$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 116.7

7,093 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
44.7% of Goal | left

Support:

Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
28 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Abstract Games» Forums » General

Subject: Outside the box rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Richard Moxham
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
designer
mb

I'm probably the only remaining person on the globe unfamiliar with this idea (usually am - I haven't a clue what Angelina Jolie looks like, for instance), but FWIW I was much struck this morning by the following suggestion from a correspondent on chessgames.com:

devere wrote:
My proposal is to have the speed playoff before the classical match. The winner of the speed playoff gets draw odds in the classical match, and the loser has to play aggressively to win the match. Another merit of this proposal is you would always have the speed pre-match as crowd entertainment.

I believe that the same idea would also improve world cup soccer. Hold the penalty shoot-out before the game to establish which team gets draw odds. The loser of the penalty shoot-out will play aggressively to win the game.

Pretty damned imaginative, I thought.

7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John
United Kingdom
Southampton
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Presumably in Chess draw odds would be tied to colour? I'd seem a bit harsh to play black and know that you'd lose if you drew the match.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Moxham
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
designer
mb
zabdiel wrote:
Presumably in Chess draw odds would be tied to colour? I'd seem a bit harsh to play black and know that you'd lose if you drew the match.

Ah! Okay! I see I should have made clear that devere was writing specifically about the current World Championship - though, by extension, about (especially high-level) matchplay in general. In other words, situations where both sides would share the colours equally over a number of games.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian K
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This seems like a cool idea. My first thought is that I like it, but would have to see it in action to know if it has any unwanted consequences.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig Duncan
United States
Ithaca
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
I believe that the same idea would also improve world cup soccer. Hold the penalty shoot-out before the game to establish which team gets draw odds. The loser of the penalty shoot-out will play aggressively to win the game.


The downside I see is the flip side of the phenomenon mentioned, namely, that the winning side may play super defensively. As play in soccer already favors the defense, this might make the imbalance even more imbalanced. The average number of goals scored might fall, and the proportion of matches decided on penalties might increase, which would not be good. (By the way, I write this as a huge soccer fan.) I'm not saying it's not worth a try; I'm just saying that the likely results are not obviously an improvement. It's hard to predict what would happen.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John
United Kingdom
Southampton
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Oh, okay, that should have been obvious. I tend to think about playing games casually! So it's be best of 12 games, and if the match was tied after that then the player who won the speed playoff would win - the key difference with this proposal being that the playoff would always happen and happen first. I think I like it.

I suppose the disadvantage in football (soccer) is that the penalty shoot-out will be less exciting for the crowd since they don't know whether it'll actually matter. The advantage is that it eliminates the situation where both teams would rather play out time to the shoot-out than attack and risk a counter attack so it might be a good idea. I can't see it happening though. (I'm not much of a football fan these days, I can't see a similar idea working in Cricket!)

cdunc123 wrote:
The downside I see is the flip side of the phenomenon mentioned, namely, that the winning side may play super defensively.


Yes, that seems like a distinct possibility.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bentley
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Like many observers, I believe chess at the highest level is in serious trouble.

It's been heading toward higher draw rates for a long time, and it's now at the point where a strong majority of top level games are draws (in the latest world championship, 8 draws to 1 decisive game so far).

The pessimism is justified by draw ratios between the best chess engines, which show the predicted higher draw ratios: around 90% draws at present, and rising each year. That's where humans are going.

In addition, there seems to be a compounding effect for humans specifically: as decisive games become more rare, humans play increasingly conservatively/defensively because they know if they over-reach and lose, there's no coming back from it.

The natural outcome would be that classical time matches will become mostly foregone conclusions. If they were to implement playoffs for tiebreak like the one described here, those playoffs will eventually be the main driver of outcomes, with the "main" matches becoming formalities.

------------------------------------

I've been thinking about how Chess could be saved without changing the rules (which has proven completely unacceptable to Chess players)

At some level, fast time controls will have to be accepted as part of the solution, because that's the only known way to reliably adjust draw ratios.

So here's my current favorite idea:

Championship matches are played to the first decisive game. Whoever wins that game wins the match.

The first game in the match uses classical time control. After each drawn game, the time controls are incrementally tightened.


The advantages of this are:

a) sudden death creates maximum excitement and makes every game critical.
b) time controls are tightened no more than they absolutely need to be to produce a decisive outcome.
c) system is pretty impervious to future rising of classical time draw rates.

Thoughts?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John
United Kingdom
Southampton
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
milomilo122 wrote:
Championship matches are played to the first decisive game. Whoever wins that game wins the match.

