In No castling Chess what Engine would be the King or the best?

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Nordlandia
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Re: In No castling Chess what Engine would be the King or the best?

Post by Nordlandia » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:49 pm

lkaufman wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:19 pm
Nordlandia wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:35 am
Why don't GMs play Capablanca Chess ?

Or Gothic Chess advocated by Ed Trice.

Are they afraid of a challenge ?
I actually did play a game of Gothic Chess over the board with Ed Trice (I won, by swapping off the new pieces so it became normal chess), but it was before I got the GM title so I guess this doesn't count for your question!
Ed told me that he played against you in the early 2000s. Soon 20 years ago. Capablanca suggested this 100 years ago. Now 100 years later, has it changed?

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Re: In No castling Chess what Engine would be the King or the best?

Post by Metaphysician » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:37 pm

@GM Kaufman:
I said "arbitrary," not "artificial," in pointing out that to some extent, all of the rules of chess are arbitrary. It is easy for strong players to forget this, but look at how many beginners struggle to remember how the pieces move. The way the pieces move may seem "natural" to strong players but not to those unfamiliar with the rules.
About the example you give: The en passant rule is no more artificial than other rules. The idea is that it would be "unfair" to allow a player to move a pawn two squares and escape capture by the opponent's pawn on an adjacent file when if he'd moved it forward only one square, the opponent could have captured it. Why it is that the opponent should be able to capture the pawn en passant only on his next move -- well, that's arbitrary.
I don't know the origin of castling. But I like chess better with it. A king stuck in the center is easy to attack. And castling often puts the castled rook close to where it belongs, near a central file.
About the draw problem: I need to think about what you say. I do remember traveling from New England to NY long ago to watch the 1990 Kasparov-Karpov match. Unluckily for me, it was game 10, a dull, 18-move draw. It was a long train ride back. But I do wonder if the high number of draws in games between GMs is the result of ever-refined technique by the player with the black pieces or instead fear of taking risks without the prospect of sufficient reward, in particular bonus money for a win. And World Championship matches, where a loss can be catastrophic, are a special case.
About "Why is this desirable?" Because it is pleasurable to remember, say, Fischer's . . . Nh5 in the third game of the 1972 match or Pillsbury-Lasker, St. Petersburg 1896.

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Re: In No castling Chess what Engine would be the King or the best?

Post by lkaufman » Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:57 pm

Metaphysician wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:37 pm
@GM Kaufman:
I said "arbitrary," not "artificial," in pointing out that to some extent, all of the rules of chess are arbitrary. It is easy for strong players to forget this, but look at how many beginners struggle to remember how the pieces move. The way the pieces move may seem "natural" to strong players but not to those unfamiliar with the rules.
About the example you give: The en passant rule is no more artificial than other rules. The idea is that it would be "unfair" to allow a player to move a pawn two squares and escape capture by the opponent's pawn on an adjacent file when if he'd moved it forward only one square, the opponent could have captured it. Why it is that the opponent should be able to capture the pawn en passant only on his next move -- well, that's arbitrary.
I don't know the origin of castling. But I like chess better with it. A king stuck in the center is easy to attack. And castling often puts the castled rook close to where it belongs, near a central file.
About the draw problem: I need to think about what you say. I do remember traveling from New England to NY long ago to watch the 1990 Kasparov-Karpov match. Unluckily for me, it was game 10, a dull, 18-move draw. It was a long train ride back. But I do wonder if the high number of draws in games between GMs is the result of ever-refined technique by the player with the black pieces or instead fear of taking risks without the prospect of sufficient reward, in particular bonus money for a win. And World Championship matches, where a loss can be catastrophic, are a special case.
About "Why is this desirable?" Because it is pleasurable to remember, say, Fischer's . . . Nh5 in the third game of the 1972 match or Pillsbury-Lasker, St. Petersburg 1896.
This

