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- - By V.Deferens Date 2007-07-23 19:19
Anyone know when and where will the next freestyle takes place? And how can I register? Do I have to bring my hardware to that place? Sorry for asking because if I join it will be my first time to join.
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2007-07-23 19:31
The most detailed and timely news on Freestyle can be found at the Computer Schach und Spiele website, which works if you can read German.  However the games have so far always been played on the Playchess (i.e. ChessBase) server, so there is no need to move your hardware anywhere.  (The ChessBase site has English reports, though they are very slow to get articles posted.)  I believe both websites provide registration links.  From what I hear the next tournament will be starting August 31; I would expect some kind of notice within a couple of weeks.

I hope we draw you in the first round!
Parent - - By V.Deferens Date 2007-07-23 19:39
Thanks for the info. But I hear some accounts have teams, how do we register as a team? Do we have to pay for each member? What is a freestyle team anyway?
Parent - By CumnorChessClub (***) Date 2007-07-23 22:24
Try here for more info
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2007-07-24 00:14
Everybody can have as many people on their team as they want; they can use as many computers as they want; they can do just about anything they want short of hacking into the server and sabotaging their opponents through sophisticated technical means.  (And I will bet there are some that would resort to that if they could.)  In other words, almost anything goes.  You arrive at your chess moves any way you want.  Hot line to Kasparov: that's perfectly legal.  What's more, you don't need to tell anyone what you are using.  You don't play poker with all your cards exposed.

One entry fee = one chess entity.  Good luck. 
Parent - - By V.Deferens Date 2007-07-24 07:06
Thanks a lot guys! I will definitely join. I only got 2 dual cores and 3 Single Pentium 4s but I might OC one of them since its kinda old, gonna get me my liquid nitros :-). I hope this will be enough.

BTW, if someone hacks is it that kinda unfair? Thats not chess or computer chess at all.
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2007-07-24 11:11
Don't worry about hacks.  Has never happened before.

Hmm, you do realize you will be up against quads and octos almost non-stop, right? 
Parent - - By V.Deferens Date 2007-07-26 18:56
Well I got powerful softwares deep fritz and deep junior but I don't have rybka yet since I just recently bought deep junior and don't have yet the budget. If they are not enough there are still toga, fruit and demo version of rybka or strelka. I might use all of the computers so I will have 7 cores running in centaur and I will OC some of them. What should I do besides buying a good software or computer to be a better centaur player?
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2007-07-26 21:11
Fervent prayer?  You will be tremendously overmatched in the tournament in every way.  But don't let that discourage you; it'll be fun and you will learn a lot.  If you can manage a few draws that will be quite an achievement; if you run across some players at your hardware/software level you might even win a couple.
Parent - - By V.Deferens Date 2007-07-27 18:51 Edited 2007-07-27 18:55
Thanks for your comments. I didn't knew rybka when I bought junior, I was going to buy hiarcs but many people claimed they had problems installing it in multiple computers so I stick with deep junior. There might be some of you who consider these software or hardwares cheap but I don't. I gave a huge part of my salary to charity so there is a little bit left for my personal savings. So it might take me awhile to buy a new software or hardware. And most of my hardwares are bargains, some of them are considered trash by other people so they gave it to me sometimes for free. Anyway I plan to join mainly because of fun and learning but if ever I win (but I doubt this) probably I will gave the prize to charity.

Thank you all and fair games!

By the way, can you tell me whose gonna be the tough opponents in the freestyle which I might face?
Parent - - By Fulcrum2000 (****) Date 2007-07-27 19:16
The real tough oponents you can find here :
Don't expect to even get a draw against those guys and girls.
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2007-07-27 21:54
Better strategy: don't try to win.  Try with single-minded determination to draw and you might succeed.
Parent - - By PAKman (**) Date 2007-07-28 00:15
Hi Nelson,

In Freestyle Six I won went 1-7-0.

7 draws finished me way down the list.

My AMD FX-60 Dual-Core is out of date and not up to the competition.

