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kingscrusher





 Topics started


United Kingdom
Sat Jun 16 2007 10:00PM | edited: 10:02:14 | MsgID: 7022491


I hope no one objects, but a new forum will be created soon called "Chess variants" as I don't really like talking about them on the chess forum. They are not really chess related. They make me uncomfortable - especially when GMs with influence see them as a method of self-promotion and don't care about the fragmentation and damage they might do to the game. Any new variant threads or posts can go there. It just won't be visible on the latest posts view.



trooperscoop



 Topics started


Canada
Sat Jun 16 2007 9:57PM | MsgID: 7022481


[Quote from: "ChessDwarf"]
[Quote from: "kingscrusher"]...And what if we wanted to also implement the Fischer-clock. Should we again call it something different ?!


Actually, I think that is a great idea (Fischer-clock in correspondence chess)!
Lets say 60 days per game + 2 days increasement per move. It still allows "deeper thinking" if necessary while on the other hand ensuring the minimum of 2 days for reply.
This way game of 60 moves (average game of chess is just over 40) will be finished within a year (great for annually based competitions - for instance, leagues).
This time limit is roughly similar to 3 days per move but with better possibility of time menagement.



I love it. That would allow players to have a bit more control as to how
long a game will take. It seems a frequent post on here that an opponent
takes their full time to make a move. If you have to play your whole game
in 60 days, it would force players to play as opposed to wait.

The only concern is... who "loses" once the 60 days runs out.

It seems fairly similar to the 10 moves in 50 days in some ways...



kingscrusher





 Topics started


United Kingdom
Sat Jun 16 2007 10:10AM | edited: 12:03:01 | MsgID: 7018611


[Quote from: "ChessDwarf"]
[Quote from: "kingscrusher"]...And what if we wanted to also implement the Fischer-clock. Should we again call it something different ?!


Actually, I think that is a great idea (Fischer-clock in correspondence chess)!
Lets say 60 days per game + 2 days increasement per move. It still allows "deeper thinking" if necessary while on the other hand ensuring the minimum of 2 days for reply.
This way game of 60 moves (average game of chess is just over 40) will be finished within a year (great for annually based competitions - for instance, leagues).
This time limit is roughly similar to 3 days per move but with better possibility of time menagement.



Actually on deeper consideration, I am not sure we should "finish" the implementation of FR. Because opening theory is part of chess culture. And if FR became more popular here, it would perhaps just "feed" the engine-users of the site. Because computers wouldn't be at any disadvantage at all due to the culture and history of chess.

Let me put this as brutally as I can. Say you can "enjoy" an engine-user - what "services" would you like from him/her ? I know I would like an Opening-testing service - to see the cracks / right move orders of my opening repertoire. I know I might like a "How many moves I can last" fun competition with others trying their hand. I know that sometimes I would just like the challenge to see if I could win *from certain openings* at least.

Two out of three of these "services" would be lost if FR became more popular. Opening testing, and the faint hope that in some openings I could actually hold a draw or even win. Another service would be if you wanted technical analysis to supplement your annotations, or just technical kibitzing on live games. However, without an opening-preface to such games, they lose their "context" quite significantly. It would be like playing through Ivanchuk games.

My latest thinking is therefore to "downgrade" the FR emphasis - not upgrade it. We could instead push for a greater celebration of chess culture and history - not the reverse, and what is essentially an "engine-friendly" chess variant. I believe very popular things like the "Play like the Master" *celebrate* chess history and culture, and this is for me a very comfortable direction to take generally.

I think we should remind ourselves of one of the key reasons Fischer invented this variant - to avoid Russian's having prepared draws against *each other* so keeping all their energies to beat Fischer. The 1970's was both a pre-engine era, and a pre-chessbase era. Fischer didn't consider these implications too greatly. You can't easily have a prepared russian draw if you don't know what the starting position is. If it is going to be chosen from random from 1 of 960 positions, it is difficult to engineer with someone in advance a "prepared draw".

The "benefit" of stripping away opening theory (or simplification of position) is not really a benefit in the modern world of engines or thematic start positions you can choose to play from. Openings provide the more "level playing field" when playing against opponents that want to cheat. Additionally, what is to stop us researching and promoting thematic tournaments that begin from wild and interesting and "resourceful" positions - full of dynamic possibilities ? Also correspondence chess as opposed to OTB chess always had a "level playing field" with regards to openings - you can research them actively - no need to memorise anything to take with your memory to an OTB game.

