Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

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J T Melsom
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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:16 am

960 isn't chess. Variants are at best a curiosity. Whilst I can admire the excellence of the top players and sometimes relate to their strategies even when the outcome may all be down to preparation, that connection would be lost entirely if the pieces were re-arranged in a different starting position. I have no personal need or desire to play 960 so no interest in others doing so.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:50 am

"In cricket, batsmen are hitting boundaries with too much ease,"

Because the authorities made life more difficult for bowlers, calling "wide" if it missed the leg stump by a nanometre, and making the pitches less likely to help bowlers. Tennis could be improved by changing the weight of the ball, so you couldn't hit 140 mph serves. Both sports could be improved by stopping the time-wasting as well.

"It would not trouble me if players were forced to think for themselves much earlier than at present, perhaps even at move one."

John Sargent organized "Selected Opening" tournaments in Civil Service Chess 30 years ago. You selected a card from a biscuit tin and found you were playing a Najdorf or Colle or Evans Gambit etc. This is the way draughts went.

Chess 960 assuredly is chess and from the events I have played in, the better players usually still win. In the European Championship last year, I lost to the 5 GMs I played, and beat the 4 lower-rated players.

There's nothing wrong with different formats and time-limits, but I think the world championship should be run as "classical chess". If you run a tournament in Norway, a distillery or wherever, that leaves scope for RP, KO etc.

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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:15 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:55 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:40 pm
If more decisive games are desired while maintaining a reasonable sort of standard, then the solution is to play a rapidplay time limit.
There are intermediate options.

Topalov has suggested that Classic games should now be played with 90 minutes each (so G/60 + 30 secs or G/75 + 15 secs).

But FIDE will not currently allow games with this time limit to be rated for players over 2200, either as Standardplay or as Rapidplay.
Indeed. There's also the Zurich tournament, which uses something like Game/45 + 30', from memory?
David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:24 pm
NickFaulks wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:32 pm
All of the suggestions for making top level chess more entertaining seem to involve finding ways to ensure that the players make more mistakes.

Perhaps this insight could be applied to other sports too. In cricket, batsmen are hitting boundaries with too much ease, so let's tie their bootlaces together. Just one idea, others are welcomed.
That sort of thing has been done in other sports. For instance, javelins were made heavier so that athletes couldn't throw them so far.

And wouldn't wider adoption of Chess960 be finding a way "to ensure that the players make more mistakes"?
There are even better examples. Cricket limited the number of overs to make batsmen "make more mistakes" insofar as they lose their wicket more quickly than a 5-day match.

Golf balls were made bigger, so that golfers couldn't hit them as far. This was in the 1960s, I think?

English billiards introduced all sorts of rules, because the players got too good for the sport. They forced the players to have a mix of cannons and pots. There's a rule that says your cueball has to cross the baulk line between every 80 and 100 points in a break. When people were playing in matches making unfinished breaks of 499,135, with the opponent not even showing up for most of the sessions, it got rather farcical. The regulations have been made progressively tighter, and now a break over 1,000 is quite rare.

Mike Gunn
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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Mike Gunn » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:39 am

The London Chess Classic was much more entertaining from the spectator's point of view when the 8 players consisted of 4 from the top 10 and 4 English GMs (more decisive results and occasionally the English underdog would win), so here's a vote for more mixed (in terms of ability) tournaments . The BBC Master Game was entertaining, too, probably they had a rule that if a game was drawn it had to be replayed, because I don't remember many draws? In a tournament between equally matched players try 1 point for a win and nothing for a draw or a loss?

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:03 pm

"The BBC Master Game was entertaining, too, probably they had a rule that if a game was drawn it had to be replayed, because I don't remember many draws? In a tournament between equally matched players try 1 point for a win and nothing for a draw or a loss?"

I'm not sure they had that rule, but some 19th Century tournaments did have the "replaying the drawn game" rule. In some ways that was odd, as draws then were normally full of fight, not an extra "rest day".

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:14 pm

Master Game had group stages and then knockouts, no? Certainly in the latter years - draws weren't replayed in the group stages but for obvious reasons had to be later on, I think it eventually went down to 15 minute games or similar.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

NickFaulks
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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:59 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:50 am
This is the way draughts went.
On its way to extinction.
but I think the world championship should be run as "classical chess".

The trouble is that if chess is a draw, as I think most top players now assume*, and the world's two best players are good enough to prove that over the board, is the solution really to rush them in the hope of extracting an error? That doesn't sound like a very satisfactory contest to me.


*edited in the light of a comment below.
Last edited by NickFaulks on Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:06 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:59 pm
Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:50 am
This is the way draughts went.
On its way to extinction.
but I think the world championship should be run as "classical chess".

The trouble is that if chess is a draw, as I think we all now assume, and the world's two best players are good enough to prove that over the board, is the solution really to rush them in the hope of extracting an error? That doesn't sound like a very satisfactory contest to me.
Even the strongest computer programs, playing well above a level any human can manage, don't draw all their games against each other.

So I don't think this can be "assumed" at all.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

NickFaulks
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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:57 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:06 pm
NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:59 pm
The trouble is that if chess is a draw, as I think we all now assume,
Even the strongest computer programs, playing well above a level any human can manage, don't draw all their games against each other.

So I don't think this can be "assumed" at all.
Fair enough, although I genuinely did not realise that this view still existed.

I have edited my post to something less sweeping in the light of your comment.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:10 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:16 am
960 isn't chess.
In that case, neither are adjournments and quickplay finishes. All three have the same status in the FIDE Laws.

John McKenna
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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by John McKenna » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:11 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:55 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:40 pm
If more decisive games are desired while maintaining a reasonable sort of standard, then the solution is to play a rapidplay time limit.
There are intermediate options.

Topalov has suggested that Classic games should now be played with 90 minutes each (so G/60 + 30 secs or G/75 + 15 secs).

But FIDE will not currently allow games with this time limit to be rated for players over 2200, either as Standardplay or as Rapidplay.
How ironic would it be if FIDE agreed to rate games played at the above-mentioned time controls for all players and thereby finally allow "slow-play" ECF graded games to be FIDE rated.

I also have long found it ironic that I've had to play evening and weekend games at considerably faster time controls than the top players' "classical" ones.

Always thought it should it be the other way round.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

J T Melsom
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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by J T Melsom » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:59 am

Is 960 chess? I was giving a personal emotional view - how it is legally treated by FIDE hardly seems relevant. I'm not stopping others playing 960, just saying that I wouldn't regard top level players doing so more extensively as something that would grow my interest.

David Robertson
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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by David Robertson » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:31 pm

Caution Tournament-related comment

Mild-mannered, softly-spoken Anand hits out at Armageddon arrangements

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:53 pm

John McKenna wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:11 am
How ironic would it be if FIDE agreed to rate games played at the above-mentioned time controls for all players and thereby finally allow "slow-play" ECF graded games to be FIDE rated.
Not sure Alanis Morrissette would be too troubled by the irony.

But watch this space - there has been increasing demand from various people to change the 4-hour rule. It won't be done in time for 1st July, 2020; but perhaps 1st July, 2021. There's rather a lot of consultation before then.

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Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:59 pm

David Robertson wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:31 pm
Caution Tournament-related comment

Mild-mannered, softly-spoken Anand hits out at Armageddon arrangements
Was quite disappointed. Not exactly McEnroe-esque.

I side with Grischuk's view on it - they knew the conditions when they agreed to play in it...

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