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what-if chess

Kasparov vs. the masses
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In normal group chess, a large number of games are played independently on tables set up next to each other. On one side of the table, individual players contemplate each move; on the other side, one extremely strong player walks from table to table and quickly makes his or her moves.

In the variant I'm proposing, the game starts out with just one table and one game; on one side, all the minor players discuss their next move as a group. Different next moves are proposed and discussed; finally, the group splits into as many subgroups as different solutions are settled on; new tables are set up on which the remaining game after the move that led to this table are played out, now by the smaller group of this particular move's supporters.

In response to centauri's annotation -- I think players that have ended their game should *not* reenter other games in the same tree. The idea is to group players with similar strategies or interests together and form strong teams; if the losers from other branches could come back into ones they didn't agree with, the spread would be more statistical than strategic, and the game less interesting. (But maybe both versions work in practice; there's no reason not to try this.)

jutta, Oct 31 2000

Randy Olsen: Popularity of openings over time http://www.randalol...larity-of-openings/
These statistics reminded me of this idea again. [jutta, May 26 2014]


       I think it was ChessMaster 2000 which would let you "rewind" your game and make a different move at some point along the line so that the two games could branch off. I never tested this but I imagine you could have any number of branches (as long as you only branched once at each move at each game), which sounds something like what you're proposing.   

       If the master beats one offshoot, do those players whose game ended get to spread around to other ongoing games? Probably not, I guess, since they don't have much of a track record at that point.
centauri, Oct 31 2000

       No, because the total number of branches is bounded by the number of players - once everyone in the group has their own game, it cannot grow any more. So a game can never be larger than it would have been had it just started out as a traditional group chess match with the same number of players
mab, Oct 31 2000

       [mab] has correctly identified the boundary, but even an N-player game that splits into N individual games in the first logX(N) moves would be boring.   

       But the goal when splitting is not to try everything that's possible, but to split whenever a group truly is divided about the next best move. (As an individual player, there's a strong incentive to stick with the group, since you're more likely to spot potential dangers and come up with good ideas while in the group.)
jutta, Oct 31 2000

       Why not try it across the net..
ohmygod, Dec 14 2000

       Even without the media, I think this would work better in one physical location. Fast group discussions that develop strategies are part of the fun, and having everybody in one place still makes that easier.
jutta, Dec 20 2000

       This is a reinvention of chess literature. It also falls in the category of Subjunctive Replay. Borges-chess.
rfalv, Dec 31 2000

       In normal group chess, as you describe it, the objective is to beat the stronger player. If he is put under stress and has many moves to think about hemight lose one or two of the games.   

       So I suppose you would think this idea would make it easier for the group as a collective to beat the champ?   

       When various subgroups play out scenarios, they would not be playing it the way the champ would play. The question is: if we do this, what would he do? --What would he do?-- is now replaced by --What would (a part of) the collection do?--   

       I would like to participate and I think it would make for a strong game, but it would not beat the champ more often than a regular session of group chess. In a regular session all the same ideas are worked out.   

       I bun it because it opens up discussions about chess: a good thing.   

       I wonder if this anno is noted by others seeing as it has been a while since this was posted.
zeno, Apr 18 2005

       There was a Kasparov vs World event a few years ago. Five consultants would offer their views of the world's best move, and people would discuss the game on a message board and vote for the move they should make.   

       The game was actually quite solid, thanks largely to the work of Irina Krush (one of the consultants), but the sponsors failed one day to post her analysis. The message boards had for days discussed the situation in question and it was well-recognized that Qe4 was a losing move. Unfortunately, Irina's analysis showing that fact wasn't posted . The world voters, many of whom didn't read the message boards, chose Qe4 allowing Kasparov to win.   

       It's unclear what would have happened if the world had made Qf6 as Irina had recommended. Kasparov claimed he had a winning line at that point even after Qf6, but the line he claimed as a winning line would have in fact led to a draw. There was a winning line Kasparov could have used, but it's unclear whether he would have found it.
supercat, Apr 18 2005

       Interesting stuff.
zeno, Apr 19 2005

       Wow--this is like that theory of universes splitting off at each decision. Spacy. Here's a fluffy one.
disbomber, Apr 19 2005


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