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Live Boards
Andrew McHarg Wrote:
Andy McCulloch Wrote:Since when was Chess Scotland run by a dictatorship?

Andrew McHarg Wrote:Easier just to force everyone to play on live boards to be honest.

This does not sit well with my understanding of the situation. The use of the live boards was not advertised in advance, and I do not like the idea of 'forcing' someone to play on a live board in such a situation, or indeed in any situation.

As recently as the Prestwick Congress Steve took part, and played on the live boards in each of the 5 rounds. The difference being that the use of the live boards was advertised in advance.

Let's get this in perspective, although one or two people have been concerned, it is a very minor event, nobody died. Please get off your high horses.

You misunderstand. I didn't mean actually tying someone to a chair in front of a live board and making them play a game of Chess on it. They are entitled to go home if they wish. But if the Congress organisers decided to take Andy up on the offer of live boards being used then the odd player shouldn't disrupt proceedings because they don't want to play on it (I'm not saying that's what happened - but I'm saying it shouldn't). It doesn't state on an entry form that air will be available for breathing either, but it's assumed for the smooth running of the event. It becomes silly if organisers have to write a terms & conditions page on each entry form, purely to satisfy those who look for intricate details. People went to a Chess tournament and there were Chess sets there. It's not too much to expect people to play on the equipment which has been made available. It should be hardly surprising to people that others might actually want to watch some of the games. Why wouldn't they? You wouldn't turn on the Olympics and have the 100m sprint broadcast turned off because Usain Bolt didn't want anyone watching on TV, would you?

And there are no "high horses" to be coming down from Andy. We all have our opinions on the matter and the above is mine. I don't see it as a dictatorship that an organiser would want to supply the best equipment available and expect the players to play on it. If that is a dictatorship in your eyes then you'd have to conclude that every congress is the work of a dictator.

Reality check here.

Chess Scotland is a democracy. Necessary because it has a monopoly position

Most Tournament Directors are a dictator. Nothing wrong with that. They are all benevolent dictators. If players don't wish to attend a congress they can opt out for one year or more and it doesn't harm them in any way.

My personal view but dictator when used in the context of chess is another name for a committee of one.
And as such the guy is quite capable of requesting and receiving and taking advice from anyone of his /her choosing. In my experience there is no time or need for a formal selection process to choose which advisors - you just get on with the job.

Continuing the metaphor. The reason Oban has been so successful over the years is that large numbers of players time make major efforts to attend. To introduce a cliche (I would normally avoid cliches like the plague) the players vote with their feet.
I don't understand what all the fuss is about. I played on a live board yesterday afternoon (although I don't think it worked to be honest!) and was perfectly happy to..

a) play on a beautiful wooden board/set
b) have the game transmitted - win/lose or otherwise
c) Give up my opening secrets (i.e. face 1.b4 for the first time in my life and make something up!)

I really don't get some of the arguments outlined above?!

-The pieces are not so different from the normal tournament Staunton pattern (try playing in Slovakia/Russia etc! Little white blobs on the tops of pieces, white on black and vice versa, kings and queens noticeably different from our version).

-The 'preparation' argument has been pretty much refuted by many of the replies given here already. I could just about understand it if there was only one live board and the same person was on it all the time, but this simply isn't the case, and many of the games played at Congresses and elsewhere are available from different sources anyway, as downloads, featured games on blogs/websites/newspaper columns etc etc.

The pluses far outweigh the minuses as far as I am concerned, and trying to introduce bizarre rules to mollify a small minority of people is not really the way forward.
I will make a prediction here, and say that in the next 20y live boards will outnumber regular sets at congresses. Over time it is going to be reasonable to assume the technology will become cheaper and also more reliable/manageable to use. It is just progress.

A similar thing has happened with digital clocks. I am too young to remember the switch from analogue, but I am sure it was greeted with hostility by some and people kicked up a fuss, but take a look at the landscape now. For the first time I can remember, entire congresses are able to use these clocks, and they are easier for arbiters and players alike. They may have taken some getting used to, but they are adding something to the game. You could argue that now you are "forced" to play using them. To be honest, I don't like this whole argument of it is wrong to be "forced" to use certain equipment. In a similar line of thought, you are "forced" to have your table at a set height, "forced" to record your moves, and "forced" to have pieces of a set style.

To be honest, it is to be expected that not everyone will fall in love with the idea of live boards, but hopefully everyone will eventually agree it is a change for the better, and for the benefit of chess. "Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict."
Pre computer chess is purer. Let's have a chess960 weekend congress. I will stump up a £200 prize if someone wants to organise.
amuir Wrote:Pre computer chess is purer. Let's have a chess960 weekend congress. I will stump up a £200 prize if someone wants to organise.

Very kind offer Andy. The relevance to this thread being? =)

Anyway, I guess since we've all mastered the current version of chess, why not....but I'd much prefer a chessboxing congress.
I'd love a chess 960 tournament. Maybe a rapidplay format would be better than a full weekender though.
Put me down for the chessboxing. At the last count I have 542 guaranteed opponents.
ok £200 for chessboxing too
Streetfighter: are you volunteering to participate ?
The relevance to this thread: a player wants to hide preparation
Chess960 - nothing to hide - no theory - solves liveboard problem
I would love to participate - unfortunately chess-boxing came along 20 years too late for me; they have age restrictions!

The preparation problems you mention only really affect strong players who have narrow opening repertoires (and as mentioned before games are made available in many different ways, not just via Live boards), and even then it's very rare that using an engine will actually win the game for you, e.g.

[pgn]1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. g3 Nc6 7. Nde2 Bd7 8. Bg2 Qc8 9. h3 Bg7 10. Nd5 Nxd5 11. exd5 Ne5 12. a4 Bf5 13. Nd4 Nd3+ 14.cxd3 Bxd4[/pgn]

This was my game last week as black against Dave Findlay in the TAFCA league. We had played the same opening 3 years previously when I hadn't seen the ...Nd3+ idea and played instead 12...0-0 (...Bf5 makes no sense if you haven't seen the knight check) and Dave played 13.Ra2! planning to meet 13...Bf5 with 14. b3 (after a subsequent c4 the rook will re-enter the game).

Anyway, preparation with an engine gave me an advantage, but I still have to win the game (which I didn't - Dave played very accurately and the game was drawn).

If you have any examples of openings being busted because someone prepared with an engine I'd be happy to see them! (preferably in Scottish chess please).
Opening preparation and openings in general are the weakest parts of my game. I've found in the past that the more I prepare the worse I do. I'm not entirely sure why that is, but I have a couple of theories. Perhaps it's because I am led into a false sense of security, and so don't concentrate as much; or perhaps it's because I play lines without understanding the deeper ideas behind them and then lose my way in the middle game. Much better to play moves that make sense to me, rather than blindly hammeing out 15 moves from an opening book?

Chess 960 event would be good fun and great practise. Big Grin

I'd love Chess Boxing too!

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