Main
Date: 19 Jan 2008 08:21:32
From:
Subject: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV
I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
Fischer begs the question once more. I also posted this on Boardgame
geek:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/278704

Bobby Fischer's death is in the news, and causes people to remember
the 1970s, when chess was king, and people tuned into PBS to watch
chess. Chess was a culturally iconic back then. I remember reading Mad
Magazine when I was a kid, and they actually did a spoof with a chess
based superhero. Fischer made all the magazine covers, and it was
WWIII on the board. It wasn't just the Cold War either. When America
beat Russia in the Winter Olympics at hockey, and played them, there
wasn't an outbreak of hockey all over, like there was with Chess. I
remember when I was a kid in the 1970s, there was a chess store that
opened up near where I lived.

So, what has happened here? There is no chess on TV now. Rock, Paper,
Scissors made it to ESPN. Hot dog eating made ESPN. Poker is all over
TV. Scrabble is on TV also. But, there isn't chess. As far as I know,
no one has even bothered to pick up the rights to the World Mind Sport
Games in China either for western broadcast. The event has Chess,
Checkers, Go, Chinese Chess, and Bridge also, and is pretty big event
(first of its kind, and an offshoot of the Olympics). There was a
chess championship for over $1.5 million in Mexico last year, and no
one even knew of it, outside of the chess world.

So, again I ask, why is there no chess on TV? Also, any ideas what can
be done to get it on TV? Chess could open the doorway for a lot of
boardgames ending up on TV, if it could be on TV and remain there. My
take is the pacing of the moves, plus excessive amount of draws where
players score equally for the draw, are two major factors why not.

Please don't get me started about American Gladiator being back, or
the fact that guys fixing motorcycles has a TV show. I can close by
saying a program about people have dirty jobs actually is on TV now.
Come on! All this and no chess?

- Rich




 
Date: 25 Mar 2008 11:39:41
From: SBD
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 25, 12:41=A0pm, "Chess One" <[email protected] > wrote:
> "SBD" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>
> news:[email protected]m...
> On 24, 9:16 am, "Chess One" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > I doubt it. There are many theorists of chess who can't actually play th=
e
> > game when there is a real opponent opposite them.
>
> I disagree. Any proof to back this up? And remember, "many," not just
> an isolated case or two.
>
> **By all means doubt, Steven. I suppose my proof is my direct experience.
> But I am sure this is not a satisfactory answer to you, since you match my=

> generalism with your own general quare on it.
>
> What I mean is that there are 1500 rated players who know more of some lin=
es
> than I do, but who I defeat by move 10 - and I supposed out loud that just=

> knowing the lines is not the same as understanding the relative merits of
> the positions.


I suppose it is in the definition, but I would not accept a 1500
player as a theorist, not would I agree that they "know more" of some
lines - unless you mean rote memorization. But if you beat them in 10
moves, well, how many "lines" last that few moves? if lost at move 10,
they would have had to commit a serious error by that time.....

A theorist would have to be someone who knows a lot about theory, or
generates new theory - just my definition, but I think it is
reasonably accurate.I've not known anyone below Expert/master level in
playing ability who could also be considered a "theorist."

>
> You would perhaps also accept that theoretical knowledge in chess, or
> anything else, is different from an ability to use that knowledge on deman=
d,
> in a competitive situation?

"Ability to perform a task does not signify an understanding of that
task." - SBD, around 1995 or so..... the inverse strikes me as true as
well.

But also time controls, physical fitness, nerves....


I thought you were talking more about such people as Zuckerman, Rolf
Schwarz, Gruenfeld, Korn, Cheron, whose chess playing ability did not
match their theoretical knowledge and contributions (although Zuck
gets unjustly slammed as too much of a book monkey - I've seen his
games, and the won games still had to be won).


  
Date: 25 Mar 2008 19:21:30
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"SBD" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
On 25, 12:41 pm, "Chess One" <[email protected] > wrote:
> "SBD" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>
> news:[email protected]m...
> On 24, 9:16 am, "Chess One" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > I doubt it. There are many theorists of chess who can't actually play
> > the
> > game when there is a real opponent opposite them.
>
> I disagree. Any proof to back this up? And remember, "many," not just
> an isolated case or two.
>
> **By all means doubt, Steven. I suppose my proof is my direct experience.
> But I am sure this is not a satisfactory answer to you, since you match my
> generalism with your own general quare on it.
>
> What I mean is that there are 1500 rated players who know more of some
> lines
> than I do, but who I defeat by move 10 - and I supposed out loud that just
> knowing the lines is not the same as understanding the relative merits of
> the positions.


I suppose it is in the definition, but I would not accept a 1500
player as a theorist, not would I agree that they "know more" of some
lines - unless you mean rote memorization.

**That is what I mean. To know the moves!

But if you beat them in 10
moves, well, how many "lines" last that few moves?

**Which is to say they do not understand the moves they 'know'

if lost at move 10,
they would have had to commit a serious error by that time.....

**Quite!

A theorist would have to be someone who knows a lot about theory, or
generates new theory - just my definition, but I think it is
reasonably accurate.I've not known anyone below Expert/master level in
playing ability who could also be considered a "theorist."

**I have. In fact, when advice is shovelled out to newbies in this very
newsgroup, the heaviest shovel is my people who are 1600-1800. They stand by
their [vicarious] understanding and love to quote stuff like 'My System'.
This is their theory, Nimzovitch's, or maybe its something cooler and more
contemporary, but I don't see many [any] masters here telling others what
theory they should follow.

> You would perhaps also accept that theoretical knowledge in chess, or
> anything else, is different from an ability to use that knowledge on
> demand,
> in a competitive situation?

"Ability to perform a task does not signify an understanding of that
task." - SBD, around 1995 or so..... the inverse strikes me as true as
well.

**We are falling into agreement, perhaps.

But also time controls, physical fitness, nerves....

**Gawd! Whatever the exucse! You can do it OTB or you can talk about what
you could do, if only... :))

I thought you were talking more about such people as Zuckerman, Rolf
Schwarz, Gruenfeld, Korn, Cheron, whose chess playing ability did not
match their theoretical knowledge and contributions (although Zuck
gets unjustly slammed as too much of a book monkey - I've seen his
games, and the won games still had to be won).

**No. I am making a general comment about the nature of a certain form of
study [rote-learning] and its worth in on-demand practice. It is not any
strange idea in chess, and I might as well be paraphrasing Kasparov.

**I learned it as a young player Steven - if you take the gloves off and
immediately fight, giving up pawns or using weird openings, or unusual
combinations [not insane ones!] to disrupt any book and theoretical
knowledge, much more than half of your opponents [even at higher rating]
will hunker down and 'consolidate'.

That is when, brother, you take their throat.

Cordially, Phil Innes




 
Date: 24 Mar 2008 19:52:52
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
Thanks for the reply. I am going to do chop down on the verbage below
to give context to my replies.

On 24, 10:16 am, "Chess One" <[email protected] > wrote:
> <[email protected]> wrote in message
> I recently interview Mickey Adams, and he answered one question with that
> sort of answer - he can still find early innovations. But the thing of it
> is, most players don't even know the first 12 moves of many Openings, or
> sub-variation. Perhaps they know half a dozen variations, but there are
> hundreds of possibilities. So, opening knowledge has only a small influence
> on the result of the game for 99% of players, in my opinion, which is also
> the opinion of one of the best chess teachers in the USA, Dan Heisman.

And there is book after book after book after book written on them.
Most people don't but there are books, and people peak ahead and
people write how certain lines are weaker and certain variations
should be avoided, etc...

> > The introduction of time control and the way scoring was done, did
> > change things. Anyhow, that is a bit of the point, chess will either
> > change and adapt and you don't play the same game in the past, or it
> > will have the word "SOLVED" dumped on it by some game theorist and
> > then it loses its luster some.
>
> I doubt it. There are many theorists of chess who can't actually play the
> game when there is a real opponent opposite them. And chess, it must be
> pointed out, is not a theory, but more like a performance art. I can't beat
> grandmasters, but that doesn't put me off playing, and their knowledge is
> very considerable indeed - but so what?

Solved means, "We know for sure what side has an advantage or if it
will end in a draw with perfect play". What I see at the highest
levels, is that there is a level of boredom on the part of some of the
top players, who want to do something different. This is particularly
true with the creative types.

> Draughts [checkers] is 'solved' by as many people play now as they ever did.

Well, something has happened that it is ignored on the tournament
levels. I can fill you in offline about more details on checkers and
my connection to them.

> Fischer Random or 960 didn't catch on any more than any other chess variant.
> I wonder if chess variants emerge because their inventor is personally
> stuck, and then it appeals to other game players who are also stuck?

I think people get bored for one thing, or think a game is "flawed"
somehow. What has happened is that there isn't a breakthrough like
the "Mad Queen" (modern queen) that happened during the Renaissance
back then. Chess was all over with a lot of varieties, and the
community collective decided to change the queen because it worked.
Some rules were dropped (like baring the king as a win), and other
pieces gained more mobility also I believe. Since then, chess has
been codified, and doesn't evolve. The problem with variants is that
they don't take a gradual step off the path and show themselves
improved actually. You have Chess960, which is a pain to set the
board up with. You can't acquire the equipment for Capablanca Chess
anywhere, unless you go Gothic Chess. All that does is make the board
bigger. In other words, it just is not available. Bughouse does have
its following also. I believe the Capablanca on an 8x8 board
definitely has potential to be something, Seirawan or otherwise.

> Instead of getting through their block they give up the game - and excite
> another similar one as 'better' - but I distrust the psychology of that. I
> can understand someone giving up chess for Go or Bridge or even Poker, but
> to play Hobbit-Chess or some doodad-thing? Very questionable!

So, you wonder why variants? Well, because chess was a game of
variants, it is how we have the variety of chess-like games out
there. People like novelty in all this. That is why they play them.
Chess is actually a variant itself. It evolved when the old Persian
game was found too slow. If you had the mentality and uniformity we
have today with the old Persian version, you would never have the mad
queen in it, and people would be told to actually LIKE to play chess
with short-range pieces.

> Understood. But this is my e-mail in the header. Maybe write to me
instead.
> After all, I did it already, and already made most of the mistakes
> possible..

The email address I have in the email might work, but I don't check
it. It is for spam trapping. I did email you from the
iagoworldtour.com. I can fill you in offline on what is going on.

> Yes - these are a few ideas - there are many more.
>
> Some time ago I was looking at reviews of a computer game and found a
> recorded conversation between two-beta testers, girls aged 9 and 10. They
> said they liked the game because [I paraphrase] its episodes took a long
> time to play, it was hard to play so that you couldn't get good and exhaust
> the possibilities too quickly, and that it was very complicated!

The trick is to be able to make it be followed, and have people get
acclimated. Anyhow, we can chat more off here about this via email or
whatever else.

> Or to work for long... there are a few precedents.
>
> Anyway, thanks for writing.

Welcome. I hope the email works, because I would like to swap ideas
with you. What I will say is my objective is to get abstract strategy
games collectively to boom together, not just one game. This would
help out a lot with even chess. It would also enable chess to get and
stay on TV. As a single game, it isn't large enough to get on a
television network dedicated to it. But if other games like it were
to also go, then we would be set.

Anyhow, can offline with some details I am not in a place to share
here.

- Rich


  
Date: 25 Mar 2008 18:55:34
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> Thanks for the reply. I am going to do chop down on the verbage below
> to give context to my replies.
>
> On 24, 10:16 am, "Chess One" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> <[email protected]> wrote in message
>> I recently interview Mickey Adams, and he answered one question with that
>> sort of answer - he can still find early innovations. But the thing of it
>> is, most players don't even know the first 12 moves of many Openings, or
>> sub-variation. Perhaps they know half a dozen variations, but there are
>> hundreds of possibilities. So, opening knowledge has only a small
>> influence
>> on the result of the game for 99% of players, in my opinion, which is
>> also
>> the opinion of one of the best chess teachers in the USA, Dan Heisman.
>
> And there is book after book after book after book written on them.
> Most people don't but there are books, and people peak ahead and
> people write how certain lines are weaker and certain variations
> should be avoided, etc...

I am not understanding that statement. In fact there are thousands of chess
books which advise on openings - the point being, what is understood about
them when you are playing chess, not studying it?

>> > The introduction of time control and the way scoring was done, did
>> > change things. Anyhow, that is a bit of the point, chess will either
>> > change and adapt and you don't play the same game in the past, or it
>> > will have the word "SOLVED" dumped on it by some game theorist and
>> > then it loses its luster some.
>>
>> I doubt it. There are many theorists of chess who can't actually play the
>> game when there is a real opponent opposite them. And chess, it must be
>> pointed out, is not a theory, but more like a performance art. I can't
>> beat
>> grandmasters, but that doesn't put me off playing, and their knowledge is
>> very considerable indeed - but so what?
>
> Solved means, "We know for sure what side has an advantage or if it
> will end in a draw with perfect play".

We don;t even know if there is a theoretical solution to chess, nor what
basis there is to claim one. One consequence of this is that there may not
be one!

> What I see at the highest
> levels, is that there is a level of boredom on the part of some of the
> top players, who want to do something different. This is particularly
> true with the creative types.

Sorry? I don't understand whose boredom you reference and what that has to
do with something different.

>> Draughts [checkers] is 'solved' by as many people play now as they ever
>> did.
>
> Well, something has happened that it is ignored on the tournament
> levels. I can fill you in offline about more details on checkers and
> my connection to them.
>
>> Fischer Random or 960 didn't catch on any more than any other chess
>> variant.
>> I wonder if chess variants emerge because their inventor is personally
>> stuck, and then it appeals to other game players who are also stuck?
>
> I think people get bored for one thing, or think a game is "flawed"
> somehow.

I don't. I think people get stuck at a certain level and don't want to put
in the effort to look further, so they then suggest deviations. They are
bored with themselves!

> What has happened is that there isn't a breakthrough like
> the "Mad Queen" (modern queen) that happened during the Renaissance
> back then. Chess was all over with a lot of varieties, and the
> community collective decided to change the queen because it worked.
> Some rules were dropped (like baring the king as a win), and other
> pieces gained more mobility also I believe. Since then, chess has
> been codified, and doesn't evolve.

Why is that a problem? To you as viewer, or you as player?

> The problem with variants is that
> they don't take a gradual step off the path and show themselves
> improved actually. You have Chess960, which is a pain to set the
> board up with. You can't acquire the equipment for Capablanca Chess
> anywhere, unless you go Gothic Chess. All that does is make the board
> bigger. In other words, it just is not available. Bughouse does have
> its following also. I believe the Capablanca on an 8x8 board
> definitely has potential to be something, Seirawan or otherwise.

Why not play underwater chess with flippers on too? That is active for the
camera - but really! Its deviance from the game of chess, and who is
complaining? You?

I don't understand your responses since I can't tell if you are bored or you
complain on behalf of others. Switching the goalposts solves nothing about
boredom or getting chess on tv.

>> Instead of getting through their block they give up the game - and excite
>> another similar one as 'better' - but I distrust the psychology of that.
>> I
>> can understand someone giving up chess for Go or Bridge or even Poker,
>> but
>> to play Hobbit-Chess or some doodad-thing? Very questionable!
>
> So, you wonder why variants? Well, because chess was a game of
> variants, it is how we have the variety of chess-like games out
> there. People like novelty in all this.

Which people? Everyone except chess players?

> That is why they play them.
> Chess is actually a variant itself. It evolved when the old Persian
> game was found too slow. If you had the mentality and uniformity we
> have today with the old Persian version, you would never have the mad
> queen in it, and people would be told to actually LIKE to play chess
> with short-range pieces.

These people who are told are chess players, or whom else?

> > Understood. But this is my e-mail in the header. Maybe write to me
> instead.
>> After all, I did it already, and already made most of the mistakes
>> possible..
>
> The email address I have in the email might work, but I don't check
> it. It is for spam trapping. I did email you from the
> iagoworldtour.com. I can fill you in offline on what is going on.
>
>> Yes - these are a few ideas - there are many more.
>>
>> Some time ago I was looking at reviews of a computer game and found a
>> recorded conversation between two-beta testers, girls aged 9 and 10. They
>> said they liked the game because [I paraphrase] its episodes took a long
>> time to play, it was hard to play so that you couldn't get good and
>> exhaust
>> the possibilities too quickly, and that it was very complicated!
>
> The trick is to be able to make it be followed, and have people get
> acclimated. Anyhow, we can chat more off here about this via email or
> whatever else.
>
>> Or to work for long... there are a few precedents.
>>
>> Anyway, thanks for writing.
>
> Welcome. I hope the email works, because I would like to swap ideas
> with you. What I will say is my objective is to get abstract strategy
> games collectively to boom together, not just one game. This would
> help out a lot with even chess. It would also enable chess to get and
> stay on TV. As a single game, it isn't large enough to get on a
> television network dedicated to it. But if other games like it were
> to also go, then we would be set.

Understood. But if you want to represent chess, than you have to do just
that, not Hobbit-Chess or something which you presume will interest someone
or other.

And maybe you cannot represent chess as it is without resort to deviancy -
but that is the challenge of getting real chess to a general public. Its not
even about the game, is it? Its about the playing of the game - that is what
works with every sport.

It /is/ hard, and a risk for sponsors. Still, if you wish to call it chess,
it doesn't need Hobbit figures on the board or other showbiz nonsense.

Phil Innes

> Anyhow, can offline with some details I am not in a place to share
> here.
>
> - Rich




 
Date: 24 Mar 2008 08:41:07
From: SBD
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 24, 9:16=A0am, "Chess One" <[email protected] > wrote:

> I doubt it. There are many theorists of chess who can't actually play the
> game when there is a real opponent opposite them.

I disagree. Any proof to back this up? And remember, "many," not just
an isolated case or two.


  
Date: 25 Mar 2008 13:41:10
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"SBD" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
On 24, 9:16 am, "Chess One" <[email protected] > wrote:

> I doubt it. There are many theorists of chess who can't actually play the
> game when there is a real opponent opposite them.

I disagree. Any proof to back this up? And remember, "many," not just
an isolated case or two.

**By all means doubt, Steven. I suppose my proof is my direct experience.
But I am sure this is not a satisfactory answer to you, since you match my
generalism with your own general quare on it.

What I mean is that there are 1500 rated players who know more of some lines
than I do, but who I defeat by move 10 - and I supposed out loud that just
knowing the lines is not the same as understanding the relative merits of
the positions.

You would perhaps also accept that theoretical knowledge in chess, or
anything else, is different from an ability to use that knowledge on demand,
in a competitive situation?

There is a common joke about teaching creative writing; at tax time, entry
for Teaching Creative writing = $40,000. Entry for earning from one's
Creative Writing = $0.

Cordially, Phil Innes





 
Date: 23 Mar 2008 15:10:51
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
Thanks for the reply.

On 23, 5:27 pm, "Chess One" <[email protected] > wrote:
> > The top levels should be getting media interest, getting on TV, being
> > something used to recruit new players and being relevant. This is why
> > I speak to the top level.
>
> I agree with you!

There was a $1.5 million Chess championship in Mexico last year, and
no one cared. The World Mind Sport Games will be going on, akin to
the Olympics, and no one in North America is picking it up. If they
were, then players for Go and checkers could get money to go out
there, and sponsors. But it isn't happening. And the chess world and
others are waiting for a Bobby Fischer to bail them out. This is of
concern for myself, in regards to IAGO and the IAGO World Tour. If
the big games have issues, how do I end up having modern abstract
strategy games noticed.

> > My preference is people who understand THEORY should be doing better,
> > not people who have memorized line of play. My preference for chess
> > makes it more universal in nature.
>
> Yes, though [laugh] I had memorised the first 3 moves against this player
> who was not 2100 postal but USCF. It's true that I forget the move order but
> remembered a complicating manoevre - so, if he does this, I do this - is
> that what you mean by theory?

What I mean is I would like to see a form of chess that is played
where it grows so diverse and deep in opening theory and so on, that
it becomes hard to actually name the lines of play. You can talk
about general areas, and finding general theory, but not to where you
start doing stuff like, "Queen's Gambit Decline, with the Slav
alternative, and a fill twist, complete with a pickle". Yes, that is
made up nonsense, but I am doing it to make a point, and at least get
a groan out of it. I would like for a version to be something where
innovators and creative players can uncover new things early in the
game, rather than later. If I had my druthers, I would have a version
of chess that, right when the start to write books to explain openings
and do minutia, we change the rules somehow to mix it up. This way,
you can keep the book writing business busy, and offer a gravy train
for all the chess book writers, so they don't run out of things to
write about :-).

> > How about the same game that was played in the 18th century? Well,
> > that would mean you wouldn't be using the point system and time
> > controls.
>
> True - but the play of the game would be the same. The only difference is
> that few people in their right minds would sit down for an indefinite amount
> of time to play chess.

The introduction of time control and the way scoring was done, did
change things. Anyhow, that is a bit of the point, chess will either
change and adapt and you don't play the same game in the past, or it
will have the word "SOLVED" dumped on it by some game theorist and
then it loses its luster some. It ends up in the place that Checkers
has been, which has done different things to keep the game around by
introducing different things to mix up the openings (think like how
Chess960 works).

> I know the answer to that - being one of the few people who ever made a tv
> program about chess. A live event with 8 GMs in it, and 2 world champions -
> and for 2 hours. I know what was right and what was wrong - and maybe you
> have to do it to know that?

I can share some ideas offline, as I am currently in discussions with
different video studios that do television to work to get chess and
other abstract strategy games on TV somehow. I will say that the
pacing needs to be, AT MOST, spread apart like American football
between moves, preferably have the scoring to be less draw-prone, and
have it so the presentation puts you in the heads of chess players
playing, complete with reality TV drama. You DON'T show it live, and
you do reality TV editing. Go to www.iagoworldtour.com and get my
email address from there. You can do that. You can also look here
going with iagoworldtour.com as the domain name @ before it, and then
go with rich. Pardon this being cryptic, but I don't want some email
harvester to pick it up. Please contact me regarding this.

> People always have their excuses for doing nothing. What is more boring than
> American football with 1 minute of actual play in every 10? But American
> media makes that work, so they can certainly make blitz chess work!

People have been acclimated to football, and it has its pacing down
for it. They do enough between plays to do it. I believe you actually
can learn how to make chess work, by studying how the do American
football. I am of the belief that blitz chess is too fast, so it has
a problem with pacing. I would say here, if you want heresy, Bughouse
would make for good TV. You might even do a simul game where you have
3 grandmasters play each other all simultaneously by use the of the
computer. There are 3 or 6 games going on at once, and the
grandmasters have to be able to manage all the clocks of all their
games. They play it over the computer, rather than a live board. But
live you could do two players, each playing two boards against each
other, Bughouse style.

> > Unless a scoring system encourages playing for wins, why would people
> > not play cautious and hope for an opponent mess up?
>
> Indeed. Especially these days when you are paid just to show up. But still,
> is this for top players only, or for all players, in your opinion?

Let's just say this. The average joe who plays chess, isn't going to
be using clocks, worrying about scoring, touch moves, etc... They
will just play a game. In a club, they will play with clocks, maybe
some speed play. You need to worry about the top players, and how you
do that. They are supposed to be the stars that get people
interested. If you can get the highest level to work so it isn't
overcautious, then you can transfer it down to lower levels. Making
tournament structure stronger doesn't hurt to migrate the ideas down.

Please get in touch with me via the info I gave above. I would like
to hear your ideas. I am on a mission to get abstract strategy games,
as a group, to end up where poker is now, in regards to money, and
media recognition, and being a permanent fixture on TV. I will say
that there are things at work, partly due to the Sudoku craze, that is
making this favorable. It is just no one has shown that you can get
abstract strategy games to work on TV.

- Rich


  
Date: 24 Mar 2008 12:28:05
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Thanks for the reply.
>
> On 23, 5:27 pm, "Chess One" <[email protected]> wrote:

>
>> People always have their excuses for doing nothing. What is more boring than
>> American football with 1 minute of actual play in every 10? But American
>> media makes that work, so they can certainly make blitz chess work!
>
> People have been acclimated to football, and it has its pacing down
> for it. They do enough between plays to do it. I believe you actually
> can learn how to make chess work, by studying how the do American
> football.

I think this would be a disaster. Sports like football, soccer
in Europe, etc. have a large following of people who have
never played the sport, and have no great interest in the
sport. Teams have a place within the culture and a following
that has little to do with the sport itself.

Interest in Fischer was similar. It wasn't about chess. It was
about an American beating a Russian at their own game.

I think a far better model to study would be the treatment
of Go in Asia.





   
Date: 25 Mar 2008 13:46:26
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"David Kane" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
>> Thanks for the reply.
>>
>> On 23, 5:27 pm, "Chess One" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>
>>> People always have their excuses for doing nothing. What is more boring
>>> than
>>> American football with 1 minute of actual play in every 10? But American
>>> media makes that work, so they can certainly make blitz chess work!
>>
>> People have been acclimated to football, and it has its pacing down
>> for it. They do enough between plays to do it. I believe you actually
>> can learn how to make chess work, by studying how the do American
>> football.
>
> I think this would be a disaster.

Trouble is, this is the view of media execs.

> Sports like football, soccer
> in Europe, etc. have a large following of people who have
> never played the sport, and have no great interest in the
> sport. Teams have a place within the culture and a following
> that has little to do with the sport itself.

sure...

> Interest in Fischer was similar. It wasn't about chess. It was
> about an American beating a Russian at their own game.

it was a 'dramatic biography of a performance artist'?

what gained everyone's interest in Fischer can work the same for the guy
hustling chess in the park. its not the game, its the hustle. watching
football doesn't qualify you in the least for playing it

> I think a far better model to study would be the treatment
> of Go in Asia.

all media is mass. chess is too small to appeal to as a mass ket, and is
a distinct niche ket, therefore to use mass media its necessary to invoke
mass interest

OR

otherwise go with the 'games channel' idea

Cordially, Phil Innes
>




  
Date: 24 Mar 2008 10:16:25
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]...

> What I mean is I would like to see a form of chess that is played
> where it grows so diverse and deep in opening theory and so on, that
> it becomes hard to actually name the lines of play. You can talk
> about general areas, and finding general theory, but not to where you
> start doing stuff like, "Queen's Gambit Decline, with the Slav
> alternative, and a fill twist, complete with a pickle". Yes, that is
> made up nonsense, but I am doing it to make a point, and at least get
> a groan out of it. I would like for a version to be something where
> innovators and creative players can uncover new things early in the
> game, rather than later.

I recently interview Mickey Adams, and he answered one question with that
sort of answer - he can still find early innovations. But the thing of it
is, most players don't even know the first 12 moves of many Openings, or
sub-variation. Perhaps they know half a dozen variations, but there are
hundreds of possibilities. So, opening knowledge has only a small influence
on the result of the game for 99% of players, in my opinion, which is also
the opinion of one of the best chess teachers in the USA, Dan Heisman.

The issue so often is, not just knowing 12 moves for white, but what to do
if black deviates at move 7? Or even noticing that black's seventh move is a
deviation! Is it a side-line, an alternative move in this position, or is it
a mistake? Very few people can answer that when they are playing over the
board.

> If I had my druthers, I would have a version
> of chess that, right when the start to write books to explain openings
> and do minutia, we change the rules somehow to mix it up. This way,
> you can keep the book writing business busy, and offer a gravy train
> for all the chess book writers, so they don't run out of things to
> write about :-).

But I think its not necessary to do so! An illustration is that for 20 years
I opened 1.b4 and can't remember any game that was similar to any other even
at move 10.

These days I play lots of Sicilians, and a relatively well-trodden Pelikan.
Even so, its hard to find two similar games to move 10. I even like to play
against the Pelikan, and play a slightly obscure side-line pushing a pawn to
a4, so that black cannot play the usually freeing b5, and thus the c4 square
is open for bishop or knight. But people's responses to this 'strategic'
move are all over the place.

Therefore, in actual practice, I don't see anything being played out in
chess for 99% of players, not even by move 10.

>> > How about the same game that was played in the 18th century? Well,
>> > that would mean you wouldn't be using the point system and time
>> > controls.
>>
>> True - but the play of the game would be the same. The only difference is
>> that few people in their right minds would sit down for an indefinite
>> amount
>> of time to play chess.
>
> The introduction of time control and the way scoring was done, did
> change things. Anyhow, that is a bit of the point, chess will either
> change and adapt and you don't play the same game in the past, or it
> will have the word "SOLVED" dumped on it by some game theorist and
> then it loses its luster some.

I doubt it. There are many theorists of chess who can't actually play the
game when there is a real opponent opposite them. And chess, it must be
pointed out, is not a theory, but more like a performance art. I can't beat
grandmasters, but that doesn't put me off playing, and their knowledge is
very considerable indeed - but so what?

Draughts [checkers] is 'solved' by as many people play now as they ever did.

> It ends up in the place that Checkers
> has been, which has done different things to keep the game around by
> introducing different things to mix up the openings (think like how
> Chess960 works).

Fischer Random or 960 didn't catch on any more than any other chess variant.
I wonder if chess variants emerge because their inventor is personally
stuck, and then it appeals to other game players who are also stuck?

Instead of getting through their block they give up the game - and excite
another similar one as 'better' - but I distrust the psychology of that. I
can understand someone giving up chess for Go or Bridge or even Poker, but
to play Hobbit-Chess or some doodad-thing? Very questionable!

>> I know the answer to that - being one of the few people who ever made a
>> tv
>> program about chess. A live event with 8 GMs in it, and 2 world
>> champions -
>> and for 2 hours. I know what was right and what was wrong - and maybe you
>> have to do it to know that?
>
> I can share some ideas offline, as I am currently in discussions with
> different video studios that do television to work to get chess and
> other abstract strategy games on TV somehow. I will say that the
> pacing needs to be, AT MOST, spread apart like American football
> between moves, preferably have the scoring to be less draw-prone, and
> have it so the presentation puts you in the heads of chess players
> playing, complete with reality TV drama. You DON'T show it live, and
> you do reality TV editing. Go to www.iagoworldtour.com and get my
> email address from there. You can do that. You can also look here
> going with iagoworldtour.com as the domain name @ before it, and then
> go with rich. Pardon this being cryptic, but I don't want some email
> harvester to pick it up. Please contact me regarding this.

Understood. But this is my e-mail in the header. Maybe write to me instead.
After all, I did it already, and already made most of the mistakes
possible..

>> People always have their excuses for doing nothing. What is more boring
>> than
>> American football with 1 minute of actual play in every 10? But American
>> media makes that work, so they can certainly make blitz chess work!
>
> People have been acclimated to football, and it has its pacing down
> for it. They do enough between plays to do it. I believe you actually
> can learn how to make chess work, by studying how the do American
> football. I am of the belief that blitz chess is too fast, so it has
> a problem with pacing. I would say here, if you want heresy, Bughouse
> would make for good TV. You might even do a simul game where you have
> 3 grandmasters play each other all simultaneously by use the of the
> computer. There are 3 or 6 games going on at once, and the
> grandmasters have to be able to manage all the clocks of all their
> games. They play it over the computer, rather than a live board. But
> live you could do two players, each playing two boards against each
> other, Bughouse style.

Yes - these are a few ideas - there are many more.

Some time ago I was looking at reviews of a computer game and found a
recorded conversation between two-beta testers, girls aged 9 and 10. They
said they liked the game because [I paraphrase] its episodes took a long
time to play, it was hard to play so that you couldn't get good and exhaust
the possibilities too quickly, and that it was very complicated!

>> > Unless a scoring system encourages playing for wins, why would people
>> > not play cautious and hope for an opponent mess up?
>>
>> Indeed. Especially these days when you are paid just to show up. But
>> still,
>> is this for top players only, or for all players, in your opinion?
>
> Let's just say this. The average joe who plays chess, isn't going to
> be using clocks, worrying about scoring, touch moves, etc... They
> will just play a game. In a club, they will play with clocks, maybe
> some speed play. You need to worry about the top players, and how you
> do that. They are supposed to be the stars that get people
> interested. If you can get the highest level to work so it isn't
> overcautious, then you can transfer it down to lower levels. Making
> tournament structure stronger doesn't hurt to migrate the ideas down.
>
> Please get in touch with me via the info I gave above. I would like
> to hear your ideas. I am on a mission to get abstract strategy games,
> as a group, to end up where poker is now, in regards to money, and
> media recognition, and being a permanent fixture on TV. I will say
> that there are things at work, partly due to the Sudoku craze, that is
> making this favorable. It is just no one has shown that you can get
> abstract strategy games to work on TV.

Or to work for long... there are a few precedents.

Anyway, thanks for writing.

Phil Innes


> - Rich




  
Date: 24 Mar 2008 08:56:54
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Thanks for the reply.
>
> On 23, 5:27 pm, "Chess One" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> > The top levels should be getting media interest, getting on TV, being
>> > something used to recruit new players and being relevant. This is why
>> > I speak to the top level.
>>
>> I agree with you!
>
> There was a $1.5 million Chess championship in Mexico last year, and
> no one cared. The World Mind Sport Games will be going on, akin to
> the Olympics, and no one in North America is picking it up. If they
> were, then players for Go and checkers could get money to go out
> there, and sponsors. But it isn't happening. And the chess world and
> others are waiting for a Bobby Fischer to bail them out. This is of
> concern for myself, in regards to IAGO and the IAGO World Tour. If
> the big games have issues, how do I end up having modern abstract
> strategy games noticed.

Its a good question, and can be answered, at least by including a few
factors not normal in board games - but let me defer that to say what
doesn't work - or what is to be avoided. I think most chess burocratics
openly [or secretly] whore after Olympiad status and money. Yet the willful
association with sporting activities and their frequent drug culture is at
least a double edged prospect - one gets exposure, but of the right kind.

I always thought the best publicity for chess was 'drug free'.

Why chess burocratics /want/ to associate chess with drug testing seems to
me to be completely inane. Anyway - you comments deserve more consideration
than a few notes.

Can I limit myself here to saying that the presentation of the game means
also accepting the nature of the media, and 'playing along' with that too.

More anon. Phil





 
Date: 23 Mar 2008 13:31:18
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 23, 11:40 am, David Richerby <[email protected] >
wrote:
> <[email protected]> wrote:
> > Another possibility is to use speed chess as "Overtime", like the
> > did recently with Chess960 as a way to tie-break. Don't like to go
> > there, well then win?
>
> I'd much rather see joint champions declared than have ever-more
> ludicrous tie-breaks used to separate them.

Ok, do joint champion then, and the first one to get defeating in a
chess tournament ends up losing their title, making the other champion
the regular champion. The player who beat one of the champs gets a
title shot against the champion. You need a regular chess schedule to
make this work.

> Doubling certainly wouldn't work in a tournament -- somebody might
> well win the tournament just because his opponent stubbornly kept
> redoubling in a lost position. I don't think it's a good idea in
> matches, either. Doubling works in backgammon because small mistakes
> and bad luck can cause the lead in a game to be exchanged back and
> forth between the players. There's no luck in chess and mistakes tend
> to be more serious so it's not so common for the players to trade the
> lead. Usually, one player or the other builds up a steadily growing
> advantage and the question is whether his opponent will be able to
> hang on for a draw, not whether the leader will make a mistake and let
> his opponent win.

Point here is to drive a game to closure, and have each game advance
the reaching of a closure point.

> > The last option is to add new rules to chess, to make the game new.
> > Of course, this is heresy to hardcore players of the game, who think
> > the FIDE rules were handed down by God and immutable for eternity.
>
> I've already pointed out that there have been non-trivial changes to
> the rules in the last few years. This idea that chess players believe
> the laws to be immutable is a straw man.