Making every game critical seems likely to encourage defensive play, you argue above that if draws predominate then losing a single game is bad and leads to more defensive play, but if a single win is decisive then surely the motivation to play conservatively is greater?

The reduced time controls may counteract this, but if the first few games are always draws then why not start with less time on the clock to start with?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bentley
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
zabdiel wrote:
The reduced time controls may counteract this, but if the first few games are always draws then why not start with less time on the clock to start with?


Mainly because Chess players won't accept a system that doesn't utilize classical time controls at all. The solution is as much political as technical.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
christian freeling
Netherlands
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
milomilo122 wrote:
zabdiel wrote:
The reduced time controls may counteract this, but if the first few games are always draws then why not start with less time on the clock to start with?


Mainly because Chess players won't accept a system that doesn't utilize classical time controls at all. The solution is as much political as technical.


That's the first time I see Draughts players being more progressive than their Chess counterparts then. Draughts encountered the problem earlier, so in match play they now have normal games, then rapid, then blitz. This sure enough leads to a decision at some point. And if not, the procedure can simply be extended by flipping a coin.

The problem is more inherent than it used to be. Remember the times that making a game that was "difficult to program" seemed challenging? And of course it is still a challenge, if only for the fact that some games are easier to program than others.

But … how about the difficulty for humans? New games have no masters, let alone grandmasters (let's assume a new game would not, in principle, devaluate those terms to begin with). The holy grail seems to me a game that cannot be programmed all that well, allowing determined players to stay ahead of it. Indefinitely.

And by now that doesn't constitute a challenge anymore, but rather a dream. Or a delusion.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bentley
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
christianF wrote:
The holy grail seems to me a game that cannot be programmed all that well, allowing determined players to stay ahead of it. Indefinitely.


Short of that ideal, I've wondered if there's some value in creating games that humans are so bad at, compared to AI, that people don't worry about trying to stay ahead of AI and focus on each other.

I think of Yinsh in this context; a game people love to play, but which they're bound to play poorly compared to AI.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
christian freeling
Netherlands
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
milomilo122 wrote:
christianF wrote:
The holy grail seems to me a game that cannot be programmed all that well, allowing determined players to stay ahead of it. Indefinitely.


Short of that ideal, I've wondered if there's some value in creating games that humans are so bad at, compared to AI, that people don't worry about trying to stay ahead of AI and focus on each other.

I think of Yinsh in this context; a game people love to play, but which they're bound to play poorly compared to AI.


I think all games will be "Yinsh", eventually. Abstract strategy games may not be such a challenge in the future as they were in the past. A few decades ago making a program that could beat a grandmaster at Chess was considered 'unthinkable'. Nowadays programming abstract strategy games is hardly groundbreaking. And if the AI world sees a challenge worth pursuing, then they will most likely succeed.
Separating humans from computers in these disciplines might work, in principle. But in a much wider context, humans and computers increasingly seem to merge, so it may be hard to achieve such a separation.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
milomilo122 wrote:

So here's my current favorite idea:

Championship matches are played to the first decisive game. Whoever wins that game wins the match.

The first game in the match uses classical time control. After each drawn game, the time controls are incrementally tightened.


The advantages of this are:

a) sudden death creates maximum excitement and makes every game critical.
b) time controls are tightened no more than they absolutely need to be to produce a decisive outcome.
c) system is pretty impervious to future rising of classical time draw rates.

Thoughts?


First of all, I am by no means a good chess player. But given what people have stated in this thread, (and interpreting what I read about the current world cup matches) a main problem of chess seems to be that most matches between the best players in the world remain undecided.

In a tournament using your rules, the champion would be the person who could secure a draw in any 'long' game and then win as soon as the game would be fast enough. Given that draws are so common, I guess this would highly favour those players who are exceptionally good at (very) fast-paced games (and good, but not necessarily exceptionally good at the slow ones).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John
United Kingdom
Southampton
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
christianF wrote:
And if the AI world sees a challenge worth pursuing, then they will most likely succeed.


Since AlphaGo versus Lee Sedol was announced I assumed that this was the case. Prior to the match I though AlphaGo would probably win, but even if didn't then I expected it would win a match against a top player within a year. If DeepMind decided to tackle any* game I doubt it'd be very long before they had could beat the best human players.

