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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pontificating on Miscellaneous Stuff

Timing out on Chesshood:

   Chesshood has introduced a novel idea:
In order to keep the site fun and clean, a new feature has been installed: Any members who do not log on the site for a period of 15 days (players on vacation excluded of course) will receive an automated private message and email, 24 hours after that if no log on has been recorded for that player, the account will automatically be deleted. That will also apply to members timing out more than 7 games with or without logins recorded.

      There needs to be some repercussions when a player forfeits on time in a lot of games. Some sites don’t seem to do anything while on Lechenicher SchachServer you get put on probation and suspended for a certain number of days, but your account is never deleted. I used to play on Chessworld and I don’t think you got suspended or anything but, like LSS and probably other sites, your name remained on the rolls. Some players have not been active on these sites for years. It’s wrong to keep a player on the rating list when his last login was 3 or 4 years ago. I think Chesshood has the right idea of deleting accounts for inactive players.

Is Chess Getting Played Out?

     Some people think that at the top level chess pretty well worked out and its possibilities exhausted with draws plaguing the elite GM level. And, as I mentioned in a previous post, chess engines are making winning correspondence games harder and harder.

      I saw a game in Shirov’s Fire on Board the other day where he wrote that he discovered a move in home analysis on, if memory serves, move 32 or 33. Bobby Fischer believed traditional chess is played out…finished. When Capa said the same thing, if you remember, about the only opening they ever played was the Queen’s Gambit Declined, or some such and it was getting harder to find any new ideas. But, then along came the K-Indian, for example, which was at first believed to be bad, but as we all know it wasn’t. Maybe somebody will discover 1.h3 has merits. Who knows?
      Chess has a tremendous number of moves, so I am not sure how it can be played out. Just like yesteryear, the elite GMs may have to start playing openings heretofore considered unplayable and perhaps discover they aren’t! There is always a new generation moving into the top 50 players at an ever-younger age who, hopefully, will be the new ultra-hypermoderns and opening theoreticians of their day and they will discover resources in what are today considered ‘unplayable’ openings.
      In any case, to me it does not matter what happens because until I gain several hundred rating points, chess is still a mystery.
Reprehensible Conduct

      Correspondence opponents who refuse to move in lost positions (sometimes I have noticed they have logged in and moved in other games), Internet opponents who abandon games, badger opponents, make cheating accusations, call their opponents names, swear, you name it...they remind me of people who write crude stuff on toilet walls.
      According to an Associated Press report of several years ago the fast-paced, high-tech existence has taken a toll on manners in society. From road rage to high decibel cell-phone conversations, people behaving badly has become the hallmark of the world.
      Nearly 70 percent questioned in an Associated Press poll said people are ruder than they were 20 or 30 years ago although more city dwellers report bad manners, 74 percent, than do people in rural areas, 67 percent. The generation that came of age in the 1960s and 1970s are now parents who don’t stress the importance of manners.
      We live in a world of sulking athletes and boorish celebrities, etc. and the media glorifies their crude behavior. Nowadays many people have little respect for authority and always want blame somebody else because whatever happens, it’s always somebody else’s fault. So why would one think chessplayers would be any different?      

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