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Old December 20th 05, 01:50 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Ange1o DePa1ma
 
Posts: n/a
Default Definitive NASCAR (was BAP)



"David Kane" wrote
As to chess' ultimate potential, all I would
say is that there are lots of things I can find
on TV that do not seem inherently interesting
at all, but producers have found a way to
package them in a way to generate viewers.
It doesn't strike me as unreasonable that
the same could be done with chess, given its
large pool of players, and positive reputation.


I'd like to make two points here. Poker is immensely boring unless you hold
a financial stake in the game. Of all the poker games, Texas Hold' Em may be
the most brain dead. Yet TV producers have not only transformed this game
into a spectator sport, they have everyone playing it. The number of Texas
Hold' Em "experts" I have met during the past two years is only exceeded by
the number of Investment Gurus I encountered during the Internet bubble.
Last time I was in a poker room at a casino there were perhaps 3 tables of
7-stud, no tables of 5-stud. Everybody was playing Hold 'Em for high stakes.

By contrast the immensely entertaining (for me) game of contract bridge is
rapidly losing its following. There are no draws in bridge. You can have
achieve an "average" or a "push" in team games for one hand, but you don't
know it will be a tie until everyone has played it. And besides, a hand
lasts anywhere from 1 minute to 10 minutes tops, and all events are decided
(no draws or ties).

Yet, there are no sponsors for bridge. I've never seen a bridge event, even
a world championship, so much as mentioned on TV or radio (granted, I have
not owned a TV set in almost 20 years). Even the top events, world
championships and nationals, have very few spectators despite the ability to
"broadcast" the play to a lecture hall or through TV. Bridge may be enjoyed
with or without a money stake. In fact it is almost never played for money.

Unfortunately, bridge suffers from the same problem as chess: YOU HAVE TO
***THINK*** TO PLAY, UNDERSTAND, OR OTHERWISE FOLLOW IT. Bridge takes work.
A challenging bridge hand, even though it takes just a couple of minutes,
taxes your brain as much as any chess problem. It takes me two weeks to go
through one issue of The Bridge World, which is about 1/3 the size of Chess
Life.

Thinking takes mental discipline, which is why 95% of the human race could
no more play or enjoy a game of chess than understand string theory.
Americans prefer the drone of NASCAR. The complexities of a two-card poker
holding, with five common cards face up, is about the limit of Americans'
attention span and intellectual capabilities.

That is the reason only a few nerds and octagenarians remain interested in
bridge and chess, and why those wonderful games will *NEVER* have mass
appeal. I wish it were otherwise.

Your comment about last-round draws at big tournaments is reasonably
accurate, but changing that will not make a difference. If someone comes up
with a two-piece chess variant that lasted 30 seconds, maybe you could put
it on TV.

Angelo DePalma


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Old December 20th 05, 02:51 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Ray Gordon
 
Posts: n/a
Default Definitive NASCAR (was BAP)

Unfortunately, bridge suffers from the same problem as chess: YOU HAVE TO
***THINK*** TO PLAY, UNDERSTAND, OR OTHERWISE FOLLOW IT. Bridge takes
work. A challenging bridge hand, even though it takes just a couple of
minutes, taxes your brain as much as any chess problem. It takes me two
weeks to go through one issue of The Bridge World, which is about 1/3 the
size of Chess Life.


Yet in 1972, when Fischer played for the world championship, the PBS
television coverage got very good ratings in NYC.

I think the answer to getting chess on television is to promote the
one-minute version of the game. Games that take two minutes, with a clock
that might run out, and GMs hanging pieces, is something that would sell.
Interesting games could be slowed down for the analysts.



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Old December 20th 05, 04:50 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Tom Klem
 
Posts: n/a
Default Definitive NASCAR (was BAP)

And this is news?

No one ever expected Chess to have "mass" appeal. We just want an
organization that reports the results, and provides a professional service
at low cost.

The only ones with dreams of grandeur are politicians who will do anything,
including steal your dues to get the phony high of "their fifteen minutes of
fame". The only reason why some of these ne'er do wells are in chess, is so
they can travel to exotic locales to fornicate with foreign women, live in
luxurious hotel suites, eat in gilded palatial gourmet restaurants at your
expense and tell themselves that they lived important lives.

You want a great USCF? FIDE? Get rid of the politicians. Don't let anyone
cheat their way to a master title, and whatever you do, start another
organization where only business professionals are allowed to be on the
board, not Chess players.

