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buddy2 75 ( +1 | -1 )
Linares finale Kramnik wins Linares (hooray!) after another masterly 21 mover in which he bored Shirov into another draw. The ultimate winner of Linares, Kramnik, played a devastating seven games (count 'em!) into draws in under 25 moves. In the whole tournament there were 79% draws. For a few minutes I watched Kasparov on ICC try (actually try!) to beat Valejo Pons. I didn't even consider watching Kramnik's game, knowing exactly beforehand what he would do. I think that Spanish millionaire who sponsored the tournament is seriously considering saving his money next year. If it weren't for the fighters like Kasparov (most of the time) and a nutsy Fischer where would this great game be?
error 16 ( +1 | -1 )
Linares finale I was watching the Kasparov match, and I really don't think it should have drawn, I really would have liked seeing some more moves.
gibo 34 ( +1 | -1 )
i think its horrible that kramnik one this event, it would have been good to see kasparov take his chances in the game between radjabov and topalov if he won both those games he would have won the tournament. I dont think kramnik can say he played a good tournament, and i dont think his style is good for chess
peppe_l 14 ( +1 | -1 )
??? "I dont think kramnik can say he played a good tournament"

Why not? Kramnik is a professional chess player. He plays to win tournaments, not to entertain observers.

buddy2 13 ( +1 | -1 )
entertainment "not to entertain observers": Professional sports are all about entertainment. No observers/fans (ie us)--no tournaments. Then K would have to find a day job.
peppe_l 12 ( +1 | -1 )
You are missing the point Sports can BE entertaining. But professionals like Kramnik (or Michael Schumacher, Tiger Woods etc) do not compete TO entertain observers.

buddy2 114 ( +1 | -1 )
entertainment A sport MUST (not can) be entertaining to last. Of course Tiger Woods, etc. doesn't set out to "entertain" when he grabs his clubs, but he'd be a fool not to realize (as I'm sure Kramnik must) that the "entertainment" factor is the monster behind the curtain that nobody wants to talk about. It's what gives him 90% of his money. For good or bad today mass entertainment drives sport. That's why women's professional soccer (in U.S.) went under (even though I loved it), because there weren't enough of us out there and TV pulled the plug. Do you think those young professional ladies are getting together to play each other today? I doubt it. In chess, I don't think the results will change much if scoring rules were changed, but I do think the method (more wins) will stimulate interest and the participants will eventually get more money. Otherwise we'd be back to the old days when top level tournaments were few and far between and the likes of Steintz and Lasker had to go begging for chess-loving rich folks to put up enough money for their purse. Anyway, let's try it in a big tournament. See what happens! What's there to lose???
thumper 15 ( +1 | -1 )
Hmmmm They could hold a couple of 'No draw' tournaments. It would cause a lot of positive attention I think. Maybe even a 'No draw' series.
error 8 ( +1 | -1 )
thumper Then they could just abuse the 3 repeat rule to get a draw.
thumper 4 ( +1 | -1 )
But........... Abusing the threepeet would earn a DQ. >:|
atrifix 18 ( +1 | -1 )
What exactly is a 'no draw' series? And how would abusing the 3-repitition rule earn a disqualification? What about other draw rules like the 50 move rule?
thumper 65 ( +1 | -1 )
Atrifix A series of tournaments where no draws are allowed.
The games must be concluded, win or lose, no draws. Threepeet rule not in effect, ie., The forth move must be different or it's an illegal move. After two warnings for threepeet, DQ. The 50 move must engage the opponent or DQ after two warnings. A game cannot be drawn due to insufficient material. In this case the 'game' isn't over until a sudden death 'game' of one minute per move determines the winner. The faint-of-heart and those wishing to protect their rating should stay home.

This would make for some very interesting and dynamic chess matches.
peppe_l 72 ( +1 | -1 )
To put it simply Draws are a part of chess. If chess fans do not accept it, they have picked a wrong game to watch. I watch games because of interesting moves, not because of result. To me hard fought 50-move draw is no worse than hard fought 50-move win.

Chess fans who prefer decisive result over quality of play can watch amateur tournaments whenever they want. The truth is top players are too good nowadays, winning is harder than ever.

GM DRAWS are something else, if they can find REASONABLE methods to decrease the amount of 14-move games, good!

But the truth is if you implement new, radical WWF-style rules invented by us patzers, GMs will quit playing :-)
thumper 114 ( +1 | -1 )
Peppe_l I don't believe that decisive results and quality of play are mutually exclusive. On the contrary, I believe the quality of play would increase if the draw 'safety net' were removed. "Necessity is the mother of invention." Neither do I believe that winning is harder than ever. What I do believe is the top players quickly use their 'safety net' when victory is not clearly seen.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating changing the rules of chess at large. I do believe that having a no holds barred tournament or series would spark new and inovative play as well as increased respect for the 'game'.

