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Old March 6th 04, 10:05 PM
Gregory Topov
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kramnik: Boring chess or better chess? (super GM-chess after Linares 2004)

In checking some of the Linares games this week I did notice that lots of
kibitzers called Kramnik boring. Here's a link to an interesting interview
with Kramnik:
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=1322

An important quote from it:
"The more we analyse with computers, the more we believe in defence. I was
the first to display this clearly, particularly in my games against
Kasparov. You can't play the same way today as people did ten years ago. I
admire Kasparov's imaginative attacking victories from the '80s and '90s,
but when you check them with a computer, in every other game the machine
accepts the sacrifice, defends, and wins. This kind of attack on the edge of
a bluff just doesn't work anymore. We are under the influence of computers
and we are defending much more precisely. Kasparov himself has adapted his
style. He even admits that he now plays like I do."

I don't even have half the rating of a GM, so my comments probably don't
mean much grin, but I do question whether Kramnik is entirely correct
here. Could he be jealous, thinking that Kasparov has an attacking
imagination that he lacks? My thoughts:

1. Kasparov's attacking style is effective.
Kramnik may say that Kasparov admits he plays like Kramnik, but at Linares
it seems widely agreed that although Kramnik won, it was Kasparov who played
the best and most attacking chess (and not in Kramnik style either!). In at
least three games Kaspy failed to convert a won position, partly coz of time
pressure. I followed a few snippets from his last two games, and Kasparov
certainly was playing attacking chess, and absolutely not the cautious
defensive (boring?) style that Kramnik speaks about! In his second last
game (vs Topalov), Kasparov launched a beautiful attack with some brilliant
sacrifices, but then had to make something like 10 moves in 10 minutes to
time control, and twice missed a winning move, and so ended up with a draw.
In his last game against Vallejo he also played some brilliant attacks, but
it wasn't enough to win. This happened more than once in the tournament (in
at least two other games he should have won with his attack, but missed a
winning move and had to settle for a draw). Think of Kasparov's famous 1999
Wijk Aan Zee game against Topalov, with a double rook sacrifice. That
double rook sacrifice would not have been played by a computer, nor would it
have been accepted by a computer. Yet it was sound. So I doubt that it's
true that Kasparov now plays like Kramnik, nor is it true that this playing
style is ineffective!

2. Kasparov's attacking style is beautiful.
Even if one concedes to Kramnik that cold and calculated defense is more
sound, this doesn't mean that chess has improved. Take the 1999
Kasparov-Topalov game for instance - with a cold defensive Kramnik
computer-like style, that double rook sacrifice wouldn't have been played
nor would it have been accepted, and the world would have been deprived of
something beautiful. Cold defensive play may win, but it lacks beauty and
imagination. So while Kramnik's defensive style may give him an overall win
(it did in this tournament anyway), but I'd choose the "imaginative
attacking victories" of Kasparov any day! They may not always be entirely
100% sound (debatable perhaps), but isn't this what the art and beauty of
chess is all about? As soon as chess degenerates entirely to such cold
calculation, and humans play more like computers, then chess will lose much
of its beauty, art, passion and fire.

That is already happening it seems. "79% of the games were drawn in Linares
this year, many of them in under 25 moves, including seven by the tournament
winner Kramnik." Kramnik may not lose much with his cold computer-like
defensive style, but he sure isn't very popular. If all chess players adopt
this defensive style, it won't be long before chess itself won't be popular.
In fact, the chess-players hostile reaction to Kramnik and to the multitude
of draws at Linares suggests that maybe this is already the case? One of
the few who gave the tournament life and excitement was Kasparov - it was
unfortunate that he seemed a bit rusty and unable to make his brilliance
endure to the end to get the wins he deserved.

In one respect Kramnik may be right. As computers continue to improve, they
will eventually supercede humans, because of their ability to calculate
futher. If computers improve their speeds at the same rate, someone
calculated that by the year 2168, computers will be able to *solve* chess.
I can see a time coming where computers will be able to play better than
humans through sheer brute calculation. But who is going to pay to see a
match between Super-Deep Fritz 99 vs Super-Deep Junior 99 in the year 2100?
Nobody, because it will be a boring defensive dead draw. We'd rather watch
two humans go at it with imagination, art and beauty, and the occasional
slight mistake. Kramnik's style may lead to better chess results (ie a
record with less losses) because of deeper and calculated cold defense and
an improved win/loss record, but the beauty of chess will not improve.
Instead of art, chess will turn into pure math. And isn't that the very
attraction of human chess - the beauty, the art and the imagination? Chess
will lose something when it becomes pure mathematical calculation.
Similarly chess will lose something if it is embodied in Kramnik instead of
Kasparov. There's good reason why attacking players like Morphy,
Capablanca, Tal, Fischer and Kasparov are much loved.

This leads me to a related question: Has the percentage of drawn games
increased over the years? 80% is rather inordinate it seems! (this was the
percentage of draws at Linares) Some draws are fair enough - like Kasparov
vs Vallejo in their last game - an exciting attacking game that lasted 5
hours, but after the dust settled from the furious play, it was a draw.
Others like Kramnik's last game (lasting only 20 or 25 moves) are a travesty
to chess. Imagine agreeing to draw a soccer game at half time just because
the scores are tied! Ridiculous! Play it out, and if it's a draw at the
end, fine! But who knows, maybe one player will blunder, or be able to
press home a tiny advantage. That's what chess is all about. Don't quit
when the middle game is only beginning.

One player who seems to have a different out look is young Radjabov. He had
the most decisive results at Linares: won two games and lost two. Why? He
seems willing to play out games, and not just agree to a premature draw.
Too many super GM games are merely being "half-played". Proof: Each of
Radjabov's decisive games could also have been declared an agreed draw after
20 moves, because it was generally only later in the game that the winner
emerged. Similarly I'm sure if many of the quick draws had been played out,
there may have been a winner (even as the result of small errors from their
opponent, or through their own brilliance - but that's chess!) I find this
incredibly frustrating! They don't stop a boxing match after the first
round unless there's a clear winner, and the same principle applies to
chess: if there's no clear winner after round 1, play round 2, then round 3.
Chess involves an opening, a middle game, and an end game, and only if the
players are equal in each of these three "rounds" should the final result be
a draw. To agree to a draw before the middle game has been played out is
premature, just like calling a boxing match a draw after the first or second
round is premature. Has the amount of draws increased over time? Surely
the 80% of draws isn't because players are more equal nowadays, but because
they're just taking an easy draw when the game is not a whole lot beyond the
opening!

Of course, I'm just a patzer, but if chess champs lose their appeal for
patzers, then what future does chess itself have? Even patzers can see that
chess is changing - the Linares "draw" record speaks volumes - but is this
really a change for the better?

