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@pellik: There is evidence I use to convince myself of my opinion, but of course, we all probably have disagreements as to what counts as evidence.
For me, just the fact that I have seen lots of grandmaster blunders, whether in tournament games or in bullet, suggests to me that we can expect extremely basic errors to happen once in a blue moon, though extremely rarely. It is probably due to the sort of temporary blindness we all get, like when we mispronounce a word, even though we know very well the correct way to pronounce it. It just happens, for some people more than others.
Although it's true that you can argue that perhaps blunders are more likely to come when you are under pressure, or feel tension (which might more often happen against a strong player; for instance, when GM Stripunsky hung his bishop and rook against GM Onishcuk, maybe it was because he was nervous playing Onischuk), it's one assumption against another -- it's just as easy to claim that it might actually be more likely for a grandmaster to make such a basic mistake against an amateur (but again, it is still ridiculously unlikely), simply because if he feels overconfident in his position then he might not be quite as careful as he would be if he had a harder game.
The above paragraph is the only counter argument I can find against the paragraph above that. I can not repeat enough that no matter what the psychological circumstances are, it will always be extremely unlikely for this kind of thing to happen; but again, I am not arguing for likely; I am arguing for possible.
solskytz, beautiful post. Romantic and logical, although a bit flawed IMO (MC dropping 1 elo = knowledge base of a whole FM? Really?). Reminded me of dbz.
I rarely read walls of text, however I read it and liked it.
Actually, another counter argument is that the 1300 would blunder before the 2700 could. Again, this is exactly what would be expected to happen almost all of the time. But if the position isn't super sharp or anything, I'm not inclined to believe that 1300s are 1300s because there is some mystical force pushing their hands to make a move that hangs a piece. If they happen to find a move that doesn't lose something huge, they'll play it, and I don't think that's impossible. For them to do it many moves in a row will of course be very unlikely, but sure, I think it's possible that, if there aren't enough tactics on the board (not that this is required), that maybe, just maybe, the 1300 could survive a little bit, and maybe, juuust maybe, his survival will be long enough to see that one in a billion blunder from the person across the table.
....................And maybe, juuuuuuuuuust maybe, he won't mess up the advantage he gets, because of course, he probably will . Needless to say, the 1300 would love to see a mate in 1 instead of a free rook -- that's something he wouldn't need technique for!
I'm happy that you liked my post :-)
If we were to simplify and calculate by powers of two, then the chance of the 1300 to 'beat' the 2700 would be one in 2 to the 14th - i.e. one in 16,384 games.
You do notice that I put 'beat' in parenthesis, because if we pay close attention, the formula promises nothing about 'beating' anyone where you have 50% against them or less - it just says 'percentage'. It way well be that the 1300 will NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER beat a 2700, no contradiction with any formula (except for the rule that absolutes are unobtainable in this universe... and allowing for people to let their guard down, fall asleep, be bored, want to encourage the 1300 player by letting them win, not trying so hard, relying on habits and missing a detail etc. etc. etc. )
But let's say, like the 'tough liners' that the 1300 can NEVER beat the 2700 in 16,384 games.
What about a couple draws then? By the formula (rounded to 'twice better' for 100 points - actually 'twice better' is probably around 115 or 125 points, but let's just keep it at 100 for the sake of discussion), that's fine too.
Imagine the poor 2700, having to play the 1300 and needing to win ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS. If he's not careful, this can be used against him! He should be allowed the refuge of a draw once every 8,192 games, not so? Or twice every 16,384, just to relax and come back to force, otherwise it's really too monotonous.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Actually I wanted to write another post here and to develop further the idea of 'logarithmic elo'.
The elo scale as we know it is very counterintuitive. Why?
We know that an 1800 is much much much better than a 1300. An 1800 will explain him the game, teach him, show him stuff, take back his moves because he didn't see this, didn't see that, and still crush them very predictably (although the 1300 will have an insight here and there which will surprise the 1800!). But the numbers aren't THAT far, right?