* Obviously I'm excluding (some) dexterity games and games that are pure luck. Which reminds me of this XKCD - Go is now in the wrong category, and Starcraft is DeepMind's next target, I presume they don't see any need to tackle another board game at the moment.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bentley
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
mrmonkeyball wrote:

In a tournament using your rules, the champion would be the person who could secure a draw in any 'long' game and then win as soon as the game would be fast enough. Given that draws are so common, I guess this would highly favour those players who are exceptionally good at (very) fast-paced games (and good, but not necessarily exceptionally good at the slow ones).


If you accept the premise that faster time controls must be part of the solution (I'm happy to hear arguments to the contrary), then the system has the nice feature of not making games any faster than they absolutely need to be to get to a decisive outcome.

I also expect that the time decrements would be negotiated and different from what I've stated here. For example, it could be that the first 2, or maybe even the first 4, games are played with classical controls, before the time starts dropping.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bentley
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
christianF wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
christianF wrote:
The holy grail seems to me a game that cannot be programmed all that well, allowing determined players to stay ahead of it. Indefinitely.


Short of that ideal, I've wondered if there's some value in creating games that humans are so bad at, compared to AI, that people don't worry about trying to stay ahead of AI and focus on each other.

I think of Yinsh in this context; a game people love to play, but which they're bound to play poorly compared to AI.


I think all games will be "Yinsh", eventually. Abstract strategy games may not be such a challenge in the future as they were in the past. A few decades ago making a program that could beat a grandmaster at Chess was considered 'unthinkable'. Nowadays programming abstract strategy games is hardly groundbreaking. And if the AI world sees a challenge worth pursuing, then they will most likely succeed.
Separating humans from computers in these disciplines might work, in principle. But in a much wider context, humans and computers increasingly seem to merge, so it may be hard to achieve such a separation.


I agree wholly. I suppose if we just wait long enough, those who fret about AI besting humans will stop thinking about it entirely as AI superiority will become a foregone conclusion. That will be a good thing, in my view.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
christian freeling
Netherlands
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
milomilo122 wrote:
I agree wholly. I suppose if we just wait long enough, those who fret about AI besting humans will stop thinking about it entirely as AI superiority will become a foregone conclusion. That will be a good thing, in my view.


Good or bad, inevitability rules. The current top players in Chess and Draughts all rely heavily on AI. If they study hard enough, they might be able to approach a 100% draw score in a decade or so (when the AI's long have achieved it ).

I wonder about the role of abstract strategy games in the future.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bentley
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
christianF wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
I agree wholly. I suppose if we just wait long enough, those who fret about AI besting humans will stop thinking about it entirely as AI superiority will become a foregone conclusion. That will be a good thing, in my view.


Good or bad, inevitability rules. The current top players in Chess and Draughts all rely heavily on AI. If they study hard enough, they might be able to approach a 100% draw score in a decade or so (when the AI's long have achieved it ).

I wonder about the role of abstract strategy games in the future.


Certainly they'll become less important as machine learning challenges. But I don't see any a priori reason they won't remain a good and popular intellectual pursuit for humans. The problems of modern competitive abstract games aren't so much about abstract games in general, but about specific limitations of specific games, as they're played by humans.

Checkers proved to be "too small" for humans, and humans came to the end of it. The same thing seems to be happening to Chess. But there will always be good games that humans are nowhere close to "beating". Go remains that way and probably will for a long time. And there are other games beyond.

[edit] so much progress has been made in the last decades in the design of abstract games, I'm looking forward to seeing at least one "modern" game, with a more principled balancing mechanism (I think pie openings and *12 drop or movement are tremendous advances), and largish branch factor, become a tournament game.

If abstract games decline as tournament games, it won't be because humans or AIs master any particular game, but because other types of games replace them as sources of tournament play, and as "lifestyle" games. A lot of people who might have become Chess players in times past have ended up professional Magic: The Gathering players, for example. imo, anyway.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Fogus
United States
Burke
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
milomilo122 wrote:
mrmonkeyball wrote:

In a tournament using your rules, the champion would be the person who could secure a draw in any 'long' game and then win as soon as the game would be fast enough. Given that draws are so common, I guess this would highly favour those players who are exceptionally good at (very) fast-paced games (and good, but not necessarily exceptionally good at the slow ones).


If you accept the premise that faster time controls must be part of the solution (I'm happy to hear arguments to the contrary), then the system has the nice feature of not making games any faster than they absolutely need to be to get to a decisive outcome.

I also expect that the time decrements would be negotiated and different from what I've stated here. For example, it could be that the first 2, or maybe even the first 4, games are played with classical controls, before the time starts dropping.


I guess my only worry is implicit in the questions: what exactly are we measuring by adopting incremental time controls? Are we finding the best player, or the best player under those constraints?

