon) wrote:

The "Fumble Factors" of Great Players

Of any given player, I'm often interested to know, "How many games has
s/he lost when playing with the White pieces?" My personal name for
this factor is "the Fumble Factor", and I think it is an interesting
thumbnail measure of precision of play: other things being equal, a
highly precise player who is among the best living should not lose
playing White.

If we look at "the Fumble Factors" for the greatest players, we find
the following. IMPORTANT NOTE: this is NOT a scientific rating because
I have not subtracted odds games, blitz games, simuls, nor have I
adjusted for age at the time of play, etc. (Also, Paul Morphy is
"itemized" into two listings because of the disproportionately large
number of odds games he played, sometimes at extreme odds). Further,
this is ONLY based on games in the
www.chessgames.com database. (For
most of these players, that includes their most signficant games.)

Fumble Factors of Great Players
listed in increasing order of Fumble Factor;
games lost playing White over total games in database

Fischer: 64/2,785 = 0.02298


You made a minor mistake and used his highest rating (2785) in the
calculation. There are only 956 games in the database. Fischer's
fumble factor should be 0.067.

Petrosian 46/1,988 = 0.02314
Kasparov: 53/2,222 = 0.024
Morphy (odds games removed): 10/362 = 0.028
Spassky 78/2,332 = 0.033
Capablanca 18/512 = 0.035
Botvinnik: 56/1,247 = 0.045
Tal: 139/3052 = 0.046
Euwe: 84/1,381 = 0.061
Morphy (with odds games losses, often at extreme odds):
27/379 = 0.071
Lasker 38/524 = 0.073
Alekhine: 181/2,033 = 0.089
Staunton: 30/296 = 0.101
Steinitz: 71/664 = 0.107
Anderssen: 121/652 = 0.186

A note about Paul Morphy: there is about a century intervening between
Morphy and Fischer/Petrosian/Kasparov, and I think a very good case
could be made that in that century techniques for forcing draws from
unfavorable situations had been vastly improved. When we compare
Morphy to his contemporaries, we get the following (bearing in mind
that his odds games were often at extreme odds):

Morphy (odds games removed): 10/362 = 0.028
Morphy (with (often extreme) odds games losses) 27/379 = 0.071
Staunton 30/296 = 0.101
Steinitz 71/664 = 0.107
Anderssen 121/652 = 0.186


To make it slightly more scentific I modified the calculation so that
the number of losses as white was dividied by only the number of games
played as white. This causes the table to shift slightly.

Petrosian 46/1,042 = 0.044
Kasparov: 53/1,183 = 0.045
Spassky 78/1,191 = 0.065
Capablanca 18/263 = 0.068
Tal: 139/1,595 = 0.087
Botvinnik: 56/640 = 0.088
Morphy (with odds games losses, often at extreme odds): 27/264 = 0.102
Fischer: 64/551 = 0.116
Euwe: 84/685 = 0.123
Lasker 38/272 = 0.140
Alekhine: 181/1,270 = 0.143
Steinitz: 71/357 = 0.199
Staunton: 30/138 = 0.217
Anderssen: 121/324 = 0.373

To make it even more "scientific" it might be better to eliminate odds
and simul games (I would keep blitz games because both players have
the same disadvantage.). Also it might be better to eliminate games
played before each player was a master (or IM/GM). However, each of
these refinements is harder to calculate than just searching for games
played as ws white.

But interpret the numbers howsoe'er we will, they are very
interesting!


Another interesting way to compare players as white would be to look
at their perfromance (e.g. five 1 full point for win, .5 point for
draw and 0 point for loss and average the points for all games)

I would expect that some players lose more often with white beacuse
they take more risks vs. say Petrosian who takes less risks and has a
higher percentage of draws.