I agree that a king stuck in the center is easy to attack, but I see that as an argument against allowing castling, why let your opponent get out of danger without having to think about how to do so?
Regarding incentive for wins, many events have tried giving 3 points for wins and only 1 for draws, in effect a cash reward for wins, but the results seem to be not noticeably different than in events without this rule. This seems to be about as extreme a reward for wins as can reasonably be justified (given a fixed amount of money to distribute); if you go too far defenders won't bother saving bad endgames (except to defend their ratings). Also there is a big problem with having financial rewards and rating rules out of sync. The overwhelming draw percentage in top level correspondence play really makes the point, because I don't think that correspondence players have any particular reason to play safe, they are generally playing for fun rather than money, and playing boring draws is not fun.
Komodo rules!

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Re: In No castling Chess what Engine would be the King or the best?

Post by Ovyron » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:20 am

Why don't GMs play Capablanca Chess ?

Or Gothic Chess advocated by Ed Trice.

Are they afraid of a challenge ?
Because nobody is providing a big prize fund.

The dark reality is that professional chess players do it for the money.

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Re: In No castling Chess what Engine would be the King or the best?

Post by lkaufman » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:32 am

Ovyron wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:20 am
Why don't GMs play Capablanca Chess ?

Or Gothic Chess advocated by Ed Trice.

Are they afraid of a challenge ?
Because nobody is providing a big prize fund.

The dark reality is that professional chess players do it for the money.
This is certainly true, but suppose he modified the question to be "Why don't amateurs with ratings over 2200 play Capa/Gothic Chess"? Then perhaps one answer might be that there are no OTB tournaments to go to, and even if there were they might only be attended by novice level players. Even for online play, probably it's not easy to find a site where one can expect to get a game quickly with another master level player. Anyway, I'll go on record as being willing to participate in any OTB event of any variant I find appealing in my area, or online if there is some reason to expect the participation of other chess masters, regardless of prize fund or lack thereof. But I'm not a professional chess player, just a professional chess writer/teacher/software partner. When I do play in chess tournaments, I do consider the prize fund, but only because it affects whether the opposition will be at my level or not, not because I expect to win money.
Komodo rules!

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Re: In No castling Chess what Engine would be the King or the best?

Post by Ovyron » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:06 am

lkaufman wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:32 am
When I do play in chess tournaments, I do consider the prize fund, but only because it affects whether the opposition will be at my level or not, not because I expect to win money.
Do you realize how weird that sounds? Like "I'm not going to participate if I'd just get a bunch of weak players and win all my games"?

So people spend a lot of time developing their skills so that they can improve their performance against any opponent they face, winning all their games is the maximum expected performance, and yet, if someone arranged a tournament and they'd have a maximum expected performance, they wouldn't play because they'd want stronger opposition? It seems then that it's counter-productive to become better at chess, since the stronger you get the more difficult it is to find equal opposition, the best people can do is remaining weak so that they can easily find opponents at their level, so it's not so easy to win... Don't study or practice chess!

It seems that the problem [what is causing chess variants to remain obscure] is people worrying too much about the game results and about the level of their opponents. If people just played "for fun", casually, for the enjoyment of the game (regardless of it being 1-0, 0-1 or 1/2-1/2) things would be very different.

What we need is people starting to organize "Casual Tournaments", where people are paired against each other, and play for fun, and people don't even keep count of who won the most, or what rating people had, or their age or gender. In such a place people could have briefly explained the rules of chess variants like Capablanca Chess to them and they could enjoy playing them more.

The problem is cultural.

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Re: In No castling Chess what Engine would be the King or the best?

Post by lkaufman » Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:41 am

Ovyron wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:06 am
lkaufman wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:32 am
When I do play in chess tournaments, I do consider the prize fund, but only because it affects whether the opposition will be at my level or not, not because I expect to win money.
Do you realize how weird that sounds? Like "I'm not going to participate if I'd just get a bunch of weak players and win all my games"?

