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Pop Chess

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,179 ✭✭✭ sodacat11


    I was watching snooker today on t.v and they were discussing how to make snooker more popular for the masses, much the same debate that we hear in chess, golf, rugby , cricket and football. World snooker number 1 Trump wants to dispense with the suits and ties when they play, introduce shot clocks, have games with ten reds instead of fifteen etc etc. In football that clown Perez at Real Madrid wants to shorten match times to pander to the short attention spans of young people and we all heard about the disgusting European Super league recently. In golf there is talk of building 6 or12 hole courses instead of 18 because people don't have time any more to play 18. In cricket we now have 20/20 and limited over games, in rugby rugby sevens and so on.
    In chess we have shorter and shorter time controls, blitz and rapid events , blindfold tournaments, computer assisted games , Fischer random, armageddon tie breaks and numerous deviant versions of chess. Soon all the top players will have nicknames like they do in darts and snooker. At major events bikini clad women will lead the players out to their favourite songs while an announcer on the stage shouts into a microphone "and on board one we have Crusher Carlsen playing Devilish Dubov, board two sees Strangler So play Giri the Grinder". The whole idea in every sport seems to be to jazz everything up in a shallow American way, lots of fanfare and glitter, no build up just instant gratification and to hell with the essence of the games. All that is behind all these changes is marketing, pure and simple. The organisations that run the sports and the few elite players at the top want more and more money so they don't care about traditions or records. I don't see why sports have to be popularised at all. Football, Chess, Snooker, Golf have all survived for a very long time and all attract passionate and devoted practicioners and followers. I don't see why any of them need to be made more sexy just so they can appeal to a more shallow audience who cant appreciate the games for what they already are. It is sad how everything is being cheapened and devalued in the pursuit of commercial gain. Rant over, back to the snooker now.:pac:


Comments



  • I don't see it tbh, I think the advent of things like the Meltwater "Champions" Rapid Chess Tour is a good thing for chess. Yes the format is rapid, but there are enough matches in all stages of the competition to ensure the randomisation element is minimised. The prize money is good, the format works well for internet streaming and obviously with Covid it has been the saviour of high quality chess.

    Classical OTB will always remain the pinnacle of the sport, as Wijk an Zee and the recent candidates tournament has shown, and everyone is looking forward to the World Championship match in Dubai at the Expo 2020/21 in Nov/Dec.

    I think the 2 can live together and bring chess to a new level of popularity, cashing in on the likes of "The Queen's Gambit" et al. At the same time chess streaming is bringing new people to the game and the prevalence of online chess platforms like chess.com and lichess make access to the game for new players easier than ever.

    I don't see it as a dumbing down of chess, or a lowering of quality, I see it as a positive development bringing chess to a wider audience using a format that really works for the game.

    It is noteworthy that those who played the most online rapid tournaments in the past 12 months between candidates part 1 and candidates part 2, Giri, Nepo, MVL, were more successful in the resumption of the tournament then those who spent the time mainly in preparation like Caruana, Liren and Hao performed relatively poorly in comparison.




  • Inquitus wrote: »
    I don't see it tbh, I think the advent of things like the Meltwater "Champions" Rapid Chess Tour is a good thing for chess. Yes the format is rapid, but there are enough matches in all stages of the competition to ensure the randomisation element is minimised. The prize money is good, the format works well for internet streaming and obviously with Covid it has been the saviour of high quality chess.

    Classical OTB will always remain the pinnacle of the sport, as Wijk an Zee and the recent candidates tournament has shown, and everyone is looking forward to the World Championship match in Dubai at the Expo 2020/21 in Nov/Dec.

    I think the 2 can live together and bring chess to a new level of popularity, cashing in on the likes of "The Queen's Gambit" et al. At the same time chess streaming is bringing new people to the game and the prevalence of online chess platforms like chess.com and lichess make access to the game for new players easier than ever.

    I don't see it as a dumbing down of chess, or a lowering of quality, I see it as a positive development bringing chess to a wider audience using a format that really works for the game.

