Chess as a spectator sport

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
PeterTurland
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Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by PeterTurland » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:07 pm

Yeah and then tell me human affairs are run in a logical fashion, when everybody keeps believing economics is only about money, instead of about resource management, and then tell me the one sport, that involves logic, to a supreme example is rubbish as a spectator sport, when we had a beautiful example today!
Last edited by PeterTurland on Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Simon Brown
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Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by Simon Brown » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:07 pm

Clive Blackburn wrote:
David Robertson wrote:Chess, under these 'visually linguistic' conditions, is unfilmable and unwatchable.
So David, how do you explain the relative success of The Master Game?

Has television really changed all that much since 1980?
Yes it has. How many channels were available in 1980?

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:10 pm

Come on, there were still alternative channels even back then - that wasn't the *only* reason why people watched it!
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

David Robertson
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Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by David Robertson » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:12 pm

Clive Blackburn wrote:
David Robertson wrote:Chess, under these 'visually linguistic' conditions, is unfilmable and unwatchable.
So David, how do you explain the relative success of The Master Game?

Has television really changed all that much since 1980?
Of course. Colossally. Look again at The Master Game, and count to the cut (scene change). Now compare with pretty much any other TV programme. Something like MOTD doesn't require 'cut pace' because the action is in-built (hence, its popularity worldwide). But most other stuff does

Clive Blackburn

Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by Clive Blackburn » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:39 pm

As I sit reading this Forum, I am watching the Weather Forecast on BBC1.

So far there is very little action (occasionally a cloud moves) but there were only 2 cuts I think in about 3 minutes :-)

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Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by David Robertson » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:10 pm

OK. Somehow I think I'm wasting my time here

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David Shepherd
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Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by David Shepherd » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:06 am

Personally I don't think chess is a sport at all, but that depends on how you define sport. However people watch the commentary for Gibraltar, World Championships etc. and enjoy doing so. Whilst watching two players sat at the board rarely moving is not great for the average spectator, the addition of live commentary makes it a wholly different matter. Test match special on the radio has proved that having a quality commentary can attract a reasonably large following. There are a huge number of casual players in the country and I am surprised the TV networks have not at least tried a few half hour programs with for example Lawrence Trent and Stephen Gordon providing the entertaining banter.

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Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:19 am

Simon Ansell wrote:It's very easy to explain checkmate imo: the object of the game is to capture the enemy king, and checkmate is simply the move before this unavoidably occurs.
You can't say to people that you have to "capture the enemy king", because no game of chess ends by capturing the enemy King. Indeed, it's explicitly prohibited in the Laws of Chess.

What happens if it's check and the opponent doesn't get out of check? The player responds by capturing the King, fulfilling the object as you've described it, and apparently winning the game. Your definition makes 'the object of the game' and 'checkmate' mutually exclusive, and they're not.

If the Laws of Chess were changed so that there was no such thing as check, checkmate or stalemate and that the game ended when a player captured the other player's King (even with his own King) it'd be far easier for people to understand. In fact, I've wondered about the merits of letting children think this is the rule, and then introducing the idea of check and checkmate later on when they get used to capturing the King. Adults could quite happily play an extra move after checkmate without the game fundamentally changing, and a player whose King gets captured because he left it in check will lose by making an illegal move in Rapidplay and Blitz from July 2014 anyway. Or indeed, a player could resign when he sees it's checkmate. A baseball analogy. If you hit the ball over the fence, it's not a homerun until you've ran (or trotted) around the basepaths and touched all the bases.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:35 am

Mark Crowther at TWIC gave a link to the success of the live coverage by the Norwegian state broadcaster of the match in India.


http://www.newsinenglish.no/2013/11/12/ ... -chess-tv/

There was also this piece on ChessBase

http://www.chessbase.com/post/the-pyjam ... -interview

It didn't happen in 1993.
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

E Michael White
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Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by E Michael White » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:38 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:....will lose by making an illegal move in Rapidplay and Blitz from July 2014 anyway.....
Oh no they won't !

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Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:39 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:[
If the Laws of Chess were changed so that there was no such thing as check, checkmate or stalemate and that the game ended when a player captured the other player's King (even with his own King) it'd be far easier for people to understand.
Televised sport is full of apparently obscure rules. Isn't that part of the appeal?

Non-players could enjoy "The Master Game" because of the drama of the clash of egos or personalities.

