The Eighth PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament raised multiple issues regarding its operation and workings. This document pulls together some of the ideas mentioned on the Rybka Forum, the de facto center for English-speaking Freestyle discussion.
I attach the whole document as a PDF file. The document is not yet finalised, and thus comments would probably still be welcomed.
> A 5-page document regarding Freestyle Chess has been produced
Who authored it? The document doesn't say .. still, it's a welcome summary.
Unfortunately I can't find anything about the suggested 'totally blind' format. I think it deserves to be be mentioned at least in the varia:
>Unfortunately I can't find anything about the suggested 'totally blind' format.
This is mentioned briefly at the bottom of the first page, in discussing the second school of thought: one suggestion was to make the whole tournament "anonymous" in that each game would only be identified as White versus Black. However, this seems unlikely to be workable in practice, and would be a great burden on all involved.
An earlier (much longer) version of the document said more about this, but it seems that there are a number of obstacles: suitable software, zero spectator interest, TD communication non-trivial. If the tournament were "by the participants, for the participants" it might be more reasonable (the document is principally addressed to the organisers, I guess). The principal benefit would be to eliminate last round draws, for which other methods seemed more expedient. The comment of Alan about "insider information" must also be weighed.
Also, something that I realised, is that you can still figure out if you are playing a friend in the first move(s) simply by looking at how much time is used on each move (White uses 47s and Black uses 23s --- how many games would duplicate those exact numbers?). [Perhaps this too could be obfuscated].
Just two little notes. It is Middle Buchholz, not Median.
And 9 rounds or 10 rounds. Inequality of white/black pieces. This is debatable.
As for 9 rounds, you have 4/5 or 5/4, but in 10 rounds Swiss you can even met
4-6 or 6-4 which would be far more injustificable (dis)advantage.
Total nonsense is 10 players in round robin (the final). As half of participants have 5 white,
4 black and the other half are disadvantaged. Really I can't understand why organisers
are picking this solution.
The final should be either 9 or 11 players (even this would mean one more game on Saturday morning
or earlier start on Friday).
>Just two little notes. It is Middle Buchholz, not Median.
Must be a US/Europe difference. "Median Bucholz" wins 204 to 24 in a GoogleBattle.
>"median Buchholz" gives even more hits ;-)
Ah yes, the dreaded double-haitch. For my punishment, I should be forced to figure out how to get my word processor to hyphenate "threshold" as "thresh-hold"... :-P
>(Yes, I know it's occasionally spelled with an "h" :-) ).
"All the dictionaries in my house agree that aitch is correct. One authority, bearing the mighty imprimaturs of both Oxford University and the BBC, concedes that haitch is standard practice in Ireland but rules it out on this side of the water." (McKie on Why I ate the Haitch mob). With NH's bugbear and questions of Free State versus Unionists entering already, can this fail to reach the FlipSide? :-P [And we could cross-pollinate with pro wrestling by referencing William Regal's pretentious-Brit pronunciation of "Triple H"(tm)].
1. The font you used is unreadable (have a look to the point in the i).
2. No word about anonymous nicks. For me, this is the most critical point in freestyle!
>1. The font you used is unreadable (have a look to the point in the i).
This must be a question with PDF rendering. I figured Bookman was sufficiently widespread as a font, but perhaps not.
>2. No word about anonymous nicks. For me, this is the most critical point in freestyle!
These could be solved via the registration process. Of course, it still might not be clear who is helping, but there would at least be a definite name (from a valid ID) attached. The website (perhaps a pipe dream) would also make things more transparent.
> This must be a question with PDF rendering.
On my computer with Vista, desktop with 32 bit color depth and CRT it looks ok. I will attach part of a screendump.
(I think that should be "Synopsis" in the second headline)
>(I think that should be "Synopsis" in the second headline)
Yes, I only proof-read the text, not the headings. :-P [I changed the PDF attachment to reflect the spelling correction].
An argument has been made that since there was no grievous problem with earlier freestyle events, this rule isn't necessary. This is actually a weak argument given that it is well known that people get much better at gaming a system with increased time and experience. We have now gotten to the point where good collaboration may be just as important as playing good chess.
Entity-jumping and hardware-sharing is unstoppable if someone wants to do it, and if rules were enacted that were intended to stop the practice the tournament would fall into discord because of the many accusations of cheating and bad faith. We need to avoid that as much as we can.
