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Battle Chess

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"The longest-running competitive multiplayer game in the world" indeed.


How is classical chess a "multiplayer game"? It is played by two players. The word "multiplayer" in the phrase "multiplayer game" typically implies more than 2 players.

Good video, I enjoyed the creep-into-your-pieces perspective.
I stumbled over the term "multiplayer", too. But I think while usually multi means more than 2, in this context it's multi-player as opposed to single-player.
And, right on the battlefield, it's 16 vs. 16.

I liked the "Zugzwang Evolved" at the beginning and the Fools 2010 at the end.

I doubt this will be a huge success.

At least a1 was black.

The "Zugzwang Evolved" was a take on Bungie's first game in the Halo series from almost ten years ago "Halo: Combat Evolved".

The world championship could be broadcast using this technology. I'd watch. For a bit.

Something like that wont be such a dificult thing to arrange , each player an historic army , India could use some war elefants and Bulgaria a bunch of deadly managers.
I´d work for free on that , but we´d need to cut the player´s budget in half to pay for the post-production of the piece.


is migloid getting a commission for linking this? LOL

There's an article on Carslen in the Russian weekly, Ogonyok (roughly equivalent to Time Magazine). The chess understanding is a little dubious ("all experts agree: Garry Kasparov made Carlsen almost unbeatable"), but some of the quotations are fascinating.

Razuvaev, one of Karpov's trainers, mentions that he was asked by Kasparov to test Carlsen along with Nikitin (Kasparov's trainer) - I think at Aeroflot 2004.

Razuvaev: "We arrived in the hotel on Red Square, each spending a few hours testing him. And it's worth noting: the assessments we made then and which at the time diverged from the general opinion eventually proved true. We said at once: as a tactician he's entirely ordinary, but Magnus' positional talent is on the level of Petrosian or Karpov. His current play confirms that we weren't mistaken.

Razuvaev recalls an interesting detail: at that same meeting in the hotel he showed Magnus the ending of a game played not long previously by Karpov. According to the grandmaster the Norwegian couldn't take his eyes from the board.

- He asked very subtle questions, and when I finished Magnus raised his eyes and said: "I'll never forget it". He absorbed information like a computer."

Bareev: "In his time Anatoly Karpov was very strong in that he could win any position and very keenly sensed the flow of play, instantly taking advantage of the weakness or inattention of his opponent. Carlsen is the same. He beats leading players in positions where they would normally agree to a draw. He has absolutely phenomenal technique and moreover seems to have no nerves at all. And Carlsen calculates lines very well, as all young players do.

Magnus Carlsen is a chess machine for achieving a result. He's so programmed to win that his reflex for winning any game is so developed that at the World Blitz Championship he even took back a losing move, doing it absolutely mechanically".

[There's some discussion of the Spiegel interview and Carlsen's comments on chess player intelligence & John Nunn etc.]

Yuri Vasiliev: "I know many very strong chess players who weren't intellectual at all. Carlsen's father tells me that Magnus mainly flicks through comics. Of course, he'd like him to start reading books on history and politics, but for now that remains just a pipe dream.

I remember that the mayor of Linares complained to me that after the retirement of Garry Kasparov, who had drawn outside interest to the local tournament, there were problems with sponsors and they'd even had to run the first part of the tournament in Mexico. Now the mayor's looking optimistically to the future: there's a new cult figure - Carlsen! And the schedule for the tournament has already been moved to April to give Magnus time to recover after Wijk-aan-Zee and travel to Linares, and the whole world is once more observing with mystical terror as the young boy defeats all and sundry with a lazy grace".

Thanks for translation.

Exclente post, Mishanp. Thank you!

Thanks mishanp, great stuff.

Thanks Mishanp, very interesting read.

Carlsen's father wrote a post very similar to yours on his blog some time ago. Although your post did add additional details about Magnus session with Nikitin and Razuvaev. Henrik also mentions in his post that Carlsen lost interest and did not want to meet with them anymore.

Anyhow, thank you for your post! It's a good one.

