Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

The very latest International round up of English news.
LawrenceCooper
Posts: 5104
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:13 am

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by LawrenceCooper » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:50 pm

A win for Yu in standard and wins for Carlsen & Anand in armageddon, the other two being drawn. Anand-Ding was an entertaining miniature.

User avatar
Paolo Casaschi
Posts: 1090
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:46 am

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:08 pm

I think it would have been better to combine the armageddon game with a 3-1-0 score for the main game, I mean: a win in the main game gives 3 point; a draw in the main game gives 1 point each and 1 point to the winner of the armageddon.
Not a big difference but it seems to me the current point system gives too much weight to winning the armageddon.

David Robertson
Posts: 2175
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:24 pm
Contact:

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by David Robertson » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:38 pm

Oh, yes!! Such joy. I could watch this forever :D :D :D

Aronian sees mate in 1. Waits for handshake, or even a cry of anguish. Instead we get...So. Rude

User avatar
Matt Mackenzie
Posts: 2902
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:51 pm
Location: Millom, Cumbria

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:04 pm

Indeed, it is fair to say this particular experiment has not been an unalloyed success.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

NickFaulks
Posts: 5174
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:23 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:04 pm
Indeed, it is fair to say this particular experiment has not been an unalloyed success.
Pity, because I thought the format was a promising one. I agree with Paolo's suggested improvement but, as he said, that is a minor issue.

I think the problem lies with the prize distribution. Once you accept that you aren't going to finish near the top, the scoring system is largely irrelevant.

Perhaps there is a reason why the Norwegian organisers wanted such a big chunk of the prize fund to go to first place.

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 9007
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:40 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:23 pm
Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:04 pm
Indeed, it is fair to say this particular experiment has not been an unalloyed success.
Pity, because I thought the format was a promising one. I agree with Paolo's suggested improvement but, as he said, that is a minor issue.

I think the problem lies with the prize distribution. Once you accept that you aren't going to finish near the top, the scoring system is largely irrelevant.

Perhaps there is a reason why the Norwegian organisers wanted such a big chunk of the prize fund to go to first place.
It is evidently not today, but there is going to come a time when the chess world accepts that the problem is that with the standard of chess being what it is, when the top 10 players in the world play chess against each other at a standardplay time limit, about 75% of the games are going to be drawn. It doesn't matter what you follow the drawn game with. We've seen the same pattern over many years now, so it's not clear to me why people still think that tinkering around the edges is going to solve the problem.

If more decisive games are desired while maintaining a reasonable sort of standard, then the solution is to play a rapidplay time limit.

The other solution might be to have tournaments with more than just the top 10 playing in them over and over again, like every other individual sport (e.g. tennis, snooker, darts, golf) seems to do.

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 3049
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:20 pm

"The other solution might be to have tournaments with more than just the top 10 playing in them over and over again, like every other individual sport (e.g. tennis, snooker, darts, golf) seems to do."

There is a lot to be said for that. And the occasional tournament with only top players is good. Even so, whereas the 100th ranked player might get a set, frame, leg, hole etc., in the appropriate sport, and celebrate, in chess, you probably just lose.

But surely the top players get a bit fed up seeing the same opponents every tournament?

User avatar
Matt Mackenzie
Posts: 2902
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:51 pm
Location: Millom, Cumbria

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:13 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:20 pm
But surely the top players get a bit fed up seeing the same opponents every tournament?
That's nothing new though, the top players used to complain of the lack of variety in the inter-war years.

I suppose at any one time there's only so many "top players" to go round?
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

NickFaulks
Posts: 5174
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:03 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.
I'm not convinced, since the big culprit may be opening analysis, assisted by computers. At club level where I play, and I think also quite a lot higher, this is not too important because "there's many a slip". However, the top players do seem able to envisage at move one the defensible ending which they intend to reach with Black and then draw it.

I shall not accept that chess, defined in broad terms, is dead until 960 has been given a serious try.

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 9007
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:50 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:20 pm
There is a lot to be said for that. And the occasional tournament with only top players is good. Even so, whereas the 100th ranked player might get a set, frame, leg, hole etc., in the appropriate sport, and celebrate, in chess, you probably just lose.
Take a look at the Chess World Cup, and you occasionally get a good run from an underdog, a bit like you would in a Grand Slam tennis tournament, or the UK Snooker Championship. This is usually accompanied by wails of objection, and noise that this is proof that the whole format is unsuitable for a chess tournament, and what are FIDE thinking for organising such a thing?
Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:20 pm
But surely the top players get a bit fed up seeing the same opponents every tournament?
Perhaps more importantly from a "chess as a professional sport" perspective, rather than the series of glorified exhibitions we have now, do the spectators get a bit fed up of seeing the same players every tournament? I know I do, but I seem to have different views on the whole subject compared to many.
NickFaulks wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:03 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.
I'm not convinced, since the big culprit may be opening analysis, assisted by computers. At club level where I play, and I think also quite a lot higher, this is not too important because "there's many a slip". However, the top players do seem able to envisage at move one the defensible ending which they intend to reach with Black and then draw it.

I shall not accept that chess, defined in broad terms, is dead until 960 has been given a serious try.
I think statistics would back up that there are fewer draws in rapidplay than there are in standardplay. I'm quite content to define rapidplay as chess "in broad terms". I don't understand why the chess public gnashes its teeth at the thought of Rapidplay.

Norway Chess, which can basically do whatever it wants in terms of format and prize money, could easily have organised a 32-player Rapidplay tournament, played as a knockout which is best-of-4 and maybe a longer best-of-8 final. Have the Armageddon if the match is drawn. It'd take fewer days (maybe 6 or 7), probably be more TV friendly, have fewer draws, and they could have the world's top 16 players, and have 16 lower-rated wildcards - Norwegian players, female players, or other players who they think might be interesting to see.

I think this is the sort of thing big tournament organisers need to do to avoid a drawfest if that's what they want, and not keep trying to make classical Round Robins for the top 10 work.

David Sedgwick
Posts: 3522
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by David Sedgwick » 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.

Paul Cooksey
Posts: 469
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:15 pm

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by Paul Cooksey » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:08 pm

I don't think we need to reinvent the wheel. Wijk know how to organise an event in a way that generates the maximum amount of interesting chess for serious chess players.

Clearly GCT and Nordic have other aims, they prefer a more sport like model to try attract the casual fan. If they are not doing that, maybe they should go for more rapid or 960. But it seems a bit pointless me complaining. Fortunately I'm getting some good entertainment in-between the horror show of things like the Bh6 0-1 blunder

NickFaulks
Posts: 5174
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by NickFaulks » 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.

David Sedgwick
Posts: 3522
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by David Sedgwick » 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"?

NickFaulks
Posts: 5174
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Altibox Norway 2019 - the future of chess?

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:05 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:24 pm
And wouldn't wider adoption of Chess960 be finding a way "to ensure that the players make more mistakes"?
I don't think that today's reliance on prepared opening analysis is an intended consequence of the rules, rather an unanticipated limitation on the game. It would not trouble me if players were forced to think for themselves much earlier than at present, perhaps even at move one.

Post Reply