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Why There Shouldn't Be a Chess World Champion

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the it'd-just-go-to-some-robot-anyway dept.

Games 284

An anonymous reader writes "An article at Slate makes the case that the time has come to stop crowning World Chess Champions. This week, challenger Magnus Carlsen is trying to take the title from reigning champion Viswanathan Anand. Despite currently holding the title, Anand is very much the underdog, which only serves to illustrate why the current system is broken. The article suggests measuring greatness the same way tennis does. Quoting: 'Here's what Carlsen should do: Beat Anand for the title, and then work with FIDE to institutionalize four big tournaments as chess's Grand Slams, simultaneously eliminating the title of world champion. Corporate funding for even major chess tournaments can come and go with frustrating regularity, meaning FIDE itself has to get involved. Perhaps the grand slam tournaments could be located in three cities permanently—Moscow, Amsterdam, and a Spanish locale such as Linares would be natural picks—with a fourth that would rotate from year to year. This would give chess the same clear and predictable yardstick for greatness that golf and tennis have instead of the extremely crude world champion benchmark.'"

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284 comments

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343019)

Because who is going to pay for anything if held as a Moscow event ?? Or Spain ?? Or Malta ?? Or Bumfuckegypt ?? No one that is who !! Make it America - there is only one !! - or fergitaboutit !!

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343063)

America sucks at chess. Among the top 100 players, only 4 are from the US, and get this - none of the four were actually born in the US.

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343237)

we've always brought in big talent from elsewhere

Einstein
'nuff said

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#45343295)

we've always brought in big talent from elsewhere

Einstein 'nuff said

Arguably, we have a certain talent for importing talent... Scoring all the Jewish physicists when the Nazis drove them out, in order to build a bomb, and then scoring all the Nazi rocket scientists when the Soviets drove them out, in order to build something to deliver it with...

Playing both ends against everybody, awww yeah...

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (5, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | about 5 months ago | (#45343475)

Truly the greatest thing about America is its ability to attract immigrants that then add to its greatness. We should be very careful not to ruin that, either through policy or xenophobia. It's the one thing we can compete in better than anybody else, and that fresh infusion of energy and labor keeps our economy and culture going.

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343495)

A bit too late for that.

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343501)

Too late...

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 5 months ago | (#45343741)

"Truly the greatest thing about America is its ability to attract immigrants that then add to its greatness."

It got you the World Series.

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (5, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 5 months ago | (#45343701)

To be fair, it's because the game is pure cerebral memoization and lacks and true skill component or even the mildest hand-eye coordination. The devs have all but abandoned the game after the queen and bishop patches. IMO, I liked the preivous versions when the queen was no more special than the king. At least it was more accessible to checkers players.

From a game designer perspective the complexity level of chess is painfully low, so much that computer "AI" opponents consists of better ways to organize a tree of known moves, hardly anything like machine learning at all. It's only slightly less boring than checkers to most folks. It's not like other more complex (and fun) turn based strategy games don't exist. Try out one of the flavors of Ogre Battle, or Final Fantasy Tactics -- Hell, even Advance Wars.

If the "digital vs board game" component is throwing you for a loop: It shouldn't. I implement tactics games as paper cutouts and dice to ensure they're fun before spending a bunch of time fleshing out the tedius combat details you'll only concentrate on in rare instances, in favor of the larger game. See? Chess even lacks the levels of complexity an average videogame has. Humans are cybernetic beings, as such they can allocate their attention across a wide ranging field, then bore down into problem spots; A good game provides interesting detail at all levels of play with enough varriation that even without dice you'll never get the exact same game twice -- With chess? There's basically right and wrong moves starting at the 2nd move -- no emergent properties at all, and an environment complexity of precicely ZERO. Whomever can think far enough ahead wins. That's why Chess is a solved game.

Oh sure the game's got history and an over inflated sense of prestige. Look down your nose at other games and play that shitty one. You die-hard elitist chess fans are fucking ridiculous from an information theory and cybernetics vantagepoint. Computers can just help precicely manage more variables and thus allow us to play games with more breadth and depth than a 64 cell grid overlaid with 6 -- COUNT THEM: SIX -- movement patterns. A kid playing halo competively has more shit going on in their brain than a chessmaster. Don't believe me? Whip out the FMRI and see.