--
Gregory Topov
---------------------------------------------------------------------
"I don't necessarily agree with everything I say." - Marshall McLuhan


  #2   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 12:38 AM
bhnews
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kramnik: Boring chess or better chess? (super GM-chess after Linares 2004)

They said the same thing after Tal. "His combinations are unsound". Tal's
response was "who cares". The game is played with a clock. Thus, there are
other factors besides the final truth at the end of the rainbow. Time
pressure, psychological attitudes, etc. Chess is a contest. Playing
imperfect moves is not necessarily a detriment. This is where these modern
players are losing it. They have lost the dynamic aspect of chess. The fun.
The soul. The personality.
In fact, one goes way back to Steinitz to hear one talk about how
"attacking is dead". Then we got Lasker. Then Capablanca's rule meant that
"attacking was dead". So we got Alekhine. Then Botvinnik's reign meant the
end of attacking chess. So we got Tal. Then Petrosian's rise meant the end
of attacking. So we got Spassky. Then Karpov's reign meant the end of the
attack. So we got Kasparov. Does anybody here get my point yet????
In fact, Krap-nik's comments are so far offbase and wrong, that it
shocks me. Comparing players defense with computers is very offbase. Man
cannot play like a computer. They are totally different. The fact that a
computer can defend certain positions does not mean a human can.
I predict Krap-nik's reign to be as short as his championship was (only
16 games? that's not a championship!). He doesn't impress me at all,
neither his chess, nor his opinions.

"Gregory Topov" wrote in message
. ..
In checking some of the Linares games this week I did notice that lots of
kibitzers called Kramnik boring. Here's a link to an interesting

interview
with Kramnik:
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=1322

An important quote from it:
"The more we analyse with computers, the more we believe in defence. I was
the first to display this clearly, particularly in my games against
Kasparov. You can't play the same way today as people did ten years ago. I
admire Kasparov's imaginative attacking victories from the '80s and '90s,
but when you check them with a computer, in every other game the machine
accepts the sacrifice, defends, and wins. This kind of attack on the edge

of
a bluff just doesn't work anymore. We are under the influence of computers
and we are defending much more precisely. Kasparov himself has adapted his
style. He even admits that he now plays like I do."

I don't even have half the rating of a GM, so my comments probably don't
mean much grin, but I do question whether Kramnik is entirely correct
here. Could he be jealous, thinking that Kasparov has an attacking
imagination that he lacks? My thoughts:

1. Kasparov's attacking style is effective.
Kramnik may say that Kasparov admits he plays like Kramnik, but at Linares
it seems widely agreed that although Kramnik won, it was Kasparov who

played
the best and most attacking chess (and not in Kramnik style either!). In

at
least three games Kaspy failed to convert a won position, partly coz of

time
pressure. I followed a few snippets from his last two games, and Kasparov
certainly was playing attacking chess, and absolutely not the cautious
defensive (boring?) style that Kramnik speaks about! In his second last
game (vs Topalov), Kasparov launched a beautiful attack with some

brilliant
sacrifices, but then had to make something like 10 moves in 10 minutes to
time control, and twice missed a winning move, and so ended up with a

draw.
In his last game against Vallejo he also played some brilliant attacks,

but
it wasn't enough to win. This happened more than once in the tournament

(in
at least two other games he should have won with his attack, but missed a
winning move and had to settle for a draw). Think of Kasparov's famous

1999
Wijk Aan Zee game against Topalov, with a double rook sacrifice. That
double rook sacrifice would not have been played by a computer, nor would

it
have been accepted by a computer. Yet it was sound. So I doubt that it's
true that Kasparov now plays like Kramnik, nor is it true that this

playing
style is ineffective!

2. Kasparov's attacking style is beautiful.
Even if one concedes to Kramnik that cold and calculated defense is more
sound, this doesn't mean that chess has improved. Take the 1999
Kasparov-Topalov game for instance - with a cold defensive Kramnik
computer-like style, that double rook sacrifice wouldn't have been played
nor would it have been accepted, and the world would have been deprived of
something beautiful. Cold defensive play may win, but it lacks beauty and
imagination. So while Kramnik's defensive style may give him an overall

win
(it did in this tournament anyway), but I'd choose the "imaginative
attacking victories" of Kasparov any day! They may not always be entirely
100% sound (debatable perhaps), but isn't this what the art and beauty of
chess is all about? As soon as chess degenerates entirely to such cold
calculation, and humans play more like computers, then chess will lose

much
of its beauty, art, passion and fire.

That is already happening it seems. "79% of the games were drawn in

Linares
this year, many of them in under 25 moves, including seven by the

tournament
winner Kramnik." Kramnik may not lose much with his cold computer-like
defensive style, but he sure isn't very popular. If all chess players

adopt
this defensive style, it won't be long before chess itself won't be

popular.
In fact, the chess-players hostile reaction to Kramnik and to the

multitude
of draws at Linares suggests that maybe this is already the case? One of
the few who gave the tournament life and excitement was Kasparov - it was
unfortunate that he seemed a bit rusty and unable to make his brilliance
endure to the end to get the wins he deserved.

In one respect Kramnik may be right. As computers continue to improve,

they
will eventually supercede humans, because of their ability to calculate
futher. If computers improve their speeds at the same rate, someone
calculated that by the year 2168, computers will be able to *solve* chess.
I can see a time coming where computers will be able to play better than
humans through sheer brute calculation. But who is going to pay to see a
match between Super-Deep Fritz 99 vs Super-Deep Junior 99 in the year

2100?
Nobody, because it will be a boring defensive dead draw. We'd rather

watch
two humans go at it with imagination, art and beauty, and the occasional
slight mistake. Kramnik's style may lead to better chess results (ie a
record with less losses) because of deeper and calculated cold defense and
an improved win/loss record, but the beauty of chess will not improve.
Instead of art, chess will turn into pure math. And isn't that the very
attraction of human chess - the beauty, the art and the imagination?

Chess
will lose something when it becomes pure mathematical calculation.
Similarly chess will lose something if it is embodied in Kramnik instead

of
Kasparov. There's good reason why attacking players like Morphy,
Capablanca, Tal, Fischer and Kasparov are much loved.

This leads me to a related question: Has the percentage of drawn games
increased over the years? 80% is rather inordinate it seems! (this was

the
percentage of draws at Linares) Some draws are fair enough - like

Kasparov
vs Vallejo in their last game - an exciting attacking game that lasted 5
hours, but after the dust settled from the furious play, it was a draw.
Others like Kramnik's last game (lasting only 20 or 25 moves) are a

travesty
to chess. Imagine agreeing to draw a soccer game at half time just

because
the scores are tied! Ridiculous! Play it out, and if it's a draw at the
end, fine! But who knows, maybe one player will blunder, or be able to
press home a tiny advantage. That's what chess is all about. Don't quit
when the middle game is only beginning.