Tom Klem

"Ange1o DePa1ma" wrote in message
...


"David Kane" wrote
As to chess' ultimate potential, all I would
say is that there are lots of things I can find
on TV that do not seem inherently interesting
at all, but producers have found a way to
package them in a way to generate viewers.
It doesn't strike me as unreasonable that
the same could be done with chess, given its
large pool of players, and positive reputation.


I'd like to make two points here. Poker is immensely boring unless you
hold a financial stake in the game. Of all the poker games, Texas Hold' Em
may be the most brain dead. Yet TV producers have not only transformed
this game into a spectator sport, they have everyone playing it. The
number of Texas Hold' Em "experts" I have met during the past two years is
only exceeded by the number of Investment Gurus I encountered during the
Internet bubble. Last time I was in a poker room at a casino there were
perhaps 3 tables of 7-stud, no tables of 5-stud. Everybody was playing
Hold 'Em for high stakes.

By contrast the immensely entertaining (for me) game of contract bridge is
rapidly losing its following. There are no draws in bridge. You can have
achieve an "average" or a "push" in team games for one hand, but you don't
know it will be a tie until everyone has played it. And besides, a hand
lasts anywhere from 1 minute to 10 minutes tops, and all events are
decided (no draws or ties).

Yet, there are no sponsors for bridge. I've never seen a bridge event,
even a world championship, so much as mentioned on TV or radio (granted, I
have not owned a TV set in almost 20 years). Even the top events, world
championships and nationals, have very few spectators despite the ability
to "broadcast" the play to a lecture hall or through TV. Bridge may be
enjoyed with or without a money stake. In fact it is almost never played
for money.

Unfortunately, bridge suffers from the same problem as chess: YOU HAVE TO
***THINK*** TO PLAY, UNDERSTAND, OR OTHERWISE FOLLOW IT. Bridge takes
work. A challenging bridge hand, even though it takes just a couple of
minutes, taxes your brain as much as any chess problem. It takes me two
weeks to go through one issue of The Bridge World, which is about 1/3 the
size of Chess Life.

Thinking takes mental discipline, which is why 95% of the human race could
no more play or enjoy a game of chess than understand string theory.
Americans prefer the drone of NASCAR. The complexities of a two-card poker
holding, with five common cards face up, is about the limit of Americans'
attention span and intellectual capabilities.

That is the reason only a few nerds and octagenarians remain interested in
bridge and chess, and why those wonderful games will *NEVER* have mass
appeal. I wish it were otherwise.

Your comment about last-round draws at big tournaments is reasonably
accurate, but changing that will not make a difference. If someone comes
up with a two-piece chess variant that lasted 30 seconds, maybe you could
put it on TV.

Angelo DePalma



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Old December 20th 05, 09:39 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Bruce Leverett
 
Posts: n/a
Default Definitive NASCAR (was BAP)

Ange1o DePa1ma wrote:
"David Kane" wrote
As to chess' ultimate potential, all I would
say is that there are lots of things I can find
on TV that do not seem inherently interesting
at all, but producers have found a way to
package them in a way to generate viewers.
It doesn't strike me as unreasonable that
the same could be done with chess, given its
large pool of players, and positive reputation.


I'd like to make two points here. Poker is immensely boring unless you hold
a financial stake in the game. Of all the poker games, Texas Hold' Em may be
the most brain dead. Yet TV producers have not only transformed this game
into a spectator sport, they have everyone playing it. The number of Texas
Hold' Em "experts" I have met during the past two years is only exceeded by
the number of Investment Gurus I encountered during the Internet bubble.
Last time I was in a poker room at a casino there were perhaps 3 tables of
7-stud, no tables of 5-stud. Everybody was playing Hold 'Em for high stakes.

By contrast the immensely entertaining (for me) game of contract bridge is
rapidly losing its following. There are no draws in bridge. You can have
achieve an "average" or a "push" in team games for one hand, but you don't
know it will be a tie until everyone has played it. And besides, a hand
lasts anywhere from 1 minute to 10 minutes tops, and all events are decided
(no draws or ties).

Yet, there are no sponsors for bridge. I've never seen a bridge event, even
a world championship, so much as mentioned on TV or radio (granted, I have
not owned a TV set in almost 20 years). Even the top events, world
championships and nationals, have very few spectators despite the ability to
"broadcast" the play to a lecture hall or through TV. Bridge may be enjoyed
with or without a money stake. In fact it is almost never played for money.