So that's my main conclusion: all rules must be clear and enforceable.
As for arranged games and GM draws: the KO system proposed (single or double) eliminates both. If confederates faced each other they might well decide who would advance. But they would also have to decide which would be defeated.
As for Roland's bit about transparency: agreed, we need that. Enforceable rules and procedures can be created to make that a reality. The website idea is a good one, but we need a selfless volunteer to design a nice website and handle the administration. That would require a ton of free time to put together, HTML/graphic design skill, good salesmanship, good contacts within the hobby and probably multilingualism. There's no money in it and like almost everything in computer chess no good deed goes unpunished. So this idea seems rather unlikely to happen.
Advocating clear rules is like advocating motherhood. Its hard to imagine people wanting anything else. I disagree about the importance of enforceability. In freestyle chess, almost nothing is enforceable, but it would still be nice to have a tournament that isn't dominated by cooperating teams that are interested in playing as little competitive chess as possible. This scenario is closer than you think and its not clear to me that your team could repeat without adopting some of the same tactics (and you probably will if they are not illegal).
You're wrong about nothing being enforceable. In order to register and play in the first round you have to provide certain information, prove it is legitimate, and meet certain requirements. That much can be enforced. Once the games are in progress, you can only enforce a very few things. Timeliness for one. Punishments for unsportsmanlike conduct for another. IP address rules, for another (for whatever they are worth).
In my view you cannot stop people from jumping from entity to entity, or loaning equipment or anything of that sort. Multiple nicks you really can't stop but you can at least make problematic; if you make a rule about them and find out someone is cheating you can enforce the rule. However collusion in its worst forms simply cannot be stopped in Swiss, and the suspicion of collusion will always be there in cases where someone mouse-slipped or just didn't want to play any more and threw the game. Hence my inclination to favor KO. It just ends flagrant collusion totally and its structure and tempo really make multiple accounts very, very hard to manage and most likely a losing strategy. It is true that the two finalists would probably look nothing like the original entrants. We might wind up with Team America vs. Team Italy in the final, and wouldn't that be sweet?
Let's think positive, Alan. Sharpies can be boxed in and constrained. It's just a matter of working together and arriving at a consensus.
I would be the first to agree that Eros showed great skill in winning the eighth FS, but with other entries picking up a few additional half points here and there using the same techniques (assuming we don't go to a KO format) he will have to push the limits even further to be competitive in the next event. So if its not a KO format, I predict a sharp increase in questionable games.
A KO format certainly side steps the major issue of fixing games (RR is probably the worst with Swiss not far behind). Of course things will be even worse if the tournament goes back to its original format because now a lot more people understand that "anything goes".
The major problem with a KO format and having teams reorganize after each round is that it further minimizes the role of the individual, and even teams will become less structured. This would be a losing proposition in most sponsored events because it is hard to imagine spectators being able to identify with an amorphous set of teams.
Anyone who has a good understanding of how IP addresses work should have no problem sidestepping this rule (and this includes all the worst offenders). I would rather have an unenforceable rule against multiple entries, than a meaningless enforceable rule against sharing an IP address.
That said, Uwe did extremely well in Regina H-Milch going solo. If you can afford to rent a 16-core like he did you could potentially do some serious damage too, despite the team of Italians trying to ruin your day.
As for the rest of your comments I am in general agreement. Alas, we have a long way to go before an Internet Freestyle tournament will be a good thing for general-interest spectators. We simply need a website and some publicity to galvanize the general public. For that we need volunteers and visionaries.
>a lot more people understand that "anything goes".
Oh yes, I was going to suggest a change of primary slogan, to something like (in the Formula 1 spirit): "Freestyle chess - simply the best", and perhaps even the "Chess" part of "Freestyle Chess" could be emphasised more, as in "Chess, the Freestyle way" (though still keeping the 2-word "Freestyle Chess" as the typical descriptor, of course).
Was looked on as something shocking
Now heaven knows,
Good authors too who once knew better words,
now only use four-letter words
The world has gone mad today
and good's bad today,
and black's white today,
and day's night today,
When most guys today
that women prize today
are just silly gigolos.
So though I'm not a great romancer,
I know that you're bound to answer
when I propose,
>If we don't go to the KO format, the "anything goes" slogan will be more appropriate than ever.