Bunch of pompus morons. I'm fine with chess having it's circlejerk. What pisses me off is how folks who tend to like these "ancient" games see everyone else as childish, when their game requires the least cognitive ability to master comparatively. Pokemon would be a step up, though I reccomend Magic: The Gathering instead.

Perhaps it's not America that sucks at chess, but Chess that sucks at America?

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343077)

You may have invented chess but Grande Masterz are from anywhere but.

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (4, Informative)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about 5 months ago | (#45343115)

That would have been the Indians. Or the Italians and Spanish for the modern game, via the Moors who brought it from Persia.

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343165)

Indians are the only true Americans. Every one else is an immigrant. And if republicans had their way would be kicked out ex post facto haste.

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343217)

He means the country. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343243)

The indians are immigrants too.

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#45343301)

Indians are the only true Americans. Every one else is an immigrant. And if republicans had their way would be kicked out ex post facto haste.

Archeological for any human inhabitation of the Americas is pretty recent. (Some) indian populations did have the distinction of being the only immigrants who didn't need to squish the locals; but all available evidence suggests close to zero chance that any human population originated here.

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343417)

They did squish the other local Indians. All Indians tribes occupy a territory that was previously occupied by a other tribe. The original tribe that first migrated to America was long gone by the time the first European wanted their share of this 'new world'.

LOL. I kid you not, the CAPTCHA is 'reserves'.

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#45343479)

The extant populations aren't original; but there must have existed a tribe (we'll call them 'Squish-ee Zero') who came first, and thus squished not, until they were squished. In some cases, there may even have been more than one squishless squish-ee (if disease, starvation, cold, or other natural misadventure cleared the stage of tribe N before tribe N+1 showed up); but that isn't logically necessary, just a contingent possibility.

Re: IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343179)

Shhhh, you'll make the Eurotrash and comrades who hang out here mad.

Re:IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY MUST BE IN AMERICA !! (4, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | about 5 months ago | (#45343761)

"That would have been the Indians. Or the Italians and Spanish for the modern game, via the Moors ..."

I'm so sorry, but It's the Moops.

I watch chess... (4, Funny)

codeButcher (223668) | about 5 months ago | (#45343037)

I watch chess for the riveting slow-action replays.

Re:I watch chess... (1)

six025 (714064) | about 5 months ago | (#45343191)

The slow motion replays of Chess have nothing on this [youtube.com].

Note: for the true sporting connoisseur only.

locations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343055)

Why should all three locations be in Eurasia? Fuck that.

Re:locations (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343205)

Why should all three locations be in Eurasia? Fuck that.

Why should the US baseball finals be called "the world series"? Why should the US rugby-ripoff-for-sissies-in-padding-who-need-a-rest-every-twenty-seconds be called the same name the rest of the planet had long been using for a completely different game? Fuck that, in the wrong'un.

Re:locations (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343391)

You mean Hand Egg?

Re:locations (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343427)

+3 Insightful, watch it go down to -1 Troll when the arrogant twats wake up ...

Re:locations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343465)

+3 Insightful, watch it go down to -1 Troll when the arrogant twats wake up ...

Heh, I am the same AC as above... Quite shocked this is being modded up. I only meant it as a kind of tongue-in-cheek countertroll to the post I replied to.

Re:locations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343511)

Why should all three locations be in Eurasia? Fuck that.

Why should the US baseball finals be called "the world series"? Why should the US rugby-ripoff-for-sissies-in-padding-who-need-a-rest-every-twenty-seconds be called the same name the rest of the planet had long been using for a completely different game? Fuck that, in the wrong'un.

Why should the US rugby-ripoff-for-sissies-in-padding-who-need-a-rest-every-twenty-seconds

Realize this is a joshing semi-troll. But it's like running 100 m v. running a marathon. Short bursts of strength/speed don't scale to the marathon, but that's not to say marathon runners are better athletes than sprinters, most people would say the opposite. US football has the biggest, fastest, strongest athletes of any sport. Seriously. Vernon Davis runs 100 m in 10.7 seconds while benching 225 lb/100 kg for 33 reps and weight 250 lbs/15 stone/114kg. No distance-running-based sport is going to have athletes who manage anything close to that.

