Main
Date: 16 Oct 2008 09:05:36
From: M Winther
Subject: Chess evolves...
The fact that more and more people are thinking about making changes
in the chess rules is a sign that people are experiencing the game as
less exciting today, compared with the seventies.

To introduce a cannon into Western chess, which can optionally be
excluded by the players, could be an answer to today's routinization
of chess, occasioned by theoretical development and computer power.

The Culverin cannon can step one square in any direction like a king,
provided that the square is empty. It can capture long-distance by
leaping over any piece in any direction. Enemy pawns, however, can
restrict its movement.

The culverin was a long cannon (as an 18-pounder) of the 16th and 17th
centuries (Webster's Dictionary).
http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/culverinchess.htm

/Mats




 
Date: 19 Oct 2008 09:39:47
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Oct 16, 1:05 am, "M Winther" <[email protected] > wrote:

> To introduce a cannon into Western chess, which can optionally be
> excluded by the players, could be an answer to today's routinization
> of chess, occasioned by theoretical development and computer power.

Well, you've given me some inspiration.

Except for one grotesquely large enlarged variant, the chess variants
I've been coming up with have tended not to be of the conventional
type. A version of 3-D Chess, a chess game for five players, and other
exotic things are there, as is my randomized variant chess and my
Dynamic Scoring proposal... but no plain enlarged versions in the
Capablanca Chess tradition.

Well, I've finally been inspired to propose one.

On

http://www.quadibloc.com/chess/ch0212.htm

I propose a version of Chess on a 10 by 12 board.

I add one Cannon - straight from Chinese Chess, as is, without
changes. The movement over an intervening piece should add a new
dimension to the game.

Rather than going to a 10 by 11 board, and doing other things to put
the Bishops on squares of opposite colors, I also add a Man - a non-
Royal King. Not exciting, but an additional piece of modest power
should affect matters a bit, and I don't want to fill the board with
overpowered pieces.

I also add a piece I call the Tiger. A Bishop-mover, Knight-capturer,
in raw power it should be a minor piece. The first capture leaves you
with Tigers of the same color, a strategic weakness, so an interesting
strategic balancing act is added to the game.

And then I also add a few Checkers to the game; capturing them is
compulsory, at least with your Checkers *or* your Pawns. (To make the
rules logically consistent, and to tune the importance of this
feature, there are some complications in the rules for this.)

By adding three elements to the game that are 'different' - the
Cannon, the Tigers, the Checkers - it seems that more should be added
than just by adding most typical added pieces such as the Princess and
the Empress.

Of course, compared to games like Chakra by Christiaan Freeling, this
is still only a very modest toe-in-the-water step.

John Savard


  
Date: 19 Oct 2008 10:59:52
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Oct 19, 10:39 am, Quadibloc <[email protected] > wrote:

> Of course, compared to games like Chakra by Christiaan Freeling, this
> is still only a very modest toe-in-the-water step.

Thinking of *that* inspired me to propose an modification - Flag Chess
- and to amend the rules of Antimatter Universe Chess so as to come
closer to allowing the Shogi experience with unflippable Western chess
pieces.

John Savard


  
Date: 19 Oct 2008 19:42:53
From: M Winther
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
Den 2008-10-19 18:39:47 skrev Quadibloc <[email protected] >:

> On Oct 16, 1:05 am, "M Winther" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> To introduce a cannon into Western chess, which can optionally be
>> excluded by the players, could be an answer to today's routinization
>> of chess, occasioned by theoretical development and computer power.
>
> Well, you've given me some inspiration.
>
> Except for one grotesquely large enlarged variant, the chess variants
> I've been coming up with have tended not to be of the conventional
> type. A version of 3-D Chess, a chess game for five players, and other
> exotic things are there, as is my randomized variant chess and my
> Dynamic Scoring proposal... but no plain enlarged versions in the
> Capablanca Chess tradition.
>
> Well, I've finally been inspired to propose one.
>
> On
>
> http://www.quadibloc.com/chess/ch0212.htm
>
> I propose a version of Chess on a 10 by 12 board.
>
> I add one Cannon - straight from Chinese Chess, as is, without
> changes. The movement over an intervening piece should add a new
> dimension to the game.
>
> Rather than going to a 10 by 11 board, and doing other things to put
> the Bishops on squares of opposite colors, I also add a Man - a non-
> Royal King. Not exciting, but an additional piece of modest power
> should affect matters a bit, and I don't want to fill the board with
> overpowered pieces.
>
> I also add a piece I call the Tiger. A Bishop-mover, Knight-capturer,
> in raw power it should be a minor piece. The first capture leaves you
> with Tigers of the same color, a strategic weakness, so an interesting
> strategic balancing act is added to the game.
>
> And then I also add a few Checkers to the game; capturing them is
> compulsory, at least with your Checkers *or* your Pawns. (To make the
> rules logically consistent, and to tune the importance of this
> feature, there are some complications in the rules for this.)
>
> By adding three elements to the game that are 'different' - the
> Cannon, the Tigers, the Checkers - it seems that more should be added
> than just by adding most typical added pieces such as the Princess and
> the Empress.
>
> Of course, compared to games like Chakra by Christiaan Freeling, this
> is still only a very modest toe-in-the-water step.
>
> John Savard
>

Did you know that Gli?ski's hexagonal chess is the most popular game of
hexagonal chess variants? At one point of time there were more than half-a-
million players of this game, and more than 130,000 board sets have been
sold. The game was very popular in Eastern Europe, especially in Poland,
Gli?ski's native country.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexagonal_chess

Mats


   
Date: 19 Oct 2008 18:04:41
From: John Savard
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Sun, 19 Oct 2008 19:42:53 +0200, "M Winther" <[email protected] > wrote,
in part:

>Did you know that Glinski's hexagonal chess is the most popular game of
>hexagonal chess variants?

That I did know, although I wasn't sure how popular it was.

Allowing the King to move "diagonally" seems to make it very hard to
checkmate in that game; allowing stalemate as a partial win, to my mind,
doesn't fully compensate for that.

John Savard
http://www.quadibloc.com/index.html


 
Date: 16 Oct 2008 14:16:47
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Oct 16, 1:05=A0am, "M Winther" <[email protected] > wrote:
> a sign that people are experiencing the game as
> less exciting today, compared with the seventies.

Now, that's something I disagree with. Replace "the 'seventies" by,
say, "the 1870s", and I'd agree. While variant forms of Chess go back
a *long* way - think of Timur's Chess, or a forerunner of Capablanca
Chess due to Carrera - I am inclined to think that discontent with how
Chess is played is traceable largely to the impact of Steinitz on
Chess. It's thanks to him that sound, careful, defensive, and
positional play has reached the quality it has now, and that has meant
chess is less exciting in the 'flashy' or even meretricious sense of
fewer checkmates obtained by sacrificing the Queen and both Rooks.

If you compare today to the 1970s, the difference isn't really in the
kind of Chess that gets played, it's the fact that the Soviet Union
isn't around any more to fund a pile of grandmasters. I consider the
idea that the TV networks might take the place of the Soviet Union if
more pretty girls played Chess to be a bad joke not worth commenting
on.

Since no suggestion of putting another piece on the board has worked
out, I've wracked my brain to come up with something... original and
different and more effective. Maybe if others did so too, they could
do it better than I did.

John Savard


  
Date: 17 Oct 2008 09:22:59
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Oct 17, 9:08=A0am, "M Winther" <[email protected] > wrote:

> Creativity doesn't necessarily imply "deep and profound".

Of course. But a game that allows creativity but which also is at
least as deep and profound as chess is what most people who express
dissatisfaction with chess are looking for - something that is better
than chess as it now is, in the one respect with which they are
dissatisfied with it, but which otherwise surrenders none of the
virtues of chess.

For one thing, one doesn't need to make an effort to popularize
Capablanca Chess - or Glinski's Hexagonal Chess - or any other
variation if it only does what Shogi or Chinese Chess can *already*
do.

For another, it isn't a coincidence that it is Go (or Wei Ch'i) and
not Shogi or Chinese Chess which commands respect and interest in
China and Japan. One doesn't expect a competition in Checkers - or
Othello/Reversi, or Magic: the Gathering - to achieve the news
coverage of Fischer versus Spassky in Reykjavik, or even Anand versus
Kramnik.

I expect chess as it is to continue for a long time, but a 'new' chess
that doesn't at least present _some_ threat of eventually supplanting
regular chess is just going to sink into anonymity along all the other
variations that have been invented. So I think a variation needs to do
more than just be exiting and tactical; it has to be that within the
context of still offering strategic and positional profundity equal to
that of FIDE chess, and yet not allowing the positional depth to
strangle the tactical element; this calls for a design that strikes a
delicate balance that is hard to achieve.

John Savard


  
Date: 17 Oct 2008 06:27:02
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Oct 16, 11:47 pm, "M Winther" <[email protected] > wrote:

> Ever heard of Spassky and Tal and their creations on the chessboard?

And then there's Petrosian.

Your comments on Chinese Chess in another post are interesting. People
have said that Chinese Chess is an even more profound game than the
Chess we're familiar with.

Except for the Cannon, the complement of pieces in Chinese Chess is
that of Western Chess, before the powers of the Bishop and the Queen
were increased. With five Pawns that don't have the unique properties
that make the Pawn "the soul" of our Chess, and with two Firzans and
the King confined to a small area, on the surface, Chinese Chess
doesn't _look_ promising, and so few in the West have investigated it
to any great degree.

Instead, Shogi has attracted interest, because of its feature of
drops; but while that reduces draws, apparently Shogi is less profound
than Western Chess, and thus, perhaps unlike Chinese Chess, it seems
to be a dead end as an alternative.

Chinese Chess lacks the solid wall of pawns in front - and the King's
limitation in motion makes it more vulnerable as well. That could
easily be why it doesn't favor dull defensive play, but if it is also
deep and profound, the explanation of how it manages that will be of
interest.

