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Braves' Chess. Solves the problem of draws in chess. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
(zzo38) A. Black wrote on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 04:52 AM UTC:
Another idea is that in case of stalemate, use this Braves' Chess rule (or any other rule that eliminates draws) to determine who win, but the winner then only get half a point instead of a full point in such a case.

Rich Hutnik wrote on Mon, Apr 28, 2008 01:50 PM UTC:
If you want to streamline Braves further, you can make it be so that a player wins a minor victory seen in Kinglet chess, that being the first player to have all their pawns eliminated loses the game.  This should streamline the rules even more than normal.  So, a player who thinks they can't win by checkmate, can end the game by capturing enemy pawns.

You could also count up the differences between pawns on sides and award 1/8 point for each pawn you have left.  If you happen to end up eliminating all of your opponent's pawns, and you have 3 pawns left, you are given 3/8 points.

George Duke wrote on Fri, Apr 18, 2008 12:40 AM UTC:
Braves' four points could be regarded rather as one combined Mutator generally applicable not just to 64-square Mad Queen. As such, in good and excellent CVs, ones better than that FIDE standard, not difficult to find, the points 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Mures in Braves' will rarely happen to apply. After all, Decisiveness is one criterion for very good CV. Mark Thompson lists Decisiveness as one of four measures, disputably subjective, in article ''Defining the Abstract'' ten years ago. The four modifiers of Mures, stalemate as win, King placed Knight removed from King, 3-fold repetition, and 50-move factors to determine outcome, simply go out the window in 90+% games played of well-designed Chess forms. The Very Good CV will have been already decisive with normal checkmate before any of them would be needed to bring to bear.

Rich Hutnik wrote on Thu, Apr 17, 2008 11:46 PM UTC:
Jianying Ji, move the pawns forward one?  I stumbled across this when trying to adapt Grand Chess to an 8x8 board.  The end result is Near Chess on here.  Please do review this.  I also take a bunch of things out of normal chess when going this route.  The rules are here, if anyone wants to play with them:

I will hopefully have a PDF up on Boardgame Geek that will be downloadable.  I do find it makes things interesting actually.  The position holds its own for the most part against regular chess.

I personally believe the issue with draws isn't draws, but how they are scored.

Jianying Ji wrote on Thu, Apr 17, 2008 11:42 PM UTC:
Good case studies in comparisons are Makruk, Shatar, and SitTuYin. Studying these variants closely one realizes they all probably started as 'fixes' to ur-chess, such as Chaturanga. For example Makruk and SitTuYin moved pawn up. Which is the most direct way to get to the middle game faster. SitTuYin is more radical of the two, with pawn moving up to practically the middle and deployment of pieces behind pawn line before game. In this way SitTuYin is like Fisher Random but far more radical. Makruk is more moderate, only moving the pawns forward one. Both Makruk and Shatar modifies winning conditions, which alters mating balance of pieces. SitTuYin outlaws stalemate, decreasing draws. 

Perhaps comparing draws in these games and chess, at highest levels of course, would be instructive in seeing whether their prescriptions work. This of course goes to an important point: without a diverse ecosystem of variants with sufficient number of high class players there is no way to determine empirically whether various proposals for such things as eliminating draws and instilling 'fighting spirit' really work.

Rich Hutnik wrote on Thu, Apr 17, 2008 10:02 PM UTC:
And again it is 'draws are not a problem'.  Well, the highest level of chess represents chess played at an optimal level, right? If it is drawing at that level, what impact does it have on the game?  I can also break out Connect 4, for example, and among inexperienced players, and even average players, they won't always win if they play in the middle.  For them, the game is fine.  But if you were to play Connect 4 on the highest level, then what?  One player always wins by starting in the middle, so I guess maybe less experienced players should play?  Is one also going to slap tournament checkers on the wrist for changing how it does things?

I would argue that it is relevant for chess that there is greater granularity in scoring.  Shatranj had this granularity in the past.  It got taken out under the presumption that the power pieces would make draws far less relevant.  Well, on the highest levels, which is normally what draws media attention, there is a high degree of draws.