Unfortunately, bridge suffers from the same problem as chess: YOU HAVE TO
***THINK*** TO PLAY, UNDERSTAND, OR OTHERWISE FOLLOW IT. Bridge takes work.
A challenging bridge hand, even though it takes just a couple of minutes,
taxes your brain as much as any chess problem. It takes me two weeks to go
through one issue of The Bridge World, which is about 1/3 the size of Chess
Life.


It's not just that you have to think. How do you win a game of chess?
By getting your opponent to make a mistake. How does he make a
mistake? By misunderstanding something. So if the whole object of the
game is to get the other guy to misunderstand something, how do the
spectators have a chance of understanding what's going on? If the
spectators can understand what's going on, it's only because the game
doesn't have anything going on at the time. Even if the spectators are
strong players themselves, even if they are just as strong as the
players, they can't usually keep up with the players' thinking at the
critical moments. Compared with, say, baseball, where a spectator can
understand everything, even if he is incapable of throwing a ball from
the pitcher's mound to home plate.

Thinking takes mental discipline, which is why 95% of the human race could
no more play or enjoy a game of chess than understand string theory.
Americans prefer the drone of NASCAR. The complexities of a two-card poker
holding, with five common cards face up, is about the limit of Americans'
attention span and intellectual capabilities.

That is the reason only a few nerds and octagenarians remain interested in
bridge and chess, and why those wonderful games will *NEVER* have mass
appeal. I wish it were otherwise.


It's funny, in a way chess is a great spectator sport. When I am at a
chess event, as soon as I am done playing (or sooner), I spend lots of
time wandering around looking at the other games. It's always
fascinating, and until there are only one or two left, there's always
something happening. I could spend hours doing this (and used to, more
often, before I was married and had kids, etc.).

When people say that chess isn't a good spectator sport, I guess they
aren't thinking of this kind of spectating. But that's a lot of the
fun for me :-)

Your comment about last-round draws at big tournaments is reasonably
accurate, but changing that will not make a difference. If someone comes up
with a two-piece chess variant that lasted 30 seconds, maybe you could put
it on TV.

Angelo DePalma


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Old December 21st 05, 12:02 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
David Kane
 
Posts: n/a
Default Definitive NASCAR (was BAP)


"Bruce Leverett" wrote in message
oups.com...


It's not just that you have to think. How do you win a game of

chess?
By getting your opponent to make a mistake. How does he make a
mistake? By misunderstanding something. So if the whole object of

the
game is to get the other guy to misunderstand something, how do the
spectators have a chance of understanding what's going on? If the
spectators can understand what's going on, it's only because the

game
doesn't have anything going on at the time. Even if the spectators

are
strong players themselves, even if they are just as strong as the
players, they can't usually keep up with the players' thinking at

the
critical moments. Compared with, say, baseball, where a spectator

can
understand everything, even if he is incapable of throwing a ball

from
the pitcher's mound to home plate.


Before responding, I want to go on
record as clearly stating that I am
not claiming that chess has huge fan
potential, only that it has higher potential
than has been reached. Also, the issue
is not narrowly, as Angelo describes it,
whether chess can be a spectator sport.
The general question is whether the chess
world can be made interesting. Sports
sections in newspapers/news programs exist
to allow people to follow sports without
being a real-time spectator.

But is this "thinking" argument really valid?
Do people who watch poker on TV grasp
the subtleties of the game. No, most are
complete novices but they still watch.
Baseball fans do not "understand
everything" about baseball. Far from it.
The point is that the game can be enjoyable
to watch for people who *don't* understand
much of it. That is really the challenge
for chess.

I acknowledge that it is a real challenge
but am not reflexively pessimistic. Give me a
computer, some perceptive GM analysis,
extra time to think, and all of a sudden I'm
in some sense "understanding" games
at a level I could never hope to play at.

The other missing ingredient is drama.
This is what the BAP proposal was all
about. There has to be several possible
outcomes which depend on the action.
Fans need to be convinced that the moves
the players are making *matter*.



It's funny, in a way chess is a great spectator sport. When I am at

a
chess event, as soon as I am done playing (or sooner), I spend lots

of
time wandering around looking at the other games. It's always
fascinating, and until there are only one or two left, there's

always
something happening. I could spend hours doing this (and used to,

more
often, before I was married and had kids, etc.).