Put it in a different way, 2600 is only double 1300... only double... but so many different levels, tournament games, experiences and understandings lie in between that it's really impossible to start talking about them.
But the number's only double.
This would never be actually implemented, but how about a more intuitive elo system, reflecting the true relations of power between players?
I think that an absolutely clueless beginner, but who does know how the pieces move (though en passant is too complicated for him and he's not sure where exactly the pieces go in castling and what you can get for a pawn where it promotes, and who will sometimes move a pawn backwards, yes, even to the first rank), is rated about 200. Let's suppose this is the case.
So Let's give him a rating of 1.
Because I'm Solskytz, and in order to not confuse the two rating systems, let's call him an S1, meaning Solskytz rating 1.
He improves and gets to 300? Now he's twice as strong and will beat any beginner 2 to 1, give him S2 (Solskytz rating 2). When he's still between 200 and 300, he should be rated S1.19, or S1.64 etc. Of course he may actually be weaker than 200, and then he'd have S0.78, or S0.2, or maybe even S0.09, one never knows...
So, the 400 who sees a hanging piece from time to time, or who thinks seven minutes and then gets a checkmate (except that his checkmating piece was pinned, of course), is S4. the 500 is S8 (I double the rating every 100 'conventional points), 600 is S16, 700 is S32, 800 is S64, 900 is S128, and 1000, the reasonable social player, is S256.
We keep advancing and find the 1100 rated S512, and when he becomes a 1200, a social player to be quite feared, a guy who quite regularly beats his friends and boasts knowledge of some interesting points of endgame and opening, the guy who sometimes sees a 3-move capturing sequence without mistake, but the guy who is the total cannonfodder at any club, should he try to visit one, is already up there at the thousand range, with around S1000 (for simplicity I calculate 2 to the 10th power equals 1000).
the Solskytz thousands are the amateur range. Below that we have the beginner range and the social range. Now our heroic dragonslayer 1300 from this thread becomes an S2000 player. Impressive and towering above everybody hereto, and shows the road he's come - but in his club he'll meet and be regularly mocked for his shortcoming by the 1400, or the S4000, and the 1500, who is S8000.
8000 rating points show clearly that really nobody outside the club stands a chance against this guy (they will all have around a thousand, probably much much much less). It's an overwhelmingly high rating.
Who's better than him at the club? The S16K (1600), S32K (1700) and S64K (1800). These players boast a 5-digit rating, clearly showing their status as medium to advanced club players, and on top of them all stands the 1900, with 128,000 Solskytz rating points. This player is very advanced, and everybody at the club (remember the S8000 from last paragraph) should be awed by this enormous number.
Strong as he may be, with the 2000, rated a quarter of a million solskytz, as he's already the expert, we enter the millionaire club.
Although this guy, an absolute killer for amateurs as we all know, whose teeth are sharp and stained with the chess-blood of many, has very little to show at that prestigious club, holding merely a quarter of a single million points...
indeed, requirements change as you move up the rating ladder, as a wise guy here already observe - we, 2000 players, totally suck at chess!! But of course, only when compared to the rest of the millionaire 'caste', not to mention the billionaire computer programs, today rated 3000 and up.
His situation improves if and when he makes 2100, as he reaches half a million.
The 2200, or the candidate master, finally stands upon a full million solskytz rating points. An 2300 FIDE master will have 2M (so if I'm 2050 today, how much do I miss in order to become a master? Probably I should improve something like 5.5 times... I should be 5.5 times better than my current level - maybe know, understand, see 5.5 times more than I currently do, or have my game become 5.5 times subtler).
2400 IM will be rated S4,000,000, 2500 GM is S8,000,000.
What is nice about this rating system, is that you can see right away that when a S128,000 (the 1900) plays a S64,000 (the 1800), he should score double - it's immediately clear.
In the elo system, elo scores are added to or subtracted from as a player wins, loses and draws.
In solskytz rating, they will be multiplied by a certain factor (+10 elo change will correspond, at a guess, to about X1.06 solskytz rating change - 1.06 estimated by myself (I'm not checking) to be close to the tenth root of 2, just as 10 (for elo points) is one tenth of the 100 elo point differential, which I translate into "twice better").