And if people think this isn't a problem, I suggest they take a look at the current state of chess associations.  Things are not good.  People say it is just politics, but is it?

Charles Daniel wrote on Thu, Apr 17, 2008 06:23 PM UTC:Poor ★
Regardless of whether one prefers Shatranj type conditions, bare king rules, stalemate win rules etc. This 'variant' or 'fix' which presumably uses the standard modern chess pieces is extremely poor. I challenge anyone here to actually play this game . It completely strips the beauty of the endgame from modern chess - basically all you get is a stripped down, dumbed down version of the original game

There are no new pieces, no new board - nothing .

In Capture the Scepter, I suggested a few changes to the winning conditions as well but it was pointed out to me subsequently by a more astute chess player that strong chess players sacrifice a pawn or 2 to initiate an attack that under worst case scenarios will fizzle to a draw. Removing conditions for stalemate reduces the motivation to take such a risk and thus leads to a much less dynamic game.

Some of the posters here still dont realize that the 60% draw will never be a problem for the strong to average chess player. In fact it wont be a problem with super GMs either if they didn't have to play each other all the time! The 'fix' to get a winner is simple - play a 24 game chess match - a winner will be determined.

Similar to this 'proposal' has been posted numerous times by beginners who do not understand the rules nor comprehend the subtlety of the endgame. A more fitting name would be Simple minded chess.

George Duke wrote on Thu, Apr 17, 2008 04:10 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
60%-Draws is atrocious. 20%-Draws is terrible. They are value judgments, deriving partly from other sports. As Luis Bolanos Mures writes, Braves' ''completely solves the problem of draws.'' If they just agree on Brave's ''Stalemate is a win'' etc., they eliminate the problem. The other couple details make Braves' Chess adequately unique for write-up by CVPage standard (and assure no Draws at all) -- although the concept ''stalemate is a win'' itself is old. Braves' provides for winner to be declared even after any 50-move no-capture or Pawn-advancement. So Draws need not be problem at all, once there is decision for this or any of 5 or 10 other specifically-defined ''Draw-eliminator'' Rules-set tack-ons. Now most CVs, being so infrequently played, do not bother to obviate, or even reduce deliberately, Draws. It has not, and never will, reach the stage of needing to fret about Draws for 9990 of 10000 ''invented'' CVs. Interesting discussions lately, but where are they going? M. Winther has pointed out most CV-writers must consider their work an art form instead of amenable to modification by agreement or consensus.

Rich Hutnik wrote on Tue, Apr 15, 2008 11:06 PM UTC:
Ok, looks like we are building up a list of issues chess faces.  Let's review thus far:
1. Stale openings
2. Drawishness
3. Computers outthinking humans.

How about we also look at other issues relating to this?  Like some of these isses:
4. Chess is boring people who don't know it and not getting their interest.  It is facing a growth problem, and it doesn't captivate non-chess players.  Pretty much the world outside the chess world knows what chess is but doesn't care about it.  It faces an issue with getting youths interested, with it using 'education' as a supposed hook to get tax dollars spent on it.  Yes, it is pitched as some form of getting smarter, that you want to get your kids into.  It isn't a fun thing in its own right, but is something that is supposed to fix schools and improve science scores.  Yes, chess has gotten into the 'infotainment' business, because it isn't captivating based on its own merits (had it been done right, it could do that).  
5. You can also add to the mix here that chess ends up being people playing the game, rather than playing the player.  Well, if they are playing the player, people don't see this.  People see chess as something they want to master, rather than a battlefield where they can demonstrate they master their opponent.  Games like poker, which get on TV have player vs player to them.  Chess is more like player vs board.  Only when it was Fischer vs the Russian Chess Machine (Bobby as defender of the free world), did people care outside of chess, and chess popularity exploded, bring a flock of new players to the game.  When something gets like this, it generates new players (for example, number of poker players has doubled since the pocket cam entered into poker programming in North America).  
6. Can you also add to the mix that no one has figured out how to make chess sustainable on TV either? 
7. Political infighting.