Has anyone who has suggested FR listed all the dynamic and fun starting ordinary thematic positions that the site could use? I don't think so. I picked the Sicilian Dragon and a few others for the opening combo box - but there were < 10 choices on that combo. Why not make it 100 instead - full of dynamic starting positions - so people don't need to search for dynamic positoins using the Opening database ?! And why not randomise the order of that 100 list selection?!

There is a "clinical" analogy between the impact of technology and engines in OTB chess - and in CC chess. In the future of OTB chess, if I have to strip down, go into a padded room, just to play someone, I probably wouldn't bother. The *fun factor* would have been drained out of it, just to stop mobile devices, etc. In the same analogy, if we have to consider a "variant" in cc chess, to strip out the impact of opening databases (which correspondence chess has always been about researching openings), then again this "clinicalisation" is basically not worth it. Especially because in cc, it has always been allowed to research openly with books the opening stage. As for playing with X-men pieces to avoid engine users - forget it!

As far as the simplification angle is concerned (long opening lines going into an endgame) - this is a nonsense. We can simply extend our range of default thematic start positions.

Actually I believe in the light of this thread, we should also downgrade emphasis on chess variants - I think they are highly controversial. Perhaps a forum which is not so public, where such chess variant posts can be moved to. This meant to be a "chess forum" and variants are simply not chess. I also suggest that anyone suggesting variants should be asked to read about the chess world champions dating back to 1870, and give a brief summary and their key games. They should prove to others what they know of chess culture before suggesting its removal.

I recommend people read this article - does chess have a future? by Tim Harding. It is a PDF document. In it Tim writes of FR chess:

"....What they would do would be to wipe out the vast body of opening theory that human players have learned or can refer to books or databases. This may be a good thing but it also means that computers (once programmed to cope with the new rules) would beat humans even more easily...."

I think Tim Harding paints a negative picture overall in his now dated PDF document. However to parody Shakespeare :-

"To clinicalise or to contextualise... that is the question".

To "clincialise" would be to make discrete 1's and 0's out of something. To "contextualise" is to bring shades of grey though bringing in contextual considerations. Things like "Play like the master" relive and bring life to chess history and culture.

Being able to organise your own tournaments are in my view "contextualising", and minimise the impact of clinicalisation, and what you might consider "clinical" opponents.

When you organise your own tournaments, and you are just say rated 800 - you can choose to invite your friends who all may be less than 1000 rated. You are using computer-software to eliminate players say over 1000. The software is being used to minimise the impact of what you might regard as "too clinical" a player - e.g. over 1000. Such a consideration as simple as being able to organise your own tournament is completely missed in Tim's article. It is because he and others like him are at one end of the "Magnet" - Chess for 'prizes'. We are at the other end of the "Magnet" - 'Chess for fun'.

So although Tim Harding's article paints a negative view of the impact of technology, I would argue that we always have a choice of how we actually use software - the fundamental choice is that of using software for minimising the impact of clinicalisation, or for maximising the context - contextualisation. It is the way *computers are used* that brings them real benefit or not. It represents technological choice over technological determinism. If the computers get more powerful - it should mean for us *more fun* - not *less fun*. It is our choice how they are used.



ChessDwarf



 Topics started


Serbia and Montenegro
Sat Jun 16 2007 9:59AM | MsgID: 7018539


Originally posted by: "kingscrusher"
...And what if we wanted to also implement the Fischer-clock. Should we again call it something different ?!



Actually, I think that is a great idea (Fischer-clock in correspondence chess)!
Lets say 60 days per game + 2 days increasement per move. It still allows "deeper thinking" if necessary while on the other hand ensuring the minimum of 2 days for reply.
This way game of 60 moves (average game of chess is just over 40) will be finished within a year (great for annually based competitions - for instance, leagues).
This time limit is roughly similar to 3 days per move but with better possibility of time menagement.



Earl of Norfolk





 Topics started


United States
Fri Jun 15 2007 7:13PM | MsgID: 7015125


Originally posted by: "trooperscoop"

None of my games have reached the point where castling is allowed according to these rules, so I can't
tell whether or not the system allows it...