Not to say football is my favorite. But faulting a sport because it involves strength instead of endurance is bullshit.

Re:locations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343517)

Oops, meant 18 stone.

Re:locations (5, Interesting)

mrxak (727974) | about 5 months ago | (#45343589)

Well, and the whole football name criticism is a bit disingenuous as well. There is no such sport as "football." That's merely a common shortening of the name of several sports. In America, technically it's American Gridiron Football, whereas what most of the rest of the world calls football is Association Football, which itself is a "ripoff" of Rugby Football and Cambridge Rules Football. Then there's Australian Rules Football, Canadian Gridiron Football, Gaelic Football, two major kinds of Rugby Football, and a host of other related sports. Most of these involve a fair bit of hand use, with Association Football being the exception, though let's not forget the goalkeeper uses his hands quite a bit. All the games involve the feet, and all the games share a common ancestry. Just as we didn't evolve from chimpanzees, both species evolved from a common ancestor, the same can be said of the various football sports.

Re:locations (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343609)

Your mighty athletes are so pumped with steroids they would have absolutely no chance in any sports that actually really tests for them. If you are ok with that, then fine. They still need a breather every 20 seconds, and most of the game is actually just setting up for the next 5 to 10 seconds of action (which is usually, but not always, just two lines of men crashing into eachothers). Some of the players are so damn fat they make your mom look thin. Not very athletic. In itself the game is kind of ok, but it's borderline sports. The most "athletic" looking persons are sprinters and swimmers, and some martial artists.

Re: locations (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343661)

You do realize American Football is a very intellectual game and is probably the closest physical sport to chess. I very highly doubt you know anything about it. Each play is carefully choosen to outwit the opponent. The time between plays allows for that setup.

You keep watching that sissy garbage of yours. Ill stick to a real sport.

Re: locations (2)

paiute (550198) | about 5 months ago | (#45343813)

You do realize American Football is a very intellectual game and is probably the closest physical sport to chess. I very highly doubt you know anything about it. Each play is carefully choosen to outwit the opponent

I will state without fear of contradiction that Bill Belichick could lecture on the cover zero, cover one, cover two, and the necessary gap responsibilities and after about three hours of that any chess snob would be no masing out the door.

Re:locations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343755)

Big fucking deal ... I lift 130kg every time I stand up! I don't even do any special training!

Re:locations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343219)

That's where the majority of chess grand masters come from.

Re:locations (1)

mrxak (727974) | about 5 months ago | (#45343521)

I think there's something to be said in spreading it around. It will garner more interest worldwide, and probably have economic benefits as well, with more money flowing into the competition from more than just three or four countries.

I would take it a step further, though. Instead of 3 permanent cities and 1 floating competition, how about 3 permanent continents and a floating one? It could be sort of like the Olympics, with the events moving so it's more of a worldwide competition. Moscow may be a good choice for representing Asia, but what about China, India, and Japan? Let the Asian chess championship tournament move around all of Asia, then have a European chess championship tournament bounce between Amsterdam and Linares if they like, and other cities in Europe too. Then put a third one in North or South America moving to various cities. The fourth championship can hit up any other cities in other continents not on the permanent continents.

And for those saying the US has no good chess scene, how do you think it's supposed to get one? And who cares where the players are from. Not only is the money there in the US to support a tournament, but there's plenty of chess players, regardless of skill, who would be interested in watching a tournament hosted in the US.

FIDE should absolutely get involved and set up a Grand Slam of some sort, but the reasons aren't purely for determining who the best players are. It's also about bringing new players into the game. For that, they'll need a global outlook.

Why not a "Super Bowl"? (3, Insightful)

Prien715 (251944) | about 5 months ago | (#45343061)

Clearly, the current 3-year cycle makes no sense.

At the same time, people LIKE tournaments. If you want to be the true world champion, why not have regionals, as the author suggests -- but limit them to residents and let them be "open" (single elimination in round 1). We have brackets in other sports. This would allow people to compete regardless of wealth.