To find the "Fumble Factor" of your favorite players, go to
http://www.chessgames.com/ and set up a search thus:

Player "White" is [your favorite player, typed in or selected from the
dropdown menu] Result is "Black Wins"
Hit "Search"
Divide this number by the total number of games in the database.
[Odds games will probably be listed as "Chess Variants", ECO: 000]

A few excellent websites on Paul Morphy:

http://www.paulmorphy.com/

http://www.paulmorphy.org/

Main site for these:

http://www.paulmorphy.net/

A lively discussion about Paul Morphy goes on endlessly at this site,
along with a huge collection of his games, all playable on a
user-friendly board interface:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=16002

Should you choose to visit, I post under the name "BishopBerkeley"
there. The person who maintains the above sites on Morphy posts under
the name "SBC".

Brett
http://www.100bestwebsites.org/
"The best sites on the Web, all in one place!"


  #3   Report Post  
Old August 20th 04, 10:44 AM
Brandon
 
Posts: n/a
Default

(Mike Ogush) wrote in message ...
On 19 Aug 2004 07:21:53 -0700,
(Brandon) wrote:

The "Fumble Factors" of Great Players

Of any given player, I'm often interested to know, "How many games has
s/he lost when playing with the White pieces?" My personal name for
this factor is "the Fumble Factor", and I think it is an interesting
thumbnail measure of precision of play: other things being equal, a
highly precise player who is among the best living should not lose
playing White.

If we look at "the Fumble Factors" for the greatest players, we find
the following. IMPORTANT NOTE: this is NOT a scientific rating because
I have not subtracted odds games, blitz games, simuls, nor have I
adjusted for age at the time of play, etc. (Also, Paul Morphy is
"itemized" into two listings because of the disproportionately large
number of odds games he played, sometimes at extreme odds). Further,
this is ONLY based on games in the
www.chessgames.com database. (For
most of these players, that includes their most signficant games.)

Fumble Factors of Great Players
listed in increasing order of Fumble Factor;
games lost playing White over total games in database

Fischer: 64/2,785 = 0.02298


You made a minor mistake and used his highest rating (2785) in the
calculation. There are only 956 games in the database. Fischer's
fumble factor should be 0.067.

Petrosian 46/1,988 = 0.02314
Kasparov: 53/2,222 = 0.024
Morphy (odds games removed): 10/362 = 0.028
Spassky 78/2,332 = 0.033
Capablanca 18/512 = 0.035
Botvinnik: 56/1,247 = 0.045
Tal: 139/3052 = 0.046
Euwe: 84/1,381 = 0.061
Morphy (with odds games losses, often at extreme odds):
27/379 = 0.071
Lasker 38/524 = 0.073
Alekhine: 181/2,033 = 0.089
Staunton: 30/296 = 0.101
Steinitz: 71/664 = 0.107
Anderssen: 121/652 = 0.186

A note about Paul Morphy: there is about a century intervening between
Morphy and Fischer/Petrosian/Kasparov, and I think a very good case
could be made that in that century techniques for forcing draws from
unfavorable situations had been vastly improved. When we compare
Morphy to his contemporaries, we get the following (bearing in mind
that his odds games were often at extreme odds):

Morphy (odds games removed): 10/362 = 0.028
Morphy (with (often extreme) odds games losses) 27/379 = 0.071
Staunton 30/296 = 0.101
Steinitz 71/664 = 0.107
Anderssen 121/652 = 0.186


To make it slightly more scentific I modified the calculation so that
the number of losses as white was dividied by only the number of games
played as white. This causes the table to shift slightly.

