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Subject: Depth in the GIPF series rss

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Pierre Beri
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Chess has existed for a long time and has therefore been extensively studied and documented.

But what if the same had been done with Dvonn and other games from the GIPF series?

Do you think these games have less/as much/more depth than chess?

FWIS, I’d say:
- Dvonn and Tzaar have no less.
- Yinsh has more.
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Jeffrey Nolin
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If you want deep, there is Go.
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Pierre Beri
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Thanks, I do play go but that’s not my question. I didn’t mention go because I don’t think it can be beaten in terms of depth by modern day abstracts.

So chess or checkers seem to be a fairer point of comparison.
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Russ Williams
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To try to answer the question (instead of tangentially propagandizing for Go) I would agree that DVONN and TZAAR (and ZERTZ) are probably less deep than YINSH (and GIPF), because of DVONN/TZAAR/ZERTZ have finite/bounded game trees and guaranteed termination after some maximumum number of turns, while YINSH/GIPF are more open / unbounded with more freedom of movement (and more possible different moves each turn).

But I have no realistic idea how the GIPF series games would specifically compare with Chess in terms of depth!

(And it leads to the question of what do you mean by "depth"? Size of game tree? Distance in ratings between random/newbie play and master/perfect play? Something else?)
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Pierre Beri
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A little bit of both I guess, they seem intricately linked imo.
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Alexandre Santos
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It's an interesting question, but as usual it's useful to use the plentiful BGG data to look a bit further into this question:


Tzaar Yinsh Dvonn GIPF Chess
date 2007 2003 2001 1997 1475
a. rank 4 2 5 20 41
tt pl 10208 19659 13583 5904 308947
09/17 211 112 282 31 959
weight 2,55 2,73 2,69 2,77 3,75
owned 3331 6904 4674 3723 27909
pl/own 0,063 0,016 0,060 0,008 0,034
median 100,5 96 129 49,5 10000


a. rank = abstract rank, tt pl = total plays recorded, 09/17 = plays recorded from 1 to 19 September 2017, pl/own = plays sep 2017/nb owners, median = median number of plays of the 10 players with highest number of plays recorded

Some conclusions:

- most BGGers seem to think Chess is much heavier than other games. Of course the problem is that Chess is such an culturally exceptional game that it's treated differently by BGGers: it's much harder to compare weight figures for Chess to other GIPF games, than to compare GIPF games among themselves (which perhaps apart from TZAAR seem to be considered of equivalent weight)

- total number of plays for Chess are unreliable, since users will report (wildly) estimated number of plays, instead of just strictly recording their actual plays. It's funny own play records lend themselves to such ego-trips One is much better off using the number of plays recorded this month, the figures look more sensible

- if you compare the number of plays this month related to the number of owners, you'll see that chess actually performs quite well, but that Tzaar and Dvonn are indeed the most played.

Of course depth in mathematical terms is not directly related to rate of play, but if you consider what seems to 'click' better with humans in terms of replayability instead of the pure size of the decision tree, Tzaar and Dvonn are winners of very similar weight. You can pick up one of those and have a reasonable expectation that you won't 'exhaust' them anytime soon.

One could further expand this data checking how many posts are to be found in the strategy section of the forums of each game, but I leave that exercise to others
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Joe Gola
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russ wrote:
I would agree that DVONN and TZAAR (and ZERTZ) are probably less deep than YINSH (and GIPF), because of DVONN/TZAAR/ZERTZ have finite/bounded game trees and guaranteed termination after some maximumum number of turns, while YINSH/GIPF are more open / unbounded with more freedom of movement (and more possible different moves each turn).

I would agree that Yinsh is a more demanding game than Dvonn, but does that necessarily make it a deeper game? Are there lots of tactics and strategies to learn in Yinsh, or is does it all boil down to which player can see more moves ahead? I would postulate that a person who is smarter than I am could win their first game of Yinsh against me, but they would be more likely to lose their first game of Dvonn against me.

Just a thought.
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Michael Reitz
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Gola wrote:
I would postulate that a person who is smarter than I am could win their first game of Yinsh against me, but they would be more likely to lose their first game of Dvonn against me.

Just a thought.

Could you explain what you mean by this statement?
For me DVONN is the game where more experience helps a player more than in YINSH, because the setup and the early moves have an impact on the game that is not visible for newbies.

Michael
 
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Joe Gola
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KivasFajo wrote:
Gola wrote:
I would postulate that a person who is smarter than I am could win their first game of Yinsh against me, but they would be more likely to lose their first game of Dvonn against me.

Could you explain what you mean by this statement?
For me DVONN is the game where more experience helps a player more than in YINSH

That was my point.
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