It is always interesting to see the
people gravitate towards the top
board in the last round of a scholastic
tournament. Even though there
aren't spectators, anyone who has
an excuse to be in the gym (and a few
who don't) usually wanders over.

These games are fun to watch not
because the kids are playing objectively
well - they aren't. They're fun because,
in the limited context of the
scholastic chess world, the games
*matter*.





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Old December 21st 05, 06:10 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Magnulus
 
Posts: n/a
Default Definitive NASCAR (was BAP)

I think you make a good point. Chess is not plebeian enough for the
masses in the US. Of course NASCAR is about as placid and glacial as the
average chess game in terms of action, but there's a huge culture divide-
going fast anybody can understand. Thinking 3-4 moves ahead and analyzing a
board position, now that takes real brains.

I don't know much about Bridge. It just seems more complicated than
chess, and heck few people play it. Not to knock it but that's just the way
it is, I've always wanted to learn but everything that's tried to teach me
has left me with a big headaches and confusion. For some reason Poker is
alot more popular as far a games go, probably because luck is such a big
factor and its played for money (and actually I like studying a little
Poker, but it's ridiculous how popular it has gotten- there's lots of other
good games to play, maybe people just like the idea of money involved).


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Old December 21st 05, 11:43 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Paul Rubin
 
Posts: n/a
Default Definitive NASCAR (was BAP)

"Ange1o DePa1ma" writes:
I'd like to make two points here. Poker is immensely boring unless
you hold a financial stake in the game. Of all the poker games,
Texas Hold' Em may be the most brain dead.


Have you actually played it? I wouldn't make claims like that until
you've tried it. Hold'em is incredibly complex. I don't dare play
it myself (at least with real money involved) but have spent hours
watching people play and trying to follow the action (and I don't
mean on TV).

Last time I was in a poker room at a casino there were perhaps 3
tables of 7-stud, no tables of 5-stud. Everybody was playing Hold
'Em for high stakes.


I've watched Hold'em played at card clubs and knew that if I tried to
play I'd lose my shirt instantly. 7-stud is extremely tame by
comparison. By just playing tight I was able to win steadily at a
casino without having any real skill at all.

By contrast the immensely entertaining (for me) game of contract bridge is
rapidly losing its following. There are no draws in bridge. You can have
achieve an "average" or a "push" in team games for one hand, but you don't
know it will be a tie until everyone has played it. And besides, a hand
lasts anywhere from 1 minute to 10 minutes tops, and all events are decided
(no draws or ties).


TV poker got interesting because of the hole cam. I don't think
that's been tried for bridge. Bridge newspaper columns used to
attract some interest.

That is the reason only a few nerds and octagenarians remain interested in
bridge and chess, and why those wonderful games will *NEVER* have mass
appeal. I wish it were otherwise.


Why are you so obsessed with mass appeal and filling Yankee Stadium
with chess fans? Contemporary chamber music will never fill Yankee
Stadium either, but there are people willing to pay to listen to it,
and there are people making a living playing it for audiences. If
chess attracts a comparable amount of audiences and sponsorship, it's
a legitimate spectator sport, just not a massively popular one.
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Old December 21st 05, 02:12 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Ange1o DePa1ma
 
Posts: n/a
Default Definitive NASCAR (was BAP)


"Paul Rubin" wrote

"Ange1o DePa1ma" writes:
I'd like to make two points here. Poker is immensely boring unless
you hold a financial stake in the game. Of all the poker games,
Texas Hold' Em may be the most brain dead.


Have you actually played it?


I play from time to time in a weekly play-money tournament at a local bar; I
have also played at low-stakes tables online, and read books on Hold 'Em.
It's a very simple game to understand, but like all poker games very
difficult to play well. That doesn't stop tens of thousands of people from
wasting oodles of money on it at casinos and online, or millions of people
from watching it. Reason: The structure of the game is very simple.

I've watched Hold'em played at card clubs and knew that if I tried to
play I'd lose my shirt instantly. 7-stud is extremely tame by
comparison. By just playing tight I was able to win steadily at a
casino without having any real skill at all.


You were probably having a lucky night. Everyone plays tight in money games.
Go to Paradise Poker and observe a nickel ante table. You can preserve your
stash by playing tight but when you win the pot is 35 cents.