    It is noteworthy that those who played the most online rapid tournaments in the past 12 months between candidates part 1 and candidates part 2, Giri, Nepo, MVL, were more successful in the resumption of the tournament and those who spent the time mainly in preparation like Caruana, Liren and Hao performed relatively poorly in comparison.

    I agree with a lot of what you say but my point is why try to popularize chess? Why try to bring it to a wider audience especially if you have to speed it up or make it more sexy to do so? I don't buy the " chess will die otherwise" line as it has survived for a couple of thousand years already.
    I do my bit to get people playing chess as I coach a lot of children and have done so for years. I try to instill a love for the game into them and hope that it is something that they will enjoy forever but I don't expect that very many will end up playing in tournaments and that's fine. Chess is a great game that has stood the test of time and has even survived the introduction of computers, it doesn't need to be jazzed up in any way, it will never be a mainstream hobby anyway.




  • I just got back into chess very recently. The main reason was the online content (youtube videos, daily twitch streams, chess.com, meltwater).

    I've been completely addicted to it for the last few months. Online courses, playing 30 minute games, 24 hour move games, 960, puzzles etc.

    All that flashy stuff ultimately led to the pinnacle of watching the candidates tournament. So I don't believe shinier, quicker alternatives of chess take away from the original game, they enhance it and get more people to see it, notice and play it with the peak still being long over the board games.

    I will be joining a chess club as soon as restrictions are lifted and if I ever get to a decent level (doubtful) I would love to go an OTB tournament because that is what all these alternatives lead to




  • There’s nothing better than watching a top 5/10 player in the world casually battling it out with another, and him speaking his thoughts on the game as he goes along. Twitch is perfect for this, hikaru gets 25k viewers on a regular day. There really is no need to move this to tv as it couldn’t contribute anything extra, it would completely remove the spontaneity, which is the most watchable part. So really it is already very popular online, just not on mainstream tv.




  • begbysback wrote: »
    There’s nothing better than watching a top 5/10 player in the world casually battling it out with another, and him speaking his thoughts on the game as he goes along. Twitch is perfect for this, hikaru gets 25k viewers on a regular day. There really is no need to move this to tv as it couldn’t contribute anything extra, it would completely remove the spontaneity, which is the most watchable part. So really it is already very popular online, just not on mainstream tv.

    Mainstream TV is dying a death though, everything is moving online to streaming sources.
    Sky TV customers are falling every year.


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  • Padre_Pio wrote: »
    Mainstream TV is dying a death though, everything is moving online to streaming sources.
    Sky TV customers are falling every year.
    Dunno about T.V "dying a death", in fact most top actors are now doing t.v series instead of making movies. Some of the stuff I've watched on t.v lately like Line of Duty, The Bridge, Spiral !!, The Tunnel, Babylon/Berlin, Public Enemy, Gomorrah, The Affair has been really top class, the best drama I've ever seen on t.v and better than any movies.




  • sodacat11 wrote: »
    Dunno about T.V "dying a death", in fact most top actors are now doing t.v series instead of making movies. Some of the stuff I've watched on t.v lately like Line of Duty, The Bridge, Spiral !!, The Tunnel, Babylon/Berlin, Public Enemy, Gomorrah, The Affair has been really top class, the best drama I've ever seen on t.v and better than any movies.

    These are all really designed to be boxsetted, and binge watched. As these now make more money they can entice higher quality actors.

    Tv programs can be rewatched to some degree, probably because memory fades, but sports, which the end will usually produce a winner, isn’t that rewatchable, we usually don’t forget who won.




  • 17larsson wrote: »
    I just got back into chess very recently. The main reason was the online content (youtube videos, daily twitch streams, chess.com, meltwater).

    I've been completely addicted to it for the last few months. Online courses, playing 30 minute games, 24 hour move games, 960, puzzles etc.

    All that flashy stuff ultimately led to the pinnacle of watching the candidates tournament. So I don't believe shinier, quicker alternatives of chess take away from the original game, they enhance it and get more people to see it, notice and play it with the peak still being long over the board games.

