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Opening theory and engines are ruining the game.

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BringBackDemon1
KowalskiAnnalysis wrote:

You are telling dumb chess retards to think. Mate, this sport was ruined before we were even born. Theory makes chess a memory game rather than a skill game. It is garbage. Absolute, utter, garbage.

mpaetz

So why are you here?

play4fun64

If you don't want to study opening theory, play Chess 960. I enjoy both Chess 960 and studying zOpening Theory.

blueemu

The skills required for top level chess are changing.

Is this unusual?

pcalugaru
mpaetz wrote:

This discussion is pretty much irrelevant for anyone below IM level--your opponents have not memorized all the lines in their openings 20 moves deep, and won't know how to proceed when you get out of the book. One way to avoid the engines' influence is to play some old lines that no one studies anymore as the give the opponent a slight advantage. That will be offset by the fact that you will understand the line while your opponent will be trying to figure how the engine would respond. They are unlikely to succeed.

Actually this applies to every level.

Have you not been watching how Magnus has won in the last decade? When it's crucial in a tournament or a match... either he's played a off beat line or he played an opening he is not noted for (and played an off beat line in that too)

When is the last time Carlsen pulled an advantage in the opening phase? Not as many as one would think... When is the last time he reach a line where Black had equality and he went on to win by out playing his opponent? More times than anyone else currently playing chess... hence the Goat tag to his name.

ROYAL-PIECE

This is a kind of World War 3 but for chess

play4fun64

I propose professional chess players play the opening similar to engine games Perfect zOpening Book can made the first,8 to,,12 moves then the players continue.

RandomChessPlayer62

I think opening theory and engines work well if you understand the moves alongside memorising them

magipi
blueemu wrote:

The skills required for top level chess are changing.

Are they, though?

A top player don't have to be a computer expert if he has some second who is. And all other required skills remain mostly the same.

playerafar
The_Artist_of_Chess wrote:

Chess is a game where you use your head. You choose your moves. It builds your skill, and you get better. That’s the way it as played since the game existed. Then, engines came along. Modern grandmasters don’t even think for themselves. Most grandmaster games are just the result of memorizing piles of theory and engine analysis and then working through an endgame, until they enter a position which has been pre-solved by- you guessed it- an engine. An absolute beginner who just learned how to move the pieces uses more brainpower than these sleep-deprived zombies. Bobby Fischer was right. Prodigies which have so much potential are overshadowed by those who study with engines and opening theory. If they do prevail, they became slave to this new social construct, and lose all of their prodigal traits because they just play off of an engine.

Now, we have established that the professional field of chess has been completely corrupted by engines to the point where half of the entire game is dictated by engines. But now, it’s seeping into the beginner level. Scumbags like GothamChess are encouraging beginners to play the opening off of theory. Why? Why not just play the opening off of principles? You are a beginner. Playing off of basics is the best you can do. Opening theory is encouraging you to abandon your intuition and repeat engine moves. This is a bad habit disguised as a revolutionizing opportunity and everyone’s falling for it.

Solving the game of chess is removing the beauty of the game. The game was so much more fascinating in the 1800’s, where even top players made mistakes, blundered, and made a beautiful, revolutionizing comeback. Now, almost everything is a forced draw at the top level. It must be torturous to play at the top level.

Even I used to be a slave to this opening theory BS. Clearly, I am no longer.

Drop your Ruy Lopez, drop your Sicilian. Play whatever builds your skill. Players now take months to barely improve because they won’t build their intuition and skill. They waste their time memorizing openings instead of simply using their opening’s ideas and utilize tactical and positional concepts instead. You can simplify your chess. You just have to do it right.

Grandmasters and masters and experts do 'think for themselves' on the chessboard.
If they didn't or weren't - they wouldn't reach those levels.
To play openings well - and openings are the most 'unsolved' part of the game - strong players need a good grasp of the 'solved' including basic checkmate positions - basic endings - basic tactics - and a good grasp and ability of navigating from the unsolved to the solved including through unfamiliar territory.

swarminglocusts

Have you read.a chess book, forum, DVD, or some other source of intelligence about chess that made you better? Congratulations, you have done the same thing, acquiring knowledge from another source and Utilised it in your own games.

DLPB

Chess 960. Where we see Magnus' true strength, where he was picked up and tossed overboard by Wesley So.

MaetsNori
DLPB wrote:

Chess 960. Where we see Magnus' true strength, where he was picked up and tossed overboard by Wesley So.

So played excellently in that 2019 tournament, for sure. But that was five years ago - Carlsen has since won the 2024 Freestyle G.O.A.T. Challenge.

