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The Nine Billion Games Of God

All the world's chess players play the same game of metachess
  [vote for,

I've heard that there are around fifteen to thirty legal moves per position in chess, which seems about right - for instance, i can think of twenty legal opening moves.

Normally, only two people play chess at once. Other chess players play different games. There are also contests where people play several games at once. However, the global chess community tends to play separate games.

So my idea is this. There is a master game each of whose moves are determined by the outcomes of a number of other games - maybe about twenty at first. Each of these games is itself determined by a number of other games and so forth. This goes on for about seven levels, involving billions of players, some of whom are doubling or tripling up, or more. All chess players in the world who wish to do so are included in this tree of games. The possible moves are decided upon at each level of each game, allowing pairs of players to be allocated strategically and enabling sensible games to be played.

Before anyone says, yes i did consider an alternate IMB title for this idea.

nineteenthly, Dec 19 2011

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi_(film) [calum, Dec 19 2011]

Chess database search. http://duckduckgo.c...ss+database%22&kp=1
There are many! [DrBob, Dec 19 2011]

Number of Possible Games of Chess http://blog.chess.c...ble-games-are-there
Depends on how you count, but it is extremely huge (10^120 ??) [csea, Dec 19 2011]

'How to Cheat at Chess' by Bill Hartston http://www.amazon.c...d=1324473509&sr=8-1
Not actually a guide to cheating but a humorous cataloguing of some of the more colourful ways that the game has been played. Includes some violence! [DrBob, Dec 21 2011, last modified Dec 22 2011]


       So, this game becomes a statistical breakdown of the popularity of each possible move?
RayfordSteele, Dec 19 2011

       I'm not sure - the idea description is confusing and doesn't say what actually happens. A possible variant (or it may be exactly the same thing - I don't know) would be a kind of 'democracy chess' in which 20 chess games are played simultaneously and at every stage, the most popular move among the 20 games becomes the move everyone has to make (so all 20 games are the same, but effectively they're voting on each move).
hippo, Dec 19 2011

       In any democracy the weakest persist.
4whom, Dec 19 2011

       In essence, this is pretty much what happens with chess openings, as all the competitive games are recorded and analysed and a consensus eventually emerges about the strongest line in any particular opening.
DrBob, Dec 19 2011

       After the last game ends, do you look up and see that above you, one by one, the stars are going out ?
8th of 7, Dec 19 2011

       I think you play it to pass the time at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
RayfordSteele, Dec 19 2011

       I presume there are only a finite amount of games of chess. I wonder if anyone has figured out how many?
wagster, Dec 19 2011

       // i can think of twenty legal opening moves//   

       You are forgetting the classic opening of Samovar against Knigi. The breathtaking boldness of the move, combined with the finesse of Samovar's work with the epée, has never been bettered.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 19 2011

       Indisputable, yes, but it remains the worst, nay almost definitive, eample of Chess Hooliganism on record, and the consequent showing of the Red Card by the referee, the resultant Public Enquiry by the International Tribuneral on Violence in Chess, and the fact that Samovar was subsequently sentenced to death in his absence did cast something of a blight on the game.
8th of 7, Dec 19 2011

       Mornington Crescent!
gnomethang, Dec 19 2011

       To [gnomethang], by acclamation, both ears, and the tail
mouseposture, Dec 19 2011

       [wagster], see [link]
csea, Dec 19 2011

       [csea] as far as I can tell, the greater part of the linked article is bollocks.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 19 2011

       That number exactly, which it isn't of course, is a vigintillion on the long scale, a number for which i had great affection as a youngling.   

       You can at least begin to work it out fairly straightforwardly. There are twenty possible opening moves and four hundred possible first two moves. The first complication in working out the third move is whether other pieces are in the way. Four of the first player's second moves involve them returning a knight to its original position, which is interesting - what would happen if all both players did was to shuffle their knights back and forth? There's a rule about repeating moves which i've currently forgotten.
nineteenthly, Dec 20 2011

       There are several ed draw rules that do limit the number of possible games to a finite number.   

       Three repetitons of the same position is a draw (non mandatory, but can be claimed by either player).   

       Fifty moves without a capture or pawn movement is a draw. Even if the three repitition draw is ignored, this will kick in.   

       A stalemate - no legal moves and not in check is a draw. Or if checkmate is not possible because insufficient pieces remain (only kings, for instance).   

       Regardless, while the number of possible games is large but finite, the number of reasonable variations is significantly smaller. (Sacrificing your queen to an oponents pawn on the second move, for instance, is not a variation that will see much play)
MechE, Dec 20 2011

       Just thinking about small chess. That would have a smaller "tree" which is easier to imagine.
nineteenthly, Dec 20 2011

       /each of whose moves are determined/ If those moves are determined, would there be any need for human players to think and place the pieces?
bungston, Dec 20 2011

       This seems like it would be a game of Deep Blue vs. Watson.
RayfordSteele, Dec 20 2011

       Would that be anything like Joe vs. The Volcano ?
8th of 7, Dec 20 2011

       nine billion, not exactly a big number of permutations...these days.   

       //Pepin the Short (714-768) was playing chess against the son of Okarius (Okar), the prince of Bavaria, and became so enraged at repeatedly losing, that he hit the prince in the head with one of the chess pieces (rochus or rook) and killed him on the spot.//   

       Surprisingly violent game, judging from the many (probably apocryphal) tales. Or, don't trust anyone with a really crap nickname?
not_morrison_rm, Dec 20 2011

       //After the last game ends, do you look up and see that above you, one by one, the stars are going out ?//. Only if you play it in front of a group of chess obsessed celebrities.
AusCan531, Dec 20 2011

       Damn, this must be the slow class.   

       Does the term "literary allusion" mean nothing to you ?   

       Does the term "literary" mean nothing to you ?   

       Does the term "Huh ?" mean anything to you ?   

       Aaach ... let's try again. "Number One White Man B'long Mrs. Queen say 'You-fellah go Place-b'long-blackboard, learn plenty strong reading, or Him-fellah b'long Mrs Queen give you-fellah Right Duffing Up, OK ?"   

       It's like trying to teach a Newfoundlander to row a boat and fish at the same time, only less rewarding.
8th of 7, Dec 20 2011

       There has to be a useful way to change the Title to "9 billion Games of Nod"
FlyingToaster, Dec 21 2011

       //Does the term "literary allusion" mean nothing to you?//   

       Actually "no". The first 2 times I read the header as "The Nine Billion Names of God" because that story is so ingrained into my consciousness. I've been a fan of A C Clarke since you were probably still known as [3rd of 2].   

       Is the concept of deliberate obtuseness for the purposes of humour (or at the very least a small pun) not known on your planet? Or is it just that you took up residence north of the Western Rocks on the Isles of Scilly and suffer from that "living north of the 49th parallel affliction" you mentioned in a previous annotation?   

       BTW, as I recall, both rowing and fishing are some of the few things that the Newfies are actually pretty good at doing. Its been a long time since I've checked on my eastern brethren since I've been living the good life at 31° 60'S for quite a few years now so maybe things have changed.   

       Do try to keep up.
AusCan531, Dec 21 2011

       // There has to be a useful way to change the Title to "9 billion Games of Nod" //   

       The games are so boring that they make everyone fall asleep? Or everyone has to agree before the next move is made on the next level up?
nineteenthly, Dec 21 2011

       "Ehem... Zod."
RayfordSteele, Dec 21 2011

       Seems like Okar could have used some chess advice from C3P0.
bungston, Dec 21 2011

       Sound like world of warcraft board game.
travbm, Nov 05 2015


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