Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. 27 Nov '07 20:01
    In Chess960, there are 960 possible opening positions rendering opening theory close to useless beyond some basic principles. After playing Chess960 a few times, I have to wonder if all the study that has been put into the standard opening position is really an intrinsic part of chess itself. What are your opinions on this?
  2. 27 Nov '07 20:18 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    In Chess960, there are 960 possible opening positions rendering opening theory close to useless beyond some basic principles. After playing Chess960 a few times, I have to wonder if all the study that has been put into the standard opening position is really an intrinsic part of chess itself. What are your opinions on this?
    Yeah, I definitely think so. Of course, after a while theory will be just too dense...maybe those openings with too much theory will simply go out of style, or maybe people will decide that we should switch to 960. I personally think that 960 isn't such a great idea, because some of the start positions (IMO) don't make for good chess. Of course, it could always be made so that we simply all start from a new position. i.e. have all games start with bishops on b1 and g1, and knights on c1 and f1.

    If you are confused by what I just wrote, well...yeah...sorry.
  3. Standard member chessisvanity
    THE BISHOP GOD
    27 Nov '07 20:30
    Chess is fine the way it is.

    How many of you play otb and go..."oh great....me and my opponent are on move 23 and still in book theory"....give me a break people.

    Grandmasters....well Super grandmasters may complain of long lines and memory and crap.....well, let them go play chess960 or some other stupid thing.

    I'm fine with the original chess position thanks.
    ALSO!! Why are the same people complaining of long theoretical lines when they are the ones playing those long lines!!
  4. 27 Nov '07 20:42
    Originally posted by chessisvanity
    Chess is fine the way it is.

    How many of you play otb and go..."oh great....me and my opponent are on move 23 and still in book theory"....give me a break people.

    Grandmasters....well Super grandmasters may complain of long lines and memory and crap.....well, let them go play chess960 or some other stupid thing.

    I'm fine with the original ches ...[text shortened]... eople complaining of long theoretical lines when they are the ones playing those long lines!!
    Well said. I have a hard time seeing one move ahead and can’t remember more than 3 moves of theory in the 3 or 4 openings I play so I really don’t care what problems the GM’s are facing when it comes to opening theory. Come to think of it I don’t even care if they can’t make a living playing chess. Neither can I but you don’t hear me complaining about it.
  5. 27 Nov '07 20:45 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by masscat
    Well said. I have a hard time seeing one move ahead and can’t remember more than 3 moves of theory in the 3 or 4 openings I play so I really don’t care what problems the GM’s are facing when it comes to opening theory. Come to think of it I don’t even care if they can’t make a living playing chess. Neither can I but you don’t hear me complaining about it.
    Well...I've played OTB games 12-16 moves deep, and CC games 18-22 moves deep. For me, it's a problem sometimes.
  6. Standard member chessisvanity
    THE BISHOP GOD
    27 Nov '07 20:48 / 1 edit
    so deviate?.....even at your level you can't say a "second best move" at move 14 is a loss for you.

    anything i say is based on otb play.

    not CC
  7. 27 Nov '07 20:49
    Originally posted by chessisvanity
    so deviate?.....even at your level you can't say a "second best move" at move 14 is a loss for you.

    anything i say is based on otb play.

    not CC
    Ever played the Yugoslav Attack? Not a lot of room for error there, man.
  8. Standard member chessisvanity
    THE BISHOP GOD
    27 Nov '07 20:51 / 1 edit
    Never have. i'm sure some lines are very tough.

    I play openings that aren't forcing in any way.

    I never hear of "long lines and theory" when i open with 1.a4

    but then again.....i'm only 1400 on a good day...
  9. 27 Nov '07 20:53
    Originally posted by chessisvanity
    Never have. i'm sure some lines are very tough.

    I play openings that aren't forcing in any way.

    I never hear of "long lines and theory" when i open with 1.a4
    You also don't hear of "significant advantage" when you open with 1.a4.
  10. Standard member chessisvanity
    THE BISHOP GOD
    27 Nov '07 20:55
    no....no you don't.....but when i win with 1.a4 and 2.h4....

    well....it's sweeter than yoohoo
  11. 27 Nov '07 21:00
    Technically, each position could be considered in isolation without reference to any of the three main game phases: opening, middlegame and endgame.

    Most of the point of endgame study is more to expedite the calculation. The possibilities are simply too numerous, so patterns exist to allow you to expedite much of that calculation.

    Openings are much the same. True, the possible positions in the beginning are relatively few, but they grow exponentially larger.