Each "continental champion" (think "North American Champion" or even "East Asian Champion") could face off in a tournament with the other regionals. This would let each population cheer for its hometown star from New York to New Dehli. Sure, maybe the two "best" don't face off in the "World Championship" but it also allows underdogs to win more easily and makes it more competitive.

Or we could just crown Deep Blue every year.

Re:Why not a "Super Bowl"? (5, Informative)

Aighearach (97333) | about 5 months ago | (#45343199)

Because it is idiotic. The whole premise is. The young star challenging for the World Championship for the first time being the favorite doesn't tell us the system is broken... it tells us the challenger is a big rising star!

And the Champion is one of only, what, only 6 people to have held ratings over 2800? This is not the 90s, Anand is not Khalifman, and everybody knows Anand is the clear Champion. And that Carlsen is the clear #1 player.

We already have ratings that tells us who is the best. The World Championship is a title. Adding an extra series of tournaments and calling it a title is fine, but why would it replace the World Championship? And FIDE actually tried it, and it was a total joke and those "Champions" aren't considered real champions.

These people should first learn some history about the chess World Championship before they tell chess players how our championship should be structured to better entertain the most casual observers. Because this is a long-argued topic, and there is a very strong consensus that the World Championship title has value, that it is not always held by the strongest player, and that it is normally achieved by winning a 1 on 1 match between a Champion and a Challenger.

Re:Why not a "Super Bowl"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343543)

Each "continental champion" (think "North American Champion" or even "East Asian Champion") could face off in a tournament with the other regionals.

Such a system would be ridiculous as you have some regions that produce many great chess players and other regions that produce none.

Under your system top players would have to leave their home countries and move to a region with less competition in order to get a shot at the world championship. Why compete for regional champion in Europe or Russia when you could get the same title (and the same shot at world championship) with much less effort in Africa or the Americas?

I can sort of see the point (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 months ago | (#45343085)

In tournaments it's about who can pick the most points from the weakest players, of course you'd like to win every time but if you're facing Carlsen I think most players will be more than happy to draw and try to outpace him on the rest. The world championship is intended to be a hardcore duel between the two best players, you have to defeat your opponent to win you can't skirt around it. The issue is twofold, one to get the opportunity to play you must win the candidates tournament meaning you must be pretty damn good in tournaments anyway and second by the time another championship comes around many expect the current champion to fall. Unlike many other sports the chess ranking is far more important than "points" collected from tournaments in other sports, so it's hard to make a single tournament be all that important. There are already several long-standing tournaments that usually have most of the top ten players, they're not going to get bigger even if the world championship went away.

Don't turn chess into a big money (C) show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343095)

Chess does not need to be a show financed by big money. All sports where money got injected tend to turn into reality shows with media buzzing around searching for dirty stories, with pervasive doping, etc.

Re:Don't turn chess into a big money (C) show (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 5 months ago | (#45343123)

Yes. It's important that Chess avoid being a big money sport.

...because that's _totally_ a possibility, lol.

Re:Don't turn chess into a big money (C) show (0)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 5 months ago | (#45343141)

If chess can grow media-worthy enough to sap a bit of money from The Cult of the Hand-Egg, I'd consider that a very good thing.

Re:Don't turn chess into a big money (C) show (1)

bmo (77928) | about 5 months ago | (#45343193)

>The Cult of the Hand-Egg,

I didn't know Rugby was a cult.

--
BMO

Re:Don't turn chess into a big money (C) show (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343257)

Chess does not need to be a show financed by big money

Of course it does.

Announcer:"If Kasparov fails to move his Redbull King within the next two moves, he could face danger from the Challenger's Capital One Queen."
Madden:"That's right Gus. All he has to do is put Kasparov into a Bud Light Checkmate, and then he might just stand a chance of winning this thing."

Re:Don't turn chess into a big money (C) show (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#45343331)

Chess does not need to be a show financed by big money. All sports where money got injected tend to turn into reality shows with media buzzing around searching for dirty stories, with pervasive doping, etc.

In that case, give chess one hell of a cash bolus, stat!