But i will still  play in Freestyle 7 because I am a gloating for punishment an retired with nothing else to do.

Congratulation  on the team's fine performances.

Norm Pruitt
Parent - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2007-07-28 03:20
Is that a glutton for punishment or gloating at the prospect of inflicting punishment?

Going undefeated in Freestyle is a terrific accomplishment for anybody.  And you're not fooling me; you haven't a masochistic bone in your body.  On the contrary, you're a certified maniac.  Folks, this man is well into his 60s and once told me that he had recently driven his car at 125 MPH.  Imagine it, kids, your grandfather driving Formula One on public highways with his hair on fire.  When I grow up, Norm, I want to be just like you.  (First I'll need to take some testosterone boosters, though.)
Parent - - By revengeska (**) Date 2007-07-29 17:38
Jeez Nelson, you overestimate hardware way too much.  If he can properly utilize the programs and hardware he has during the tournament, he could do quite well, regardless of the opponent's machines.  I would take what he has over one octal Rybka any day.
Parent - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2007-07-29 23:24
I wouldn't.  But more than just the hardware, it's the whole range of things a beginner is lacking.  You really do need a couple of tournaments under the belt to fine-tune your technique, figure out where you're lacking, decide what's important.
Parent - By RFK (Gold) Date 2007-08-04 17:31
I have been out of touch with the forum so I am not sure if anyone has seen this article:

This is the partially translated version-
Parent - - By CumnorChessClub (***) Date 2007-07-26 23:24
The schedule for the 7th PAL/CSS Freestyle Tournament, which is not fixed yet, will most probably be like this:

9 rounds with 90min + 30sec rate of play:

I. weekend: September 7-9, 2007
1. Round: Friday 19.00 MEZ
2. Round: Saturday 14.00 MEZ
3. Round: Saturday 19.00 MEZ
4. Round: Sunday 14.00 MEZ

II. weekend: September 14-16, 2007
5. Round: Friday 19.00 MEZ
6. Round: Saturday 14.00 MEZ
7. Round: Saturday 19.00 MEZ
8. Round: Sunday 14.00 MEZ
9. Round: Sunday 19.00 MEZ

Money prizes: 1st $7000, 2nd $3500, 3rd $2000, 4th $1000, 5th $500.

So this time there will be no final, as the whole tournament would take too much time. This instance might be of interest for new and strong players to give it a try, same as the longer rate of play, which should be in favour of centaurs, though opinious are different in this point. The 8th PAL/CSS Freestyle Tournament could take place � once again with 60min + 15sec � in November/December 2007, with nine instead of eight rounds in the main event, as 58.04% of the participants voted for a third round on Friday (up to now we used to play only two rounds on Friday).
Parent - By Alkelele (****) Date 2007-07-26 23:55
I can name 8 top-GMs who will probably not participate...
Parent - - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) Date 2007-07-28 08:46
Do I read correctly that the next champion will be crowned on the basis of a 9-round swiss? This will dramatically increase the role of luck.

If this is really the case, then teams are done. The best way will be to juggle 5 or so entries per person, which could actually be an interesting exercise.

Parent - By Hetman (*****) Date 2007-07-28 15:02
the factor of the luck will be more importanr for  sure, but not only. The active or aggressive play will be preferred.
JR Capablanca has said one time that 'Luck likes strong players' so that is nothing to fear for the powerful teams.

Parent - - By Intagrand (*) Date 2007-07-28 20:19
I can't understand the reasoning behind this change either. Swiss makes for too much luck. It also reduces the chance of seeing good matches between the strongest players.
Parent - - By Alkelele (****) Date 2007-07-28 22:33
I have no big beef with a swiss system, if it was something like 14 or 16 rounds over two week-ends (reducing the luck factor). I personally don't like the new longer time control, though.
Parent - - By revengeska (**) Date 2007-07-29 17:42
Those are my feelings exactly.  I do think they should push 14-16 rounds over two weekends.  The increased time control... well, I'm not so sure of it, but it's more of an experiment at this point, so let's see what happens.
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2007-07-30 01:32
First, Arno wanted to reduce the number of draws and incentivize risky play by installing a tournament scoring system suitable for hockey or soccer but not chess.  After a revolt by the top players, that trial balloon was withdrawn.