John Savard


   
Date: 17 Oct 2008 17:08:43
From: M Winther
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
Den 2008-10-17 15:27:02 skrev Quadibloc <[email protected] >:

> On Oct 16, 11:47 pm, "M Winther" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> Ever heard of Spassky and Tal and their creations on the chessboard?
>
> And then there's Petrosian.
>
> Your comments on Chinese Chess in another post are interesting. People
> have said that Chinese Chess is an even more profound game than the
> Chess we're familiar with.
>
> Except for the Cannon, the complement of pieces in Chinese Chess is
> that of Western Chess, before the powers of the Bishop and the Queen
> were increased. With five Pawns that don't have the unique properties
> that make the Pawn "the soul" of our Chess, and with two Firzans and
> the King confined to a small area, on the surface, Chinese Chess
> doesn't _look_ promising, and so few in the West have investigated it
> to any great degree.
>
> Instead, Shogi has attracted interest, because of its feature of
> drops; but while that reduces draws, apparently Shogi is less profound
> than Western Chess, and thus, perhaps unlike Chinese Chess, it seems
> to be a dead end as an alternative.
>
> Chinese Chess lacks the solid wall of pawns in front - and the King's
> limitation in motion makes it more vulnerable as well. That could
> easily be why it doesn't favor dull defensive play, but if it is also
> deep and profound, the explanation of how it manages that will be of
> interest.
>
> John Savard
>

To my mind, Chinese Chess isn't particularly deep and profound
(although I am far from an expert). Western chess seems more
manysided. But Chinese Chess is quite fun and creative. It is very
technical. One cannot be lazy and uninventive. But the Chinese have
always regarded XiangQi as a second rate game compared with Go,
which, it seems, is quite deep and profound.

Shogi of course, is notoriously creative. You are always working with
attack combinations, including drops. Just imagine the vastness of
the variant tree, and its rapid expansion from the opening. Only one
external droppable piece makes the tree immensely larger.

Creativity doesn't necessarily imply "deep and profound". Bu there is
an inner urge to creativity which must be allowed to operate. A
sacrifice on h7, followed by a mate attack, isn't very profound, but
it is creative. Capablanca's Chess is great fun, too. Things happen
all the time. Dramatic attacks and tactical artfulness. It is closely related
to Janus Chess, of which Korchnoi says that it allows much more room
for tactical creativity than standard chess.

Mats


  
Date: 17 Oct 2008 07:47:14
From: M Winther
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
Den 2008-10-16 23:16:47 skrev Quadibloc <[email protected] >:

> On Oct 16, 1:05 am, "M Winther" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> a sign that people are experiencing the game as
>> less exciting today, compared with the seventies.
>
> Now, that's something I disagree with. Replace "the 'seventies" by,
> say, "the 1870s", and I'd agree. While variant forms of Chess go back
> a *long* way - think of Timur's Chess, or a forerunner of Capablanca
> Chess due to Carrera - I am inclined to think that discontent with how
> Chess is played is traceable largely to the impact of Steinitz on
> Chess. It's thanks to him that sound, careful, defensive, and
> positional play has reached the quality it has now, and that has meant
> chess is less exciting in the 'flashy' or even meretricious sense of
> fewer checkmates obtained by sacrificing the Queen and both Rooks.
>
> If you compare today to the 1970s, the difference isn't really in the
> kind of Chess that gets played, it's the fact that the Soviet Union
> isn't around any more to fund a pile of grandmasters. I consider the
> idea that the TV networks might take the place of the Soviet Union if
> more pretty girls played Chess to be a bad joke not worth commenting
> on.
>
> Since no suggestion of putting another piece on the board has worked
> out, I've wracked my brain to come up with something... original and
> different and more effective. Maybe if others did so too, they could
> do it better than I did.
>
> John Savard
>

Ever heard of Spassky and Tal and their creations on the chessboard?

Mats


 
Date: 16 Oct 2008 08:30:34
From: Offramp
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Oct 16, 8:05=A0am, "M Winther" <[email protected] > wrote:

> The fact that more and more people are thinking about making changes
> in the chess rules is a sign that people are experiencing the game as
> less exciting today, compared with the seventies.

No one is making any changes.
Your timbre has become tiresome.


  
Date: 19 Oct 2008 16:11:05
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
To do more towards answering your questions:

Although not a strong player, I do have some small knowledge of
certain areas of mathematics, and it is from this that I consider
myself competent to dismiss the possibility that Black is actually the
player with the advantage in Chess.

I feel that it is true that Chess is less popular in the United States
today than it was in certain European countries at certain periods of
time in the past. Of course, this could be in part an illusion,
because the less intellectual tastes of the common man are more
visible in a democratic society such as the U.S., but even if one
confines oneself to looking at the tastes of those considered
'cultured' and 'educated', Chess does not currently seem to be at a
peak of popularity.

I feel that wishing and hoping for Grandmasters to play more vigorous
Chess, if they find that defensive positional Chess, and lots of
draws, are what allow them to achieve higher rankings in tournaments,
is even less likely to be effective than enlarging the chessboard and
adding new pieces.

And I think that the 'too many draws' and 'not enough tactical
brilliancies' complaints have _some_ validity, and they can have this
validity without having to accept the notion that Chess is 'dead' or
'dying' in any sense. Chess isn't as exciting as it was 200 years ago.
Maybe the only thing to do is get over it. But if there *is* something
positive and effective that can be done about it - and it's something
that's been overlooked - I think it's worth mentioning.

I've read enough about Chess and Checkers to know that the two-move
and three-move restrictions are unpalatable to many Checkers players,
and that something like that would be even more strongly unpalatable
in the Chess world. On top of that, the state of Chess opening theory
is such that it is unclear how such a measure would address anything.

So without being an expert at playing Chess, I believe I do have some
knowledge in areas related to the possible impact of changes to Chess
on the expected result of a game, and the psychological factors which
relate to what kind of changes to Chess are more likely to be
perceived as reasonable and acceptable. The games of Checkers and Go
encountered crises, and they can serve as instructive case histories.

John Savard


   
Date: 20 Oct 2008 18:00:40
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...

"Quadibloc" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> To do more towards answering your questions:
>
> Although not a strong player,

Who are you addressing John?

I am in the position of not wanting answers, but in receiveing excuses from
people who never went very deep, who want to talk about things, not study or
play chess.

These things are little to my interest.

You should clarify if what you think is based on what you know. And you have
hardly penertated the subject of chess here. Pardon me this refutation to
those who simply do not know of what they speak.

I am not arguing with you on some supposition. I say what I know about
learning and the subjective factor of what it takes to get beyond rote
knowledge, a subject surpassing 95% of all chess players.

That is simply the way it is. Please excuse me for saying that your opinions
of what you never experienced except as you represent here vicariously are
not what the game is about. Study it, and see if you can play it. That's the
bottom line.

Maybe you tried and can't? But I must further apologise to you for saying
that that is an rhetorical question.

Phil Innes


> I do have some small knowledge of
> certain areas of mathematics, and it is from this that I consider
> myself competent to dismiss the possibility that Black is actually the
> player with the advantage in Chess.
>
> I feel that it is true that Chess is less popular in the United States
> today than it was in certain European countries at certain periods of
> time in the past. Of course, this could be in part an illusion,
> because the less intellectual tastes of the common man are more
> visible in a democratic society such as the U.S., but even if one
> confines oneself to looking at the tastes of those considered
> 'cultured' and 'educated', Chess does not currently seem to be at a
> peak of popularity.
>
> I feel that wishing and hoping for Grandmasters to play more vigorous
> Chess, if they find that defensive positional Chess, and lots of
> draws, are what allow them to achieve higher rankings in tournaments,
> is even less likely to be effective than enlarging the chessboard and
> adding new pieces.
>
> And I think that the 'too many draws' and 'not enough tactical
> brilliancies' complaints have _some_ validity, and they can have this
> validity without having to accept the notion that Chess is 'dead' or
> 'dying' in any sense. Chess isn't as exciting as it was 200 years ago.
> Maybe the only thing to do is get over it. But if there *is* something
> positive and effective that can be done about it - and it's something
> that's been overlooked - I think it's worth mentioning.
>
> I've read enough about Chess and Checkers to know that the two-move
> and three-move restrictions are unpalatable to many Checkers players,
> and that something like that would be even more strongly unpalatable
> in the Chess world. On top of that, the state of Chess opening theory
> is such that it is unclear how such a measure would address anything.
>
> So without being an expert at playing Chess, I believe I do have some
> knowledge in areas related to the possible impact of changes to Chess
> on the expected result of a game, and the psychological factors which
> relate to what kind of changes to Chess are more likely to be
> perceived as reasonable and acceptable. The games of Checkers and Go
> encountered crises, and they can serve as instructive case histories.
>
> John Savard




  
Date: 19 Oct 2008 15:12:27
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Oct 19, 2:43 pm, "Chess One" <[email protected] > wrote:

> When sub-1600 players complain about the game, I really wonder if they are
> even into it sufficiently to understand what it is to play chess or to speak
> of creativity or [whose?] problems with memorization? You maybe get beaten
> too much by players who put more work into the game, and this is unlikeable!

Chess is a challenging game, and it will take a lot of work to become
able to play it well.

The only answer to that is to turn it into something like Monopoly
that is easier to play and more exciting.

That is not what I want to do to Chess.

I believe that I can safely say that a number of people do complain
that Chess these days isn't as popular as it deserves to be. They
would like this game to achieve greater respect and popularity.

And one obstacle to this is "too many draws", and another is less
surface excitement in the game because of the difference between the
"Modern" era of Chess and the "Romantic" era of Chess. People have
been whining about the "Modern" era of Chess for a long time - the
closing pages of H. J. R. Murray's _A History of Chess_ constitute one
example.

Some people invent chess variants just for fun, and others do
sometimes claim that their variant will address various perceived
problems with Chess as it is. I'm not saying those people are right;
even if there are problems, it's not at all clear that switching to a
10 x 10 board and adding a few pieces is going to fix anything.

I don't think I'm making this up, therefore. I think there are a
number of people discontented with Chess as it is, even though their
reasons may not be valid.

Since I think the usual solution - something like Capablanca Chess -
is unlikely to help much, I would like to encourage those who feel
this way to turn their efforts in a more constructive direction, by
showing what could be done that would have some hope of addressing
these alleged problems. No, I'm not the best qualified person to do
this, because, indeed, I am _not_ a particularly strong, or even avid,
chessplayer. I am just doing what I can, with what abilities I have,
to illustrate other possible directions that don't seem to have been
considered by those who are seeking to revitalize the game of Chess.

Since there have been people who have expressed these complaints who
are much stronger chessplayers than I am, I am hoping that they might
draw inspiration from what I have done to come up with something much
better than I have.

John Savard


   
Date: 20 Oct 2008 17:54:26
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...

"Quadibloc" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> On Oct 19, 2:43 pm, "Chess One" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> When sub-1600 players complain about the game, I really wonder if they
>> are
>> even into it sufficiently to understand what it is to play chess or to
>> speak
>> of creativity or [whose?] problems with memorization? You maybe get
>> beaten
>> too much by players who put more work into the game, and this is
>> unlikeable!
>
> Chess is a challenging game, and it will take a lot of work to become
> able to play it well.
>
> The only answer to that is to turn it into something like Monopoly
> that is easier to play and more exciting.
>
> That is not what I want to do to Chess.
>
> I believe that I can safely say that a number of people do complain
> that Chess these days isn't as popular as it deserves to be. They
> would like this game to achieve greater respect and popularity.
>
> And one obstacle to this is "too many draws", and another is less
> surface excitement in the game because of the difference between the
> "Modern" era of Chess and the "Romantic" era of Chess. People have
> been whining about the "Modern" era of Chess for a long time - the
> closing pages of H. J. R. Murray's _A History of Chess_ constitute one
> example.