Wouldn't having the same care and attention devoted to developing exotic new ways to juice mental performance that sports doping has to enhancing various aspects of physical performance be an amazing boon to humanity?

Right now, the situation is pretty bad. We have a few stimulants and alertness aids, sometimes enough to get ADD Billy to do his homework; but nothing compared to what a suitably enthusiastic athlete can do to muscular performance... Just imagine: A world where the truism 'You can't fix stupid' has been falsified.

Bring on the sponsorships, sign the high-stakes exclusive television coverage contracts, let's roll!

Related question re: Women's Chess (0)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 5 months ago | (#45343107)

Why do they have separate men's and women's? It makes zero sense. In sports they have separate contests because women are at a sever disadvantage in literally every sport involving strength, speed, agility, or endurance.

But why in chess? It's baffling to me.

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (4, Informative)

Aighearach (97333) | about 5 months ago | (#45343161)

It is not actually separated. Most chess is open. And there is no such thing as men's chess. There are special women-only tournaments as a response to there being 10-1 men in the sport, and a lot of sexist morons. So for a lot of women that is the only way for them to enjoy it.

See also: http://phys.org/news150954140.html [phys.org]

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (5, Informative)

petman (619526) | about 5 months ago | (#45343167)

They don't have separate men's and women's. The main FIDE rating list includes both men and women players. The thing is, there are just not that many highly rated women players. To put it into perspective, the current FIDE top 100 list contains only one woman - Judit Polgar, no. 58. So they created another list for women to make the game more competitive for women and increase women's participation. There are chess tournaments exclusively for women, but there are no tournaments exclusively for men. Women are free to enter the open tournaments.

As to why there are so many more good men chess players compared to women? I don't know.

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343233)

Because there are many more men players than women. A larger set has a greater probability to contain outliers, both on the good and the bad side. Given everybody start with the same (in)ability of playing chess the bad side is the same, the good side yields better players for the larger set (men). It's the same for every other mind game and for every other partition. I bet that chess players taller that 2 meters are on average weaker than 2 m, and the same for blond players with brown eyes. So the question is why there are many more men players than women. Social/parental pressure on women not to lose time playing games?

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (1, Interesting)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about 5 months ago | (#45343423)

At the risk of sounding sexist, I wonder if it is because men seem to have more of a tendency to become single minded/obsessive about things. I don't know whether it is just more socially acceptable, but I note that men are far more likely to be the ones that have all consuming hobbies.

As to whether this is a product of the way society is structured or nature I have no idea.

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343505)

I wonder if it is because men seem to have more of a tendency to become single minded/obsessive about things.

You're obviously not married.

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343439)

As to why there are so many more good men chess players compared to women? I don't know.

Because patriarchy!

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (5, Informative)

LainTouko (926420) | about 5 months ago | (#45343183)

And moreover, since Judit Polgar was capable of becoming a world championship candidate, it's proven that women can compete with men at the top.

The problem is that chess, or at least, serious chess seems to be an almost exclusively male pastime, for reasons I can only guess at. This leads to there being very few women in the top ranks of the game, simply because there are very few women at all ranks of the game, which creates the perception that they can't compete. So people organise separate tournaments for girls because that's what you do in sport. And so girls learning chess only have a tiny pool of other people to practice against, so they don't get the broad range of experience that the boys do, and they imagine becoming women's world champion rather than world champion so they don't get the ambition boys do, and so the regular stream of Judit Polgars which we need to break this idea is suppressed.

Segregation is a disaster for women's chess, but it creates a self-propagating vicious circle. It is its own explanation.

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#45343467)

I'd hope that chess cultivates a certain decorum; but given the... atmosphere... at a variety of other nerd-heavy and largely male events, it wouldn't be a huge surprise if they have some of the same appeal that the Japanese women-only subway cars do...

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (1)

Dollyknot (216765) | about 5 months ago | (#45343211)

Basically it is a bribe to get more women playing, no more no less.

The more women that play, the more they will teach their sons to play.

Unlike most people, I don't see chess as an end in itself, but as a means to an end.