I would like to have a large number of people making a good living playing chess but their isn't enough money available for this to happen. As long as people perceive top chess players as cowardly an unwilling to mix it up, this won't happen. A no-draw tournament/series would go a long way to change this perception and breath some fresh air into the game. The marketing and publicity alone would make quite a stir and attract quite a bit of interest for fans and sponsors. I don't have to be a GM chess player to see this.
buddy2 77 ( +1 | -1 )
of course Of course draws are part of chess. I don't disagee with that. It's the "grandmaster" draws that are tipping the scales into the 79% mark, as at the latest Linares. I also don't think that at the top-level, chess players are so good, they negate each other. Look at top level computer tournaments. The computer level is close to matching humans, and they don't draw nearly as much. What is the reason for this? I like to watch a hard fought draw, as much as anyone else, but the "accepted" draws drive me crazy. It's like going to a boxing match where the fighters decide to dance instead of fight. I'd want my money back. Anyone on GK have a book called Famous Under Twenty-Move Draws?
atrifix 386 ( +1 | -1 )
So, to harp on the "no draws" idea: what would happen in a position like 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. f4 Bg7 5. Nf3 c5 6. Bb5+ Bd7 7. e5 Ng4 8. e6 fxe6 9. Ng5 Bxb5 10. Nxe6? Here the best move is shown to be 10... Bxd4, since anything else leaves White with a big advantage. But then if White chooses to play 11. Nxd8, Black must either give perpetual check (Bf2-e3) or play on without a queen. So who gets disqualified in such an event? White, because he forced the perpetual check with 11. Nxd8, or Black for giving the perpetual check? Or both players? Or suppose that there were a chain of interlocking pawns that composers are so fond of and neither side could do anything--would these games go to blitz playoffs?

A no draw tournament would be a fun idea, but don't expect any big marketing and publicity. It would be a "breath of fresh air", but so would a Fischerrandom tournament. Or you could watch bughouse, those games are almost always decisive.

Short draws are a problem and I'd be open to any reasonable suggestions to remove them, but no one has really proposed any that would really work (probably, there aren't any). The reason you saw so many draws at Linares is that the players there are truly strong and simply do not make a whole lot of mistakes. Only 30% of the games were drawn in 25 moves or less, and half of those were drawn by Kramnik. The other half were one-round draws by guys like Shirov and Radjabov who needed a break. The other 49% were relatively well-fought. Okay, 30% is a fairly large number (15% discounting Kramnik), but it's certainly not 79% GM draws.

Why do computers have so many decisive results? The answer is actually pretty simple, although no one wants to say it: computers make more mistakes! Similarly, computers also have more brilliancies, but humans aren't computers. This is why you see such ridiculously low scores with White for some computers. When computers play humans you see about the same number of draws as you would usually see in a human match, maybe very slightly less.

I submit the results of the 24-game Deep Junior-Deep Fritz match (white wins: 30%, draws: 40%, black wins: 30%). Game 1: Junior sacrifices material to obtain active play for its pieces and equalizes. Fritz, up 2 pawns in an ending, can't understand that it's actually drawn, blunders, and loses the game. Game 2: Fritz makes a series of positional errors and Junior finds a crushing tactic to win. Game 3: Junior makes a positional error after a relatively normal opening, but recovers and holds on. Fritz again refuses a draw, blunders, and loses to a brilliant combination by Junior.
. . . Game 17: Junior grossly overestimates its attack and completely weakens his position, which Fritz is able to take advantage of nicely. . . Game 22: Fritz, down 2 points with only 3 games to go, offers a draw(!) in an relatively equal position, which Junior rejects! Junior goes on to lose the game and Fritz cuts the lead to 1 point (in the next game it would even the match, but Junior later would win the tiebreaker). The draw would practically have sealed the match for Junior, as Fritz would need to win both remaining games and then the playoff tiebreaker.

And so it goes. This is generally not the trend you see among humans, where more typically an opening novelty or realization of strategical objectives is usually the way to a decisive result. Again, the style of computers is very interesting, but humans are not computers and typically cannot find the study-like brilliancies that computers do.

Still, I would like to see any intiative to cut down on GM draws. But I don't think a change in the scoring will accomplish this and only this, since scoring discriminates against all draws. I don't know what to do to cut down on GM draws.
macheide 106 ( +1 | -1 )
About entreteining observers I agree that Kramink play for win the tournament and the money. But, in my oppinion, players like Kramnik must think twice before underestimate spectators, observers. Whithout interested spectators there won't be any interested sponsor to pay prices and publicity. Without sponsors and prices, I don't think Mr. Kramnik would be very interested in play 25 move draws just to asure to win such a sort of a tournament.

I don't see why to win a tournament and play great chess (for the spectators) need to be in conflict. Bravo for Kasparov!. People appreciate more his true devotion to chess and as he once said "I always try to make a chess masterpiece".