The changes will have worked, when the rest of the world starts to
actually care about chess, rather than know what it is, and thinks of
it akin to Calculus.

- Rich


  
Date: 23 Mar 2008 21:30:26
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
<[email protected] > wrote:
> David Richerby <[email protected]> wrote:
>> <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> Another possibility is to use speed chess as "Overtime", like the
>>> did recently with Chess960 as a way to tie-break. Don't like to
>>> go there, well then win?
>>
>> I'd much rather see joint champions declared than have ever-more
>> ludicrous tie-breaks used to separate them.
>
> Ok, do joint champion then, and the first one to get defeating in a
> chess tournament ends up losing their title, making the other
> champion the regular champion. The player who beat one of the
> champs gets a title shot against the champion. You need a regular
> chess schedule to make this work.

Ah. Hmm. The question of `so how do you decide who the next champion
is?' rather blows the joint champions idea out of the water...


>> Doubling certainly wouldn't work in a tournament -- somebody might
>> well win the tournament just because his opponent stubbornly kept
>> redoubling in a lost position. I don't think it's a good idea in
>> matches, either. Doubling works in backgammon because small
>> mistakes and bad luck can cause the lead in a game to be exchanged
>> back and forth between the players. There's no luck in chess and
>> mistakes tend to be more serious so it's not so common for the
>> players to trade the lead. Usually, one player or the other builds
>> up a steadily growing advantage and the question is whether his
>> opponent will be able to hang on for a draw, not whether the leader
>> will make a mistake and let his opponent win.
>
> Point here is to drive a game to closure, and have each game advance
> the reaching of a closure point.

If the sole goal is to drive every game to closure, why not replace
the bit where they move the silly pieces of wood around the chequered
board with a simple toss of a coin? The point is that the result
should depend somehow on chess and make sense in the context of
chess. Doubling does not make sense in the context of chess for the
reasons I outlined.

> The changes [to the laws of chess] will have worked, when the rest
> of the world starts to actually care about chess, rather than know
> what it is, and thinks of it akin to Calculus.

You've lost me. How on earth is chess akin to calculus? Is it just
an example of something that the man on the street doesn't understand
but thinks is probably important?


Dave.

--
David Richerby Zen Dish (TM): it's like a fine
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ ceramic dish that puts you in touch
with the universe!


 
Date: 23 Mar 2008 13:27:14
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 23, 12:13 pm, "Chess One" <[email protected] > wrote:
> > Beyond this, besides a system gamed to draw, the amount of play in
> > chess has resulted in there being far less ways to surprise anyone, so
> > the end game ends up being predictable, minus a bungle.
>
> Hi Richard, let me make a note here, since I am also a chess teacher. What
> you say is true at the top levels, but for 99% of players does not seem to
> be true in my experience or student's experience.
>
> Theoretically some players know very much about main lines, but a 'b' class
> move puts them outside of their book knowledge, and they have to resolve
> what to do over the board. The only surprise to me is if they can do that
> without their position collapsing almost instantly :)

The top levels should be getting media interest, getting on TV, being
something used to recruit new players and being relevant. This is why
I speak to the top level.

> Even relatively strong players do not understand common opening systems -
> and even in correspondance chess I defeated a 2100 player with white and
> black in under 20 moves last year.

My preference is people who understand THEORY should be doing better,
not people who have memorized line of play. My preference for chess
makes it more universal in nature.

> Since I hardly ever draw I don't have an issue with my opponents level of
> play. Last week I /did/ offer a draw to a 2340 player, who accepted it, I
> gained one point and he lost one. I had a slightly better position with
> white after a Ruy, but OTOH, this was a team match game, and I need to score
> better than 50% result for the team - and with black I am still a pawn up at
> move 20 after a Wing Gambit, have undoubled my b pawns and will try to win
> it.

On the highest level, it is an issue.

> > The last option is to add new rules to chess, to make the game new.
> > Of course, this is heresy to hardcore players of the game, who think
> > the FIDE rules were handed down by God and immutable for eternity.
>
> Laugh. Unfortunately you are writing to someone who wants to play exactly
> the same game as Capablanca, Lasker, Alekhine, Fischer and Kasparov - so
> doesn't want new rules that would change the method of play.

How about the same game that was played in the 18th century? Well,
that would mean you wouldn't be using the point system and time
controls.

> What I don't understand about much of this correspondance about draws is if
> people who suggest its a problem are just speaking as chess spectators about
> top players [nothing wrong with that, and I share that point of view] or if
> they are speaking about all chess players?

Well my take here about this is that everything is just fine the way
it is, then why isn't it being covered on TV? Everyone things some
American player like Bobby Fischer will "magically" appear on the
scene and captivate people again? Short of this, I hear
rationalizations about how chess is IMPOSSIBLE to do on TV, because
the masses are too stupid to understand it. It is a form of
intellectual snobbery to justify stagnation in my book.

> I think if its just the first, and unfought 'GM-draws', then its not
> necessary to make changes for the rest of us - who after all - don't have a
> problem.

Unless a scoring system encourages playing for wins, why would people
not play cautious and hope for an opponent mess up?

- Rich


  
Date: 23 Mar 2008 17:27:12
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> On 23, 12:13 pm, "Chess One" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> > Beyond this, besides a system gamed to draw, the amount of play in
>> > chess has resulted in there being far less ways to surprise anyone, so
>> > the end game ends up being predictable, minus a bungle.
>>
>> Hi Richard, let me make a note here, since I am also a chess teacher.
>> What
>> you say is true at the top levels, but for 99% of players does not seem
>> to
>> be true in my experience or student's experience.
>>
>> Theoretically some players know very much about main lines, but a 'b'
>> class
>> move puts them outside of their book knowledge, and they have to resolve
>> what to do over the board. The only surprise to me is if they can do that
>> without their position collapsing almost instantly :)
>
> The top levels should be getting media interest, getting on TV, being
> something used to recruit new players and being relevant. This is why
> I speak to the top level.

I agree with you!

>> Even relatively strong players do not understand common opening systems -
>> and even in correspondance chess I defeated a 2100 player with white and
>> black in under 20 moves last year.
>
> My preference is people who understand THEORY should be doing better,
> not people who have memorized line of play. My preference for chess
> makes it more universal in nature.

Yes, though [laugh] I had memorised the first 3 moves against this player
who was not 2100 postal but USCF. It's true that I forget the move order but
remembered a complicating manoevre - so, if he does this, I do this - is
that what you mean by theory?


<... >

>> > The last option is to add new rules to chess, to make the game new.
>> > Of course, this is heresy to hardcore players of the game, who think
>> > the FIDE rules were handed down by God and immutable for eternity.
>>
>> Laugh. Unfortunately you are writing to someone who wants to play exactly
>> the same game as Capablanca, Lasker, Alekhine, Fischer and Kasparov - so
>> doesn't want new rules that would change the method of play.
>
> How about the same game that was played in the 18th century? Well,
> that would mean you wouldn't be using the point system and time
> controls.

True - but the play of the game would be the same. The only difference is
that few people in their right minds would sit down for an indefinite amount
of time to play chess.

>> What I don't understand about much of this correspondance about draws is
>> if
>> people who suggest its a problem are just speaking as chess spectators
>> about
>> top players [nothing wrong with that, and I share that point of view] or
>> if
>> they are speaking about all chess players?
>
> Well my take here about this is that everything is just fine the way
> it is, then why isn't it being covered on TV?

I know the answer to that - being one of the few people who ever made a tv
program about chess. A live event with 8 GMs in it, and 2 world champions -
and for 2 hours. I know what was right and what was wrong - and maybe you
have to do it to know that?

> Everyone things some
> American player like Bobby Fischer will "magically" appear on the
> scene and captivate people again? Short of this, I hear
> rationalizations about how chess is IMPOSSIBLE to do on TV, because
> the masses are too stupid to understand it. It is a form of
> intellectual snobbery to justify stagnation in my book.

People always have their excuses for doing nothing. What is more boring than
American football with 1 minute of actual play in every 10? But American
media makes that work, so they can certainly make blitz chess work!

>> I think if its just the first, and unfought 'GM-draws', then its not
>> necessary to make changes for the rest of us - who after all - don't have
>> a
>> problem.
>
> Unless a scoring system encourages playing for wins, why would people
> not play cautious and hope for an opponent mess up?

Indeed. Especially these days when you are paid just to show up. But still,
is this for top players only, or for all players, in your opinion?

Cordially, Phil


> - Rich




 
Date: 23 Mar 2008 13:20:17
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 23, 3:13=A0pm, "David Kane" <[email protected] > wrote:

> Simple reality is that chess
> as played with the current scoring is not zero sum, and cheating opportuni=
ties
> abound.

But the game itself is zero sum, so I think that the simple goal of
getting players to take chances is a laudable step.


 
Date: 23 Mar 2008 07:56:35
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 23, 8:50 am, "Chess One" <[email protected] > wrote:
> <[email protected]> wrote in message
>
> news:[email protected]m...
>
>
>
> > On 21, 12:33 pm, Peter Clinch <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >> So why does anyone bother entering? Perhaps because they /like playing
> >> Chess/? people who like playing will often like watching, and will
> >> appreciate quality play whether or not it ends in a draw. A draw is an
> >> outcome reflecting similarly good play on both sides: it is fair and is
> >> not necessarily dull.
>
> >> Pete.
>
> > What is important to understand is that a tournament is a version of a
> > game, and it will get gamed by people to maximize their chances to
> > win, irregardless of what each game calls for. If a scoring system
> > rewards draws more, there will be more draws. It goes with the
> > territory.
>
> > - Rich
>
> Good points! In fact, if scores for draws are the same as averaged win/lose,
> then there is no particular emphasis on avoiding draws, or playing for a win
> /in terms of scoring/ - and other factors become important; Andy Walker
> mentioned ratings as one factor, and the other is one's position in any
> tournament, or how feisty you feel.
>
> To follow the language above - if the scoring system rewards draws with
> black more than white, with 0.6 and 0.4 of a point respectively, will that
> factor disrupt 2 things? (a) if players collude to draw they do not get the
> same reward , and (b) will it produce less draws overall by stimulating the
> white player to fight on, and not draw?
>
> Phil Innes

What can be done is possibly causing the reigning champion to lose his
title, and it remains unseated, if no one manages to pull through and
actually end in a tie.

Another possibility is to use speed chess as "Overtime", like the did
recently with Chess960 as a way to tie-break. Don't like to go there,
well then win?

Beyond this, besides a system gamed to draw, the amount of play in
chess has resulted in there being far less ways to surprise anyone, so
the end game ends up being predictable, minus a bungle. Each side
will play hard, but sound, making for a reduction in pieces to the
place where a draw is left, with current rules.

You could also simply have people not be able to ask their opponent
for a draw, and force them to play it out. Maybe do an opposite
version where you can ask your opponent to resign or force them to
double the points the match is worth.

The last option is to add new rules to chess, to make the game new.
Of course, this is heresy to hardcore players of the game, who think
the FIDE rules were handed down by God and immutable for eternity.

- Rich


  
Date: 23 Mar 2008 12:13:56
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> On 23, 8:50 am, "Chess One" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> <[email protected]> wrote in message

>> To follow the language above - if the scoring system rewards draws with
>> black more than white, with 0.6 and 0.4 of a point respectively, will
>> that
>> factor disrupt 2 things? (a) if players collude to draw they do not get
>> the
>> same reward , and (b) will it produce less draws overall by stimulating
>> the
>> white player to fight on, and not draw?
>>
>> Phil Innes
>
> What can be done is possibly causing the reigning champion to lose his
> title, and it remains unseated, if no one manages to pull through and
> actually end in a tie.
>
> Another possibility is to use speed chess as "Overtime", like the did
> recently with Chess960 as a way to tie-break. Don't like to go there,
> well then win?
>
> Beyond this, besides a system gamed to draw, the amount of play in
> chess has resulted in there being far less ways to surprise anyone, so
> the end game ends up being predictable, minus a bungle.

Hi Richard, let me make a note here, since I am also a chess teacher. What
you say is true at the top levels, but for 99% of players does not seem to
be true in my experience or student's experience.

Theoretically some players know very much about main lines, but a 'b' class
move puts them outside of their book knowledge, and they have to resolve
what to do over the board. The only surprise to me is if they can do that
without their position collapsing almost instantly :)

Even relatively strong players do not understand common opening systems -
and even in correspondance chess I defeated a 2100 player with white and
black in under 20 moves last year.

> Each side
> will play hard, but sound, making for a reduction in pieces to the
> place where a draw is left, with current rules.
>
> You could also simply have people not be able to ask their opponent
> for a draw, and force them to play it out. Maybe do an opposite
> version where you can ask your opponent to resign or force them to
> double the points the match is worth.

Since I hardly ever draw I don't have an issue with my opponents level of
play. Last week I /did/ offer a draw to a 2340 player, who accepted it, I
gained one point and he lost one. I had a slightly better position with
white after a Ruy, but OTOH, this was a team match game, and I need to score
better than 50% result for the team - and with black I am still a pawn up at
move 20 after a Wing Gambit, have undoubled my b pawns and will try to win
it.

> The last option is to add new rules to chess, to make the game new.
> Of course, this is heresy to hardcore players of the game, who think
> the FIDE rules were handed down by God and immutable for eternity.

Laugh. Unfortunately you are writing to someone who wants to play exactly
the same game as Capablanca, Lasker, Alekhine, Fischer and Kasparov - so
doesn't want new rules that would change the method of play.

---

What I don't understand about much of this correspondance about draws is if
people who suggest its a problem are just speaking as chess spectators about
top players [nothing wrong with that, and I share that point of view] or if
they are speaking about all chess players?

I think if its just the first, and unfought 'GM-draws', then its not
necessary to make changes for the rest of us - who after all - don't have a
problem.

Cordially, Phil Innes

> - Rich




  
Date: 23 Mar 2008 15:40:55
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
<[email protected] > wrote:
> Another possibility is to use speed chess as "Overtime", like the
> did recently with Chess960 as a way to tie-break. Don't like to go
> there, well then win?

I'd much rather see joint champions declared than have ever-more
ludicrous tie-breaks used to separate them.

> You could also simply have people not be able to ask their opponent
> for a draw, and force them to play it out. Maybe do an opposite
> version where you can ask your opponent to resign or force them to
> double the points the match is worth.

Doubling certainly wouldn't work in a tournament -- somebody might
well win the tournament just because his opponent stubbornly kept
redoubling in a lost position. I don't think it's a good idea in
matches, either. Doubling works in backgammon because small mistakes
and bad luck can cause the lead in a game to be exchanged back and
forth between the players. There's no luck in chess and mistakes tend
to be more serious so it's not so common for the players to trade the
lead. Usually, one player or the oher builds up a steadily growin
advantage and the question is whether his opponent will be able to
hang on for a draw, not whether the leader will make a mistake and let
his opponent win.

> The last option is to add new rules to chess, to make the game new.
> Of course, this is heresy to hardcore players of the game, who think
> the FIDE rules were handed down by God and immutable for eternity.

I've already pointed out that there have been non-trivial changes to
the rules in the last few years. This idea that chess players believe
the laws to be immutable is a straw man.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Love Soap (TM): it's like a personal
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ hygiene product that you can share
with someone special!


 
Date: 22 Mar 2008 22:33:59
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 22, 8:51=A0pm, David Richerby <[email protected] >
wrote:

> > The GM Slugfest is the most famous that I'm aware of. It used BAP
> > scoring. (Black win =3D3, White win =3D2, Black draw =3D1)
>
> OK, that's a start. =A0From what I can see, there were two of these
> tournaments, one in 2005 and one in 2006. =A0According to [1], the 2006
> tournament was held over three days and had a field of fourteen
> players whose strength ranged from 2670 down to 1952 (USCF), with the
> following spread:
>
> =A0 =A0 2600+ =A0 =A0 =A05 players
> =A0 =A0 2500-2599 =A02
> =A0 =A0 2400-2499 =A02
> =A0 =A0 2300-2399 =A01
> =A0 =A0 2200-2299 =A03
> =A0 =A0 2100-2199 =A0
> =A0 =A0 2000-2099 =A0
> =A0 =A0 1900-1999 =A01
>
> I've not found a full crosstable anywhere so I don't actually know
> what percentage of the games in the tournaments were draws. =A0However,
> the very wide spread of abilities among the players would tend to
> reduce the frequency of draws under any scoring system, as would the
> pressures of a short Swiss tournament, where the only way to win the
> tournament is to win almost all your games. =A0The wide range of
> abilities in that tournament seems very significant to me.

I think you're onto something Dave. The NCAA basketball tournament
gets bigger every year, there's discrepancies in talent, but the need
to win is foremost. Even though a GM would beat on weaker competition,
it would make winning more important, and make people appreciate the
draws as being better matched play.


 
Date: 22 Mar 2008 21:27:23
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 21, 12:33 pm, Peter Clinch <[email protected] > wrote:

> So why does anyone bother entering? Perhaps because they /like playing
> Chess/? people who like playing will often like watching, and will
> appreciate quality play whether or not it ends in a draw. A draw is an
> outcome reflecting similarly good play on both sides: it is fair and is
> not necessarily dull.
>
> Pete.

What is important to understand is that a tournament is a version of a
game, and it will get gamed by people to maximize their chances to
win, irregardless of what each game calls for. If a scoring system
rewards draws more, there will be more draws. It goes with the
territory.

- Rich


  
Date: 23 Mar 2008 08:50:34
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> On 21, 12:33 pm, Peter Clinch <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> So why does anyone bother entering? Perhaps because they /like playing
>> Chess/? people who like playing will often like watching, and will
>> appreciate quality play whether or not it ends in a draw. A draw is an
>> outcome reflecting similarly good play on both sides: it is fair and is
>> not necessarily dull.
>>
>> Pete.
>
> What is important to understand is that a tournament is a version of a
> game, and it will get gamed by people to maximize their chances to
> win, irregardless of what each game calls for. If a scoring system
> rewards draws more, there will be more draws. It goes with the
> territory.
>
> - Rich

Good points! In fact, if scores for draws are the same as averaged win/lose,
then there is no particular emphasis on avoiding draws, or playing for a win
/in terms of scoring/ - and other factors become important; Andy Walker
mentioned ratings as one factor, and the other is one's position in any
tournament, or how feisty you feel.

To follow the language above - if the scoring system rewards draws with
black more than white, with 0.6 and 0.4 of a point respectively, will that
factor disrupt 2 things? (a) if players collude to draw they do not get the
same reward , and (b) will it produce less draws overall by stimulating the
white player to fight on, and not draw?

Phil Innes






 
Date: 22 Mar 2008 21:25:12
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 21, 5:49 pm, "David Kane" <[email protected] > wrote:
> Without changing the underlying rules of chess, we've
> altered the meta-game to provoke more interesting
> play. Just because something seemed reasonable to
> try 141 years ago, doesn't mean it makes sense for
> today's game.

Let's compare chess to boxing for a minute. As I see it, a checkmate
is like a KO in boxing. I believe this is a decent analogy, because a
checkmate is similar to what happens in a KO in boxing. In both
games, "combinations" are referred to also. So, I will ask here: What
would boxing be like if a boxing match ended without a knockout, and
it meant there was a draw? And what if the defending champion
happened to keep his title if he didn't get knocked out?

If boxing was like this, would there more more or less knockouts? I
believe they have winning by decision for a reason.

- Rich


  
Date: 23 Mar 2008 15:11:29
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
<[email protected] > wrote:
> Let's compare chess to boxing for a minute.

No, let's not. Seriously.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Unholy Pants (TM): it's like a
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ well-tailored pair of trousers but
it's also a crime against nature!


 
Date: 22 Mar 2008 21:13:45
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 22, 8:12 am, Nick Wedd <[email protected] > wrote:
> In message
> <[email protected]>,
> "[email protected]" <[email protected]> writes
>
> >It's not hard to create a version of Chess without so many draws at
> >the top level. You could use a 10x10 board for example and add a few
> >more pieces. The game tree would be much more complex, perfect play
> >would be much more difficult to approximate, and the draw rate would
> >be dramatically reduced.
>
> Would you need to go that far? Couldn't you just rule that stalemate
> was a loss for the stalemated player? That would make a lot of K+P/K
> endgames into wins for the player with the pawn.

The difficulty that the larger board solution runs into, and why the
Capablanca school runs into, is that there aren't a lot available.
When I have discussed the Seirawan version of chess, which uses gating
(some chess variants have used this) to get pieces on the board, the
complaints were the balances wasn't right, gating is new, etc... It
is a way to add new pieces, without changing the basic layout of
chess. In addition, what gating does is make a non-fixed opening,
which is much more dynamic.

What you suggest with the stalemate issue is part of the solution, but
still stalemate is more of a mess up on the part of the player with
the advantage, than something that common. A draw really needs to
score differently.

You can work scoring as in baring the king is worth one point, a
checkmate is worth 2 points, and a draw is worth 1/2 point to one
side, and not worth anything to the other.

Anyhow, even if people do all this, and introduce everything and then
decide they want to permanently codify the rules, the game will, say a
century later, still run into the same issues as it has it has now.
This is that the game is fixed, and people wear it out. A version of
chess that won't run out of steam has to keep changing itself over
time.

- Rich


  
Date: 23 Mar 2008 14:54:09
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
<[email protected] > wrote:
> Nick Wedd <[email protected]> wrote:
>> Couldn't you just rule that stalemate was a loss for the stalemated
>> player? That would make a lot of K+P/K endgames into wins for the
>> player with the pawn.
>
> What you suggest with the stalemate issue is part of the solution,
> but still stalemate is more of a mess up on the part of the player
> with the advantage, than something that common.

No. Most of those drawn KP vs K endgames are drawn because the weaker
side can force the stronger side to either stalemate him or give up
the pawn. This is a massive defensive resource. At the moment, many
positions where one player is a pawn down are drawn, precisely because
of stalemate. If you make stalemate a loss for the stalemated player,
most of these positions become won for the side with the extra pawn,
which means that players will be much less likely to sacrifice a pawn
for the attack. That would lead to a much less interesting game.


> You can work scoring as in baring the king is worth one point, a
> checkmate is worth 2 points, and a draw is worth 1/2 point to one
> side, and not worth anything to the other.

That would tend to encourage Black to play for a draw.


> Anyhow, even if people do all this, and introduce everything and
> then decide they want to permanently codify the rules

There is no such thing as `permanently codifying the rules.' The
rules of chess are, essentially, an agreement between chess players.
There is no way that the current generation of players can force
people who have not even been born yet to play by 2008 rules.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Simple Moistened Vomit (TM): it's like
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ a pile of puke but it's moist and it
has no moving parts!


 
Date: 22 Mar 2008 06:00:23
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
VIVA STALEMATE!

<Couldn't you just rule that stalemate
was a loss for the stalemated player?
That would make a lot of K+P/K endgames
into wins for the player with the pawn. > -- Nick Wedd

THE CRAZY WORLD OF CHESS by GM Larry Evans (page 234).

How many players would dare to risk gambits in the opening or embark
on sacrificial attacks if there were no hope of salvation in the
endgame?
You're a pawn up! Trade down! Brute force invariably would decide the
issue.

We can't destroy chess to save it. Many beautiful, subtle themes
would vanish without stalemate as a saving resource. And those who get
careless no longer would be punished for letting the underdog escape
with
a surprising draw.


Nick Wedd wrote:
> In message
> <[email protected]>,
> "[email protected]" <[email protected]> writes
>
> >It's not hard to create a version of Chess without so many draws at
> >the top level. You could use a 10x10 board for example and add a few
> >more pieces. The game tree would be much more complex, perfect play
> >would be much more difficult to approximate, and the draw rate would
> >be dramatically reduced.
>
> Would you need to go that far? Couldn't you just rule that stalemate
> was a loss for the stalemated player? That would make a lot of K+P/K
> endgames into wins for the player with the pawn.
>
> Nick
> --
> Nick Wedd [email protected]


 
Date: 22 Mar 2008 12:12:41
From: Nick Wedd
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In message
<[email protected] >,
"[email protected]" <[email protected] > writes

>It's not hard to create a version of Chess without so many draws at
>the top level. You could use a 10x10 board for example and add a few
>more pieces. The game tree would be much more complex, perfect play
>would be much more difficult to approximate, and the draw rate would
>be dramatically reduced.

Would you need to go that far? Couldn't you just rule that stalemate
was a loss for the stalemated player? That would make a lot of K+P/K
endgames into wins for the player with the pawn.

Nick
--
Nick Wedd [email protected]


 
Date: 21 Mar 2008 17:47:55
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 21, 12:21 pm, David Richerby <[email protected] >
wrote:
> >
> > Chessplayers are human and humans respond to drama. ...
> >
> ... I would rather imagine that the laws of chess
> reflect the wishes of the `average' chess player ...

That's exactly what you're doing. Imagining. Chess evolved to its
current incarnation a long time ago, and it won't be evolving further
any time soon. Chess doesn't reflect anybody's wishes.

> -- after all, if the
> masses were clamouring for a version of chess without so many draws at
> the top level, surely it would already exist?
>

It's not hard to create a version of Chess without so many draws at
the top level. You could use a 10x10 board for example and add a few
more pieces. The game tree would be much more complex, perfect play
would be much more difficult to approximate, and the draw rate would
be dramatically reduced. Nobody's "clamoring" for that though. Chess
variants don't have even a tiny fraction of the player base that Chess
has and they never will.

You don't have to look too hard to find "average" Chess players
bemoaning the high draw rate among experts. And nobody is going to
argue that a repeat position draw or a 50 move rule draw is a dramatic
ending. But that's what you're stuck with. You either play it as is
and deal with the problems or you move on to a robust, but much less
commonly played game.


  
Date: 22 Mar 2008 23:58:04
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
[email protected] <[email protected] > wrote:
> David Richerby <[email protected]> wrote:
>> ... I would rather imagine that the laws of chess reflect the
>> wishes of the `average' chess player ...
>
> That's exactly what you're doing. Imagining. Chess evolved to its
> current incarnation a long time ago, and it won't be evolving
> further any time soon. Chess doesn't reflect anybody's wishes.

The basic rules of the game (the moving of the pieces, checkmate,
stalemate, and so on) have, indeed, been established for some time.
However, there have been numerous changes in more recent times. The
use of clocks is only about a hundred and fifty years old; electronic
clocks that add time for each move made are still more recent and the
laws of the game have been updated to include such things. More
recently, there were alterations to the fifty-move rule, extending the
number of moves before a draw could be claimed in certain
circumstances; still more recently, these changes were agreed to be
impractical and repealed. Mobile phones have been specifically
banned. Yes, these changes are minor but they're not much less
significant than tinkering with the number of points awarded for a
draw.

> You don't have to look too hard to find "average" Chess players
> bemoaning the high draw rate among experts. And nobody is going to
> argue that a repeat position draw or a 50 move rule draw is a
> dramatic ending.

Actually, very few games are drawn by repetition or the fifty-move
rule: the overwhelming majority of draws are by agreement.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Electronic Technicolor Drink (TM):
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ it's like a refreshing juice beverage
but it's in realistic colour and it
uses electricity!


 
Date: 21 Mar 2008 11:36:57
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 21, 9:33 am, Peter Clinch <[email protected] > wrote:
>
> So why does anyone bother entering? Perhaps because they /like playing
> Chess/? people who like playing will often like watching, and will
> appreciate quality play whether or not it ends in a draw.

I'm just trying to answer your question. You asked, "And finally,
what's the problem with draws?"

One problem with draws is that high draw rates bore the hell out of
potential tournament spectators. Face the fact instead of trying to
dodge it with all this cutesy "errr, your point isn't really a point"
pseudo-intellectualism.

> A draw is an outcome reflecting similarly good play on both
> sides: it is fair and is not necessarily dull.
>

Right, not *necessarily* dull. Not exactly a rave review. This
illuminates another problem with draws. They're not always the
"welcome outcome among friends" that they are often disingenuously
portrayed to be. What happens when your "friendly game" is taking way
too long because your opponent refuses to agree to what is obviously a
draw, claiming that he just needs "a little more time"? You can't
force your opponent to agree to a draw. Yes, you can claim a draw
(using the 50 move rules, etc.) in the presence of an arbiter, but
when's the last time you played a friendly game of Chess with an
arbiter on hand? Your only options are to continue inanely chasing
each other around the board in a cyclic or nearly cyclic move sequence
or to concede. Not real friendly.

From FIDE: "The Laws of Chess cannot cover all possible situations
that may arise during a game, nor can they regulate all administrative
questions. Where cases are not precisely regulated by an Article of
the Laws, it should be possible to reach a correct decision by
studying analogous situations which are discussed in the Laws. The
Laws assume that arbiters have the necessary competence, sound
judgement and absolute objectivity. Too detailed a rule might deprive
the arbiter of his freedom of judgement and thus prevent him from
finding the solution to a problem dictated by fairness, logic and
special factors."

Just the fact that you need an arbiter... It'd be fascinating to hear a
definition of "robust" that would include the game of Chess.


  
Date: 21 Mar 2008 21:17:50
From: Peter Clinch
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess
[email protected] wrote:

> I'm just trying to answer your question. You asked, "And finally,
> what's the problem with draws?"
>
> One problem with draws is that high draw rates bore the hell out of
> potential tournament spectators.

So you say, but as a potential spectator *I'm* interested in
quality play during a game, not the end result.

> Face the fact instead of trying to
> dodge it with all this cutesy "errr, your point isn't really a point"
> pseudo-intellectualism.

If you were right this would have brought public interest in chess
down to more or less nothing hundreds, if not thousands, of years
ago. Yet it hasn't. Your pseudo-intellectial definitions of
"robustness" conveniently ignoore this brontosaurus in the living
room corner...

> Right, not *necessarily* dull. Not exactly a rave review.

But a clear result isn't necessarily interesting either. It is
potentially dull too. That's not a rave review either.

> This
> illuminates another problem with draws. They're not always the
> "welcome outcome among friends" that they are often disingenuously
> portrayed to be. What happens when your "friendly game" is taking way
> too long because your opponent refuses to agree to what is obviously a
> draw, claiming that he just needs "a little more time"? You can't
> force your opponent to agree to a draw. Yes, you can claim a draw
> (using the 50 move rules, etc.) in the presence of an arbiter, but
> when's the last time you played a friendly game of Chess with an
> arbiter on hand? Your only options are to continue inanely chasing
> each other around the board in a cyclic or nearly cyclic move sequence
> or to concede. Not real friendly.

You seem to have missed that playing with friends in a friendly
manner avoids the problem by one's friends not exhibiting this sort
of behaviour. First rule of any game: pick your opponents so you
can all have a good time. Anyone playing a *game* with someone who
plays in such a way to render the exercise joyless has only
themselves to blame.

> Just the fact that you need an arbiter... It'd be fascinating to hear a
> definition of "robust" that would include the game of Chess.

It's been hugely popular for a very, very long time, being played
at all possible levels of seriousness. You can't achieve that and
/not/ be robust. You can't achieve that and be seriously broken in
any way that wouldn't have been addressed /long/ ago.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/


 
Date: 21 Mar 2008 08:56:35
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 21, 1:04 am, Peter Clinch <[email protected] > wrote:
>
> > Let's take it to the extreme and imagine that instead of 80% draws
> > among experts, you have 100% draws among intermediate players. Not
> > too farfetched since games like that do exist. Would you find that
> > entertaining?
>
> Let's take it to reality and note that that doesn't happen in Chess,
> which is the subject of this discussion, so your "point" is rather
> lacking any, errr, point.
>

Answer the question, Bozo. The point, which you apparently missed, is
that a tournament with an 80% draw rate isn't a whole lot more
exciting than a tournament with a 100% draw rate. Your reality seems
to be, errr, logically challenged.


  
Date: 21 Mar 2008 16:33:31
From: Peter Clinch
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess
[email protected] wrote:

> Answer the question, Bozo. The point, which you apparently missed, is
> that a tournament with an 80% draw rate isn't a whole lot more
> exciting than a tournament with a 100% draw rate. Your reality seems
> to be, errr, logically challenged.

So why does anyone bother entering? Perhaps because they /like playing
Chess/? people who like playing will often like watching, and will
appreciate quality play whether or not it ends in a draw. A draw is an
outcome reflecting similarly good play on both sides: it is fair and is
not necessarily dull.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/


 
Date: 20 Mar 2008 19:28:00
From: Christopher Dearlove
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In message <[email protected] >, David Kane
<[email protected] > writes
>Losing on purpose is a far bigger moral step. There are very few
>documented cases of thrown games.

Except I quoted one study which shows it happens in sumo. You
don't need to identify which are the thrown games, just show that
statistically quite a few clearly are.

>Changing the
>scoring is one way to address that defect.

You just don't get it. Changing the scoring system (which addresses a
problem the people who actually matter don't seem to mind, but no
matter) would makes cheating profitable. Mathematical fact. Where
cheating is profitable, people will find a way to cheat. Pretty much the
definition of the human condition, with mountains of supporting
evidence.

But arguing with you is a waste of time, I'll take someone else's
earlier advice to give it up.

--
Christopher Dearlove


  
Date: 20 Mar 2008 14:01:49
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Christopher Dearlove" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> In message <[email protected]>, David Kane
> <[email protected]> writes
>>Losing on purpose is a far bigger moral step. There are very few
>>documented cases of thrown games.
>
> Except I quoted one study which shows it happens in sumo. You
> don't need to identify which are the thrown games, just show that
> statistically quite a few clearly are.
>
>>Changing the
>>scoring is one way to address that defect.
>
> You just don't get it. Changing the scoring system (which addresses a
> problem the people who actually matter don't seem to mind, but no
> matter) would makes cheating profitable. Mathematical fact.

It is a "mathematical fact" that cheating is already profitable in chess. Your
theory has to address this, but doesn't.

>Where
> cheating is profitable, people will find a way to cheat. Pretty much the
> definition of the human condition, with mountains of supporting
> evidence.
>

Except that there aren't mountains of evidence that cheating occurs
in chess, unless you count the morally/legally ambiguous issue of agreed
draws (a problem which would clearly be lessened by scoring
changes - using the same kind of logic you are using)
You can't pick and chose the data you want to look at.

I'll grant that I don't know about sumo. Can you sumize?
I suspect that there are many differences making the analogy
very weak, but I'm open to being convinced.

> But arguing with you is a waste of time, I'll take someone else's
> earlier advice to give it up.

In tournaments that have used alternate scoring, there have
been no accusations of cheating. There were, however, a
higher than normal percentage of highly contested games.
Inconvenient facts, I know.






   
Date: 21 Mar 2008 19:26:21
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
David Kane <[email protected] > wrote:
> In tournaments that have used alternate scoring, there have
> been no accusations of cheating. There were, however, a
> higher than normal percentage of highly contested games.
> Inconvenient facts, I know.

Please cite a high-level chess tournament that has used scoring other
than a draw being worth half as much as a win, to each player. (I am
not aware of any having been played.) For bonus ks, please cite
enough of them that we have a statistically significant number of
games to consider.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Homicidal Radioactive Sushi (TM):
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ it's like a raw fish but it'll make
you glow in the dark and it wants to
kill you!