One player who seems to have a different out look is young Radjabov. He

had
the most decisive results at Linares: won two games and lost two. Why?

He
seems willing to play out games, and not just agree to a premature draw.
Too many super GM games are merely being "half-played". Proof: Each of
Radjabov's decisive games could also have been declared an agreed draw

after
20 moves, because it was generally only later in the game that the winner
emerged. Similarly I'm sure if many of the quick draws had been played

out,
there may have been a winner (even as the result of small errors from

their
opponent, or through their own brilliance - but that's chess!) I find

this
incredibly frustrating! They don't stop a boxing match after the first
round unless there's a clear winner, and the same principle applies to
chess: if there's no clear winner after round 1, play round 2, then round

3.
Chess involves an opening, a middle game, and an end game, and only if the
players are equal in each of these three "rounds" should the final result

be
a draw. To agree to a draw before the middle game has been played out is
premature, just like calling a boxing match a draw after the first or

second
round is premature. Has the amount of draws increased over time? Surely
the 80% of draws isn't because players are more equal nowadays, but

because
they're just taking an easy draw when the game is not a whole lot beyond

the
opening!

Of course, I'm just a patzer, but if chess champs lose their appeal for
patzers, then what future does chess itself have? Even patzers can see

that
chess is changing - the Linares "draw" record speaks volumes - but is this
really a change for the better?

--
Gregory Topov
---------------------------------------------------------------------
"I don't necessarily agree with everything I say." - Marshall McLuhan




  #3   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 02:08 AM
Alberich
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kramnik: Boring chess or better chess? (super GM-chess after Linares 2004)

This has been an interesting thread...but there is a solution to this
problem. There is something called Fischer Random Chess. Chess players
won't be able to memorize their favorite variations nor agree to quick
20 move draws...because the opening setups are unique for every game.
Chess players would be forced to play original chess from the very first
move. How about that?! Then I'd be interested in a match between
say...Kramnik vs. Judit Polgar. Kramnik has a overwhelming score over
Judit Polgar. But does that mean he's THAT much a better player than
Judit Polgar?! Hardly. Judit Polgar could easily beat anyone she wants
to...it's because the opponent has become so nuanced in the variations
they're playing that Judit Polgar doesn't have a chance. Hence her poor
score performance against Kramnik. Put Kramnik and Judit Polgar in a
Fischer Random match and the dynamic of the score would change
dramatically.

Remember, Kramniks comments are implying very strongly that a deep
knowledge of a few core variations can go along way in ensuring draws
whichever way the opponent chooses to play. Memorization becomes
critical at this stage of the game. There is no originality to their
moves. You would have to wait literally up to move 35 or 40 in some
lines before original chess is actually played! You call THIS chess?! I
call this appauling. This is one reason why I gave up playing at my
local chess club. It was because I was tired of my opponents kicking my
ass in their favorite lines of whatever variation they had booked up on.
This wasn't chess. When I asked whether they'd be willing to play me
using the shuffle chess setups...they all refused. Why? Think about it.
They'd be swimming with no life boat safely in tow and they'd have to
sweat it out in opening play they've never seen before. Plus there was a
real chance I'd beat them in this kind of chess. In my book Leko is the
world champion because he was willing to play Fischer Random and beat
Michael Adams. Now, did this mean Michael Adams wasn't a good chess
player than Leko? No...but his "style" of play suffered when trying this
new way of playing original setups.
  #4   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 02:35 AM
Don Corleone
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kramnik: Boring chess or better chess? (super GM-chess after Linares 2004)

Who's the blame Polgar doesn't study that much theory? Kramnik? did I miss
something?

"Alberich" wrote in message
. ..
This has been an interesting thread...but there is a solution to this
problem. There is something called Fischer Random Chess. Chess players
won't be able to memorize their favorite variations nor agree to quick
20 move draws...because the opening setups are unique for every game.
Chess players would be forced to play original chess from the very first
move. How about that?! Then I'd be interested in a match between
say...Kramnik vs. Judit Polgar. Kramnik has a overwhelming score over
Judit Polgar. But does that mean he's THAT much a better player than
Judit Polgar?! Hardly. Judit Polgar could easily beat anyone she wants
to...it's because the opponent has become so nuanced in the variations
they're playing that Judit Polgar doesn't have a chance. Hence her poor
score performance against Kramnik. Put Kramnik and Judit Polgar in a
Fischer Random match and the dynamic of the score would change
dramatically.

Remember, Kramniks comments are implying very strongly that a deep
knowledge of a few core variations can go along way in ensuring draws
whichever way the opponent chooses to play. Memorization becomes
critical at this stage of the game. There is no originality to their
moves. You would have to wait literally up to move 35 or 40 in some
lines before original chess is actually played! You call THIS chess?! I
call this appauling. This is one reason why I gave up playing at my
local chess club. It was because I was tired of my opponents kicking my
ass in their favorite lines of whatever variation they had booked up on.
This wasn't chess. When I asked whether they'd be willing to play me
using the shuffle chess setups...they all refused. Why? Think about it.
They'd be swimming with no life boat safely in tow and they'd have to
sweat it out in opening play they've never seen before. Plus there was a
real chance I'd beat them in this kind of chess. In my book Leko is the
world champion because he was willing to play Fischer Random and beat
Michael Adams. Now, did this mean Michael Adams wasn't a good chess
player than Leko? No...but his "style" of play suffered when trying this
new way of playing original setups.



  #5   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 04:24 AM
ses
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kramnik: Boring chess or better chess? (super GM-chess after Linares 2004)

topov is right. i dont even rate a patzer standing, but i have followed
chess off and on for many years and encourage my students to play during
"downtime" in class. since i dont follow the game all the time, the changes
that occur every few years seem very prominent to me. the amount of draws
today seem out of whack. i thought when Kasparov first took the world
title, there were too many draws then. as far as computers, i do not allow
my students to play chess against the computer, only games among themselves.
guess for the same reason i dont let my algebra students use calculators.
just an out of touch old fart.....
"Gregory Topov" wrote in message
. ..
In checking some of the Linares games this week I did notice that lots of
kibitzers called Kramnik boring. Here's a link to an interesting

interview
with Kramnik:
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=1322

An important quote from it:
"The more we analyse with computers, the more we believe in defence. I was
the first to display this clearly, particularly in my games against
Kasparov. You can't play the same way today as people did ten years ago. I
admire Kasparov's imaginative attacking victories from the '80s and '90s,
but when you check them with a computer, in every other game the machine
accepts the sacrifice, defends, and wins. This kind of attack on the edge

of
a bluff just doesn't work anymore. We are under the influence of computers
and we are defending much more precisely. Kasparov himself has adapted his
style. He even admits that he now plays like I do."