Can we sum up by just saying that chess in its current state is stale?  That is an issue that encompasses a lot, and leads to a lot of political infighting.  And those who say, eventhough people still do footraces while there are cars and trains, physical or not, if no one outside of those involved cares or is interested, then what?  Sure, a computer can solve Sudoku puzzles faster than a human.  Humans still can play it.  People like Sudoku, so the whole computer beats humans isn't that important of an issue.

It is a state of staleness that produces 60% draws on the highest level and squabbling over a few percentages getting it down (aka, thinking Sofia's rule is the answer, and thinking that your scoring system that rewards players drawing will suddenly cause players not to game it and draw less).  It is shooting down just about every idea, and resting on your laurels thinking the next Bobby Fischer will show up to save the day.  It is also saying, 'What is wrong with 60% draws?  So long as it isn't early offering of draws and they are 'fought out' that is ok'.'  In other words, things are the way they are, handed down by the divine, so let's not question it at all.  If such is a reason for things being stale, who is each person to question it?  

It is thinking in the area of intellectual competition, you have no other peers (nevermind that Go and other games will be making inroads, and kids play real-time strategy games).  It is then whining you don't get the respect you deserve, because you think your being around so long means you will remain forever.  And it is being upset at 'mindless' poker getting the attention and money instead of chess. 

I would say the issues of chess are just a TAD larger than whether or not there is a draw issue, or the opening book is stale.  The variant community could actually help to fix a lot of these issues, if it was allowed into the conversation, and if it believed it could actually help to fix things.  The variant community, working towards this end could help to revive chess, in multiple forms, making things exciting again.  But, if things are going to be just a bunch of artists on separate islands passing notes in a bottle, then we may not see much going on.  Not to say that this is the case, but it is easy to end up keeping to oneself, and one's own ideas.  I know this from personal experience.

Just my two cents.  And if you think it is worth less than that, well that is your choice :-)

George Duke wrote on Tue, Apr 15, 2008 07:32 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
Good thinking in however only one solution to supposed Draw problem. Hutnik says, ''Chess has multiple issues.'' The Computer problem is greater than either the Draw problem or the Stale-opening-lines problem. The latter two are solvable many different ways. Who wants to learn details of correct openings when Computer finds always the right move first? Only somewhat following recent Grandmaster Chess, is there less interest in Computer matches against GMs rated high in the stale 500-year-old form than only last year? Is is because the very top programs can be expected to beat all of them too now? Does that have to be the case with every Chess Variate or Rules-set or Winning condition? There has been thread once or twice about games more difficult for Computer. The cliche in Orthodox circles is that people still run foot races despite trains and cars. But that is physical not mental activity; Chess was supposed to be different in determining mental prowess, that is, when Chess was still paragon-test of intellectual skill -- no longer the case after Deep Blue and its progeny.

Rich Hutnik wrote on Tue, Apr 15, 2008 04:20 AM UTC:
One thing I would suggest here is...


Ok, I said it.  If there is one thing, and only one thing that I would ask people to agree to on this subject, is that there come up with two lists: One for how to mix up the openings, and another to reduce draws.  Have these as a codified list of some sort (call them mutators).  Players playing a variant can agree to which of these can be used between them, and people play them. This goes from shuffles to gating for openings to no more stalemate, barring the king, etc... for the end game.  Let people pick and choose from the list and see.  Play a LOT of games to see what works, and perhaps come up with a values for the end game conditions to be worth.

My take on all this variant talk is there is far too much proposing and not enough testing for what works.  So, everyone has what they think is a brilliant idea, and it is tossed into a pile with a bunch of others, not tested to see if it works or not.

And then, you have another camp, even among variants people who say everything is just jim dandy, eventhough these things people think are ok with chess now, weren't in there prior to the mad queen.  Things I suggested about barring the king, and getting rid of stalemate were actually reverting back to pre-mad queen days.  These elements were considered minor victories back then.  But, when the mad queen got introduced, everyone thought chess was so fantastic, they decide to go with stalemate and also get rid of barring the king because 'it is not needed' because people saw the firepower and thought that 

Look at the rules to Shatranj, what chess was before the mad queen, if you don't believe me:

# Stalemate counts as a win.
# Bare King counts as a win, provided that your King cannot be bared on the very next move. (See below.)