    I will be joining a chess club as soon as restrictions are lifted and if I ever get to a decent level (doubtful) I would love to go an OTB tournament because that is what all these alternatives lead to
    That's great to hear. You will really enjoy OTB chess when you enter a tournament and the chess crowd are, for the most part, a friendly and welcoming bunch.
    I have no objection to online chess or coverage of top events. I play literally thousands on blitz games online every year myself and I do watch the occassional tournament online.
    What I do object to is the messing about with classical chess time controls, blitz and armageddon play offs to decide classical events, no draw rules and any other gimmicky methods to speed things up or get an instant result.




  • begbysback wrote: »
    These are all really designed to be boxsetted, and binge watched. As these now make more money they can entice higher quality actors.

    Tv programs can be rewatched to some degree, probably because memory fades, but sports, which the end will usually produce a winner, isn’t that rewatchable, we usually don’t forget who won.
    Nothing like a good "binge watch" is there?
    I love sport but you are right, it isn't very rewatchable. Some comedies like Only Fools and Horses, Fawlty Towers, Frasier never stop being funny no matter how many times I watch them.




  • sodacat11 wrote: »
    That's great to hear. You will really enjoy OTB chess when you enter a tournament and the chess crowd are, for the most part, a friendly and welcoming bunch.
    I have no objection to online chess or coverage of top events. I play literally thousands on blitz games online every year myself and I do watch the occassional tournament online.
    What I do object to is the messing about with classical chess time controls, blitz and armageddon play offs to decide classical events, no draw rules and any other gimmicky methods to speed things up or get an instant result.

    Ok I see, I didn't know there were changes in classical games.

    With regards this happening in sports in general I'd hope the powers that be see that the attention span of people isn't as bad as they think it is. People (me anyway) enjoy the fact they have ninety minutes away from the hussle of real life to watch a football match or two hours of Formula 1 or whatever.
    The longer the better is what I say!


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  • 17larsson wrote: »
    Ok I see, I didn't know there were changes in classical games.

    With regards this happening in sports in general I'd hope the powers that be see that the attention span of people isn't as bad as they think it is. People (me anyway) enjoy the fact they have ninety minutes away from the hussle of real life to watch a football match or two hours of Formula 1 or whatever.
    The longer the better is what I say!

    The changes in Classical Chess have mostly been with the match format, and mostly have all been required or good, not sure about using rapid to decide a Classical title thought personally speaking.

    1. Adjournment, historically in a Classical OTB Match you could request an adjournment overnight and resume the next day. Obviously in the age of Super Computers whoever had access to the best one would win the next day.

    2. Playoffs at the end of a World championship. Where to start on this one as there have been so many formats....one was first player to win 6 games I think, it went on for 5 months before being abandoned. There was also a time when the holder was given Draw odds, this cost Peter Leko the title against Kramnik after he had put himself in pole position with Qd3 (look up this game, it's a demo of when prep goes wrong). And now in the last 2 World Championships the Classical portion has been tied and Rapid has decided the Classical Champion.
    After 5 months and 48 games, the match was abandoned in controversial circumstances with Karpov leading 5 wins to 3 (with 40 draws), and replayed in the World Chess Championship 1985.
    Anatoly Karpov: Garry Kasparov
    Defending champion: Challenger

    https://www.chess.com/article/view/the-7-most-amazing-world-championship-moves

    There are more changes but these are the main ones imho.




  • begbysback wrote: »
    There’s nothing better than watching a top 5/10 player in the world casually battling it out with another, and him speaking his thoughts on the game as he goes along. Twitch is perfect for this, hikaru gets 25k viewers on a regular day. There really is no need to move this to tv as it couldn’t contribute anything extra, it would completely remove the spontaneity, which is the most watchable part. So really it is already very popular online, just not on mainstream tv.

    Aye he hit 60k concurrent viewers alone yesterday, that's excluding the Leko, Svidler and Tania Stream, the Studio Stream and any other streams out there, so it was certainly watched by a huge number of people.

    Peter Leko is my favourite commentator, he is soo knowledgeable and patient with Tania, it must take the patience of a saint to deal with some of her suggestions!




