2018 World Championship in London

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Mike Gunn
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Mike Gunn » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:43 pm

It's just the same as in football where Sam Allardyce teams play a risk-free approach - get all your men behind the ball and hope to win on the break. The objective is to minimise losses - you get plenty of draws and a few wins. In chess you get lots of draws when you have Sam Allardyce type players playing each other e.g. Caruana or Carlsen (of the last 3 or 4 years). We just have to be patient, another Alekhine, Tal, Fischer, Kasparov or the younger Carlsen will be along sooner or later.

Richard Bates
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Richard Bates » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:54 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:37 pm
Richard Bates wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:30 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:20 am

In my mind it shows that chess has moved on significantly, and there are now a number of players capable of playing as well as the World Champion for a prolonged period of time, rather than the old days where over a match of this length, you could be reasonably sure the stronger player would outplay the weaker player. This is a reason why the format of the World Championship cycle is unsuitable in modern chess, in my opinion.
This smacks to me of misanalysing what has happened to support a conclusion you want to come to. For a start, close World Championship matches between closely match players is hardly a new thing. And often when the gaps in official ratings were far more than they are today. One could point to higher numbers of draws, but then there are also plenty of counter examples from the past. The difference was that matches required certain numbers of wins as well as being longer.

And let’s not forget, how easily Carlsen has won is not an issue, the fact is he has won every match.

We’ve just had a match where the two best players in the World (and most closely matched in history) have had an incredibly close match. If you believe in the accuracy of the rating system why would we expect anything else?

You want to replace it with a system where there is a high chance that neither player would even reach the final.
Lots to unpick here, but I think you're wrong for several reasons.

My points are that:
1. Objectively the players at the top are better than they were 20-30 years ago, and it is demonstrably true that the likelihood of a drawn game increases the higher the ratings of the players. Take the Women's World Championship Final in Khanty - four games but two decisive results; of course their ratings were of the order of 200 to 300 points lower.
2. The top 10 in the world are more closely matched now than they were in the Kasparov/Karpov eras, which again makes a draw a much more likely result in tournaments like this.

There's a difference between a close World Championship match where all games are drawn, and a close World Championship where there are decisive games. Changing the format doesn't increase the likelihood of decisive games (or at least, if it were a knockout, you would have more decisive games in the early rounds than the later rounds), but what it would do is reflect the fact that there are more players of a similar standard now than has been the case in the past.

In the Women's World Championship just completed; the Final pitted the #1 seed against the #3 seed. I proposed a format some way back where there wouldn't be a Final; it either ended based on the result of a Grand Prix, or the Candidates format was used for the Final. But in any case, so what? If the World #1 loses to the #64 seed in a 2-game match, does he or she deserve to be World Champion? If Magnus lost his protection to the World Championship match, if he could only finish 24th in the European Championship (and so failed to qualify for the World Cup), does he deserve to be World Champion?
(One of) my points was that you are arguing that the current format is “no longer appropriate” to determine a World champion. When in fact the “current format” is a pretty modern invention in itself having only been in place for 10 years and pretty much ever since its inception has resulted in matches like this ie. risk averse chess with high numbers of draws and need to resort to tie breaks. I have no disagreement that the format is arguably part of the problem. But it doesn’t automatically follow that the concept of long matches to determine the World Champion is outdated.

NickFaulks
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:06 pm

Richard Bates wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:54 pm
But it doesn’t automatically follow that the concept of long matches to determine the World Champion is outdated.
Quite the opposite, perhaps. We may have fixed something that was only broken in the sense that it was no longer affordable.
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Alex Holowczak
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:05 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:06 pm
Richard Bates wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:54 pm
But it doesn’t automatically follow that the concept of long matches to determine the World Champion is outdated.
Quite the opposite, perhaps. We may have fixed something that was only broken in the sense that it was no longer affordable.
I agree that it doesn't automatically follow, but I think very long matches are outdated. My bigger issue on the "outdated format" point is the protection of the Champion through the cycle, rather than the format of the Final.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:21 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:05 pm
My bigger issue on the "outdated format" point is the protection of the Champion through the cycle, rather than the format of the Final.
Kirsan tried to abolish this protection over twenty years ago. All it did was to make Khalifman supposedly the world champion. It's a development since then to reinstate the concept of a organised and semi open qualification process for challenger and then a champion v challenger direct match.

The proof of concept is that it attracts world and media interest in a way that the knock out World Cup or being number one on the rating list doesn't.

J T Melsom
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by J T Melsom » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:42 pm

The success of the existing format compared to the other fomats you refer to , are not proof of the intrinsic merit of the current format at all. Most media coverage revolves around human interest and a handle to make the event newsworthy. Other formats with the right marketing might also achieve this. And I'm pretty confident that the media interest spiked as we got to the end, when there was the prospect of an intense struggle reaching a conclusion.

