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>> Click here to see's game collections. Full Member has kibitzed 10667 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Feb-01-15 chessforum (replies) Thanks.
   Jan-31-15 Biographer Bistro (replies) True or false: Levon Babujian = Levon Babujian ?
   Jan-31-15 E Sobernheim vs S Langleben, 1895 (replies) Our apologies for the misprint. It is Black to play 17...?
   Jan-24-15 Carlsen vs I Saric, 2015 (replies) Please note: this game starts at 6:00am USA/Eastern time.
   Jan-23-15 A David vs M Vachier-Lagrave, 2014 (replies) <kyg16> <Dear there are so many amazing games, why reuse one?> The reason is: starting yesterday and continuing for 10 more days we're running through the collection of games voted "best of 2014" by Chessgames members under the guidance of User: ...
   Jan-10-15 Carlsen vs W So, 2015 (replies) We normally would have selected Caruana-Saric for today's featured game (Caruana has the highest score with the highest rating) but there is so much interest in this particular match-up we've selected it instead.
   Jan-04-15 Chessgames Bookie chessforum (replies) The final list of qualifiers is: 4tmac Absentee AnotherBike Beholder bubuli55 centralfiles CHRM dakgootje Diademas Golden Executive Kynas ManicSquirrel martin moller moronovich posoo Robin01 scout118 shoshonte Sneaky SwitchingQuylthulg
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< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 776 OF 776 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <RE: Lein--Shulman>

No, it's not that I disagree. I think 2...b6 is clearly the more likely correct.

But is it more likely enough for <CG> to alter the score?

And what criteria are you using?

FSR's esthetics?

Sorry, but to alter a scoresheet that makes sense (the point of my histograms is that both 2...b6 and 2...b5 "make sense") takes a higher level of evidence, afaic.

As I said on my blog, there is a difference between "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" and a "clear preponderance of the evidence".

To change a scoresheet requires a higher level of burden of proof, especially when <CG> strikes out from the pack.

I have a lot more irons in the fire, and can strengthen this argument a little more later.

(If I were to vote for the correct move, I'd agree with FSR, certainly. If I were to vote to change the move in the database, I would vote against it. What's the <CG> process??

Does FSR get to decide alone, do we take a vote in the bistro, does it depend on the whim of the admin, what?)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: Maybe somebody should just ask GM Shulman... :)

<cg> Pretty please forum for Grenke Chess Classic?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Tabanus> -- < I have only a few friends in here because I mostly stay "on-topic". > Like it or not, Tab, you have friends...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: I think that Annie is absolutely right on the subject of socializing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Annie K.> now that would take all the fun out of it!

Of course that's the best suggestion... for this specific instant. The debate on the general principles would remain of course.

PS- Domdaniel, could you please take this friendship business elsewhere - you're off-topic... ha!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: <zanzibar> as the saying goes, nothing ruins a good debate like somebody who knows what they are talking about! ;)

<Dom> thanks. :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Arnold Nickel is decent people.


The World Team has already played him twice.

The guy that would be great to see vs the team is....

Gata Kamsky.

I can dream, can't I?


Premium Chessgames Member
  hms123: <Tabanus>

<Like it or not, Tab, you have friends...>

<Dom> is right about that. Count me among them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <zanzibar> Yury Shulman lives within 10 miles of me. I will get his number, call him and ask. If you like, I will gladly bet my $100 against your dollar that he played 2...b6, not 2...b5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I just sent GM Shulman an e-mail, cc'd to Daniel Freeman. His contact information is at
Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: Well, as long as it doesn't have to be decided by pistols at dawn! :D

<chancho> never heard of this Arnold Nickel person... but if the very classy and honorable Arno Nickel would like another round, it would probably not be polite to turn him down. Maybe you can play Kamsky after that. ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <FSR> you will win that bet if I were to make it.

But I would say that the certainty of your winning is not 100%.

On the other hand, I can assert with total and utter certainty that I shan't be making such a bet!

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Getting Shulman's answer on this, on the other hand, renders your support on the change at 100% (or thereabouts).

I still don't think people understand fully what my point is... it's about the process, not the particulars of this one case.

I'm in the middle of lots of tasking and really must beg a little more time to outline the main points of my argument (which involves a few real-world examples of moves much more unbelievable than 2...b5).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: Heh, no stress. :) But, <zanzibar>, it's actually a principle vs principle thing here, not just "specific case", or a matter of understanding your experiment, which is indeed very good.

But the other principle at work is this: whenever you can, the best solution is always to get the facts from a primary source. When that is not possible, you are more than welcome to try your best with analysis. Does that sound better? :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: <I still don't think people understand fully what my point is... it's about the process, not the particulars of this one case.>

Actually, I think they do understand. This is evidenced when, for example, <> posts that the histogram could be useful in finding questionable (note I didn't say "wrong") scoresheets.

The only point of disagreement seems to be about this particular game. You are sticking to the laudable principle of demanding a high standard of evidence, and your interlocutors are saying that (in this case) your evidence is even stronger than you give yourself credit for.

To me, in this instance, there is simply no question. <FSR> is right, and we will very probably soon have confirmation of it.