I don't even have half the rating of a GM, so my comments probably don't
mean much grin, but I do question whether Kramnik is entirely correct
here. Could he be jealous, thinking that Kasparov has an attacking
imagination that he lacks? My thoughts:

1. Kasparov's attacking style is effective.
Kramnik may say that Kasparov admits he plays like Kramnik, but at Linares
it seems widely agreed that although Kramnik won, it was Kasparov who

played
the best and most attacking chess (and not in Kramnik style either!). In

at
least three games Kaspy failed to convert a won position, partly coz of

time
pressure. I followed a few snippets from his last two games, and Kasparov
certainly was playing attacking chess, and absolutely not the cautious
defensive (boring?) style that Kramnik speaks about! In his second last
game (vs Topalov), Kasparov launched a beautiful attack with some

brilliant
sacrifices, but then had to make something like 10 moves in 10 minutes to
time control, and twice missed a winning move, and so ended up with a

draw.
In his last game against Vallejo he also played some brilliant attacks,

but
it wasn't enough to win. This happened more than once in the tournament

(in
at least two other games he should have won with his attack, but missed a
winning move and had to settle for a draw). Think of Kasparov's famous

1999
Wijk Aan Zee game against Topalov, with a double rook sacrifice. That
double rook sacrifice would not have been played by a computer, nor would

it
have been accepted by a computer. Yet it was sound. So I doubt that it's
true that Kasparov now plays like Kramnik, nor is it true that this

playing
style is ineffective!

2. Kasparov's attacking style is beautiful.
Even if one concedes to Kramnik that cold and calculated defense is more
sound, this doesn't mean that chess has improved. Take the 1999
Kasparov-Topalov game for instance - with a cold defensive Kramnik
computer-like style, that double rook sacrifice wouldn't have been played
nor would it have been accepted, and the world would have been deprived of
something beautiful. Cold defensive play may win, but it lacks beauty and
imagination. So while Kramnik's defensive style may give him an overall

win
(it did in this tournament anyway), but I'd choose the "imaginative
attacking victories" of Kasparov any day! They may not always be entirely
100% sound (debatable perhaps), but isn't this what the art and beauty of
chess is all about? As soon as chess degenerates entirely to such cold
calculation, and humans play more like computers, then chess will lose

much
of its beauty, art, passion and fire.

That is already happening it seems. "79% of the games were drawn in

Linares
this year, many of them in under 25 moves, including seven by the

tournament
winner Kramnik." Kramnik may not lose much with his cold computer-like
defensive style, but he sure isn't very popular. If all chess players

adopt
this defensive style, it won't be long before chess itself won't be

popular.
In fact, the chess-players hostile reaction to Kramnik and to the

multitude
of draws at Linares suggests that maybe this is already the case? One of
the few who gave the tournament life and excitement was Kasparov - it was
unfortunate that he seemed a bit rusty and unable to make his brilliance
endure to the end to get the wins he deserved.

In one respect Kramnik may be right. As computers continue to improve,

they
will eventually supercede humans, because of their ability to calculate
futher. If computers improve their speeds at the same rate, someone
calculated that by the year 2168, computers will be able to *solve* chess.
I can see a time coming where computers will be able to play better than
humans through sheer brute calculation. But who is going to pay to see a
match between Super-Deep Fritz 99 vs Super-Deep Junior 99 in the year

2100?
Nobody, because it will be a boring defensive dead draw. We'd rather

watch
two humans go at it with imagination, art and beauty, and the occasional
slight mistake. Kramnik's style may lead to better chess results (ie a
record with less losses) because of deeper and calculated cold defense and
an improved win/loss record, but the beauty of chess will not improve.
Instead of art, chess will turn into pure math. And isn't that the very
attraction of human chess - the beauty, the art and the imagination?

Chess
will lose something when it becomes pure mathematical calculation.
Similarly chess will lose something if it is embodied in Kramnik instead

of
Kasparov. There's good reason why attacking players like Morphy,
Capablanca, Tal, Fischer and Kasparov are much loved.

This leads me to a related question: Has the percentage of drawn games
increased over the years? 80% is rather inordinate it seems! (this was

the
percentage of draws at Linares) Some draws are fair enough - like

Kasparov
vs Vallejo in their last game - an exciting attacking game that lasted 5
hours, but after the dust settled from the furious play, it was a draw.
Others like Kramnik's last game (lasting only 20 or 25 moves) are a

travesty
to chess. Imagine agreeing to draw a soccer game at half time just

because
the scores are tied! Ridiculous! Play it out, and if it's a draw at the
end, fine! But who knows, maybe one player will blunder, or be able to
press home a tiny advantage. That's what chess is all about. Don't quit
when the middle game is only beginning.

One player who seems to have a different out look is young Radjabov. He

had
the most decisive results at Linares: won two games and lost two. Why?

He
seems willing to play out games, and not just agree to a premature draw.
Too many super GM games are merely being "half-played". Proof: Each of
Radjabov's decisive games could also have been declared an agreed draw

after
20 moves, because it was generally only later in the game that the winner
emerged. Similarly I'm sure if many of the quick draws had been played

out,
there may have been a winner (even as the result of small errors from

their
opponent, or through their own brilliance - but that's chess!) I find

this
incredibly frustrating! They don't stop a boxing match after the first
round unless there's a clear winner, and the same principle applies to
chess: if there's no clear winner after round 1, play round 2, then round

3.
Chess involves an opening, a middle game, and an end game, and only if the
players are equal in each of these three "rounds" should the final result

be
a draw. To agree to a draw before the middle game has been played out is
premature, just like calling a boxing match a draw after the first or

second
round is premature. Has the amount of draws increased over time? Surely
the 80% of draws isn't because players are more equal nowadays, but

because
they're just taking an easy draw when the game is not a whole lot beyond

the
opening!

Of course, I'm just a patzer, but if chess champs lose their appeal for
patzers, then what future does chess itself have? Even patzers can see

that
chess is changing - the Linares "draw" record speaks volumes - but is this
really a change for the better?