I am sorry that I cannot entertain your commentary since (a) Murray is an
ancient and (b) you prefer that to your own opinion. The truth about gaining
excellence in anything whatever is that you need to apply yourself to it.
Other things are diversions which attract you - and for sure follow them if
you like.

I am not interested in some people as you write below

> Some people invent chess variants just for fun, and others do
> sometimes claim that their variant will address various perceived
> problems with Chess as it is. I'm not saying those people are right;

If you want to be creative then you should pay less attention to what others
say, and besides, do not claim shortcuts or better means until you discover
just what creativity is.

All else is hypthesis, speculation.

That is all there is to say from my own experience, and if you do not
explore the game by putting yourself into its alchemical mix, then you can
only speculate on what it is, and vicariously too, as you have written
below.

I would not take you as a chess student, John, since you are not motivated -
you are distracted by things which intrigue you. Tell us when you master
something how it is then, but please, resist the temptation aforehand to
prognosticate on what others say, since you cannot even evaluate if those
things are true until you personally explore them.

Phil Innes


> even if there are problems, it's not at all clear that switching to a
> 10 x 10 board and adding a few pieces is going to fix anything.
>
> I don't think I'm making this up, therefore. I think there are a
> number of people discontented with Chess as it is, even though their
> reasons may not be valid.
>
> Since I think the usual solution - something like Capablanca Chess -
> is unlikely to help much, I would like to encourage those who feel
> this way to turn their efforts in a more constructive direction, by
> showing what could be done that would have some hope of addressing
> these alleged problems. No, I'm not the best qualified person to do
> this, because, indeed, I am _not_ a particularly strong, or even avid,
> chessplayer. I am just doing what I can, with what abilities I have,
> to illustrate other possible directions that don't seem to have been
> considered by those who are seeking to revitalize the game of Chess.
>
> Since there have been people who have expressed these complaints who
> are much stronger chessplayers than I am, I am hoping that they might
> draw inspiration from what I have done to come up with something much
> better than I have.
>
> John Savard




  
Date: 19 Oct 2008 09:26:21
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Oct 19, 7:04 am, "Chess One" <[email protected] > wrote:
> Quite what they think is missing and
> which motivates them to want to change the game is a path less travelled in
> these conversations.

I agree that this is often not addressed - and it needs to be
addressed before one can really discuss a proposal for an altered
Chess to 'solve' any problem.

So, I've addressed it.

The perceived problems with Chess are, I believe:

- Too much importance to memorized book openings. This doesn't just
mean that, psychologically, people attach too much value to memorizing
book openings - it means that memorizing book openings is genuinely
very effective, and, at the higher levels of chess, genuinely
legitimate and necessary.

- Too many draws, and too much unexciting play. And the idea is that
without players being expected to forget what Steinitz taught them -
or being throttled by really short time controls - we want chess games
to look like they did before Steinitz... yet, without giving up
anything in terms of the standard of play.

I think that many people are dissatisfied with Chess because it isn't
as exciting as it was in the classical era, but they're not willing to
give up a smidgen of the profundity and strategic depth of Chess to
fix it. Otherwise, switching to Shogi - for example - would have
solved the problem long ago. Or shorter time controls, or Pocket
Knight Chess, or Capablanca Chess, or a lot of things.

My thinking is that trying to solve either of these problems by
changing the board or the pieces - which is what people seem to do 99%
of the time - is flawed. If Capablanca Chess became the new standard,
the openings in Capablanca Chess would just be studied to the same
depth as those of regular Chess. The basic positional principles of
Steinitz are, to a great extent, universal principles that apply to
chess variants as well; one can change the rules to make a game more
tactically vigorous, but what you gain in tactics, you rob from
strategy, making the game less serious.

The first problem - well, Fischer Random or Chess 960 can solve it.
Maybe some people don't like a messy chessboard with an asymmetrical
initial arrangement, so I proposed my random variant chess idea as an
alternative.

The second problem - learning of _komidashi_ in Go, and how it
succeeded in invigorating a game affected by defensive play succeeding
too well, led me to propose a change in how chess games are scored
which might have similar effects. It doesn't change the board or the
pieces - but it does change the game, since it allows partial
victories other than checkmate to score points. (Computer chess
program designers will probably be hard put to work out what to do
with the 'contempt factor' for this variant.)

Now, it certainly IS valid to say that these two 'problems' aren't
really big enough problems to justify tampering with Chess - or,
alternatively, that they haven't been big enough for people to be
attracted to any of the innumerable alternatives that have been
proposed. Except for noting that Chess, currently, doesn't have the
widespread level of popularity that some in the Chess community might
*like*, I don't have any arguments against the position that changing
Chess isn't worth the trouble, or that Chess is just fine as it is. It
certainly has been a game that has attracted much interest for a long
time, and doubtless it will continue to do so. Given this track
record, improving it with a change, instead of wrecking it, _will_ be
difficult.

So I have no interest in trashing Chess according to FIDE. Instead, I
present my ideas as alternatives that are ready and available...
should a need someday be found.

John Savard


   
Date: 19 Oct 2008 16:43:05
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...

"Quadibloc" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> On Oct 19, 7:04 am, "Chess One" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> Quite what they think is missing and
>> which motivates them to want to change the game is a path less travelled
>> in
>> these conversations.
>
> I agree that this is often not addressed - and it needs to be
> addressed before one can really discuss a proposal for an altered
> Chess to 'solve' any problem.
>
> So, I've addressed it.
>
> The perceived problems with Chess are, I believe:

John, say your own view. As a strong player and chess teacher, everyone
wants to excuse their own performance by something or another - mostly by
ignoring the fact that to get better requires hard work. I think I indicated
I am not interested in these theorums without a voice - ie, whose perceived
problems?

Your writing lacks any pronouns - and as such you presume to speak for all -
which you may not do!

If what follows are your own views of chess, then are you asking anything or
simply complaining? Since I would have a different answer in each case.

When sub-1600 players complain about the game, I really wonder if they are
even into it sufficiently to understand what it is to play chess or to speak
of creativity or [whose?] problems with memorization? You maybe get beaten
too much by players who put more work into the game, and this is unlikeable!
That is, being beaten is, not the work. But I still don't know if this is
the case with you since you don't say how much you study per week, or the
ratio of your study to your playing.

I re-assert that if you want to play chess-like games, do not do so at the
expense of rubbishing chess unless you can say something about how seriously
you play the game. Otherwise you merely amuse yourself like a failed student
resents the difficulties of actually producing knowledge or creativity when
called for.

That's the reality of what it takes to get good and creative. How come in
about 50 messages now this sort of material is not referenced? Therefore, I
am sorry to say that I don't believe you. I do not mean it as an insult, but
I do mean it.

Phil Innes

>
> - Too much importance to memorized book openings. This doesn't just
> mean that, psychologically, people attach too much value to memorizing
> book openings - it means that memorizing book openings is genuinely
> very effective, and, at the higher levels of chess, genuinely
> legitimate and necessary.
>
> - Too many draws, and too much unexciting play. And the idea is that
> without players being expected to forget what Steinitz taught them -
> or being throttled by really short time controls - we want chess games
> to look like they did before Steinitz... yet, without giving up
> anything in terms of the standard of play.
>
> I think that many people are dissatisfied with Chess because it isn't
> as exciting as it was in the classical era, but they're not willing to
> give up a smidgen of the profundity and strategic depth of Chess to
> fix it. Otherwise, switching to Shogi - for example - would have
> solved the problem long ago. Or shorter time controls, or Pocket
> Knight Chess, or Capablanca Chess, or a lot of things.
>
> My thinking is that trying to solve either of these problems by
> changing the board or the pieces - which is what people seem to do 99%
> of the time - is flawed. If Capablanca Chess became the new standard,
> the openings in Capablanca Chess would just be studied to the same
> depth as those of regular Chess. The basic positional principles of
> Steinitz are, to a great extent, universal principles that apply to
> chess variants as well; one can change the rules to make a game more
> tactically vigorous, but what you gain in tactics, you rob from
> strategy, making the game less serious.
>
> The first problem - well, Fischer Random or Chess 960 can solve it.
> Maybe some people don't like a messy chessboard with an asymmetrical
> initial arrangement, so I proposed my random variant chess idea as an
> alternative.
>
> The second problem - learning of _komidashi_ in Go, and how it
> succeeded in invigorating a game affected by defensive play succeeding
> too well, led me to propose a change in how chess games are scored
> which might have similar effects. It doesn't change the board or the
> pieces - but it does change the game, since it allows partial
> victories other than checkmate to score points. (Computer chess
> program designers will probably be hard put to work out what to do
> with the 'contempt factor' for this variant.)
>
> Now, it certainly IS valid to say that these two 'problems' aren't
> really big enough problems to justify tampering with Chess - or,
> alternatively, that they haven't been big enough for people to be
> attracted to any of the innumerable alternatives that have been
> proposed. Except for noting that Chess, currently, doesn't have the
> widespread level of popularity that some in the Chess community might
> *like*, I don't have any arguments against the position that changing
> Chess isn't worth the trouble, or that Chess is just fine as it is. It
> certainly has been a game that has attracted much interest for a long
> time, and doubtless it will continue to do so. Given this track
> record, improving it with a change, instead of wrecking it, _will_ be
> difficult.
>
> So I have no interest in trashing Chess according to FIDE. Instead, I
> present my ideas as alternatives that are ready and available...
> should a need someday be found.
>
> John Savard




    
Date: 20 Oct 2008 07:49:38
From: M Winther
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
Den 2008-10-19 22:43:05 skrev Chess One <[email protected] >:

> ...
> When sub-1600 players complain about the game, I really wonder if they are
> even into it sufficiently to understand what it is to play chess or to speak
> of creativity or [whose?] problems with memorization? You maybe get beaten
> too much by players who put more work into the game, and this is unlikeable!
> That is, being beaten is, not the work. But I still don't know if this is
> the case with you since you don't say how much you study per week, or the
> ratio of your study to your playing.
>I re-assert that if you want to play chess-like games, do not do so at the
> expense of rubbishing chess unless you can say something about how seriously
> you play the game. Otherwise you merely amuse yourself like a failed student
> resents the difficulties of actually producing knowledge or creativity when
> called for.
> ....