  • Adjournments is an interesting one, I remember having to travel back out to ucd to continue a game after adjournment, I was fairly young at the time, it was the other side of the city, and it was a hopeless position for my opponent, I believe the only reason it wasn’t resigned is that there was a possibility I wouldn’t show up given my age.

    Also though there weren’t computers back then I do remember everyone getting a little help from the top rated players at the club when they had an adjournment, I guess this was ok because it was possibly accepted that both sides would, or could do it. But still there would have been a case even back then to try an alternative to adjournments.




  • begbysback wrote: »
    Also though there weren’t computers back then I do remember everyone getting a little help from the top rated players at the club when they had an adjournment, I guess this was ok because it was possibly accepted that both sides would, or could do it. But still there would have been a case even back then to try an alternative to adjournments.

    Aye, historically the Russians played as a team so they would have the rest of their top rated players spend the entire night analysing the position while the player rested and then give their conclusions in the morning. Whereas the US played more as a bunch of individuals and didn't have the same sort of cohesive adjournment agreements hence generally fairing worse out of adjourned games which were quite unclear.




  • sodacat11 wrote: »
    I was watching snooker today on t.v and they were discussing how to make snooker more popular for the masses, much the same debate that we hear in chess, golf, rugby , cricket and football.

    I used to watch the crucible every year but haven't now in some time. Probably down to it not being televised when I lived in America and when I came back I remember finding it really unpalatable watching John Higgins play after his ban and also Irish interest had essentially gone at that stage.
    sodacat11 wrote: »
    World snooker number 1 Trump wants to dispense with the suits and ties when they play, introduce shot clocks, have games with ten reds instead of fifteen etc etc.
    Getting the Mark Ebden's of this world out of the game would be a win in my head (dated reference but god it was torture watching him) - but I can understand the argument against shot clocks. They'd limit the tactical side of the game which would be a big loss. They're used in tennis sometimes which I find a bit unnecessary but they don't raise or lower my enjoyment.
    sodacat11 wrote: »
    In football that clown Perez at Real Madrid wants to shorten match times to pander to the short attention spans of young people and we all heard about the disgusting European Super league recently.

    I really hope it hasn't gone over people's heads that Perez is demonising youth for what was a business decision over the past 30 years. I'm lucky to have grown up when I could watch the champions league on terrestrial television. Maybe if kids still had that access to the game (not even sure the FA cup is on terestrial tv anymore) - they'd have something to watch for 90 minutes and not be reduced to youtube clips of their favourite teams/players. MOTD is fine - but its not like we can do what we used to and just "look away now". We have second by second updates from friends, from phones and from whatever other media we have access to throughout the day.
    sodacat11 wrote: »
    In golf there is talk of building 6 or12 hole courses instead of 18 because people don't have time any more to play 18. In cricket we now have 20/20 and limited over games, in rugby rugby sevens and so on.
    Love all three formats of cricket. Don't mind golf trying something but not sure why they are changing a format which clearly works in the US. I'm not sure how exactly it works - I used to follow the non-majors but after a while its just watching the same 100 conservative privileged guys fight for the farmers market invitational or whatever sponsor has thrown an event together.
    sodacat11 wrote: »
    In chess we have shorter and shorter time controls, blitz and rapid events , blindfold tournaments, computer assisted games , Fischer random, armageddon tie breaks and numerous deviant versions of chess. Soon all the top players will have nicknames like they do in darts and snooker. At major events bikini clad women will lead the players out to their favourite songs while an announcer on the stage shouts into a microphone "and on board one we have Crusher Carlsen playing Devilish Dubov, board two sees Strangler So play Giri the Grinder". The whole idea in every sport seems to be to jazz everything up in a shallow American way, lots of fanfare and glitter, no build up just instant gratification and to hell with the essence of the games. All that is behind all these changes is marketing, pure and simple. The organisations that run the sports and the few elite players at the top want more and more money so they don't care about traditions or records. I don't see why sports have to be popularised at all. Football, Chess, Snooker, Golf have all survived for a very long time and all attract passionate and devoted practicioners and followers. I don't see why any of them need to be made more sexy just so they can appeal to a more shallow audience who cant appreciate the games for what they already are. It is sad how everything is being cheapened and devalued in the pursuit of commercial gain. Rant over, back to the snooker now.:pac:

    I don't think snooker has changed all that much in the past 30 years (ok, 40 years and you can argue that you miss the smoky crucible). I don't think much has changed in cricket other than t20 getting mainstream. Personally, I no longer watch football and don't miss it. Rugby is now professional (again if we're talking 30 years) but players have just got bigger and fitter - I don't see glitz and glamour apart from the awful stadium announcements and music. I certainly see no change in golf other than a huge amount of money being pumped in to more and more events which has slightly diluted the value of the majors imho.