    
Date: 21 Mar 2008 13:46:35
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"David Richerby" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:jbw*[email protected]
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>> In tournaments that have used alternate scoring, there have
>> been no accusations of cheating. There were, however, a
>> higher than normal percentage of highly contested games.
>> Inconvenient facts, I know.
>
> Please cite a high-level chess tournament that has used scoring other
> than a draw being worth half as much as a win, to each player. (I am
> not aware of any having been played.) For bonus ks, please cite
> enough of them that we have a statistically significant number of
> games to consider.
>

The GM Slugfest is the most famous that I'm aware of. It used
BAP scoring. (Black win =3, White win =2, Black draw =1)

BTW, how does dreaming up ludicrous cheating scenarios help
create a statistically significant number of games? You sound
like someone who is desperate for these experiments not to
go forth, lest they prove you wrong. Seriously, why is that?
Why are you so attached to the status quo that you are
willing to make irrational and false arguments to preserve it?

I'm the first to admit that whatever experiments are tried are
bound to have glitches and might not bring the intended
consequences. But I like chess, want it to thrive, and understand
that sports and games have to evolve to remain healthy.
I would rather see chess played under the 1867 rules (draw=1/2)
give way to chess played under a mathematically
sounder alternate scoring system, than to see it die
altogether.



     
Date: 23 Mar 2008 00:51:18
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
David Kane <[email protected] > wrote:
> "David Richerby" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> In tournaments that have used alternate scoring, there have been
>>> no accusations of cheating. There were, however, a higher than
>>> normal percentage of highly contested games. Inconvenient facts,
>>> I know.
>>
>> Please cite a high-level chess tournament that has used scoring
>> other than a draw being worth half as much as a win, to each
>> player. (I am not aware of any having been played.) For bonus
>> ks, please cite enough of them that we have a statistically
>> significant number of games to consider.
>
> The GM Slugfest is the most famous that I'm aware of. It used BAP
> scoring. (Black win =3, White win =2, Black draw =1)

OK, that's a start. From what I can see, there were two of these
tournaments, one in 2005 and one in 2006. According to [1], the 2006
tournament was held over three days and had a field of fourteen
players whose strength ranged from 2670 down to 1952 (USCF), with the
following spread:

2600+ 5 players
2500-2599 2
2400-2499 2
2300-2399 1
2200-2299 3
2100-2199
2000-2099
1900-1999 1

I've not found a full crosstable anywhere so I don't actually know
what percentage of the games in the tournaments were draws. However,
the very wide spread of abilities among the players would tend to
reduce the frequency of draws under any scoring system, as would the
pressures of a short Swiss tournament, where the only way to win the
tournament is to win almost all your games. The wide range of
abilities in that tournament seems very significant to me.

I'd also say that the BAP system is extremely unfair. In particular,
in the given tournament, we can probably assume that the 1952-rated
player lost all his games, since he was the weakest player by nearly
300 points[2]. Half of the people who played against him were given
the white pieces so their `free wins' were worth only two points; the
other players were given three points for their wins against him. Mig
Greengard[3] and GM Joel Benjamin[4] don't think BAP is a good idea,
especially in tournaments with a wide spread of player strength.

[1] http://chesslodge.blogspot.com/2006/10/gm-slugfest-tournament.html
[2] That is, every other player in the field would expect to win at
least 85% of their games against him and the 2600+ players would
be expected to win over 99% of the time.
[3] http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt/2005/11/slugfest_chess.htm
[4] http://main.uschess.org/content/view/6741/341

> BTW, how does dreaming up ludicrous cheating scenarios help create a
> statistically significant number of games?

It is, as I have pointed out before, unreasonably of you to suggest
that I am in some way deficient for failing to provide statistical
evidence of the effect of something that has never been tried.

> You sound like someone who is desperate for these experiments not to
> go forth, lest they prove you wrong. Seriously, why is that? Why
> are you so attached to the status quo that you are willing to make
> irrational and false arguments to preserve it?

Please stop trying to side-track and personalize the discussion by
casting aspersions as to my motives. Stop for a moment and see if
your arguments are in any way specific to the matter at hand and you
will see that they are not. That is a sure sign that something is
going wrong.

You have proposed a change to the laws of chess. I have suggested
that this change has flaws. You accuse me of irrationality and fear
of change rather than substantively rebutting what I am saying.

> I'm the first to admit that whatever experiments are tried are
> bound to have glitches and might not bring the intended
> consequences.

On the one hand, you claim to accept that your idea might not work.
On the other hand, anybody who gives an actual reason why your idea
might not work (it makes cheating more profitable than the current
rules) is presenting `irrational and false arguments'.

> I would rather see [...] chess played under a mathematically sounder
> alternate scoring system.

Please justify your assertion that awarding less than half a point for
a draw is mathematically more sound.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Radioactive Edible Vomit (TM): it's
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ like a pile of puke but you can eat it
and it'll make you glow in the dark!


      
Date: 22 Mar 2008 19:31:13
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"David Richerby" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:oVD*[email protected]
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>> "David Richerby" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>>>> In tournaments that have used alternate scoring, there have been
>>>> no accusations of cheating. There were, however, a higher than
>>>> normal percentage of highly contested games. Inconvenient facts,
>>>> I know.
>>>
>>> Please cite a high-level chess tournament that has used scoring
>>> other than a draw being worth half as much as a win, to each
>>> player. (I am not aware of any having been played.) For bonus
>>> ks, please cite enough of them that we have a statistically
>>> significant number of games to consider.
>>
>> The GM Slugfest is the most famous that I'm aware of. It used BAP
>> scoring. (Black win =3, White win =2, Black draw =1)
>
> OK, that's a start. From what I can see, there were two of these
> tournaments, one in 2005 and one in 2006. According to [1], the 2006
> tournament was held over three days and had a field of fourteen
> players whose strength ranged from 2670 down to 1952 (USCF), with the
> following spread:
>
> 2600+ 5 players
> 2500-2599 2
> 2400-2499 2
> 2300-2399 1
> 2200-2299 3
> 2100-2199
> 2000-2099
> 1900-1999 1
>
> I've not found a full crosstable anywhere so I don't actually know
> what percentage of the games in the tournaments were draws. However,
> the very wide spread of abilities among the players would tend to
> reduce the frequency of draws under any scoring system, as would the
> pressures of a short Swiss tournament, where the only way to win the
> tournament is to win almost all your games. The wide range of
> abilities in that tournament seems very significant to me.
>
>
> I'd also say that the BAP system is extremely unfair. In particular,
> in the given tournament, we can probably assume that the 1952-rated
> player lost all his games, since he was the weakest player by nearly
> 300 points[2]. Half of the people who played against him were given
> the white pieces so their `free wins' were worth only two points; the
> other players were given three points for their wins against him. Mig
> Greengard[3] and GM Joel Benjamin[4] don't think BAP is a good idea,
> especially in tournaments with a wide spread of player strength.

A few points:

The normal scoring system is biased toward White. BAP is biased toward
Black (though the bias is less than White's with normal scoring) There is
nothing fundamentally different about the two cases. Technically you are
correct, however, that it is "unfair". Similarly normal scoring is "unfair" yet
it hasn't prevented it from being used.

In any Swiss tournament, the bottom player will almost never play the top
players.

The 1900 player I believe was Clyde Ballard (the "B" in BAP), included to give
the
experimental tournament an even number of players.

The "beliefs" held by random folks aren't important; the strengths of their
arguments are.




>
> [1] http://chesslodge.blogspot.com/2006/10/gm-slugfest-tournament.html
> [2] That is, every other player in the field would expect to win at
> least 85% of their games against him and the 2600+ players would
> be expected to win over 99% of the time.
> [3] http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt/2005/11/slugfest_chess.htm
> [4] http://main.uschess.org/content/view/6741/341
>
>> BTW, how does dreaming up ludicrous cheating scenarios help create a
>> statistically significant number of games?
>
> It is, as I have pointed out before, unreasonably of you to suggest
> that I am in some way deficient for failing to provide statistical
> evidence of the effect of something that has never been tried.
>

I never requested statistical evidence. But the fact that you
haven't provided *any* evidence is telling.


>> You sound like someone who is desperate for these experiments not to
>> go forth, lest they prove you wrong. Seriously, why is that? Why
>> are you so attached to the status quo that you are willing to make
>> irrational and false arguments to preserve it?
>
> Please stop trying to side-track and personalize the discussion by
> casting aspersions as to my motives. Stop for a moment and see if
> your arguments are in any way specific to the matter at hand and you
> will see that they are not. That is a sure sign that something is
> going wrong.

I think motives are important. I suspect that you really
are not so disconnected from reality as to believe your
argument. More careful consideration on your part, including
an examination of your motives, might let you see the merits
of my arguments as well as put forth sounder objections to them.

>
> You have proposed a change to the laws of chess. I have suggested
> that this change has flaws. You accuse me of irrationality and fear
> of change rather than substantively rebutting what I am saying.

I have not proposed changes to the laws of chess, but to scoring
which is external to the game itself. You have not simply
suggested that the proposed changes have flaws (which
would be correct), but claimed a specific flaw, which I believe
I have characterized fairly, as well as have rebutted.

>
>> I'm the first to admit that whatever experiments are tried are
>> bound to have glitches and might not bring the intended
>> consequences.
>
> On the one hand, you claim to accept that your idea might not work.
> On the other hand, anybody who gives an actual reason why your idea
> might not work (it makes cheating more profitable than the current
> rules) is presenting `irrational and false arguments'.
>
>> I would rather see [...] chess played under a mathematically sounder
>> alternate scoring system.
>
> Please justify your assertion that awarding less than half a point for
> a draw is mathematically more sound.

I suppose it is not pure mathematics, but empirically the half point
draw has produced a situation where contestants routinely
avoid playing real games. Imagine, for example, we awarded a
draw the value of 0.9. What do you predict that change would
make to the game, and would it improve the game? Same
arguments apply to 0.5.



       
Date: 23 Mar 2008 21:23:20
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
David Kane <[email protected] > wrote:
> "David Richerby" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> I'd also say that the BAP system is extremely unfair. In parti-
>> cular, in the given tournament, we can probably assume that the
>> 1952-rated player lost all his games, since he was the weakest
>> player by nearly 300 points. Half of the people who played against
>> him were given the white pieces so their `free wins' were worth
>> only two points; the other players were given three points for
>> their wins against him. Mig Greengard and GM Joel Benjamin don't
>> think BAP is a good idea, especially in tournaments with a wide
>> spread of player strength.
>
> The normal scoring system is biased toward White.

No. The *game* is biased toward White, at least as currently played.

> In any Swiss tournament, the bottom player will almost never play
> the top players.

Yes but he still has to play somebody in every round. (Or every round
but one if there's an odd number of players.)

> The 1900 player I believe was Clyde Ballard (the "B" in BAP),
> included to give the experimental tournament an even number of
> players.

It was Andy May, as you could readily have established by looking at
the URL I gave:

http://chesslodge.blogspot.com/2006/10/gm-slugfest-tournament.html

> The "beliefs" held by random folks aren't important; the strengths
> of their arguments are.

Mig Greengard and Joel Benjamin aren't `random folks' -- they're
experts in the field. I provided the URLs for their comments
precisely so that you could evaluate their arguments for yourself but,
rather than doing that, you just dismiss them. Here are the URLs
again.

http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt/2005/11/slugfest_chess.htm
http://main.uschess.org/content/view/6741/341

>>> BTW, how does dreaming up ludicrous cheating scenarios help create
>>> a statistically significant number of games?
>>
>> It is, as I have pointed out before, unreasonably of you to suggest
>> that I am in some way deficient for failing to provide statistical
>> evidence of the effect of something that has never been tried.
>
> I never requested statistical evidence. But the fact that you
> haven't provided *any* evidence is telling.

Oh, for crying out loud. It's telling of the fact that this is an
untried idea. I cannot possibly produce any concrete evidence. Just
as you cannot produce any concrete evidence against the hypothesis
that the first words spoken from s will be `Damn, but I fancy a
bacon sandwich.'

> I suspect that you really are not so disconnected from reality as to
> believe your argument.

Really, you could try to make your insults a little more subtle.

>> You have proposed a change to the laws of chess. I have suggested
>> that this change has flaws. You accuse me of irrationality and
>> fear of change rather than substantively rebutting what I am
>> saying.
>
> I have not proposed changes to the laws of chess, but to scoring
> which is external to the game itself.

Very well. You have proposed a change to the way in which chess
tournaments are conducted which, incidentally, changes the default
situation of Article 11.1 of the FIDE Laws of Chess, which states,
``Unless announced otherwise in advance, a player who wins his game,
or wins by forfeit, scores one point (1), a player who loses his game,
or forfeits scores no points (0) and a player who draws his game
scores a half point (1/2).'' I have suggested specific flaws in this
change. You accuse me of irrationality, fear of change, being
``ludicrous'' and ``disconnected from reality'' rather than
substantively rebutting what I am saying.

>>> I would rather see [...] chess played under a mathematically sounder
>>> alternate scoring system.
>>
>> Please justify your assertion that awarding less than half a point
>> for a draw is mathematically more sound.
>
> I suppose it is not pure mathematics

It is not any kind of mathematics at all. You just wrote `mathema-
tically more sound' because it sounds better than `Well, I like it
better.'

> but empirically the half point draw has produced a situation where
> contestants routinely avoid playing real games.

No. Empirically, the half-point draw has coincided with a situation
where contestants occasionally avoid playing real games.

I have nothing further to say to you on this subject or any other.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Fluorescent Hungry Car (TM): it's
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ like a high-performance luxury car
but it'll eat you and hurt your eyes!


        
Date: 23 Mar 2008 16:17:02
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"David Richerby" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:iji*[email protected]
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>> "David Richerby" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> I'd also say that the BAP system is extremely unfair. In parti-
>>> cular, in the given tournament, we can probably assume that the
>>> 1952-rated player lost all his games, since he was the weakest
>>> player by nearly 300 points. Half of the people who played against
>>> him were given the white pieces so their `free wins' were worth
>>> only two points; the other players were given three points for
>>> their wins against him. Mig Greengard and GM Joel Benjamin don't
>>> think BAP is a good idea, especially in tournaments with a wide
>>> spread of player strength.
>>
>> The normal scoring system is biased toward White.
>
> No. The *game* is biased toward White, at least as currently played.

This is just wrong. Playing with 1867-scoring, we'd prefer White.
Playing with BAP scoring, we'd prefer Black. No doubt there is a
scoring systems that would make the colors equally desirable.

The point is that the same theoretical objection you raised for BAP
is equally present for traditional scoring. Hence, it is not a valid objection,
even though I have conceded that BAP is unfair.



>
>> The "beliefs" held by random folks aren't important; the strengths
>> of their arguments are.
>
> Mig Greengard and Joel Benjamin aren't `random folks' -- they're
> experts in the field. I provided the URLs for their comments
> precisely so that you could evaluate their arguments for yourself but,
> rather than doing that, you just dismiss them. Here are the URLs
> again.
>
> http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt/2005/11/slugfest_chess.htm
> http://main.uschess.org/content/view/6741/341


If they wish to enter the debate, they are welcome to. It hardly
makes sense for me to debate them when they aren't here.


>
>>>> BTW, how does dreaming up ludicrous cheating scenarios help create
>>>> a statistically significant number of games?
>>>
>>> It is, as I have pointed out before, unreasonably of you to suggest
>>> that I am in some way deficient for failing to provide statistical
>>> evidence of the effect of something that has never been tried.
>>
>> I never requested statistical evidence. But the fact that you
>> haven't provided *any* evidence is telling.
>
> Oh, for crying out loud. It's telling of the fact that this is an
> untried idea. I cannot possibly produce any concrete evidence. Just
> as you cannot produce any concrete evidence against the hypothesis
> that the first words spoken from s will be `Damn, but I fancy a
> bacon sandwich.'

This is not correct. The basis of your objection is that
non zero-sum scoring will produce cheating, but the fact is that
chess is *already* that way when prizes are considered. So we
have tried the experiment, can examine the evidence, and draw conclusions.

You refuse to, for obvious reasons.

>
>> but empirically the half point draw has produced a situation where
>> contestants routinely avoid playing real games.
>
> No. Empirically, the half-point draw has coincided with a situation
> where contestants occasionally avoid playing real games.
>
> I have nothing further to say to you on this subject or any other.
>

The point is that you haven't said anything meaningful yet.
You are stuck with your prejudices and can't bring yourself
to move beyond them.



        
Date: 23 Mar 2008 16:03:49
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"David Richerby" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:iji*[email protected]
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>> "David Richerby" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> I'd also say that the BAP system is extremely unfair. In parti-
>>> cular, in the given tournament, we can probably assume that the
>>> 1952-rated player lost all his games, since he was the weakest
>>> player by nearly 300 points. Half of the people who played against
>>> him were given the white pieces so their `free wins' were worth
>>> only two points; the other players were given three points for
>>> their wins against him. Mig Greengard and GM Joel Benjamin don't
>>> think BAP is a good idea, especially in tournaments with a wide
>>> spread of player strength.
>>
>> The normal scoring system is biased toward White.
>
> No. The *game* is biased toward White, at least as currently played.
>
>> In any Swiss tournament, the bottom player will almost never play
>> the top players.
>
> Yes but he still has to play somebody in every round. (Or every round
> but one if there's an odd number of players.)
>
>> The 1900 player I believe was Clyde Ballard (the "B" in BAP),
>> included to give the experimental tournament an even number of
>> players.
>
> It was Andy May, as you could readily have established by looking at
> the URL I gave:
>
> http://chesslodge.blogspot.com/2006/10/gm-slugfest-tournament.html
>
>> The "beliefs" held by random folks aren't important; the strengths
>> of their arguments are.
>
> Mig Greengard and Joel Benjamin aren't `random folks' -- they're
> experts in the field. I provided the URLs for their comments
> precisely so that you could evaluate their arguments for yourself but,
> rather than doing that, you just dismiss them. Here are the URLs
> again.
>
> http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt/2005/11/slugfest_chess.htm
> http://main.uschess.org/content/view/6741/341
>
>>>> BTW, how does dreaming up ludicrous cheating scenarios help create
>>>> a statistically significant number of games?
>>>
>>> It is, as I have pointed out before, unreasonably of you to suggest
>>> that I am in some way deficient for failing to provide statistical
>>> evidence of the effect of something that has never been tried.
>>
>> I never requested statistical evidence. But the fact that you
>> haven't provided *any* evidence is telling.
>
> Oh, for crying out loud. It's telling of the fact that this is an
> untried idea. I cannot possibly produce any concrete evidence. Just
> as you cannot produce any concrete evidence against the hypothesis
> that the first words spoken from s will be `Damn, but I fancy a
> bacon sandwich.'
>
>> I suspect that you really are not so disconnected from reality as to
>> believe your argument.
>
> Really, you could try to make your insults a little more subtle.
>
>>> You have proposed a change to the laws of chess. I have suggested
>>> that this change has flaws. You accuse me of irrationality and
>>> fear of change rather than substantively rebutting what I am
>>> saying.
>>
>> I have not proposed changes to the laws of chess, but to scoring
>> which is external to the game itself.
>
> Very well. You have proposed a change to the way in which chess
> tournaments are conducted which, incidentally, changes the default
> situation of Article 11.1 of the FIDE Laws of Chess, which states,
> ``Unless announced otherwise in advance, a player who wins his game,
> or wins by forfeit, scores one point (1), a player who loses his game,
> or forfeits scores no points (0) and a player who draws his game
> scores a half point (1/2).'' I have suggested specific flaws in this
> change. You accuse me of irrationality, fear of change, being
> ``ludicrous'' and ``disconnected from reality'' rather than
> substantively rebutting what I am saying.
>
>>>> I would rather see [...] chess played under a mathematically sounder
>>>> alternate scoring system.
>>>
>>> Please justify your assertion that awarding less than half a point
>>> for a draw is mathematically more sound.
>>
>> I suppose it is not pure mathematics
>
> It is not any kind of mathematics at all. You just wrote `mathema-
> tically more sound' because it sounds better than `Well, I like it
> better.'
>
>> but empirically the half point draw has produced a situation where
>> contestants routinely avoid playing real games.
>
> No. Empirically, the half-point draw has coincided with a situation
> where contestants occasionally avoid playing real games.
>
> I have nothing further to say to you on this subject or any other.
>
>
> Dave.
>
> --
> David Richerby Fluorescent Hungry Car (TM): it's
> www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ like a high-performance luxury car
> but it'll eat you and hurt your eyes!



       
Date: 23 Mar 2008 17:53:35
From: Andy Walker
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In article <[email protected] >,
David Kane <[email protected] > wrote:
> [...] Imagine, for example, we awarded a
>draw the value of 0.9. What do you predict that change would
>make to the game, and would it improve the game?

Well, it certainly wouldn't improve the game. But both
that change and a change to 0.1 would, it seems to me, make far
less difference than you seem to think.

* No difference at all to matches, where only wins matter, inc
especially WC matches, which is where many of the complaints
have come.
* No difference at all to league chess [perhaps 60-70% of all
serious chess in the UK], where only wins affect the match
result.
* No difference at all to "friendly" chess in your club.
* No difference at all to KO tournaments.
* Negligible difference to "weekend" tournaments, where you have
to be very lucky to win a 5-round event with 4/5. Four wins
and a draw will put you ahead of everyone with either one loss
or two draws, whether the draw scores 0.1 or 0.9.
* Negligible difference to 5-min or rapidplay or correspondence
tournaments, where "soft" draws are already very rare.
* So you are left with long Swiss tournaments and round-robins.
These may be an important part of top GM chess, but it's a
tiny proportion of chess as played by the rest of us.
* Even then, while there certainly are abuses [which can be stopped
by other means -- Rentero simply didn't invite players who
took short draws back to Linares], you seem to be assuming
that a large proportion of draws are abusive, and would stop
if draws scored < 0.5. It would plainly have *some* effect;
but it seems to me like an unnecessary sledgehammer to crack
the wrong and rather small nut. A long tournament simply is
a very arduous event -- it's like taking 11 or 14 6-hr exams
on consecutive days, with any single lapse of concentration
potentially scoring you zero on that paper. If you deny the
players ways of taking some days off, they will simply find
other ways.

--
Andy Walker
Nottingham


        
Date: 23 Mar 2008 12:36:59
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Andy Walker" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> In article <[email protected]>,
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>> [...] Imagine, for example, we awarded a
>>draw the value of 0.9. What do you predict that change would
>>make to the game, and would it improve the game?
>
> Well, it certainly wouldn't improve the game. But both
> that change and a change to 0.1 would, it seems to me, make far
> less difference than you seem to think.
>
> * No difference at all to matches, where only wins matter, inc
> especially WC matches, which is where many of the complaints
> have come.
> * No difference at all to league chess [perhaps 60-70% of all
> serious chess in the UK], where only wins affect the match
> result.
> * No difference at all to "friendly" chess in your club.
> * No difference at all to KO tournaments.
> * Negligible difference to "weekend" tournaments, where you have
> to be very lucky to win a 5-round event with 4/5. Four wins
> and a draw will put you ahead of everyone with either one loss
> or two draws, whether the draw scores 0.1 or 0.9.
> * Negligible difference to 5-min or rapidplay or correspondence
> tournaments, where "soft" draws are already very rare.
> * So you are left with long Swiss tournaments and round-robins.
> These may be an important part of top GM chess, but it's a
> tiny proportion of chess as played by the rest of us.
> * Even then, while there certainly are abuses [which can be stopped
> by other means -- Rentero simply didn't invite players who
> took short draws back to Linares], you seem to be assuming
> that a large proportion of draws are abusive, and would stop
> if draws scored < 0.5. It would plainly have *some* effect;
> but it seems to me like an unnecessary sledgehammer to crack
> the wrong and rather small nut. A long tournament simply is
> a very arduous event -- it's like taking 11 or 14 6-hr exams
> on consecutive days, with any single lapse of concentration
> potentially scoring you zero on that paper. If you deny the
> players ways of taking some days off, they will simply find
> other ways.

I have to say you make some very good points
concerning chess' big picture.

I would only add, however, that it is precisely the
play of the best players that has the best chance of
gaining an audience. If chess tournaments were
perceived as battles rather than drawfests, they
would be worth paying attention to. We'd be a lot
more interested in what happened in that
Anand-Kramnik game if we could count on it
being a struggle, instead of, as is more likely,
an uneventful draw.

Also, if playing the drawing game no longer worked
in tournaments, who is to say that some of that
fighting spirit wouldn't carry over to other aspects of
the game? My sense is that much of the fondness for
draws is psychological. I think one of the reasons
humans do so poorly against computers is that humans
are simply unprepared to face a monster that is
relentlessly trying to gain an advantage every single
move.

A few corrections. Rentero's efforts were
too weak and were unsuccessful. My argument
has nothing to do with labeling certain draws
as "abusive". The numbers of both long and
short draws are increased by 1867-scoring.
Rather than hold a pointless debate over which
draws are "worthy", the idea behind alternate
scoring is to simply reduce the number of all
draws by making them less rewarding.
It's more than silly to have a tournament structure
that rewards those who play in a fashion that
produces lots of draws, and then make a
stink because the draws they are being paid
to play don't look like we want them to.



       
Date: 23 Mar 2008 08:13:02
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"David Kane" <[email protected] > wrote in message news:7KSdnen0rP-

<... >

>> Please justify your assertion that awarding less than half a point for
>> a draw is mathematically more sound.
>
> I suppose it is not pure mathematics, but empirically the half point
> draw has produced a situation where contestants routinely
> avoid playing real games. Imagine, for example, we awarded a
> draw the value of 0.9. What do you predict that change would
> make to the game, and would it improve the game? Same
> arguments apply to 0.5.

That's a fair question. I would also like to add to it the list of questions
I posed David Richerby in the immediately preceeding post - not as a
challenge to David, but to try to initially establish /where/ the draw
problem is.

I suspect that we only address the top 1% of players, that historically
there were fewer draws among them, and there is also likely to be a gender
differential.

Phil Innes




 
Date: 20 Mar 2008 19:21:26
From: Christopher Dearlove
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In message <[email protected] >, David Kane
<[email protected] > writes
>How would word get around? Only the welshed on cheater would
>know, and he would be in no position to advertise his own illegal
>behavior.

To the organisers, no. Among the players there would be a grapevine.
Two grandmasters chatting in a bar, discussing this and that. Rumours
of who is untrustworthy (in these terms agreeing a draw is trustworthy,
even if illegal, welshing is untrustworthy) with a mixture of first hand
and second hand information. And anonymous postings on the Internet. And
then there's simple statistical evidence as to who's not drawing and
who is.

And as I quoted, there's evidence it happens in sumo. By your
reasoning it's impossible - but it happens anyway.

--
Christopher Dearlove


  
Date: 20 Mar 2008 18:09:26
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Christopher Dearlove" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> In message <[email protected]>, David Kane
> <[email protected]> writes
>>How would word get around? Only the welshed on cheater would
>>know, and he would be in no position to advertise his own illegal
>>behavior.
>
> To the organisers, no. Among the players there would be a grapevine.
> Two grandmasters chatting in a bar, discussing this and that. Rumours
> of who is untrustworthy (in these terms agreeing a draw is trustworthy,
> even if illegal, welshing is untrustworthy) with a mixture of first hand and
> second hand information. And anonymous postings on the Internet. And
> then there's simple statistical evidence as to who's not drawing and
> who is.

You seem to be confusing yourself. To be "trustworthy" in the
hypothetical example requires you to *lose* intentionally at the
right time - i.e. when the coin flip goes the wrong way.

So when I break my promise, and the obviously drawn game
actually ends in a draw, my opponent is going to have to
start complaining that I didn't uphold my agreement
to lose on purpose.


> And as I quoted, there's evidence it happens in sumo. By your
> reasoning it's impossible - but it happens anyway.
>

This is simply false. Where have I said that cheating is
impossible? I've pointed out frequently that cheating
is possible even with the existing scoring and rules.
It's the false argument that changed scoring inherently
creates greatly enhanced cheating possibilities which
will lead to increased cheating which I've refuted.




> --
> Christopher Dearlove



 
Date: 20 Mar 2008 11:30:08
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 20, 6:48 am, Peter Clinch <[email protected] > wrote:
> >>
> >> ... what's the problem with draws?
>
> > Nobody wins - especially not the spectators.
>
> Bit of a sweeping assumption... Personally I'd prefer to watch or play
> a well fought draw than an indifferent game with a result one way or
> another.

Those aren't the only two possibilities. Believe it or not, some
games (not including Chess) can both be well fought and end decisively
- every time!

> If it's only interesting according to the bottom line you
> might just as well save yourself the bother of watching and check the
> score at the end.
>

Who said I was only interested in the bottom line? I'm interested in
robust games (again, not including Chess).

Let's take it to the extreme and imagine that instead of 80% draws
among experts, you have 100% draws among intermediate players. Not
too farfetched since games like that do exist. Would you find that
entertaining?


  
Date: 21 Mar 2008 08:04:47
From: Peter Clinch
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess
[email protected] wrote:
> On 20, 6:48 am, Peter Clinch <[email protected]> wrote:
>>>> ... what's the problem with draws?
>>> Nobody wins - especially not the spectators.
>> Bit of a sweeping assumption... Personally I'd prefer to watch or play
>> a well fought draw than an indifferent game with a result one way or
>> another.
>
> Those aren't the only two possibilities. Believe it or not, some
> games (not including Chess) can both be well fought and end decisively
> - every time!

And? if it's decisive every time then that is clearly not fair in a
game fought by two players on equivalent form. You still aren't
demonstrating that draws are bad or that most people don't like them.

If I'm playing a komi in Go I usually make it an integer where draws are
specifically made possible. All I'd have to do to take out all
possibility of a draw is add a half point to the komi, but I (and my
friends at the Go club) don't see the point. We don't see any necessity
or advantage in requiring a decisive result.

> Who said I was only interested in the bottom line? I'm interested in
> robust games (again, not including Chess).

Your value of "robust" isn't necessarily global though.

> Let's take it to the extreme and imagine that instead of 80% draws
> among experts, you have 100% draws among intermediate players. Not
> too farfetched since games like that do exist. Would you find that
> entertaining?

Let's take it to reality and note that that doesn't happen in Chess,
which is the subject of this discussion, so your "point" is rather
lacking any, errr, point.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/


   
Date: 21 Mar 2008 08:55:32
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Peter Clinch" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> [email protected] wrote:
>> On 20, 6:48 am, Peter Clinch <[email protected]> wrote:
>>>>> ... what's the problem with draws?
>>>> Nobody wins - especially not the spectators.
>>> Bit of a sweeping assumption... Personally I'd prefer to watch or play
>>> a well fought draw than an indifferent game with a result one way or
>>> another.
>>
>> Those aren't the only two possibilities. Believe it or not, some
>> games (not including Chess) can both be well fought and end decisively
>> - every time!
>
> And? if it's decisive every time then that is clearly not fair in a
> game fought by two players on equivalent form.

??? Ties are an impossibility for a large number of games and sports.
Is it your claim that all of these contests are unfair?

In many other sports, ties are a theoretical possibility, but rare. In those
where they are possible and not so rare (though still far rarer than
chess), e.g. soccer, many have taken steps exactly as proposed for
chess (alternate scoring that devalues ties).


>You still aren't
> demonstrating that draws are bad or that most people don't like them.

Much like we don't debate the merits of breathing oxygen. The very fact that
chess' draw situation is an extreme compared with almost every other
human contest should tell you something.

>
> If I'm playing a komi in Go I usually make it an integer where draws are
> specifically made possible. All I'd have to do to take out all
> possibility of a draw is add a half point to the komi, but I (and my
> friends at the Go club) don't see the point. We don't see any necessity
> or advantage in requiring a decisive result.

According to Wikipedia "Conventional komi in most competitions is a
half-integer....
This is convenient and the prevailing usage for tournaments, since it rules out
a tied
game and rematches."

I suspect that even with your integer komi, draw rates are nowhere near as
high as the cancer it has become in high-level chess.

You sound like a Go enthusiast trying to kill off chess.

>
>> Who said I was only interested in the bottom line? I'm interested in
>> robust games (again, not including Chess).
>
> Your value of "robust" isn't necessarily global though.
>
>> Let's take it to the extreme and imagine that instead of 80% draws
>> among experts, you have 100% draws among intermediate players. Not
>> too farfetched since games like that do exist. Would you find that
>> entertaining?
>
> Let's take it to reality and note that that doesn't happen in Chess,
> which is the subject of this discussion, so your "point" is rather
> lacking any, errr, point.
>
> Pete.
> --
> Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
> Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
> Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
> net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/



    
Date: 21 Mar 2008 16:30:31
From: Peter Clinch
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess
David Kane wrote:

> ??? Ties are an impossibility for a large number of games and sports.
> Is it your claim that all of these contests are unfair?

if the players are effectively equal and the game doesn't reflect that,
then /to an extent/ they are clearly unfair because they do not reflect
the fact that the contest is even in their outcomes. That doesn't make
them broken to any real degree, but conversely a game which won't
necessarily have a decisive outcome isn't fundamentally broken either.

> In many other sports, ties are a theoretical possibility, but rare. In
> those
> where they are possible and not so rare (though still far rarer than
> chess), e.g. soccer, many have taken steps exactly as proposed for
> chess (alternate scoring that devalues ties).

And they haven't obviously worked that well, as soccer still has plenty
of draws. The problem is that pushing too hard for a win tends to have
you lose instead, with a commensurately greater penalty so at least as
much point in playing it safe. Moving to 3 point wins from two point
wins didn't really make much difference to soccer.

>> You still aren't
>> demonstrating that draws are bad or that most people don't like them.
>
> Much like we don't debate the merits of breathing oxygen. The very fact
> that
> chess' draw situation is an extreme compared with almost every other
> human contest should tell you something.

It tells us that similarly ranked chess players are fairly evenly
matched. This is not actually Big News, and a game that reflects that
is hardly broken. The "breathing oxygen" thing is such preposterous
exaggeration it looks to be the work of a straw-man manufacturing expert.

> According to Wikipedia "Conventional komi in most competitions is a
> half-integer....
> This is convenient and the prevailing usage for tournaments, since it
> rules out a tied
> game and rematches."

But of course the outcome of, and logistics of running, a tournament is
a different thing to the outcome of a game. You shouldn't assume they
mean the same thing.

> I suspect that even with your integer komi, draw rates are nowhere near as
> high as the cancer it has become in high-level chess.

They're not as high, but in Chess it isn't a cancer, it's an aspect of
the game. if you don't like the game then play one you do like rather
that bugger about with metagaming aspects that aren't really much to do
with the fundamental game underneath.
For a game with "cancer" that you seem to think breaks it, Chess is
*rekably* popular! The more you complain it's broken, the more its
enduring popularity at all levels demonstrates it isn't.

> You sound like a Go enthusiast trying to kill off chess.

I do? I prefer Go to Chess, but I still like Chess. It does different
things well, and I don't think it needs changing.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/


     
Date: 21 Mar 2008 10:04:58
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Peter Clinch" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> David Kane wrote:
>
>> ??? Ties are an impossibility for a large number of games and sports.
>> Is it your claim that all of these contests are unfair?
>
> if the players are effectively equal and the game doesn't reflect that,
> then /to an extent/ they are clearly unfair because they do not reflect
> the fact that the contest is even in their outcomes. That doesn't make
> them broken to any real degree, but conversely a game which won't
> necessarily have a decisive outcome isn't fundamentally broken either.
>
>> In many other sports, ties are a theoretical possibility, but rare. In
>> those
>> where they are possible and not so rare (though still far rarer than
>> chess), e.g. soccer, many have taken steps exactly as proposed for
>> chess (alternate scoring that devalues ties).
>
> And they haven't obviously worked that well, as soccer still has plenty
> of draws. The problem is that pushing too hard for a win tends to have
> you lose instead, with a commensurately greater penalty so at least as
> much point in playing it safe. Moving to 3 point wins from two point
> wins didn't really make much difference to soccer.
>

But the point is that they were instituted to solve a "draw problem"
that was much smaller than chess'. And it has also not produced
any cheating - the original weak argument put forth against changing
the scoring in chess.

