Forums

Is there such thing as "luck" in chess?

Sort:
FtGeno

I just recently blundered leaving my rook open to my opponent's rook only to see him advance his pawn thereby allowing me to take his rook and that same pawn with my next. The moment I took my hand off that piece I saw what I'd done and thought "Oh crud". I think that qualifies. lol

CooloutAC
FtGeno wrote:

I just recently blundered leaving my rook open to my opponent's rook only to see him advance his pawn thereby allowing me to take his rook and that same pawn with my next. The moment I took my hand off that piece I saw what I'd done and thought "Oh crud". I think that qualifies. lol

 

I just blundered my queen and my opponent missed it and I won on time.   But I can't call what he did unskillful,  and at the same time call it lucky for me.  By definition it was our own actions that determined the moves so therefore not a force of luck.  This is how we distinguish chess from other games,  or games that have elements of luck by design verse games that don't which I believe is the original intention of this thread.   Its why we consider chess a competitive sport.

LeeEuler
CooloutAC wrote:
FtGeno wrote:

I just recently blundered leaving my rook open to my opponent's rook only to see him advance his pawn thereby allowing me to take his rook and that same pawn with my next. The moment I took my hand off that piece I saw what I'd done and thought "Oh crud". I think that qualifies. lol

 

I just blundered my queen and my opponent missed it and I won on time.   But I can't call what he did unskillful,  and at the same time call it lucky for me.  By definition it was our own actions that determined the moves so therefore not a force of luck.  This is how we distinguish chess from other games,  or games that have elements of luck by design verse games that don't which I believe is the original intention of this thread.   Its why we consider chess a competitive sport.

Your own actions also determine which side a coin is flipped on.

I am not sure why you are so hesitant to just state what you actually think-- that if something can be (relatively) easily improved upon with practice, that it can't contain any element of luck.

 

IronSteam1
CooloutAC wrote:

I think it is you that doesn't understand.   You sound like those people that think speed chess is not real chess lol.   You mistakenly think accuracy determines skill level not realizing its only a number in relation to your opponents moves.  Only w/l/d determine skill levels in chess.     It doesn't matter if it was the wrong move and his opponent didn't see it.  That doesn't mean there are elements of luck by design in the game,  nor that the game is not based solely on skill as the deciding factor.   You fail to treat this like a competitive sport so don't take into account his opponents calculations or all the moves prior.   You can't call his opponent not seeing the move unskillful,   but then call Hikaru lucky.   Its the same move and its one or the other.   The fact that by definition of the word,  it was determined by their own actions and no other force,  means its was not luck.  To claim so is out of convenience to shield oneself or others from embarrassment which is human nature,  but not technically true.  Any luck in life is not specific to chess and begs no question, and not related to the topic of this thread.

What makes you think I consider speed chess "not real chess?" Look at my profile, my ratings, my game history. I play speed chess.

Besides, what does speed chess have to do with this topic? That's a completely random, irrelevant tangent.

Back on topic: there doesn't need to be "elements of luck by design in the game" in order for luck to influence a game.

This thread is asking (and I'm directly quoting from the original post): "Can you get lucky in chess?"

It's a provocative question that reaches beyond the simplistic argument of "Luck is not part of the rules!"

 

Regarding the previous example, Hikaru forgot his prep and played the wrong move, in a memorized line. This was a chance occurrence. It was not intentional. He intended to play the next move in the sequence, but he played the wrong move, by accident.

This chance occurrence led to him winning the game - by his own admission.

Had this chance occurrence not happened, he would have lost the game - again, by his own admission.

 

Now if your argument is "He moved the piece, therefore, it was his own actions, not luck", then I again disagree.

The existence of one's actions (or efforts, or abilities) alone do not refute the presence of luck.

If I'm digging in the ground, to place a fencepost, and my digging leads to me discovering a priceless gemstone - is that not luck? Yes, the digging can be described as my own efforts and actions - but it was a chance occurrence that my digging led to a priceless gemstone.

 

I was not intending to find a gemstone - I was intending to make a hole for a fencepost.

Hikaru was not intending to play a game-winning mistake - he was intending to play his prep.