That's interesting - I haven't seen what Carlsen's father wrote, but I can imagine spending an afternoon being subjected to tests by two of the best known chess trainers possibly isn't everybody's idea of fun!

On another thread I translated a couple of excerpts from an interview with Mark Glukhovsky - here's another bit from it about Carlsen ("The Early Years"): http://www.crestbook.com/?q=node/1158

"In general the appearance of a powerful Western player at top three level is an opportunity for world chess. The interest in him is enormous. And if he actually becomes world champion... On the other hand, Carlsen isn't a straightforward figure and in some small ways he was similar to Fischer. He wasn't particularly interested in communicating with people who couldn't distinguish the English attack from the Chelyabinsk variation. I personally witnessed a remarkable scene in Foros in 2008, when he had his first major win - comfortably claiming first place with +5 in a very strong category 19 tournament. Following in the wake of this rising star were two members of a gloomy Norwegian TV crew, certainly not being lavished with attention - and Magnus' father just gestured helplessly - what can I do? It was amusing when a team came from the New York Times, the world's leading newspaper, you might say, in order to produce a photo report on him, with cool equipment and lots of time, money, self-esteem and a will to work. Their foul language was incredible after they were only given something like five minutes to film. And two or three one-word answers to their questions. Of course he's changed for the better in this sense - as you can see from the very interesting interviews he gave to such well-known publications as Time and Spiegel. Our magazine has never had a problem with him - he's often given interviews, and he regularly sends games. Now he has solid sponsors and even wears a shirt with his sponsor's logo. No doubt his parents (and life as well) have convinced him that you can't avoid communicating with the media if you want to be at the very top*. But does he?"

* literally "on the crest" (of the wave)

And lastly from Glukhovsky - he was asked to describe the common characteristics of top chess players. This is what he came up with:

"Firstly, a strong will. Almost all the top chess players have continually overcome others from childhood onwards, over the course of a whole career - can you imagine what that means? Very few can get by on pure genius, like Svidler. The majority, like Ponomariov, have a hypertrophied will in comparison to ordinary people. The weak-willed don't become top chess players.

Secondly - egocentrism. As the reasons for victories as well as defeats are always sought in themselves, in their own brain, in their own body, a top player is continually listening in to his internal condition. How he slept, how he ate, how he went out, how he went to the toilet and so on. Such attention to your own person inevitably affects other people.

Three - caste. In general these people can only be understood by a very small percentage of the population, and they get accustomed to that situation from childhood on. It's probably the same situation that astronomers, nuclear physicists, structural linguists and others dealing with very complex things find themselves in. As the circle is truly narrow top players are always cooking in their own juices, rumours are widespread, there's gossip and so on. Everyone knows everything about everyone else, or at the very least, they can guess.

Fourth - a sense of humour. At times odd, but present in almost all of them. It seems a sense of humour is a side product of continually developing your brain.

Fifth and finally - passion [or zest/risk/gambling]. Many either passionately follow some sport or play it themselves - cards, football, tennis, dominoes and so on.

Or perhaps a relevant final, final quote from Glukhovsky, discussing competition among internet sites...

"Each day thousands of people surf the chess web looking for something of interest. And that time is taken away, as a rule, not from other sites but from work, wives, children, cinema, sex, sport, reading books, walking in the fresh air and so on, and so on. That's why, by the way, I wholeheartedly hate your internet". :)

Lovely April Fool's from Bungee!

Fascinating stuff, Mishanp. Thanks very much.

I found the article I was talking about. It's in Spanish but I'm going to post it here anyway since there are quite a few regulars who are Spanish speakers. The title of the article is "Carlsen, a Lucid Psychologist" by Nikitin out of the russian magazine 64. Knowing the name of the article, author and the name of the magazine you can find it Russian, mishanp.

Thanks! A few more articles like that and we'll know everything there is to know about Carlsen :) I'm not sure it'll be available on-line from 64 as their website stopped being updated and they're fundamentally only a print publication nowadays. In the Glukhovsky interview I keep mentioning he says he wants a website like the "New in Chess" one which only lets you subscribe and maybe has a few teasers - he criticised the old management for making everything available on-line.

