Page 1 of 1

On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:00 am
by MJMcCready
Greetings, it's been with some reluctance that I begun playing on-line both casually and competitively earlier this year. For reasons still unclear somewhat, I've always shied away from playing chess on-line. But since April, I have played about 500 games and have noticed a few things along the way, which I can't tell are just down to myself or inherent in the experiences themselves.

Firstly, when playing on-line the sense of occasion just isn't there or if it is, is greatly diminished. There are no formalities to go through, nothing much to do except click on a few things. You have limited scope to get to know your opponent and feeling like a team player is tougher because you are sitting alone and aren't interacting with anyone in the usual manner.

Secondly, gauging your opponent isn't easy because the ratings for different sites vary, and its hard to know which rating has the most credence. Your ability to size up your opponent by how they respond to the moves played isn't there so much also it seems. Another issue is concentration levels. Some people watch things whilst playing and others just flit between other websites or delve into social media, so you can't tell how seriously they are taking it. Again, this would not happen with chess OTB.

Thirdly, playing on a 2-D set and playing with a real set are different experiences. To me, the concept of space is altered somehow. I personally feel that if I am looking at a real set and moving pieces with my hands I see more. I have experimented with this by setting up positions from the screen. Somehow pieces having physical properties makes it easier to see where they can move to or should be moving to going. Not so much with the king, knight or pawn but definitely with the pieces which cover more of the board with their moves.

Anyway, those are the things I have noticed so far, has anyone else encountered similar experiences or has found reasons why one form of chess is inherently better than the other? I certainly like the instant accessibility of on-line chess but have noted that whenever I play OTB, I always make sure I am ready and focused but on-line it doesn't go like that and I am quite often not ready or easily distracted by being on-line itself.

M

Re: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:49 am
by Nick Ivell
Let me cut to the chase here.

OTB is chess. Online isn't.

Cheating, mouse-slips, disconnections? I rest my case...

Re: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:59 am
by Matt Bridgeman
I think Adam Raoof’s Tornelo and Zoom tournaments are excellent for reducing cheating down to very low levels. I think one of the issues with playing in longer time control tournaments on chess.com and Lichess is the rise of the smart cheater in these post-lockdown times. The ones who seem able to fly under the radar of the cheating detection software, but happily elevate their ECF strength 30-40 points over their over the board strength. They are a real nuisance!

Re: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:21 am
by Eric Gardiner
Nick Ivell wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:49 am

Cheating, mouse-slips, disconnections? I rest my case...
To that list I can add algorithms making instant judgements about whether humans are being unsporting as I mentioned previously.

Re: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:27 am
by Nick Ivell
I only mentioned three things to back up my opinion that the online stuff is fundamentally UNSERIOUS.

Re: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:37 am
by Matthew Turner
Nick,
I think it is a bit more subtle than that. There is absolutely no reason why you can't have elite chess online and social chess. The problem comes with what you might regard as semi-professional (or semi-serious if you like). Strangely, in the CoVid19 era doesn't every sport have similar problems?

Re: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:43 am
by Matt Bridgeman
Boxing has come back a little bit, with expensive to run non-audience events by Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren. I did notice that the British Athletics Championship got two days of extensive coverage on the BBC for the sport starved public. As there was an general absence of our best athletes, there was actually a sort of 'once in a lifetime' level of exposure for good club athletes, who would never usually get on tv.

Re: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:03 am
by MJMcCready
Nick Ivell wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:27 am
I only mentioned three things to back up my opinion that the online stuff is fundamentally UNSERIOUS.
But is that down to the nature of the beast or is it just that it's not taken seriously by the vast majority?

Re: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:11 pm
by Joey Stewart
The other issue with online chess is it gives players anonymity to make extremely unpleasant comments or just be general twats in celebrating their cheated and swindled victories - the sort of thing that would likely get you punched in the face in real life, but online there is rarely even any action taken against such types.

however, the one thing I do quite enjoy that you can only do online is playing a wildly unsound move in time trouble which can skank you an undeserved win as the other guy pre moves and misses it.

Edit. I was going to make a comment that people cannot "stall" in over the board, but in fact you could quite rightfully run your clock down to zero in a lost position if you were feeling especially belligerent, though your reputation would be somewhat tarnished as a result.

Re: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:23 pm
by MJMcCready
Yeah its the depersonalization of it all that I am not comfortable with. Like you say, people do things they wouldn't really do in OTB chess. I really don't like it when I play an opening then 2 or 3 moves in my opponent spends about 3-5 mins on a reply. I can tell they've gone on line to check the opening out or work out how to proceed. Why else would you flash through your first two or three moves then spend minutes on the next in a 15 min game?

Re: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:58 pm
by Nick Grey
lag? ONLY OTB is chess.

Re: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:33 pm
by John Clarke
Have to agree with MJM about playing with an actual set vs playing (or thinking) from diagrams. I'll extend that sentiment a bit by stating that for some intangible reason, the better the equipment, the less worse I seem to play. Genuine Jacques Staunton pieces on a well-crafted inlaid wooden board will always be a more pleasurable experience than any plastic set, however well-proportioned, and definitely add some some kind of positive spur to one's thinking.

Re: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:41 pm
by Dave Ewart
I played my first 'real' online tournament on Sunday (Witney Rapidplay: nicely organised, worked very well - thanks to all involved) and I was expecting all the points MJM to raise to be true, and they were. I miss the occasion, I miss the tactile nature of playing on a real board and so on. However, I found that the stress of being in a difficult position was still there: a 20-minute time limit is enough to make them serious games, and enough to get the pulse racing.

Different types of chess, still prefer OTB, but online definitely has its place right now!

Re: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:08 pm
by Adam Raoof
In my events on Tornelo we have all the players on zoom. This means that as long as you can see the board, that players can use a real chess set to play the game by repeating the moves from the screen, but this only works in a standard game!