Next, Arno wanted to eliminate engine-only players.  Doing this would, of course, reduce participation in the tournament by up to 50%.  Apparently that idea was shot down too.

Now, Arno is changing the time controls in an effort to boost the chances of titled players, apparently.  But there will be three unintended consequences of this ill-considered change:

1)  all players will make fewer mistakes (due to more time) and thus the draw rate should go up noticeably,
2)  the tournament will be decided far more by luck than in previous tournaments, and
3)  there is more incentive and it is more physically possible now to run multiple entries in the early going and ride the front-runners

In my opinion, there is an inherent conflict of interest when an active participant in the tournament has such influence on the way the tournament will be played.  Nothing against Arno, who has done great work to promote Freestyle play.  But this fiddling with the format does not really inspire confidence and does less to define the pecking order in this hobby than the previous format.  We need more games between the top players, not fewer, without turning the tournament into the chess equivalent of a first-person shooter.

I think the format we have had was nearly perfect in every respect except for two:

1)  seeding for finals should be determined by the qualifiers
2)  there should be nine finalists, not ten, so that all finalists get white and black four times
Parent - - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) Date 2007-07-30 10:02
I completely agree here. Usually, I'll find something to nitpick, but not here.

Generally, I really like what Arno is doing with these tournaments. He's tirelessly promoting them, he's keeping the sponsor interested, he's participating himself and doing well, he's even managing to get his reports to :) - without him, these events would probably have stopped a long time ago.

In this case, though, I think the change is a huge mistake. The two main points are:

1) It introduces a ton more luck. The next winner will simply be much less worthy.
2) As a direct consequence of #1, it shifts the balance away from having a strong team and toward having many entries.

Personally, on our team, we had already considered under the previous format the possibility of having multiple entries rather than putting our eggs in one basket. It's debateable (under that format) whether it would have been better. However, we felt that as a strong team, we could manage to get into the top 10 with +3 and then in the round-robin final our strength would tell. Twice we turned out to be wrong about this, but the decision seems reasonable.

With the new format, the pendulum swings hugely toward multiple nicks. In a big swiss, somebody will get off to a flying start, in part because of lucky pairings, but mainly because when you have 150 players, a few of them will get very lucky. Whoever it turns out to be, it will be too hard to catch them based on pure strength.

So, with this new format, having a strong entry based on multiple players and machines would be simply idiotic. In a 9-round swiss, you simply need as many tickets as possible.

I am sure that someone with good mathematical skills could formalize and quantify all of this in a matter of a few hours.

Having said of all of this, I'm not just going to sit here and stomp my foot. If the dates work for me, the idea of managing 5 entries at once seems like an interesting experience and I'd probably give it a shot.

Parent - - By turbojuice1122 (Gold) Date 2007-07-30 16:39
If so, and you end up playing against yourself in some games, please replay some famous game instead of intentionally blundering horribly :-)
Parent - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2007-07-31 02:00
You know, I might add one more improvement to the tournament, which I think could be a terrific spectator event. 

In the event of a two-player tie in finals, the two top dogs must play sets of two games at 30:15 time controls until somebody loses a set of two.  Max six games, with the last set at 30:0.  This could be done the following Sunday. 

If more than two tie, fuhgedaboudit.  Split the money and call it a day.
Parent - - By david250 (*) Date 2007-07-31 15:15
Hi Vas,

I'm a computer chess fan, but a weak chess player and have only
played in two or three local tournaments.

Supposing five entities in a Swiss have equal number of points
after 9 rounds (such as 6.0 points), how is the winner determined?

From GM Arno Nickel's report on the 6th Freestyle at Chessbase,
we see that the 4 teams with 5.5 or 6.0 points in the final (round-robin)
have an average Elo rating of about 2667.