Chess is a universal human language, it matters not, how old you are, what race you are, or what sex you are, OTB we all start equal. (OTB = over the board)

There is another universal language, it is the language of 'logic', the fact that we now have computers that in terms of chess, can wipe the floor with all of us is evidence.

I have this mad dream of a democratically run UN with real teeth, by democratic, I mean a UN with delegates from each nation in proportion to it's population, voting on global law.

My idea is, that one of the qualifications required to be a UN delegate, is to have a demonstrated ability at logic, proven by a demonstratable chess ability, maybe an ELO of above 1600.

It is my guess, that this would lead to a better planet, in terms of how we treat each other and all the other species.

The current state of play is incredibly wasteful, with every separate nation armed to the teeth, with it's own army navy and airforce to protect it's Sovereignty.

I propose a different kind of Sovereignty, that being individual Sovereignty guarunteed by a global rule of law.

Then once we have global democratic rule of law, instead of things being run by a cabal hiding in the shadows, we can build a road to the stars.

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#45343413)

Logic has its uses; but why would you expect performance in a deterministic game of perfect information (and only a moderately complex one, at that: this isn't tic-tac-toe; but even some games that humans actually play for fun, like, Go, are considerably nastier, and never mind the ghastly stuff that mathematicians come up with for fun; by generalizing games into N dimensions or building rulesets for use on boards of peculiar sizes and not-fully-possible-in-three-dimensions structures...) to be particularly relevant to performance in the world, which shows...limited... determinism at useful scales, and certainly isn't a game of perfect information?

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343491)

My idea is, that one of the qualifications required to be a UN delegate, is to have a demonstrated ability at logic, proven by a demonstratable chess ability, maybe an ELO of above 1600.

I wonder how many tournament matches you need to fix to get a guy who doesn't know the rules of chess to have an ELO of 1600. Not that many, I'd guess.

Re: Related question re: Women's Chess (1)

Aboroth (1841308) | about 5 months ago | (#45343541)

My idea is, that one of the qualifications required to be a UN delegate, is to have a demonstrated ability at logic, proven by a demonstratable chess ability, maybe an ELO of above 1600.

It isn't often that I physically roll my eyes when reading, but you managed to get me to do it.

Clearly a better metric is who can win at "Guess Who?" without asking if they're wearing glasses.

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 5 months ago | (#45343567)

Democracy in the Golden Age of Greece, established the original blueprint that evolved into modern democracies, eventually. But it was once very different. First of all, if a member of the senate voted for something that turned out bad, they could be punished or even executed by the state for neglectful voting. Also, there was a random factor in elections that did not require a majority vote for every representative: an electoral appointment was made by lottery to the senate so that common man was assured a voice, even if unpopular. Not just career politicians or entrenched special interests would have all the influence on the legislative process. Anyone could put their hat in the ring by virtue of their citizenship. Vagrants would be an improvement of our career politicians' gridlocked constipation and offers a little social laxative and lube required to pull their heads out of their asses.

Like ancient Democracy, chess evolves over time, and with disagreement and controversy over the rules. Its likes politics and power plays, psychological edge and humiliation are part of the calculus.

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343333)

Because men are better at chess?
You know that there are other differences between men women besides physical ability?

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343373)

Right, like how men are totally better at everything, and women are only better at knitting or whatever lame scraps men allow them to have?

I love evolutionary psychology. Society looks like X now, so it must have been caused by Y, and because we know Y exists, society can only ever look like X. Genius.

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 5 months ago | (#45343437)

Why do they have separate men's and women's?

But why in chess? It's baffling to me.

Its because the girls don't have a penis, silly.

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343523)

The penis is, so to speak, a red herring.

The real reason is that women get pregnant and men don't.

Re:Related question re: Women's Chess (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about 5 months ago | (#45343569)

It's because men are at a severe disadvantage in cognitive ability to women, so we are having separate tournaments to "protect" women from sexist assholes to camouflage that stain on our greatness and otherwise supreme superiority. Now stop asking questions. Thank you very much.

