Only Chess Forum

1. 11 Apr '09 10:20 / 3 edits
There is nothing like dice in Chess. There is nothing like randomly distributed cards neither. Except when deciding who is White and who is black, there is apparently no chance is chess. Chess – and this is often honoured - is one of these games that apparently do not imply any kind of chance.
Apparently, yes! Because on contrary to what most people think, there is still a lot of chance, implied in any of our chess games. And even the greatest players do have chance. Let me explain.

1. we may conceive chess as an equation with a finite number of solutions. In this model, there is nothing like chance: it’s all logic and mathematics. Maybe, one day, powerful computers will give us the final solutions of chess. But, we all also agree that when we play chess, we never think like in mathematics and logic: though chess has a finite number of solutions, it is a very large number of solutions, and it is impossible, in a concrete chess game, to fully consider them all. We rather use limited patterns to select information and decide what way seems the best.

2. Patterns – and I insist, this is the practical perspective everyone adopts, when playing chess – are limited. This means that there is a difference between our patterns, and the hypothetical (though logically certain) perfect solution. There is something completely beyond our practical logics or rationality; something that is part of the game, but that we do not integrate in our previsions. This implies the possibility of discoveries.

3. These discoveries cannot be made thanks to our patterns, or strategical, positional thoughts: and this is absolutely true; it is true by definition;.: since discoveries precisely apply beyond our given patterns.

4.So discoveries are due to nothing. Another name for this is chance: the fact that there is not only pattern, but also unexpected “beyond-the-pattern”, every time you play.

5. Lets give some example. In some situation, you play following some strategical ideas... and to one point, you also discover that “by chance!” there is also something more than your strategy and tactics: there is some piece, some pawn here or there; something that was there without intention, or without the intention of doing the thing you just saw. Something that you did not plan, something unexpected; that may help or annoy you. We may call it “luck” if it helps; “bad luck” if it does not. I think this is an essential part of chess, underestimated. This is why there are events in chess, stories, happenings!

6. But how could there be luck, if on the other hand, better players still usually win? By definition, if this is luck, there is no better player, there is only luck... and better players are not better because they have more luck, they are better because they know more about chess. Well, this is because luck here, relates to something different from dice and cards luck.
Here luck applies not on what is given, distributed to you objectively (a six with a dice, a King with cards). This would the case in Fischer random chess (where pieces are randomly distributed on the board), but it is not in classical chess. Here, luck has a different object: it applies to the intentions or patterns you have in mind. (Damn! This queen could also help doing this! “I” (my mind, my patterns) did not plan this! I am pretty lucky!) . And as everyone knows, it is not your state of mind who defines whether you win or not, but the objective situation. So there is luck, but it does not define the objective success or failure of your games. It only explains that your game may go better or worse that you have effectively planned.

7. Some people may say: He did not see this because he was tired, not concentrated: this is why there are things that you do not see, not because of chance. But this is not the real question. The real point is that, whether or not you see that pawn, or tactical combination, you had not planned it; it was there only by chance.

8. Finally, afterwards, you could also say: yes this was logical, necessary. But this is only afterwards... Afterwards, what was chance usually become part of your pattern. For your next games for instance, you will think about it. But then, you just change your mind. So it was luck with your previous mind, but with your new mind, it is not anymore. So there is still luck, for a given state of mind.

So please! Be kind when you win: recognize that you definitely had chance!
2.  orion25
Art is hard
11 Apr '09 13:15
we can quite agree that the placement of pieces doesn't happen by chance, and if you don't see all the possibilities that move gives you well, than it is your fault, the thing is that you could have calculated all possibilities and therefore there is no such thing as luck

perhaps you could have the luck to find another use for the same move, but the move itself wasn't luck, and the possibilities it gave you neither
3. 11 Apr '09 13:40
precisely, the thing is that you cannot think of all possibilities...
4.  orion25
Art is hard
11 Apr '09 21:32
well you could if you were a genious

the point I try to make is that it could have had that purpose, even if it wasn't seen imediatly, therefore you would beneficiate from a good move, not luck
5. 11 Apr '09 21:47
You don't need to see all the possibilities.

