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The World vs Natalia Pogonina
"Flat Earth Society" (game of the day Feb-01-2011)
Chessgames Challenge (2010),, rd 1, Aug-31
Indian Game: Anti-Nimzo-Indian (E10)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Or slide, until the engines agree. That may take time though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<morfishine>: If both sides had 10 [extensions], thats still only 20 additional days max, and thats not that much. And we'd be moving along at a brisk 1-day clip. Something should be done to counter-balance the short format.>

Another possible approach is to have a time limit for the entire game, much like some blitz games except much longer, with possibly a 1-day minimum (i.e. no faster than 1 day/move), and let the team then manage their time. The 1 day/move minimum is to allow our opponent to do other things and not have to be constantly checking the site to see if we’ve made our move.

Thus, if you assume an average of 45-moves per game (pick any reasonable number), then we might get 60-65 days (or any reasonable number) for the entire game. Once per day in addition to the move vote and a possible draw offer vote, each team member votes for a 1-day extension. If the majority votes for the 1-day extension, then we get an extra day to decide on our move. We could achieve multiple-day extensions by voting for a 1-day extension each day if the majority thinks that the position warrants it, but then of course we will be left with a smaller number of possible extensions. And if at the end of the 60 days we haven’t finished the game ... we lose. That would address the concerns of the game taking too long and the use of multiple repetitions of positions to gain time on the “clock” since the repetition would provide us with no advantage whatsoever.

<<castle dweller>: if you accomodate the GM, how do you compensate the WT.>

To speed up the game and assuming that the GM agrees, we might have 2 days/move for the WT and 1 day/move for the GM to compensate the WT for the much greater amount of coordination needed. That may not seem fair on the surface, but it is a fact that if extensive coordination is needed, then that takes time away from the time spent in deciding the best move. Or that could be factored into having a proportionately larger number of days for the game for the WT than for the GM (or maybe the same, given that the GM is allowed several 7-day extensions; it may be a wash) since some moves require more coordination than others (e.g. our 27.axb4 after 26...axb4 was a no brainer)

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: I would like to assume a role that may be more useful to the team. Using move <22> as a model (and excluding <22.Nf1>) attention was centered on <22.e5> & <22.Bf1> to keep the position closed & <22.cxb6> to open. Just looking at <22.e5> & <22.Bf1> I'd say <22.Bf1> is slightly stronger on a stand alone basis. However, the move order <22.e5> then <23.Bf1> makes <22.e5> stronger. This is what I wrote in my forum: User: morfishine

The point is it would've been useful to have someone correlate the moves on the whole. I don't think we appreciated the strength of this move-order. We also didn't appreciate blacks <21...Qc7> as being a bit loose or "inaccurate". We need to catch those.

I may be of more use working under ER1 and looking for in between-moves, perfecting move-order, and basically "massaging" lines. The key is to look for subtleties that don't seem obvious. I'd follow our line and look 2-3 moves out at the most. Anything that looks good and had passed the minimum, would go into ER1. After that, who knows. One good catch could make the difference.

For now, until I get acclimated to using an engine, I should hold off on trying to string together lines and focus on what appears to be a "hole" in our process.

Let me know your views on this, feasibility, somebody already doing it(?), etc. Morf

BTW nice post <Goldenexecutive>

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <edda zeitz: <cro777:The lack of an opening strategy was the problem> The team never had an opening strategy (in none of the 5 previous games). Success in all games resulted from ideas in the middle game.>

The quality of engines improved enough so that it is very difficult to win against a strong opponent in computer assisted chess today. For better results one needs to be adequately prepared for all the stages of the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <edda zeitz> Today's opening preparation in computer assisted chess is very deep. In some cases players know their lines from the opening all the way to the endgame. A less prepared opponent will probably have more difficulties to complete his objectives in the middlegame against such preparation..

In the voting chess, we cannot expect such level of preparation but some minimum would be recommendable.

