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Why There Shouldn't Be a Chess World Champion 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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Why There Shouldn't Be a Chess World Champion

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  • by codeButcher ( 223668 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @03:32AM (#45343037)
    I watch chess for the riveting slow-action replays.
  • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @04:11AM (#45343163) Homepage

    Me too! OMG!

    This is my favorite classic moment in chess, former Women's World Champion GM Alexandra Kosteniuk checkmaking GM Wang Hao!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDo8WXeVMx0 [youtube.com]

  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @04:27AM (#45343209)

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @04:41AM (#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."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @05:16AM (#45343391)

    You mean Hand Egg?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @05:51AM (#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.

  • 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?

  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @07:13AM (#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.

  • by night_flyer ( 453866 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @07:33AM (#45343829) Homepage

    I love ELO... Jeff Lynne is a musical genius!

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.