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However, there is no comparison between chess and poker. Or, any other endeavor. Your poker table works for poker. Learning chess is a pursuit that can drive one mad!
What is your authority for making this statement or did you just make it up?
Yeah, pulled it right out my hat. Keep posting your links, maybe you'll even convince yourself.
fburton, I think I'll leave this debate to you - we're saying the same things at the same times, except I'm using stupid analogies and you're not
Hat or not, the idea that there are no similarities is absurd. Both, when taken with the aim of playing well, are games of tools, strategy, psychology, and raw processing power.
You can argue that the differences are greater than the similarities, I suppose. But the number (and style) of similarities is significant, making the comparison perfectly valid.
A poker player who doesn't see the comparison with chess doesn't understand chess.
A chess player who doesn't see the comparison doesn't understand poker.
@fburton and madhacker --
I agree -- there is luck in both chess and poker. However, the nature and extent of luck is quite different in the two games.
In the game of chess, luck/randomness is not built into the game rules. A move that should win will not through a roll of the dice lose.
In the game of poker, luck/randomness IS built into the game. The "correct" move may lose, due to the random shuffle of the deck.
Therefore, we can say that in chess, luck is mostly an external factor - along the lines of the examples already discussed in the thread. In poker, it is mostly an internal factor.
That is -- in poker the "luck" or randomness comes from the game, in chess from the humans' moods, energy, focus, knowledge, pairing, etc.
The point about degress of involvement of luck is also a good one. To illustrate the difference -- a poker pro once expressed the role of skill in poker as:
"On any one given hand, it might be 99% luck and 1% skill. Over the course of a tournament, it might be 30% skill and 70% luck. Over the course of a month, maybe it’s 30% luck and 70% skill, and over the course of a year maybe it’s 90% skill and 10% luck."
In chess, I would say it is about 99% skill and 1% luck (the same pro actually said chess is 100% skill, but he may not be in a position to say).
In the Wikipedia article on the Elo rating system
it is stated that: "A player's expected score is his probability of winning plus half his probability of drawing."
Why are they talking about probabilities/chances if there is no luck in chess?
The use of probability/statistics for ratings is simply to provide a mathematical model which can account for overperformance (improving players) and underperformance (aging players, players who are rusty, etc). It is a convenient way of saying e.g. two equally strong players should generally draw or trade wins, and of quantifying in some way the skill differential.
First, let me say I don't disagree with anything you wrote in your post #45. We can argue about the relative contributions of luck and skill to each game, but I think you are right in principle.
However, consider this... If two players have the same Elo rating their probability of winning or drawing is equal. Why then should one or other player win a game at all? If both players are equally skillful, isn't a win/loss due to "luck" - intrinsic (i.e. human) chance factors?
If two players' ratings differ by 200 Elo points, the more skilled player would have anything between a) a 75% chance of winning and a 25% chance of losing, and b) a 50% chance of winning, 0% chance of losing and 50% chance of drawing (according to Wikipedia). That means that, despite the 200 Elo points of skill differential, there is still a substantial chance of the lower rated player winning or drawing against the more skilled player, who would always win if chess was 100% skill. What a difference that 1% of luck makes!
Every game has an opening.
Every game has a middle.
Every game has an end.
Name any game-Risk, soccer, Scrabble, baseball, etc. All require some skill to become good. Any game can be compared to another in this way. It does not make them similar.
It also doesn't make them dissimilar.
Going through the acts of understanding them and then comparing them determines whether or not they are similar, or whether there are similarities worth considering.
Most people who understand both games feel there is enough common ground to make the similarities worthy of consideration.
You are, of course, welcome to disagree. But the weight of consensus among those educated in both disciplines ought to carry some weight.
Thanks so much for all of these thoughtful, helpful replies!
Extra special thanks to:
hicetnunc for providing the most specific treatment of skills by elo ; that was super, super helpful
Mr. Blunderful for the great poker to chess analogies; these made complete sense to me and they helped to crystallize my thinking
TonyH for the specific beginner-oriented recommendations (would it be possible to tie your recommendations to ELO as fburton suggests?)