Feb-05-11  edda zeitz: <cro777: opening strategy>

I followed all 5 challenge games (against Nickel, Shulman, Timmermann and Umansky) and we never could come to terms concerning an opening strategy. How should 500 or 300 voting players with different styles and preferences come to an agreement? Especially during the opening phase of the Timmermann game new players like kwid enhanced the topic - maybe you should read the comments of that game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <DanLanglois> I thoroughly enjoyed this post. As far as <Of course, we can't have missed something this big?> I'm sure you are aware there was considerable discussion on our response to <10...Ba6> that focused on <11.Ne5>. For example here's one post: The World vs N Pogonina, 2010

And here is a snapshot of the final vote taken from <CheckItOut>: 11.Nbd2 135 votes (41.9%)
11.b3 111 votes (34.5%)
11.Ne5 71 votes (22.0%)

I get the feeling that instead of the strong <11.Ne5> the engines preferred finishing development <11.Nbd2> but who knows. A pity that we blindly followed it and not what you (and others) suggested.

What you are really hitting-on is at what point does human-imagination steer the rigid-engine lines favorably? And to take it one more step: Applying the above to "voting chess", how does one convince enough voters to go this route?

Swaying voters appears to as difficult (if not more) than the act of playing a grandmaster!

In my view, your post is an excellent example of the type of posts we need to sway voters.

...and yes, black should avoid <11...Nxe5>...your suggestion <11...Rac8> appears best, but for fun, I'm running <11...Qc8>


Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Check It Out><I put in my vote for a post-game party at <<AylerKupps>>'s place; sounds like a blast!> I vote for that too, and please don't vote <Ng4>!
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Correction, per my suggestion above: The World vs N Pogonina, 2010 the correct link to my take on move <22> is: morfishine chessforum

<cro777> I hope you have serious input on our future opening play

Feb-05-11  LIFE Master AJ: Congrats to the team. A well-played draw, way above even GM standards, I am proud to have been a "space-bar master."
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <edda zeitz: <cro777: opening strategy>> I understand your point and the specifics of voting chess that need to be considered. The following post is the shortest answer to the question we are discussing:

<zsoydd: I think draw is a fair result after we've fluffed the opening.> We have to avoid wrong opening decisions in our future games. There are simple ways (applicable to voting chess too) to raise the level of play in the opening. One of the simplest, yet very effective, a MODEL APPROACH, has been suggested by <zsoydd>:

“How to play strong openings in corr chess without much effort: independent of their rating follow those corr players who (almost) never lose, and who have a decent winning quota at the same time.”

I’m applying this approach in my preparation for the next chessgames challenge.

<morfishine> I’m working on a model for discussion. Looking forward to discuss it with you.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <edda zeitz> About the specifics of voting chess. You were right to pointing out to kwid’s ideas. He explained much earlier what I had in mind.

“In our upcoming game I suggest to look at potential achievable positions via solid opening lines …We must find an approach how to set goals based on positions rather than moves very early in the opening phase already.

Since the "people" represent the membership of the "world team" they are certainly encouraged to vote for the move candidate which they believe is best. We need these diverse contributions during our discussions stage where we all try to analyse the merits of them.

But to be successful in obtaining consensus we must show analysis well ahead of the actual voting time why and what move may serve us best. This is my reason why we should post positions reachable via proven lines.

If our core members can demonstrate where we should be heading for, i am sure that the majority will also feel to be part of it and thus will vote for it.”

I can’t see better way of acting in a “deterministic chaos” of voting chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <cro777> Have you considered activating your forum for discussions on opening preparation?
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <morfishine: <cro777> Have you considered activating your forum for discussions on opening preparation?> I'm planning that after some preparation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<LIFE Master AJ>: Congrats to the team. A well-played draw, way above even GM standards, I am proud to have been a "space-bar master.">

Couldn’t have gotten there without you.

Feb-05-11  Bobwhoosta: <AylerKupp>

I like your "Overall Game Clock" idea, but I see one problem:

Let's assume a 60 day game clock. If we're forced to move only once every 24 hours, that means our opponent can simply make the game last longer than 60 moves, and we automatically lose!!

I proposed a similar format, but something like this: 20 days, plus 1 day per move. That gives us 20 extensions to use, and makes sure that we never run out of time. In the end, if we're going to run out of time, our move should become forced.