It doesn't at the present time.



trooperscoop



 Topics started


Canada
Fri Jun 15 2007 7:08PM | MsgID: 7015083


Originally posted by: "Moahunter"
I think an advantage of Chess960 is that pretty much any Orthodox chess player can immediately play it. The main confusion is only in respect to castling.




After starting this thread, I've had a number of people, including Moahunter here, invite me for
Chess960 games. I've found it really interesting as each position brings about different strengths
and weaknesses, and possibility for some quick attacks.

According to Wikipedia, castling is allowed in Chess960, although it's a bit specialized.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess960

None of my games have reached the point where castling is allowed according to these rules, so I can't
tell whether or not the system allows it...



Moahunter



 Topics started


Canada
Fri Jun 15 2007 6:53PM | MsgID: 7014891


Originally posted by: "Lekoandsvidler"
Idea for a variant: Chess960 start positions with a Marshall or a Chancellor substituted for the Queen. Marshall=Rook+Knight, Chancellor=Bishop+Knight. A pawn could promote to a Queen, Marshall, Chancellor, Rook, Bishop or Knight.
As far as I am aware, Shogi is not dominated by programs yet. Perhaps Shogi is the variant we are looking for.
I like the idea of a Brain Games Gym.
The Brain Games Gym could include Go. Go is definitely not dominated by programs.
It would be nice if the Fischerandom programming were implemented.




My only concern with Shogi is that it might be too big a step for many Orthodox chess players. I think an advantage of Chess960 is that pretty much any Orthodox chess player can immediately play it. The main confusion is only in respect to castling.



Lekoandsvidler





 Topics started


United States
Fri Jun 15 2007 6:45PM | MsgID: 7014840


Idea for a variant: Chess960 start positions with a Marshall or a Chancellor substituted for the Queen. Marshall=Rook+Knight, Chancellor=Bishop+Knight. A pawn could promote to a Queen, Marshall, Chancellor, Rook, Bishop or Knight.
As far as I am aware, Shogi is not dominated by programs yet. Perhaps Shogi is the variant we are looking for.
I like the idea of a Brain Games Gym.
The Brain Games Gym could include Go. Go is definitely not dominated by programs.
It would be nice if the Fischerandom programming were implemented.




Earl of Norfolk





 Topics started


United States
Fri Jun 15 2007 6:10PM | MsgID: 7014640


Originally posted by: "kingscrusher"

The thing is, by carrying the Fischer name, it can be a gateway of interest into Fischer's games on the Master's collection. When we had the game of the day with Fischer, it was an extremely popular game to try out. And we didn't get complaints on the Helpdesk that day mentioning Fischer. So is there a real risk in using the "Fischer-random" title - it can have a link to his games on the Masters collection?! Surely people can seperate out the chess player from the rest of the person ?! And what if we wanted to also implement the Fischer-clock. Should we again call it something different ?!




Could there be copyright concerns by using Fischer's name? After all, he's been known to sue people over much more trivial things than this.



Moahunter



 Topics started


Canada
Fri Jun 15 2007 5:46PM | edited: 6:07:23 | MsgID: 7014525


[Quote from: "kingscrusher"]
[Quote from: "Moahunter"]...
I think maybe we should perhaps avoid calling it FisherRandom though, except in brackets or similar (until people are familiar with Chess960 term).



The thing is, by carrying the Fischer name, it can be a gateway of interest into Fischer's games on the Master's collection. When we had the game of the day with Fischer, it was an extremely popular game to try out. And we didn't get complaints on the Helpdesk that day mentioning Fischer. So is there a real risk in using the "Fischer-random" title - it can have a link to his games on the Masters collection?! Surely people can seperate out the chess player from the rest of the person ?! And what if we wanted to also implement the Fischer-clock. Should we again call it something different ?!



Maybe you are right, I would hope people can separate the two. But maybe some groups that Fischer has offended personally are so upset that this isn't so easy. It seems to me there is a reason for the push to change the name to Chess960. I agree though that the Fischer name provides an interesting endorsment / histroical context.

Names can be important. If a new game was called "Evil Dictator" Chess, or similar, I suspect it would struggle.

I don't know enough about Fischer's personal comments, but he has offended certain groups, who may not like playing a game that is named in his honor. That would be a shame if the game itself has merit.



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