Similar to the system in shogi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343111)

In Japan, professional shogi [wikipedia.org] (Japanese chess) originally had only one title, Meijin (literally, "the Master of the Game"), which dates from the 1600s. However, the title scene has evolved in the 20th century, so that shogi pros now compete in seven major title games every year. The Meijin title remains the most revered of the seven, due to its history and the fact that years of consistent winning in league play is required to become a challenger, but one other (Ryuo) is almost as prestigious as Meijin, and the other five are also highly respected. The titles differentiate themselves in how they select tournament participants, amount of thinking time given, number of matches played, etc.

Different sorts of 'best' (5, Insightful)

LainTouko (926420) | about 5 months ago | (#45343131)

I think the problem the author has is that he wants to believe that there is a singular notion of "best chess player". In reality, there are multiple notions of the best chess player. Ratings measure more the ability to stay consistent throughout your career and never let your form dip, tournament wins measure more your ability to take points off weaker players and shift our mindset rapidly to deal with the next style which comes along... and the world championship measures more your ability to present an impregnable wall of defensive ability and be unbeatable.

These are all very valuable things to have, and wanting to take one of them away just because your mind isn't flexible enough to cope with them all existing simultaneously is selfish.

Re:Different sorts of 'best' (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#45343451)

I can see the emotional appeal; but it's a trifle odd to even bother quibbling about the 'bestness metric' when storage and retrieval of every move, in every (reasonably official) game played in somebody's entire career is not exactly a terrifying challenge at the cutting edge of database design...

Especially with the (relative) standardization of computer-readable move notation, you could probably derive practically any wacky fitness metric you could conceive of, compute it, and rank players according to it, as suits your taste. Obviously, only a relatively small subset of possible fitness metrics would be of human interest; but 'best' seems substantially more reductive than required.

Location for chess tournament (4, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about 5 months ago | (#45343209)

One town's very like another
when your heads down over your pieces brother

Re:Location for chess tournament (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343447)

Sadly, I think this excellent reference is lost on the people here. :(

An Indian is the best in the World in a sport... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343227)

just accept it, and move along. No need to bend the rules just because an Indian is the best in the World. The rules and title have been the same for decades when Karpov and Kasparov were World Champions; so why change them now?

It's never a real sport (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343247)

unless it has a death match.

Boxing? (1)

Dthief (1700318) | about 5 months ago | (#45343299)

whats wrong with the same method used by boxing?

Re:Boxing? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 5 months ago | (#45343587)

boxing, the same sport that has .. I don't even fucking know how many champions. 3 "pro"?

and then world champion? olympic champion? etc etc.. and if you get a match being arbitrary.

in boxing you must have some time between important matches though, but I don't see why a reigning chess champion should be able to wait for years for the challenger match to happen..

Re:Boxing? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 5 months ago | (#45343683)

boxing, the same sport that has .. I don't even fucking know how many champions. 3 "pro"?

There are currently *five* organizations independently handing out the title of boxing world champion. There are only two heavyweight champions, with one person holding four of those titles simultaneously (and, interestingly, the other one is his brother), but in other weight divisions there are indeed five different world champions. I can't see how boxing is an example for anyone to follow.

New sub-category 'Sports' (1)

Selur (2745445) | about 5 months ago | (#45343319)

Is this the start of a 'Sports'-subcategory? I know the number theory behind chess (wrote a decent chess program a few years back), but is this really a topic for slashdot? Don't get me wrong, I like watching and playing chess, as I like watching football (playing not so much, since I'm physically not so fit), but I wouldn't want a rule discussion and similar on slashdot,...

Re:New sub-category 'Sports' (1)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about 5 months ago | (#45343435)

Surely chess is a game, not a sport. I know the difference is subtle, but chess does not require any physical exertion beyond the lifting of the pieces.

And yes, I know snooker, pool and darts are not much better. But there must be a line, or go, scrabble and monopoly would be sports too.

Re:New sub-category 'Sports' (1)

TyFoN (12980) | about 5 months ago | (#45343801)

The brain is only 2% of the mass, but actually accounts for 20% of the energy usage.

I suspect Magnus might use even more when he is really thinking.

Personally I can get exhausted for long periods of heavy brain use, and this championship lasts for 100 hrs.

I'd not be too sure I wouldn't call it a sport.