Phil, this reasoning is absurd. What you are saying is that those
people who don't like Joseph Haydn and W.A. Mozart and have chosen to
listen to modern electronic music, have no right to draw such
conclusions because they haven't studied musical theory and delved
into the profoundness of Haydn's music.

A sub-1600 player is wholly capable to decide that the mathematical,
calculative, quality of chess is mechanical and unimaginative. Instead
he decides to join the Stratego club where enemy pieces are hidden.
This introduces a chance element while you don't know if the piece you
are confronting has a higher ranking. Stratego is a very popular game
among people who don't much like the emphasis of control, and tedium,
in modern chess. Stratego has a world championship and is especially
popular in Germany.
http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/stratagemo.htm

Mats



  
Date: 19 Oct 2008 08:59:54
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Oct 19, 7:13 am, "Chess One" <[email protected] > wrote:

> Can a bit of greed be fixed? You and I could tell people that cramming
> openings limits their potential at chess, but what they do about it is up to
> them. Most people want an easy route to success, even if the success remains
> a modest one. That is their choice.

I have _no_ faith in fixing people's behavior by preaching at them -
so I want to *modify the rules* so that the right behavior is driven,
"as if by an invisible hand", by the efforts of the players to win as
often as possible.

John Savard


   
Date: 19 Oct 2008 16:33:20
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...

"Quadibloc" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> On Oct 19, 7:13 am, "Chess One" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> Can a bit of greed be fixed? You and I could tell people that cramming
>> openings limits their potential at chess, but what they do about it is up
>> to
>> them. Most people want an easy route to success, even if the success
>> remains
>> a modest one. That is their choice.
>
> I have _no_ faith in fixing people's behavior by preaching at them -
> so I want to *modify the rules* so that the right

oh, please...!

> behavior is driven,

i do hope you are not saying you are not preaching, then immediately say
what is right for others!

[pardon me, election season here in usa, and the air is pretty thick with
such sophisticated material]

> "as if by an invisible hand", by the efforts of the players to win as
> often as possible.

If people take the cheapest route to a bit of success, do they /really/
think this sustains long-term benefits? It seems to me to be their choice
for one or the other, but what has that to do with changing the rules?

That is a 'moving the goalposts' argument.

Phil Innes

> John Savard




    
Date: 20 Oct 2008 04:01:42
From: John Savard
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Sun, 19 Oct 2008 16:33:20 -0400, "Chess One" <[email protected] >
wrote, in part:

>If people take the cheapest route to a bit of success, do they /really/
>think this sustains long-term benefits? It seems to me to be their choice
>for one or the other, but what has that to do with changing the rules?
>
>That is a 'moving the goalposts' argument.

No, I wasn't arguing that we should change Chess to protect beginning
students from themselves. But Bobby Fischer, who was a strong player,
invented Fischer Random Chess. So I think that there is a widely shared
feeling that, although Grandmasters certainly *can* afford to spend a
lot of time studying book openings - at their level, it makes sense -
that Chess would somehow be a more valid contest if this element were
absent, and it was a contest only of tactical and strategic ability.

Obviously, the world's Grandmasters won't give up the study of openings,
if they need that study to win, just because we ask them to, even if we
ask nicely.

Does that mean that, because there is this "flaw" in Chess, we should
immediately drop it and replace it with Fischer Random Chess?

No. Unless people want to do that. Even if the sentiment _is_ widely
shared that the importance of book openings is a problem, though, most
Chessplayers, I think, view Chess960 as a cure that is worse than the
disease.

I think that many people do feel there are too many draws these days,
and that there isn't enough exciting play at the highest levels of
Chess. But few chessplayers are prepared to change Chess drastically to
solve this problem - and few of the proposed 'solutions' are likely to
help matters anyways.

Because of drops, Shogi is a game with very few draws, but it is not
considered as profound as Chess, and, as I've noted, the depth of Chess
is one thing that chessplayers are, quite rightly, not prepared to
surrender. So, again, cures are available, but they're worse than the
disease.

Those who propose variants to 'fix' chess may well be dreaming an
impossible dream - _since_ the kind of Chess they're looking for is what
was played before Steinitz, before Chess was well understood, it may be
inherently impossible to obtain that kind of play in the long term from
a game that repays close study and examination the way Chess does. I
would like the question of 'improving' Chess to be investigated
_seriously_, so that questions like that could be answered.

If an improvement on Chess _were_ possible, that would be wonderful. If
it isn't, wouldn't it be nice to have a refutation handy so that we
could point it out to those who come up with their pet variation as a
cure-all?

John Savard
http://www.quadibloc.com/index.html


  
Date: 18 Oct 2008 10:33:09
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Oct 18, 9:47 am, "Chess One" <[email protected] > wrote:

> The /average/ US rated adult player is about 1550 USCF [~1490 Elo] and have
> absolutely no need to open up standard chess to gain complexity.

This assumes that Chess is only for playing. And, furthermore, only
for playing with people of one's own strength.

Here is a problem with Chess that I think is widely perceived.

Because of the possibility of being caught out by a well-known trap in
established opening play, beginning chess players will be tempted to
spend too much time memorizing opening lines, when they should still
be mainly concentrating on developing their tactical abilities.

There is a perception, justified or not, that a contest of tactical
skill and strategic cunning is more interesting than one in which
memorization of openings plays a large role.

Can this be fixed without losing any of the other things that make
Chess what it is?

Many Chess variants are just created because it would be fun to see
what would happen on a hexagonal board, or a three-dimensional board,
or with a few extra pieces.

While many chess variants have been proclaimed as cure-alls for Chess,
and this is silly, Chess has problems that are widely perceived. There
is the reliance on opening book knowledge, as noted. The large number
of draws is another. Examining if they can be addressed is legitimate,
even if Pocket Capablanca Chess, for example, isn't the solution.

Pocket Knight Chess and many other variants are suitable as a casual
diversion for chessplayers. Is it possible to devise a game that could
withstand the kind of intense serious study that normal Chess has
received, and embody both the virtues of Chess as it is, and Chess as
it was, before it was as well understood?

John Savard


   
Date: 19 Oct 2008 09:13:58
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...

"Quadibloc" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> On Oct 18, 9:47 am, "Chess One" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> The /average/ US rated adult player is about 1550 USCF [~1490 Elo] and
>> have
>> absolutely no need to open up standard chess to gain complexity.
>
> This assumes that Chess is only for playing.

And this probably fixes the issue - in terms of playing the game, there are
no apparent problems with exhaution of resources, or lack of creative
possibilty.

Perhaps it is those who do not play who want to change the game. For sure -
what I read in these threads seem to be the opinions of non-players - people
who do not admit what it is for them. It is usually 'for others' or 'for
theory' or... pfft!

> And, furthermore, only
> for playing with people of one's own strength.
>
> Here is a problem with Chess that I think is widely perceived.
>
> Because of the possibility of being caught out by a well-known trap in
> established opening play, beginning chess players will be tempted to
> spend too much time memorizing opening lines, when they should still
> be mainly concentrating on developing their tactical abilities.
>
> There is a perception, justified or not, that a contest of tactical
> skill and strategic cunning is more interesting than one in which
> memorization of openings plays a large role.

Evidently chess is a combination of both. The 'opening trap' /is/ a tactical
shot, no? Beginners are mostly encouraged by their own greed. Rote-learning
openings /do/ give them an advantage in playinig which is palpable.

But it does not provide much momentum, and is the sort of advantage that
must be maintained by very high levels of research. That, indeed, is why so
many players get stuck at or before 1500.

> Can this be fixed without losing any of the other things that make
> Chess what it is?

Can a bit of greed be fixed? You and I could tell people that cramming
openings limits their potential at chess, but what they do about it is up to
them. Most people want an easy route to success, even if the success remains
a modest one. That is their choice.

Phil Innes

> Many Chess variants are just created because it would be fun to see
> what would happen on a hexagonal board, or a three-dimensional board,
> or with a few extra pieces.
>
> While many chess variants have been proclaimed as cure-alls for Chess,
> and this is silly, Chess has problems that are widely perceived. There
> is the reliance on opening book knowledge, as noted. The large number
> of draws is another. Examining if they can be addressed is legitimate,
> even if Pocket Capablanca Chess, for example, isn't the solution.
>
> Pocket Knight Chess and many other variants are suitable as a casual
> diversion for chessplayers. Is it possible to devise a game that could
> withstand the kind of intense serious study that normal Chess has
> received, and embody both the virtues of Chess as it is, and Chess as
> it was, before it was as well understood?
>
> John Savard




    
Date: 19 Oct 2008 16:32:01
From: M Winther
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
Den 2008-10-19 15:13:58 skrev Chess One <[email protected] >:

> ...
> Perhaps it is those who do not play who want to change the game. For sure -
> what I read in these threads seem to be the opinions of non-players - people
> who do not admit what it is for them. It is usually 'for others' or 'for
> theory' or... pfft!
> ...

It is not correct to say that chess variant enthusiast do not play chess.
The world championship in Circular Chess is arranged every year at Lincoln
Castle.

I, for one, am always playing standard chess, on the subway and when out
for a walk, etc. I play blindfold against my handheld chess computer.

We arrange email-tournaments where we vote for the variants that are going to
partake, and play using the graphical email interface on Play.Chessvariants.org .

People are always playing Gothic Chess on http://www.gothicchess.com/
There are several other big board variants, as well, with their own sites.

So your conclusion is faulty.

Mats







     
Date: 19 Oct 2008 16:28:37
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...

"M Winther" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Den 2008-10-19 15:13:58 skrev Chess One <[email protected]>:
>
>> ...
>> Perhaps it is those who do not play who want to change the game. For
>> sure -
>> what I read in these threads seem to be the opinions of non-players -
>> people
>> who do not admit what it is for them. It is usually 'for others' or 'for
>> theory' or... pfft!
>> ...
>
> It is not correct to say that chess variant enthusiast do not play chess.