I guess it will be interesting (for me) to see the average Elo rating
of the top 3 or 4 in the 7th Freestyle.  With luck a bigger factor,
which I believe from what you experts say, I'd expect the average
to drop; of course, some teams might have too few games for the
rating to be meaningful.


Parent - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) Date 2007-08-01 07:36
I guess the title would be shared in this case. Tie-breaks are rarely convincing, doubly-so in a round-robin.

Parent - - By Ciron (**) Date 2007-07-31 16:44
Dear Vas,

I suppose, you read my reply to Nelson Hernandez. There I clearly stated that we are doing an experiment - only for this time, then see - and the reasons why.

We had this poll on CSS site, and we had discussions before, but CSS and I got only very few either from your side or from other players.

The main purpose is to test a longer time control, but it would take too long to play more than 9 rounds.

When you say "It introduces a ton more luck. The next winner will simply be much less worthy", that's something you could say about all big swiss events in the world, Philadelphia, New York, Moscou, Biel etc. (And of course FIDE is the biggest promoter of lucky world champions.) These are events with hundreds of players. We had only 100-150 so far (I hope for more.)

If you were right (what I doubt) we could simply say: “Okay, we will not call the winner a 'Freestyle Champion', he is just a 'Freestyle Open Champion'.” Is this really important?

I don't mind, if you try to win the tournament with five accounts. That means 4 players more, why not? So if Iweta would win the tournament and not you, not Michal Krasenkov, not Mr. X, so what does it say? It has nothing to do with luck. Either it would be the effort of one person or the effort of any team, may be playing simultaneously? Just freestyle, as it has been to all times.
It would be different, if someone had 5 automatic engines running on 5 different accounts. This had been easier in earlier freestyle events, but it will become difficult now, when the moves have to be entered manually. Do we have to discuss this problem right now? It has nothing to do with the time control.

Best regards,
Parent - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) Date 2007-08-01 07:45
Hi Arno,

welcome to our forum, it's nice to have you here.

In fact, discussions about freestyle do pop up here every now and then. Maybe somebody could collect the various links so that we could organize it.

Polls are also an excellent idea. The problem is reaching enough participants - in fact, I wasn't aware of this existing poll.

You're right that short swisses are not unusual in the chess world, for practical reasons. The problems of luck become worse when everybody is closer together in level, which is exactly the case in freestyle as everybody has the baseline of engine assistance.

Take a look at the six winners and runner-ups of the finals, and compare them to the six winners and runner-ups of the qualifiers. In the second category, we have for example vvarkey with a 32-bit Rybka on a weak machine, certainly not among the top 40 participants in that tournament. There is no magic there - it was just luck.

Anyway, please don't take this stuff the wrong way. We're very happy with the work you're doing on these tournaments. It's always easier (and more fun) to sit around and complain :)

Parent - - By Ciron (**) Date 2007-07-31 15:24
Why are you writing things, you should know that they are obviously not true or at least wrong?

1) The idea to reduce the draws by a 3-point scoring system for a win was introduced by Patrik Schoupal and Jiri Dufek (see e.g. interviews on this site). We discussed the matter on CSS site and I had some sympathy for the idea without ever trying to push it. We created a poll on CSS and I reported in my last ChessBase article:

2) I never wanted or tried to "eliminate engine-only players". Read the same article. Nobody tried it. The organizers and the TDs argued, moves should be entered manually and not automatically. That's quite a different thing.

3) It's nonsense to write: "Now, Arno is changing the time controls in an effort to boost the chances of titled players, apparently."
We are doing an experiment based on the wish of many freestylers to play a tournament with longer time controls. It's one tournament, and in the same article it is announced that the 8th Freestyle Tournament could take place again with the 60m/15s time control.