 

See the correlation?

One can still experience luck, even when one's actions and/or efforts are directly involved in the process.

In life, as in chess.

CooloutAC
LeeEuler wrote:
CooloutAC wrote:
FtGeno wrote:

I just recently blundered leaving my rook open to my opponent's rook only to see him advance his pawn thereby allowing me to take his rook and that same pawn with my next. The moment I took my hand off that piece I saw what I'd done and thought "Oh crud". I think that qualifies. lol

 

I just blundered my queen and my opponent missed it and I won on time.   But I can't call what he did unskillful,  and at the same time call it lucky for me.  By definition it was our own actions that determined the moves so therefore not a force of luck.  This is how we distinguish chess from other games,  or games that have elements of luck by design verse games that don't which I believe is the original intention of this thread.   Its why we consider chess a competitive sport.

Your own actions also determine which side a coin is flipped on.

I am not sure why you are so hesitant to just state what you actually think-- that if something can be (relatively) easily improved upon with practice, that it can't contain any element of luck.

 


They don't.  They don't determine them at all.   One way to confirm this,  is that no amount of practice or knowledge can increase your chances of a favorable result.   That is the point no matter how many times you try to claim otherwise.  

CooloutAC
IronSteam1 wrote:
CooloutAC wrote:

I think it is you that doesn't understand.   You sound like those people that think speed chess is not real chess lol.   You mistakenly think accuracy determines skill level not realizing its only a number in relation to your opponents moves.  Only w/l/d determine skill levels in chess.     It doesn't matter if it was the wrong move and his opponent didn't see it.  That doesn't mean there are elements of luck by design in the game,  nor that the game is not based solely on skill as the deciding factor.   You fail to treat this like a competitive sport so don't take into account his opponents calculations or all the moves prior.   You can't call his opponent not seeing the move unskillful,   but then call Hikaru lucky.   Its the same move and its one or the other.   The fact that by definition of the word,  it was determined by their own actions and no other force,  means its was not luck.  To claim so is out of convenience to shield oneself or others from embarrassment which is human nature,  but not technically true.  Any luck in life is not specific to chess and begs no question, and not related to the topic of this thread.

What makes you think I consider speed chess "not real chess?" Look at my profile, my ratings, my game history. I play speed chess.

Besides, what does speed chess have to do with this topic? That's a completely random, irrelevant tangent.

Back on topic: there doesn't need to be "elements of luck by design in the game" in order for luck to influence a game.

This thread is asking (and I'm directly quoting from the original post): "Can you get lucky in chess?"

It's a provocative question that reaches beyond the simplistic argument of "Luck is not part of the rules!"

 

Regarding the previous example, Hikaru forgot his prep and played the wrong move, in a memorized line. This was a chance occurrence. It was not intentional. He intended to play the next move in the sequence, but he played the wrong move, by accident.

This chance occurrence led to him winning the game - by his own admission.

Had this chance occurrence not happened, he would have lost the game - again, by his own admission.

 

Now if your argument is "He moved the piece, therefore, it was his own actions, not luck", then I again disagree.

The existence of one's actions (or efforts, or abilities) alone do not refute the presence of luck.

If I'm digging in the ground, to place a fencepost, and my digging leads to me discovering a priceless gemstone - is that not luck? Yes, the digging can be described as my own efforts and actions - but it was a chance occurrence that my digging led to a priceless gemstone.

 

I was not intending to find a gemstone - I was intending to make a hole for a fencepost.

Hikaru was not intending to play a game-winning mistake - he was intending to play his prep.

 

See the correlation?

One can still experience luck, even when one's actions and/or efforts are directly involved in the process.

In life, as in chess.


So does ziryab,  so do 100s of other people who dont' think speed chess is real chess.   Its obvious by your comments on accuracy,  by saying Hikaru got lucky by not making the "correct" move.   First of all to quote Levon Aronian,  "Blitz is not about making the correct move,  its about posing the hardest questions to your opponent"   Many believe accuracy determines skill,  it does not and is only a number in relation to your opponent.   The minute chess becomes nothing more then a math equation,  it will be come a dead sport.