Simon Ansell
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Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by Simon Ansell » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:56 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Simon Ansell wrote:It's very easy to explain checkmate imo: the object of the game is to capture the enemy king, and checkmate is simply the move before this unavoidably occurs.
You can't say to people that you have to "capture the enemy king", because no game of chess ends by capturing the enemy King. Indeed, it's explicitly prohibited in the Laws of Chess.
Well, I'm not sure what your strategy is when playing chess, but I've always been trying to capture my opponent's king. Maybe I've been doing it wrong all these years. It's an abstraction. What are kids taught the objective is when they're learning the game?
What happens if it's check and the opponent doesn't get out of check? The player responds by capturing the King, fulfilling the object as you've described it, and apparently winning the game.
We both know the answer to this, but you don't have to explain everything at once. When this situation occurs in Anand - Carlsen tomorrow, I'm sure Lawrence and Tania will be able to explain simply and eloquently to the viewers that Magnus forgot his king was attacked and had to retract his move and make a different one, because that's what the laws say.
Your definition makes 'the object of the game' and 'checkmate' mutually exclusive, and they're not
I don't understand this bit. It's a small abstraction, as above.

edit: i hesitate to use wikipedia as a source, but "chess is a two-player strategy board game... with the objective to 'checkmate' the opponent's king by placing it under an inescapable threat of capture"

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Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by Chris Rice » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:57 am

edit: i hesitate to use wikipedia as a source, but "chess is a two-player strategy board game... with the objective to 'checkmate' the opponent's king by placing it under an inescapable threat of capture"[/quote]

I think this could arguably include stalemate positions and thus give further fuel to the argument that it should be a win for the side doing the stalemating.

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Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:59 pm

Simon Ansell wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Simon Ansell wrote:It's very easy to explain checkmate imo: the object of the game is to capture the enemy king, and checkmate is simply the move before this unavoidably occurs.
You can't say to people that you have to "capture the enemy king", because no game of chess ends by capturing the enemy King. Indeed, it's explicitly prohibited in the Laws of Chess.
Well, I'm not sure what your strategy is when playing chess, but I've always been trying to capture my opponent's king. Maybe I've been doing it wrong all these years. It's an abstraction. What are kids taught the objective is when they're learning the game?
I've been trying to put them in checkmate. :wink:

It depends who's teaching the children. The CSC syllabus goes to great lengths to explain that:
(1) The King is not allowed to move to a square on which an enemy piece can capture it
(2) The concept of check and how to escape check
(3) It's checkmate when you can't escape check
(4) Checkmate decides the game

I don't see a reference in the syllabus to the object being to capture the King; only that checkmate decides the game. To me, this implies that the object is to checkmate, rather than capture the King.
Simon Ansell wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:What happens if it's check and the opponent doesn't get out of check? The player responds by capturing the King, fulfilling the object as you've described it, and apparently winning the game.
We both know the answer to this, but you don't have to explain everything at once. When this situation occurs in Anand - Carlsen tomorrow, I'm sure Lawrence and Tania will be able to explain simply and eloquently to the viewers that Magnus forgot his king was attacked and had to retract his move and make a different one, because that's what the laws say.
We both know the answer to this, but we play chess. If a casual observer has been told that the object is to capture the King, and then a player does so, and the casual observer has it explained to him that you can't capture the King, you get conflicting information.
Simon Ansell wrote:
Your definition makes 'the object of the game' and 'checkmate' mutually exclusive, and they're not
I don't understand this bit. It's a small abstraction, as above.
The Laws of Chess state:
1.2 The objective of each player is to place the opponent’s king ‘under attack’ in such a way that the opponent has no legal move. The player who achieves this goal is said to have ‘checkmated’ the opponent’s king and to have won the game. Leaving one’s own king under attack, exposing one’s own king to attack and also ’capturing’ the opponent’s king are not allowed. The opponent whose king has been checkmated has lost the game.

It can't be an abstraction to define the object of chess as something other than checkmate.

An example of an abstraction in maths: You multiply by 10 by putting a zero on the end. 3*10 = 30. Then watch as kids write 1.3*10 = 1.30. In my opinion, it's better to get the definition right in the first place, rather than give one definition and then change it. Even if it takes a while to digest the definition. This is why I haven't experimented with letting kids capture Kings.
If you say to children that the object of the game is to capture the King, but actually, you're not supposed to capture the King, they'll get confused. Given they have no real experience of putting someone's King in check in such a way that they cannot escape check, it's difficult for people to conceptualise.

Clive Blackburn

Re: Chess as a spectator sport

Post by Clive Blackburn » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:15 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote: If the Laws of Chess were changed so that there was no such thing as check, checkmate or stalemate and that the game ended when a player captured the other player's King (even with his own King) it'd be far easier for people to understand.
It would be easier to understand yes but the game would be changed completely, especially the endings.

For instance, the ending K v K+P would always be a win for the player with the pawn, he would simply play for the stalemate position and then wait for his opponent to move into check, thereby losing the game.

Also it would be possible in some positions to win with a lone N or B.

K + RP + B of the wrong colour would become a very simple win.

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