    I've gotten slightly more into chess streamers over the third lockdown but its still not really for me but I'm glad some chess players have had online communities to stay connected over the past year. Based on the mails I'm getting, we will have a chunk of new ICU members who you'd hope develop to become tournament/club players. I've heard rumblings of 3-4 players who are truly gifted (not suspected cheaters - but OTB will test that) and only started chess during the pandemic - will be up to the ICU, organisers and clubs to bridge that gap between these new players OTB play.




  • begbysback wrote: »
    Adjournments is an interesting one, I remember having to travel back out to ucd to continue a game after adjournment, I was fairly young at the time, it was the other side of the city, and it was a hopeless position for my opponent, I believe the only reason it wasn’t resigned is that there was a possibility I wouldn’t show up given my age.

    Also though there weren’t computers back then I do remember everyone getting a little help from the top rated players at the club when they had an adjournment, I guess this was ok because it was possibly accepted that both sides would, or could do it. But still there would have been a case even back then to try an alternative to adjournments.
    I remember once spending 20 hours on an adjourned position against John Gibson and on another occasion nearly as long on one v Colm Barry. I was particularly proud of this one because he had about four realistic replies to my sealed move and I managed to analyze them all to a win bar one which led to a problem like draw but this was the least likely of the four moves to be played. As it turned out Colm had figured the position completely lost and hadn't bothered to analyze it at all. He played a really bad move that I hadn't even considered and which should have lost but with all my analysis gone out the window I played like a cretin and soon lost.
    We had adjournments in the Irish championship once too. I remember adjourning against Jonathan O'Connor in a really crazy position. I can't remember if we were supposed to continue later the same day or come back the next but in the end we agreed a draw without resuming as neither of us had a clue what was going on or who was better.
    I miss adjournments, chess was better before computers ever existed.




  • Retd Loyola Capt "I used to watch the crucible every year but haven't now in some time. Probably down to it not being televised when I lived in America and when I came back I remember finding it really unpalatable watching John Higgins play after his ban and also Irish interest had essentially gone at that stage"
    (I still haven't figured out how to use that multi quote function despite instruction from Cdeb GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR)

    I had tired of watching snooker simply because the players had got too good and rarely missed a pot but this year it was fantastic. Mark Selby puts so much imagination, ingenuity and intensity into every tactical shot he plays that it was like watching chess with balls. (no smart comments please).

    Golf is also boring if players are firing eagles and birdies in all over the place but when the course and the weather get tough and players are having triple and quadruple bogeys it's a great watch, probably because I can associate better with that kind of golf.




  • One change that I wouldn't mind seeing in chess is allowing and extra Qside castling option whereby the King goes to B1/B8 and the Rook to C1/C8 This could be written as 0-0-0-0. It would greatly increase the possible variations in chess and would bring about a seismic change in opening theory that would probably take decades to come to terms with. Just an idea.




  • sodacat11 wrote: »
    One change that I wouldn't mind seeing in chess is allowing and extra Qside castling option whereby the King goes to B1/B8 and the Rook to C1/C8 This could be written as 0-0-0-0. It would greatly increase the possible variations in chess and would bring about a seismic change in opening theory that would probably take decades to come to terms with. Just an idea.

    What do you think of Kramnik's idea to just remove castling altogether?
    sodacat11 wrote: »
    I had tired of watching snooker simply because the players had got too good and rarely missed a pot but this year it was fantastic. Mark Selby puts so much imagination, ingenuity and intensity into every tactical shot he plays that it was like watching chess with balls. (no smart comments please).