--
Gregory Topov
---------------------------------------------------------------------
"I don't necessarily agree with everything I say." - Marshall McLuhan






  #6   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 06:11 AM
Curt Seefeldt
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kramnik: Boring chess or better chess? (super GM-chess after Linares 2004)

Thank God!! Finally, an educator that educates!
"ses" wrote in message
...
topov is right. i dont even rate a patzer standing, but i have followed
chess off and on for many years and encourage my students to play during
"downtime" in class. since i dont follow the game all the time, the

changes
that occur every few years seem very prominent to me. the amount of draws
today seem out of whack. i thought when Kasparov first took the world
title, there were too many draws then. as far as computers, i do not

allow
my students to play chess against the computer, only games among

themselves.
guess for the same reason i dont let my algebra students use calculators.
just an out of touch old fart.....
"Gregory Topov" wrote in message
. ..
In checking some of the Linares games this week I did notice that lots

of
kibitzers called Kramnik boring. Here's a link to an interesting

interview
with Kramnik:
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=1322

An important quote from it:
"The more we analyse with computers, the more we believe in defence. I

was
the first to display this clearly, particularly in my games against
Kasparov. You can't play the same way today as people did ten years ago.

I
admire Kasparov's imaginative attacking victories from the '80s and

'90s,
but when you check them with a computer, in every other game the machine
accepts the sacrifice, defends, and wins. This kind of attack on the

edge
of
a bluff just doesn't work anymore. We are under the influence of

computers
and we are defending much more precisely. Kasparov himself has adapted

his
style. He even admits that he now plays like I do."

I don't even have half the rating of a GM, so my comments probably don't
mean much grin, but I do question whether Kramnik is entirely correct
here. Could he be jealous, thinking that Kasparov has an attacking
imagination that he lacks? My thoughts:

1. Kasparov's attacking style is effective.
Kramnik may say that Kasparov admits he plays like Kramnik, but at

Linares
it seems widely agreed that although Kramnik won, it was Kasparov who

played
the best and most attacking chess (and not in Kramnik style either!).

In
at
least three games Kaspy failed to convert a won position, partly coz of

time
pressure. I followed a few snippets from his last two games, and

Kasparov
certainly was playing attacking chess, and absolutely not the cautious
defensive (boring?) style that Kramnik speaks about! In his second last
game (vs Topalov), Kasparov launched a beautiful attack with some

brilliant
sacrifices, but then had to make something like 10 moves in 10 minutes

to
time control, and twice missed a winning move, and so ended up with a

draw.
In his last game against Vallejo he also played some brilliant attacks,

but
it wasn't enough to win. This happened more than once in the tournament

(in
at least two other games he should have won with his attack, but missed

a
winning move and had to settle for a draw). Think of Kasparov's famous

1999
Wijk Aan Zee game against Topalov, with a double rook sacrifice. That
double rook sacrifice would not have been played by a computer, nor

would
it
have been accepted by a computer. Yet it was sound. So I doubt that

it's
true that Kasparov now plays like Kramnik, nor is it true that this

playing
style is ineffective!

2. Kasparov's attacking style is beautiful.
Even if one concedes to Kramnik that cold and calculated defense is more
sound, this doesn't mean that chess has improved. Take the 1999
Kasparov-Topalov game for instance - with a cold defensive Kramnik
computer-like style, that double rook sacrifice wouldn't have been

played
nor would it have been accepted, and the world would have been deprived

of
something beautiful. Cold defensive play may win, but it lacks beauty

and
imagination. So while Kramnik's defensive style may give him an overall

win
(it did in this tournament anyway), but I'd choose the "imaginative
attacking victories" of Kasparov any day! They may not always be

entirely
100% sound (debatable perhaps), but isn't this what the art and beauty

of
chess is all about? As soon as chess degenerates entirely to such cold
calculation, and humans play more like computers, then chess will lose

much
of its beauty, art, passion and fire.

That is already happening it seems. "79% of the games were drawn in

Linares
this year, many of them in under 25 moves, including seven by the

tournament
winner Kramnik." Kramnik may not lose much with his cold computer-like
defensive style, but he sure isn't very popular. If all chess players

adopt
this defensive style, it won't be long before chess itself won't be

popular.
In fact, the chess-players hostile reaction to Kramnik and to the

multitude
of draws at Linares suggests that maybe this is already the case? One

of
the few who gave the tournament life and excitement was Kasparov - it

was
unfortunate that he seemed a bit rusty and unable to make his brilliance
endure to the end to get the wins he deserved.

In one respect Kramnik may be right. As computers continue to improve,

they
will eventually supercede humans, because of their ability to calculate
futher. If computers improve their speeds at the same rate, someone
calculated that by the year 2168, computers will be able to *solve*

chess.
I can see a time coming where computers will be able to play better than
humans through sheer brute calculation. But who is going to pay to see

a
match between Super-Deep Fritz 99 vs Super-Deep Junior 99 in the year

2100?
Nobody, because it will be a boring defensive dead draw. We'd rather

watch
two humans go at it with imagination, art and beauty, and the occasional
slight mistake. Kramnik's style may lead to better chess results (ie a
record with less losses) because of deeper and calculated cold defense

and
an improved win/loss record, but the beauty of chess will not improve.
Instead of art, chess will turn into pure math. And isn't that the very
attraction of human chess - the beauty, the art and the imagination?

Chess
will lose something when it becomes pure mathematical calculation.
Similarly chess will lose something if it is embodied in Kramnik instead

of
Kasparov. There's good reason why attacking players like Morphy,
Capablanca, Tal, Fischer and Kasparov are much loved.

This leads me to a related question: Has the percentage of drawn games
increased over the years? 80% is rather inordinate it seems! (this was

the
percentage of draws at Linares) Some draws are fair enough - like

Kasparov
vs Vallejo in their last game - an exciting attacking game that lasted 5
hours, but after the dust settled from the furious play, it was a draw.
Others like Kramnik's last game (lasting only 20 or 25 moves) are a

travesty
to chess. Imagine agreeing to draw a soccer game at half time just

because
the scores are tied! Ridiculous! Play it out, and if it's a draw at

the
end, fine! But who knows, maybe one player will blunder, or be able to
press home a tiny advantage. That's what chess is all about. Don't

quit
when the middle game is only beginning.

One player who seems to have a different out look is young Radjabov. He

had
the most decisive results at Linares: won two games and lost two. Why?

He
seems willing to play out games, and not just agree to a premature draw.
Too many super GM games are merely being "half-played". Proof: Each of
Radjabov's decisive games could also have been declared an agreed draw

after
20 moves, because it was generally only later in the game that the

winner
emerged. Similarly I'm sure if many of the quick draws had been played

out,
there may have been a winner (even as the result of small errors from

their
opponent, or through their own brilliance - but that's chess!) I find

this
incredibly frustrating! They don't stop a boxing match after the first
round unless there's a clear winner, and the same principle applies to
chess: if there's no clear winner after round 1, play round 2, then

round
3.
Chess involves an opening, a middle game, and an end game, and only if

the
players are equal in each of these three "rounds" should the final

result
be
a draw. To agree to a draw before the middle game has been played out

is
premature, just like calling a boxing match a draw after the first or

second
round is premature. Has the amount of draws increased over time?