Again, if you want to do deal with issues, how about going pre-mad queen chess and bringing things back?  For those who suggest what I said is to radical, what can I say here except maybe people have been conditioned by habit.  I don't think being conditioned by habit is a think a person who is into variants should use to justify why something is.  Such talk is like a local Speed Chess club I know, lamenting that Speed Chess wasn't taken seriously, why they managed to frown upon anything else.

David Paulowich wrote on Tue, Apr 15, 2008 02:07 AM UTC:

Rich Hutnik writes: 'Chess has multiple issues. Draws are one. Another is stale opening lines, that have pushed out innovation further in the game, making it less appealing.'

When playing in a weekend Swiss System tournament, if I find the opening is looking boring, I sometimes liven my game up by trading a piece for two pawns. That provides me (and my opponent) with plenty of excitement.

Some of us have had this discussion before, in the Drawless Chess Comments. At that time I quoted a remark on the Scirocco page, 'I'm not going to pin down exactly when agreeing to a draw is advisable, but if I hear of anyone playing a game of Scirocco that lasts thousands of moves, I will be very disappointed.' Adrian King recognised the essential truth: a game of chess begins when two people agree on a set of rules and continues only as long as they both have a reason for playing. AND THAT is the reason why the variant community WILL NOT consider implementing the more extreme anti-draw procedures that have been proposed over the years.

Rich Hutnik wrote on Mon, Apr 14, 2008 10:27 PM UTC:
My take here on this is as follows:
1. Chess has multiple issues.  Draws are one.  Another is stale opening lines, that have pushed out innovation further in the game, making it less appealing.
2. I believe we should stop with this proposing that every single proposed rule change be a new version of chess.  Can we have a category called 'sub-variant' or something else, for things like Braves' Chess?  Such things that Braves Chess attempts to do is important.  It needs to be something experimented with as a sub-variant, mutator, or whatever else we want to call it.  It is an end-game fix mutation.  Maybe call it a patch.
3. I like a bit what is done here, but my take on the end game drawishness would be several things:
a. Get rid of draws have a score of 1/2 - 1/2.  Have it worth zero points or have it so that it is a 1/2 point score for black, if going to add 1 point minor victory conditions.  Have a win worth 2 points (this is 2 points for a win, if the following are done below).  
b. Get rid of checkmate and replace it with capturing the king.  This means no more stalemate. If you do want to play with stalemate and checkmate, then a stalemate is worth 1/2 point for the player who stalemated their opponent.
c. Count barring the king as a 1 point victory (1/2 point for draw).

In other words, add a minor victory condition.

As for the stale opening book, use pocket pieces with a variable mix of pieces (drops and gating to get them on) and shuffles.  

I believe if you do this, then both the beginning and end game issues with chess will be resolved.

You can see these ideas expanded upon here:

By the way, is there any reason why the variant community should NOT consider implementing some standardized anti-draw procedures between all their games?  Consider what I stated above, for example.  Why not have it so that a variant will NEVER run into draw issues, no matter how much it is played out.  Also consider what was stated above also as a standard way to address all these issues to.  Such standard way can be deviated from, if shown to be otherwise.  But I would suggest people NOT have hubris in believing that a variant is so great, that it will NEVER face draw issues.

Charles Daniel wrote on Mon, Apr 14, 2008 08:32 PM UTC:Poor ★
>>proposal to completely solve the problem of draws in
There is no problem of draws in chess. You need to be more specific. 

Libraries of opening theory analysis does imply that the  first 15 moves may be the same for many games - the logical result of cautious 
players very knowledgeable of  opening theory not willing to take too many risks.

 Stalemate =draw does not address the above 'problem'. 

Additionally, the proposal throws out every beautiful endgame study so I think being 'respectful' is sort of stretching it. 

Consider , creating  an actual chess variant (opening theory would have to start from scratch)  or perhaps  a game with changing parameters that make an accumulation of opening theory impossible.

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