    The point is, you could calculate that the pawn will promote by calculating every move of pawn and opponent king in a simple endgame, or you can instead employ basic endgame theory and know it intuitively. You can play 1. h4 2. g4 and be technically sound and continue losing against more skilled competition, or you can instead use basic theory and know that leaving your pieces inactive on the back rank will probably result in a lost game down the road.

    So, finally, extending that, opening theory includes the obvious strategical component that have been isolated throughout decades of play among top players. This is why people also say don't play through openings without understanding why; if you're not understanding why moves offer some advantage, if at all, then the value is lost.

    In other words, no, I don't think openings are "intrinsic to chess." They're just a more macroscopic view of what already occurs in chess with accurate play. Learning them as players allows us to expedite our knowledge curve, because otherwise we'd likely spend years searching for the right move anyway (probably longer) and end up with what has already been studied ad nauseum.
  12. 27 Nov '07 22:49
    To clarify, I am not suggesting that chess is played out and we need to explore Chess960 instead. This would be utter nonsense. Even in the virtually impossible event that chess were played out- solved, and we knew the best moves up to the very end, who could possibly remember all that? Moreover, it is clear that multiple openings would lead to a draw with best play and in each of those openings, there would be many paths to a drawn game. Humans would still win and lose; chess would be no easier. Thus, the death of chess due to opening theory is very much absurd.

    In addition, Chess960 is not better or worse, it just offers many more starting positions. This has the advantage of making both players think right away but comes with many disadvantages as well. There would be no common starting point and so discussing otherțs games and truly understanding chess at a deep level would be a great difficulty. People may also be less interested in those games since it is more difficult to apply the new knowledge. And of course, other forms of chess like blindfold would be pretty much eliminated. Some starting positions in Chess960 lack scope and are awkward. For example, having the bishop on h1 or a1 leaves fianchettoing as the only viable plan. In normal chess, the pieces are placed in such a way that they all have the most possible development squares and they are symmetrical to the left and right. This in turn provides for many more workable plans and is of course more like a real army, where there would be a logical structure to the placement of soldiers. Moreover, it may be that White gets a bigger advantage than in normal chess in some Chess960 positions. And of course there are practical considerations too. Chess960 takes more time to set-up. Chess960 has its pros and cons, but I don't think one can really make the case that it's better anymore than saying a novel is better than a poem because it has more pages.

    No, my question was whether you think that the starting position is an intrinsic part of the game. Would it really still be chess if we had a different starting position, like in Chess960?
  13. 27 Nov '07 22:55 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by chessisvanity
    Chess is fine the way it is.

    How many of you play otb and go..."oh great....me and my opponent are on move 23 and still in book theory"....give me a break people.

    Grandmasters....well Super grandmasters may complain of long lines and memory and crap.....well, let them go play chess960 or some other stupid thing.

    I'm fine with the original ches ...[text shortened]... eople complaining of long theoretical lines when they are the ones playing those long lines!!
    Some openings demand that one know these lines. Try playing the Semi-Slav without knowing the Moscow! However, this isn't necessarily a problem and even after those forcing variations there is a lot of play. It's true that sometimes one can deviate, but if the position is worse this way, why do it? I would usually rather take a draw than get into an inferior position. Anyway, it's not like the White player would be happy with just a draw so such forcing variations don't tend to be that popular.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    As for GMs not making a living from chess, comparing their situation to yours shows a great lack of thought. Unlike you, they worked almost their entire lives at becoming better at this game/sport and if the top .01% or less can't make a living from it there is something critically wrong.
  14. 27 Nov '07 23:30
    Among World Champions, and considered two of the ten best players who ever played chess, who hardly bothered with opening theory: Lasker... and Capa.
  15. 28 Nov '07 00:13
    Originally posted by chessisvanity
    Chess is fine the way it is.

    How many of you play otb and go..."oh great....me and my opponent are on move 23 and still in book theory"....give me a break people.

    Grandmasters....well Super grandmasters may complain of long lines and memory and crap.....well, let them go play chess960 or some other stupid thing.

    I'm fine with the original ches ...[text shortened]... eople complaining of long theoretical lines when they are the ones playing those long lines!!
    Well stated. Normal players and GMs even admit not being able to remember all of the theory. GMs can "memorize" more because they have a better concept of the game. They remember structures and patterns rather than on move 24 I do this. Yes, I do know Super GMs memorize and prepare forever, but I do not think it effects us common folk.