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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:26 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:42 pm
And I'm pretty confident that the media interest spiked as we got to the end, when there was the prospect of an intense struggle reaching a conclusion.
I think it's fairly normal at the end of a long event. NRK had record viewing figures on the playoff day. But I'm sure more people watch a World Cup Final (rugby, cricket, football, tennis) than a game early on at the start. I'm sure more people watch the Last Night of the Proms than the one in the middle.

I think the issue with the knockout tournament format was that there were two concurrent World Championships, where the World #1 was boycotting one of them.

I like the idea of a Final to the World Chess Championship. If the playoff day is what gets viewers tuning in, then if anything you want the match to be best-of-2 rather than best-of-12 to make it more likely that you'll need the playoff day. That's why I like Mike Gunn's idea of a best-of-5 matches idea, where each match is best-of-2 with a playoff day if a mini-match 1-1.

J T Melsom
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by J T Melsom » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:36 pm

Agreed with the viewing figures bit, my point was simply that Roger cited viewing figures or media interest to say this format was better than options B or C. Lets of room for improvisation left with D to Z. The truth is that you can't manufacture human interest even in well followed sports, the drama is usually most memorable in the unpredictable. Several dull days at a Test followed by genuine brilliance or a collapse of wickets. One day games can also be formulaic, but if there is beer for sale and the match is over in a short period of time it matters less, because less is invested.

Nick Grey
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Nick Grey » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:40 pm

I'm speculating - has this been such a poor WCC that a New Years resolution may be to give up chess?
Or perhaps move to Norway? If Norway celebrates chess is grabbing attention.
Is Magnus going to retire? So putting a spoke up the next cycle.
Not a lot of London excitement. Too many other attractions.
I'm not impressed about playing in a box.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:54 pm

Nick Grey wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:40 pm
I'm not impressed about playing in a box.
Was there an alternative? If there's a requirement for high quality video close ups, how is this done without distracting the players? Audio too. When playing on stage in 1993, Short and Kasparov supposedly requested the commentators not to crack jokes as the audience reaction could be distracting.

Had the match been staged at Olympia, what could have been different?

Nick Grey
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Nick Grey » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:31 pm

On the 1993 match day I went to they removed the ear phones but put in extra opera glasses.
Then again I really cannot cope with multi-media, flashing lights, etc.
I'm happy to watch in silence & catch up with any analysis after & at a much later date.
Pretty depressed all November about the lack of coverage In London Chess Clubs, pubs/wine bars or cafes.

As my retirement age goes up year in year out maybe when I get to 70 we will have this all for free but I doubt it.

There is a real lack of chess magazines, others, and newspapers in public libraries now.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:04 am

Nick Grey wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:40 pm
Is Magnus going to retire? So putting a spoke up the next cycle.
I rather doubt it.
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Geoff Chandler
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Geoff Chandler » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:45 am

Hi David,

Yes I did change my mind on draw odds when I decided to look at a way
to sort this out this tie break farce and give it a real good look.
I'm flexible that way, ready to admit when I'm perhaps wrong.

I do not want rapid/blitz tie before or after the main event.
I realised the only real alternative is champion draw odds.

So I looked more closely at the matches with Champion draw odds and
came to the conclusion it was not the culprit.

Then looked to see what was the major difference....it's those damn clocks!

Hi Roger,

"You don't want nonsense like winning with a Knight and King against Knight and King."

You are quoting extreme cases. Show me a world championship that ended that way or any way like it.

There were 12 nigh error free games (a few were very good - game 6!)
followed by error prone rapid. 6-6 to 3-0 that is the nonsense part.
The game was reduced and portrayed like it was a circus act.
the players were suddenly the performing seals.

Hi Reg,

"If you don't use increments then sooner or later someone will lose on time, "

Players were losing on time long before the advent of these electronic all singing, all dancing clocks.
The game flourished, survived and produced some wonderful memorable of game chess.
Somehow I cannot see any of this 12 making a hot list and I pity an author bringing out a book of this match.
(though I will buy my copy for my collection.)

Something has to be done to help the game. Maybe tie breaks before the main event
might work. I cannot really knock it as it has not been tried before. (who knows?)

Champion draws odds has, it was in place for a long time and it worked.
I think the real bogey that is slowly strangling the game is increments.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:07 am

Geoff Chandler wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:45 am
You are quoting extreme cases. Show me a world championship that ended that way or any way like it.

Was it the US Ladies Championship which ended that way?

There won't have been any world championships because no-one was crazy enough to specify rules that have sudden death without increments.

A draw by the 50 move rule is valid, but you need enough time to demonstrate it. Hence increments, even ten second ones.

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JustinHorton
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:18 am

Geoff Chandler wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:45 am
Hi David,

Yes I did change my mind on draw odds when I decided to look at a way
to sort this out this tie break farce
Never mind that, could you sort out the line breaks? They render your posts barely readable.
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