   But even in classical,  no matter how "wrong" you think HIkaru's move was,  its only wrong if his opponent makes it wrong.   And you can't call the same move unskillful and lucky at the same time.   It either was determined by luck or it was determined by skill.    What you can say is that Hikaru made a poor skilled move,   and so did his opponent.   But luck was not involved,  because otherwise the words have no reason for existing per the topic of this thread and as applicable to gaming by definition of the word itself.

And by saying that HIkaru's move was not planned,  shows you have no understanding of what skill is.  You ignored my point that skill not only doesn't have to be planned,  it doesn't even have to be conscious.  Your own actions in gaming are always a measure of skill and never a measure of luck.  Otherwise we couldn't even call it a competition of skill, and again like I said above,  it would be a dead sport.

The only time another players actions are lucky or unlucky for you,  is when you have no control or influence over them.  Such as other games in a tournament between other players affecting your chances.   But even that is not something that is specific to chess.

IronSteam1
CooloutAC wrote:

So does ziryab,  so do 100s of other people who dont' think speed chess is real chess.   Its obvious by your comments on accuracy,  by saying Hikaru got lucky by not making the "correct" move.   First of all to quote Levon Aronian,  "Blitz is not about making the correct move,  its about posing the hardest questions to your opponent"   Many believe accuracy determines skill,  it does not and is only a number in relation to your opponent.   The minute chess becomes nothing more then a math equation,  it will be come a dead sport.

   But even in classical,  no matter how "wrong" you think HIkaru's move was,  its only wrong if his opponent makes it wrong.   And you can't call the same move unskillful and lucky at the same time.   It either was determined by luck or it was determined by skill.    What you can say is that Hikaru made a poor skilled move,   and so did his opponent.   But luck was not involved,  because otherwise the words have no reason for existing per the topic of this thread and as applicable to gaming by definition of the word itself.

Hikaru himself is the one who called his move a "mistake", because it didn't follow his memorized line. He's the one who said that he "confused the move order".

If you think that talking about "accuracy" and "mistakes" is somehow insulting to speed chess players, then perhaps you should argue with Hikaru about it - as he's the one who talks so frequently about these very things in his games.

Besides, accuracy and speed chess are not mutually exclusive. I'm not sure what your point is here. Even in 1+0 bullet, I strive for as much accuracy as I'm capable of.

It's not much different than a boxer aiming for precision and rehearsed combinations, while sparring. Accuracy. Precision. Dedication to the craft.

 

What this really comes down to, in my opinion, is that you do not believe in luck. Certainly not in chess, anyway. You have called luck, at some point in this thread: "a human invention". So whenever someone brings up "luck" in this thread, you argue against it.

Even when professional players mention luck in their games, you say that they are "wrong", or accuse them of not being "literal".

This can make discussion difficult, especially when those who do believe in luck attempt to participate.

I have a family member, for example, who firmly believes in luck - in all aspects of life.

She believes it interwoven into everything. She would consider it inarguable that luck exists in chess - as (from her perspective) luck exists in everything.

Her viewpoint is far more mystical than mine, but it does raise some interesting questions.

 

You say that "The minute chess becomes nothing more than a math equation, it will become a dead sport."

Yet, when someone suggests that "luck" is part of chess, you are essentially arguing: "No! There is no luck in chess! There are no chance events. No inexplicable turns of fortune. Chess is nothing more than a math equation. It's nothing but w/l/d."

Ironic?

LeeEuler
CooloutAC wrote:
LeeEuler wrote:
CooloutAC wrote:
FtGeno wrote:

I just recently blundered leaving my rook open to my opponent's rook only to see him advance his pawn thereby allowing me to take his rook and that same pawn with my next. The moment I took my hand off that piece I saw what I'd done and thought "Oh crud". I think that qualifies. lol

 

I just blundered my queen and my opponent missed it and I won on time.   But I can't call what he did unskillful,  and at the same time call it lucky for me.  By definition it was our own actions that determined the moves so therefore not a force of luck.  This is how we distinguish chess from other games,  or games that have elements of luck by design verse games that don't which I believe is the original intention of this thread.   Its why we consider chess a competitive sport.