For any player above perhaps class "B," the ...b5 stands out as dubious. And when White's reply is as inappropriate a response to ...b5 as what appears in the scoresheet, it's not at all hard to conclude that the scoresheet is almost certainly mistaken.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <FSR> I assume you weren't making an even odds bet.

Out of curiosity, what were the odds you were offering?

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <zanzibar> There have been some stunning examples in chess history of double blunders by strong players. These include J Emma vs Stein, 1966; K Darga vs L Lengyel, 1964; Szabo vs Reshevsky, 1953; and Rubinstein vs Nimzowitsch, 1912. Some involved time pressure, not surprisingly. But those are well-known examples precisely because they are so aberrant.

What you have (supposedly) in Lein-Shulman is far stranger. This game is not a famous example of double blunders, and time pressure cannot have been a factor given that the blundering started on <move 2>, from a position doubtless quite familiar to both players. From move 2 on, the players (both strong GMs) played a long series of blunders. Shulman hung a pawn for essentially nothing. Lein failed to take it, far and away the strongest move, or even play 3.e4, which would have given him the advantage. Instead, he played a feeble move that would have given Shulman approximate equality after either move of his b-pawn. But no, Shulman played the ridiculous 3...Bb7?, now allowing Lein to take a free pawn <two> different ways. Lein played neither capture, although those are easily the two strongest moves on the board, instead inexplicably preferring the milquetoast 4.Nf3? Once again, Shulman could save his hanging pawn, either by 4...b4 or 4...bxc4 (which are again easily the two strongest moves). But again he played neither. And so on, and so on.

In sum, you have two strong GMs again and again playing feeble moves and avoiding obvious strong moves that any half-decent player would play. Both simply ignore Black's hanging b-pawn, and White's hanging c-pawn, for move after move - as though Black's pawn weren't even on b5! Why not? Because it's not! The circumstantial evidence overwhelmingly supports the inference that Black played 2...b6, not 2...b5.

I reject your <ipse dixit> that proof beyond a reasonable doubt is required. (There is, btw, an intermediate standard of proof between preponderance of the evidence and proof beyond a reasonable doubt, namely clear and convincing evidence. But I have no doubt that the evidence here easily constitutes proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Indeed, as retired prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi said of the evidence adduced against OJ in his murder trial, the evidence here proves the case <beyond all doubt>. Grandmasters just do not play like that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <zanzibar> It seems pretty clear: I was offering 100-1 odds, my $100 against your $1:

<I will gladly bet my $100 against your dollar that he played 2...b6, not 2...b5.>

I am confident that the true odds in my favor are much better than that, approaching certainty.

Premium Chessgames Member Please do not even waste Yuri's time asking him about A Lein vs Y Shulman, 2006. Obviously he played ...b6, we just repaired the score and documented it. We might need to ask Yuri about a real questionable game one day, let's not waste him time with the obvious ones.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <> OK, I sent a second e-mail asking the recipient to disregard my prior e-mail and not bother GM Shulman about it.
Premium Chessgames Member Thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: There are cases on the record of player's who are not under time trouble and make extraordinary opening moves. Even outrageous moves.

Miles vs Christiansen, 1987

< Miles actually spent some time polishing the e2-square with his finger (until Christiansen's face had assumed a suitable shade of red) before making the move 6.♘xe4. The game was of course agreed drawn in advance. >

It's possible that Shulman, at 2559, offered Lein, at 2231, pawn's odds in the game. They agreed, and Shulman, after playing 2...b4 looked up to see Lein winking at him while playing 3.Nc3. After that, as an inside joke, the pawn stayed played on b5.

Unlikely, sure. Possible, who's to say.

Or perhaps they got into an extended discussion over a few beers about computer databases. And they got to wondering how accurate the scores of the databases were. Some of the discussion involved how easily the games could be modified. They decided to test this by leaving a pawn hanging to test who puts it back on b6.

Or maybe they got sick of people who always say a GM has to play engine best. And they decided to play a game where you couldn't just pick the engine best move - since they decide to throw a monkey wrench into the eval by leaving the b-pawn hanging.

Three scenarios, increasingly unlikely, but still possible. And each has a creative bent, warped though it may be.

Admittedly, all unlikely, sure. But how unlikely is <Miles--Christensian>?

Or even this game:

A Zapata vs Anand, 1988


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Can somebody describe the prescription used to change the score? What exact criteria is needed?

Do we document this anywhere?

Both the needed criteria, and the changes themselves.

E.g. are we allowing for the possibility of rolling-back our changes? Are we attempting to notify other database maintainers, e.g. ChessBase of this change?

Shouldn't we at least notify Shulman that the score of his own game that he has in his own version of ChessBase is incorrect?

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <FSR> About the bet, yes, sorry I just read it as a bet of $100.

I agree that 100:1 odds is just about right.

And price of $1 to get a definite answer, and save me the trouble of making any of these posts, would have been well worth it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Oh, yes, what GM (or GM's) would play the moves such as these?

1.d4 d6 2.Qd2 e5 3.a4 e4 4.h3 f5 5.Qf4 Be7 6.Qh2 Be6 7.Ra3 c5 8.Rg3 Qa5+ 9.Nd2 Bb3 10.d5 Bh4 11.c4 e3 12.f3 f4

Maybe I should do a histogram on these moves and see if there are any games in the <CG> db that rectifying or removal?

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