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- - By Ciron (**) Date 2009-08-23 19:50
It’s not my idea to advertise the tournament of a big and powerful company, but over the past days and weeks I wondered quite often, why there has been no note and no discussion on the “1st International Online Advanced Chess Tournament” on http://www.mundialchess.com with prize funds of more than 130,000 Euros, starting on October 5th.

For a while I was not quite sure, how the organizers define “advanced chess” (they even spoke of “Freistilschach”!) as they chose the strange time format of 10m+1s per game and player and as in an earlier document they wrote:
“GAME CONTROL: There shall be an arbitration committee composed of Counsellors, GM and International Arbiters who may be qualified to determine the loss of the game being deemed to have received any aid. The Committee may act on its own motion or upon complaints laid by a participant. For more information go to the MundialChess.com Sports Discipline Rules."

As I saw yesterday, they may have read my request :) - they deleted the text in bold type, so it seems they are really planning an Advanced Chess tour. Though there will still be much “Game Control”, as e.g. players are not allowed to chat with other players during their games.

Anyway, as for anyone experienced in computer chess this seems to be an excellent opportunity to win some thousand Euros, I expect that many of YOU – esp. many freestylers – will like to have a try. There are three categories with the following top cash prizes:
A) without FIDE-Elo up to FIDE-Elo 1500 (29,312 Euro, rank 1-4),
B) up to FIDE-Elo 2200 (25,554 Euro, rank 1-4) and
C) FIDE-Elo 2200+ (20,293 Euro, rank 1-4).
In addition there are more cash prizes and also special prizes.

Probably they expect the most players joining category A; while I find it funny to consider that this most probably will also be the hardest group in terms of computer chess :)

Now, there are two reasons why I am posting this:
a) Our own scheduling plans for a freestyle tour as proposed by private sponsor ‘Highendman’ (and may be InfinityChess as co-sponsor) have to count with a strong interest in the mundialchess tour between Oct. 5th and November 10th. I suggest, we should definitely not start before the end of this tour.
b) It is of general interest for all freestylers and probably also computer chess fans to watch this event, to discuss the concept and may be to join in (registration fee is 40 Euro).

Arno
Parent - By Vempele (Silver) Date 2009-08-23 20:15
If the prize fund is real, how come they couldn't get anyone with half-decent English skills (read: better than mine) to translate their website?
Parent - By Fulcrum2000 (****) Date 2009-08-23 20:38
Thanks for this post Arno!.

Reading the website I get more questions then answers: Why the totally strange time format 10+1, where do they get this amount of prize money from, who is the main sponsor, how do we enter our moves on that site/can we test before?, how many rounds per day etc etc.

I think I wait a bit for now...
Parent - - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2009-08-23 20:49
I won't play there, but I think it would be good if someone could contact them and ask them about the exact rules, the sponsor and why the time control is that strange. I think with 10 minutes on the clock you can't play good freestyle chess.
Parent - - By CumnorChessClub (***) Date 2009-08-23 21:31
I have registered on the site so that I get email news from them.

So far all I have got from them is 1 email telling me I can now register for one of the tournaments.

If you register for one of the tournaments you get one year free membership to their playing site, this is as far as I can tell is the only way of gaining access to the playing site.

I am awaiting a reply from them on the questions people have so far raised here and elsewhere.

As soon as I get a reply I will post it here.
Parent - By CumnorChessClub (***) Date 2009-08-24 09:12
I got a reply this morning to an email I sent them yesterday:

Kevin,

Mundial Chess a contestado a su mensaje.

-----------------------------------------

Our customer support team personnel has replied to your support request #654664

Hello Kevin.

Everything you\'re asking for will be able on incoming weeks.
The playing zone, is on testing time.