When speaking about "the format we have had was nearly perfect", you should know that it was my idea and my work. Apart from that I think, we should think about how to win more players and more strong players for freestyle events. In my opinion we have only very few "top players" until now. (About the format of 7th Freestyle see my reply to Vas, which I will write now.)
Parent - - By Ciron (**) Date 2007-07-31 16:47
This posting was a reply to Nelson Hernandez. I don't know, why it is shown at this place.
Parent - By Ciron (**) Date 2007-07-31 16:48
Forgot to mention, I will be on holiday from now until August 21.
Bye everybody.
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2007-07-31 19:06
Apparently I have ruffled your feathers.  You should know that I did not say things that were "obviously not true".  Why not just call me a damnable liar and stop beating around the bush?  As far as my being wrong, well, OK.  That's always possible.

1)  3-point scoring.  I am glad to learn it wasn't your idea.  I did not know it wasn't your idea.  And a Bronx cheer to my fellow combatant Jiri, who should have known better!  What an execrable concept!

2)  Forcing all players to enter moves manually is de facto the same thing I was suggesting.  A considerable number of players use automatic entry for their own reasons; take away that option and a lot of them will not play.  Removing this option seems a counterproductive thing to do.

3)  OK, I jumped to conclusions regarding 90+30.  I was trying to figure out who would most benefit from the time control and concluded highly skilled centaurs would gain little (they get relatively marginal benefits from the extra time) while stronger OTB players would gain the most, having more time to engage in the game in the manner to which they are accustomed.

4)  I conclude from your final paragraph that you are looking to change the format in an effort to attract more high-end players.  In my view that's not the most efficient path, as the target population of people presently having the knowledge and live-action skills to credibly participate at the top levels is exceedingly small.  (And a lot of them already know about Freestyle.)  The best way to attract high-end players is to simply get lots of new players.  Some of them will become high-end after a few tournaments, having come to important conclusions about how to best deploy their assets.  In any group of 20 or 30 there will be one hypercompetitive fanatic who takes his game to successive new levels.

My apologies if my comments annoyed you.  Thank you for your clarifications.  I still don't like 90+30 but if it is a one-off my complaints will be muzzled.
Parent - - By Equidistance (**) Date 2007-08-01 16:00
Guys, stop crying. Be happy. Arno is doing great work. All his steps are based on the results from Polls where we all voted. 90/30 is fine change, more time, the better play, geez, are you playing OTB chess? Here is time 2 hours + 30 minutes. So what's the deal? With more time, we, of lesser hardware, can fight more toughly, against those super hyper machines :) 3 points was just an idea. Are ideas forbidden under eternal punishment here? Hold your horses and better go analyse something as you have many opening holes which will be exploited :)
Patrik Schoupal
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2007-08-01 21:01
I wasn't crying, I was making bovine noises.

Polls: in a democracy the people get the government they deserve.  What we need is a wise philosopher-king who doesn't care about polls and is also a tireless promoter.  I guess Arno is as good as we're going to get.  I can't think of a better man.

90/30: more time/better play means more draws/more luck needed to win.  Clearly, weaker players like this format.

Promoters of bad ideas: deserve to be summarily defenestrated.

Opening holes which will be exploited: I would urge you to not bend over like that.
Parent - - By davidwhite (***) Date 2007-08-02 06:35
Nelson, at first I thought you were being too severe in having promoters of bad ideas summarily defenestrated but,on reflection, it occurred to me that I had absolutely no idea whatsoever what that meant.

"Defenestrated" I now know means to have them thrown out of a window but I have to ask you : where the hell did you have occasion to deposit that word into your memory bank in the 1st place?!!!

I'm 62 yrs. old,have read omnivorously all my life and believe my memory to be better than average. Still,I would wager the ranch(metaphorically speaking) that I have never once seen that word before.

I prostrate myself and kiss the hem of your garments.

Most humbly,
Parent - By Intagrand (*) Date 2007-08-02 10:26
It's advised to have a dictionary at hand when talking with Nelson. Having not read omnivorously so far in my life nor reached a ripe age of 60 I have no chance understanding him without frequent referals to the dictionary!
Parent - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2007-08-02 21:00
Been a Bill Buckley fan for over 30 years: all the credit goes to him.  The first time I read that word was in connection with an anti-Soviet dissident who had committed "suicide" while in the care of the KGB.  Arise, Sir David.  As a person nearing retirement age you do not need to prostrate yourself.  In fact, you should carry yourself with an air of pomp and regal swagger.
Parent - - By Equidistance (**) Date 2007-08-02 07:11
"90/30: more time/better play means more draws/more luck needed to win.  Clearly, weaker players like this format."