I am actually curious what changes the altered scoring had on
soccer. Are you aware of any analyses?

>>> You still aren't
>>> demonstrating that draws are bad or that most people don't like them.
>>
>> Much like we don't debate the merits of breathing oxygen. The very fact
>> that
>> chess' draw situation is an extreme compared with almost every other
>> human contest should tell you something.
>
> It tells us that similarly ranked chess players are fairly evenly
> matched.

No. It tells us that if the scoring system makes the return on playing
for a win low, that chessplayers are st enough to figure that out
and play in a way that produces lots of draws.


This is not actually Big News, and a game that reflects that
> is hardly broken. The "breathing oxygen" thing is such preposterous
> exaggeration it looks to be the work of a straw-man manufacturing expert.
>
>> According to Wikipedia "Conventional komi in most competitions is a
>> half-integer....
>> This is convenient and the prevailing usage for tournaments, since it
>> rules out a tied
>> game and rematches."
>
> But of course the outcome of, and logistics of running, a tournament is
> a different thing to the outcome of a game. You shouldn't assume they
> mean the same thing.

But the point is that Go typically designs its rules so that ties are
impossible at high level events. No doubt there is a connection
between that fact and the fact that Go tournaments have bigger
prize funds.



>
>> I suspect that even with your integer komi, draw rates are nowhere near as
>> high as the cancer it has become in high-level chess.
>
> They're not as high, but in Chess it isn't a cancer, it's an aspect of
> the game. if you don't like the game then play one you do like rather
> that bugger about with metagaming aspects that aren't really much to do
> with the fundamental game underneath.

If alternate scoring eliminates the GM draw, and makes chess games,
on average, more combative and more interesting, what is the downside?


> For a game with "cancer" that you seem to think breaks it, Chess is
> *rekably* popular! The more you complain it's broken, the more its
> enduring popularity at all levels demonstrates it isn't.

It's popular to play. But note that at the amateur level,
draws are far rarer.

The fundamental mystery of chess is why such a
popular game has so little attention paid to its best
players. The answer, I think, is that the best
players are playing in competitions in which
draw-producing play and strategies based
on drawing rule. Chessplayers are human and
humans respond to drama. If 75% of games
are draws, and many of those draws are
not even contested, you've got a situation that
is designed to alienate the average chess
enthusiast. Now I will grant that how much
better things can be is an unknown - but we will
never know until we try.

In fact the chess world has from time to time
introduced various rules (e.g. the Sophia rules)
to deal with the draw problem, but these have
largely been ineffective. I think that all measures
that ignore the underlying risk/reward calculations
that chessplayers face are destined to fail.


>
>> You sound like a Go enthusiast trying to kill off chess.
>
> I do? I prefer Go to Chess, but I still like Chess. It does different
> things well, and I don't think it needs changing.
>
> Pete.
> --
> Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
> Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
> Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
> net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/



      
Date: 21 Mar 2008 21:28:20
From: Peter Clinch
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess
David Kane wrote:

> But the point is that they were instituted to solve a "draw problem"
> that was much smaller than chess'. And it has also not produced
> any cheating - the original weak argument put forth against changing
> the scoring in chess.
>
> I am actually curious what changes the altered scoring had on
> soccer. Are you aware of any analyses?

No, I'm not. I just can't see much difference in the way the
leagues go since it was upped from 2-1-0 to 3-1-0.

> No. It tells us that if the scoring system makes the return on playing
> for a win low, that chessplayers are st enough to figure that out
> and play in a way that produces lots of draws.

And have them all look pretty much alike, rather than better than
weaker opponents... not actually too st.

> But the point is that Go typically designs its rules so that ties are
> impossible at high level events. No doubt there is a connection
> between that fact and the fact that Go tournaments have bigger
> prize funds.

Komi is a very recent innovation in the long history of competitve Go.

> If alternate scoring eliminates the GM draw, and makes chess games,
> on average, more combative and more interesting, what is the downside?

None, but does it actually do that? Or does it just discourage
combative play because the penalties for *losing* have just got
bigger as much as it encourages attacking?

> It's popular to play. But note that at the amateur level,
> draws are far rarer.

Perhpas the players are further apart?

> The fundamental mystery of chess is why such a
> popular game has so little attention paid to its best
> players. The answer, I think, is that the best
> players are playing in competitions in which
> draw-producing play and strategies based
> on drawing rule. Chessplayers are human and
> humans respond to drama. If 75% of games
> are draws, and many of those draws are
> not even contested, you've got a situation that
> is designed to alienate the average chess
> enthusiast. Now I will grant that how much
> better things can be is an unknown - but we will
> never know until we try.

That's true, but I suspect it won't be as electric a change as you
suspect because you're making losing worse as well as winning better.

> In fact the chess world has from time to time
> introduced various rules (e.g. the Sophia rules)
> to deal with the draw problem, but these have
> largely been ineffective. I think that all measures
> that ignore the underlying risk/reward calculations
> that chessplayers face are destined to fail.

But since losing gets as much worse as winning gets better, and
combative play is often riskier, you haven't really changed
anything in the net risk/reward equation. It still averages out.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/


       
Date: 21 Mar 2008 14:49:37
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Peter Clinch" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]

>
> But since losing gets as much worse as winning gets better, and combative play
> is often riskier, you haven't really changed anything in the net risk/reward
> equation. It still averages out.


This is incorrect. In anti-draw scoring, drawing and
losing becomes closer. So it pays to take risks that
give you winning chances, even if you might lose.
Earlier I gave an example: A player can chose
between two moves. In the first, he can simplify the
position to an ending and he estimates his
chances as: W=0, D=0.9, L=0.1 In the second move,
launching a counterattack, he estimates his chances
to be W=0.3, D=0.3, L=0.4.

With 1867-scoring (Wins = 1 point, draws = 1/2 point
and losses =0), the expectation of either move is
identical (0.45). Now imagine that we used "soccer"
scoring, for example (Wins = 3 point, draws = 1 point
and losses =0) Now the simplifying move is worth 0.9,
and the counterattacking move is worth 1.2

Without changing the underlying rules of chess, we've
altered the meta-game to provoke more interesting
play. Just because something seemed reasonable to
try 141 years ago, doesn't mean it makes sense for
today's game.





>
> Pete.
> --
> Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
> Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
> Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
> net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/



        
Date: 22 Mar 2008 10:18:30
From: Peter Clinch
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess
David Kane wrote:

> This is incorrect. In anti-draw scoring, drawing and
> losing becomes closer. So it pays to take risks that
> give you winning chances, even if you might lose.

While it does indeed pay you to get a win and a loss rather than
two draws, it's also the case you can less afford to let your
opponents get away with a win that might have been a draw for
exactly the same reasons...

> Without changing the underlying rules of chess, we've
> altered the meta-game to provoke more interesting
> play.

I suspect people just play their game the way they play their game
as that way they play to their best abilities. Which in turn gives
them the best overall chance.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/


         
Date: 22 Mar 2008 08:35:52
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Peter Clinch" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> David Kane wrote:
>
>> This is incorrect. In anti-draw scoring, drawing and
>> losing becomes closer. So it pays to take risks that
>> give you winning chances, even if you might lose.
>
> While it does indeed pay you to get a win and a loss rather than two draws,
> it's also the case you can less afford to let your opponents get away with a
> win that might have been a draw for exactly the same reasons...
>
>> Without changing the underlying rules of chess, we've
>> altered the meta-game to provoke more interesting
>> play.
>
> I suspect people just play their game the way they play their game as that way
> they play to their best abilities. Which in turn gives them the best overall
> chance.

The point you are missing is that how you play depends upon how
it counts. I've taken draws because they count one-half that I
never would have taken had they counted one-quarter.
Everyone has.

The one-half number has empirically been proven to not be
a sensible value for a draw, because it leads to so many
games that are not contested at all, i.e. draws are essentially
agreed before play starts.

It's a very curable defect, whether or not I am overestimating
the benefits that will accrue from making the fix.




> Pete.
> --
> Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
> Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
> Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
> net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/



      
Date: 21 Mar 2008 20:28:13
From: Andy Walker
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In article <[email protected] >,
David Kane <[email protected] > wrote:
[3-point wins in football:]
> [...] And it has also not produced
>any cheating - the original weak argument put forth against changing
>the scoring in chess.

I agree that it's a weak argument, but it's a step too far
to say it has produced no cheating. There is a *lot* of money in
top-level football, and there have certainly been allegations of
match-fixing, betting scams, etc., some of which have led to court
cases.

>I am actually curious what changes the altered scoring had on
>soccer. Are you aware of any analyses?

Well, I'm not. But there do seem to be a lot of matches
decided in the last minute or two of extra time ....

[...]
>If alternate scoring eliminates the GM draw, and makes chess games,
>on average, more combative and more interesting, what is the downside?

Lot of "if"s there. Draws, GM or otherwise, in matches are
completely unaffected by [sane] alternate scoring schemes, and in
tournaments no-one is going to win the event just by drawing, so you
are talking about draws taken for other reasons -- perhaps because
the game really is utterly dead, perhaps because the players want a
break from a pretty strenuous activity, perhaps because the result
is, or is thought to be, irrelevant. Alternate scoring does not
affect the first of these; if it affects the second, its effect is
to make players play when more exhausted; and it may make the third
less likely, but it does not affect the situation where one player
needs only a draw to guarantee the win, or a title norm, or even
where several players are tied for the lead.

As for more combative/interesting, it could equally have the
opposite effect. If the stronger player has more to lose by merely
drawing, the weaker player has more incentive to stodge the game up.

The "downside" is merely that chess becomes, like football,
a non-zero-sum game. This mucks up a fair chunk of game theory.
Whether this is important depends on whether you are a theorist ....

>The fundamental mystery of chess is why such a
>popular game has so little attention paid to its best
>players. The answer, I think, is that the best
>players are playing in competitions in which
>draw-producing play and strategies based
>on drawing rule.

I think you think wrong. I think the reason is that no-one
outside the top players understands well enough in real time what
is going on. You can watch a football match, and you can see that
the score is 3-2 to the Reds, but the Blues have the ball and are
attacking. You don't need any expertise at all to understand that;
and you need very little to appreciate the skills involved in an
accurate pass, a successful tackle, a good save, and so on. So
billions of people can watch the World Cup final and follow the
action live.

Try that with chess. It's like watching paint dry, until
there is a time scramble. Only expert players have any idea at all
what is happening. Many games are resigned when a club player would
still have no idea what is happening. I can play through a game
between [say] Anand and Kramnik, but the only way to understand what
has happened is to have annotations, preferably provided by the
players themselves, constructed hours or days after the game has
happened. There have been valiant attempts -- the BBC had excellent
coverage of the Kasparov-Short match, for example -- but they really
can't compete with live coverage of football, golf, cricket, ....
You would get more "action" from 5-minute chess, but then you would
have even fewer prospects of getting any appreciation of what is
happening in real time. Chess is to be played, not watched.

We can all agree that a 12-move draw is not usually a very
exciting game of chess, and that such draws should be discouraged.
But I'd be quite surprised if many people give up chess because of
them. You seem to me to be barking up the wrong tree.

--
Andy Walker
Nottingham


       
Date: 22 Mar 2008 23:36:04
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
Andy Walker <[email protected] > wrote:
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>> I am actually curious what changes the altered scoring had on
>> soccer. Are you aware of any analyses?
>
> Well, I'm not. But there do seem to be a lot of matches decided in
> the last minute or two of extra time ....

This is irrelevant to a discussion of the effect of scoring three
points for a win, since such scoring is only used in leagues and extra
time is only used in knock-out competitions.


>> The fundamental mystery of chess is why such a popular game has so
>> little attention paid to its best players. The answer, I think, is
>> that the best players are playing in competitions in which
>> draw-producing play and strategies based on drawing rule.
>
> I think you think wrong. I think the reason is that no-one outside
> the top players understands well enough in real time what is going
> on. [...] Try that with chess. It's like watching paint dry,
> until there is a time scramble. Only expert players have any idea
> at all what is happening. Many games are resigned when a club
> player would still have no idea what is happening. I can play
> through a game between [say] Anand and Kramnik, but the only way to
> understand what has happened is to have annotations, preferably
> provided by the players themselves, constructed hours or days after
> the game has happened. There have been valiant attempts -- the BBC
> had excellent coverage of the Kasparov-Short match, for example --
> but they really can't compete with live coverage of football, golf,
> cricket, .... You would get more "action" from 5-minute chess, but
> then you would have even fewer prospects of getting any appreciation
> of what is happening in real time. Chess is to be played, not
> watched.

I agree wholeheartedly, though I'd add `and studied' before the final
comma.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Addictive Hilarious Cat (TM): it's
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ like a cuddly pet but it's a bundle of
laughs and you can never put it down!


        
Date: 23 Mar 2008 01:44:38
From: Andy Walker
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In article <Caq*[email protected] >,
David Richerby <[email protected] > wrote:
>>> I am actually curious what changes the altered scoring had on
>>> soccer. Are you aware of any analyses?
>> Well, I'm not. But there do seem to be a lot of matches decided in
>> the last minute or two of extra time ....
>This is irrelevant to a discussion of the effect of scoring three
>points for a win, since such scoring is only used in leagues and extra
>time is only used in knock-out competitions.

Sorry; I meant, "of course", at the end of the time added
for injuries/delays, not the extra half-hour added to resolve draws
in KO comps.

--
Andy Walker
Nottingham


       
Date: 21 Mar 2008 14:22:27
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Andy Walker" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> In article <[email protected]>,
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
> [3-point wins in football:]
>> [...] And it has also not produced
>>any cheating - the original weak argument put forth against changing
>>the scoring in chess.
>
> I agree that it's a weak argument, but it's a step too far
> to say it has produced no cheating. There is a *lot* of money in
> top-level football, and there have certainly been allegations of
> match-fixing, betting scams, etc., some of which have led to court
> cases.
>
>>I am actually curious what changes the altered scoring had on
>>soccer. Are you aware of any analyses?
>
> Well, I'm not. But there do seem to be a lot of matches
> decided in the last minute or two of extra time ....

Are you suggesting crookedness? Isn't that a good thing
from a dramatic point of view?

>
> [...]
>>If alternate scoring eliminates the GM draw, and makes chess games,
>>on average, more combative and more interesting, what is the downside?
>
> Lot of "if"s there. Draws, GM or otherwise, in matches are
> completely unaffected by [sane] alternate scoring schemes, and in
> tournaments no-one is going to win the event just by drawing, so you
> are talking about draws taken for other reasons -- perhaps because
> the game really is utterly dead, perhaps because the players want a
> break from a pretty strenuous activity, perhaps because the result
> is, or is thought to be, irrelevant. Alternate scoring does not
> affect the first of these; if it affects the second, its effect is
> to make players play when more exhausted; and it may make the third
> less likely, but it does not affect the situation where one player
> needs only a draw to guarantee the win, or a title norm, or even
> where several players are tied for the lead.

I'm not sure of your point. If draws are worth less, players won't accept them
so
readily. They won't design their repertoires to give them positions
(when Black) where they can "hold the draw". When preparing,
when playing, they will look for winning chances. Isn't that what
we expect of contestants in just about every other sport/game?
Why is asking the same of chessplayers outrageous?

>
> As for more combative/interesting, it could equally have the
> opposite effect. If the stronger player has more to lose by merely
> drawing, the weaker player has more incentive to stodge the game up.
>
> The "downside" is merely that chess becomes, like football,
> a non-zero-sum game. This mucks up a fair chunk of game theory.
> Whether this is important depends on whether you are a theorist ....

Is there a *practical* "downside"?

>
>>The fundamental mystery of chess is why such a
>>popular game has so little attention paid to its best
>>players. The answer, I think, is that the best
>>players are playing in competitions in which
>>draw-producing play and strategies based
>>on drawing rule.
>
> I think you think wrong. I think the reason is that no-one
> outside the top players understands well enough in real time what
> is going on. You can watch a football match, and you can see that
> the score is 3-2 to the Reds, but the Blues have the ball and are
> attacking. You don't need any expertise at all to understand that;
> and you need very little to appreciate the skills involved in an
> accurate pass, a successful tackle, a good save, and so on. So
> billions of people can watch the World Cup final and follow the
> action live.

Of course, there are many reasons why chess is not
as popular as football, sex, food etc. Picking extreme
examples doesn't help make the case that chess is
as popular as it could be.

>
> Try that with chess. It's like watching paint dry, until
> there is a time scramble. Only expert players have any idea at all
> what is happening. Many games are resigned when a club player would
> still have no idea what is happening. I can play through a game
> between [say] Anand and Kramnik, but the only way to understand what
> has happened is to have annotations, preferably provided by the
> players themselves, constructed hours or days after the game has
> happened. There have been valiant attempts -- the BBC had excellent
> coverage of the Kasparov-Short match, for example -- but they really
> can't compete with live coverage of football, golf, cricket, ....
> You would get more "action" from 5-minute chess, but then you would
> have even fewer prospects of getting any appreciation of what is
> happening in real time. Chess is to be played, not watched.

Go is considered more complex than chess, but seems to
have bigger purses. My cable stations are filled up with
"contest" shows for all sorts of activities: fishing, cooking, singing,
dancing, not to mention lots of made up "sports" invented by a TV
producer that have no players whatsoever. Many of these
have prizes that would make top chessplayers drool.
But chess has millions of casual players and almost no
high-level game that those players pay attention to.

By the way, I am not convinced that playing wouldn't
also be improved by a less draw-favorable attitude.


>
> We can all agree that a 12-move draw is not usually a very
> exciting game of chess, and that such draws should be discouraged.
> But I'd be quite surprised if many people give up chess because of
> them. You seem to me to be barking up the wrong tree.
>

It is unclear. Elementary school chess
has large numbers and almost no draws. Participation
drops with age as the draw rate increases.




        
Date: 22 Mar 2008 01:13:49
From: Andy Walker
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In article <[email protected] >,
David Kane <[email protected] > wrote:
>>>If alternate scoring eliminates the GM draw, and makes chess games,
>>>on average, more combative and more interesting, what is the downside?
>> Lot of "if"s there. [...]
>I'm not sure of your point. If draws are worth less, players won't accept them
>so
>readily.

They will, as at present, accept them when the alternative is
losing and when the match/tournament situation is such that only a
draw is needed. You are proposing changes to address a tiny, tiny
problem -- the very rare cases where neither player in a "live"
situation really wants to play, and so they agree a 12-move draw.
Changing the scoring system does nothing to change the underlying
problem, that the players really aren't in the mood.

> They won't design their repertoires to give them positions
>(when Black) where they can "hold the draw". When preparing,
>when playing, they will look for winning chances.

I don't know what sort of chess you play, but I don't know
any players to whom that does not already apply. For a start, we
all, except for the merest beginners, often play against players
who are worse than us. That is especially true for the world's
strongest players. If a GM sits down to play me, do you suppose
he is looking to "hold the draw"? So we all need repertoires that
give us a decent chance to win against slightly or very inferior
opposition, whatever the colour.

>> The "downside" is merely that chess becomes, like football,
>> a non-zero-sum game. This mucks up a fair chunk of game theory.
>> Whether this is important depends on whether you are a theorist ....
>Is there a *practical* "downside"?

Well, it mucks up rating. Either ratings can't follow the
points, or else you have built in inflation. That's a "practical"
problem; whether it matters is something else.

>Of course, there are many reasons why chess is not
>as popular as football, sex, food etc. Picking extreme
>examples doesn't help make the case that chess is
>as popular as it could be.

In what sense is watching live football "extreme"? The
fact remains that live chess, unlike most [all?] physical sports,
and many mind sports, is utterly opaque to any spectator who is
not of comparable ability with the players. That's not to say
that we can't have TV programs about it; but it's not going to
have mass spectator appeal.

>Go is considered more complex than chess, but seems to
>have bigger purses.

Are you talking about popularity or money? If you want
money, then you need sponsorship [whether through TV, or patrons,
or government assistance], or else you are limited to what the
contestants/spectators themselves put in. Sponsorship is just
too fickle to draw many conclusions from it. TV picks things
up, then drops them. Sports like snooker and darts go through
cycles of boom and bust, in financial terms, as they move from
pubs and clubs into the limelight, then companies move in and
sponsors, TV coverage, equipment deals and so on bring lots of
money, then everyone gets bored.

> My cable stations are filled up with
>"contest" shows for all sorts of activities: fishing, cooking, singing,
>dancing, not to mention lots of made up "sports" invented by a TV
>producer that have no players whatsoever.

No doubt. But they are all "contests" and "sports" that
have visual appeal and are easy to explain to the punters. Even
if, as in dancing, only the experts can really tell you how good
the contestants are, nevertheless the TV contests usually have a
"popular vote".

>By the way, I am not convinced that playing wouldn't
>also be improved by a less draw-favorable attitude.

You mean that the players who are more aggressive and who
rarely draw are likely to be better than those who quite often
draw? Well, there are examples of both styles at every level of
play, both historically and currently. If you were right, or if
the converse were true, then you would expect evolution to lead
to almost all top players being one style, or perhaps to the top
players being a different style from the club players. In fact,
chess seems to favour a diversity of styles.

>> [...] You seem to me to be barking up the wrong tree.
>It is unclear. Elementary school chess
>has large numbers and almost no draws. Participation
>drops with age as the draw rate increases.

As has been pointed out, correlation is not causality. I'm
sure we can all think of more likely reasons for teenagers to give
up chess than learning that Kramnik has just played a short draw.

--
Andy Walker
Nottingham


         
Date: 21 Mar 2008 21:33:38
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Andy Walker" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> In article <[email protected]>,
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>>>>If alternate scoring eliminates the GM draw, and makes chess games,
>>>>on average, more combative and more interesting, what is the downside?
>>> Lot of "if"s there. [...]
>>I'm not sure of your point. If draws are worth less, players won't accept them
>>so
>>readily.
>
> They will, as at present, accept them when the alternative is
> losing and when the match/tournament situation is such that only a
> draw is needed. You are proposing changes to address a tiny, tiny
> problem -- the very rare cases where neither player in a "live"
> situation really wants to play, and so they agree a 12-move draw.
> Changing the scoring system does nothing to change the underlying
> problem, that the players really aren't in the mood.

That's not the underlying problem. Players *will* be in the mood
to play on and look for winning chances if that's what is
sensible in the meta-game. The vast majority of games/sports
etc. simply don't have an "I'm not in the mood, let's draw" option
and neither would chess with sensible scoring. It's especially
offensive that this occurs in the last round of every major
tournament -exactly when, in ordinary non-chess competitions,
the drama is at its highest.



>
>> They won't design their repertoires to give them positions
>>(when Black) where they can "hold the draw". When preparing,
>>when playing, they will look for winning chances.
>
> I don't know what sort of chess you play, but I don't know
> any players to whom that does not already apply. For a start, we
> all, except for the merest beginners, often play against players
> who are worse than us. That is especially true for the world's
> strongest players. If a GM sits down to play me, do you suppose
> he is looking to "hold the draw"? So we all need repertoires that
> give us a decent chance to win against slightly or very inferior
> opposition, whatever the colour.

Irrelevant. Nothing says that they have to play the same
openings against weaker players as they do against their peers,
and frankly I'd be surprised if that were the case.


>
>>> The "downside" is merely that chess becomes, like football,
>>> a non-zero-sum game. This mucks up a fair chunk of game theory.
>>> Whether this is important depends on whether you are a theorist ....
>>Is there a *practical* "downside"?
>
> Well, it mucks up rating. Either ratings can't follow the
> points, or else you have built in inflation. That's a "practical"
> problem; whether it matters is something else.
>

The fix is trivial.


>>Of course, there are many reasons why chess is not
>>as popular as football, sex, food etc. Picking extreme
>>examples doesn't help make the case that chess is
>>as popular as it could be.
>
> In what sense is watching live football "extreme"? The
> fact remains that live chess, unlike most [all?] physical sports,
> and many mind sports, is utterly opaque to any spectator who is
> not of comparable ability with the players. That's not to say
> that we can't have TV programs about it; but it's not going to
> have mass spectator appeal.

So what? It can have more appeal than it currently does.
It can appeal to amateur chessplayers, at least.

>
>>Go is considered more complex than chess, but seems to
>>have bigger purses.
>
> Are you talking about popularity or money? If you want
> money, then you need sponsorship [whether through TV, or patrons,
> or government assistance], or else you are limited to what the
> contestants/spectators themselves put in. Sponsorship is just
> too fickle to draw many conclusions from it.

Sponsorship is almost always connected with popularity.
There aren't that many eccentric millionaires throwing
money around. My understanding is that Go has
significant corporate sponsorship.



> TV picks things
> up, then drops them. Sports like snooker and darts go through
> cycles of boom and bust, in financial terms, as they move from
> pubs and clubs into the limelight, then companies move in and
> sponsors, TV coverage, equipment deals and so on bring lots of
> money, then everyone gets bored.
>
>> My cable stations are filled up with
>>"contest" shows for all sorts of activities: fishing, cooking, singing,
>>dancing, not to mention lots of made up "sports" invented by a TV
>>producer that have no players whatsoever.
>
> No doubt. But they are all "contests" and "sports" that
> have visual appeal and are easy to explain to the punters. Even
> if, as in dancing, only the experts can really tell you how good
> the contestants are, nevertheless the TV contests usually have a
> "popular vote".
>
>>By the way, I am not convinced that playing wouldn't
>>also be improved by a less draw-favorable attitude.
>
> You mean that the players who are more aggressive and who
> rarely draw are likely to be better than those who quite often
> draw? Well, there are examples of both styles at every level of
> play, both historically and currently. If you were right, or if
> the converse were true, then you would expect evolution to lead
> to almost all top players being one style, or perhaps to the top
> players being a different style from the club players. In fact,
> chess seems to favour a diversity of styles.


When I looked at tournaments like Linares and Corus,
it was astonishing how consistent the draw rate has been.
Players have evolved to succeed in the current (draw favorable)
system. Change the scoring system, and my guess is that
most of the same players will still be at the top, but to succeed
their style will have to adapt to something that is more
interesting. Is it possible that some players who succeed in
drawtopia would be unable to adapt to higher levels
of contestedness? Sure, but I don't see that as a negative.


>
>>> [...] You seem to me to be barking up the wrong tree.
>>It is unclear. Elementary school chess
>>has large numbers and almost no draws. Participation
>>drops with age as the draw rate increases.
>
> As has been pointed out, correlation is not causality. I'm
> sure we can all think of more likely reasons for teenagers to give
> up chess than learning that Kramnik has just played a short draw.


My experience is that when the kids see the adult game, they
don't like what they see. I think the draw-worshipping
culture is certainly a component of that. But I certainly agree
that there are other factors.


> --
> Andy Walker
> Nottingham



          
Date: 23 Mar 2008 03:09:27
From: Andy Walker
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In article <[email protected] >,
David Kane <[email protected] > wrote:
>> [...] You are proposing changes to address a tiny, tiny
>> problem -- the very rare cases where neither player in a "live"
>> situation really wants to play, and so they agree a 12-move draw.
>> Changing the scoring system does nothing to change the underlying
>> problem, that the players really aren't in the mood.
>That's not the underlying problem.

I think it is. Note that, for example, you see very few
short draws in 5-minute chess, and not that many in rapidplay
tournaments or correspondence chess, though the scoring is the
same as in slow chess. If you're not "in the mood" for those
forms of chess, then you simply don't turn up for the fast ones,
or you take a day off for correspondence; whereas in a trad
tournament, you have to turn up over several days and play each
round whatever your mood. Likewise, in league chess, you owe
it to your club to turn out even if you've just had a bad day
at the office.

> Players *will* be in the mood
>to play on and look for winning chances if that's what is
>sensible in the meta-game.

You seem to be under the impression that "winning chances"
are always there and are being overlooked because players prefer
to take draws. Certainly there is an element of temperament
involved, and some players are very hard to beat whereas other
delight in taking risks. Changing the meta-game may indeed cause
players to take more risks; the idea that this is better chess
seems to me to be fanciful, especially when it will remain the
case that only the most knowledgeable spectators are any the
wiser. If you simply want more razzmatazz about chess, there
are easier and better ways to achieve it.

> The vast majority of games/sports
>etc. simply don't have an "I'm not in the mood, let's draw" option
>and neither would chess with sensible scoring.

In most cases, this is intrinsic to the game itself. There
is little or no equivalent in golf or tennis or go or the high-jump
to the chess position that has resolved itself to bare kings, or
even to KRP vs KR in a position that is a book draw known to both
players. But there are plenty of examples of boring games/matches
in sports such as football and boxing, where "spoiling" tactics
are possible.

> It's especially
>offensive that this occurs in the last round of every major
>tournament -exactly when, in ordinary non-chess competitions,
>the drama is at its highest.

Many sports organise their major competitions as KO
events, which puts a different complexion on things. In
leagues, it is very common in the sports I know anything about
for end-of-season matches to be meaningless -- almost all issues
of promotion or relegation are decided, and most teams just go
through the motions. Why would you expect chess tournaments to
be different? If you've just had 10 days of gruelling mental
activity, it's not surprising if on the 11th, with nothing at
stake, you don't want to take it too seriously. Even if there
is still something at stake, you may be in no mood to put yet
another six+ hours of thought into it. Been there, done that.

>>> They won't design their repertoires to give them positions
>>>(when Black) where they can "hold the draw". When preparing,
>>>when playing, they will look for winning chances.
>> I don't know what sort of chess you play, but I don't know
>> any players to whom that does not already apply. For a start, we
>> all, except for the merest beginners, often play against players
>> who are worse than us. That is especially true for the world's
>> strongest players. If a GM sits down to play me, do you suppose
>> he is looking to "hold the draw"? So we all need repertoires that
>> give us a decent chance to win against slightly or very inferior
>> opposition, whatever the colour.
>Irrelevant. Nothing says that they have to play the same
>openings against weaker players as they do against their peers,
>and frankly I'd be surprised if that were the case.

Irrelevant. Very few games are played between genuine
peers. To get to a "soft" draw needs *both* players to agree.
If I play a drawish opening against a stronger player, it's his
problem to steer it into lines with winning chances; if I do
that against a weak player, it's my own fault if I only draw.
[Though as a matter of fact, it's usually a mistake to "play
for a draw" against a strong opponent.]

>>>Is there a *practical* "downside"?
>> Well, it mucks up rating. Either ratings can't follow the
>> points, or else you have built in inflation. That's a "practical"
>> problem; whether it matters is something else.
>The fix is trivial.

Not really. You are going to get cases where player A
scores more points than player B [who gets more draws] against
the same standard of opposition, but B gets the higher rating
as a consequence. Many players are somewhat precious about
their ratings, so that *is* going to cause problems.

[...]
>Sponsorship is almost always connected with popularity.
>There aren't that many eccentric millionaires throwing
>money around.

Try looking at [eg] the 4NCL.

--
Andy Walker
Nottingham


           
Date: 23 Mar 2008 08:40:04
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Andy Walker" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> In article <[email protected]>,
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:

>>>>Is there a *practical* "downside"?
>>> Well, it mucks up rating. Either ratings can't follow the
>>> points, or else you have built in inflation. That's a "practical"
>>> problem; whether it matters is something else.
>>The fix is trivial.
>
> Not really. You are going to get cases where player A
> scores more points than player B [who gets more draws] against
> the same standard of opposition, but B gets the higher rating
> as a consequence. Many players are somewhat precious about
> their ratings, so that *is* going to cause problems.

This is an interesting exchange of view relating scoring and rating.
Somewhat in support of David Kane's exploratory propositions, I believe he
has said elsewhere in these threads that the current system is not
necessarily superior to any changed system - and which /also/ is a factor in
players motivations.

Evidently, as Andy Walker points out, both scoring and ratings are factors
considered by the player in fighting the game out, and IMO, these might not
be distinguishable.

eg; last round scenario where stronger player agrees a draw against a weaker
player, both are motivated to accept the draw since the stronger player
clinches first place, and the weaker player gets a ratings boost.

If indeed "Many players are somewhat precious about their ratings, so that
*is* going to cause problems", then aren't those the sorts of problems we
need?

To wit; if you want to maintain your rating then don't give up the draw and
fight it out - and this may motivate players on an individual basis.

In terms of scoring, organisers might like a differentiated black/white
score for draws, since more decisive games add drama to their events.

Phil Innes


> Andy Walker
> Nottingham




           
Date: 22 Mar 2008 21:56:30
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Andy Walker" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> In article <[email protected]>,
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> [...] You are proposing changes to address a tiny, tiny
>>> problem -- the very rare cases where neither player in a "live"
>>> situation really wants to play, and so they agree a 12-move draw.
>>> Changing the scoring system does nothing to change the underlying
>>> problem, that the players really aren't in the mood.
>>That's not the underlying problem.
>
> I think it is. Note that, for example, you see very few
> short draws in 5-minute chess, and not that many in rapidplay
> tournaments or correspondence chess, though the scoring is the
> same as in slow chess. If you're not "in the mood" for those
> forms of chess, then you simply don't turn up for the fast ones,
> or you take a day off for correspondence; whereas in a trad
> tournament, you have to turn up over several days and play each
> round whatever your mood. Likewise, in league chess, you owe
> it to your club to turn out even if you've just had a bad day
> at the office.
>
>> Players *will* be in the mood
>>to play on and look for winning chances if that's what is
>>sensible in the meta-game.
>
> You seem to be under the impression that "winning chances"
> are always there and are being overlooked because players prefer
> to take draws.

And you seem to be saying that chessplayers' behavior
is unaffected by the external scoring incentives that affect
their prizes. Players don't look for winning chances if they
calculate that they come with greater losing chances.
How many times do we read game analysis if words
akin to "he took the safe draw"? Draws wouldn't
be safe if the scoring were different.


Certainly there is an element of temperament
> involved, and some players are very hard to beat whereas other
> delight in taking risks. Changing the meta-game may indeed cause
> players to take more risks; the idea that this is better chess
> seems to me to be fanciful, especially when it will remain the
> case that only the most knowledgeable spectators are any the
> wiser. If you simply want more razzmatazz about chess, there
> are easier and better ways to achieve it.

Decisiveness can increase interest even with no
understanding of the underlying games. Don't
newspapers in the UK have sports sections?
Here they do. Even in the absence of real time
suspense, or stunning visuals, people like to
follow results. None of the sports covered in
our newspapers have the characteristics that
60% of encounters end in ties, with
a significant number of those occurring without
even playing, though.


>
>> The vast majority of games/sports
>>etc. simply don't have an "I'm not in the mood, let's draw" option
>>and neither would chess with sensible scoring.
>
> In most cases, this is intrinsic to the game itself. There
> is little or no equivalent in golf or tennis or go or the high-jump
> to the chess position that has resolved itself to bare kings, or
> even to KRP vs KR in a position that is a book draw known to both
> players. But there are plenty of examples of boring games/matches
> in sports such as football and boxing, where "spoiling" tactics
> are possible.
>

The rules of chess guarantee that draws have to be
accounted for. The scoring system of chess guarantees
that draws dominate the game.