Re:New sub-category 'Sports' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343443)

Chess is not a sport!

The first (googled) definition of sport is: "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment." Emphasis mine.

While chess has mental exertion in spades it's about as physically taxing as reaching for the tv remote to change channels.

As to why this is on Slashdot...News for Nerds. Nuff said!

Get with the times! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#45343357)

Shouldn't we just have the chess-playing computers in a 24/7/365 competition cycle, with mastery changing hands as often as is computationally feasible, and then just use the time-honored traditions to decide who among us shall bear the title of 'Meatsack Prime' within the chess world?

Re:Get with the times! (1)

Godwin O'Hitler (205945) | about 5 months ago | (#45343499)

Great idea. We could also replace the Olympic games by much faster/higher/longer/more accurate machines.

Re:Get with the times! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#45343525)

Great idea. We could also replace the Olympic games by much faster/higher/longer/more accurate machines.

No, the Olympics we should keep organic. Not necessarily entirely human; but organic. Just imagine hideous man/tick hybrids sprinting and jumping, ghastly quadruped-thing endurance runners, archers with creepy compound eyes... A glorious celebration of mostly-human athleticism!

Re:Get with the times! (1)

vasilevich (2969463) | about 5 months ago | (#45343545)

Watch livechess.chessdom.com. ntcec Season 2 Stage 4 is currently underway. Those 3000+ ELO engines would mop the floor with these two humans :).

Re:Get with the times! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343735)

Watch livechess.chessdom.com. ntcec Season 2 Stage 4 is currently underway. Those 3000+ ELO engines would mop the floor with these two humans :).

Get rid of the opening book and endgame tablebase and watch your 3000+ ELO engines have difficulty beating even a modest player, let alone a grandmaster.

I don't understand (4, Insightful)

bytesex (112972) | about 5 months ago | (#45343361)

I've yet to RTFA, but the sentence "Despite currently holding the title, Anand is very much the underdog, which only serves to illustrate why the current system is broken" does nothing to illustrate the point. Rather the opposite: a contender who beats the incumbent happens all the time. The fact that this is possible, is the prime motivator for trying at all, and thus the reason for the existance these tournaments.

Re:I don't understand (1)

greenreaper (205818) | about 5 months ago | (#45343797)

The point is that it's obvious that he's the stronger player, and the world needs a better system than a single championship once every three years to prove it.

One night in Bangkok (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 5 months ago | (#45343403)

Moscow, Amsterdam.... Bangkok? It's a drag, it's a bore, it's really such a pity To be looking at the board, not looking at the city

There shouldn't be a world chess champion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343445)

If you can't win from the computer, you shouldn't be champion.
We should just name the computer chess champion and move on to a different game.
Chess is done.

Chess has to be rethought. (2)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 5 months ago | (#45343453)

The problem with modern chess is that it has been analyzed to death.

To make it more interesting they should make some kind of modifications. One that was suggested a long time ago was the players choosing the positions on the back ranks. Maybe adding more pieces and squares etc.

Also add time to the clocks. Let games last several sessions. etc.

Re:Chess has to be rethought. (2)

frank-the-fake (2850225) | about 5 months ago | (#45343649)

The problem with modern chess is that it has been analyzed to death.

Not true

The current analysis of the opening moves is certainly very extensive. But since all top players are familiar with this opening theory, a game between two grandmasters only actually "begins" once one of the players breaks from the current theory. This will usually take the form of a player making a move that is considered to be inferior.

So each Grandmaster game becomes a contribution to current chess theory and will itself trigger analysis amongst chess experts across the world

It's already implemented ! It's named ELO :-) (1)

hgj (56299) | about 5 months ago | (#45343457)

Is this proposal not just how the ELO ranking works ?

Why? (2)

ebcdic (39948) | about 5 months ago | (#45343585)

Why does chess need a "clear and predictable yardstick for greatness"? It's a game, not engineering.

Yeah, get rid of the Champion title (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 5 months ago | (#45343719)

and while your at it, let's stop having winners and losers, every game is a draw and these overgrown children can all feel good about themselves no matter how good/bad they do...it's all about their self esteem!

Who...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45343785)

gives a shit?

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