Nelson, this is bill sheet, what are you saying. No offence. The more time, the higher quality of the games in general.
I don't think this must necessary mean more draws.
What leads you to imply that weaker players like this format? Why more luck? Sure, 60/15 we could see something
like VVarkey and another Suj monster hardware winning preliminary last two times, but I think this won't happen under
90/30 conditions. If it does, shame on us.

It is open swiss, most of all tournaments which are played are open swiss. This is most usual format in nowadays chess.

Also more entries is bill sheet. Is there more than 5 people who can afford this? Not only starting fee, this is little thing,
but for 5 entries, as suggested by Vas, you need five fast computers (Quad), who the hell can afford this if you are not
a company? ... no, just focus on playing good chess, not on finding ways how to get advatange by unfair practices.
For Freestyle, FIDE rules applies too. And it is forbidden to play more than one match in the same time. One person cannot
have two nicks at the same time. That's just to shed little light on Suj's two nicks in the final. This is not possible, also
in view of suspicious "mouse slips" in the match between his two nicks.

The system can be only as fair, as are people who are in the system.

Let the best win the 7th Freestyle. I hope it will be my team this time :)
Parent - - By turbojuice1122 (Gold) Date 2007-08-02 12:04
I think it has been established that Suj only had one nickname in the final, but for a couple of games had let someone else borrow one of his systems because of some sort of hardware crash or something in the middle of the finals; this did not occur in all of the games, if I remember correctly.

As for more draws, I would consider it mathematically/statistically proven that there will definitely be more draws.  However, I also believe it will be the stronger players, not the weaker players, who will like this format better--longer time controls favors stronger human players, period.
Parent - - By Equidistance (**) Date 2007-08-02 14:47
It seems that the Cato team is afraid of more time... no wonder, it would be easier to refute their 1.Nf3, or 1.e4 c5 2.a4 or 5..h6 in Najdorf. Their repertoire is becoming of second hand quality, sort of fancy carnival suits.
Cato team. It is time for you to lose. And not just once. Remember my words, this will happen.
Parent - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2007-08-02 20:51
Amusing how you think we are soooo predictable on the basis of openings we've tried a few times.  As if we haven't proved again and again that we are the most unpredictable and fearless team!  It should be obvious to you that we don't like main lines or other people's preparation and are very willing to accept inferior but playable positions to confound whatever you have been working on.  We feel that confident that we can fight our way back to equality and perchance a win if you make the slightest mistake.

Anson, are you reading this?  I think we should spring a Dutch or a King's Gambit on these chaps and then run them down; they would be fit to be tied if we beat them with an "unsound" opening.  What do you think?  Or did you want to play 1.h3 in every white game with the six different second moves in the repertoire?
Parent - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) Date 2007-08-03 12:01
FIDE rules certainly don't apply to freestyle or the match between Kramnik and Topalov would have gone a lot smoother :)

IMHO - the time control makes no big difference. The same guys will be good with 90+30 as with 60+15. The issue here isn't the time control, it's the fact that the round-robin final is gone.

Parent - By revengeska (**) Date 2007-08-02 17:18
I wasn't crying, I was making bovine noises.

Parent - - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) Date 2007-08-03 11:56
I'd go a step further - promoters of bad ideas should be regripiodated and then colaberialized.

Parent - - By davidwhite (***) Date 2007-08-04 04:40
Vas, don't scare me like that! LOL
The shock to my system from Nelson's thunderbolt hasn't yet completely cleared digestive waivers.
No way I could have handled 2 genuine new ones even if they came from a bemedaled,meticulous prefetcher from M.I.T.
Parent - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) Date 2007-08-05 13:33
Actually, I made those words up. Sorry :)


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