Thanks a lot for your post.
Parent - - By Roland Rösler (****) Date 2009-08-23 22:00
Is it the same tournament, Anson won last year? And his prize was handshake with Anand and harassment by the audience (okay, and some money)? :-)

PS: May be now Lukas is interested in rack architecture for his 60 cores and holiday in Benidorm! :-)
Parent - By Fulcrum2000 (****) Date 2009-08-24 09:06
No, that was a 'real life' tournament with chessboards on the table etc. This is an online tournament.
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2009-08-23 22:10 Edited 2009-08-23 22:13
Things to consider. 

1)  Anson Williams won the only live Advanced Chess tournament that has ever been attempted, to my knowledge, in December 2007.  (Advanced Chess being a bit of a misnomer here because there are no controls on hardware; this is really Freestyle).  This was at Benidorm as well.  The tournament organizers are for real.  They host a set of tournaments every year in Benidorm, which is up the road from Alicante on the Mediterranean coast.

2)  Last year, they publicized another live Advanced Chess tournament and cancelled it on the first day because insufficient numbers of players had registered.  (Fortunately for us Anson did not fly to Spain this time to find this out.  He did not fancy the expense involved in getting there, using up nine days of vacation time, and being alone in a foreign country where he didn't speak the language and where the locals had certain advantages...it didn't seem like a worthwhile endeavor from a financial or any other perspective.) 

My sense is that this online format is their response to last year's debacle.  They can host an online tournament (provided they have the server, the software, and experienced arbiters) and then make it a showcase event with Topalov.

My subjective feeling is that this could work, but it's risky.  It's not a question of sponsor money; it is a question of competence and experience.  It can be expected that everyone running this tournament will be Spanish-speaking with this fact creating potential communication and coordination issues.  At this point the only chess server that has shown the capacity and range of skills to pull off a proper online prize tournament has been Chessbase.  You can tell that the organizers are really unaware of Freestyle conventions that have already been developed (time controls, the irrelevance of ELO, just to name two).  So this could be a Freestyle tournament from another planet for those of you accustomed to something else.

As I have just studied this just moments ago I don't know if we will be participating.  It's up to my boss.  The fact that they are prepared to pay travel expenses for the qualifiers is a big consideration here.
Parent - - By David Evans (****) Date 2009-08-24 11:25
Hey nelson Anson would not have been alone in spain last year as i booked to go myself until i got the dreaded email saying the tour was canceled

What worries me here its the same guys behind this tour and i expect it also to be canceled.

Ultra-d

ps i lost flight deposit moneys last year when they canceled...
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2009-08-24 12:32
The whole concept of this tournament...10+1, one game every two days...is just kind of silly, isn't it?  Does it take them a full day to calculate pairings?  Compare this 20 minute encounter every two days with a proper Freestyle tournament, that require three consecutive 16+ hour days (when you count all the stuff going on behind the scenes).  The operational tempo is something like 50x greater!  I really think the tournament organizers need to speak to someone who understands what the top Freestylers expect.  It's like they are operating in a vacuum...the whole thing sprung completely out of their imagination without any reference to what has been done in the past, with a strong conceptual bias favoring OTB players.  The prize amounts involved are frankly astonishing given the mental disconnects we are all experiencing analyzing this proposal.
Parent - - By Ciron (**) Date 2009-08-24 13:11
Hi Nelson,
I understand, it's not "one game every two days", but one "double match" 10'+1".
Not clear is, whether tie-break is planned for each double match or only at the end of the 'qualifying phase' (= after 12-15 rounds). If a 'round' consists of a 'double match', that would mean at least 24-30 games in the 'qualifying phase' + tie-break games.
Parent - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2009-08-24 22:35
So much needing to be clarified....
Parent - - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-23 22:13
This wasn't meant to be a Freestyle tournament, but rather an online event like Dos Hermanas; hence, the changes you've detected in their documentation. More important, in the previous version, it was clearly forbidden to use engine aid to decide your moves, but Tiviakov insisted on them allowing the use of computers. All this because O'Neill smashed him on a Freestyle exhibition held in Alicante a month ago. All hail Shun_Zu.
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2009-08-23 22:27
Where are those games posted?
Parent - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-23 22:41
As far a I know, they weren't posted anywhere, it was just an exhibition with very modest prize funds. Tiviakov, of course, was invited for the event.
Parent - - By Ciron (**) Date 2009-08-24 11:08
From my own investigations I can approve your background description. Sergey Tiviakov, without any doubts a top Russian (now Dutch) GM (living in the Netherlands since 1997) favoured the concept of an Adv.chess tour with 10m+1s games. He argued, better players would have good winning chances in the endgame and should not have to fear the engines.
Of course, such a view is more than disputable (and I agree to 90% of the arguments already given in this thread), but I think, we have to face the possibility that this tour will become reality (with use of engines), if the organizers can achieve the minimum of entries they are expecting; it's a risky game they are playing, but I think, they have a good chance to reach their goals, as they will they will intensify big campaign throughout September. Famous websites like Susan Polgar's blog have already published the announcement.
On the other side, I remember, years before, there was another big campaign for an online tour by a Worldchess organisation (also with about 150,000 € prize funds; headed by Bessel Kok, if I am right), which has been canceled after months of promotion. So I would not exclude such a possibility.
Yet, changing the basic modus right now, after they have already opened the registration, is very unlikely; they have to stick to some kind of Advanced Chess tournament, even though they did not have a clue what an ONLINE Advanced Chess tour means in contrast to a LOCAL Advanced Chess tour, they had performed before. (It seems to me, they just thought, they could transform a local event to a world-wide online event without basic changes.)
On the other side, it would not make sense to switch to 'normal' online blitz event, as their organisation would be totally overchallenged with controlling the games. If I am right, there has never before a 'normal' online blitz tour with such a huge prize funds for amateurs. So, there is also no experience with such a monster tour...
I don't expect players to give here any (correct) details about competing. This is already part of the game...