IMO, playing Chess under blitz time is a different game than unlimited time vs postal time vs classic tournament controls in a similar way that handicapping material makes a different game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bentley
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
fogus wrote:

I guess my only worry is implicit in the questions: what exactly are we measuring by adopting incremental time controls? Are we finding the best player, or the best player under those constraints?


My opinion: no matter what you do, there are always constraints, and you're always identifying the best player under them. There are certainly no shortage of rules governing competitive chess already, about which the same claim can be made.

The goal is just to find constraints that make the players and audience both happy.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Fogus
United States
Burke
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
milomilo122 wrote:
fogus wrote:

I guess my only worry is implicit in the questions: what exactly are we measuring by adopting incremental time controls? Are we finding the best player, or the best player under those constraints?


My opinion: no matter what you do, there are always constraints, and you're always identifying the best player under them. There are certainly no shortage of rules governing competitive chess already, about which the same claim can be made.


Oh I understand. My only point is that differing schemes have different sets of trade-offs. To implement a new scheme means that players and governing bodies need to accept the tradeoffs that comes along with it. Implementing your scheme might lead to a circumstance where the type of player who becomes champion might be a different type of player than we've seen before. That in itself might not be a bad thing, just different, and the Chess world would need to agree to buy into that difference.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Wesley
Nepal
Aberdeen
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
mb
mocko wrote:
I'm probably the only remaining person on the globe unfamiliar with this idea (usually am - I haven't a clue what Angelina Jolie looks like, for instance)...
Just recently watched that "Playing God" movie with HER in this as 'multi-roles character' yet was STILL "more exciting"! /kiss\
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bentley
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
fogus wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
fogus wrote:

I guess my only worry is implicit in the questions: what exactly are we measuring by adopting incremental time controls? Are we finding the best player, or the best player under those constraints?


My opinion: no matter what you do, there are always constraints, and you're always identifying the best player under them. There are certainly no shortage of rules governing competitive chess already, about which the same claim can be made.


Oh I understand. My only point is that differing schemes have different sets of trade-offs. To implement a new scheme means that players and governing bodies need to accept the tradeoffs that comes along with it. Implementing your scheme might lead to a circumstance where the type of player who becomes champion might be a different type of player than we've seen before. That in itself might not be a bad thing, just different, and the Chess world would need to agree to buy into that difference.



Yep! Although one reason I like the scheme I propose is that I believe (without much evidence besides my tournament design intuition, whatever that's worth) that the players who come out on top under current rules would be mostly the same ones coming out on top under my proposed rules. Chess players wouldn't accept a system that overturned current rankings very much, so that's a pretty important goal to try to satisfy.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Fogus
United States
Burke
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
milomilo122 wrote:
Yep! Although one reason I like the scheme I propose is that I believe (without much evidence besides my tournament design intuition, whatever that's worth) that the players who come out on top under current rules would be mostly the same ones coming out on top under my proposed rules. Chess players wouldn't accept a system that overturned current rankings very much, so that's a pretty important goal to try to satisfy.


You're probably right that top players will still be champions, but the overall style of top-level play will likely change (e.g. playing to draw in the long match always and focusing to become freakishly strong in blitz). Plus, under the sudden death rules you'll no longer have those epic tales of early match blunders being overcome by herculean play. Instead, you'll have tales of Player X losing their championship in the first game to a inexplicable blunder -- a story less interesting by miles. Chess is all about its history and to eliminate the tales of the comeback-kid is a huge loss IMO.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bentley
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
fogus wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
Yep! Although one reason I like the scheme I propose is that I believe (without much evidence besides my tournament design intuition, whatever that's worth) that the players who come out on top under current rules would be mostly the same ones coming out on top under my proposed rules. Chess players wouldn't accept a system that overturned current rankings very much, so that's a pretty important goal to try to satisfy.


You're probably right that top players will still be champions, but the overall style of top-level play will likely change (e.g. playing to draw in the long match always and focusing to become freakishly strong in blitz). Plus, under the sudden death rules you'll no longer have those epic tales of early match blunders being overcome by herculean play. Instead, you'll have tales of Player X losing their championship in the first game to a inexplicable blunder -- a story less interesting by miles. Chess is all about its history and to eliminate the tales of the comeback-kid is a huge loss IMO.


That's true: giving up the comeback story is the biggest sacrifice of this system. I think it's made up for by added tension of instant elimination, but maybe it would be a bridge too far for chess players. I guess you could always combine the time-decrement idea with first-to-X or something, and maybe even weight long wins more than short wins.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.