Chess 960 might have been a weak point for Magnus in the past, but it doesn't seem to be anymore ...

V_Awful_Chess
MaetsNori wrote:
DLPB wrote:

Chess 960. Where we see Magnus' true strength, where he was picked up and tossed overboard by Wesley So.

So played excellently in that 2019 tournament, for sure. But that was five years ago - Carlsen has since won the 2024 Freestyle G.O.A.T. Challenge.

Chess 960 might have been a weak point for Magnus in the past, but it doesn't seem to be anymore ...

Wasn't that a competition with only a handful of players and missed the strongest ones like Hikaru?

Also, it had classical time controls, which makes it different from any previous 960 event so probably not comparable.

MaetsNori
V_Awful_Chess wrote:
MaetsNori wrote:
DLPB wrote:

Chess 960. Where we see Magnus' true strength, where he was picked up and tossed overboard by Wesley So.

So played excellently in that 2019 tournament, for sure. But that was five years ago - Carlsen has since won the 2024 Freestyle G.O.A.T. Challenge.

Chess 960 might have been a weak point for Magnus in the past, but it doesn't seem to be anymore ...

Wasn't that a competition with only a handful of players and missed the strongest ones like Hikaru?

Also, it had classical time controls, which makes it different from any previous 960 event so probably not comparable.

Well, in the 2019 FIDE 960 Championship, Carlsen didn't start playing until Semi-Finals (he was directly seeded in). At that point, there was only him and 3 other players: So, Caruana, and Nepomniatchi.

In the 2024 Freestyle Challenge, Carlsen started in an 8 player field: Ding, Caruana, Firouzja, Aronian, Abdusattarov, Keymer, and Gukesh.

Hikaru was invited, too - but he declined the invite.

So I'd say the 2024 Freestyle G.O.A.T. Challenge was the more difficult event. Although I'm not exactly a fan of the name of it. tongue.png

ibrust
The_Artist_of_Chess wrote:

Chess is a game where you use your head. You choose your moves. It builds your skill, and you get better. That’s the way it as played since the game existed. Then, engines came along. Modern grandmasters don’t even think for themselves. Most grandmaster games are just the result of memorizing piles of theory and engine analysis and then working through an endgame, until they enter a position which has been pre-solved by- you guessed it- an engine. An absolute beginner who just learned how to move the pieces uses more brainpower than these sleep-deprived zombies.

Tournament games usually reach new positions by move 10-12 these days. Magnus will play bad moves intentionally just to get out of book. Getting out of a book is something pretty much every GM does. You have about 15-25 moves from then until you reach a typical endgame, these moves are not memorized, you cannot just go to sleep and win, that is nonsense. This shows you really do not understand high level chess. You are not saying something groundbreaking here. 
No offense, but you're 900 rated, you are in no position to talk about how Grandmasters approach the game.

The_Artist_of_Chess wrote:

Bobby Fischer was right. Prodigies which have so much potential are overshadowed by those who study with engines and opening theory. If they do prevail, they became slave to this new social construct, and lose all of their prodigal traits because they just play off of an engine.

Fischer made that comment back when engines were first being used. People back then were predicting chess would be solved and become entirely about theory... fast forward a few decades and that's not what actually happened. What happened was engines led players to play less common moves and place a greater emphasis on getting the opponent out of book. The power of the engine to develop an opening also meant people can play any move and flesh it out / make it viable... which makes surprising your opponent before they surprise you very important. This has led to all kinds of rare lines becoming popular, lines that back in Fischers day no one played. In turn, when a high level player senses they're in the opponents book, they'll often play an obscure move. So there's been a synthesis of personal creativity and the development of theory, and overall much greater emphasis on going out of book. This is alot different than what people predicted.

And TBH Fischer, while his comment was not unfounded at the time, he was also an egomaniac and his comment is suggesting that back in his day he did it all without engines so in a way he was a better player, I think that was part of the motive of his comment.

The_Artist_of_Chess wrote:

Now, we have established that the professional field of chess has been completely corrupted by engines to the point where half of the entire game is dictated by engines. But now, it’s seeping into the beginner level. Scumbags like GothamChess are encouraging beginners to play the opening off of theory. Why? Why not just play the opening off of principles? You are a beginner. Playing off of basics is the best you can do. Opening theory is encouraging you to abandon your intuition and repeat engine moves. This is a bad habit disguised as a revolutionizing opportunity and everyone’s falling for it.