Of course, this turns into the format of one day per move with 20 extensions. Different types could be used, such as 1 day added every 2 or even 4 moves, to make it a little different.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <cro777> I would like your input on a suggestion I posted yesterday. The World vs N Pogonina, 2010

For convenience, I would prefer if you responded at my forum. Thanks, Morf

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevins55555: <You know what? Our h-pawn will promote no matter what if the game continued. You silly guys couldn't have been so dumb to accept the draw, we could have snatched a whole cookie, instead of half a cookie..<>>
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <kevins55555> Please show us how. The whole world wants to know (not just the WT). Thousands of chess enthusiasts as well as a formidable array of hungry chess engines, eagerly await your response.
Feb-06-11  sevenseaman: < kevins55555> It was a draw via perpetual checks. Please show us the way we get out of the perp.
Feb-06-11  Waitaka: I guarantee the Feijoada. With the Caipirinha, of course.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <cro777><Our level of play would be considerably raised if we could have someone to summarize position assessments and argue for the teams best line of play based on analyses at the forums.>

I'm all for that idea. It only makes sense to present a clear, easy to understand picture, especially for those lesser-rated players.

<This is an old idea (not feasible within one day per half-move time control).>

Are you referring to a summarizer, or what I suggested [having a person or group of people who look for minor improvements]?

If you are referring to a summarizer, I'd have to agree that in a 1-day format, summaries would only be necessary at critical junctures and feasible when time permits. Hopefully, we will improve the time issue. [I would not attempt to argue a conclusion already thoroughly discussed].

However, if you are referring to my idea of people(s) looking for subtle improvements, I would have to disagree and the reasons are this: (1) we would be working on the current line 2-3 moves out which translates to 4-7 days. That should be enough time to argue an improvement. (2) We are trying to secure some extensions which would be used at critical junctures. This too adds time.

Again using move <22> as an example, ideally we would've identified a potential improvement around move 19 - 20. We would then argue "The move order <22.e5> followed by <23.Bf1> is much stronger as it locks black up. Only then should we undertake the knight maneuver <Nf1> - Ne3>. Please subject to engine analysis."...or something like that.

Taking reasons together (1) & (2) together, I believe my idea to look for subtle improvements is feasible. I'm not talking about major changes that alter the character of a line. A simple move order change may be significant.

I also believe its necessary. I've only shown one example of where a slight inaccuracy contributed to a drawn game. I'd be willing to bet there are more.

Finally, there are members who are not engine-proficient (myself included) who could be most useful engaging in short-term analysis. It certainly couldn't hurt. In the mean time, we would be honing our engine skills.

<Also, more attention should be given to pre-game preparation>

I can't comment honestly since I don't know what the pre-game prep for POGO consisted of. I will say your focus on our pre-game preparation is an absolute necessity and its good to see someone taking a keen interest in this. It has to consist of an in-depth analysis of the opponent, a thorough discussion amongst ourselves on the opening and finally committing to sticking to it.

Thank you for your feedback. I look forward to working with you. Morf

Feb-06-11  sevenseaman: < morfishine> I have been following your comments and discussions with other distinguished analysts. I appreciate the zeal as well as the hard, highly demanding work.

I do not know if you folks will arrive at a crystalised consensus/policy before the next cc game. Summariser is a good idea if he represents the collective in a democratic manner.

Even if individual analysts continue to post their recommendations/views as before, I feel there is no need to publish the technical mumbo jumbo/jargon. Just publish your view like any other kibitzer. (At most one could name the engine/source used). Let us not forget we are playing a game to enjoy ourselves.

I hope I am not asking too much of our enthusiastic and valuable analysts or infringing upon their freedom of choice.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <morfishine: If you are referring to a summarizer, I'd have to agree that in a 1-day format, summaries would only be necessary at critical junctures and feasible when time permits.> I was referring to a summarizer of course. Improvements are possible (and necessary) in any time framework, subtle improvements in particular.
Premium Chessgames Member
  benjinathan: A <thorsson> post from an earlier game:

“However anyone who plays decent CC will realise that the opening is actually the most important phase of the game. Choose the wrong opening and you will allow easy equality as White or struggle throughout as Black. In fact the GMAN game shows this, the Kan line chosen being overly passive.”

Look at the more than 100 page debate about whether to play 1.e4 or 1.d4 in the Timmerman game. It makes one depressed about formulating and following a proper opening strategy. I am not sure how you herd 900 cats.

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