Maybe we should list "Chess For Scoundrels" by GM Davies as required reading/viewing for the next Freestyle: Psychology is one of the most important aspects of chess, yet most players put themselves at a serious disadvantage by ignoring this aspect of the game. Being `nice' is all very well in civilian life, but in the war zone of the chess board a more ruthless approach is required. The fact of the matter is that a good chess player must be something of a scoundrel in order to survive. Or as one reviewer (see 2nd review) put it: "There's a considerable amount of essential advice for scoundrels on this DVD and it's a real eye opener for those who still believe that chess is just a matter of moving pieces around a board. It can be seen as a sort of 'How to Cheat at Chess' for the modern world."
I would prefer Winning Ugly from Brad Gilbert. Although it´s a guidebook for tennis, it´s best for freestyle tournaments too.
> structure and tempo [of the KO] really make multiple accounts very, very hard to manage and most likely a losing strategy.
How much ELO is lost by having 2 accounts instead of one? The computer-ish guess would be around 50-70 ELO, but maybe 100 is a better guess for centaurs. My calculations give about an 85% chance of a winning a 4-game mini-match (with possible Armageddon) when holding a 100 ELO edge.
>It is true that the two finalists would probably look nothing like the original entrants.
I'm not quite so sure about this. Surely there could be big re-workings between the weekends. But is it that practical to enlist help on a day-to-day basis? Some teams have experienced problems with untested situations, and the co-ordination here might be too hard to handle on the fly.
Also, the art of computer assistance in the Armageddon game will need to be honed (the Contempt factor is a start, but probably insufficient in general).
It is very practical to enlist help not only day to day, but round to round. It has been done. However there is always risk that adding untested new element(s), whether human, hardware or software, will make things worse (you didn't see us make it to finals last time did you?).
It´s a shame. Organizers of Freestyle have no good lawyers to make good rules. This we knew since years. But they also have no clue abaout business and marketing.
One of the most basic rules of economics is "if you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of it, tax it." What is the practical value of jacking up the entry fees? Do you want to discourage participation? Also I am alarmed by your "new accounts can't be high enough" decree! Wow, what fantastic cross-applications this might have in the immigration policies of different countries! The Aztecs might still be ruling Mexico; the whole New World from the Arctic Circle to Cape Horn would be entirely populated with natives! There wouldn't be a Turk in all of Deutschland!
All this back of the head, my proposal will lead to much more discipline (because of money) about multiple accounts. Also the not poors will reflect about new accounts and their worth. You as American must understand it. You can´t play in NFL with a new team. You have to buy a team and then you can make your team. In Formula 1 it´s the same!
Okay, if members of freestyle will decrease because of fee entry, we can play ko tournament. It´s fine. But I don´t believe in it.
PS: Freestyle isn´t immigration policy :-).
Nelson: I say, old chap, have you already entered for the next Freestyle?
Alan: Why, yes, I just wired it in yesterday from my account in Zurich! Amazing how the entry fees are escalating, eh wot?
BB: Yes, and the higher they go, the greater the glory! Let the wankers eat cake or drink wine or whatever they do, eh?
Turbo: True, but blast those BBC buggers and their sodding complaints about collusion. Whinging twits like that spoil the fun. So off-putting.
All: Hear, hear!
>I have to look for dictionary every three or four words.
The foison of folly in this Forum is foremost a function of its facinorous fewtrils and forgettable faburdens. :-P
who have enough money to make their hardware better for freestyle (rent or buy)
I bought a dual E4300 with all other staff, and later upgraded it to a Quad.
But my installment plan runs for a year now, and will finish only next year this time.
For one country, it might be 1/50 of monthly salary, for some 1//10 and for some even 1/5 or more.
Those who enter with multiple account have, as Nelson said, more computers, competitive ones, and they certainly belongs to 1/100 cathegory!
Money is never solution :) Unless you want to get rid of some strong behind the border competition :)
If I retired from computer chess and spent an equal amount of time trying to make money I don't see how I could fail to make that much! (But of course that applies to all of us who don't have such resources.)
The real money-bags around here is Alan. And the mother of all money-bags is "the Sheikh". How would you like his monthly income combined with the prospect of 72 virgins in the afterlife?
Christians have the angels. Are they all virgins? For Christians, that doesn´t matter.
The word is also often used with wider reference by relaxing the age, gender or sexual criteria.
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