Surely
the 80% of draws isn't because players are more equal nowadays, but

because
they're just taking an easy draw when the game is not a whole lot beyond

the
opening!

Of course, I'm just a patzer, but if chess champs lose their appeal for
patzers, then what future does chess itself have? Even patzers can see

that
chess is changing - the Linares "draw" record speaks volumes - but is

this
really a change for the better?

--
Gregory Topov
---------------------------------------------------------------------
"I don't necessarily agree with everything I say." - Marshall McLuhan






  #7   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 06:32 AM
Curt Seefeldt
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kramnik: Boring chess or better chess? (super GM-chess after Linares 2004)

This whole thing about computers....I cannot understand why anyone would
want to "mimic" a computer. Nor do I want to envision a world where a stupid
computer is placed higher than human ingenuity, egad! About 10-12 years ago
I was quite active in club play, as well as playing in tournaments. Then I
sort of lost interest, today I have regained that interest. Sadly, it seems
to me that chess today is not what it was then. I fail to see what is so
dammed wonderful in playing a computer and then transfering that knowledge
to a otb situation. I feel that in doing something like that, one is merely
parroting what the computer so to speak "taught", not what the player had to
pick up on his own. Considering this "Fisher Random" idea...that is not
chess, true some openings can have lines 30 moves deep..so what? It is after
those moves that human skill comes into play. Since I came back to playing
club chess, yeah..it is a hard climb back up....but that is what the game is
about..you don't learn without losing, and if someone gets downharted about
losing then perhaps chess is not for them. It is up to the lower player to
rise above his mistakes....if it takes years...or only months. Imho...the
destination is the journey.

"ses" wrote in message
...
topov is right. i dont even rate a patzer standing, but i have followed
chess off and on for many years and encourage my students to play during
"downtime" in class. since i dont follow the game all the time, the

changes
that occur every few years seem very prominent to me. the amount of draws
today seem out of whack. i thought when Kasparov first took the world
title, there were too many draws then. as far as computers, i do not

allow
my students to play chess against the computer, only games among

themselves.
guess for the same reason i dont let my algebra students use calculators.
just an out of touch old fart.....
"Gregory Topov" wrote in message
. ..
In checking some of the Linares games this week I did notice that lots

of
kibitzers called Kramnik boring. Here's a link to an interesting

interview
with Kramnik:
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=1322

An important quote from it:
"The more we analyse with computers, the more we believe in defence. I

was
the first to display this clearly, particularly in my games against
Kasparov. You can't play the same way today as people did ten years ago.

I
admire Kasparov's imaginative attacking victories from the '80s and

'90s,
but when you check them with a computer, in every other game the machine
accepts the sacrifice, defends, and wins. This kind of attack on the

edge
of
a bluff just doesn't work anymore. We are under the influence of

computers
and we are defending much more precisely. Kasparov himself has adapted

his
style. He even admits that he now plays like I do."

I don't even have half the rating of a GM, so my comments probably don't
mean much grin, but I do question whether Kramnik is entirely correct
here. Could he be jealous, thinking that Kasparov has an attacking
imagination that he lacks? My thoughts:

1. Kasparov's attacking style is effective.
Kramnik may say that Kasparov admits he plays like Kramnik, but at

Linares
it seems widely agreed that although Kramnik won, it was Kasparov who

played
the best and most attacking chess (and not in Kramnik style either!).

In
at
least three games Kaspy failed to convert a won position, partly coz of

time
pressure. I followed a few snippets from his last two games, and

Kasparov
certainly was playing attacking chess, and absolutely not the cautious
defensive (boring?) style that Kramnik speaks about! In his second last
game (vs Topalov), Kasparov launched a beautiful attack with some

brilliant
sacrifices, but then had to make something like 10 moves in 10 minutes

to
time control, and twice missed a winning move, and so ended up with a

draw.
In his last game against Vallejo he also played some brilliant attacks,

but
it wasn't enough to win. This happened more than once in the tournament

(in
at least two other games he should have won with his attack, but missed

a
winning move and had to settle for a draw). Think of Kasparov's famous

1999
Wijk Aan Zee game against Topalov, with a double rook sacrifice. That
double rook sacrifice would not have been played by a computer, nor

would
it
have been accepted by a computer. Yet it was sound. So I doubt that

it's
true that Kasparov now plays like Kramnik, nor is it true that this

playing
style is ineffective!

2. Kasparov's attacking style is beautiful.
Even if one concedes to Kramnik that cold and calculated defense is more
sound, this doesn't mean that chess has improved. Take the 1999
Kasparov-Topalov game for instance - with a cold defensive Kramnik
computer-like style, that double rook sacrifice wouldn't have been

played
nor would it have been accepted, and the world would have been deprived

of
something beautiful. Cold defensive play may win, but it lacks beauty

and
imagination. So while Kramnik's defensive style may give him an overall

win
(it did in this tournament anyway), but I'd choose the "imaginative
attacking victories" of Kasparov any day! They may not always be

entirely
100% sound (debatable perhaps), but isn't this what the art and beauty

of
chess is all about? As soon as chess degenerates entirely to such cold
calculation, and humans play more like computers, then chess will lose

much
of its beauty, art, passion and fire.

That is already happening it seems. "79% of the games were drawn in

Linares
this year, many of them in under 25 moves, including seven by the

tournament
winner Kramnik." Kramnik may not lose much with his cold computer-like
defensive style, but he sure isn't very popular. If all chess players

adopt
this defensive style, it won't be long before chess itself won't be

popular.
In fact, the chess-players hostile reaction to Kramnik and to the

multitude
of draws at Linares suggests that maybe this is already the case? One

of
the few who gave the tournament life and excitement was Kasparov - it

was
unfortunate that he seemed a bit rusty and unable to make his brilliance
endure to the end to get the wins he deserved.

In one respect Kramnik may be right. As computers continue to improve,

they
will eventually supercede humans, because of their ability to calculate
futher. If computers improve their speeds at the same rate, someone
calculated that by the year 2168, computers will be able to *solve*

chess.
I can see a time coming where computers will be able to play better than
humans through sheer brute calculation. But who is going to pay to see

a
match between Super-Deep Fritz 99 vs Super-Deep Junior 99 in the year

2100?
Nobody, because it will be a boring defensive dead draw. We'd rather

watch
two humans go at it with imagination, art and beauty, and the occasional
slight mistake. Kramnik's style may lead to better chess results (ie a
record with less losses) because of deeper and calculated cold defense

and
an improved win/loss record, but the beauty of chess will not improve.
Instead of art, chess will turn into pure math. And isn't that the very
attraction of human chess - the beauty, the art and the imagination?