>> It's especially
>>offensive that this occurs in the last round of every major
>>tournament -exactly when, in ordinary non-chess competitions,
>>the drama is at its highest.
>
> Many sports organise their major competitions as KO
> events, which puts a different complexion on things. In
> leagues, it is very common in the sports I know anything about
> for end-of-season matches to be meaningless -- almost all issues
> of promotion or relegation are decided, and most teams just go
> through the motions. Why would you expect chess tournaments to
> be different? If you've just had 10 days of gruelling mental
> activity, it's not surprising if on the 11th, with nothing at
> stake, you don't want to take it too seriously. Even if there
> is still something at stake, you may be in no mood to put yet
> another six+ hours of thought into it. Been there, done that.

Come on, now, you've got to be kidding. In chess, it is
the *leaders who have everything to play for* who play
the 15 move draws. Why is having to *play
chess* considered a hardship for professional chessplayers?




>
>>>> They won't design their repertoires to give them positions
>>>>(when Black) where they can "hold the draw". When preparing,
>>>>when playing, they will look for winning chances.
>>> I don't know what sort of chess you play, but I don't know
>>> any players to whom that does not already apply. For a start, we
>>> all, except for the merest beginners, often play against players
>>> who are worse than us. That is especially true for the world's
>>> strongest players. If a GM sits down to play me, do you suppose
>>> he is looking to "hold the draw"? So we all need repertoires that
>>> give us a decent chance to win against slightly or very inferior
>>> opposition, whatever the colour.
>>Irrelevant. Nothing says that they have to play the same
>>openings against weaker players as they do against their peers,
>>and frankly I'd be surprised if that were the case.
>
> Irrelevant. Very few games are played between genuine
> peers. To get to a "soft" draw needs *both* players to agree.
> If I play a drawish opening against a stronger player, it's his
> problem to steer it into lines with winning chances; if I do
> that against a weak player, it's my own fault if I only draw.
> [Though as a matter of fact, it's usually a mistake to "play
> for a draw" against a strong opponent.]
>
>>>>Is there a *practical* "downside"?
>>> Well, it mucks up rating. Either ratings can't follow the
>>> points, or else you have built in inflation. That's a "practical"
>>> problem; whether it matters is something else.
>>The fix is trivial.
>
> Not really. You are going to get cases where player A
> scores more points than player B [who gets more draws] against
> the same standard of opposition, but B gets the higher rating
> as a consequence. Many players are somewhat precious about
> their ratings, so that *is* going to cause problems.

The rating system has a definition of "performance" defined
as (W+D/2)/(W+D+L) which is purely arbitrary. Use
a different definition and all problems are solved.

>
> [...]
>>Sponsorship is almost always connected with popularity.
>>There aren't that many eccentric millionaires throwing
>>money around.
>
> Try looking at [eg] the 4NCL.

I don't see the point you are making. It looks like it has
prizes of about 10 British pounds per player.


>
> --
> Andy Walker
> Nottingham



            
Date: 24 Mar 2008 01:30:09
From: Andy Walker
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In article <[email protected] >,
David Kane <[email protected] > wrote:
>> You seem to be under the impression that "winning chances"
>> are always there and are being overlooked because players prefer
>> to take draws.
>And you seem to be saying that chessplayers' behavior
>is unaffected by the external scoring incentives that affect
>their prizes.

Then you have misunderstood. Rather, I have pointed out
that much less chess than you seem to think is played in ways that
*can* be affected by your proposals, and that IMHO the way we play
mostly bears little resemblance to your characterisation of it.
Certainly there are occasional abuses; and there are more among
the top professionals than among the rest of us. But not because
we all "don't look for winning chances".

> Players don't look for winning chances if they
>calculate that they come with greater losing chances.

Your choice of the word "chances" is revealing. DavidR
has pointed out elsewhere in this thread that chess is not a game
of chance. Actually, my personal view is that he is wrong, and
that chess at the highest levels is predominantly a game of chance;
but that's a debate for another time. But he is right that we
don't -- or at least *I* don't, for of course I have no access to
the thought processes of anyone else -- think of chess in your
terms. I don't recognise your examples, elsewhere, where White
"calculates" [say] that he has a chance of 0.3 of winning, 0.5
of drawing and 0.2 of losing if he plays move A. Chess simply
isn't random that way. ...

>How many times do we read game analysis if words
>akin to "he took the safe draw"?

... Actually, quite rarely; and surely scarcely ever
with the GM draws that seem to be what you are complaining about?
If two players play a perfunctory 12 moves and agree a draw, then
it scarcely matters whether the draw was safe or not, the players
didn't want to fight, and such games almost never get more than a
perfunctory analysis.

Of course, positions do arise that are obscure, and where
players have the choice of playing into these or avoiding them.
But if a position is objectively about level, then "punt and hope"
is really a pretty bad way to play -- certainly at the highest
levels. You will lose a great deal more often than you will win,
unless you really can show reasons why your attack might expect
to succeed. In *good* positions, your chances are much better;
and in *bad* positions, any desperate throw may be worthwhile;
but those are not the positions in which draws are normally
offered and accepted.


> [...] None of the sports covered in
>our newspapers have the characteristics that
>60% of encounters end in ties, with
>a significant number of those occurring without
>even playing, though.

This is a transpondian difference. In the UK, we
have cricket.

>The rules of chess guarantee that draws have to be
>accounted for. The scoring system of chess guarantees
>that draws dominate the game.

There you go again. "Dominate the game"? Outside the
very top GMs playing each other, you're talking about around 1/3
of the games in reasonably high-level chess; and most of those
are hard-fought battles with the draw a fair result.

>> [...] If you've just had 10 days of gruelling mental
>> activity, it's not surprising if on the 11th, with nothing at
>> stake, you don't want to take it too seriously. Even if there
>> is still something at stake, you may be in no mood to put yet
>> another six+ hours of thought into it. Been there, done that.
>Come on, now, you've got to be kidding. In chess, it is
>the *leaders who have everything to play for* who play
>the 15 move draws.

You obviously play in different tournaments from the
ones I see. Well, OK, I know of examples where this has
happened in situations where an outsider really would have
expected the players to work harder. No doubt there are then
elements of mutual funk. But we're not privy to the mental
state of the players. I doubt whether many of them would be
in a better state if they scored only 0.4 for their last-
round draw; in the example you gave elsewhere, the players
clearly weren't motivated [enough] by large amounts of money,
so the points for a draw can scarcely have mattered to them.

> Why is having to *play
>chess* considered a hardship for professional chessplayers?

Why is taking exams considered a hardship for students?
It's a *really* *gruelling* activity.

[ratings:]
>>>The fix is trivial.
>> Not really. You are going to get cases where player A
>> scores more points than player B [who gets more draws] against
>> the same standard of opposition, but B gets the higher rating
>> as a consequence. Many players are somewhat precious about
>> their ratings, so that *is* going to cause problems.
>The rating system has a definition of "performance" defined
>as (W+D/2)/(W+D+L) which is purely arbitrary. Use
>a different definition and all problems are solved.

Well, actually the ECF grading system is based around
W-L. But in any case none of the rating systems I know about
are "purely arbitrary". They have analysable behaviours. It
is far from trivial to "use a different definition" and expect
the result to have good behaviour.

>>>Sponsorship is almost always connected with popularity.
>>>There aren't that many eccentric millionaires throwing
>>>money around.
>> Try looking at [eg] the 4NCL.
>I don't see the point you are making. It looks like it has
>prizes of about 10 British pounds per player.

The prize fund [around $20K] is not to be sneezed at,
but is small fry in the overall funding of the event. Why do
you think small towns and companies can field teams of strong
GMs? Not, assuredly, because the GMs all happen to work there,
but because they get quite decent appearance fees, from the
"eccentric millionaires" who sponsor them. And of course 4NCL
is only one event; there are other leagues and tournaments
around the world where similar things happen.

--
Andy Walker
Nottingham


             
Date: 23 Mar 2008 21:04:23
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Andy Walker" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> In article <[email protected]>,
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> You seem to be under the impression that "winning chances"
>>> are always there and are being overlooked because players prefer
>>> to take draws.
>>And you seem to be saying that chessplayers' behavior
>>is unaffected by the external scoring incentives that affect
>>their prizes.
>
> Then you have misunderstood. Rather, I have pointed out
> that much less chess than you seem to think is played in ways that
> *can* be affected by your proposals, and that IMHO the way we play
> mostly bears little resemblance to your characterisation of it.
> Certainly there are occasional abuses; and there are more among
> the top professionals than among the rest of us. But not because
> we all "don't look for winning chances".

I concede your point that there are aspects of chess that
alternate scoring do not touch.


>
>> Players don't look for winning chances if they
>>calculate that they come with greater losing chances.
>
> Your choice of the word "chances" is revealing. DavidR
> has pointed out elsewhere in this thread that chess is not a game
> of chance. Actually, my personal view is that he is wrong, and
> that chess at the highest levels is predominantly a game of chance;
> but that's a debate for another time. But he is right that we
> don't -- or at least *I* don't, for of course I have no access to
> the thought processes of anyone else -- think of chess in your
> terms. I don't recognise your examples, elsewhere, where White
> "calculates" [say] that he has a chance of 0.3 of winning, 0.5
> of drawing and 0.2 of losing if he plays move A. Chess simply
> isn't random that way. ...

You may not convert it into mathematical form (I certainly
don't) but everybody knows the difference between
a complicated position that could resolve either way vs.
a simplified position that couldn't. We make choices as
we play. With 1867 scoring, selecting a position where
you have a minimal endgame advantage that you might convert is
a st choice. With alternate scoring, it's only a st
choice if you are very sure you will get the win.
So you don't move that way. That gives you, and importantly
your opponent, winning chances.


I find it baffling that you are so absolutely
confident that grandmaster chess players would not
be able to adapt their chess to thrive in a world that
was less draw-friendly. They would somehow be too
dense to respond to an alternate set incentives.
While perhaps there would be cultural reluctance,
and GMs are probably as stubborn and tradition-laden
as the rest of us, they are also highly skilled
when it comes to playing chess. My prediction is that
players could easily adapt and that we would all
be rewarded with better chess. But we will
never truly know the answer until we try. So
why not try?


>
>>How many times do we read game analysis if words
>>akin to "he took the safe draw"?
>
> ... Actually, quite rarely; and surely scarcely ever
> with the GM draws that seem to be what you are complaining about?
> If two players play a perfunctory 12 moves and agree a draw, then
> it scarcely matters whether the draw was safe or not, the players
> didn't want to fight, and such games almost never get more than a
> perfunctory analysis.
>
> Of course, positions do arise that are obscure, and where
> players have the choice of playing into these or avoiding them.
> But if a position is objectively about level, then "punt and hope"
> is really a pretty bad way to play -- certainly at the highest
> levels. You will lose a great deal more often than you will win,
> unless you really can show reasons why your attack might expect
> to succeed. In *good* positions, your chances are much better;
> and in *bad* positions, any desperate throw may be worthwhile;
> but those are not the positions in which draws are normally
> offered and accepted.


Again, you show your lack of faith in the ability of GMs
to respond to alternate incentives. My answer. Why not
let them try?

>
>> [...] None of the sports covered in
>>our newspapers have the characteristics that
>>60% of encounters end in ties, with
>>a significant number of those occurring without
>>even playing, though.
>
> This is a transpondian difference. In the UK, we
> have cricket.
>
>>The rules of chess guarantee that draws have to be
>>accounted for. The scoring system of chess guarantees
>>that draws dominate the game.
>
> There you go again. "Dominate the game"? Outside the
> very top GMs playing each other, you're talking about around 1/3
> of the games in reasonably high-level chess; and most of those
> are hard-fought battles with the draw a fair result.

The point is that in modern chess you cannot be successful
without being able to draw a lot. That's what the empirical
evidence tells us. No one has ever won Linares losing more
than two games. The usual path to victory in major tournaments
is "win a few, draw the rest". As long as we have a
sizeable number of essentially unplayed draws, all draws
are tainted. We just don't know if a draw is *really*
hard fought. You might like to believe it is, and it might
be convenient for defenders of the status quo to
characterize some draws in that fashion, but the reality
is we don't know if it was "hard fought" unless the penalty
for drawing was severe.


>>> [...] If you've just had 10 days of gruelling mental
>>> activity, it's not surprising if on the 11th, with nothing at
>>> stake, you don't want to take it too seriously. Even if there
>>> is still something at stake, you may be in no mood to put yet
>>> another six+ hours of thought into it. Been there, done that.
>>Come on, now, you've got to be kidding. In chess, it is
>>the *leaders who have everything to play for* who play
>>the 15 move draws.
>
> You obviously play in different tournaments from the
> ones I see. Well, OK, I know of examples where this has
> happened in situations where an outsider really would have
> expected the players to work harder. No doubt there are then
> elements of mutual funk. But we're not privy to the mental
> state of the players. I doubt whether many of them would be
> in a better state if they scored only 0.4 for their last-
> round draw; in the example you gave elsewhere, the players
> clearly weren't motivated [enough] by large amounts of money,
> so the points for a draw can scarcely have mattered to them.
>
>> Why is having to *play
>>chess* considered a hardship for professional chessplayers?
>
> Why is taking exams considered a hardship for students?
> It's a *really* *gruelling* activity.
>
> [ratings:]
>>>>The fix is trivial.
>>> Not really. You are going to get cases where player A
>>> scores more points than player B [who gets more draws] against
>>> the same standard of opposition, but B gets the higher rating
>>> as a consequence. Many players are somewhat precious about
>>> their ratings, so that *is* going to cause problems.
>>The rating system has a definition of "performance" defined
>>as (W+D/2)/(W+D+L) which is purely arbitrary. Use
>>a different definition and all problems are solved.
>
> Well, actually the ECF grading system is based around
> W-L. But in any case none of the rating systems I know about
> are "purely arbitrary". They have analysable behaviours. It
> is far from trivial to "use a different definition" and expect
> the result to have good behaviour.
>
>>>>Sponsorship is almost always connected with popularity.
>>>>There aren't that many eccentric millionaires throwing
>>>>money around.
>>> Try looking at [eg] the 4NCL.
>>I don't see the point you are making. It looks like it has
>>prizes of about 10 British pounds per player.
>
> The prize fund [around $20K] is not to be sneezed at,
> but is small fry in the overall funding of the event. Why do
> you think small towns and companies can field teams of strong
> GMs? Not, assuredly, because the GMs all happen to work there,
> but because they get quite decent appearance fees, from the
> "eccentric millionaires" who sponsor them. And of course 4NCL
> is only one event; there are other leagues and tournaments
> around the world where similar things happen.

You seem to like the idea of chess having to beg
for scraps from eccentric millionaires, dictators
controlling FIDE, etc. I like the idea of chess
thriving the way other activities do - providing
an appealing product that resonates with large
numbers of people who enjoy the activity.



              
Date: 24 Mar 2008 18:38:40
From: Andy Walker
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In article <[email protected] >,
David Kane <[email protected] > wrote:
>> [...] I don't recognise your examples, elsewhere, where White
>> "calculates" [say] that he has a chance of 0.3 of winning, 0.5
>> of drawing and 0.2 of losing if he plays move A. Chess simply
>> isn't random that way. ...
>You may not convert it into mathematical form (I certainly
>don't) but everybody knows the difference between
>a complicated position that could resolve either way vs.
>a simplified position that couldn't. We make choices as
>we play.

OK thus far.

> With 1867 scoring, selecting a position where
>you have a minimal endgame advantage that you might convert is
>a st choice. With alternate scoring, it's only a st
>choice if you are very sure you will get the win.
>So you don't move that way.

Whoa! This decision is going to depend on a lot of factors,
of which "how many points for a draw" is one of the least. Among them
are the strength of the opposition, the state of the match/tournament,
my state of mind, ....

But in any case, this is a long way from "12-move GM draws
are evil, so here is a proposal ...". I don't have any objection
at all to well-fought games that happen to end level.

>I find it baffling that you are so absolutely
>confident that grandmaster chess players would not
>be able to adapt their chess to thrive in a world that
>was less draw-friendly.

I find it even more baffling that you think that is what I
think. GMs *already* adapt to draw-unfriendly situations. If you
are [or your team is] behind in a match, then you are under pressure
to win, and every draw is a nail in your coffin. Similarly, if you
[say] need 2 out of 3 to gain a norm, or if you think that's what
you need to win a tournament, or for your team to avoid relegation.
Similarly if you are playing a weaker player, where you have to win
or get egg on your face. If draws were worth only 0.4 or 0.3, it
wouldn't change those pressures, and it seems to me that it would
make precious little difference to how games were actually played.

> [...] My prediction is that
>players could easily adapt and that we would all
>be rewarded with better chess.

As usual, you are assuming that encouraging players to play
in a more murky style is "better chess". We can all agree that the
12-move GM draw is bad for the image of the game; but it doesn't
follow that playing for a small endgame advantage that you hope to
convert is worse chess than speculative sacrifices that may or may
not work.

> But we will
>never truly know the answer until we try. So
>why not try?

No-one is stopping you. Persuade your local club to run its
championship by whatever scoring rules you like, and report back.
If everyone who tries it says "Great! We had a draw-free tournament,
and it was much more fun", then it may spread.

>The point is that in modern chess you cannot be successful
>without being able to draw a lot. That's what the empirical
>evidence tells us. No one has ever won Linares losing more
>than two games. [...]

Isn't that rather empirical evidence that you cannot be
successful if you lose a lot? No surprise there, then. Yes,
the tournament winners have wins and draws and occasional losses,
and the tail-end charlies have losses and draws and occasional
wins. Even if draws only score 0.4, I'm confident that you will
still see that pattern, and what's more that you will still see
people winning long GM tournaments by establishing some early
wins and then cruising home by taking easy draws, or for that
matter by being content to draw against their near-peers and
being better than them at crunching the lower order. Indeed,
it would likely increase the latter tendency, because losing to
a rival would have increased significance.

>>>>>Sponsorship is almost always connected with popularity.
>>>>>There aren't that many eccentric millionaires throwing
>>>>>money around.
>>>> Try looking at [eg] the 4NCL.
[...]
>You seem to like the idea of chess having to beg
>for scraps from eccentric millionaires, dictators
>controlling FIDE, etc.

You posed that proposition. Who said anything about
"begging"? AFAIK, Rentero, Ilyumzhinov, and other sponsors
simply were chess lovers who chose to pour money into "their"
game.

> I like the idea of chess
>thriving the way other activities do - providing
>an appealing product that resonates with large
>numbers of people who enjoy the activity.

It does. I freely admit that I have never tried to raise
millions for a WC-standard event, but I have played my part in
fund-raising at the local level, and we have always managed to
persuade companies and individuals to part with hard cash to
sponsor juniors or clubs, or to provide equipment, or to pay for
venues, etc. Chess has a good image. The shenanigans around
(a) post-1974 Fischer, (b) the split between FIDE and Kasparov,
and (c) "toiletgate" and similar have IMNSHO done *far* more to
spoil that image than the number of draws at Corus.

--
Andy Walker
Nottingham


               
Date: 24 Mar 2008 12:10:49
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Andy Walker" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> In article <[email protected]>,
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> [...] I don't recognise your examples, elsewhere, where White
>>> "calculates" [say] that he has a chance of 0.3 of winning, 0.5
>>> of drawing and 0.2 of losing if he plays move A. Chess simply
>>> isn't random that way. ...
>>You may not convert it into mathematical form (I certainly
>>don't) but everybody knows the difference between
>>a complicated position that could resolve either way vs.
>>a simplified position that couldn't. We make choices as
>>we play.
>
> OK thus far.
>
>> With 1867 scoring, selecting a position where
>>you have a minimal endgame advantage that you might convert is
>>a st choice. With alternate scoring, it's only a st
>>choice if you are very sure you will get the win.
>>So you don't move that way.
>
> Whoa! This decision is going to depend on a lot of factors,
> of which "how many points for a draw" is one of the least. Among them
> are the strength of the opposition, the state of the match/tournament,
> my state of mind, ....
>
> But in any case, this is a long way from "12-move GM draws
> are evil, so here is a proposal ...". I don't have any objection
> at all to well-fought games that happen to end level.


I appreciate your comments. I know I'm getting
repetitious so I'll say nothing but
to correct your mischaracterization of my position.

I do not think any draws are "evil" nor do I think only
12-move draws are bad. My position is that that
the lack of decisivity in chess harms its fan appeal -
the 12 move draw is only an extreme example of this.
But the failure to fully contest chess games (because of
scoring which makes agreeing to a draw a viable
option) is an aberration in the sporting/gaming world,
and does not make for good drama. If the players
don't care enough to fully engage each other, then
why would a potential fan care what they are doing?

I have agreed to draws in what I thought were
good positions but I was in major time trouble.
I have accepted draws in positions that had lots
of play left because doing so clinched a desirable
place finish. I do not consider my behavior evil,
and feel it was rational given the scoring.
However, it *was* fundamentally
uncompetitive. It was letting non-chess factors
(the scoring) intrude on the game itself.

When top players make similar decisions
to draw (as they do all the time, there
is nothing aberrant about it) they are not evil, they
are acting rationally, but they are also avoiding
competition, letting the game on the board be
corrupted by a defective scoring system.



>>I find it baffling that you are so absolutely
>>confident that grandmaster chess players would not
>>be able to adapt their chess to thrive in a world that
>>was less draw-friendly.
>
> I find it even more baffling that you think that is what I
> think. GMs *already* adapt to draw-unfriendly situations. If you
> are [or your team is] behind in a match, then you are under pressure
> to win, and every draw is a nail in your coffin. Similarly, if you
> [say] need 2 out of 3 to gain a norm, or if you think that's what
> you need to win a tournament, or for your team to avoid relegation.
> Similarly if you are playing a weaker player, where you have to win
> or get egg on your face. If draws were worth only 0.4 or 0.3, it
> wouldn't change those pressures, and it seems to me that it would
> make precious little difference to how games were actually played.
>
>> [...] My prediction is that
>>players could easily adapt and that we would all
>>be rewarded with better chess.
>
> As usual, you are assuming that encouraging players to play
> in a more murky style is "better chess". We can all agree that the
> 12-move GM draw is bad for the image of the game; but it doesn't
> follow that playing for a small endgame advantage that you hope to
> convert is worse chess than speculative sacrifices that may or may
> not work.
>
>> But we will
>>never truly know the answer until we try. So
>>why not try?
>
> No-one is stopping you. Persuade your local club to run its
> championship by whatever scoring rules you like, and report back.
> If everyone who tries it says "Great! We had a draw-free tournament,
> and it was much more fun", then it may spread.
>
>>The point is that in modern chess you cannot be successful
>>without being able to draw a lot. That's what the empirical
>>evidence tells us. No one has ever won Linares losing more
>>than two games. [...]
>
> Isn't that rather empirical evidence that you cannot be
> successful if you lose a lot? No surprise there, then. Yes,
> the tournament winners have wins and draws and occasional losses,
> and the tail-end charlies have losses and draws and occasional
> wins. Even if draws only score 0.4, I'm confident that you will
> still see that pattern, and what's more that you will still see
> people winning long GM tournaments by establishing some early
> wins and then cruising home by taking easy draws, or for that
> matter by being content to draw against their near-peers and
> being better than them at crunching the lower order. Indeed,
> it would likely increase the latter tendency, because losing to
> a rival would have increased significance.
>
>>>>>>Sponsorship is almost always connected with popularity.
>>>>>>There aren't that many eccentric millionaires throwing
>>>>>>money around.
>>>>> Try looking at [eg] the 4NCL.
> [...]
>>You seem to like the idea of chess having to beg
>>for scraps from eccentric millionaires, dictators
>>controlling FIDE, etc.
>
> You posed that proposition. Who said anything about
> "begging"? AFAIK, Rentero, Ilyumzhinov, and other sponsors
> simply were chess lovers who chose to pour money into "their"
> game.
>
>> I like the idea of chess
>>thriving the way other activities do - providing
>>an appealing product that resonates with large
>>numbers of people who enjoy the activity.
>
> It does. I freely admit that I have never tried to raise
> millions for a WC-standard event, but I have played my part in
> fund-raising at the local level, and we have always managed to
> persuade companies and individuals to part with hard cash to
> sponsor juniors or clubs, or to provide equipment, or to pay for
> venues, etc. Chess has a good image. The shenanigans around
> (a) post-1974 Fischer, (b) the split between FIDE and Kasparov,
> and (c) "toiletgate" and similar have IMNSHO done *far* more to
> spoil that image than the number of draws at Corus.
>
> --
> Andy Walker
> Nottingham



            
Date: 23 Mar 2008 15:09:57
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
David Kane <[email protected] > wrote:
> Decisiveness can increase interest even with no understanding of the
> underlying games. Don't newspapers in the UK have sports sections?
> Here they do. Even in the absence of real time suspense, or stunning
> visuals, people like to follow results. None of the sports covered
> in our newspapers have the characteristics that 60% of encounters
> end in ties, with a significant number of those occurring without
> even playing, though.

Yes and none of them have the property that they can only be fully
understood by people who have studied the sport since childhood to the
near exclusion of all else. Perhaps *that*, and not the high
proportion of draws, is the reason why the game doesn't command huge
reports in the newspapers?

David Kane <[email protected] > wrote:
> "Andy Walker" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> It's especially offensive that this [uncontested draws] occurs in
>>> the last round of every major tournament -exactly when, in
>>> ordinary non-chess competitions, the drama is at its highest.
>>
>> Many sports organise their major competitions as KO events, which
>> puts a different complexion on things. In leagues, it is very
>> common in the sports I know anything about for end-of-season
>> matches to be meaningless -- almost all issues of promotion or
>> relegation are decided, and most teams just go through the motions.
>> Why would you expect chess tournaments to be different? If you've
>> just had 10 days of gruelling mental activity, it's not surprising
>> if on the 11th, with nothing at stake, you don't want to take it
>> too seriously. Even if there is still something at stake, you may
>> be in no mood to put yet another six+ hours of thought into it.
>> Been there, done that.
>
> Come on, now, you've got to be kidding.

No, he isn't. There is often nothing to play for in the last round or
two of a round-robin tournament (or `league' as they're called in most
sports). The team that always wins has an unassailable position at
the top of the table; the crap team that always loses has an
irretrievable position at the bottom of the table. All that's to play
for is the occasional minor distinction in the middle of the table.

> In chess, it is the *leaders who have everything to play for* who
> play the 15 move draws.

Players who have a chance of winning the tournament generally attempt
to do so in the last round.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Addictive Adult Composer (TM): it's
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ like a pupil of Beethoven that you
won't want the children to see but
you can never put it down!


             
Date: 23 Mar 2008 12:13:38
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"David Richerby" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:13u*[email protected]
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>> Decisiveness can increase interest even with no understanding of the
>> underlying games. Don't newspapers in the UK have sports sections?
>> Here they do. Even in the absence of real time suspense, or stunning
>> visuals, people like to follow results. None of the sports covered
>> in our newspapers have the characteristics that 60% of encounters
>> end in ties, with a significant number of those occurring without
>> even playing, though.
>
> Yes and none of them have the property that they can only be fully
> understood by people who have studied the sport since childhood to the
> near exclusion of all else. Perhaps *that*, and not the high
> proportion of draws, is the reason why the game doesn't command huge
> reports in the newspapers?
>
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>> "Andy Walker" <[email protected]uk> wrote:
>>> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
>>>> It's especially offensive that this [uncontested draws] occurs in
>>>> the last round of every major tournament -exactly when, in
>>>> ordinary non-chess competitions, the drama is at its highest.
>>>
>>> Many sports organise their major competitions as KO events, which
>>> puts a different complexion on things. In leagues, it is very
>>> common in the sports I know anything about for end-of-season
>>> matches to be meaningless -- almost all issues of promotion or
>>> relegation are decided, and most teams just go through the motions.
>>> Why would you expect chess tournaments to be different? If you've
>>> just had 10 days of gruelling mental activity, it's not surprising
>>> if on the 11th, with nothing at stake, you don't want to take it
>>> too seriously. Even if there is still something at stake, you may
>>> be in no mood to put yet another six+ hours of thought into it.
>>> Been there, done that.
>>
>> Come on, now, you've got to be kidding.
>
> No, he isn't. There is often nothing to play for in the last round or
> two of a round-robin tournament (or `league' as they're called in most
> sports). The team that always wins has an unassailable position at
> the top of the table; the crap team that always loses has an
> irretrievable position at the bottom of the table. All that's to play
> for is the occasional minor distinction in the middle of the table.

Chess tournaments almost never end this way. There are usually people
grouped near the top.

>> In chess, it is the *leaders who have everything to play for* who
>> play the 15 move draws.
>
> Players who have a chance of winning the tournament generally attempt
> to do so in the last round.
>

No. They usually make no attempt to win. They take short draws to
lock-in a guaranteed prize.

Here is an example. After the penultimate round of the 2007 World Open,
a Swiss, there was one player with 5 points and 4 tied at 4.5. The prize
fund for place finish was (approximately) 6000, 3000, 1667, 750, 450 and around
2200 for the next 10 places. The last round pairings had the player with 5
paired with a player with 4.5, two players with 4.5 paired together, and the
remaining player with 4.5 points paired with somebody in the 4.0
group.

Consider the last round game between the two well-known GMs
with 4.5. It went:
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 a5
7. O-O O-O 8. Nc3 Ne4 Draw agreed. Exciting chess, Mr. Richerby?

It's interesting to address the financial incentives the players faced
before the game. Both players ended up finishing in a 6-way tie for 2nd through
7th place and won aout $1100. What would their prizes have been if their game
had been
decisive? The winner would have finished in a two way tie for 1st and 2nd, worth
$4500. The loser would have won $200+

Of course, there were other possible scenarios, yielding different monetary
returns,
but the most likely scenario occurred. (The 4.5 player beat the 5.0 player,
outrating him by over
200 points, and the other 4.5 player drew.) The least beneficial outcome that a
winner of the game between the 4.5s would have faced was a two-way tie
for 2nd and 3rd, or $2333. In most scenarios they would fiinish in a two or
three way tie for the top prizes.

The first thing worth noting is that he players did *NOT* reach their "drawn"
position and then flip a coin to decide who should lose on purpose. Nor did they
prearrange for one to lose and split the prize fund. Even though those actions
would have doubled their collective prize! Simple reality is that chess
as played with the current scoring is not zero sum, and cheating opportunities
abound.

The mystery, of course, is why the players colluded not to play,
even when it was against their collective self-interest. Why was working for
a shot at $4000 a worse choice than getting $900 with no work or risk.
Is it because chess has a draw culture that is so pervasive? Perhaps
the notion of contesting a last round game was simply out of their
experience, something that they were unable to deal with psychologically.




          
Date: 22 Mar 2008 10:48:05
From: Peter Clinch
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess
David Kane wrote:
> Andy Walker wrote:
> That's not the underlying problem. Players *will* be in the mood
> to play on and look for winning chances if that's what is
> sensible in the meta-game.

What is sensible in the meta game is (and should be) the same as is
sensible in the game: playing to the best of your ability should
improve your chances, /whatever your style of play/.

> The vast majority of games/sports
> etc. simply don't have an "I'm not in the mood, let's draw" option
> and neither would chess with sensible scoring.

Why do you assume Chess should be the same as most other things?
Surely one of the attractive features may be it is very different
to most human competition?

> It's especially
> offensive that this occurs in the last round of every major
> tournament -exactly when, in ordinary non-chess competitions,
> the drama is at its highest.

When was the last time there was a decent FIFA World Cup Final?
Most of the really good matches come earlier in the competition
IME. The problem becomes there's too much to lose, even though
there's everything to win. That is not limited to Chess.

>> I don't know what sort of chess you play, but I don't know
>> any players to whom that does not already apply. For a start, we
>> all, except for the merest beginners, often play against players
>> who are worse than us. That is especially true for the world's
>> strongest players. If a GM sits down to play me, do you suppose
>> he is looking to "hold the draw"? So we all need repertoires that
>> give us a decent chance to win against slightly or very inferior
>> opposition, whatever the colour.
>
> Irrelevant. Nothing says that they have to play the same
> openings against weaker players as they do against their peers,
> and frankly I'd be surprised if that were the case.

I think you missed Andy's point, which is people aren't always
looking for draws: they'll play according to what they think they
can get, to the best of their ability. You don't win by drawing
every match, and you don't win by letting your opponents run away
from you with big-value wins when you lose.

>> In what sense is watching live football "extreme"? The
>> fact remains that live chess, unlike most [all?] physical sports,
>> and many mind sports, is utterly opaque to any spectator who is
>> not of comparable ability with the players. That's not to say
>> that we can't have TV programs about it; but it's not going to
>> have mass spectator appeal.
>
> So what? It can have more appeal than it currently does.
> It can appeal to amateur chessplayers, at least.

I suspect Andy's suggestion that the highest levels, at least in
real time, are opaque to pretty much everyone outside of the Big
Boys (and Girls). The Go club I'm in has hosted the Scottish Open
for the last couple of years, and it's been won by (amateur) 5 Dan
Chinese players. Their play is open for inspection by anyone else
at the tournament, but there aren't crowds around their table
because to the mere Kyu players it's not really very clear what's
going on. I (10 Kyu) can look at a game well underway and have not
the faintest idea who is winning. Considerably stronger friends
report the same. I don't see any particular reason chess should be
different in essence, because like Go it's *very* deep. And these
guys wouldn't hold a candle to the /really/ good professionals
themselves.

> My experience is that when the kids see the adult game, they
> don't like what they see. I think the draw-worshipping
> culture is certainly a component of that. But I certainly agree
> that there are other factors.

Priily it has ceased to be a game in the broad sense of "fun
pastime". My nephew was a pretty good player for his age, last
time I played him I had to think pretty hard, so I was taking time
over my moves. By "taking time" I mean up to, oh, maybe a couple
of minutes each move at the very outside. It drove him up the
wall, he couldn't /believe/ I was taking so long! Kids don't like
serious Chess so much because they have a more limited attention
span than a Chess GM. It's not the game *they* play because hardly
anything happens, even in vicous games played with the knives out
on both sides. They just sit there staring at the board instead of
moving, it's not High Octane Action (by juvenile standards) even if
they are going for an out and out win.

To reiterate, I'm not saying your idea won't or can't work, but I
suspect two things:

- the game is not as broken as you seem to think;
- your attempts to fix it probably won't change much.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/


        
Date: 21 Mar 2008 21:37:21
From: Peter Clinch
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess
David Kane wrote:

> It is unclear. Elementary school chess
> has large numbers and almost no draws. Participation
> drops with age as the draw rate increases.

A pretty obvious place to shout "correlation is not always causal".

Some kids drop out because they turn out not to be so good at it,
other kids drop out as it's not the current flavour of "cool",
other kids drop out because they've found something they like
better, and so on. I stopped playing seriously at about 16 when it
became abundantly clear that I wasn't going to amount to much, and
my ego wasn't up to that realisation at the time... hey ho.

I can't recall anyone dropping off the roster of usual players at
the high school chess club because they complained about the draw rate.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/


      
Date: 21 Mar 2008 19:21:42
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
David Kane <[email protected] > wrote:

> Chessplayers are human and humans respond to drama. If 75% of games
> are draws, and many of those draws are not even contested, you've
> got a situation that is designed to alienate the average chess
> enthusiast.

No, it alienates you and you assume that you reflect the views of the
`average' chess player. I would rather imagine that the laws of chess
reflect the wishes of the `average' chess player -- after all, if the
masses were clamouring for a version of chess without so many draws at
the top level, surely it would already exist?