Wafflemaster for his explanation of skills in chess as being “fuzzy” and often just separated by degrees; that is something that I’d been wondering about
Kingpatzer for highlighting the importance of trying to deduce/predict an opponent’s thoughts/plan and of the value of “thinking out loud” in chess; interestingly enough these are skills poker players also value greatly; poker players often call the war of deductive reasoning “leveling;” in addition, Alan Schoonmaker addresses the importance of “thinking out loud” nicely in his book The Psychology of Poker
There are too many great replies to acknowledge them all individually but thanks so much to all who have shared their insights
yup, i gotta agree with waffllemaster here. not all 1600s are created equal. although, in the grand scheme of things, they are going to *most likely* be generally worse in all areas of the game than an 1800. by the time you reach 1800 uscf, you have a good grasp of general chess and know a few tricks. then, the next hurdle is 2000, which is expert level.
to reach 2000, you are an extremely solid player who has more than the basics down and some good endgame skills. 2000-2100 in real life isn't easy to get and maintain.
the next jump is 2200, which is master, and from there the world goes sideways. to hit 2200 you gotta have some real study time behind you, and a little talent, if i do say so myself.
To reach 1800, you have to know how to spot 3 move tactics, not drop pieces, and not be losing out of the opening. You also need to know how to win up a piece. That's about it - even with strategy completely dominated by tactics you can still do fine at that level with a gambit repertoire. To reach 2000, you have to make no obvious blunders despite still having gaping holes in your chess knowledge. Your endgames can still be atrocious as long as you don't drop pawns or make horrific errors and know the basics of endgame technique. The only thing really required for 2000 is to be able to calculate 3 moves out fairly consistently and know the basics of playing for space and exchanging pieces, as well as some opening theory. Obviously this still takes a bit of work, but it's ridiculous to claim that A-Expert are particularly knowledgeable or strong players.
To reach 1800, you have to know how to spot 3 move tactics, not drop pieces, and not be losing out of the opening. You also need to know how to win up a piece. That's about it - even with strategy completely dominated by tactics you can still do fine at that level with a gambit repertoire. To reach 2000, you have to make no obvious blunders despite still having gaping holes in your chess knowledge. Your endgames can still be atrocious as long as you don't drop pawns or make horrific errors and know the basics of endgame technique. The only thing really required for 2000 is to be able to calculate 3 moves out fairly consistently and know the basics of playing for space and exchanging pieces, as well as some opening theory.
You're kidding right?
This guy doesn't know what he's talking about, IMO.
Although I'm exaggerating a bit, there's some truth to what I'm saying - to be able to calculate a few moves accurately and consistently is more than most players can do and is sufficient for expert level play along with basic knowledge. Look over games played by 2000-2200 players and look at what they do in closed positions without theory to guide them. Or look at how they play complicated endgames. It sounds ridiculous, but they're really not as strong as class players think...
I would add some attacking skills (to notch points), the sense of piece activity, and some familiarity with the middlegames arising from your favourite openings, but all in all, I think IrrationalTiger is not too far from the truth
There has been some discussion on luck in chess here.My view is that anything you don't look over, you, in a sense, take some sort of risk. For example, if you don't go through the routine of checking all checks (to make sure you're checking them correctly -- kidding of course) against your king, then of course, you are at a higher risk of a blunder based on checks. It doesn't mean if you don't check for one move you are necessarily going to make a blunder; it's just that if you look for checks, you can make sure that you are not making a blunder, rather than hope that your move works out.So essentially, playing the odds is looking for as many possibilities as necessary (yet, in an efficient way to avoid flagging). If you don't check for knight forks, then you should accept the fact that sometimes you might be punished with a knight fork coming your way, and sometimes you won't be. You can't control what you don't know about. Good chess players cannot completely control their fate, but they try to have as much control as they can get, whether it's in accurate calculation, or sharp intuition.
lol, I feel like a doctor, like I'm saying "if you do this, you are at a higher risk of ------ cancer." I mean, there are probably heavy smokers out there who have perfectly fine lungs their entire life. And yet, there are people who don't smoke at all, yet get lung cancer from second hand smoke! The point is, sometimes these things will happen, even if you think wisely -- all a lowly human can do is influence his fate as much as possible; never control it!
(Referring to a post made by Irrational Tiger) And about saying that it's asinine to claim that an A player or an expert is a good player: it's asinine to think you can make an objective standard for something like this. If you're a beginner, then you think that 2000s can't make a silly mistake; if you are a 2700, you think that 2000s don't know the basics of chess (because 2700 players think 4 move combinations are basic). It's all your perception.
Hicetnunc, you are a really nice guy, but unfortunately, that means that sometimes you give guys like Irrational Tiger too much credit. He's trolling; anything true that he says is only by accident.
This from some unrated, irrational person. Hilarious!
These are the same clowns who are forever trying to sort out who was better, Kramnik or Smyslov.
Unrated, irrational, of the opinion that players stronger than him suck= artificially intelligent troll.
Assuming a player like Magnus Carlsen made such a statement, would you valuate it differently ?
Wouldn't you? lol
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