With logic you can toss away gigantic subsets of possibilities that are clearly inferior, then you only need to go down the lines of the subsets that are close to find which one is superior.

I still think inside the game, there is no luck.
6. 12 Apr '09 02:59 / 1 edit
Well, the problem is not what you think, but what you demonstrate. I demonstrated that there is chance in chess, and saying "I don't think so" is not a demonstration.
To make the point more simple: when, in a given situation, you examine different lines, you never go (except for situation of chekmate) through all of them: you do not check every possible move on the board; and you do examine the line until the end. So, you recognize limits, and hope that by chance, these limits will not affect adversely.
Haven't you ever been in the situation that, "by chance", there was this pawn here, or this piece there? haven't you been in the situation to tell yourself: "ok, let's play this, and we will see"? this exactly means: ok let's play this, and hope we'll have luck!
Actually, pretending you had no chance is just pretending you had thought about everything that would happen; which is not true.

and to the objection "yes, but you could have thought about it", see my point 8: you say this only afterwards, when you already had the chance to see it, and when you begin to change your mind. Your argument implicitely supposes a previous state of mind and chance.
7. 12 Apr '09 05:24
Chess will never be solved. Why? There are too many solutions to be covered. This leads to refutations. Plenty of openings have been refuted or proven easily to equalize against. Time will only limit the openings that are playable at the highest levels. Chess has no forcing opening moves per say so there are plenty of ways to deviate from a theoretical lost game. Chess will never become dull, because not a single person in the world can recite the entire MCO although they could be close.
8. 12 Apr '09 05:28
Chance is a terrible way of describing chess. A pawn is there because earlier you moved it and you didn't get lucky you put your pieces in good position you were skilled in knowing the correct continuation. That is all. if that is the way you describe chance then I was lucky in everything in my life. I had a chance to do two things and I chose one thing, man was I lucky
9. 12 Apr '09 06:27
Well, precisely, it often happens that a pawn which was there has, incidentally, a role that you did not expect. The very fact that this pawn can do this particular thing you did not expect, is chance.
10.  orion25
Art is hard
12 Apr '09 10:06
well, that is what you call good positional play, not luck, see you don't have to know all the lines to know that a move is good, and the fact that you can do something with that move just proves that it was a positionally sound move
11. 12 Apr '09 10:38
I agree with the OP. It's kind of like in statistical physics; even though the system is described by determinist equations, you can use chance-related concepts to describe the system because the amount of states available to the system is so vast.
12.  RECUVIC
international loser
12 Apr '09 15:44
'Chance' in chess has always been refuted successfully as a significant choice of move play factor by the correct positioning of chessmen in any given chess position,but chance or perhaps more correctly described as 'random chance' in terms of other off-play factors can and often does affect a chess game as it can do with anything else in life.Random chance' most commonly described as good or bad luck is not possible to foresee or predict with any degree of reliability,and therefore is not a play useful contribution to any game/sport etc,but the fact that it exists is undeniable. The only logical way to play chess or any other competetive game/sport etc is to ignore the possible impact of "random chance" and should it exist at some point during the game as an external impact,then it is not incorrect to make the best possible use of it,for those whom it works to advantage,as random chance cannot be artificially created.If random chance opportunities are created,then it is not 'random'-----
13. 13 Apr '09 01:02
wonder if anyone has an ' accidental sacrifice' game
where you or your opponent blunders into a winning position
has happened to me a few times.
14. 13 Apr '09 01:13
Originally posted by RECUVIC
'Chance' in chess has always been refuted successfully as a significant choice of move play factor by the correct positioning of chessmen in any given chess position,but chance or perhaps more correctly described as 'random chance' in terms of other off-play factors can and often does affect a chess game as it can do with anything else in life.Random chance' ...[text shortened]... ially created.If random chance opportunities are created,then it is not 'random'-----
What?
15. 13 Apr '09 01:43
Originally posted by Black Star Uchess
wonder if anyone has an ' accidental sacrifice' game
where you or your opponent blunders into a winning position
has happened to me a few times.
Haven't you played bugouse ;-)