    If my memory is right, snooker was horribly mismanaged (probably around the same time as we both lost interest) and was almost a goner. I did get more texts about it from people this year so I'll probably get back into it at some stage as I did hear good things.
    sodacat11 wrote: »
    Golf is also boring if players are firing eagles and birdies in all over the place but when the course and the weather get tough and players are having triple and quadruple bogeys it's a great watch, probably because I can associate better with that kind of golf.

    Give me a cold, wet, windy Open in Carnoustie any weekend over DeChambeau shooting 40 under in the PGA/US.




  • Is there a correlation between liking snooker and chess btw? Maybe snooker is more popular than I thought (I enjoy it and have been to the Barbican in York), but it seems there's quite a few snooker fans in the chess community. Have spotted this in our club as well. Maybe we need our own championships to see if anyone can play! :)


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  • If my memory is right, snooker was horribly mismanaged (probably around the same time as we both lost interest) and was almost a goner. I did get more texts about it from people this year so I'll probably get back into it at some stage as I did hear good things.

    Yep it really lost its way for some reason, not sure why, the ban on cigarette advertising probably didn't help. There was a time when everyone watched the snooker, my granny, my aunties and uncles, literally every home watched the World Championships. Back in the days of Davis, Taylor, White, Joe Johnson et al!

    Joe Johnson making back to back finals was one of the wildest things ever to happen in snooker nevermind the fact he actually beat Davis to win one.

    I guess lack of choice probably filtered into things back then, the UK had what just the 3 TV Channels up until 1982 when Channel 4 launched. I guess that meant if you had your product monopolising the airwaves like the snooker used to for the 3 weeks of the world championship it really got an outsized following!




  • cdeb wrote: »
    Is there a correlation between liking snooker and chess btw?
    Indoors, sedentary, not a team sport.. Wouldn't be surprising. The trick is to find the combination of the two that will appeal to sodacat.

    I propose laying the chesspieces out on the baize, and striking the pieces with the cue to move them. In order to capture a piece, you must hit it with your own and knock it into a pocket or off the table. Two massee shots permitted for castling.




  • cdeb wrote: »
    Is there a correlation between liking snooker and chess btw? Maybe snooker is more popular than I thought (I enjoy it and have been to the Barbican in York), but it seems there's quite a few snooker fans in the chess community. Have spotted this in our club as well. Maybe we need our own championships to see if anyone can play! :)
    I used to be handy enough at snooker, top break 56 but hadn't played for years until I tried a few months ago.I couldn't pot a ball.




  • What do you think of Kramnik's idea to just remove castling altogether?
    I hadn't heard about it but it's a ridiculous idea.



    If my memory is right, snooker was horribly mismanaged (probably around the same time as we both lost interest) and was almost a goner. I did get more texts about it from people this year so I'll probably get back into it at some stage as I did hear good things.

    I heard recently that time spent watching any sport is a form of mindfulness and is therefore very good for you.



    Give me a cold, wet, windy Open in Carnoustie any weekend over DeChambeau shooting 40 under in the PGA/US.
    Agree 100%. Even when I play myself I'd much rather it be very windy although I don't like the rain.




  • cdeb wrote: »
    Maybe we need our own championships to see if anyone can play! :)

    I cannot. Top break: something below 30




  • sodacat11 wrote: »
    I heard recently that time spent watching any sport is a form of mindfulness and is therefore very good for you.

    I’m a Mayo fan so I can confirm that this is B******t. Probably lost more years of my life in the stress of their final losses than to the rest of my vices combined. I’ve also probably lost a few months/years to the stress of tracking every move of our GM hopefuls. I remain confident that we’ll have 5 GMs before Mayo win a Sam, but that’s not saying much.




  • I’m a Mayo fan so I can confirm that this is B******t. Probably lost more years of my life in the stress of their final losses than to the rest of my vices combined. I’ve also probably lost a few months/years to the stress of tracking every move of our GM hopefuls. I remain confident that we’ll have 5 GMs before Mayo win a Sam, but that’s not saying much.

    I think that I have more chance of being one of those five GMs than Mayo winning the title.


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