So - two 128,000s play, and one beats the other - he now becomes around 134,000, the loser going down to around 122,000. Very similar to elo, but you multiply and divide rather than add and subtract.
Just to end our list, the 2600 super-GM will be rated 16 million solskytz rating points, and the 2700 superstar GM will now have as many as 32,000,000 points to reflect his actual strength, or playing skill.
The S2,000 player (1300) looked quite impressive when compared to his friends who played at the beach or at home, but what chance does he have against someone who is rated 32 million? right, one in 16,384, and now the numbers finally show it. I would bet on two draws.
Upsets do happen! A 900 should get one point in a thousand against an 1900.
Let's imagine an enormous playing hall, with 300 chess tables. Everyone who's ever been in a chess tournament will appreciate how big this hall should be, to house 600 competitors on 300 tables.
Let's get a couple more halls like this, and then, for good measure, add a smaller hall with a further 100 tables on it. That's a thousand tables in total.
Let's put a thousand 900 players on one side of each of the thousand tables. Give white to half of them and black to the others (imagine the noise!)
Let's bring an equally warmongering 1,900 elo squad, a thousand strong, to patiently face these guys on each and every table.
Four big, bustling rooms, full of people, clocks, pieces, boards, referees, orange juice and refreshment...
and you want to tell me that nowhere in these four rooms will a measly couple of draws be found?
Or that in no place the unbelievable will occur, and the 900 will actually upset the 1900?
(substitute 1300 and 2300 for 900 and 1900 for all I care... it really matters very little).
Think about it...
Thanks. I knew that I was being generous when I suggested one draw in one thousand games, but I was too lazy to work out the precise odds. Now, I'll have another glass of wine so the 1300 can improve her chances against me, chances which are slightly better already than my chance against a 2700.
Look, a 1300 has almost no chance of winning a 2700 at full stregnth. However, if the 2700 goes easy on the 1300 so that it can beat the 2700, the 1300 probably can win. So if the 2700 goes about 100-1300 level, it probably can beat the 2700. If the goes at about 1500-2700 level it probably can't win.The 2700 can also blunder and lose. Although this doesn't happen much, it still can happen. Say he loses his queen to a fork. Bingo. The 1300 will probably win.
Stopped reading here because the elo formula is not linear. It is logarithmic and intuitive.
Maybe it made sense if I kept reading, but it was a very long post :p
<Clavier Cavalier> looks like we have more shared interests than just chess... check out www.youtube.com/user/solskytz.
<Beck 15> Thx :-) and btw - it's not one elo point less, but rather five, according to this calculation - a drop of five points in playing strength when you're 2830 or 2840 is equivalent to the loss of one FIDE-master's worth of skills, if my math holds (I know it sounds kind of absurd but come to think about it it really isn't...). Like - imagine the guy playing at 2840 being maybe 45 times stronger than a FIDE master? Likely to concede around 2 or 2 1/2 points to him in a 100-game match?
So he's playing at "45 FM power" (like cars running on 250 horse power) (by the way that would be probably around 250 or 300 solskytz power...). That day he got something at his throat, and suddenly played at only 44 FM power, meaning some 3-4 elo points less... makes more sense now?
<Ziryab> Having an 1300 for a girlfriend (wife?) is doubtless a bonus! So nice to have your life partner share your hobby, and nothing is more romantic than going for it in the evening after a nice glass of wine. Really cool!! Any plans of making her into a 1400?
looks like we have more shared interests than just chess... check out www.youtube.com/user/solskytz.
Thx :-) and btw - it's not one elo point less, but rather five, according to this calculation - a drop of five points in playing strength when you're 2830 or 2840 is equivalent to the loss of one FIDE-master's worth of skills, if my math holds (I know it sounds kind of absurd but come to think about it it really isn't...). Like - imagine the guy playing at 2840 being maybe 45 times stronger than a FIDE master? Likely to concede around 2 or 2 1/2 points to him in a 100-game match?