Maybe another solution to this (79% draws) tournaments would be to reward not the player that make more points or agree more 24 or 25 "Grand Master" daws, but to reward (in metalic) the players that: a) Win more games, b) Play the best or most beautiful games, c) Draw in the most difficult, ferocious, impresive battles, d) Introduce the mos interesting theoretical novelties..

It's just my personal oppinion,

peppe_l 82 ( +1 | -1 )
Thumper & others "Neither do I believe that winning is harder than ever."

Well, all top level GMs (including Kasparov) believe winning IS harder than ever, and I suppose they know more about top level chess than anyone of us. Like Atrifix pointed out, less mistakes -> less wins.

How to decrease the amount of GM draws? I do not believe there is magic fix", but surely something can be done. For example,

- Prizes (money!) for players who do not make GM draws
- More rest days to make "saving energy" less meaningful


Obviously in some cases they will still make GM draws, for example if you have 1-point lead to others before last round, surely you will be willing to shake hands and call it a day. Of course, we can hope the opponent is willing to play :-)
thumper 79 ( +1 | -1 )
Peppe_l I conceed that we have more information (games to review) than ever before but to say winning is harder is simply a dodge. Every generation would have you believe that their lot in life is far more difficult than the ones that came before. Someone get me a towel.

I compete in several areas myself (see my bio.). As an archer, I hold the rank of Grandmaster. You can say everything that's possible to know about archery is known. I could make the excuse that it's harder than ever to win... I don't. The reason I almost always win every match-up against other archers who are just as good as I am is because I try to. I take risks and 'wild' chances to gain an edge. I push the envelope of what's possible to see what's beyond. The status quo is not good enough.
peppe_l 32 ( +1 | -1 )
I repeat "...all top level GMs (including Kasparov) believe winning IS harder than ever"

When it comes to draws, arching and life in general cannot be compared to chess. Of course, you can _believe_ winning is not harder than it used to be. But IMO beliefs must be based on something more than what we want to believe :-)

thumper 61 ( +1 | -1 )
Peppe_l True enough. Apparently the top GMs "believe" it's harder to win, thereby making it so.

How many combinations can those 32 pieces make on a 64 square board?
It was once "believed" that a human could not break the 4 min. mile and that science had discovered all there was to discover. They also were in error.

Archery is a game of mental focus and toughness far more than a game of physical ability. You don't necessarily have to break a scoring record to beat your opponent.

I think the problem is not that it's so hard to win, rather they are afraid to loose. If the game is played out, someone will loose.

peppe_l 132 ( +1 | -1 )
I disagree The beginning position is completely symmetrical - both players have 16 pieces. It is true White moves first and therefore can hope to have some advantage. But is it enough to win? And if White plays *perfect* moves, how can Black win?

Improving mile record cannot be compared to chess. Why? First of all, you have two players! Yes, Kasparov plays much better chess than Morphy ever played (not trying to belittle Morphy, why was the best player of his era) but then again his opponents play much better chess than Anderssen & others.

But there is more. In mile smallest advantage is enough - you run 0.01 second faster than your opponents, and you win. Same applies to arching. But in chess having a small advantage is not necessarily enough. It can be positional advantage, sometimes even material advantage, and there is no win. It can be K+2N vs K, K+2B vs K+B etc.

"If the game is played out, someone will loose."

Simply not true. Unless one of the players loses on purpose :-)

P.S Even though I disagree, I DO respect your opinions. However I find it interesting you claim top GMs *believe* it is harder to win but you *know* better :-) Surely Kasparov & others must know something? After all, they have real life experience of beating and failing to beat other top players. Can you really say you fully understand how difficult it is to win a game of chess at top level?
thumper 8 ( +1 | -1 )
Hehehe I have a difficult enough time trying to win a game of chess at my level. ;-)
peppe_l 0 ( +1 | -1 )
Me too :-)

atrifix 60 ( +1 | -1 )
Why winning is "harder" All evidence points to the fact that with perfect play from both sides, the game will always end in a draw. As players get stronger, they get closer to perfect play than they were before, and thus you see more draws. If it were true that with perfect play, the game would end in a win for White, then winning would be easier than ever and practically every game would be decisive. This is not what you see in racing, tennis, etc., where someone will always win. IMHO the game is far from played out, though.
slowdive 33 ( +1 | -1 )
Kramnik Kramnik is one of the strongest players in the history of the game.
Maybe he's lost some of his motivation since he beat Kasparov in
their Dec. 2000 match.

But I think he played a great tournament at Linares. He won!
He beat Kasparov and other very strong players. His rating
indicated that he should have finished at +2. I'm proud of him.
jstack 13 ( +1 | -1 )
if you want to see some wins... lets get the reunification for the championship going...I think thats something the GMs will be willing to play more than 25 moves for.
loreta 11 ( +1 | -1 )
Isn't better to look into games, is it?