Chess
will lose something when it becomes pure mathematical calculation.
Similarly chess will lose something if it is embodied in Kramnik instead

of
Kasparov. There's good reason why attacking players like Morphy,
Capablanca, Tal, Fischer and Kasparov are much loved.

This leads me to a related question: Has the percentage of drawn games
increased over the years? 80% is rather inordinate it seems! (this was

the
percentage of draws at Linares) Some draws are fair enough - like

Kasparov
vs Vallejo in their last game - an exciting attacking game that lasted 5
hours, but after the dust settled from the furious play, it was a draw.
Others like Kramnik's last game (lasting only 20 or 25 moves) are a

travesty
to chess. Imagine agreeing to draw a soccer game at half time just

because
the scores are tied! Ridiculous! Play it out, and if it's a draw at

the
end, fine! But who knows, maybe one player will blunder, or be able to
press home a tiny advantage. That's what chess is all about. Don't

quit
when the middle game is only beginning.

One player who seems to have a different out look is young Radjabov. He

had
the most decisive results at Linares: won two games and lost two. Why?

He
seems willing to play out games, and not just agree to a premature draw.
Too many super GM games are merely being "half-played". Proof: Each of
Radjabov's decisive games could also have been declared an agreed draw

after
20 moves, because it was generally only later in the game that the

winner
emerged. Similarly I'm sure if many of the quick draws had been played

out,
there may have been a winner (even as the result of small errors from

their
opponent, or through their own brilliance - but that's chess!) I find

this
incredibly frustrating! They don't stop a boxing match after the first
round unless there's a clear winner, and the same principle applies to
chess: if there's no clear winner after round 1, play round 2, then

round
3.
Chess involves an opening, a middle game, and an end game, and only if

the
players are equal in each of these three "rounds" should the final

result
be
a draw. To agree to a draw before the middle game has been played out

is
premature, just like calling a boxing match a draw after the first or

second
round is premature. Has the amount of draws increased over time?

Surely
the 80% of draws isn't because players are more equal nowadays, but

because
they're just taking an easy draw when the game is not a whole lot beyond

the
opening!

Of course, I'm just a patzer, but if chess champs lose their appeal for
patzers, then what future does chess itself have? Even patzers can see

that
chess is changing - the Linares "draw" record speaks volumes - but is

this
really a change for the better?

--
Gregory Topov
---------------------------------------------------------------------
"I don't necessarily agree with everything I say." - Marshall McLuhan






  #8   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 01:01 PM
RPM1
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kramnik: Boring chess or better chess? (super GM-chess after Linares 2004)


"Curt Seefeldt" wrote ...
This whole thing about computers....I cannot understand why anyone would
want to "mimic" a computer. Nor do I want to envision a world where a

stupid
computer is placed higher than human ingenuity, egad! About 10-12 years

ago
I was quite active in club play, as well as playing in tournaments. Then I
sort of lost interest, today I have regained that interest. Sadly, it

seems
to me that chess today is not what it was then. I fail to see what is so
dammed wonderful in playing a computer and then transfering that knowledge
to a otb situation. I feel that in doing something like that, one is

merely
parroting what the computer so to speak "taught", not what the player had

to
pick up on his own.


I find playing against a computer has helped me improve my game for
the simple reason that it is the only way I can play slow chess. If I try
to play a game of chess at 40 moves in 2 hours against a person, (online
or offline), I invariably get interrupted by something, (I have a six year
old son). I find that having a handheld computer opponent that I can
turn off and then pick right up where I left off allows me play slow
chess games in pieces. My otb ratings, (online), have increased
dramatically since I started focusing on slow chess with the handheld.
Even though I'm still playing fast chess online, (nothing slower than game
in
20 minutes), the practice at 40 in 120 minutes has really helped.
So in my case the convenience of the computer has helped with no
parroting involved.

Patrick



  #9   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 03:25 PM
ian burton
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kramnik: Boring chess or better chess? (super GM-chess after Linares 2004)


"Don Corleone" wrote in message
...
Who's the blame Polgar doesn't study that much theory? Kramnik? did I miss
something?

"Alberich" wrote in message
. ..
This has been an interesting thread...but there is a solution to this
problem. There is something called Fischer Random Chess. Chess players
won't be able to memorize their favorite variations nor agree to quick
20 move draws...because the opening setups are unique for every game.
Chess players would be forced to play original chess from the very first
move. How about that?! Then I'd be interested in a match between
say...Kramnik vs. Judit Polgar. Kramnik has a overwhelming score over
Judit Polgar. But does that mean he's THAT much a better player than
Judit Polgar?! Hardly. Judit Polgar could easily beat anyone she wants
to...it's because the opponent has become so nuanced in the variations
they're playing that Judit Polgar doesn't have a chance. Hence her poor
score performance against Kramnik. Put Kramnik and Judit Polgar in a
Fischer Random match and the dynamic of the score would change
dramatically.

Remember, Kramniks comments are implying very strongly that a deep
knowledge of a few core variations can go along way in ensuring draws
whichever way the opponent chooses to play. Memorization becomes
critical at this stage of the game. There is no originality to their
moves. You would have to wait literally up to move 35 or 40 in some
lines before original chess is actually played! You call THIS chess?! I
call this appauling. This is one reason why I gave up playing at my
local chess club. It was because I was tired of my opponents kicking my
ass in their favorite lines of whatever variation they had booked up on.
This wasn't chess. When I asked whether they'd be willing to play me
using the shuffle chess setups...they all refused. Why? Think about it.
They'd be swimming with no life boat safely in tow and they'd have to
sweat it out in opening play they've never seen before. Plus there was a
real chance I'd beat them in this kind of chess. In my book Leko is the
world champion because he was willing to play Fischer Random and beat
Michael Adams. Now, did this mean Michael Adams wasn't a good chess
player than Leko? No...but his "style" of play suffered when trying this
new way of playing original setups.