Dave.

--
David Richerby Indelible Pointy-Haired Umbrella
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ (TM): it's like an umbrella that's
completely clueless but it can't
be erased!


 
Date: 20 Mar 2008 06:23:49
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 19, 3:31 pm, Christopher Dearlove <[email protected] >
wrote:
>
> And finally, what's the problem with draws?

Nobody wins - especially not the spectators.


  
Date: 20 Mar 2008 13:48:45
From: Peter Clinch
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess
[email protected] wrote:
> On 19, 3:31 pm, Christopher Dearlove <[email protected]>
> wrote:
>> And finally, what's the problem with draws?
>
> Nobody wins - especially not the spectators.

Bit of a sweeping assumption... Personally I'd prefer to watch or play
a well fought draw than an indifferent game with a result one way or
another. If it's only interesting according to the bottom line you
might just as well save yourself the bother of watching and check the
score at the end.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/


 
Date: 19 Mar 2008 22:31:21
From: Christopher Dearlove
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In message <[email protected] >, David Kane
<[email protected] > writes
>Changing the scoring in chess
>would not significantly increase the cheating possibilities

Factually inaccurate. It's been pointed out that changing the scoring
system as you suggest increases the advantage of cheating.

Now to throw something concrete into this. Freakonomics (Levitt and
Dubner) quote numerous examples of cheating (teachers to name one
less obvious example). But in particular they quote good statistical
evidence that sumo wrestlers throw matches. This is precisely what
you are arguing wouldn't happen in chess. Given we already have
evidence (agreed draws) that chess players aren't moral paragons
(and I think Bobby Fischer blew that one too) there's a near certainty
they'd be doing something similar. (Maybe the coin toss, or they
could auction the game throw between them in advance, with an
agreed signal when it's invoked by mutual agreement. That solves
most of the problems you raise, even though a simple coin toss is
mostly good enough.)

And to return to Fischer. When he was on top, most of his
opponents were Soviet grandmasters. It's well recorded that the
USSR authorities would instruct players what to do. With a net
gain from throwing games, they would have been laughing all the
way.

And finally, what's the problem with draws? Apart from that draws
can be instructive and interesting, let's just suppose they aren't,
and that 80% of games are draws (I think it's slightly less than
that). So only 20% of games are interesting. Who has time to
watch even that 20%? The only people who'd have to watch draws
are people watching a single game, live. And we can pretty much
assume those people are chess enthusiasts, and they clearly
don't mind draws.

--
Christopher Dearlove


  
Date: 21 Mar 2008 19:14:58
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
Christopher Dearlove <[email protected] > wrote:
> (Maybe the coin toss, or they could auction the game throw between
> them in advance, with an agreed signal when it's invoked by mutual
> agreement. That solves most of the problems you raise, even though a
> simple coin toss is mostly good enough.)

It's important that the coin is tossed in the drawn position, not at
the start of play. If it's done at the start of play, the winner of
the toss will actively play for the draw, which is much easier than
trying to win.

> And finally, what's the problem with draws? Apart from that draws
> can be instructive and interesting, let's just suppose they aren't,
> and that 80% of games are draws (I think it's slightly less than
> that). So only 20% of games are interesting. Who has time to
> watch even that 20%? The only people who'd have to watch draws
> are people watching a single game, live.

That's a very good point. The only situation where one is `forced' to
watch a draw is in a match, as distinct from a tournament. However,
in a match, it doesn't matter whether draws are scored at a half-point
each, a third of a point each or even twenty points each. Only an
asymmetric scoring system for draws would affect matches.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Solar-Powered Zen Tool (TM): it's like
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ a screwdriver that puts you in touch
with the universe but it doesn't work
in the dark!


   
Date: 21 Mar 2008 13:33:09
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"David Richerby" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:IGl*[email protected]
> Christopher Dearlove <[email protected]> wrote:
>> (Maybe the coin toss, or they could auction the game throw between
>> them in advance, with an agreed signal when it's invoked by mutual
>> agreement. That solves most of the problems you raise, even though a
>> simple coin toss is mostly good enough.)
>
> It's important that the coin is tossed in the drawn position, not at
> the start of play. If it's done at the start of play, the winner of
> the toss will actively play for the draw, which is much easier than
> trying to win.
>
>> And finally, what's the problem with draws? Apart from that draws
>> can be instructive and interesting, let's just suppose they aren't,
>> and that 80% of games are draws (I think it's slightly less than
>> that). So only 20% of games are interesting. Who has time to
>> watch even that 20%? The only people who'd have to watch draws
>> are people watching a single game, live.
>
> That's a very good point. The only situation where one is `forced' to
> watch a draw is in a match, as distinct from a tournament. However,
> in a match, it doesn't matter whether draws are scored at a half-point
> each, a third of a point each or even twenty points each. Only an
> asymmetric scoring system for draws would affect matches.

It's a matter of simple efficiency. If contested games are
more interesting than uncontested or partially contested
games, then chess becomes more interesting as the
average contestedness of all games increases.

You are correct about alternate scoring not working
for matches, though, since the idea behind alternate
scoring is that the players who fight for wins will gain
advantage over those content to draw. If there are only
two contestants, there are no other players to consider.




  
Date: 20 Mar 2008 17:12:31
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Christopher Dearlove" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> In message <7tOdnan7yPu[email protected]>, David Kane
> <[email protected]> writes
>>Changing the scoring in chess
>>would not significantly increase the cheating possibilities
>
> Factually inaccurate. It's been pointed out that changing the scoring
> system as you suggest increases the advantage of cheating.
>
> Now to throw something concrete into this. Freakonomics (Levitt and
> Dubner) quote numerous examples of cheating (teachers to name one
> less obvious example). But in particular they quote good statistical
> evidence that sumo wrestlers throw matches. This is precisely what
> you are arguing wouldn't happen in chess.


While I didn't look at the original, there are some discussions
I found publicly available.
http://faroutliers.blogspot.com/2005/05/freakonomics-of-sumo.html
which might give me some idea of what you are talking about.

The argument in favor of corruption is not iron-clad, though definitely
plausible. In any case, this has nothing to do with draw avoidance.

There are vast differences between this situation and chess:
1. The discussion appears to concern a simple special case of results when
rewards are
uneven for a single match - not a systematic, long-term cheating scheme.
2. The rewards are far greater in sumo than in chess.
3. Sumo has always been connected with unsavory elements - the closest
thing in chess would have been Soviet government involvement,
i.e. ancient history.

Just about every sport, game, contest, etc. will produce isolated
situations with unequal stakes. That those can be manipulated,
and probably have been manipulated to some degree, to my
way of thinking is scarcely relevant to the contention that
converting chess to a rational scoring system will produce a
wave of cheating.

A while ago, Anand with White clinched first place at Linares
by playing a quick draw with a lower rated opponent who was out of
the running. That was run of the mill chess. Everybody likes
Anand, and he was doing what everybody does. The lower rated
player gained a few points, and exceeded his expectation. Anand
clinched an important tournament victory. It was a sensible deal.
But I hope I'm not alone in thinking that it would have been
more interesting to see a *real* chess game, whatever
scoring/anti-cheating measures are needed to produce it.
Counting draws as half wins produces *pseudo* chess.




Given we already have
> evidence (agreed draws) that chess players aren't moral paragons
> (and I think Bobby Fischer blew that one too) there's a near certainty
> they'd be doing something similar. (Maybe the coin toss, or they
> could auction the game throw between them in advance, with an
> agreed signal when it's invoked by mutual agreement. That solves
> most of the problems you raise, even though a simple coin toss is
> mostly good enough.)
>
> And to return to Fischer. When he was on top, most of his
> opponents were Soviet grandmasters. It's well recorded that the
> USSR authorities would instruct players what to do. With a net
> gain from throwing games, they would have been laughing all the
> way.
>
> And finally, what's the problem with draws? Apart from that draws
> can be instructive and interesting, let's just suppose they aren't,
> and that 80% of games are draws (I think it's slightly less than
> that). So only 20% of games are interesting. Who has time to
> watch even that 20%? The only people who'd have to watch draws
> are people watching a single game, live. And we can pretty much
> assume those people are chess enthusiasts, and they clearly
> don't mind draws.
>
> --
> Christopher Dearlove



  
Date: 20 Mar 2008 12:03:43
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Christopher Dearlove" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> In message <[email protected]>, David Kane
> <[email protected]> writes
>>Changing the scoring in chess
>>would not significantly increase the cheating possibilities
>
> Factually inaccurate. It's been pointed out that changing the scoring
> system as you suggest increases the advantage of cheating.


The specific example did *not* do that, because it was
ridiculous and impractical.

And you are forgetting that there are other ways to cheat,
probably far more effective. (connect to Fritz. e.g.). So effectively
the cheating possibilities are unchanged. And don't forget that
changing the scoring will *decrease* draw-based cheating, so
overall there would be a decrease in dishonest collusion.


> Now to throw something concrete into this. Freakonomics (Levitt and
> Dubner) quote numerous examples of cheating (teachers to name one
> less obvious example). But in particular they quote good statistical
> evidence that sumo wrestlers throw matches. This is precisely what
> you are arguing wouldn't happen in chess. Given we already have
> evidence (agreed draws) that chess players aren't moral paragons
> (and I think Bobby Fischer blew that one too) there's a near certainty
> they'd be doing something similar. (Maybe the coin toss, or they
> could auction the game throw between them in advance, with an
> agreed signal when it's invoked by mutual agreement. That solves
> most of the problems you raise, even though a simple coin toss is
> mostly good enough.)

Collusion to draw is widely accepted and part
of the game. Even chess' rules are not clear on the issue, and
the rules that do exist are almost never enforced.

Losing on purpose is a far bigger moral step. There are very few
documented cases of thrown games.



>
> And to return to Fischer. When he was on top, most of his
> opponents were Soviet grandmasters. It's well recorded that the
> USSR authorities would instruct players what to do. With a net
> gain from throwing games, they would have been laughing all the
> way.
>
> And finally, what's the problem with draws? Apart from that draws
> can be instructive and interesting, let's just suppose they aren't,
> and that 80% of games are draws (I think it's slightly less than
> that). So only 20% of games are interesting. Who has time to
> watch even that 20%? The only people who'd have to watch draws
> are people watching a single game, live. And we can pretty much
> assume those people are chess enthusiasts, and they clearly
> don't mind draws.

It's not that draws are never interesting or that there is some
threshold of draw incidence below which chess becomes interesting.
It's that when the return on playing for a win is low (as with the
current scoring), players don't do it. So games are not fully contested
(because contesting games is non-optimal). In effect draws between
GMs statistically aren't full games, they are partial games, yet the
existing scoring system treats them as full games. Changing the
scoring is one way to address that defect. I will grant that all proposed
solutions have problems. However, increased cheating in general
is not one of them.





 
Date: 19 Mar 2008 22:06:06
From: Christopher Dearlove
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In message <[email protected] >, David Kane
<[email protected] > writes
>We reach such a position, implement our plan, and I lose the toss.
>Both of us are near the top of the tournament, so it is going to cost
>me prize money today when I lose on purpose. Sure, he will gain
>a lot more than I lose, but that does me no good today. I don't
>know the next time I will play him. It could be years from now.

If you welsh on an agreement, no matter how unethical, the word
will go round, and no one will make such a deal with you ever again.
(Well, they will, but you'll have to agree to lose one or more tosses
without actually making the toss to get back to making even deals.)
Meanwhile the other players are making the deals to their advantage,
and as you are frozen out, your disadvantage.

And chess players are quite capable of working all that out. Even the
ones who haven't read Axelrod.

--
Christopher Dearlove


  
Date: 20 Mar 2008 11:46:03
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Christopher Dearlove" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> In message <[email protected]>, David Kane
> <[email protected]> writes
>>We reach such a position, implement our plan, and I lose the toss.
>>Both of us are near the top of the tournament, so it is going to cost
>>me prize money today when I lose on purpose. Sure, he will gain
>>a lot more than I lose, but that does me no good today. I don't
>>know the next time I will play him. It could be years from now.
>
> If you welsh on an agreement, no matter how unethical, the word
> will go round, and no one will make such a deal with you ever again.

How would word get around? Only the welshed on cheater would
know, and he would be in no position to advertise his own illegal
behavior.


> (Well, they will, but you'll have to agree to lose one or more tosses
> without actually making the toss to get back to making even deals.)
> Meanwhile the other players are making the deals to their advantage,
> and as you are frozen out, your disadvantage.
>
> And chess players are quite capable of working all that out. Even the
> ones who haven't read Axelrod.



>
> --
> Christopher Dearlove



 
Date: 17 Mar 2008 12:41:07
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 17, 8:53 am, David Damerell <[email protected] >
wrote:
>
> Or perhaps you aren't very bright, either. *plonk*
>

Definition of "plonk": A self-congratulatory affirmation, usually
preceded by a witless attempt at repudiation.


 
Date: 15 Mar 2008 13:04:08
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 15, 10:10=A0am, "[email protected]" <[email protected] >
wrote:
> I used to make the general argument that draws suck. =A0They're anti-
> climactic and deflating. =A0I pretty much gave up on that since it has
> always been met with angry rebuttals from defensive Chess enthusiasts
> like "That's just your opinion! =A0The draw is a welcome conclusion
> between equally matched blah blah blah blah blah."
>
> The tone of this discussion seems to lend credence to my premise.

If people like draws, then they should be allowed
to voice their opinion. It is not difficult to see the origin
of this affection - I'd guess every chess player has some
draws that he has enjoyed and is proud of.

Instead, what has happened in this thread has happened often.
Someone will propose an anti-draw measure, and we see
completely far-fetched totally ridiculous objections (in this
case, the idea that it will result in a massive, fantastic
cheating scheme) The flaws in those arguments should
certainly be exposed.

It requires an open mind to discuss the merits and problems of a
proposal. But this is an issue where there is
an orthodoxy ("the current way is the only way") which
tolerates no hint of an open mind.


 
Date: 15 Mar 2008 10:10:35
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
I used to make the general argument that draws suck. They're anti-
climactic and deflating. I pretty much gave up on that since it has
always been met with angry rebuttals from defensive Chess enthusiasts
like "That's just your opinion! The draw is a welcome conclusion
between equally matched blah blah blah blah blah."

The tone of this discussion seems to lend credence to my premise.


  
Date: 15 Mar 2008 14:05:02
From: SAT W-7
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess
Prize money , winner takes all of it .....

You give the people the money it takes for them to play in the
tournament and their hotel and food money and that is it ...

If there is a tie you play the best 2 out of 3 games or you play until
one player wins two games ...Blitz games for example ....



 
Date: 15 Mar 2008 09:41:52
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 14, 11:31 pm, [email protected] wrote:
> I think everybody's missing the point, and that is that chess gets to
> a point where you can't afford to lose. Sure everybody says that you
> have to lose a lot of games against better competition if you want to
> get any better, but once you're where you ought to be, losing hurts
> you. Therefore, there needs to be an incenticve to take the risk.

Yes, there are some general observations that can be made independent
of micro-tweaking the scoring system. As David Kane pointed out
earlier, if you're doing better than everyone else in the tournament,
and the tournament is almost over, draws are great. They're low risk,
they maintain your lead, and bring the tournament closer to a
conclusion. Conversely if you're already losing, then take more
risks. This is a well known principle that can be applied to a single
game of Backgammon and a lot of other situations. There's probably a
name for this principle. The ______ principle.


 
Date: 14 Mar 2008 23:31:08
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
I think everybody's missing the point, and that is that chess gets to
a point where you can't afford to lose. Sure everybody says that you
have to lose a lot of games against better competition if you want to
get any better, but once you're where you ought to be, losing hurts
you. Therefore, there needs to be an incenticve to take the risk.


 
Date: 14 Mar 2008 22:48:39
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 13, 5:18=A0pm, David Richerby <[email protected] >
wrote:
> David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
> > Imagine that I have an agreement with Mr. Richerby (both of us being
> > dishonorable people) so that whenever we reach a drawn position, we
> > agree to flip a coin and the loser throws the game.
>
> > We reach such a position, implement our plan, and I lose the toss.
> > Both of us are near the top of the tournament, so it is going to
> > cost me prize money today when I lose on purpose. =A0Sure, he will
> > gain a lot more than I lose, but that does me no good today. I don't
> > know the next time I will play him. =A0It could be years from now. =A0I
> > don't know that the next time I play him whether there will be any
> > money on the line. I don't know that the next time I play him that I
> > will win the toss.
>
> You don't care when we next meet or what happens when we do. =A0It
> doesn't matter who you cheat with on any one occasion: all that
> matters is that, half the times you cheat, you win and half the times,
> you lose.

Sure you do. If I know that you are going to retire after my game is
over,
it would make no sense to abide by the coin toss. It only makes sense
to lose on purpose if you know that someone is going to do it for you.

Do I *really* know that I will win half the time if I cheat? Not in
the real world, I
wouldn't.

[By the way, I believe a not uninteresting variant of chess (even with
the current scoring) *would* be to resolve all ties by means of a
coin toss, hopefully delayed (say at the end of the tournament).
That would at least eliminate one of the motivations behind the
GM draw (certainty).]

>
> > I don't know that the next time I play him and win the toss with
> > money on the line, that he will keep his side of the deal and throw
> > the game to me.
>
> It's to everybody's advantage, in the long term, to cheat.

Hardly. Each time you cheat you are risking being caught and facing a
penalty.

People don't live in the "long term". They have a finite lifespan.
Suppose
that whatever value I get for a draw nets me $1 million. Am I going
to
throw that away (so that you can win $10 million) for some long term
advantage? Of course not. There might be nothing at all at stake in
our
next 10 games.

What is oddest about your line of reasoning is that you bring it out
to condemn alternate scoring systems but don't seem to grasp
that a similar cheating system is already present in chess. Why?
Because
wins don't have equal monetary value for both sides.
For example, you and are playing each other
in the last round of a round robin tournament. We are equally rated,
so you expect
1/2 a point. But you are near the top of the tournament. With a full
point, you will
either win or share first prize. On the other hand, I'm at the bottom
of the standings,
out of the money, so win, lose or draw makes no difference to me.
Rationally,
we should just negotiate a price for me to lose the game on purpose.

And while this may happen from time to time, it is not perceived as a
problem AT ALL (except for the draw version, already discussed)


>
> > What would more likely happen is a collusion of a different sort. I
> > will play aggressively with White to get an advantage. Suppose that
> > he sees a way to simplify into a drawish position where I have a
> > slight advantage but he can probably hold the draw. =A0That "draw at
> > best" line doesn't look so good if draws don't count as much. So he
> > uses his chess skill to come up with a different plan, based on
> > counterplay elsewhere on the board, etc.
>
> You seem to believe that some position, White has `an advantage' but
> Black can simplify to a position where White has only a `slight
> advantage' and can also produce `counterplay'.

You misunderstand. Black can chose a likely drawable line vs. one
that
is more uncertain but might have winning chances.
For example, Black can chose between two options: a simplifiying line
with
W=3D0, D=3D.9 L=3D.1 or a complicated line with W=3D.3 D=3D.3 L=3D.4
With the current scoring, those have the same expectations, but with
more sensible scoring (D=3D.1-.25) the more interesting, uncertain line
is the better
choice. So we get better chess.



=A0One assumes that the
> counterplay has winning chances or Black wouldn't contemplate it over
> the guaranteed slight disadvantage. =A0This is impossible. =A0If Black can=

> produce counterplay with winning chances from a position, the
> evaluation of that position is `Black has winning chances' or better;
> not `White has an advantage.'
>
> If a draw is worth 0<p<1 points, it is better to accept a near-certain p
> points than trying to get a whole point with probability less than p.
> If a draw is worth 0<=3Dp<1/2 points, it is better to accept a fifty-fifty=

> chance of a whole point than a certain p points for a draw.

Exactly. And the fact that we have GM draws (essentially non-
contests)
is strong empirical evidence that p=3D1/2 is too high. The
perceived return on trying to win is low, or negative.
That is the factor that sets chess apart from many other
games and sports, whether they have a theoretical tie possibility or
not.
In those activities it generally makes sense to set out to win. Sure
some contests may END in ties, but that is an accident (both teams
happened
to each score 1 goal), not part of a self-fulfilling plan (a draw is
good for me,
so I'll play drawish moves)

>
> > Of course, the main advantage to reducing the value of draws is that
> > the game will become more interesting to play and watch!
>
> Draws are only prevalent at the highest levels of chess. =A0We assume
> that the world's top players already find chess interesting to play.

Depends on what you mean by "prevalent". They are probably more
prevalent than they should be for optimum enjoyment and fan interest
at every level of chess above ELO 1000.

Do you have some evidence that the current chess scoring system
creates maximum interest?

>
> As for `more interesting to watch', well. =A0It's possible that the
> extra burden of playing games out to the bitter end and not being able
> to take a half-point rest in the middle of a tournament will result in
> lower-quality play. =A0I can't tell whether it would or not but there's
> no data on either side and all I'm saying here is that you can't be
> certain that decreasing the score for draws will result in more
> interesting chess.
>
> Seemingly more significant is that you're removing the value of the
> draw as a safety net. =A0With a half point for a draw, a player can
> sacrifice a pawn, say, for the attack, with the reasoning, `If this
> works, I win; if it doesn't, I'll probably be able to hold the draw.'
> Reducing the value of that safety net seems likely to lead to more
> conservative, drawish play.

???? Why would they play drawishly if they know that draws
aren't going to score well? Both players have to collaborate to play
somewhat riskily - otherwise both will end up with the now
lower value draw.

>
> Dave.
>
> --
> David Richerby =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Pickled=
Adult T-Shirt (TM): it's likewww.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/=A0 =A0 =A0=
a fashion statement that you won't
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =
=A0 =A0 =A0want the children to see but it's
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =
=A0 =A0 =A0preserved in vinegar!



 
Date: 14 Mar 2008 21:37:03
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 14, 6:11=A0am, David Damerell <[email protected] >
wrote:
> Quoting =A0David Richerby =A0<[email protected]>:
>
> >David Kane <[email protected]> wrote:
> >>I don't know that the next time I play him and win the toss with
> >>money on the line, that he will keep his side of the deal and throw
> >>the game to me.
> >It's to everybody's advantage, in the long term, to cheat.
>
> Which is why the trustworthy cheaters (er) will prosper, and find it easy
> to make such arrangements in future.
> --
> David Damerell <[email protected]> Distortion Field!
> Today is First Leicesterday, ch.

You mean like what has happened in soccer (football) leagues that have
W=3D3, D=3D1?

There is a big difference between a theoretical idea and practical
plan.


  
Date: 17 Mar 2008 15:53:44
From: David Damerell
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
Quoting <[email protected] >:
>On 14, 6:11=A0am, David Damerell <[email protected]>
>>Which is why the trustworthy cheaters (er) will prosper, and find it easy
>>to make such arrangements in future.
>You mean like what has happened in soccer (football) leagues that have
>W=3, D=1?

Perhaps you missed the article where I observed that getting 22+ people
some of whom aren't very bright to collude is much harder than 2 chess
players; that there is no point at which a football match is definitely
drawn; and that collusion has in fact happened in football?

Or perhaps you aren't very bright, either. *plonk*
--
David Damerell <[email protected] > Distortion Field!
Today is First Chedday, ch - a public holiday.


   
Date: 17 Mar 2008 09:35:50
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"David Damerell" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:aYh*[email protected]
> Quoting <[email protected]>:
>>On 14, 6:11=A0am, David Damerell <[email protected]>
>>>Which is why the trustworthy cheaters (er) will prosper, and find it easy
>>>to make such arrangements in future.
>>You mean like what has happened in soccer (football) leagues that have
>>W=3, D=1?
>
> Perhaps you missed the article where I observed that getting 22+ people
> some of whom aren't very bright to collude is much harder than 2 chess
> players; that there is no point at which a football match is definitely
> drawn; and that collusion has in fact happened in football?

Read and refuted. You yourself came up with an example of how
soccer players participated in throwing a game, showing that their
number and intelligence are not a significant obstacle. The fact
that football is never "definitely drawn" was shown to be
a red herring. (Neither is chess) The key is that at some point
the return of tossing the coin is higher than the return of playing on fairly,
yet it *doesn't* produce that change of behavior.

The simple fact is that there are already cheating possibilities
in football, chess, and just about everything else, yet people
still engage in those activities. Changing the scoring in chess
would not significantly increase the cheating possibilities, so
raising that as a reason not to make the scoring change is
an invalid argument.

Like it or not.



 
Date: 13 Mar 2008 13:55:10
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 13, 1:46=A0pm, "David Kane" <[email protected] > wrote:

> > If by `supporting evidence', you mean an occasion on which the method
> > of cheating that I described has been used, of course I can't provide
> > any supporting evidence! =A0We are discussing a hypothetical change to
> > the rules of chess that, to the best of my knowledge, has never been
> > used in a high-level tournament.
>
> You are permitted to argue by analogy. Really I think if you think about i=
t,
> you will conclude that changing the scoring does not create cheating
> possibilities
> that aren't already present. So the absence of widespread cheating evidenc=
e
> is meaningful.

Wasn't there a college football game where the headline was Harvard
beats Yale 22-22? I think that if there was a rating system on draws,
where whoever is in the worse position would be credited with an
advantage, would lead to interesting strategies. In a draw, the person
must maintain their disadvantage, although that could lead to losing
the game, while the stronger player can go for the win, or try to have
a worse position. To prevent chess from turning to crap, this would
be evaluated from the strength of the opponent's position.


 
Date: 12 Mar 2008 17:57:32
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 12, 6:32=A0pm, David Parlett <[email protected] > wrote:

> Getting back to the original question for a moment, could it also have
> something to do with the fact that chess provides no natural opportunity
> for the presentation of colour?

A friend was telling me that the original TV coverage of chess was
very invasive-- big cameras staring over a little board. In addition,
color would have made the playing area very hot and uncomfortable, due
to the increased lighting needs. In any case, once Fischer stopped
cooperating, TV said, "Who cares?"

One of these days, I'm gonna try to recreate a Kasparov-Deep Blue game
for YouTube. Does anybody know good sources about the incidentals? I
know the game I want already, I just need to know how Kasparov was
doing on time, some of the behind-the-scenes.


 
Date: 12 Mar 2008 22:32:10
From: David Parlett
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
Getting back to the original question for a moment, could it also have
something to do with the fact that chess provides no natural opportunity
for the presentation of colour? I have in mind the way the advent of
colour TV in Britain completely transformed the game of snooker, not to
mention the lives and fortunes of snooker players.
--
David Parlett


  
Date: 13 Mar 2008 08:02:04
From: Peter Clinch
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess
David Parlett wrote:
> Getting back to the original question for a moment, could it also have
> something to do with the fact that chess provides no natural opportunity
> for the presentation of colour?

An interesting point, though go seems to get past that problem in Japan.
But, of course, that's a different culture and they may be less
concerned with something having to be /happening/, like newsreaders
walking around while they deliver, or OBs for absolutely no reason
whatsoever, or a preview of what's going to happen in the next 5
minutes, and so on.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/


 
Date: 12 Mar 2008 14:29:52
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 12, 2:31=A0pm, David Damerell <[email protected] >
wrote:

> At what point in a football game is the position definitely drawn, such
> that neither team might score a final goal, but it remains possible to
> "toss a coin" and let one side win?

> None. Hence the situation is not comparable.

It used to be that football games could end in ties. Then the NFL
decided to have overtime, letting the first team to score win. Then,
ty Morningweg decided to take the wind and not the ball when the
Lions played the Bears in overtime in Chicago, after Detroit won the
coin toss. It sure seemed seemed like he let the other team win.


  
Date: 12 Mar 2008 22:23:06
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
<[email protected] > wrote:
> David Damerell <[email protected]> wrote:
>> At what point in a football game is the position definitely drawn,
>> such that neither team might score a final goal, but it remains
>> possible to "toss a coin" and let one side win?
>>
>> None. Hence the situation is not comparable.
>
> It used to be that football games could end in ties. Then the NFL...

When anyone outside the USA writes `football', they mean `soccer'.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Disposable Edible T-Shirt (TM): it's
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ like a fashion statement but you can
eat it and you never have to clean it!


   
Date: 17 Mar 2008 01:44:06
From: Chris Mattern
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
On 2008-03-12, David Richerby <[email protected] > wrote:
><[email protected]> wrote:
>> David Damerell <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> At what point in a football game is the position definitely drawn,
>>> such that neither team might score a final goal, but it remains
>>> possible to "toss a coin" and let one side win?
>>>
>>> None. Hence the situation is not comparable.
>>
>> It used to be that football games could end in ties. Then the NFL...
>
> When anyone outside the USA writes `football', they mean `soccer'.
>
Why don't they just write "soccer", then? Less confusing for everybody. :-)

--
Christopher Mattern

NOTICE
Thank you for noticing this new notice
Your noticing it has been noted
And will be reported to the authorities


    
Date: 17 Mar 2008 09:26:51
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"Chris Mattern" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> On 2008-03-12, David Richerby <[email protected]> wrote:

>>
>> When anyone outside the USA writes `football', they mean `soccer'.
>>
> Why don't they just write "soccer", then? Less confusing for everybody.
> :-)

FUS-BALL EXPLAINED

Well... because it is anti-intuitive. The idea in football, you see, is to
actually kick the ball with your foot, and this term seems to be why
Americans are so confused ~ they presumably think because it is a European
term, there are 3 levels of meaning to the term none of which are obvious.

Fortunately new material has arrived to relieve the situation, courtesy of
Leonardo DaVinci, who drew a couple of off-hand diagrams which have recently
ben published in England of (a) what centre-forwards should do against
German-style zone defence, and (b) if all else fails against Italian teams,
kick them in the leg and just watch the hysterics, while you go on to score!
[Italians 'act' so much, officials ignore them]

Whereas, as ani ful no, the idea of American football is to /not/ to kick
the ball with your foot, since America hasn't invented the round ball you
can kick yet, and the ones they have they hit with sticks [called Rounders]
or throw into waste-paper baskets on poles [called WHOOPS].

RUCKING OVER AMERICA

I would suggest as an interim stage they adopt English Rugby League, which
is a fast and fluent game, the ball staying in play for minutes at a
time!And which would appeal to American audiences, especially the pack,
which is allowed to 'ruck' over the opponent [translation; ruck means to
kick people when they are down and basically, to trample them into the
ground while pretending to be getting the ball] - though I fear American's
might not immediate 'get' the idea that everybody on the team can throw the
ball - and maybe the game should be dimplified if brought here to avoid this
confusion?

The other problem with Rugby league is the mud. After about 10 minutes both
sides are plastered in it, and you can't tell one from another - but that's
okay! Both teams can then go after the guy with the ball and try to ruck
him!

The game could be renamed something like 'Extreme-Survivor' and therefore
help get chess on tv with Grandmasters coaching each side and calling out
the moves.

Cool, no?

Phil Innes


> --
> Christopher Mattern
>
> NOTICE
> Thank you for noticing this new notice
> Your noticing it has been noted
> And will be reported to the authorities




    
Date: 17 Mar 2008 08:48:13
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
Chris Mattern <[email protected] > wrote:
> On 2008-03-12, David Richerby <[email protected]> wrote:
>> When anyone outside the USA writes `football', they mean `soccer'.
>>
> Why don't they just write "soccer", then? Less confusing for everybody. :-)

It's called `optimizing for the common case.' :-P


Dave.

--
David Richerby Adult Puzzle (TM): it's like an
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ intriguing conundrum that you won't
want the children to see!


 
Date: 12 Mar 2008 11:20:53
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 12, 10:40 am, "David Kane" <[email protected] > wrote:
>
> What is clearly wrong is characterizing a scoring system
> as a "penalty". Obviously both players face the same
> "penalty". Just about the only certain change we could
> expect for certain would be a sharp reduction in the numbers
> of uncontested or barely contested draws.

I sincerely doubt that. Chess is a draw prone game. If there were
any conceivable way to achieve a "sharp reduction" in the frequency of
draws, it would have been done a long time ago.

You want to sharply reduce the frequency of draws? Play a robust game
- like Tanbo for example.


  
Date: 12 Mar 2008 17:02:46
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> On 12, 10:40 am, "David Kane" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>> What is clearly wrong is characterizing a scoring system
>> as a "penalty". Obviously both players face the same
>> "penalty". Just about the only certain change we could
>> expect for certain would be a sharp reduction in the numbers
>> of uncontested or barely contested draws.
>
> I sincerely doubt that. Chess is a draw prone game. If there were
> any conceivable way to achieve a "sharp reduction" in the frequency of
> draws, it would have been done a long time ago.

Actually, there have been experiments with alternate scoring system
which did see a reduction in draws.

>
> You want to sharply reduce the frequency of draws? Play a robust game
> - like Tanbo for example.



 
Date: 12 Mar 2008 11:13:18
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 12, 6:24 am, David Richerby <[email protected] >
wrote:
>
> Even assuming the players don't collude, it seems more likely than
> anything else that, with perfect play, chess is a draw. It seems
> wrong to penalize players for achieving what may well be the natural
> result of a well-played game.
>

Well put.


  
Date: 13 Mar 2008 00:10:17
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> On 12, 6:24 am, David Richerby <[email protected]>
> wrote:
>>
>> Even assuming the players don't collude, it seems more likely than
>> anything else that, with perfect play, chess is a draw. It seems
>> wrong to penalize players for achieving what may well be the natural
>> result of a well-played game.
>>
>
> Well put.

Do we say that scoring 1 point for a free throw and 2 for a field goal in
basketball
"penalizes" free throws? Do we say that scoring 3 points for a field goal in
American football, while 6 points for a touchdown, "penalizes" field goals? Of
course not.

We are simply trying to design a scoring system that produces the
"best" competitions, where "best" is debatable but should include things like
fun to play, fun to watch etc.

Chess' existing scoring (draw = one half of a win) does produce
collusion, big time. The last rounds of many tournaments are a
flurry of quick, uncontested draws. Why? Because the leaders
calculate that the return on playing for a win is low,
so they play the famous "grandmaster draw" (essentially collude not to play and
split the point) and go home with a guaranteed prize. This behavior
is a function of the scoring system. If we changed the scoring system so that
the return of playing for a win were higher, we get more players playing for
wins. So it produces collusion to play chess vs. the existing system which
produces
collusion to not play chess. A straightforward improvement, if you ask
me.






 
Date: 10 Mar 2008 16:03:02
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 10, 5:30=A0pm, "Robin King" <[email protected] > wrote:

> =A0 If White has a slight advantage, then Black could get slightly more
> than half a point with a draw, and White could get slightly less. =A0Or

Some have tried, I think, but it hasn't taken off.

> how about awarding each side a quarter of a point instead of half a
> point when a draw occurs? =A0(Alternatively, four points for a win, one
> point for a draw to eliminate the fractions.) =A0What say you all? Think
> it would work?

That could work, although I think draws may just be a fact of playing
solid chess, and it's like we're trying to goad people into making a
mistake. The problem really is the danger of losing. It doesn't
encourage risk and brilliancy.

I think there should be a way so that a draw is not enough, although
they will happen. I think the way to do that may be a bonus situation
where positions are compared, and the person who shouldn't win from
that position gets an advantage. It would be daredevil, flirting with
danger, but it would also be a challenge for perfection, resulting in
brilliant counterplay, even with a draw at hand.


 
Date: 09 Mar 2008 22:30:59
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
Or how about a show called "Chess Games WIth The Stars"? Remember
Humphrey Bogart?