Petrosian 46/1,042 = 0.044
Kasparov: 53/1,183 = 0.045
Spassky 78/1,191 = 0.065
Capablanca 18/263 = 0.068
Tal: 139/1,595 = 0.087
Botvinnik: 56/640 = 0.088
Morphy (with odds games losses, often at extreme odds): 27/264 = 0.102
Fischer: 64/551 = 0.116
Euwe: 84/685 = 0.123
Lasker 38/272 = 0.140
Alekhine: 181/1,270 = 0.143
Steinitz: 71/357 = 0.199
Staunton: 30/138 = 0.217
Anderssen: 121/324 = 0.373

To make it even more "scientific" it might be better to eliminate odds
and simul games (I would keep blitz games because both players have
the same disadvantage.). Also it might be better to eliminate games
played before each player was a master (or IM/GM). However, each of
these refinements is harder to calculate than just searching for games
played as ws white.

But interpret the numbers howsoe'er we will, they are very
interesting!


Another interesting way to compare players as white would be to look
at their perfromance (e.g. five 1 full point for win, .5 point for
draw and 0 point for loss and average the points for all games)

I would expect that some players lose more often with white beacuse
they take more risks vs. say Petrosian who takes less risks and has a
higher percentage of draws.

To find the "Fumble Factor" of your favorite players, go to
http://www.chessgames.com/ and set up a search thus:

Player "White" is [your favorite player, typed in or selected from the
dropdown menu] Result is "Black Wins"
Hit "Search"
Divide this number by the total number of games in the database.
[Odds games will probably be listed as "Chess Variants", ECO: 000]

A few excellent websites on Paul Morphy:

http://www.paulmorphy.com/

http://www.paulmorphy.org/

Main site for these:

http://www.paulmorphy.net/

A lively discussion about Paul Morphy goes on endlessly at this site,
along with a huge collection of his games, all playable on a
user-friendly board interface:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=16002

Should you choose to visit, I post under the name "BishopBerkeley"
there. The person who maintains the above sites on Morphy posts under
the name "SBC".

Brett
http://www.100bestwebsites.org/
"The best sites on the Web, all in one place!"


Thank you for your correction, Mike, and also for tweaking the list in
beneficial ways! Also, your point about Petrosian is well-taken. He
was a very cautious player indeed!

Brett
http://www.100bestwebsites.org/
"The 100 best websites, all in one place!"
  #5   Report Post  
Old August 25th 04, 03:10 AM
Mike Ogush
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Tue, 24 Aug 2004 12:37:13 -0700, Ron
wrote:

In article ,
(Mike Ogush) wrote:


Petrosian 46/1,042 = 0.044
Kasparov: 53/1,183 = 0.045
Spassky 78/1,191 = 0.065
Capablanca 18/263 = 0.068
Tal: 139/1,595 = 0.087
Botvinnik: 56/640 = 0.088
Morphy (with odds games losses, often at extreme odds): 27/264 = 0.102
Fischer: 64/551 = 0.116
Euwe: 84/685 = 0.123
Lasker 38/272 = 0.140
Alekhine: 181/1,270 = 0.143
Steinitz: 71/357 = 0.199
Staunton: 30/138 = 0.217
Anderssen: 121/324 = 0.373


To me, this makes an incredible arguement for just how strong Kasparov
and Tal were.

If you try to think it through, you'd expect to see conservative
players like Petrosian and Capablanca topping the list. But both
Kasparov and Tal in the top five? That almost defies comprehension.


Just for fun I used the games from the chessbase Big2001 database to
calculate the performance % (give 1 point for win, .5 point for draw,
0 point for loss and average over all games played as white) for some
of these players with the following results:

Morphy: 86%
Kasparov: 78%
Fischer: 75%
Capablanca: 74%
Petrosian: 70%
Tal 70%
Botvinnik: 68%
Euwe: 68%
Spassky: 66%

I would have expected Fischer to chart a little higher based on his
style, as well.


Fischer's score is affected by
1) a large number of losses in simultanoeous exhibitions (especially
in 1964)
2) inclusion of some games before he was master strength and
3) his losses to some of the best players in the world in the 1959 and
1962 candidates tournaments.

If you look at Fischer's record in non-simul games after 1962 he had
10 losses out of 190 games for a fumble factor of 0.053, which is
fairly respectable.


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