That article by Nikitin reminds me of another interview with him I once linked to on here: http://www.crestbook.com/?q=node/1099

The comparison of Carlsen and Kasparov is interesting, and links in to the "Ogonyok" article:

"How would you rate the talent of Magnus Carlsen in comparison to the talent of Kasparov? Do you think they're of the same calibre?

Nikitin: It's hard to say - such measures or gradations don't exist for measuring talent. There's only, as they say, how it looks to the naked eye. I consider Magnus' talent for chess fantastic. Perhaps it's comparable to Kasparov's, perhaps it's even above Kasparov's - time will tell. But it's my opinion that all the same the calibre of Kasparov's talent is higher. Because Kasparov, as well as his purely chess knowledge and skills also had fantastic knowledge in other areas. Magnus doesn't have that. At 19 years old Garry's knowledge was simply encyclopaedic. For example in history he could debate with any historian, and the professional would be far from always coming out on top. I'm not sure that Magnus would be able to do something similar. As far as I know Magnus is focussed only on chess".

"for example in history he could debate with any historian, and the professional would be far from always coming out on top."

Giggle. I think that says much more about Nikitin's knowledge than about Garry. Or else maybe the "professionals".

The more crazy theories probably took longer to develop :) Actually I'll try and drag up the video (sic) of a recent radio interview with Kasparov on War in the Pacific. It's amazing for his totally manic energy that overwhelms the presenter... and also for the way he slips in all sorts of chess terminology.

I take your point, but there is a difference between wacky theories from intelligent/informed sources and plain mediocrity. I don't know if you actually meant to imply that at one stage he was brilliant and then later declined. I have no particular beef with Garry, he achieved more in his field than I ever will in any, but he has long since joined the list of those who provide solid proof against the thesis that chess skill necessarily implies excellence in other areas. That's not a dig at him, just a fact.

I'm certainly not saying he was a brilliant historian - though I'm willing to believe Nikitin that he'd absorbed a phenomenal about of information and could analyse it reasonably intelligently. Anyway, I'm sure Carlsen supporters are hoping he keeps reading chess databases and comics!

Here's the promised video - knowing some Russian would help, but as always with Garry you can get something from it without words...: http://www.echo.msk.ru/programs/victory/661528-echo/q.html#questions

Thank you, Ikalel. Not only was the article very informative as to Carlsen's development and abilities, but the Spanish was a joy to read - wonderfully concise.

Some of his opponents may dislike learning that Carlsen can go through a chess book in the evening, and be able to go through the games the following day, without having made any other notes beyond imprinting the games on his brain.

Probably explains why he can suddenly change plans two or three times in the course of a game, and still be on a winning track along the new plan. I've considered this a weakness in focus, and though this is mentioned as a result of the tests he was subjected to in Moscow, there's another possible track. Magnus can recall lines at will, in even the most complicated of positions, and doesn't mind abandoning what he's constructed for something better. Explains his endgame prowess.

He hates the internet but rates migloid the best chess journalist - someone who operates almost exclusively on the net - with his intermittent personal blog and occasional forays into chess radio as a compere sorry chess commentator. Of course I am ignoring all the serious and dedicated chess related journalism that migster gets up to you know proof reading gazzas wonky political speeches/articles and the odd (very odd) chess book

"Hating the internet" can be taken with a pinch of salt. As well as the print-only "64" Glukhovsky's involved in producing the content for the Russian Federation's website, www.russiachess.org. And, as I said, he worked under Mig on KasparovChess. After the comment I quoted he added, "Unfortunately I get no pleasure from reading in English and most enjoyed [Mig's] texts back on KasparovChess, when they were translated into Russian".

Make of that what you will, but while I agree Kasparov's turn to politics is a loss to chess, and Mig's assisting him is a loss to chess journalism, I don't understand your bitterness or your need to spew it out here. Why not visit sites or blogs you respect?

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