Oh, but we'd probably get the pretty ditzes who will say, "I think my
Bishop's broken. He's got a crack in his hat!" or "That's so
dehumanizing. I'm not calling them pawns. They're shopping
assistants!"

"What do you mean, that's the queen? I'M THE QUEEN!"


 
Date: 09 Mar 2008 22:20:52
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 9, 8:14=A0pm, David Richerby <[email protected] >
wrote:
> <[email protected]> wrote:
> > As long as it translates into playing the board, not just prissy
> > whining about the controls. And something has to be done about
> > draws, because that's why soccer hasn't taken off on TV in the U.S.

> Doesn't stop soccer being staggeringly popular in most of the rest of
> the world... =A0Evidently, the undesirability of draws is an issue for
> the USA to sort out, not for soccer.

Chess is worse than soccer when it comes to draws, because at least
soccer has the element of reversal. A goal is all that's needed to
turn a loss into a draw and a draw into a win. Increasing the points
awarded for a win made the reward exceed the risk, and we saw more
chances taken with soccer offenses, especially in group play.

Chess is an accumulative advantage. Other than gambits, sacrifices,
and the mistakes that never arrive in grandmaster play, nobody can
really come from behind to win-- which is why players play to draw,
since there is so much that is lost by losing. Perhaps NASCAR has our
answer. By resetting the highest rated players into a new playoff
scoring system, and ONLY rewarding wins OR positional analysis
awarding points for taking riskier moves without losing (computers can
hammer out the probabilities or the chess community could vote),
tournaments could result in breathtaking play with many more chances
being taken. A draw won't be a draw anymore. Shoot, people are still
talking about Fischer sacrificing his queen in the 1950's. Make it so
that boring draws are unrewarding and they'll stop happening.


  
Date: 23 Mar 2008 02:05:43
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
By the way, just to inject some actual data on the magnitude of the
draw problem in chess...

http://www.chessgames.com has a large database of games, mostly
between strong players. Their `opening explorer'[1] gives win/loss/
draw statistics for the most commonly played openings. Of these, the
moves 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.Nf3 and 1.c4 account for 98.3% of the 460,000
games in the database. Restricting to those four opening moves, we
see that:

36.8% of games (167,000) are won by White
36.6% of games (166,000) are drawn
26.6% of games (120,000) are won by Black

We already have 63.4% of games ending in a win by one player or the
other. Is it really necessary to `solve' this `draw problem'?

Another issue is this: it is clearly seen that White has an advantage.
White scores, on average, 0.551 points per game, compared to Black's
0.449 points per game. Any system that reduces the score for draws
will make Black's position slightly worse, since he gets more of his
points from draws. The option of giving a third of a point for draws
would give White 0.490 points per game and give Black 0.388: White
goes from scoring 55.1% of the available points to scoring 55.8% of
the points. This effect is smaller than I would have expected.


Dave.

[1] http://www.chessgames.com/perl/rerolpxe
--
David Richerby Lead Painting (TM): it's like a
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ Renaissance masterpiece that weighs
a ton!


   
Date: 23 Mar 2008 08:19:54
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"David Richerby" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:xUy*[email protected]
> By the way, just to inject some actual data on the magnitude of the
> draw problem in chess...
>
> http://www.chessgames.com has a large database of games, mostly
> between strong players. Their `opening explorer'[1] gives win/loss/
> draw statistics for the most commonly played openings. Of these, the
> moves 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.Nf3 and 1.c4 account for 98.3% of the 460,000
> games in the database. Restricting to those four opening moves, we
> see that:
>
> 36.8% of games (167,000) are won by White
> 36.6% of games (166,000) are drawn
> 26.6% of games (120,000) are won by Black
>
> We already have 63.4% of games ending in a win by one player or the
> other. Is it really necessary to `solve' this `draw problem'?

These statistics are, of course, not representative of the situation when
top GMs play each other.The draw percentage is around 60%-70%
in the world's most prestigious tournaments.

Since 1981, when it became a world class tournament,
nobody has ever won Linares with more
than 2 losses, but some have won with as
many as 10 draws. 3/4 of the time, the winner's draw percentage
has been at least 50%.

> Another issue is this: it is clearly seen that White has an advantage.
> White scores, on average, 0.551 points per game, compared to Black's
> 0.449 points per game. Any system that reduces the score for draws
> will make Black's position slightly worse, since he gets more of his
> points from draws. The option of giving a third of a point for draws
> would give White 0.490 points per game and give Black 0.388: White
> goes from scoring 55.1% of the available points to scoring 55.8% of
> the points. This effect is smaller than I would have expected.


This shows that not only is the current scoring
draw-inducing, it is also just plalin unfair. Yet that
fact doesn't seem to deter its defenders, who
seem to relish its defects rather than attempt to
address them.

For chess to advance, we must abandon the visceral
and illogical reactions. Instead, we must approach
the problem dispassionately and analytically - what
scoring system produces the best chess? We
already know that 1867-rules will lose that
analysis because it has produced such obviously
anti-competitive practices for such a long time


>
> Dave.
>
> [1] http://www.chessgames.com/perl/rerolpxe
> --
> David Richerby Lead Painting (TM): it's like a
> www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ Renaissance masterpiece that weighs
> a ton!



   
Date: 23 Mar 2008 08:08:11
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"David Richerby" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:xUy*[email protected]
> By the way, just to inject some actual data on the magnitude of the
> draw problem in chess...
>
> http://www.chessgames.com has a large database of games, mostly
> between strong players. Their `opening explorer'[1] gives win/loss/
> draw statistics for the most commonly played openings. Of these, the
> moves 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.Nf3 and 1.c4 account for 98.3% of the 460,000
> games in the database. Restricting to those four opening moves, we
> see that:
>
> 36.8% of games (167,000) are won by White
> 36.6% of games (166,000) are drawn
> 26.6% of games (120,000) are won by Black
>
> We already have 63.4% of games ending in a win by one player or the
> other. Is it really necessary to `solve' this `draw problem'?
>
> Another issue is this: it is clearly seen that White has an advantage.
> White scores, on average, 0.551 points per game, compared to Black's
> 0.449 points per game. Any system that reduces the score for draws
> will make Black's position slightly worse, since he gets more of his
> points from draws. The option of giving a third of a point for draws
> would give White 0.490 points per game and give Black 0.388: White
> goes from scoring 55.1% of the available points to scoring 55.8% of
> the points. This effect is smaller than I would have expected.

a) The other idea being kicked around [and collated at Chessbase] is to
maintain current scoring systems in terms of overall points, but to adjust
the score for white draws to 0.4 and black draws to 0.6.

b) Its also interesting to me that statistics are from strong players only,
and a comparison is to look at the just concluded Russian youth event, see
www.ruschess.com which is also repeated in this week's Parrot at
www.chessville.com where the full round-by-round scores are viewable, and
also by gender.

This is a relatively small sample compared with David Richerby's statistics,
but nevertheless offer a different view of W : D : L ratios, for /most/
players.

c) To consult a larger basse of all players: can anyone offer current USCF W
: D : L ratios for (i) adults and (ii) for youth/scholastic play?

d) I wonder if W : D : L is significantly different in the top 1% of players
than to all other players of the game? And if so, then at /that/ level some
experiments might be made.

e) Given the introduction of computers and also the net as means of
researching opponents games, I also wonder if the top 1% of players now have
a different W : D : L ratio than, say, the generation playing during
1950-1980?

f) To confound the issue further there was a change in the post-Fischer
years to more invitational tournaments, where the same players encountered
each other over and over again - and I also wonder if this isn't a major
contributing factor to the W : D : L ratio?

Phil Innes

>
> Dave.
>
> [1] http://www.chessgames.com/perl/rerolpxe
> --
> David Richerby Lead Painting (TM): it's like a
> www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ Renaissance masterpiece that
> weighs
> a ton!




    
Date: 23 Mar 2008 15:33:46
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
Chess One <[email protected] > wrote:
> "David Richerby" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> 36.8% of games (167,000) are won by White
>> 36.6% of games (166,000) are drawn
>> 26.6% of games (120,000) are won by Black
>>
>> We already have 63.4% of games ending in a win by one player or the
>> other. Is it really necessary to `solve' this `draw problem'?
>
> a) The other idea being kicked around [and collated at Chessbase] is
> to maintain current scoring systems in terms of overall points, but
> to adjust the score for white draws to 0.4 and black draws to 0.6.

That would shift the points balance towards Black: White would score
51.4% and Black 48.6%. Of course, in practice, the distribution of
wins and draws would change, too.

Indeed, this is something that worries me a great deal about plans to
change the scoring of draws. Schemes where the sum of the two
players' scores in a draw is less than that in a win have problems
associated with the game no longer being zero-sum and increasing the
profit of cheating. Schemes that keep draws worth one point in total
but give more of that point to one side or the other seem to increase
the temptation for the player who gets more points (usually Black) to
play for the draw. This would be the case particularly in schemes
where Black gets more than about 73% of the point, as, then, Black
would be getting more than half of his score from draws, at the
current rates of draws.

> d) I wonder if W : D : L is significantly different in the top 1% of
> players than to all other players of the game? And if so, then at
> /that/ level some experiments might be made.

Yes, the results are clearly different at different strengths. Among
beginners, hardly any games are drawn; among the very top players,
well over half of the games are drawn.

> e) Given the introduction of computers and also the net as means of
> researching opponents games, I also wonder if the top 1% of players
> now have a different W : D : L ratio than, say, the generation
> playing during 1950-1980?

Perhaps, yes.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Flammable Widget (TM): it's like a
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ thingy but it burns really easily!


     
Date: 23 Mar 2008 12:20:33
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"David Richerby" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:EAp*[email protected]
> Chess One <[email protected]> wrote:
>> "David Richerby" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> 36.8% of games (167,000) are won by White
>>> 36.6% of games (166,000) are drawn
>>> 26.6% of games (120,000) are won by Black
>>>
>>> We already have 63.4% of games ending in a win by one player or the
>>> other. Is it really necessary to `solve' this `draw problem'?
>>
>> a) The other idea being kicked around [and collated at Chessbase] is
>> to maintain current scoring systems in terms of overall points, but
>> to adjust the score for white draws to 0.4 and black draws to 0.6.
>
> That would shift the points balance towards Black: White would score
> 51.4% and Black 48.6%. Of course, in practice, the distribution of
> wins and draws would change, too.
>
> Indeed, this is something that worries me a great deal about plans to
> change the scoring of draws. Schemes where the sum of the two
> players' scores in a draw is less than that in a win have problems
> associated with the game no longer being zero-sum and increasing the
> profit of cheating. Schemes that keep draws worth one point in total
> but give more of that point to one side or the other seem to increase
> the temptation for the player who gets more points (usually Black) to
> play for the draw. This would be the case particularly in schemes
> where Black gets more than about 73% of the point, as, then, Black
> would be getting more than half of his score from draws, at the
> current rates of draws.

Yes - your final phrase is a pertinent one - since I think a zero-sum
distribution slightly favoring black would change the current draw-rate.

>> d) I wonder if W : D : L is significantly different in the top 1% of
>> players than to all other players of the game? And if so, then at
>> /that/ level some experiments might be made.
>
> Yes, the results are clearly different at different strengths. Among
> beginners, hardly any games are drawn; among the very top players,
> well over half of the games are drawn.

In 800 corres games last year I had 5 [?] draws against opponents ranging
from 1400 to 2800. Similarly at the chess club there are few draws - so
maybe its not just beginners who are more decisive, but something like 99%
of all games?

USCF's overall results, would statistically answer that query

Corddally, Phil Innes.

>> e) Given the introduction of computers and also the net as means of
>> researching opponents games, I also wonder if the top 1% of players
>> now have a different W : D : L ratio than, say, the generation
>> playing during 1950-1980?
>
> Perhaps, yes.
>
>
> Dave.
>
> --
> David Richerby Flammable Widget (TM): it's
> like a
> www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ thingy but it burns really
> easily!




   
Date: 23 Mar 2008 11:50:59
From: Phil Carmody
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
David Richerby <[email protected] > writes:
> By the way, just to inject some actual data on the magnitude of the
> draw problem in chess...
>
> http://www.chessgames.com has a large database of games, mostly
> between strong players. Their `opening explorer'[1] gives win/loss/
> draw statistics for the most commonly played openings. Of these, the
> moves 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.Nf3 and 1.c4 account for 98.3% of the 460,000
> games in the database. Restricting to those four opening moves, we
> see that:
>
> 36.8% of games (167,000) are won by White
> 36.6% of games (166,000) are drawn
> 26.6% of games (120,000) are won by Black
>
> We already have 63.4% of games ending in a win by one player or the
> other. Is it really necessary to `solve' this `draw problem'?
>
> Another issue is this: it is clearly seen that White has an advantage.
> White scores, on average, 0.551 points per game, compared to Black's
> 0.449 points per game. Any system that reduces the score for draws
> will make Black's position slightly worse, since he gets more of his
> points from draws. The option of giving a third of a point for draws
> would give White 0.490 points per game and give Black 0.388: White
> goes from scoring 55.1% of the available points to scoring 55.8% of
> the points. This effect is smaller than I would have expected.

Just for comparison, BAP scoring assigns a value of
(2*.368+1*.366+0*.266) = 1.102 for white
(0*.368+1*.366+3*.266) = 1.164 for black
or 48.6% to white

I don't know if it's ever been proposed, but
3/2/4 rather than BAP's 2/1/3 would assign values of
(3*.368+2*.366+0*.266) = 1.836 for white
(0*.368+2*.366+4*.266) = 1.796 for black
or 50.6% to white.

Similarly, having a draw worth 2/3 to black, 1/3 to white yields
(1*.368+1/3*.366+0*.266) = .490
(0*.368+2/3*.366+1*.266) = 0.510

Of course, I have no idea how representative of modern
tournament results the above proportions are.

Phil
--
Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all.
-- Microsoft voice recognition live demonstration


  
Date: 10 Mar 2008 21:30:04
From: Robin King
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]..



   
Date: 12 Mar 2008 13:24:21
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
Robin King <[email protected] > wrote:
> If White has a slight advantage, then Black could get slightly more
> than half a point with a draw, and White could get slightly less. Or
> how about awarding each side a quarter of a point instead of half a
> point when a draw occurs?

Any scheme that awards less than a half point for a draw just
encourages players in drawn positions to toss a coin to decide who
resigns. Players operating this strategy would score, on average,
half a point from every drawn position they entered and would, on
average, score more in tournaments than players who just agreed a
draw.

Even assuming the players don't collude, it seems more likely than
anything else that, with perfect play, chess is a draw. It seems
wrong to penalize players for achieving what may well be the natural
result of a well-played game.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Pickled Microsoft Laser (TM): it's
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ like an intense beam of light that's
really hard to use but it's preserved
in vinegar!


    
Date: 12 Mar 2008 10:40:40
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

"David Richerby" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:vDd*[email protected]
> Robin King <[email protected]> wrote:
>> If White has a slight advantage, then Black could get slightly more
>> than half a point with a draw, and White could get slightly less. Or
>> how about awarding each side a quarter of a point instead of half a
>> point when a draw occurs?
>
> Any scheme that awards less than a half point for a draw just
> encourages players in drawn positions to toss a coin to decide who
> resigns. Players operating this strategy would score, on average,
> half a point from every drawn position they entered and would, on
> average, score more in tournaments than players who just agreed a
> draw.

This theoretical argument is, of course, ridiculous as a practical
objection. Not only do similar scoring systems in many other
sports (including soccer) without a hint of a problem, this situation
already exists in chess because monetary prizes are awarded by
place (not proportional to points).


> Even assuming the players don't collude, it seems more likely than
> anything else that, with perfect play, chess is a draw. It seems
> wrong to penalize players for achieving what may well be the natural
> result of a well-played game.
>

What is clearly wrong is characterizing a scoring system
as a "penalty". Obviously both players face the same
"penalty". Just about the only certain change we could
expect for certain would be a sharp reduction in the numbers
of uncontested or barely contested draws. Most people
would see that as a good thing, but perhaps not Mr. Richerby.




     
Date:
From:
Subject:


 
Date: 09 Mar 2008 18:04:58
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 9, 5:14 pm, David Richerby <[email protected] >
wrote:
> <[email protected]> wrote:
> > As long as it translates into playing the board, not just prissy
> > whining about the controls. And something has to be done about
> > draws, because that's why soccer hasn't taken off on TV in the U.S.
>
> Doesn't stop soccer being staggeringly popular in most of the rest of
> the world... Evidently, the undesirability of draws is an issue for
> the USA to sort out, not for soccer.

If it's an issue for the USA, it's an issue.

>
> According to Forbes, six of the eight most valuable sports brands in
> the world are soccer teams:

Wrong. Six of the eight most valuable sports *teams* brands are
soccer teams. The other types of sports brands considered in the
article were athletes, businesses, and events. The events list was
dominated by American sporting events and the Olympics, including only
one soccer event.



 
Date: 09 Mar 2008 10:43:26
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 8, 12:34 pm, [email protected] wrote:

> > Maybe players
> > projecting more emotion and their personalities before and after a
> > chess match would help.
>
> As long as it translates into playing the board, not just prissy
> whining about the controls. And something has to be done about draws,
> because that's why soccer hasn't taken off on TV in the U.S.

Amen. Draws are so anticlimactic and deflating. A lot of gamers seem
to love them though. Go figure.


  
Date: 09 Mar 2008 15:58:16
From: SAT W-7
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess
They should just have Pay Per View , then they would only get the hard
core chess players and i belive that could be thousands of people ..

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to turn on your tv and watch Gata vs
Top and Anand vs Kar , games ...Then watch the winners play each other
all from your own couch ......

They could have two commentators and have Rybka and Deep Fritz , and
analyzing the moves and the guys would talk about what moves these two
computers suggest compared to the actual move Gata or Top make ...
+ the commentators could tell you the moves they would make if they
were playing ...
They could tell you the name of the opening too ...I never know the
name of the opening i start off with .....
I belive it would work and make money.....



 
Date: 08 Mar 2008 11:34:43
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 9:16=A0pm, [email protected] wrote:

> I read a book on poker, Copyright 2000, that said said pretty much the
> same about poker, that it was boring to watch on TV. =A0Well, they found
> a way.

They showed the hole cards.

> Actually, acting does NOT increase your chance of winning.
> Everything is uniform and consistent and you can't tell anything.

Except for the dramatic irony of knowing who will win, unless they
think they have to fold.

> That is the funny part about poker on TV. =A0 What poker REALLY is, is
> not seen. =A0People don't see why people win or not. =A0They just see the
> highlights mostly. =A0

Yes, hours upon hours are condensed into a few good hands that turn
the game. Yet, if moves are not covered in a chess game, there is no
comprehension about how they got there.

> Of course, there will be a
> bunch of emotion at tables, and sometimes there is trash-talking.
> Come to think of it, isn't that what Fischer did? =A0Fischer was Phil
> Helmuth, before the poker brat Phil Helmuth showed up. =A0Maybe players
> projecting more emotion and their personalities before and after a
> chess match would help.

As long as it translates into playing the board, not just prissy
whining about the controls. And something has to be done about draws,
because that's why soccer hasn't taken off on TV in the U.S.


  
Date: 10 Mar 2008 00:14:50
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
<[email protected] > wrote:
> As long as it translates into playing the board, not just prissy
> whining about the controls. And something has to be done about
> draws, because that's why soccer hasn't taken off on TV in the U.S.

Doesn't stop soccer being staggeringly popular in most of the rest of
the world... Evidently, the undesirability of draws is an issue for
the USA to sort out, not for soccer.

According to Forbes, six of the eight most valuable sports brands in
the world are soccer teams:

1. Manchester Utd
2. Real Madrid
3. Bayern Muenchen
( 4. New York Yankees )
5. Arsenal
6. AC Milan
( 7. Dallas Cowboys )
8. Barcelona
( 9. Boston Red Sox )
(10. Washington Redskins )

http://www.forbes.com/2007/09/27/sports-brands-teams-biz-sports_cz_mo_0927sportsbrands_slide_36.html?thisSpeed=10000


Dave.

--
David Richerby Salted Indelible Tool (TM): it's like
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ a handy household tool but it can't
be erased and it's covered in salt!


 
Date: 08 Mar 2008 11:14:30
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 4:31=A0pm, Chipacabra <[email protected] > wrote:

> When the Madden series of videogames came out, it was the first really
> popular game that got all the rules of football right, so an entire
> generation raised on videogames can watch a football broadcast and
> understand everything that's happening. Football viewership has been
> steadily increasing, especially among that young age bracket.

The Madden factor did slip under my radar, because there are plenty of
chess games out there. Programmers thought that they could create
artificial intelligence once they created computers that could beat
the world's grandmasters, but all they achieved was brute force
algorhythm solving, much like the first calculator faster than a man
on an abacus.

What is sorely needed is a program that can lose like a human would.
Humans can be motivated by greedy pawn grabbing, ambitious early Queen
moves, and an amateur noted by how they try to develop a rook with a P-
R4. Every mistake I've seen a novice setting make has been a blunder
no below average person would make. Yet even masters can fall into
traps that alorhythms would be st enough to avoid.



 
Date: 08 Mar 2008 10:55:07
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
Why is there no chess on TV?

Cinematically, you're forced either into a very limited perspective of
the board-- you can show the person thinking, you can show the board,
you can't show both at the same time. You can use a diagram instead of
the actual board-- but that's plain boring.

Second, are the games themselves. It is hard for proper analysis to be
made on the spot, a grandmaster could do it, but they tend to be kind
of kooky, which does not make for good color commentary, since the
game must be humanized and made accessible to a non-chess player.
Unlike golf, concentration has no time to relent. This means the live
audience cannot get excited without distracting the players. Sure, the
crowd is just as quiet for Tiger Woods, but they get to roar when he
sinks an amazing putt. There is no such catharsis or acknowledgement
in chess.

The games also involve the moves and the time required to cover the
game. The game can end at any time, but usually doesn't, making it
impossible to schedule a proper block of time to cover the game live.
Plus, a flurry of moves would render meaningful play by play
meaningless. Every move must be accounted for the game to make sense,
but there is not enough time to analyze all positions. And when to
insert the commercial breaks?

Finally, what helps is a phenomenon. Chess' heyday had the cold war
rivalry of one man (Bobby Fischer) standing up against the Soviet
Union's best. Both him and Woods got a lot of early media attention.
Poker had that everyman aspect set. Poker had folks like Chris
Moneymaker who got lucky on the Internet raking in big bucks in the
World Series, not to mention putting them up against a livewire
personality like Phil Hellmuth.

Is this to say that chess can't become TV friendly? No, but you would
need a Bobby Fischer who would actually show up to games. You'd need
to eliminate the bickering over minor details that amount to whining.
You'd need the splashy intros and outros used in sports that would
feel below the intelligence level of a true chess afficionado. You
would probably have to start by creating the game in post-production,
which involves more intensive editing. But I think that High
Definition would help, since not only does dew on grass look amazing
on HD, but the 16:9 aspect ratio means that both opponents could be
seen squaring off with the chess diagram in the middle. That
simultaneously suggests confrontation, while offering clarification
and analysis of position. Remember, the biggest secret to the success
of poker was the ability to see the hole cards. With more information
about the game offered to home viewers than is available to the
players, dramatic irony was infused into reality television. When you
can have the guy at home yelling, "Don't go there!", chess will have
something.


 
Date: 04 Mar 2008 21:29:40
From: rocco
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 8:21 am, [email protected] wrote:
> I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
> Fischer begs the question once more. I also posted this on Boardgame
> geek:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/278704
>
> Bobby Fischer's death is in the news, and causes people to remember
> the 1970s, when chess was king, and people tuned into PBS to watch
> chess. Chess was a culturally iconic back then. I remember reading Mad
> Magazine when I was a kid, and they actually did a spoof with a chess
> based superhero. Fischer made all the magazine covers, and it was
> WWIII on the board. It wasn't just the Cold War either. When America
> beat Russia in the Winter Olympics at hockey, and played them, there
> wasn't an outbreak of hockey all over, like there was with Chess. I
> remember when I was a kid in the 1970s, there was a chess store that
> opened up near where I lived.
>
> So, what has happened here? There is no chess on TV now. Rock, Paper,
> Scissors made it to ESPN. Hot dog eating made ESPN. Poker is all over
> TV. Scrabble is on TV also. But, there isn't chess. As far as I know,
> no one has even bothered to pick up the rights to the World Mind Sport
> Games in China either for western broadcast. The event has Chess,
> Checkers, Go, Chinese Chess, and Bridge also, and is pretty big event
> (first of its kind, and an offshoot of the Olympics). There was a
> chess championship for over $1.5 million in Mexico last year, and no
> one even knew of it, outside of the chess world.
>
> So, again I ask, why is there no chess on TV? Also, any ideas what can
> be done to get it on TV? Chess could open the doorway for a lot of
> boardgames ending up on TV, if it could be on TV and remain there. My
> take is the pacing of the moves, plus excessive amount of draws where
> players score equally for the draw, are two major factors why not.
>
> Please don't get me started about American Gladiator being back, or
> the fact that guys fixing motorcycles has a TV show. I can close by
> saying a program about people have dirty jobs actually is on TV now.
> Come on! All this and no chess?
>
> - Rich

I think the answer is because true chess enthusiasts don't watch much
TV.

I think the Internet or traditional publishing is a much better
medium. I would love to download the game records of the Mexcian
chess tournament you mentioned, especially the top games (i.e.
longest) off of an Internet site and I would pay for that.

R


  
Date: 13 Mar 2008 06:23:45
From: Bill Plenge
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
rocco wrote:
> On Jan 19, 8:21 am, [email protected] wrote:
>> I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
>> Fischer begs the question once more. I also posted this on Boardgame
>> geek:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/278704
>>
>> Bobby Fischer's death is in the news, and causes people to remember
>> the 1970s, when chess was king, and people tuned into PBS to watch
>> chess. Chess was a culturally iconic back then. I remember reading
>> Mad Magazine when I was a kid, and they actually did a spoof with a
>> chess based superhero. Fischer made all the magazine covers, and it
>> was WWIII on the board. It wasn't just the Cold War either. When
>> America beat Russia in the Winter Olympics at hockey, and played
>> them, there wasn't an outbreak of hockey all over, like there was
>> with Chess. I remember when I was a kid in the 1970s, there was a
>> chess store that opened up near where I lived.
>>
>> So, what has happened here? There is no chess on TV now. Rock, Paper,
>> Scissors made it to ESPN. Hot dog eating made ESPN. Poker is all over
>> TV. Scrabble is on TV also. But, there isn't chess. As far as I know,
>> no one has even bothered to pick up the rights to the World Mind
>> Sport Games in China either for western broadcast. The event has
>> Chess, Checkers, Go, Chinese Chess, and Bridge also, and is pretty
>> big event (first of its kind, and an offshoot of the Olympics).
>> There was a chess championship for over $1.5 million in Mexico last
>> year, and no one even knew of it, outside of the chess world.
>>
>> So, again I ask, why is there no chess on TV? Also, any ideas what
>> can be done to get it on TV? Chess could open the doorway for a lot
>> of boardgames ending up on TV, if it could be on TV and remain
>> there. My take is the pacing of the moves, plus excessive amount of
>> draws where players score equally for the draw, are two major
>> factors why not.
>>
>> Please don't get me started about American Gladiator being back, or
>> the fact that guys fixing motorcycles has a TV show. I can close by
>> saying a program about people have dirty jobs actually is on TV now.
>> Come on! All this and no chess?
>>
>> - Rich
>
> I think the answer is because true chess enthusiasts don't watch much
> TV.
>
> I think the Internet or traditional publishing is a much better
> medium. I would love to download the game records of the Mexcian
> chess tournament you mentioned, especially the top games (i.e.
> longest) off of an Internet site and I would pay for that.
>
> R


I remember watching chess on TV years before the Fischer Spassky match and
for a couple years after. It disappeared about the time Fischer started to
refuse to defend the title and I think that may've been a contributing
factor to chess being removed from TV. Fischer was viewed in the US as an
American cold war hero. How could TV get people to watch when the hero
wouldn't participate anymore? The general public wasn't interested in most
matches, but many would tune in for a title match. Well they already had
the finale, they had nothing to follow it up with.

Best,
Bill




 
Date: 07 Feb 2008 23:10:23
From: Christopher Dearlove
Subject: Re: Forget TV Play Chess on Computer.
In message
<[email protected]m >,
Sanny <[email protected] > writes
>But analyzing
>on TV is just difficult.

But can be done. I used to watch a bit when we had it - my father was
the
real chess player in the family, and he'd be watching it. I remember a
K vs. K game (carefully avoiding having to remember which Ks) which got
to a point which to me looked like both had developed, white rather
better.
But the commentator(s) - British grandmasters were cheap - pointed out
that black had no moves. Basically his only play was moving a knight
back
and forward. And even I knew that at that point black was doomed. White
could manoeuvre however he likes - maintaining the stranglehold - and
then
launch a killing attack. Of course white could still blow it - but when
white
was one of the Ks (probably Kasparov, but maybe not) that wasn't going
to happen. But it was the commentator who explained what was actually
happening.

The other approach they tried was playing the game, then getting each
player to give a running commentary on how he (claimed) he was thinking
- done as if recorded during the game, but of course recorded
afterwards.
Splice together with a playing of the game spread over a suitable length
of time, and quite effective.

So it can be done - if you have the opportunity.

--
Christopher Dearlove


 
Date: 07 Feb 2008 22:58:26
From: Christopher Dearlove
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In message <[email protected] >, Mik Svellov
<[email protected] > writes
>The answer is - as always - pretty simple: it doesn't attract enough
>viewers!

Yes, but.

The but is that back when we had three television channels, the
audiences
were high enough for one of those channels, admittedly the minority one.

Today we have lots of channels, and a viable audience is much smaller.
And chess is not expensive. So in theory it could be possible.

The problem is I think that if it were stuck in the middle of programmes
that were a complete mismatch to it, it wouldn't get found. And a whole
channel of material that chess fitted into somehow is a lot tougher to
do.

In British terms, about your only hope would be BBC4. And to get it
there
would need someone who cared enough to make it happen. After all as I
type this the next programmes on are foreign language film awards, the
art of Spain and a comedian I've never heard of on what Sundays mean to
him. There are more serious chess players than people who are going to
watch any of those.

--
Christopher Dearlove


 
Date: 31 Jan 2008 00:26:59
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 28, 1:15 pm, Alan Hoyle <[email protected] > wrote:

> The Scripps Spelling Bee itself is run as a not-for-profit venture
> and they have buy-in from schools (and home-schools) all over the US.
>
> It would be a heck of a lot harder to get the same kind of thing for
> chess.

And, of course, since the way to learn to spell well is to read a lot,
it isn't surprising that it's newspapers that sponsor spelling bees.

I mean, if the United States government felt it had to sponsor
cultural activities such as chess and classical music in order to
prove that it was a civilized, cultured nation - and to provide
constructive leisure activities for the laboring masses - then Fischer
would have been just one of a cadre of dozens of American grandmasters
who would dominate the world chess scene.

Of course, in that alternate universe, presumably Russia would be the
foremost nation dedicated to liberty, in which the excesses of free
enterprise occasionally produce lapses of taste (i.e., equivalents to
Hollywood and Las Vegas in the United States of our universe).

Possibly North Korea will emerge as a country with significant
governmental chess sponsorship.

Of course, there are countries with traditions of interest in chess,
and so it may be that eventually a solidly democratic Russia, along
with Germany, France, and, say, an Israel secure and at peace, see a
resurgence in chess-related activities. Even at present, the chess
scene is doing well enough - those who are interested in playing chess
competitively have good opportunities to do so. But as for chess
becoming a mass spectator sport - in the United States, at least, that
is a dream that has proven to be a will o' the wisp, and barring
unusual circumstances, it is likely to remain so.

John Savard


 
Date: 24 Jan 2008 00:02:19
From: Harald Korneliussen
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 11:17 pm, [email protected] wrote:

> Note that this is only an American phenomenom... Chess has always been
> far more popular in Europe.

Chess isn't all that popular in _western_ europe. When a star from a
given country is rising (you know who I'm thinking of right now, I
hope?), it gets a little attention in the media, but nothing long-term
or in-depth.

In eastern europe, however, abstract strategy games seem to be a lot
more popular. This may be related to boredom (like, fewer things to do
on a saturday evening on account of communism and relative poverty),
or achievement (also related to communism, since many of the things we
might do in the west to get a sense of achievement would not be
avaliable there. This may also explain why there is such a high
academic standard in many EE countries).

I suspect these cultural trends related to years under communism will
fade eventually...

This may just be one big rationalisation because I'm so far from
beating the guys who play Hex at Kurnik ;-)


 
Date: 20 Jan 2008 23:30:56
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?



[email protected] wrote:
>
>Offramp wrote:

>> By the way, what does 'begs the question' mean?
>> How can you beg a question?
>
>My understanding there is that a situation is such, it causes one to
>be curious and ask why. So, the expression "Such and such begs the
>question" would mean "Such and such causes curiousity to want to know

BZZZZZ!!!! WRONG ANSWER!!!

The right answer is here:

http://justfuckinggoogleit.com/

http://www.google.com/search?q=beg+the+question



 
Date: 20 Jan 2008 09:10:59
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 20, 3:10 am, Offramp <[email protected] > wrote:
> On Jan 19, 4:21 pm, [email protected] wrote:
>
> > I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
> > Fischer begs the question once more.
>
> Probably because chess on tinternet is about 1000 times better.
>
> By the way, what does 'begs the question' mean? How can you beg a
> question?

My understanding there is that a situation is such, it causes one to
be curious and ask why. So, the expression "Such and such begs the
question" would mean "Such and such causes curiousity to want to know
why".

- Rich


 
Date: 20 Jan 2008 01:53:29
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 20, 8:27=EF=BF=BDam, "Mik Svellov" <[email protected] > wrote:
> The answer is - as always - pretty simple: it doesn't attract enough
> viewers!
>
> Mik

I agree. People would find it boring to watch. It is a minority
sport, mainly because people don't understand the game.


 
Date: 20 Jan 2008 00:10:48
From: Offramp
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 4:21 pm, [email protected] wrote:

> I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
> Fischer begs the question once more.

Probably because chess on tinternet is about 1000 times better.

By the way, what does 'begs the question' mean? How can you beg a
question?


  
Date: 20 Jan 2008 23:28:26
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?



Offramp wrote:

>By the way, what does 'begs the question' mean?
>How can you beg a question?

http://justfuckinggoogleit.com/

http://www.google.com/search?q=beg+the+question



 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 18:16:11
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 5:17 pm, [email protected] wrote:
> On Sat, 19 Jan 2008 08:21:32 -0800 (PST), [email protected]
> wrote:
> Note that this is only an American phenomenom... Chess has always been
> far more popular in Europe. I tend to believe that it WAS just the
> political situation that made chess popular in the US during the 70's.
> Americans like to win... even more, they like to beat their 'enemies'.
> why has chess fallen in popularity? perhaps because America was only
> briefly ontop during the Fischer era... Once the Soviets dominated
> the game, then they lost interest. You use Hockey as an example, well
> Hockey is not a huge game in the US, but here in Canada we win alot
> and the game is THE game in Canada. Most of the NHL players in the US
> were raised in Canada. You say there wasn't an outbreak of hockey in
> the US? hmmm look at howmany more NHL teams are in the US than Canada
> now... compare that to the 70's...