TV poker got interesting because of the hole cam. I don't think
that's been tried for bridge. Bridge newspaper columns used to
attract some interest.


Because all tournament bridge hands are pre-dealt and duplicated, it's very
easy to do this. I've never seen the Bridge-a-Rama commentaries at big
tournaments but I imagine they have the capability of showing one, two, or
all four hands.

Why are you so obsessed with mass appeal and filling Yankee Stadium
with chess fans? Contemporary chamber music will never fill Yankee
Stadium either, but there are people willing to pay to listen to it,
and there are people making a living playing it for audiences. If
chess attracts a comparable amount of audiences and sponsorship, it's
a legitimate spectator sport, just not a massively popular one.


See my post regarding Yankee Stadium vs. a 1500 seat auditorium. Problem is,
chess spectatorship is very, very rare, very sparse.


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Old December 22nd 05, 05:09 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Paul Rubin
 
Posts: n/a
Default Definitive NASCAR (was BAP)

"Ange1o DePa1ma" writes:
comparison. By just playing tight I was able to win steadily at a
casino without having any real skill at all.


You were probably having a lucky night. Everyone plays tight in
money games. Go to Paradise Poker and observe a nickel ante
table. You can preserve your stash by playing tight but when you win
the pot is 35 cents.


I don't think I had a lucky night. This was at a Vegas casino, not a
card club. I'd probably have gotten crushed at a card club, but the
7-stud low stakes table at the casino was full of loose hayseeds who
played like total idiots and I was able to steadily win a few bucks an
hour despite the house rake. (I was a student at the time, in Vegas
for a computer show, and actually wanted the money, while the other
players seemed to be playing for entertainment). But the hold-em
tables at the same casinos seemed to have much more competent players
and I wouldn't have had a chance.

it's very easy to do this. I've never seen the Bridge-a-Rama
commentaries at big tournaments but I imagine they have the
capability of showing one, two, or all four hands.


Yeah, I guess so. Bridge still doesn't have the element of conflict
that chess or poker have.

See my post regarding Yankee Stadium vs. a 1500 seat
auditorium. Problem is, chess spectatorship is very, very rare, very
sparse.


What can I say, it exists, it's out there, I once travelled across
three countries in order to watch part of a chess match (Karpov-Timman
FIDE Ch 1993, Amsterdam). There was a Kasparov-Short match happening
in London at about the same time, charging $100 per ticket, at least
at the beginning.
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Old December 27th 05, 09:13 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Ray Gordon
 
Posts: n/a
Default Definitive NASCAR (was BAP)

I think you make a good point. Chess is not plebeian enough for the
masses in the US. Of course NASCAR is about as placid and glacial as the
average chess game in terms of action, but there's a huge culture divide-
going fast anybody can understand. Thinking 3-4 moves ahead and analyzing
a board position, now that takes real brains.


The American sports fans have no difficulty analyzing complex offenses and
defenses that play at warp speed. I think the problem is that it's like
watching brain surgery at the retarded time controls (two hours for 40
moves).

This also would reduce the number of draws to between 5-10 percent, and
would not take up a lot of time on television. An entire championship match
could be played in one to three hours, say best-of-fifty. The video gamers
would also take an interest as chess at that speed is very similar.


I don't know much about Bridge. It just seems more complicated than
chess, and heck few people play it. Not to knock it but that's just the
way it is, I've always wanted to learn but everything that's tried to
teach me has left me with a big headaches and confusion. For some reason
Poker is alot more popular as far a games go, probably because luck is
such a big factor and its played for money (and actually I like studying a
little Poker, but it's ridiculous how popular it has gotten- there's lots
of other good games to play, maybe people just like the idea of money
involved).


Most people also play poker growing up, or know people who do. Now of
course everyone seems to play. The luck factor makes it so almost anyone
can win a tournament, but skill is still important.

One-minute chess is a much greater test of ability than slow chess, it's
easier to watch, and if the stakes were high, it would draw a huge audience.

Picture the commentary:

"And Kasparov is showing the fine technique that made him world champion as
he is about to methodically convert his pawn advantage...OH NO HE HUNG HIS
ROOK! What a bad break."

or

"White has two queens but only six seconds to deliver the mate, and Black is
walking between the pawns, forcing White to avoid stalemate on every
move...."

I just think the public would eat this up.



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