Having an 1300 for a girlfriend (wife?) is doubtless a bonus! So nice to have your life partner share your hobby, and nothing is more romantic than going for it in the evening after a nice glass of wine. Really cool!! Any plans of making her into a 1400?
It was a hypothetical. I like to mess with pronoun expectations. There is a tournament this weekend in my city that I could be playing in, but am at a remote guest ranch instead because my wife has a meeting here. The cabin offers solitude for chess study, and the woods and ranch offer a nice environment for my puppies and I to explore and play.
My wife played correspondence chess when we were first dating, but was never over 1200. In those days, I was in the 1400s, and she won an occasional casual game.
It's not just 'under-pressure'. There is no pressure. The GM can simply follow basic positional considerations and the 1300 will fall apart. Blunders for GMs are when you are so busy calculating that you forget about something simple, or miss that a formerly undefended square is now defended, etc. When the GM can win 100% of the time without needing to calculate complicated variations or search for an advantage he is just not going to commit a serious blunder.
Another consideration is that even if there is some tiny chance for such an upset it is quite possible that in all of human existance there will never be enough games between 1300s and 2700s for such a thing to occur.
Apparently a trip to Starbucks can change this.
Again pellik, it's just one assumption against another.
I just know, from my experience from playing people much weaker than me (indeed, even people around 1300 once in a while), that you sometimes get into these closed-ish or symmetrical-ish positions where, although you want your opponent to just give you an obvious blunder, the nature of the position forces you to take a more grinding approach. Remember that, of course, as good as a great player is, all they can do is try to provoke a mistake, and exploit it. If the position doesn't give many opportunities like that, it won't necessarily happen like magic.
Also, I totally agree that what you describe is the most common way a GM would make a blunder; however, I would not go the extra step and say that any other circumstances in which a GM would make a blunder are absolutely nonexistent. Sometimes you're trying to attack on the kingside, play Qg4, and forget about that queen on a4 black had that's covering it. It's simply temporary blindness that anyone is capable of.
Games like Stripunsky-Onischuk, or even Petrosian-Bronstein, seemed to be, essentially, unprovoked blindness. In fact, in the Petrosian game, Petrosian had a fantastic position as white, and was grinding his opponent in the usual fashion. However, he simply forgot that the knight was controlling d6 (I think the queen was hung on d6), and in fact, when you look at it, it is sort of tricky in a way -- sometimes your eyes play tricks like that on you, especially if you're in the mindset that your position is "too dominating" for one of your pieces to actually be attacked.
I find it funny how people say...hey theres a chance that the gm will blunder...Well yeah there is a one in a million chance and there is a guarantee that the 1300 will positionally (if not outright blunder) blunder within the first 5-6 moves of the game.
In that position, the perfect move would have been a accepted draw offer 49 moves ago
Another option: 1300 could randomly choose his next move and so with probability around 1/20^60 he will play the best move every time-and he will win or at least draw the game.
No, a 1300 does not play randomly, he very deliberately plays bad moves because he thinks they're good.
In a game with 1300 ranked player with 2700 ranked player; worry is to be done by 2700 ranked player, other wise it shall be most entertaining game, as result is known to both sides, before start of game.
The problem is that 1300 could not recognize or exploit such blunders by 2700s if they happened. And neither example you site is even a 2700 player at the time.
That's the problem? Well, I think he could, if they were simple enough!
Of course, I know that there is often this psychological energy where the weaker player feels like his opponent can't blunder, so when that person does blunder the weaker player gets nowhere near realizing it was a mistake, but I don't think that will apply 100% of the time.
I think it's at least as tough of an assumption that a 1300 won't see that simple blunder purely due to this psychological effect than the assumption that once in a while, this effect might not work.
No more infinite monkey discussion? Nobody wants to discuss whether an elephant would win a fight against an ant 100% of the time? Come on guys!
Would an elephant sized ant beat an elephant in a fight?
Would an ant sized elephant beat an ant in a fight?
Yes to the first, no to the second.
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