Your own actions also determine which side a coin is flipped on.

I am not sure why you are so hesitant to just state what you actually think-- that if something can be (relatively) easily improved upon with practice, that it can't contain any element of luck.

 


They don't.  They don't determine them at all.   One way to confirm this,  is that no amount of practice or knowledge can increase your chances of a favorable result.   That is the point no matter how many times you try to claim otherwise.  

Of course they do; nothing else besides the person flipping plays a role in the result. For example, right now, we can build a robot that will always flip heads.

That is why you must add the second half of your definition. One can only guess that the reason why you shy away from explicitly arguing this ("[relatively easily] improve with knowledge or practice") is because you are ashamed that it appears nowhere else, and you are the only one who uses it. 

When you give a definition of something as "A or B", and every useful categorization depends on B, then B is your definition. In your case, your definition of luck is necessarily "not being able to [relatively easily] increase one's chances of success from practice or knowledge".

So instead of saying: "By definition it was our own actions that determined the moves so therefore not a force of luck."

You should just outright say something like: "We both could have played better if we practiced or knew more, so therefore it was not a force of luck"

Since this is your admitted position, I am confused as to why you don't actually state it in your posts, unless like I mentioned before you are somehow ashamed of that worldview

Optimissed
CooloutAC wrote:
FtGeno wrote:

I just recently blundered leaving my rook open to my opponent's rook only to see him advance his pawn thereby allowing me to take his rook and that same pawn with my next. The moment I took my hand off that piece I saw what I'd done and thought "Oh crud". I think that qualifies. lol

 

I just blundered my queen and my opponent missed it and I won on time.But I can't call what he did unskillful,  and at the same time call it lucky for me.

An intelligent person might call it that. You aren't one. An intelligent person could think that although their opponent lacked the skill, at the time, to notice it, you were lucky in that particular game that your opponent blundered. It certainly wasn't your skill that stopped him from blundering.

Only your lack of skill at thinking causes you to miss the proper explanation. It isn't bad luck that you missed it because, over the months, you have amply demonstrated a lack of skill at thinking.

By definition it was our own actions that determined the moves so therefore not a force of luck.  This is how we distinguish chess from other games,  or games that have elements of luck by design verse games that don't which I believe is the original intention of this thread.   Its why we consider chess a competitive sport.

By definition, you haven't put forward an argument and so you lose the debate. No-one with any skill in thinking would try to win an argument by insisting that their definition, which is completely rejected by others, is the only correct one. Not only does it show a complete lack of skill in thinking but it also shows total disrespect for those you pretend to be arguing with.

You are incapable of understanding what others are saying and of taking it into consideration, in a manner which would show respect to others. That means that, quite literally, you don't know what you're talking about. Why those people, who are arguing with you, are actually bothering to do so beats me, unless they want to be the one who causes you to see the light. That isn't going to happen and the only logical conclusion is that they haven't anything better to do.

Your demonstration of complete lack of cognitive skills isn't bad luck. It's down to lack of intelligence.

 

CooloutAC
IronSteam1 wrote:
CooloutAC wrote:

So does ziryab,  so do 100s of other people who dont' think speed chess is real chess.   Its obvious by your comments on accuracy,  by saying Hikaru got lucky by not making the "correct" move.   First of all to quote Levon Aronian,  "Blitz is not about making the correct move,  its about posing the hardest questions to your opponent"   Many believe accuracy determines skill,  it does not and is only a number in relation to your opponent.   The minute chess becomes nothing more then a math equation,  it will be come a dead sport.

   But even in classical,  no matter how "wrong" you think HIkaru's move was,  its only wrong if his opponent makes it wrong.   And you can't call the same move unskillful and lucky at the same time.   It either was determined by luck or it was determined by skill.    What you can say is that Hikaru made a poor skilled move,   and so did his opponent.   But luck was not involved,  because otherwise the words have no reason for existing per the topic of this thread and as applicable to gaming by definition of the word itself.

Hikaru himself is the one who called his move a "mistake", because it didn't follow his memorized line. He's the one who said that he "confused the move order".