That's true. Its also true that chess variant enthusiasts say there is
something amiss with chess, and talk as if they represent a substantial
constituency of players and that is why I wrote the paragraph to which you
respond. Phil Innes

> The world championship in Circular Chess is arranged every year at Lincoln
> Castle.
>
> I, for one, am always playing standard chess, on the subway and when out
> for a walk, etc. I play blindfold against my handheld chess computer.
>
> We arrange email-tournaments where we vote for the variants that are going
> to
> partake, and play using the graphical email interface on
> Play.Chessvariants.org .
>
> People are always playing Gothic Chess on http://www.gothicchess.com/
> There are several other big board variants, as well, with their own sites.
>
> So your conclusion is faulty.
>
> Mats
>
>
>
>
>




      
Date: 20 Oct 2008 07:17:26
From: M Winther
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
Den 2008-10-19 22:28:37 skrev Chess One <[email protected] >:

>> It is not correct to say that chess variant enthusiast do not play chess.
>That's true. Its also true that chess variant enthusiasts say there is
> something amiss with chess, and talk as if they represent a substantial
> constituency of players and that is why I wrote the paragraph to which you
> respond. Phil Innes


Phil, actually, there is something amiss with all games. There is no such
thing as a perfect game. So it's time to give over this childhood belief in
chess, which is almost religious, and begin to appreciate the enormous
plethora of boardgames, instead.

The childhood belief in chess is a very common form of naivete, and
it's always tempting to challenge it. It's like teasing little sunday school
children with their rosy belief. There are checkers players that are equally
religious. But they were forced to accept the brutal results of the machine.

Mats


  
Date: 18 Oct 2008 08:41:45
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Oct 17, 3:11 pm, "Chess One" <[email protected] > wrote:
> This stalling of progress, creativity and enjoyment is not
> the fault of the game, but of the player. Making a chess-like game may
> improve tactical possibilities, and that is one aspect of the game which is
> creative, but at the same time, it abandons creative strategy - or overall
> evolution of one's play.

It is certainly the player's fault that he cannot beat Anand.

Let a hundred ponds bloom, that we may all be big frogs?

But is it objectively proven that this is the only reason anyone has
for suggesting changes to the game of Chess?

> Is even the 'advantage' of the first move objectively proven? From general
> results we see that White wins more often, but is that, as Adorjan asks,
> simply our expectation as White and Black? I challenge that the initiative
> you gain by the first move is not also a weakness - since in any opening,
> who is really chosing the future of the game's progress, black or white.
> Almost all openings are determined by Black, and that is black's initiative!
> And black will likely understand his game better than you, yours.

Chess hasn't been solved. However, from experience with other games
that have been solved, it is reasonable to believe that it will turn
out to be either a draw when played rationally, or a win for White.
Since the former is more likely, you may be right that there is no
'real' advantage to White in chess.

But the idea that maybe Black has the advantage, and it's all in our
minds is one I reject.

It is not as if the chess opening was something that was poorly
understood. What White potentially has is one more developed piece
than Black for the entire beginning period of the game, which is an
advantage in power that can be used to limit Black's options and
development. Many Black opening strategies involve *sacrificing a
Pawn* to rectify this imbalance, and clearly a Pawn, as material, is
objectively valuable.

In Chess, the players take turn. Each player reveals his move as the
result of making it, and the other player's next move is made with
this knowledge. So throughout the game, both players know all previous
moves; but when it is Black's turn, an extra one of those previous
moves was White's.

But, as I said, White may have no 'real' advantage, because Chess may
be a draw once it is fully solved.

Steinitz changed Chess from a game where, because positional play was
poorly understood, games were unpredictable, to one where competent
players can have greater control. This is why there are so many draws
nowadays.

Maybe there is truth in the accusation that people wanting to change
Chess are motivated by envy of stronger players, but not quite in the
way it sounds - not in a way that discredits the effort.

Let's suppose Chess was changed somehow, perhaps by making it an
enormously more complicated game that no mind could really grasp.

One consequence of this would be that computer chess players would lag
behind the best human players, the way they do in Go.

Another would be that if a mere duffer like myself - never mind a
player like Mats Winther with a rating of over 2100 - were to play a
100-game match versus Anand, although he would decisively defeat me, I
would actually do better than a draw in one game - by sheer luck, yet
without introducing dice or cards to the game. The game is just so
complicated that combinations just pop out of nowhere.

How would this be a good thing?

For one thing, people learning the game would get more positive
reinforcement.

For another, competition between the top players would be more
exciting, as there would be lots of wins and losses, but few draws.

If the game isn't intellectually demanding enough, though, that won't
help, because it won't be important and respected; people won't pay
attention to its competitive play. So I insist that Chess remain
something to be taken seriously, even if it is changed to become more
exciting.

And the role of memorized opening knowledge in Chess does badly need
to be diminished.

John Savard


   
Date: 19 Oct 2008 09:04:59
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...

"Quadibloc" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> On Oct 17, 3:11 pm, "Chess One" <[email protected]> wrote:

>> Is even the 'advantage' of the first move objectively proven? From
>> general
>> results we see that White wins more often, but is that, as Adorjan asks,
>> simply our expectation as White and Black? I challenge that the
>> initiative
>> you gain by the first move is not also a weakness - since in any opening,
>> who is really chosing the future of the game's progress, black or white.
>> Almost all openings are determined by Black, and that is black's
>> initiative!
>> And black will likely understand his game better than you, yours.
>
> Chess hasn't been solved. However, from experience with other games
> that have been solved, it is reasonable to believe that it will turn
> out to be either a draw when played rationally, or a win for White.

Here at least is something for everyone to argue about - the first of all
with unsolved games, is to even decide the basis of the decision. Why do we
say 'reasonable' to think? What are we reasoning on?

Why not posit that black will win? After all, White must create the first
weakness ;)

In some solved games it is the second play who forces the result.

> Since the former is more likely, you may be right that there is no
> 'real' advantage to White in chess.

The trouble is that we already have 2 subjects here, one of which is theory,
and the other is a set of terms we use to describe playing chess.

For example, what is an advantage which is also not a disadvantage? If White
has the initiative for 12 moves, does that mean at move 13 it then passes to
black, since the cost of maintaining that initiative cannot be supported
without giving up material?

Chess theory has hovered around this topic since the hyper-moderns; for
White to achieve the big center and maintain the initiative means that
eventually his position becomes rigid, and its fixed nature can then be
stressed when White needs to change from 'attacking' space to defending the
gained space.

> But the idea that maybe Black has the advantage, and it's all in our
> minds is one I reject.

That is not exactly Adorjan's proposal - he says we are programmed by all
chess culture to consider White's 'advantage', and to literally take White's
perspective.

All normal chess diagrams seat you behind the White pieces, no? White at the
bottom, and Black at the top. Adorjan says that Black's position and chances
are simply less appreciated and studied by players than is White's since
White is told that he has the initiative and the advantage at the start of
the game - and he should preserve it, or - as some correspondent wrote here
recently, a strong player too - chess become uncreative for him because he
could /not/ preserve it!

While we may think the same as Adorjan, of differ with him, what we can't do
is argue very much about it, since very few of us give Black equal
attention - and therefore we are only saying what we 'think' is true, not
what is the result of our experience.

> It is not as if the chess opening was something that was poorly
> understood. What White potentially has is one more developed piece
> than Black for the entire beginning period of the game, which is an
> advantage in power that can be used to limit Black's options and
> development. Many Black opening strategies involve *sacrificing a
> Pawn* to rectify this imbalance, and clearly a Pawn, as material, is
> objectively valuable.

Chess is a sequential game played over time - and what White has is an
/initial/ advantage which may not be sustainable after so many moves, and in
fact, by excercising the initiative fully, may result in gained space at the
expense of security - (either black or white can gambit to seize the
initiative beyond the sustained period of advantage) - where a
counter-attack is /inevitable/ and which then grants Black the initiative
for 'x' moves.

> In Chess, the players take turn. Each player reveals his move as the
> result of making it, and the other player's next move is made with
> this knowledge. So throughout the game, both players know all previous
> moves; but when it is Black's turn, an extra one of those previous
> moves was White's.
>
> But, as I said, White may have no 'real' advantage, because Chess may
> be a draw once it is fully solved.

'Solved' is an undefined term. In discussion here 6 months ago the subject
of Finite and Infinite Games arose - which is chess? 'Theoretically' chess
is a finite game, but has some features of infinite games - but the very
term 'finite' is an odd one to use if (a) the knowledge to solve the game
cannot be acquired in a person's 'finite' life-time, and (b) such knowledge
if solved otherwise cannot be transferred.

In these cases it makes no difference if the game is 'solved' on people's
actual play [quite apart from 'solved' being able to be verified].

When the theory of something is at such great distance from the practice of
something, then whatever theory says will not little or no effect on
practice.

Since Gallileo we know that the Sun does not go around the earth, but even
astro-physicists say every morning, 'the sun rose'. Objectively we know the
Earth's rotation successively presents the stationary Sun [in relation ot
the Earth], and yet what is subjective is also true, and that the Sun does
not just 'apparently' rise, it actually does. While astrophysics needs
Heliocentric theory, we do not stand on the Sun which is an impossibility,
but on the Earth so we take the only perspective that is actually possible
for us - and that is not the theoretical one of heliocentric reason, which
for almost all practical extent has not the slightest relevance to any human
being's ordinary life!

> Steinitz changed Chess from a game where, because positional play was
> poorly understood, games were unpredictable, to one where competent
> players can have greater control. This is why there are so many draws
> nowadays.

Back in the chess world we are still confused because of such [true]
statements as the one you make CONFLICT with 'White has the initiative
THEREFORE White has the advantage.' How can there be advantage aif there are
so many draws? Is it true that White wins more often because while white has
the initiative first, black does not play well and to anticipate the
initiative black will have in 'x' moves?

Better to say that the initiative passes back and forth between the players,
and the player withOUT the initiative has a CURRENT DISadvantage?


> Maybe there is truth in the accusation that people wanting to change
> Chess are motivated by envy of stronger players, but not quite in the
> way it sounds - not in a way that discredits the effort.
>
> Let's suppose Chess was changed somehow, perhaps by making it an
> enormously more complicated game that no mind could really grasp.

Let's say it already is this way, even for the strongest players [after all,
it is not solved!] But let's also stop saying that since not suppose that
the people who want to make chess more complex have that as a motive. Once
again, its simply not true that any master player or above has exhausted the
game's potential. There may be other motive for changing games, but not this
one, and the issue then is not changing chess, but the player's need to do
somthing other than play chess.

> One consequence of this would be that computer chess players would lag
> behind the best human players, the way they do in Go.
>
> Another would be that if a mere duffer like myself - never mind a
> player like Mats Winther with a rating of over 2100 - were to play a
> 100-game match versus Anand, although he would decisively defeat me, I
> would actually do better than a draw in one game - by sheer luck, yet
> without introducing dice or cards to the game. The game is just so
> complicated that combinations just pop out of nowhere.
>
> How would this be a good thing?
>
> For one thing, people learning the game would get more positive
> reinforcement.

People play chess because they want to fight! ;)
Winning or losing comes second.