Arno
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2009-08-24 12:55
Risky is not the word.  This seems "kamikaze".  Arno, even if you were personally running this operation I would have doubts because so many other people serving in different capacities are, as you say, clueless.

As for you suggestion that we are being deceptive about involvement: Anson told me flatly he couldn't participate in this one.  I am not sure if he fully understands the incredibly generous prize funds or the very long yet rather lax playing schedule.  He may change his mind, who knows.  But as of now it is "no".

In my view the time control is so strange this really comes down to who has the strongest hardware combined with the fastest hand-eye coordination and most coolness under pressure.  Assuming a 60-move game you must make a move every ten seconds.  That barely gives anyone enough time to make moves on two separate GUIs.  I foresee the winners being greatly aided by random events: finger-slips, exasperated opponents, time losses, etc.  This isn't Freestyle and it isn't really Advanced chess either; the idea here is for engine-reliant people to stumble and crash in the endgame because they can't move fast enough and are forced to play at lightning speed without a computer.  It's as if Fenollar had designed the tournament to gain his revenge.
Parent - By Ciron (**) Date 2009-08-24 13:25
No contradiction, Nelson. With 'risky' I mean the business concept, not the quality of chess organisation. In other words, it's possible that they get as many entries as they hope for despite their chaos tour.
Parent - - By Permanent Brain (*****) Date 2009-08-24 18:22

> Assuming a 60-move game you must make a move every ten seconds.  That barely gives anyone enough time to make moves on two separate GUIs.


I am afraid there actually are people which can do this, even at much smaller time controls! I am sure there are computer cheaters with two computers (not just two interfaces on the same computer), which cheat even in online bullet games. 10+1 must be like correspondence chess to them. :grin:

This tournament could become a funny one to watch. Too bad that they have three Elo groups, because with out them, we might have seen "unaware" IMs and GMs being crushed by unrated players, more than once. Maybe that's even the reason why they made these categories, to protect very strong players from that as good as possible? I think the middle group with 1501...2200 will be a brutal one.
Parent - - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-24 19:46
Any unrated player (or below 2200, for that matter) can compete on the upper group if that is his/her wish. Protecting titled players is not the purpose of the segregation, it's just the way this people stage chess events.
Parent - - By Permanent Brain (*****) Date 2009-08-24 20:23
I see, so the middle tournament would be open from 0...2200. Nevertheless the titled players 2200+ will not meet unrated players in the top tournament, if 2200 is the minimum requirement.
Parent - - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-24 22:49
Again, unrated players may play whatever group they like.
Parent - - By Permanent Brain (*****) Date 2009-08-25 00:46
That contradicts with the regulations I read there:

1st International Online Advanced Chess Tournament for players without ELO and up to 1.500 ELO (FIDE)
1st International Online Advanced Chess Tournament for players up to 2.200 ELO (FIDE)
1st International Online Advanced Chess Tournament for players with ELO (FIDE) exceeding 2.200
Parent - - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-25 06:50
"Player ELO (FIDE), which exceeded the target group, will not be allowed in this tournament. A player with no Elo (FIDE) , could participate in the 3 tournaments."
The last bit is obviously unclear, it should stay if they won't overlap.
Parent - - By Permanent Brain (*****) Date 2009-08-26 08:30
From where is that quote? I don't find it. Please give an URL.
Parent - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-08-24 14:12
The argumentation you say Tiviakov used is way different to what O'Neill told me. Maybe he needed something different to convince de organizers. In any case I don't think he got out of them everything we requested, 10 + 1 is not as bad as 5 + 0 (3 + 0 for the knock out) which basically ruled out engine use (as they initially wanted), but it's still way to fast for the human factor to be important, in a positive way at least. It will be a hardware fight.
As for the tournament actually taking place depending on the number of participants, this time they haven't placed that condition in bold, big letters. That would have doomed this event too.
Parent - - By Hetman (*****) Date 2009-09-03 20:16
Hi,

time control 10m + 1s. Will be computer support useable ?
I suppose that comp. players will loose on time when the games will be played on the classical wodden board :-)

Rgds
Hetman
Parent - - By Fulcrum2000 (****) Date 2009-09-03 20:33
Yes, the only reason I can think of for this crazy 10+1 format is to give the human players a really big advantage so they have a chance (and a really good one) against 100% computer players. I will have to do some eye-hand coordination training to operate my mouse at high enough speed before the tournament starts ;-)
Parent - - By Hetman (*****) Date 2009-09-03 20:45
the toucheable screen would be better, take the Palmtop and Hiarcs ;-)
Parent - - By Fulcrum2000 (****) Date 2009-09-03 20:52
Yes it would, but I need a 17" touchscreen :-)
Parent - By Hetman (*****) Date 2009-09-03 20:55
You will have 17'' board on the table. The screen could be smaller - easier service. ;-)
Parent - - By Ciron (**) Date 2009-09-03 21:25
Human players, let's say great blitz players, professionals etc. would prefer 3 min without increments. Time control 10m+1s does not really favour them, if they are not trained in engine chess and not well-equipped with hard- and software. Most of them aren't. They use engines only for analysis and not for competition, they don't know much about the specifics of the best engines.
All this we know from freestyle tours, and it will be even harder for them with 10m+1s.
Chess players are used to spend some time on critical positions and on finding a plan, when they cannot handle the position by intuition. Both - thinking and intuition - is very limited in lightning chess. Serious mistakes will be punished within seconds, and mostly there won't be a second life vs. Rybka & Co.

It's easy to suggest, what about top engine players (&freestylers) will be thinking...
a) excellent books
b) excellent hard- and software
c) two pc systems (more might be confusing)
d) a 'team' (even though this would be against the spirit and the rules of the event, but uncontrollable!)
e) how to avoid time trouble, but put time pressure on the opponent(s).

It is up to your imagination to sum this up.