I'll say it still again: Chess is to Random Chess as gold is to goldfish.
Random Chess is not chess. Isn't that obvious?
--
Ian Burton
[Please Reply to Newsgroup]


  #10   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 05:09 PM
Wilma
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kramnik: Boring chess or better chess? (super GM-chess after Linares 2004)

What a refreshingly intelligent post. Thanks.
Wilma

"Gregory Topov" wrote in message
. ..
In checking some of the Linares games this week I did notice that lots of
kibitzers called Kramnik boring. Here's a link to an interesting

interview
with Kramnik:
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=1322

An important quote from it:
"The more we analyse with computers, the more we believe in defence. I was
the first to display this clearly, particularly in my games against
Kasparov. You can't play the same way today as people did ten years ago. I
admire Kasparov's imaginative attacking victories from the '80s and '90s,
but when you check them with a computer, in every other game the machine
accepts the sacrifice, defends, and wins. This kind of attack on the edge

of
a bluff just doesn't work anymore. We are under the influence of computers
and we are defending much more precisely. Kasparov himself has adapted his
style. He even admits that he now plays like I do."

I don't even have half the rating of a GM, so my comments probably don't
mean much grin, but I do question whether Kramnik is entirely correct
here. Could he be jealous, thinking that Kasparov has an attacking
imagination that he lacks? My thoughts:

1. Kasparov's attacking style is effective.
Kramnik may say that Kasparov admits he plays like Kramnik, but at Linares
it seems widely agreed that although Kramnik won, it was Kasparov who

played
the best and most attacking chess (and not in Kramnik style either!). In

at
least three games Kaspy failed to convert a won position, partly coz of

time
pressure. I followed a few snippets from his last two games, and Kasparov
certainly was playing attacking chess, and absolutely not the cautious
defensive (boring?) style that Kramnik speaks about! In his second last
game (vs Topalov), Kasparov launched a beautiful attack with some

brilliant
sacrifices, but then had to make something like 10 moves in 10 minutes to
time control, and twice missed a winning move, and so ended up with a

draw.
In his last game against Vallejo he also played some brilliant attacks,

but
it wasn't enough to win. This happened more than once in the tournament

(in
at least two other games he should have won with his attack, but missed a
winning move and had to settle for a draw). Think of Kasparov's famous

1999
Wijk Aan Zee game against Topalov, with a double rook sacrifice. That
double rook sacrifice would not have been played by a computer, nor would

it
have been accepted by a computer. Yet it was sound. So I doubt that it's
true that Kasparov now plays like Kramnik, nor is it true that this

playing
style is ineffective!

2. Kasparov's attacking style is beautiful.
Even if one concedes to Kramnik that cold and calculated defense is more
sound, this doesn't mean that chess has improved. Take the 1999
Kasparov-Topalov game for instance - with a cold defensive Kramnik
computer-like style, that double rook sacrifice wouldn't have been played
nor would it have been accepted, and the world would have been deprived of
something beautiful. Cold defensive play may win, but it lacks beauty and
imagination. So while Kramnik's defensive style may give him an overall

win
(it did in this tournament anyway), but I'd choose the "imaginative
attacking victories" of Kasparov any day! They may not always be entirely
100% sound (debatable perhaps), but isn't this what the art and beauty of
chess is all about? As soon as chess degenerates entirely to such cold
calculation, and humans play more like computers, then chess will lose

much
of its beauty, art, passion and fire.

That is already happening it seems. "79% of the games were drawn in

Linares
this year, many of them in under 25 moves, including seven by the

tournament
winner Kramnik." Kramnik may not lose much with his cold computer-like
defensive style, but he sure isn't very popular. If all chess players

adopt
this defensive style, it won't be long before chess itself won't be

popular.
In fact, the chess-players hostile reaction to Kramnik and to the

multitude
of draws at Linares suggests that maybe this is already the case? One of
the few who gave the tournament life and excitement was Kasparov - it was
unfortunate that he seemed a bit rusty and unable to make his brilliance
endure to the end to get the wins he deserved.

In one respect Kramnik may be right. As computers continue to improve,

they
will eventually supercede humans, because of their ability to calculate
futher. If computers improve their speeds at the same rate, someone
calculated that by the year 2168, computers will be able to *solve* chess.
I can see a time coming where computers will be able to play better than
humans through sheer brute calculation. But who is going to pay to see a
match between Super-Deep Fritz 99 vs Super-Deep Junior 99 in the year

2100?
Nobody, because it will be a boring defensive dead draw. We'd rather

watch
two humans go at it with imagination, art and beauty, and the occasional
slight mistake. Kramnik's style may lead to better chess results (ie a
record with less losses) because of deeper and calculated cold defense and
an improved win/loss record, but the beauty of chess will not improve.
Instead of art, chess will turn into pure math. And isn't that the very
attraction of human chess - the beauty, the art and the imagination?

Chess
will lose something when it becomes pure mathematical calculation.
Similarly chess will lose something if it is embodied in Kramnik instead

of
Kasparov. There's good reason why attacking players like Morphy,
Capablanca, Tal, Fischer and Kasparov are much loved.

This leads me to a related question: Has the percentage of drawn games
increased over the years? 80% is rather inordinate it seems! (this was

the
percentage of draws at Linares) Some draws are fair enough - like

Kasparov
vs Vallejo in their last game - an exciting attacking game that lasted 5
hours, but after the dust settled from the furious play, it was a draw.
Others like Kramnik's last game (lasting only 20 or 25 moves) are a

travesty
to chess. Imagine agreeing to draw a soccer game at half time just

because
the scores are tied! Ridiculous! Play it out, and if it's a draw at the
end, fine! But who knows, maybe one player will blunder, or be able to
press home a tiny advantage. That's what chess is all about. Don't quit
when the middle game is only beginning.

One player who seems to have a different out look is young Radjabov. He

had
the most decisive results at Linares: won two games and lost two. Why?

He
seems willing to play out games, and not just agree to a premature draw.
Too many super GM games are merely being "half-played". Proof: Each of
Radjabov's decisive games could also have been declared an agreed draw

after
20 moves, because it was generally only later in the game that the winner
emerged. Similarly I'm sure if many of the quick draws had been played

out,
there may have been a winner (even as the result of small errors from

their
opponent, or through their own brilliance - but that's chess!) I find

this
incredibly frustrating! They don't stop a boxing match after the first
round unless there's a clear winner, and the same principle applies to
chess: if there's no clear winner after round 1, play round 2, then round

3.
Chess involves an opening, a middle game, and an end game, and only if the
players are equal in each of these three "rounds" should the final result

be
a draw. To agree to a draw before the middle game has been played out is
premature, just like calling a boxing match a draw after the first or

second
round is premature. Has the amount of draws increased over time? Surely
the 80% of draws isn't because players are more equal nowadays, but

because
they're just taking an easy draw when the game is not a whole lot beyond

the
opening!

Of course, I'm just a patzer, but if chess champs lose their appeal for
patzers, then what future does chess itself have? Even patzers can see

that
chess is changing - the Linares "draw" record speaks volumes - but is this
really a change for the better?

--
Gregory Topov
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"I don't necessarily agree with everything I say." - Marshall McLuhan




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