These hypotheticals are really nothing that will ever happen. Mats will not
play Anand 100 games, and you will not play Mats 100 games. Similarly, your
estimate of your chances are also wrong - since you can only use ELO to
determine likely results against a POOL of players sufficiently large and
varied in rating to your own.

Match-chess is not nearly this predictable. Perhaps the most evident example
o f this was Fischer's approach to the W CH - those huge results were so
statistically weird based on his rating : opponents rating.

If you want to encourage newcomers, play chess absolutely normally so that
the game is unchanged, but handicap the time for each player.

> For another, competition between the top players would be more
> exciting, as there would be lots of wins and losses, but few draws.
>
> If the game isn't intellectually demanding enough, though, that won't
> help, because it won't be important and respected; people won't pay
> attention to its competitive play. So I insist that Chess remain
> something to be taken seriously, even if it is changed to become more
> exciting.
>
> And the role of memorized opening knowledge in Chess does badly need
> to be diminished.

Or better understood! It is only our expectation of what should happen,
which then fails to happen, which causes dissapointment - perhaps these
expectations are false, or insufficiently understood?

For example, against your opening
1. e4 d4 or c4 I open
1. ...Nc6.
Now, without hitting the books, do you know how to proceed for even half a
dozen moves?

Chess already seems sufficiently complex and rich in possibilities that it
does not need to be changed any more than we need to stop saying, 'Look! The
Sun rises.'

What is necessary in chess is an evolution of our sense of its prospects,
not an abandoned classicism which is hardly examined by all players, and not
exhaustible by any players. It is merely unfortunate that people argue 'for
others' about a need to change chess - whether the others are spectators, or
very strong players, or newcomers. Quite what they think is missing and
which motivates them to want to change the game is a path less travelled in
these conversations.

Cordially, Phil Innes


> John Savard




    
Date: 19 Oct 2008 18:13:04
From: John Savard
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Sun, 19 Oct 2008 09:04:59 -0400, "Chess One" <[email protected] >
wrote, in part:

>These hypotheticals are really nothing that will ever happen. Mats will not
>play Anand 100 games, and you will not play Mats 100 games. Similarly, your
>estimate of your chances are also wrong - since you can only use ELO to
>determine likely results against a POOL of players sufficiently large and
>varied in rating to your own.

I think you've missed the point I was making.

A difference in ELO ratings indicates the likelihood of beating another
player when playing chess with him, but, of course, subject to caveats
and approximations. Obviously, though, it says nothing of Mats' chances
of beating Anand if they were playing 100 games of *poker* or
*backgammon*.

So it is possible, I think to devise a game such that if one used the
Elo system to rank players, one would have to determine and publish the
ratings in *tenths* of a point to rank them with an equal amount of
detail - because the results are less quickly determined by skill.

This would have the inconvenience of making matches and tournaments
longer to be valid, so it is not desirable in all ways - but to move a
little ways in that direction to reduce the draw problem (and White
almost always wins would be basically the same problem with a different
symptom) is desirable.

John Savard
http://www.quadibloc.com/index.html


  
Date: 17 Oct 2008 06:42:18
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
On Oct 16, 11:46 pm, "M Winther" <[email protected] > wrote:

> Working with chess is like trying to press juice out of a wizened
> orange. The only sane attitude is to relate to chess as a woodchopper.
> Study standard theory so you get a sound position, and sit down at the
> board and practice calculation. Don't try to be creative, you get too
> little out of any effort. Concentrate, instead, on capitalizing on the
> opponents' mistakes. Make mediocre moves at a good tempo. The
> latter sentence was Spassky's recommendation, when he finally had
> lost his faith in the creative properties of chess.

Since the chess variants usually proposed don't take the game in the
direction of Chinese Chess, they at best tend to make the game shorter
by adding powerful pieces (the way Capablanca Chess did) without
fundamentally changing the fact that Steinitz' way to play chess is
the winning way.

If changing the pieces and the board won't be accepted, and is likely
not to address the issue, at least unless one goes all the way to
Chinese Chess, then what?

This is why I had my Dynamic Scoring idea. In Go, a phase where
careful defensive play led to the first player always winning was
surmounted by giving the second player a handicap, called _komidashi_.
This forced the first player to take risks in order to win, opening up
the position, leading to exciting battles between the two players.

The handicap included an odd 1/2 stone, so that draws could only take
place by agreement.

Chess games aren't scored on points - you win, lose, or draw; there
are only points for matches and tournaments composed of many games -
so it wasn't immediately clear how this could be adapted to Chess. And
I don't know an exact value for White's first move advantage in Chess
in a form I could apply to a handicap of some kind.

A rule that White couldn't make a pawn-two move as his first move
wouldn't achieve the desired result; we know *that* because there are
sound openings for White that don't involve a pawn-two on move one; it
would just restrict the commonly used openings to no good purpose.

So I came up with a scheme to keep the chessboard and moves the same,
but motivate more energetic play by both sides. Let stalemate, bare
king, and *even* perpetual check count as _partial_ wins. Keep 1 point
for a win, and 1/2 - 1/2 for a draw, but give black greater partial
credit than white for a partial win - especially the smallest partial
wins.

So black is highly motivated to try for at least a little win, and
white is highly motivated to move the game in the direction of a more
decisive result. White can play defensively enough to deny black the
opportunity of checkmate, but it will be pretty hard to play a game
without black at least getting an opportunity to inflict perpetual
check.

The pieces, the board, and the moves don't change, but what you have
to *do* with them changes.

John Savard


  
Date: 16 Oct 2008 18:38:53
From: M Winther
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
Den 2008-10-16 17:30:34 skrev Offramp <[email protected] >:

> On Oct 16, 8:05 am, "M Winther" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> The fact that more and more people are thinking about making changes
>> in the chess rules is a sign that people are experiencing the game as
>> less exciting today, compared with the seventies.
>
> No one is making any changes.
> Your timbre has become tiresome.
>


For starters, certain grandmasters want to wholly move over to
rapid chess, to make the game less tedious. Korchnoi enjoys
playing Janus Chess, and now Seirawan Chess is on the carpet.
Many strong players devote themselves to Gothic Chess.
Many chessplayers have gone over to Shogi. Many people
think Fide-Chess is becoming tedious. But I belong to those who
think it can be retained, provided that we introduce an alternative
variant.

Mats


   
Date: 16 Oct 2008 13:13:45
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...

"M Winther" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Den 2008-10-16 17:30:34 skrev Offramp <[email protected]>:
>
>> On Oct 16, 8:05 am, "M Winther" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>>> The fact that more and more people are thinking about making changes
>>> in the chess rules is a sign that people are experiencing the game as
>>> less exciting today, compared with the seventies.
>>
>> No one is making any changes.
>> Your timbre has become tiresome.
>>
>
>
> For starters, certain grandmasters want to wholly move over to
> rapid chess, to make the game less tedious. Korchnoi enjoys
> playing Janus Chess, and now Seirawan Chess is on the carpet.
> Many strong players devote themselves to Gothic Chess.
> Many chessplayers have gone over to Shogi. Many people
> think Fide-Chess is becoming tedious.

The thing is, Mats, these metaphysical [hypothetical?] people are an unknown
proportion of all people who play chess. Is it 3 dozen GMs who are bored?
Are 3,000 chess players bored with them? That is a drop in the chessic
ocean.

I see you wrote in response to [Dave Richerby?]

"It indicates that if chess is going to compete against the allurement of
everything else that captivates young people today, then one cannot
demand that they sit before the computer for days on end to learn
theory in order to be able to be competitive. It must be more creative
and less tedious, because we live in an era when people want to
see results faster. The collective psychology is undergoing change,
and one must adapt to that."

Which is fine current sociology, and yet mainstream things crash and often
destroy the things they love. Notable Switzerland and France didn't go in
for new and exciting variations on the mortgage, and their institution
survive.

If some unknown amount of people find chess boring, then they could for the
while explore fantastic and complex other options, and if they ever get
bored with that in all its manifestations, there will still be classic
chess.

This morning I had a half-hour discussion with another master player and he
too thought that people [including himself] sought diversion on encountering
difficulty. We then had a less polite conversation on players who seem to
know everything about chess, and say they are bored by it, whereas, since we
are both a bit stronger, each of us knows less and less as time reveals the
vast scope of the game.

So if you argue without stating who you represent as being bored, then this
is a possible self-conceit or delusion, and may not represent anyone
different than yourself? What it certainly doesn't do is offer yourself a
challenge to really engage the game, and tell us afterwards if that compares
with anything else there is to explore.

> But I belong to those who
> think it can be retained, provided that we introduce an alternative
> variant.

In the past 20 years we have introduced China, which I ask you to consider
has already got a massive amount of western chess players in it, despite and
far beyond traditional oriental games.

Cordially, Phil Innes
> Mats




    
Date: 17 Oct 2008 07:46:56
From: M Winther
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
Den 2008-10-16 19:13:45 skrev Chess One <[email protected] >:

>
> "M Winther" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>> Den 2008-10-16 17:30:34 skrev Offramp <[email protected]>:
>>
>>> On Oct 16, 8:05 am, "M Winther" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>>
>>>> The fact that more and more people are thinking about making changes
>>>> in the chess rules is a sign that people are experiencing the game as
>>>> less exciting today, compared with the seventies.
>>>
>>> No one is making any changes.
>>> Your timbre has become tiresome.
>>>
>>
>>
>> For starters, certain grandmasters want to wholly move over to
>> rapid chess, to make the game less tedious. Korchnoi enjoys
>> playing Janus Chess, and now Seirawan Chess is on the carpet.
>> Many strong players devote themselves to Gothic Chess.
>> Many chessplayers have gone over to Shogi. Many people
>> think Fide-Chess is becoming tedious.
>
> The thing is, Mats, these metaphysical [hypothetical?] people are an unknown
> proportion of all people who play chess. Is it 3 dozen GMs who are bored?
> Are 3,000 chess players bored with them? That is a drop in the chessic
> ocean.
>
> I see you wrote in response to [Dave Richerby?]
>
> "It indicates that if chess is going to compete against the allurement of
> everything else that captivates young people today, then one cannot
> demand that they sit before the computer for days on end to learn
> theory in order to be able to be competitive. It must be more creative
> and less tedious, because we live in an era when people want to
> see results faster. The collective psychology is undergoing change,
> and one must adapt to that."
>
> Which is fine current sociology, and yet mainstream things crash and often
> destroy the things they love. Notable Switzerland and France didn't go in
> for new and exciting variations on the mortgage, and their institution
> survive.
>
> If some unknown amount of people find chess boring, then they could for the
> while explore fantastic and complex other options, and if they ever get
> bored with that in all its manifestations, there will still be classic
> chess.
>
> This morning I had a half-hour discussion with another master player and he
> too thought that people [including himself] sought diversion on encountering
> difficulty. We then had a less polite conversation on players who seem to
> know everything about chess, and say they are bored by it, whereas, since we
> are both a bit stronger, each of us knows less and less as time reveals the
> vast scope of the game.
>
> So if you argue without stating who you represent as being bored, then this
> is a possible self-conceit or delusion, and may not represent anyone
> different than yourself? What it certainly doesn't do is offer yourself a
> challenge to really engage the game, and tell us afterwards if that compares
> with anything else there is to explore.
>
>> But I belong to those who
>> think it can be retained, provided that we introduce an alternative
>> variant.
>
> In the past 20 years we have introduced China, which I ask you to consider
> has already got a massive amount of western chess players in it, despite and
> far beyond traditional oriental games.
>
> Cordially, Phil Innes
>> Mats
>
>
>

I am a fairly mediocre chess player. When I was active I drew as black
against GM Markovic once, in a full time game. (At most I had a rating
of 2173, which, unlike US rating, mirrors Elo strength.) But I am
strong enough to appreciate all the niceties in all the phases of the
game.