Yes, I know, I am a traitor :)
Parent - - By Fulcrum2000 (****) Date 2009-09-03 21:51
I know, if have kind of a plan in my head. In fact I think the time limit is so short you would probably be better of playing solo instead of a team. The team can of course be used to prepare (openings, tactics etc) for the match. Human players is easy, just lure them into an aggressive B97 position and you ready to 'kill' them. Just kidding, or no, I'm not  ;-)
Parent - - By Ciron (**) Date 2009-09-04 11:02
There is a simple reason for having at least 2 operators: one for the internet, the other for the engine...
Parent - - By Fulcrum2000 (****) Date 2009-09-04 12:40
And shouting the moves to each other, don't think this will work when you have 20 seconds left on your clock ;-)
Seems much to error prone to me.
Parent - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2009-09-04 12:49
I suspect that the "internet operator" would be responsible for entering new moves as quickly as possible. Once the moves are entered, it would be easy enough to provide networked access to the current game state to the other members of the team. Of course it would be much more efficient to hack the server app to get the new moves without human intervention. This would be worth a lot of Elo in 10-1 and much more in 4-0 or 3-0 time controls.
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2009-09-03 23:35
And what do you think are the chances that this organization can put together their new online server so that it runs well for the tournament in the specified time frame? Color me skeptical...
Parent - - By Ciron (**) Date 2009-09-04 11:00
This is my latest request to the organizers, still waiting...

"Dear organizer,
it's hard to invite new players to the online event with so many unsolved questions... ***

Where is the server?
When will we be able to test it?
How exactly is the 'double match' system working?
Which are the exact dates for playing?
Does it start on evening 4th or 5th?

PLEASE REPLY !"

I'll keep you updated

***Not that I really want to "invite" others, but that might be something to wake them up.
Parent - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2009-09-04 12:44
They will need thousands of entries if they intend to adhere to the original principles and break even on this venture. Being associated with the the best known name in correspondence and freestyle chess would certainly be a good start.
Parent - - By POSITRON (**) Date 2009-09-10 11:44
still not answer (no more info) from organizers?
Parent - - By Ciron (**) Date 2009-09-10 23:14
Only tonight I received these two messages related to my questions:

1) When will the mundialchess server be ready for visiting and testing?

“Confirmed users in our website and players, could play about 15 days before tournament begins in our app fro FREE to probe and testing it.”

So let’s wait for further information and until, may be,  Sept. 20th.

2) How to understand the concept of 'double matches' in the qualifying phase (12-15 rounds)? Will each double match be played until decision (includes tie-break matches), or is tie-break only at the end of the qualification phase (after 12-15 rounds) ?

“Tie-break will only dispute at eliminatories (Armageddon), final  phase.”

For the qualifying phase that means:
1 round = 1 double match (=2 games).
In total: 12-15 rounds (depending on the number of entries) = max. 24-30 games..
Parent - By POSITRON (**) Date 2009-09-10 23:18
THANKS :)
Parent - - By Fulcrum2000 (****) Date 2009-09-11 10:20

> “Confirmed users in our website and players, could play about 15 days before tournament begins in our app fro FREE to probe and testing it.”
> So let’s wait for further information and until, may be,  Sept. 20th.


Uh oh, sound we are going to play on an 'untested' server again. I hope they did some volume testing on it, so it will not collapse under the visitor load (as happened with Infinity Chess - no offence Arno).
Parent - - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-09-11 10:53
There are lots of severs out there that use an interface based on either Java or Flash, and they don't collapse because of high traffic (maybe the .NET framework isn't so great ;-))
Parent - - By Ciron (**) Date 2009-09-11 13:04
I agree. This is also one aspect of the new InfinityChess server (still in development), and I think, the "chesscube" server, which is rather new - with a lot of traffic - may be a good example. We just found out, they are open minded to freestyle. So this will be another interesting contact for the future.
Parent - - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-09-11 13:55
Never heard of them :-O
Parent - - By Ciron (**) Date 2009-09-11 14:06
Well, just have a look..., and see also what has been posted here in this forum:
http://rybkaforum.net/cgi-bin/rybkaforum/topic_show.pl?tid=12328
Parent - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2009-09-11 15:59
Already did, looks nice but I also miss there the option to change those pieces to the Mérida font style :-(
Up Topic Rybka Support & Discussion / Rybka Discussion / 'Advanced Chess online tour with huge prize funds
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