How often does Chess end up on TV in Europe?

> Chess on TV is pretty boring unless you are into it. I know alot of
> people who like to play chess but have never played in a club. Alot
> of these people watch games online or review them in a pgn viewer.
> World wide, Chess is watched alot. How many of us have been following
> Corus? I bet Ive watched more corus matches than hockey games on TV
> (and im canadian!). Its hard to judge just what the audience is for
> chess, because unlike many other games, we can easily watch a game
> going on on multiple websites. I personally like to dl the pgn of the
> games and run them through fritz... is this considered 'watching' the
> game? all this and without irritating commercials :). Chess is
> probably unique in this aspect.

I read a book on poker, Copyright 2000, that said said pretty much the
same about poker, that it was boring to watch on TV. Well, they found
a way.

> If chess was on TV, I don't know that I would watch the show. I find
> most TV is irritating anyways. I prefer how it is now, you can watch
> the game live on websites with GM's kibitzing (and many patzers too :)
> Also for TV you need real 'characters'... chess players are generally
> very introspective people who 'play the board'. Unlike poker where
> acting ability increases your chance of winning thus producing many
> 'characters'.

Actually, acting does NOT increase your chance of winning. You play
against a pro and act, the pro will read you and figure out mostly
when you are have good hands or bad hands. The best poker player
places like "Jesus" Ferguson and is like a rock at the table.
Everything is uniform and consistent and you can't tell anything.
That is the funny part about poker on TV. What poker REALLY is, is
not seen. People don't see why people win or not. They just see the
highlights mostly. The best poker players are introspective in
knowing themselves, and also reading their environment, and keeping
their big mouth shut. Look up "poker face", and that should compare
to what chess players would play like. Of course, there will be a
bunch of emotion at tables, and sometimes there is trash-talking.
Come to think of it, isn't that what Fischer did? Fischer was Phil
Helmuth, before the poker brat Phil Helmuth showed up. Maybe players
projecting more emotion and their personalities before and after a
chess match would help.

> Just my 2cents worth :)

Some would argue that is at least twice what I bring to these
conversations, so no sweat :-)

- Rich


 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 18:07:41
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 5:59 pm, "David Kane" <[email protected] > wrote:
> <[email protected]> wrote in message
>
> news:[email protected]m...
>
>
>
> > On Jan 19, 2:53 pm, "David Kane" <[email protected]> wrote:
> >> <[email protected]> wrote in message
>
> >>news:[email protected]m...
>
> >> > On Jan 19, 12:21 pm, Stefano MacGregor <[email protected]> wrote:
> >> >> On Jan 19, 9:21 am, [email protected] wrote:
>
> >> >> > I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
> >> >> > Fischer begs the question once more.
>
> >> >> You're wrong, of course. Fisher's death does not beg the question.
>
> >> >> At most, it may cause someone to ask a question. It definitely does
> >> >> not attempt to prove something, using the thing to be proved as
> >> >> evidence to its own truthfulness.
>
> >> > If you think about the 1970s and how Chess was king of the tabletop,
> >> > and got a ton of media coverage, you think of Fischer. With the
> >> > passing of Fischer, you can start to think of those days and wonder
> >> > why chess isn't on TV. This is what is meant here by that question.
>
> >> > - Rich
>
> >> The question that comes to my mind is how today's chess world
> >> compares to the one that Fischer was a part of. And the answer
> >> isn't encouraging. Not only has chess resisted entering the media
> >> age, it seems to have lost ground in absolute terms. (Kirsan, Truong
> >> etc.)
>
> > As goes chess, goes the rest of mind sports. China is hosting the
> > World Mind Sports Games, for IMSA. IMSA is an offshoot of the
> > Olympics. And, as far as I can tell, no one has bothered to pick up
> > the television rights for the entire broadcast there. When you can't
> > get something involved with the Olympics getting anyone to get the
> > rights, you have problems on your hands.
>
> This doesn't surprise me. The games that are involved
> (bridge, chess, checkers, go, xiangqi) have minimal TV
> presence in this country. Do the chess events have any
> significance outside of these games?
>
> While one can certainly hope that the games are successful
> at some level, I can think of no rational reason to expect
> them to be big. Moreover, in the case of chess, the events
> will be organized by FIDE, whose track record of failure
> at promoting chess is well known.
>
> My sense is that the chess world in Fischer's day
> was filled with a higher calibre of people. Would the
> equivalent of Truong's actions of posting thousands
> of obscene messages have passed for acceptable back
> then? The chess world's lack of even the most
> minimal standards is appalling.

One could ask, is it the state of chess that produces the people
around it, or is it the people around it that produce the state of
chess. If Fischer didn't go nuts, and continued to defend, and the
whole "war on the board" that chess represented then continued, would
chess be in the dire straits it is in now? Did the conditions force
greater behavior? It was WWIII back then, and you had to be on best
behavior, because the world was watching.

However, it is likely it is a mix of both. Momentum of events tend to
feed on themselves, replicating more and more what is. So, once
Fischer left, the spiral kicked in.

- Rich


 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 17:48:46
From: Quadibloc
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 9:21 am, [email protected] wrote:

> So, again I ask, why is there no chess on TV?

Why is football on TV, and not chess?

The answer to that question is simple enough. I don't have to be as
strong as Johnny Unitas to appreciate a game of football. After all,
the game is more likely to be interesting if it features the best
players in the nation; thus, the Super Bowl gets higher ratings than a
regular season game. But the fact that the players are very good
doesn't make the game any *harder to understand*.

If really good chess players are playing against one another, though,
one has to be... intelligent - and knowledgeable about chess - to
understand what's happening.

And, after all, chess is lacking in surface excitement and immediate
gratification. Cheerleaders would distract the players. No one is
getting slammed by a body check.

The Fischer-Spassky games were a very special case, just as, say, Van
Cliburn stimulated an interest in classical piano among many who
otherwise would have paid little attention to it.

John Savard


 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 17:18:40
From: Stefano MacGregor
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 10:47=A0am, [email protected] wrote:

> If you think about the 1970s and how Chess was king of the
> tabletop, and got a ton of media coverage, you think of
> Fischer. =A0With the passing of Fischer, you can start to think
> of those days and wonder why chess isn't on TV. =A0This is what
> is meant here by that question.

You're right -- but that has nothing to do with "begging the
question", of course, which was my point.

--
Stefano


 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 22:17:53
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
On Sat, 19 Jan 2008 08:21:32 -0800 (PST), [email protected]
wrote:

>I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
>Fischer begs the question once more. I also posted this on Boardgame
>geek:
>http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/278704
>

>Bobby Fischer's death is in the news, and causes people to remember
>the 1970s, when chess was king, and people tuned into PBS to watch
>chess. Chess was a culturally iconic back then. I remember reading Mad
>Magazine when I was a kid, and they actually did a spoof with a chess
>based superhero. Fischer made all the magazine covers, and it was
>WWIII on the board. It wasn't just the Cold War either. When America
>beat Russia in the Winter Olympics at hockey, and played them, there
>wasn't an outbreak of hockey all over, like there was with Chess. I
>remember when I was a kid in the 1970s, there was a chess store that
>opened up near where I lived.
>

Note that this is only an American phenomenom... Chess has always been
far more popular in Europe. I tend to believe that it WAS just the
political situation that made chess popular in the US during the 70's.
Americans like to win... even more, they like to beat their 'enemies'.
why has chess fallen in popularity? perhaps because America was only
briefly ontop during the Fischer era... Once the Soviets dominated
the game, then they lost interest. You use Hockey as an example, well
Hockey is not a huge game in the US, but here in Canada we win alot
and the game is THE game in Canada. Most of the NHL players in the US
were raised in Canada. You say there wasn't an outbreak of hockey in
the US? hmmm look at howmany more NHL teams are in the US than Canada
now... compare that to the 70's...

Chess on TV is pretty boring unless you are into it. I know alot of
people who like to play chess but have never played in a club. Alot
of these people watch games online or review them in a pgn viewer.
World wide, Chess is watched alot. How many of us have been following
Corus? I bet Ive watched more corus matches than hockey games on TV
(and im canadian!). Its hard to judge just what the audience is for
chess, because unlike many other games, we can easily watch a game
going on on multiple websites. I personally like to dl the pgn of the
games and run them through fritz... is this considered 'watching' the
game? all this and without irritating commercials :). Chess is
probably unique in this aspect.


>Please don't get me started about American Gladiator being back, or
>the fact that guys fixing motorcycles has a TV show. I can close by
>saying a program about people have dirty jobs actually is on TV now.
>Come on! All this and no chess?

If chess was on TV, I don't know that I would watch the show. I find
most TV is irritating anyways. I prefer how it is now, you can watch
the game live on websites with GM's kibitzing (and many patzers too :)
Also for TV you need real 'characters'... chess players are generally
very introspective people who 'play the board'. Unlike poker where
acting ability increases your chance of winning thus producing many
'characters'.

Just my 2cents worth :)

J.Lohner


  
Date: 22 Jan 2008 09:20:07
From: mcv
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In rec.games.board [email protected] wrote:
> On Sat, 19 Jan 2008 08:21:32 -0800 (PST), [email protected]
> wrote:
>
>>I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
>>Fischer begs the question once more. I also posted this on Boardgame
>>geek:
>>http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/278704
>>
[...]
>>Please don't get me started about American Gladiator being back, or
>>the fact that guys fixing motorcycles has a TV show. I can close by
>>saying a program about people have dirty jobs actually is on TV now.
>>Come on! All this and no chess?
>
> If chess was on TV, I don't know that I would watch the show. I find
> most TV is irritating anyways. I prefer how it is now, you can watch
> the game live on websites with GM's kibitzing (and many patzers too :)
> Also for TV you need real 'characters'... chess players are generally
> very introspective people who 'play the board'. Unlike poker where
> acting ability increases your chance of winning thus producing many
> 'characters'.

If "characters" is what matters, then that explains the popularity of
chess during Bobby Fischer.

When Karpov was playing Kasparov, my dad rooted for Kasparov, because
of his more interesting playing style. Character can also show on the
board, but unfortunately that's lost on the average viewer. I remember
a really psychological game of go between two Dutch champions, which
was extremely exciting if you knew what was going on, but to most
people it's just a lot of black and white stones on a board.


mcv.
--
Science is not the be-all and end-all of human existence. It's a tool.
A very powerful tool, but not the only tool. And if only that which
could be verified scientifically was considered real, then nearly all
of human experience would be not-real. -- Zachriel


 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 13:21:59
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 2:50 pm, David Parlett <[email protected] > wrote:
> In message
> <[email protected]m>,
> [email protected] writes
>
>
>
> >On Jan 19, 12:21 pm, Stefano MacGregor <[email protected]> wrote:
> >> On Jan 19, 9:21 am, [email protected] wrote:
>
> >> > I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
> >> > Fischer begs the question once more.
>
> >> You're wrong, of course. Fisher's death does not beg the question.
>
> >> At most, it may cause someone to ask a question. It definitely does
> >> not attempt to prove something, using the thing to be proved as
> >> evidence to its own truthfulness.
>
> >If you think about the 1970s and how Chess was king of the tabletop,
> >and got a ton of media coverage, you think of Fischer. With the
> >passing of Fischer, you can start to think of those days and wonder
> >why chess isn't on TV. This is what is meant here by that question.
>
> If that's the meaning, then the question is raised, posed or prompted -
> not, as Stefano rightly says, begged.

I will say, at least with me (ok, and maybe a handful of other people
on this planet) it begs the question :-). Consider it a bit of
hyperbole on my part, in order to get a decent sounding subject header
to link memories of Fischer at the high point to the state of chess
today.

- Rich


 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 13:16:41
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 2:53 pm, "David Kane" <[email protected] > wrote:
> <[email protected]> wrote in message
>
> news:[email protected]m...
>
>
>
> > On Jan 19, 12:21 pm, Stefano MacGregor <[email protected]> wrote:
> >> On Jan 19, 9:21 am, [email protected] wrote:
>
> >> > I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
> >> > Fischer begs the question once more.
>
> >> You're wrong, of course. Fisher's death does not beg the question.
>
> >> At most, it may cause someone to ask a question. It definitely does
> >> not attempt to prove something, using the thing to be proved as
> >> evidence to its own truthfulness.
>
> > If you think about the 1970s and how Chess was king of the tabletop,
> > and got a ton of media coverage, you think of Fischer. With the
> > passing of Fischer, you can start to think of those days and wonder
> > why chess isn't on TV. This is what is meant here by that question.
>
> > - Rich
>
> The question that comes to my mind is how today's chess world
> compares to the one that Fischer was a part of. And the answer
> isn't encouraging. Not only has chess resisted entering the media
> age, it seems to have lost ground in absolute terms. (Kirsan, Truong
> etc.)

As goes chess, goes the rest of mind sports. China is hosting the
World Mind Sports Games, for IMSA. IMSA is an offshoot of the
Olympics. And, as far as I can tell, no one has bothered to pick up
the television rights for the entire broadcast there. When you can't
get something involved with the Olympics getting anyone to get the
rights, you have problems on your hands.

It is in this that I post my question and ask it.

- Rich


  
Date: 19 Jan 2008 14:59:16
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> On Jan 19, 2:53 pm, "David Kane" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> <[email protected]> wrote in message
>>
>> news:[email protected]m...
>>
>>
>>
>> > On Jan 19, 12:21 pm, Stefano MacGregor <[email protected]> wrote:
>> >> On Jan 19, 9:21 am, [email protected] wrote:
>>
>> >> > I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
>> >> > Fischer begs the question once more.
>>
>> >> You're wrong, of course. Fisher's death does not beg the question.
>>
>> >> At most, it may cause someone to ask a question. It definitely does
>> >> not attempt to prove something, using the thing to be proved as
>> >> evidence to its own truthfulness.
>>
>> > If you think about the 1970s and how Chess was king of the tabletop,
>> > and got a ton of media coverage, you think of Fischer. With the
>> > passing of Fischer, you can start to think of those days and wonder
>> > why chess isn't on TV. This is what is meant here by that question.
>>
>> > - Rich
>>
>> The question that comes to my mind is how today's chess world
>> compares to the one that Fischer was a part of. And the answer
>> isn't encouraging. Not only has chess resisted entering the media
>> age, it seems to have lost ground in absolute terms. (Kirsan, Truong
>> etc.)
>
> As goes chess, goes the rest of mind sports. China is hosting the
> World Mind Sports Games, for IMSA. IMSA is an offshoot of the
> Olympics. And, as far as I can tell, no one has bothered to pick up
> the television rights for the entire broadcast there. When you can't
> get something involved with the Olympics getting anyone to get the
> rights, you have problems on your hands.

This doesn't surprise me. The games that are involved
(bridge, chess, checkers, go, xiangqi) have minimal TV
presence in this country. Do the chess events have any
significance outside of these games?

While one can certainly hope that the games are successful
at some level, I can think of no rational reason to expect
them to be big. Moreover, in the case of chess, the events
will be organized by FIDE, whose track record of failure
at promoting chess is well known.

My sense is that the chess world in Fischer's day
was filled with a higher calibre of people. Would the
equivalent of Truong's actions of posting thousands
of obscene messages have passed for acceptable back
then? The chess world's lack of even the most
minimal standards is appalling.






>
> It is in this that I post my question and ask it.
>
> - Rich




 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 13:14:19
From:
Subject: Re: Forget TV Play Chess on Computer.
On Jan 19, 1:42 pm, Sanny <[email protected] > wrote:
> TV is as many people say Idiot Box. Play Chess on your Computer.

<Ad for a website is deleted >

Unless you can grasp why the question was originally asked, and
understand its importance, I don't think your website you are spamming
for now is relevant to the discussion.

If the entire chess world goes and spreads itself among 200+ different
websites, then you don't have any basis to create anything to get the
attention of the media at all. Without this attention, then you get
ignored. This, in turn, causes the youth to ignore your game, and the
game goes into decline. That is an important issue.

But shoot, go ahead and ignore this issue and be a vulture, picking
off some people here to visit your website, so you can get your 15
minutes of notice.

- Rich


 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 19:50:10
From: David Parlett
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In message
<[email protected]m >,
[email protected] writes
>On Jan 19, 12:21 pm, Stefano MacGregor <[email protected]> wrote:
>> On Jan 19, 9:21 am, [email protected] wrote:
>>
>> > I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
>> > Fischer begs the question once more.
>>
>> You're wrong, of course. Fisher's death does not beg the question.
>>
>> At most, it may cause someone to ask a question. It definitely does
>> not attempt to prove something, using the thing to be proved as
>> evidence to its own truthfulness.
>
>If you think about the 1970s and how Chess was king of the tabletop,
>and got a ton of media coverage, you think of Fischer. With the
>passing of Fischer, you can start to think of those days and wonder
>why chess isn't on TV. This is what is meant here by that question.

If that's the meaning, then the question is raised, posed or prompted -
not, as Stefano rightly says, begged.
--
David Parlett
For books and games visit http://www.davpar.com


 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 10:42:06
From: Sanny
Subject: Forget TV Play Chess on Computer.
TV is as many people say Idiot Box. Play Chess on your Computer.

Here is a Chess game you can play if you have Java Installed.

Play Chess at: http://www.GetClub.com/Chess.html

Chess is interesting only when playing looking at a game we have no
control on what the players are thinking. Once a game is played you
get the moves and then you can analyze on a chess board. But analyzing
on TV is just difficult.

Games at GetClub Chess are recorded so you can analyze them or
gothough the animation of your game. Each move is played every 10
seconds So tyou know how you played.

Bye
Sanny

Play Chess at: http://www.GetClub.com/Chess.html




 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 10:29:15
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 1:15 pm, Ken Blake <[email protected] >
wrote:
> On Sat, 19 Jan 2008 09:49:32 -0800 (PST), [email protected]
> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Jan 19, 12:03 pm, Don Del Grande <[email protected]>
> > wrote:
> > > Two - most game championships can be edited into small packages. The
> > > TV coverage of the Scrabble U.S. Open lasts one hour, as does the
> > > National Geographic Bee; the Scripps National Spelling Bee's finals
> > > run a little longer than two hours on TV, even though it is a two-day
> > > event. You can't cover the world chess championship like this.
>
> > > Also note the Fischer-Spassky match had a fixed 24-game limit. I
> > > think the next few were "first to X wins", which means that they would
> > > have no idea how many weeks it would last. It's hard to find TV time
> > > under these conditions.
>
> > Why couldn't you do a time compress edit on chess matches and also not
> > have chess matches split a draw 1/2-1/2 and then have highest score
> > after a fix number of games?
>
> > Even run Speed Chess as a possibility as a way to get chess on TV.
> > Why not something?
>
> Chess is inherently a slow game. The pace is much too slow to be
> interesting to the typical TV audience.
>
> If you speed it up, either by taping it and editing out the think
> time, or by making it speed chess to begin with, the audience will
> never follow what's going on. They'd have a hard enough time even if
> it were slow and with someone explaining.

I do agree that speed chess is likely too fast for people. However,
why can't moves be paced through editing to come in roughly 45-60
seconds? Why is not 45-60 seconds sufficient time to explain what is
going on? American football is more complicated than chess, and yet
ends up on TV.

- Rich


  
Date: 19 Jan 2008 15:31:46
From: Chipacabra
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
[email protected] wrote in
news:[email protected]m:

> On Jan 19, 1:15 pm, Ken Blake <[email protected]>
> wrote:
>> On Sat, 19 Jan 2008 09:49:32 -0800 (PST), [email protected]
>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>> > On Jan 19, 12:03 pm, Don Del Grande <[email protected]>
>> > wrote:
>> > > Two - most game championships can be edited into small packages.
>> > > The TV coverage of the Scrabble U.S. Open lasts one hour, as does
>> > > the National Geographic Bee; the Scripps National Spelling Bee's
>> > > finals run a little longer than two hours on TV, even though it
>> > > is a two-day event. You can't cover the world chess championship
>> > > like this.
>>
>> > > Also note the Fischer-Spassky match had a fixed 24-game limit. I
>> > > think the next few were "first to X wins", which means that they
>> > > would have no idea how many weeks it would last. It's hard to
>> > > find TV time under these conditions.
>>
>> > Why couldn't you do a time compress edit on chess matches and also
>> > not have chess matches split a draw 1/2-1/2 and then have highest
>> > score after a fix number of games?
>>
>> > Even run Speed Chess as a possibility as a way to get chess on TV.
>> > Why not something?
>>
>> Chess is inherently a slow game. The pace is much too slow to be
>> interesting to the typical TV audience.
>>
>> If you speed it up, either by taping it and editing out the think
>> time, or by making it speed chess to begin with, the audience will
>> never follow what's going on. They'd have a hard enough time even if
>> it were slow and with someone explaining.
>
> I do agree that speed chess is likely too fast for people. However,
> why can't moves be paced through editing to come in roughly 45-60
> seconds? Why is not 45-60 seconds sufficient time to explain what is
> going on? American football is more complicated than chess, and yet
> ends up on TV.


I think this relates to what needs to happen before chess will get on TV:
more people have to be able to follow what's happening. Take a look at,
say, football and basketball.

When the Madden series of videogames came out, it was the first really
popular game that got all the rules of football right, so an entire
generation raised on videogames can watch a football broadcast and
understand everything that's happening. Football viewership has been
steadily increasing, especially among that young age bracket.

Basketball, on the other hand, never suffered from too much complexity.
Videogames didn't introduce any new viewers to any subtle nuances. Even
worse, as the graphics improved, more kids would rather play basketball
on the XBox than watch it on TV. Viewership goes down.

If someone can release a game that is to chess what Madden was to
football, and somehow get a significant chunk of the young population
that can recognize and appreciate advanced play, THEN you can get it on
TV.

Or, just do what poker did, and have an amateur win millions of dollars
in the big tournament, and appeal to the 'that could be me!' factor.


 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 09:49:32
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 12:03 pm, Don Del Grande <[email protected] >
wrote:
> Two - most game championships can be edited into small packages. The
> TV coverage of the Scrabble U.S. Open lasts one hour, as does the
> National Geographic Bee; the Scripps National Spelling Bee's finals
> run a little longer than two hours on TV, even though it is a two-day
> event. You can't cover the world chess championship like this.
>
> Also note the Fischer-Spassky match had a fixed 24-game limit. I
> think the next few were "first to X wins", which means that they would
> have no idea how many weeks it would last. It's hard to find TV time
> under these conditions.


Why couldn't you do a time compress edit on chess matches and also not
have chess matches split a draw 1/2-1/2 and then have highest score
after a fix number of games?

Even run Speed Chess as a possibility as a way to get chess on TV.
Why not something?

- Rich


  
Date: 19 Jan 2008 14:56:16
From: Don Del Grande
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
richardhutnik wrote:

> Don Del Grande wrote:
>
>> Also note the Fischer-Spassky match had a fixed 24-game limit. I
>> think the next few were "first to X wins", which means that they would
>> have no idea how many weeks it would last. It's hard to find TV time
>> under these conditions.
>
>
>Why couldn't you do a time compress edit on chess matches and also not
>have chess matches split a draw 1/2-1/2 and then have highest score
>after a fix number of games?

I think it has something to do with complaints that whoever had the
lead would start "playing for a draw" in order to protect the lead.

Apparently, the 2008 world chess championship will be most wins after
12 games, with a 6-6 tie broken by some sort of one-day tiebreaker (I
think the "if all else fails" tiebreaker is one game where White gets
a total of 6 minutes and Black 5, but Black wins if the game ends in
what would normally be a draw).

However, in my opinion, the main problem with doing this on TV is,
it's not a one-show thing - and while you can say that about the World
Series of Poker as well, at least poker is a game that most people
understand on sight.

-- Don


   
Date: 20 Jan 2008 09:27:56
From: Mik Svellov
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
The answer is - as always - pretty simple: it doesn't attract enough
viewers!

Mik




    
Date: 28 Jan 2008 20:15:52
From: Alan Hoyle
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
In rec.games.board Mik Svellov <[email protected] > wrote:
> The answer is - as always - pretty simple: it doesn't attract enough
> viewers!

Even simpler: There aren't enough sponsors willing to pay for it to be
on air.

Magic: The Gathering, the World Series of Poker, Scrabble, the
Spelling Bee, paintball, etc. aren't on TV because they necessarily
expected to draw in viewership, but because there are companies
willing to pay for the airtime on whatever networks to put them on the
air. Those companies are making a bet that whatever outlay they put
out on production and airtime is going to be made up by increased
sales in the long run.

Who is going to sponsor chess? You can't copyright the game and limit
competition for direct sales (unlike Scrabble/Magic) and expect to get
a return on your investment by direct sales. You don't have an
established venue and revenue stream (unlike poker in casinos and web
sites). The spelling bee model would be the one you'd have to adopt:
find a company with deep enough pockets that is willing to sponsor it.
The Scripps Spelling Bee itself is run as a not-for-profit venture
and they have buy-in from schools (and home-schools) all over the US.

It would be a heck of a lot harder to get the same kind of thing for
chess.

-alan

--
Alan Hoyle - [email protected] - http://www.alanhoyle.com/
"I don't want the world, I just want your half." -TMBG
Get Horizontal, Play Ultimate.


     
Date: 30 Jan 2008 21:26:30
From: ChessVariant Inventor
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TVnow?

Alan Hoyle;257154 Wrote:
> In rec.games.board Mik Svellov [email protected] wrote:-
> The answer is - as always - pretty simple: it doesn't attract enough
> viewers!-
>
> Even simpler: There aren't enough sponsors willing to pay for it to be
> on air.
>
> Magic: The Gathering, the World Series of Poker, Scrabble, the
> Spelling Bee, paintball, etc. aren't on TV because they necessarily
> expected to draw in viewership, but because there are companies
> willing to pay for the airtime on whatever networks to put them on the
> air. Those companies are making a bet that whatever outlay they put
> out on production and airtime is going to be made up by increased
> sales in the long run.
>
> Who is going to sponsor chess? You can't copyright the game and limit
> competition for direct sales (unlike Scrabble/Magic) and expect to get
> a return on your investment by direct sales. You don't have an
> established venue and revenue stream (unlike poker in casinos and web
> sites). The spelling bee model would be the one you'd have to adopt:
> find a company with deep enough pockets that is willing to sponsor it.
> The Scripps Spelling Bee itself is run as a not-for-profit venture
> and they have buy-in from schools (and home-schools) all over the US.
>
> It would be a heck of a lot harder to get the same kind of thing for
> chess.
>
> -alan
>
> --
> Alan Hoyle - [email protected] - http://www.alanhoyle.com/
> "I don't want the world, I just want your half." -TMBG
> Get Horizontal, Play Ultimate.

Lets switch this question a bit - Why isn't chess on public acces
television?
Or maybe it is?! There have been quite a few public access program
that I have enjoyed watching - quirky but interesting. In fact I prefe
many public access programs to watching network television crap lik
American Idol.

And many public access performers are on youtube as well. So if yo
really want chess on TV just get some people together and create
program
to submit to your local public access tv. Then you can also put it u
on internet video sites.
Forget about all this corporate sponsership crap. If you really want t
do something you can - you don't need a lot of money


--
ChessVariant Inventor


  
Date: 19 Jan 2008 11:15:06
From: Ken Blake
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
On Sat, 19 Jan 2008 09:49:32 -0800 (PST), [email protected]
wrote:

> On Jan 19, 12:03 pm, Don Del Grande <[email protected]>
> wrote:
> > Two - most game championships can be edited into small packages. The
> > TV coverage of the Scrabble U.S. Open lasts one hour, as does the
> > National Geographic Bee; the Scripps National Spelling Bee's finals
> > run a little longer than two hours on TV, even though it is a two-day
> > event. You can't cover the world chess championship like this.
> >
> > Also note the Fischer-Spassky match had a fixed 24-game limit. I
> > think the next few were "first to X wins", which means that they would
> > have no idea how many weeks it would last. It's hard to find TV time
> > under these conditions.
>
>
> Why couldn't you do a time compress edit on chess matches and also not
> have chess matches split a draw 1/2-1/2 and then have highest score
> after a fix number of games?
>
> Even run Speed Chess as a possibility as a way to get chess on TV.
> Why not something?


Chess is inherently a slow game. The pace is much too slow to be
interesting to the typical TV audience.

If you speed it up, either by taping it and editing out the think
time, or by making it speed chess to begin with, the audience will
never follow what's going on. They'd have a hard enough time even if
it were slow and with someone explaining.

--
Ken Blake
Please Reply to the Newsgroup


   
Date: 19 Jan 2008 14:45:00
From: SAT W-7
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess
That is why they need pay per view , then only the people who want it
can buy it and i belive you could get 20,000 chess people world wide to
by it .....



 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 09:47:18
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 12:21 pm, Stefano MacGregor <[email protected] > wrote:
> On Jan 19, 9:21 am, [email protected] wrote:
>
> > I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
> > Fischer begs the question once more.
>
> You're wrong, of course. Fisher's death does not beg the question.
>
> At most, it may cause someone to ask a question. It definitely does
> not attempt to prove something, using the thing to be proved as
> evidence to its own truthfulness.

If you think about the 1970s and how Chess was king of the tabletop,
and got a ton of media coverage, you think of Fischer. With the
passing of Fischer, you can start to think of those days and wonder
why chess isn't on TV. This is what is meant here by that question.

- Rich


  
Date: 19 Jan 2008 11:53:12
From: David Kane
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?

<[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> On Jan 19, 12:21 pm, Stefano MacGregor <[email protected]> wrote:
>> On Jan 19, 9:21 am, [email protected] wrote:
>>
>> > I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
>> > Fischer begs the question once more.
>>
>> You're wrong, of course. Fisher's death does not beg the question.
>>
>> At most, it may cause someone to ask a question. It definitely does
>> not attempt to prove something, using the thing to be proved as
>> evidence to its own truthfulness.
>
> If you think about the 1970s and how Chess was king of the tabletop,
> and got a ton of media coverage, you think of Fischer. With the
> passing of Fischer, you can start to think of those days and wonder
> why chess isn't on TV. This is what is meant here by that question.
>
> - Rich

The question that comes to my mind is how today's chess world
compares to the one that Fischer was a part of. And the answer
isn't encouraging. Not only has chess resisted entering the media
age, it seems to have lost ground in absolute terms. (Kirsan, Truong
etc.)




 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 09:21:02
From: Stefano MacGregor
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On Jan 19, 9:21=A0am, [email protected] wrote:

> I have asked this before on here I believe. =A0Well, the death of
> Fischer begs the question once more.

You're wrong, of course. Fisher's death does not beg the question.

At most, it may cause someone to ask a question. It definitely does
not attempt to prove something, using the thing to be proved as
evidence to its own truthfulness.

--
Stefano
http://alt-usage-english.org/intro_c.shtml#begthequestion


 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 09:03:20
From: Don Del Grande
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on TV now?
richardhutnik wrote:

>I have asked this before on here I believe. Well, the death of
>Fischer begs the question once more. I also posted this on Boardgame
>geek:
>http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/278704
>
>Bobby Fischer's death is in the news, and causes people to remember
>the 1970s, when chess was king, and people tuned into PBS to watch
>chess. Chess was a culturally iconic back then. I remember reading Mad
>Magazine when I was a kid, and they actually did a spoof with a chess
>based superhero. Fischer made all the magazine covers, and it was
>WWIII on the board. It wasn't just the Cold War either. When America
>beat Russia in the Winter Olympics at hockey, and played them, there
>wasn't an outbreak of hockey all over, like there was with Chess. I
>remember when I was a kid in the 1970s, there was a chess store that
>opened up near where I lived.
>
>So, what has happened here? There is no chess on TV now. Rock, Paper,
>Scissors made it to ESPN. Hot dog eating made ESPN. Poker is all over
>TV. Scrabble is on TV also. But, there isn't chess. As far as I know,
>no one has even bothered to pick up the rights to the World Mind Sport
>Games in China either for western broadcast. The event has Chess,
>Checkers, Go, Chinese Chess, and Bridge also, and is pretty big event
>(first of its kind, and an offshoot of the Olympics). There was a
>chess championship for over $1.5 million in Mexico last year, and no
>one even knew of it, outside of the chess world.
>
>So, again I ask, why is there no chess on TV?

Two reasons.

One - most of the events on TV are either "everyman" games (everybody
thinks they can play poker) or not as much games as oddities (hot dog
eating). Even with on-the-spot analysis, 99% of the potential viewers
have no idea why white just moved his queen's knight. (Chess is not
alone; there has been a national College Bowl championship since 1978,
but it hasn't been on TV since 1987, mainly because the schools don't
want the questions dumbed down for TV and the TV producers know that
nobody is going to watch if they have no clue what any of the answers
are.)

Two - most game championships can be edited into small packages. The
TV coverage of the Scrabble U.S. Open lasts one hour, as does the
National Geographic Bee; the Scripps National Spelling Bee's finals
run a little longer than two hours on TV, even though it is a two-day
event. You can't cover the world chess championship like this.

Also note the Fischer-Spassky match had a fixed 24-game limit. I
think the next few were "first to X wins", which means that they would
have no idea how many weeks it would last. It's hard to find TV time
under these conditions.

-- Don


 
Date: 19 Jan 2008 08:27:18
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer's death again begs the question: Why is there no chess on
On 19 Jan, 16:21, [email protected] wrote:
> I have asked this before on here I believe. =EF=BF=BDWell, the death of
> Fischer begs the question once more. =EF=BF=BDI also posted this on Boardg=
ame
> geek:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/278704
>
> Bobby Fischer's death is in the news, and causes people to remember
> the 1970s, when chess was king, and people tuned into PBS to watch
> chess. Chess was a culturally iconic back then. I remember reading Mad
> Magazine when I was a kid, and they actually did a spoof with a chess
> based superhero. Fischer made all the magazine covers, and it was
> WWIII on the board. It wasn't just the Cold War either. When America
> beat Russia in the Winter Olympics at hockey, and played them, there
> wasn't an outbreak of hockey all over, like there was with Chess. I
> remember when I was a kid in the 1970s, there was a chess store that
> opened up near where I lived.
>
> So, what has happened here? There is no chess on TV now. Rock, Paper,
> Scissors made it to ESPN. Hot dog eating made ESPN. Poker is all over
> TV. Scrabble is on TV also. But, there isn't chess. As far as I know,
> no one has even bothered to pick up the rights to the World Mind Sport
> Games in China either for western broadcast. The event has Chess,
> Checkers, Go, Chinese Chess, and Bridge also, and is pretty big event
> (first of its kind, and an offshoot of the Olympics). There was a
> chess championship for over $1.5 million in Mexico last year, and no
> one even knew of it, outside of the chess world.
>
> So, again I ask, why is there no chess on TV? Also, any ideas what can
> be done to get it on TV? Chess could open the doorway for a lot of
> boardgames ending up on TV, if it could be on TV and remain there. My
> take is the pacing of the moves, plus excessive amount of draws where
> players score equally for the draw, are two major factors why not.
>
> Please don't get me started about American Gladiator being back, or
> the fact that guys fixing motorcycles has a TV show. I can close by
> saying a program about people have dirty jobs actually is on TV now.
> Come on! All this and no chess?
>
> - Rich

I am trying to promote chess in the school where I work. It helps
pupils socialise. It keeps them out of trouble as a lot of the
players are boys. I am unsure as to how we can get chess on TV, but a
start maybe to get more people playing and promote this fantastic game
to our young people. Lots of people do not understand the moves or
what the game is about, so come on lets get out there and get our kids
motivated.