Nevertheless, chess has always frustrated my attempts at being
creative, in terms of clever strategical plans, tactical ideas,
opening innovation, etc. Year after year I have tried to be creative
although the nature of chess promotes waiting and maneuvering,
calculating variations, and waiting for the opponent to make a
mistake. In my experience, dull and uncreative players, who just move
pieces around, but calculate with exactitude, have a great advantage.
Hour upon hour of woodchopping, moving pieces around, mechanically
making practical standard moves, completely lacking in ideational
creativity -- this is the type of player that the chess goddess Caissa
elevates.

Compare with Chinese Chess. The variant tree expands much faster in
XiangQi, and tactical creativity is necessary from the first move. You
cannot survive if you aren't continually creative and always ready to
present a clever counter-attack or tactical trap. There is no such
thing as mechanical play in Chinese Chess. Of course, chess has
presented much creativity in historical times, e.g. the fantastic
achievements of Spassky. But those days are over now, with theory
development and the computers.

For instance, I would wish to be able to make any first move, like
1.b3, or whatever, and maintain a tactical or strategical initiative.
This is possible in Chinese Chess. In Fide-chess, however, I must
follow the theory in the Sicilian until the umpteenth move, in order
to avoid positional equalization.

Working with chess is like trying to press juice out of a wizened
orange. The only sane attitude is to relate to chess as a woodchopper.
Study standard theory so you get a sound position, and sit down at the
board and practice calculation. Don't try to be creative, you get too
little out of any effort. Concentrate, instead, on capitalizing on the
opponents' mistakes. Make mediocre moves at a good tempo. The
latter sentence was Spassky's recommendation, when he finally had
lost his faith in the creative properties of chess.

Mats


     
Date: 17 Oct 2008 17:11:50
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...

"M Winther" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]


<... >

> I am a fairly mediocre chess player. When I was active I drew as black
> against GM Markovic once, in a full time game. (At most I had a rating
> of 2173, which, unlike US rating, mirrors Elo strength.) But I am
> strong enough to appreciate all the niceties in all the phases of the
> game.

Surely

> Nevertheless, chess has always frustrated my attempts at being
> creative, in terms of clever strategical plans, tactical ideas,
> opening innovation, etc. Year after year I have tried to be creative
> although the nature of chess promotes waiting and maneuvering,
> calculating variations, and waiting for the opponent to make a
> mistake.

Shall I nominate this point as a 'cusp'?

> In my experience, dull and uncreative players, who just move
> pieces around, but calculate with exactitude, have a great advantage.

Laugh, yes.

> Hour upon hour of woodchopping, moving pieces around, mechanically
> making practical standard moves, completely lacking in ideational
> creativity -- this is the type of player that the chess goddess Caissa
> elevates.

So it would seem. The issue is whether you proceed past your 'cusp' point,
so that you actually direct the game, or if the energy required to do so is
frustrated by so many woodpushers. I remember when Viktor Korchnoi said he
was tired of figuring out how to beat masters.


> Compare with Chinese Chess. The variant tree expands much faster in
> XiangQi, and tactical creativity is necessary from the first move. You
> cannot survive if you aren't continually creative and always ready to
> present a clever counter-attack or tactical trap. There is no such
> thing as mechanical play in Chinese Chess. Of course, chess has
> presented much creativity in historical times, e.g. the fantastic
> achievements of Spassky. But those days are over now, with theory
> development and the computers.

But so soon to abstractions about computers and Spassky? I think it is
unnecessary to play either of them in order to be creative at chess - and so
we part company without further understanding of each other's point.

All I wish to represent to you is that while you may [or may not!] be
frustrated at chess creativity, stating that chess is dead or boring, or
some such thing is not any general condition. Perhaps other games provide
better creative outlets [as you have expressed above in terms of tactical
possibilities] but almost all chess players have not exhausted anything to
do with the game. They are perhaps frustrated that they cannot progress
further, or discover the font of creativity, but this is the natural cusp
for any game or sport, or interactive competition.

My 'argument' with you is that this situation is not resolved by making a
chess-like game. This stalling of progress, creativity and enjoyment is not
the fault of the game, but of the player. Making a chess-like game may
improve tactical possibilities, and that is one aspect of the game which is
creative, but at the same time, it abandons creative strategy - or overall
evolution of one's play.

Tso! The argumement is not about comparitive creativity between games - the
argument I make with you is saying that chess is incapable of such
creativity and therefore needs to be changed.

> For instance, I would wish to be able to make any first move, like
> 1.b3, or whatever, and maintain a tactical or strategical initiative.

Is even the 'advantage' of the first move objectively proven? From general
results we see that White wins more often, but is that, as Adorjan asks,
simply our expectation as White and Black? I challenge that the initiative
you gain by the first move is not also a weakness - since in any opening,
who is really chosing the future of the game's progress, black or white.
Almost all openings are determined by Black, and that is black's initiative!
And black will likely understand his game better than you, yours.

The balancing factor to White's early initiative is the path that Black
choses to deal with it, of which black will likely have more knowledge.
Interestingly, this day, Black scored first in Kramnik Anand.

> This is possible in Chinese Chess. In Fide-chess, however, I must
> follow the theory in the Sicilian until the umpteenth move, in order
> to avoid positional equalization.

I play both sides of the Sicilian. In the Pelikan I do well since opponents
don't know as much as I with Black. With White, I like a4 when the Kt is
still at b5 - no sub-master knows what to do about that either. So, I think
you cannot speak so generally about chess when you only represent less than
0.1% of players.

Besides, the position /is/ equal ! [I say that for Adorjan].

> Working with chess is like trying to press juice out of a wizened
> orange. The only sane attitude is to relate to chess as a woodchopper.
> Study standard theory so you get a sound position, and sit down at the
> board and practice calculation. Don't try to be creative, you get too
> little out of any effort.

But this is too much! At short time controls it is as you say, but with
enough time then the effort provides the results - at least, this is my
experience with chess.

> Concentrate, instead, on capitalizing on the
> opponents' mistakes. Make mediocre moves at a good tempo. The
> latter sentence was Spassky's recommendation, when he finally had
> lost his faith in the creative properties of chess.

Well - when he, like Fischer, stopped playing he said such things. I think
they are both refuted by subsequent players, and this pair never put their
ideas to the test that way. They both lost their youth! And the ability to
put in so much raw energy. But that is about them, and I think neither
player wanted to admit it.

Cordially, Phil Innes

> Mats




      
Date: 18 Oct 2008 07:25:03
From: M Winther
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
Den 2008-10-17 23:11:50 skrev Chess One <[email protected] >:

>
> "M Winther" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>
>
> <...>
>
>> I am a fairly mediocre chess player. When I was active I drew as black
>> against GM Markovic once, in a full time game. (At most I had a rating
>> of 2173, which, unlike US rating, mirrors Elo strength.) But I am
>> strong enough to appreciate all the niceties in all the phases of the
>> game.
>
> Surely
>
>> Nevertheless, chess has always frustrated my attempts at being
>> creative, in terms of clever strategical plans, tactical ideas,
>> opening innovation, etc. Year after year I have tried to be creative
>> although the nature of chess promotes waiting and maneuvering,
>> calculating variations, and waiting for the opponent to make a
>> mistake.
>
> Shall I nominate this point as a 'cusp'?
>
>> In my experience, dull and uncreative players, who just move
>> pieces around, but calculate with exactitude, have a great advantage.
>
> Laugh, yes.
>
>> Hour upon hour of woodchopping, moving pieces around, mechanically
>> making practical standard moves, completely lacking in ideational
>> creativity -- this is the type of player that the chess goddess Caissa
>> elevates.
>
> So it would seem. The issue is whether you proceed past your 'cusp' point,
> so that you actually direct the game, or if the energy required to do so is
> frustrated by so many woodpushers. I remember when Viktor Korchnoi said he
> was tired of figuring out how to beat masters.
>
>
>> Compare with Chinese Chess. The variant tree expands much faster in
>> XiangQi, and tactical creativity is necessary from the first move. You
>> cannot survive if you aren't continually creative and always ready to
>> present a clever counter-attack or tactical trap. There is no such
>> thing as mechanical play in Chinese Chess. Of course, chess has
>> presented much creativity in historical times, e.g. the fantastic
>> achievements of Spassky. But those days are over now, with theory
>> development and the computers.
>
> But so soon to abstractions about computers and Spassky? I think it is
> unnecessary to play either of them in order to be creative at chess - and so
> we part company without further understanding of each other's point.
>
> All I wish to represent to you is that while you may [or may not!] be
> frustrated at chess creativity, stating that chess is dead or boring, or
> some such thing is not any general condition. Perhaps other games provide
> better creative outlets [as you have expressed above in terms of tactical
> possibilities] but almost all chess players have not exhausted anything to
> do with the game. They are perhaps frustrated that they cannot progress
> further, or discover the font of creativity, but this is the natural cusp
> for any game or sport, or interactive competition.
>
> My 'argument' with you is that this situation is not resolved by making a
> chess-like game. This stalling of progress, creativity and enjoyment is not
> the fault of the game, but of the player. Making a chess-like game may
> improve tactical possibilities, and that is one aspect of the game which is
> creative, but at the same time, it abandons creative strategy - or overall
> evolution of one's play.
>
> Tso! The argumement is not about comparitive creativity between games - the
> argument I make with you is saying that chess is incapable of such
> creativity and therefore needs to be changed.
>
>> For instance, I would wish to be able to make any first move, like
>> 1.b3, or whatever, and maintain a tactical or strategical initiative.
>
> Is even the 'advantage' of the first move objectively proven? From general
> results we see that White wins more often, but is that, as Adorjan asks,
> simply our expectation as White and Black? I challenge that the initiative
> you gain by the first move is not also a weakness - since in any opening,
> who is really chosing the future of the game's progress, black or white.
> Almost all openings are determined by Black, and that is black's initiative!
> And black will likely understand his game better than you, yours.
>
> The balancing factor to White's early initiative is the path that Black
> choses to deal with it, of which black will likely have more knowledge.
> Interestingly, this day, Black scored first in Kramnik Anand.
>
>> This is possible in Chinese Chess. In Fide-chess, however, I must
>> follow the theory in the Sicilian until the umpteenth move, in order
>> to avoid positional equalization.
>
> I play both sides of the Sicilian. In the Pelikan I do well since opponents
> don't know as much as I with Black. With White, I like a4 when the Kt is
> still at b5 - no sub-master knows what to do about that either. So, I think
> you cannot speak so generally about chess when you only represent less than
> 0.1% of players.
>
> Besides, the position /is/ equal ! [I say that for Adorjan].
>
>> Working with chess is like trying to press juice out of a wizened
>> orange. The only sane attitude is to relate to chess as a woodchopper.
>> Study standard theory so you get a sound position, and sit down at the
>> board and practice calculation. Don't try to be creative, you get too
>> little out of any effort.
>
> But this is too much! At short time controls it is as you say, but with
> enough time then the effort provides the results - at least, this is my
> experience with chess.
>
>> Concentrate, instead, on capitalizing on the
>> opponents' mistakes. Make mediocre moves at a good tempo. The
>> latter sentence was Spassky's recommendation, when he finally had
>> lost his faith in the creative properties of chess.
>
> Well - when he, like Fischer, stopped playing he said such things. I think
> they are both refuted by subsequent players, and this pair never put their
> ideas to the test that way. They both lost their youth! And the ability to
> put in so much raw energy. But that is about them, and I think neither
> player wanted to admit it.
>
> Cordially, Phil Innes
>
>> Mats
>
>