As a beginner you have to play based on principle the moment you get out of theory, which will at best happen by move 5-7 at your level, or earlier depending on the opening you choose. You aren't losing due to not knowing the theory, the theory doesn't even go deep enough for that at your level. 
You do have to learn opening theory in chess. But you can also minimize the theory by playing more positional and less common openings. 
If you want to get completely out of theory beyond move 6 at any level below 2000 just play the nimzo Larsen attack or the Richter Veresov attack as white, and the Nimzowitsch sicilian and tarrasch / semi-tarrasch as black. Practically no player below 2000 knows these openings very well, I can tell you that from experience. Players at 900 elo will definitely not know them. The state of the game is simply not as you describe.

The_Artist_of_Chess wrote:

Solving the game of chess is removing the beauty of the game. The game was so much more fascinating in the 1800’s, where even top players made mistakes, blundered, and made a beautiful, revolutionizing comeback. Now, almost everything is a forced draw at the top level. It must be torturous to play at the top level.

Chess is not solved and it will never be, because humans will never become engines. Well, unless they install chips in our brains. Again, in your typical tournament game at GM level the players will reach a brand new position by move 10-12 usually.

The_Artist_of_Chess wrote:

Even I used to be a slave to this opening theory BS. Clearly, I am no longer.

How were you such a slave to theory but never rose above 900? You're doing something very wrong.

The_Artist_of_Chess wrote:

Drop your Ruy Lopez, drop your Sicilian. Play whatever builds your skill. Players now take months to barely improve because they won’t build their intuition and skill. They waste their time memorizing openings instead of simply using their opening’s ideas and utilize tactical and positional concepts instead. You can simplify your chess. You just have to do it right.

You should play tons of different openings and build your pattern recognition, but the reason you're losing is not due to the opening.

playerafar

"You should play tons of different openings and build your pattern recognition, but the reason you're losing is not due to the opening."
An aspect of the forum topic - how to approach openings.
Is useful.
I would say that the opening in chess has always been the biggest pitfall in the game.
And that rote/robotic/imitative/limited approaches to the opening have been 'ruining' the learning curve and upward trajectories of players for centuries.
Example - a player new to the game or relatively inexperienced starts himself or is started with e4 c5 openings with both white and black.
And even more limited but still labyrinthine - its to be the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian for both study and play as most of the investment of time.
There's a lot of arguments and controversy among players about this.
Including among very strong players.
-------------------------------------
"Najdorf! Najdorf! Otherwise you'll never learn tactics!"
'Najdorf is the best!'
are two of the shouts.
Much better though: overview of the openings.
And keeping the opening in perspective as just one element of a much bigger picture where openings are just one element of several.
Calmer claim: 'the Najdorf variation might be the worst possible choice for study and use by beginners and other players looking to build and balance their early years of navigation through the game."
---------------------------------
Another idea.
What's the most primary purpose of 1) e4.
Rhetorical questions:
Why is it the most popular first move for white among masters and up?
Is it because of indoctrination from the top?
What about specifics?
Idea: Understand instead of memorize/follow.
If I had to pick a reason (among several) - 1) e4 is the one way to confront black's g-knight before it even moves.
White is saying: 'I know if I play anything else - you can and so often will reply Nf6 right away.
So you want to have an Alekhine's defense?'
Black's reply far over 90% of the time: 'No. I don't and we aren't.'
So instead its c5 or e5 or e6 or c6 as reply most of the time.
-----------------------------------------------
Constantly missed point:
e4 is the most common first move - 
but Nf3 and Nf6 are played more often than any other moves for white or black.
In other words - overall - Nf3 in front of his f2-pawn is played more than e4 or d4 or c4 in the opening moves.
Same with black and Nf6 in front of his f7pawn.
----------------------------------
And a lot of opening ideas are about white trying to upset black's knight at f6.

Chess16723
What does the OP recommend to do about this problem?
V_Awful_Chess

As someone who mostly hasn't bothered learning openings (just starting to dip my toe in now), I've learned that while "I wasn't doing openings", in reality I was learning how to play the Italian.

Openings are unavoidable, you either pick them up subconsciously as I did, or consciously as many other people do.

playerafar

'Principles' in the openings were made to be broken.
And are broken. Constantly. Including by top players.
And including in 'the main lines' of openings.
Most of us here have probably heard most of them or seen most of them ...
'Knights before bishops'
'Castle early'
'Connect your rooks'
'Don't move the Queen early'
'Don't make a lot of pawn moves'
'Try to not move anything twice in the opening'
'Get a pawn or pawns into the center'
'Control the center'
'Develop your pieces'
'Don't play passively. Don't lose any tempos.'
---------------------------------------------------------
Idea: However good all that stuff looks ... or how obvious
that's not what gets you through.