So people spend a lot of time developing their skills so that they can improve their performance against any opponent they face, winning all their games is the maximum expected performance, and yet, if someone arranged a tournament and they'd have a maximum expected performance, they wouldn't play because they'd want stronger opposition? It seems then that it's counter-productive to become better at chess, since the stronger you get the more difficult it is to find equal opposition, the best people can do is remaining weak so that they can easily find opponents at their level, so it's not so easy to win... Don't study or practice chess!

It seems that the problem [what is causing chess variants to remain obscure] is people worrying too much about the game results and about the level of their opponents. If people just played "for fun", casually, for the enjoyment of the game (regardless of it being 1-0, 0-1 or 1/2-1/2) things would be very different.

What we need is people starting to organize "Casual Tournaments", where people are paired against each other, and play for fun, and people don't even keep count of who won the most, or what rating people had, or their age or gender. In such a place people could have briefly explained the rules of chess variants like Capablanca Chess to them and they could enjoy playing them more.

The problem is cultural.
It doesn't seem weird to me at all. The enjoyment (for me anyway) in playing chess (or go or shogi) is the challenge of having to think hard to find just the right moves to defeat the opposition. If the opposition is way below my level, I'll be able to win without having to play good moves. I don't feel I've done anything to be happy about if I win a game because my opponent is a much weaker player (unless there's a handicap that actually roughly equalizes the chances). I don't mind playing against slightly weaker opposition where I'm likely to score 70% or so, I do enjoy winning, I just don't enjoy winning too easily! I would think that would be normal, at least for people who don't have an inferiority complex. And I also don't enjoy playing such pure skill games unless I believe my opponent is doing his utmost to win (or draw if appropriate) the game, so I wouldn't much care to play in an event where results didn't matter. I don't know what your Elo rating is, but whatever it is, do you really enjoy beating players 500 or more elo below yourself?
Komodo rules!

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Re: In No castling Chess what Engine would be the King or the best?

Post by Metaphysician » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:31 pm

@GM Kaufman: I am persuaded by your arguments. Still, I think the basic premise — that the large number of draws at the top level is a problem — is open to question. Many draws are satisfying, well-played games.
While I wouldn’t want a WC title to be decided by a rapid or blitz game, there is something to be said for shortening up time controls generally. The result would be more blunders and fewer draws, which would appeal to many chess fans.

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Re: In No castling Chess what Engine would be the King or the best?

Post by hgm » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:57 pm

D Sceviour wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:21 pm
Does "no castling chess" have an official variant name?

Winboard says it is "nocastle" I suppose.
It has no name, because it is not a variant. It is normal Chess starting from a non-standard position (i.e. a thematic tournament). Namely a board position equal to the normal FIDE setup, but without castling rights. This position even occurs in the game tree of normal Chess. It can be reached through

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Rb1 Rb8 4. Ra1 Ra8 5. Rg1 Rg8 6. Rh1 Rh8 7. Nb1 Nb8 8. Ng1 Ng8

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Re: In No castling Chess what Engine would be the King or the best?

Post by Ovyron » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:41 pm

lkaufman wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:41 am
I don't know what your Elo rating is, but whatever it is, do you really enjoy beating players 500 or more elo below yourself?
I enjoy playing the game. Actually, what I do is avoid looking at the opponent's rating, and I've been playing much stronger since then. It very often comes at a surprise to see how supposedly strong was my opponent, but they didn't show it in our game. This is a player I defeated that was 400 elo stronger than me:



I didn't know their rating until after it was game over. Am I supposed to like it very much because they had a much higher rating or am I supposed to dislike it because they played it 800 elo below their level?

The level of a player has nothing to do with the level they play on a single game, a player 400 elo weaker than you can display a level that is 800 elo above their level and beat you, but you wouldn't know if you avoid them because "beating them would be too easy."

So the only thing that matters in a game is the moves played, and it would be a great service if you weren't told the level that your opponents are supposed to have, so if you beat someone easily like this, it doesn't mean the game was boring, perhaps you beat a 2600 rated player on their bad day.

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