In conclusion, chess does not allow enough room for fantasy and the
playful element. It is now become a science, which frustrates the
playful element of the human soul. Contrary what you believe I have
succeeded in creating many a chess variant that retain the strategical
profoundity of chess, yet introduces a higher branching factor from
the beginning. My latest attempt is Culverin Chess:
http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/culverinchess.htm

In this variant players can choose to exclude the extra piece (a type
of cannon), and then it becomes standard chess. Should they introduce
the piece, then it will often become standard chess, anyway,
while the cannons are exchanged for other light pieces. So all the
fine qualities of Fide-chess are retained, whilst greatly increasing the
complexity, opening up an immensity of opening variations and
attacking possibilities. Cannon tactics is completely new to chess
players, and this is what gives Chinese Chess much of its flavour.

By the way, Korean Chess (Changgi) is decidedly more strategical than
Chinese Chess. I suppose it is also more profound. Games take longer
time. It has a high status in Korea, where they have title players,
too. But literature is almost exclusively in Korean. Some say it's
possible to read, anyway. Korean Chess:
http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/koreanchess.htm

Mats


       
Date: 18 Oct 2008 11:47:16
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...

"M Winther" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Den 2008-10-17 23:11:50 skrev Chess One <[email protected]>:

>>
>> Well - when he, like Fischer, stopped playing he said such things. I
>> think
>> they are both refuted by subsequent players, and this pair never put
>> their
>> ideas to the test that way. They both lost their youth! And the ability
>> to
>> put in so much raw energy. But that is about them, and I think neither
>> player wanted to admit it.
>>
>> Cordially, Phil Innes
>>
>>> Mats
>>
>>
>
> In conclusion, chess does not allow enough room for fantasy and the
> playful element. It is now become a science, which frustrates the
> playful element of the human soul. Contrary what you believe I have
> succeeded in creating many a chess variant that retain the strategical
> profoundity of chess, yet introduces a higher branching factor from
> the beginning. My latest attempt is Culverin Chess:
> http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/culverinchess.htm

Dear Mats, while this may be theoretically so [at least from your opinion] I
personally am far from having exhausted the playful creative aspect of
chess, and I am a bit stronger than you, even 25 years ago - and besides, I
can share ideas and experiences with all chess players - which makes the
creative aspect actualised rather than theoretically possibities.

Chess is a science only for theorists, not players!

The biggest refutation of your argument, if that is necessary, is the play
of Mikhail Tal which - nobody would not call fun and creative, and Tal said,
yes, everyone can refute my play, find problems with it, but [in 1961]
no-one can do that over the board. That was the view of the world champion.

> In this variant players can choose to exclude the extra piece (a type
> of cannon), and then it becomes standard chess. Should they introduce
> the piece, then it will often become standard chess, anyway,
> while the cannons are exchanged for other light pieces. So all the
> fine qualities of Fide-chess are retained, whilst greatly increasing the
> complexity, opening up an immensity of opening variations and
> attacking possibilities. Cannon tactics is completely new to chess
> players, and this is what gives Chinese Chess much of its flavour.

Look Mats,

The /average/ US rated adult player is about 1550 USCF [~1490 Elo] and have
absolutely no need to open up standard chess to gain complexity. The
majority group of players here in the US are Scholastic ones, with about
1,000 average USCF rating.

You seem to be proposing solutions to things which are not problems - and I
am not attacking your innovative ideas for chess variants except that you
present them as answers to problems - problems which do not exist for the
vast majority of players!

So I don't know if you actually contest Tal on creativity in chess, or if
you simply mean to suggest other interesting games to current chess players,
but I do think you cannot speak so generally about chess players overall in
terms of what /they/ experience of the complexity and creativity of the
game. That sort of statement seems not to be true.

Personally I find it suspect that people who promote /interesting/ variants
do so by needing to contest or disadvantageously compare their game with
chess, as if supposing their was for the vast majority of players, some
fault in studying and playing, and even socializing, around the subject of
chess, a view not actually held by almost any chess players.

Cordially, Phil Inns

> By the way, Korean Chess (Changgi) is decidedly more strategical than
> Chinese Chess. I suppose it is also more profound. Games take longer
> time. It has a high status in Korea, where they have title players,
> too. But literature is almost exclusively in Korean. Some say it's
> possible to read, anyway. Korean Chess:
> http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/koreanchess.htm
>
> Mats




        
Date: 18 Oct 2008 19:40:23
From: M Winther
Subject: Re: Chess evolves...
Den 2008-10-18 17:47:16 skrev Chess One <[email protected] >:

>
> "M Winther" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>> Den 2008-10-17 23:11:50 skrev Chess One <[email protected]>:
>
>>>
>>> Well - when he, like Fischer, stopped playing he said such things. I
>>> think
>>> they are both refuted by subsequent players, and this pair never put
>>> their
>>> ideas to the test that way. They both lost their youth! And the ability
>>> to
>>> put in so much raw energy. But that is about them, and I think neither
>>> player wanted to admit it.
>>>
>>> Cordially, Phil Innes
>>>
>>>> Mats
>>>
>>>
>>
>> In conclusion, chess does not allow enough room for fantasy and the
>> playful element. It is now become a science, which frustrates the
>> playful element of the human soul. Contrary what you believe I have
>> succeeded in creating many a chess variant that retain the strategical
>> profoundity of chess, yet introduces a higher branching factor from
>> the beginning. My latest attempt is Culverin Chess:
>> http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/culverinchess.htm
>
> Dear Mats, while this may be theoretically so [at least from your opinion] I
> personally am far from having exhausted the playful creative aspect of
> chess, and I am a bit stronger than you, even 25 years ago - and besides, I
> can share ideas and experiences with all chess players - which makes the
> creative aspect actualised rather than theoretically possibities.
>
> Chess is a science only for theorists, not players!
>
> The biggest refutation of your argument, if that is necessary, is the play
> of Mikhail Tal which - nobody would not call fun and creative, and Tal said,
> yes, everyone can refute my play, find problems with it, but [in 1961]
> no-one can do that over the board. That was the view of the world champion.
>
>> In this variant players can choose to exclude the extra piece (a type
>> of cannon), and then it becomes standard chess. Should they introduce
>> the piece, then it will often become standard chess, anyway,
>> while the cannons are exchanged for other light pieces. So all the
>> fine qualities of Fide-chess are retained, whilst greatly increasing the
>> complexity, opening up an immensity of opening variations and
>> attacking possibilities. Cannon tactics is completely new to chess
>> players, and this is what gives Chinese Chess much of its flavour.
>
> Look Mats,
>
> The /average/ US rated adult player is about 1550 USCF [~1490 Elo] and have
> absolutely no need to open up standard chess to gain complexity. The
> majority group of players here in the US are Scholastic ones, with about
> 1,000 average USCF rating.
>
> You seem to be proposing solutions to things which are not problems - and I
> am not attacking your innovative ideas for chess variants except that you
> present them as answers to problems - problems which do not exist for the
> vast majority of players!
>
> So I don't know if you actually contest Tal on creativity in chess, or if
> you simply mean to suggest other interesting games to current chess players,
> but I do think you cannot speak so generally about chess players overall in
> terms of what /they/ experience of the complexity and creativity of the
> game. That sort of statement seems not to be true.
>
> Personally I find it suspect that people who promote /interesting/ variants
> do so by needing to contest or disadvantageously compare their game with
> chess, as if supposing their was for the vast majority of players, some
> fault in studying and playing, and even socializing, around the subject of
> chess, a view not actually held by almost any chess players.
>
> Cordially, Phil Inns
>


Well, if I hadn't challenged chess then nobody would reply to my '
messages, nor read them. I am not anxious to change chess. I find an
outlet for my gaming instinct to construct variants, and study the new
tactical aspects with my programs. It is similar to a mathematical
passion, in a sense. I have also discussed this from a psychological
perspective, and found that "...in the gaming business the board, as
such, is the equivalent of the hermetic vessel, while in it the
warring elements are added and sealed off from the outside world."
http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/twinmove.htm#alchemy

So I almost regard it as a form of alchemy. Comparatively, many people
devote themselves to chess problems and studies. This is is even more
remote from the practice of chess than my variants, which belong to
the "modest" category (i.e. they are very close to the original").
Chess variants *is* chess, it enriches chess, and people ought to play
them more often.

But don't try to convince me that there exist no problems in the elite
chess world. In the ongoing WCH there have been three draws out of
four. The first game was a Slav exchange, that is, an automatic draw.
In the winning game Pein commented: "A great game by Vishy. Wins with
black are rare..." That sentence, in itself, is a warning light.

Mats