If you think that talking about "accuracy" and "mistakes" is somehow insulting to speed chess players, then perhaps you should argue with Hikaru about it - as he's the one who talks so frequently about these very things in his games.

Besides, accuracy and speed chess are not mutually exclusive. I'm not sure what your point is here. Even in 1+0 bullet, I strive for as much accuracy as I'm capable of.

It's not much different than a boxer aiming for precision and rehearsed combinations, while sparring. Accuracy. Precision. Dedication to the craft.

 

What this really comes down to, in my opinion, is that you do not believe in luck. Certainly not in chess, anyway. You have called luck, at some point in this thread: "a human invention". So whenever someone brings up "luck" in this thread, you argue against it.

Even when professional players mention luck in their games, you say that they are "wrong", or accuse them of not being "literal".

This can make discussion difficult, especially when those who do believe in luck attempt to participate.

I have a family member, for example, who firmly believes in luck - in all aspects of life.

She believes it interwoven into everything. She would consider it inarguable that luck exists in chess - as (from her perspective) luck exists in everything.

Her viewpoint is far more mystical than mine, but it does raise some interesting questions.

 

You say that "The minute chess becomes nothing more than a math equation, it will become a dead sport."

Yet, when someone suggests that "luck" is part of chess, you are essentially arguing: "No! There is no luck in chess! There are no chance events. No inexplicable turns of fortune. Chess is nothing more than a math equation. It's nothing but w/l/d."

Ironic?

 

Doesn't matter who called Hikaru's move a mistake,  my point still stands that it doesn't matter.  It was still of his own action and determination  same goes for his opponents response.  

 

Regarding accuracy, just like above you must realize this is a competitive sport between two players.  Not one.  This is why and how we apply the words skill and luck to multiplayer sports.  

 

It comes down to not your opinion.  It comes down to the technical definition of the word and why the word exists and why it is important for it to exist. 

 

And yes when professional players mention luck in their games they are technically wrong,  it is simply human nature to try and save themselves or others from embarrassment either selfishly or as a humble show of sportsmanship.  

 

Luck in life in general begs no question.  We are talking about luck specific to chess hence the thread title to distinguish chess from other games.  

 

The minute chess becomes nothing more then a math equation to be solved then classical will die.  Because then people like you can blame every loss on someone who was not accurate.     Speed chess will remain for longer since players don't have enough time to calculate or some other variant will become more popular.  Its similar to how many of you don't play classical online because you think everyone is cheating.  People will no longer consider chess sporting for similar reasons. 

 I originally said this to you though to reiterate the point that chess is a game between two players.  Not one player simply striving for high accuracy,  because Accuracy is only a number in relation to your opponents moves.   The fact is you don't treat chess like a competitive sport and thats why you make silly arguments to prove luck in chess by accuracy.

CooloutAC
LeeEuler wrote:
CooloutAC wrote:
LeeEuler wrote:
CooloutAC wrote:
FtGeno wrote:

I just recently blundered leaving my rook open to my opponent's rook only to see him advance his pawn thereby allowing me to take his rook and that same pawn with my next. The moment I took my hand off that piece I saw what I'd done and thought "Oh crud". I think that qualifies. lol

 

I just blundered my queen and my opponent missed it and I won on time.   But I can't call what he did unskillful,  and at the same time call it lucky for me.  By definition it was our own actions that determined the moves so therefore not a force of luck.  This is how we distinguish chess from other games,  or games that have elements of luck by design verse games that don't which I believe is the original intention of this thread.   Its why we consider chess a competitive sport.

Your own actions also determine which side a coin is flipped on.

I am not sure why you are so hesitant to just state what you actually think-- that if something can be (relatively) easily improved upon with practice, that it can't contain any element of luck.

 


They don't.  They don't determine them at all.   One way to confirm this,  is that no amount of practice or knowledge can increase your chances of a favorable result.   That is the point no matter how many times you try to claim otherwise.  

Of course they do; nothing else besides the person flipping plays a role in the result. For example, right now, we can build a robot that will always flip heads.

That is why you must add the second half of your definition. One can only guess that the reason why you shy away from explicitly arguing this ("[relatively easily] improve with knowledge or practice") is because you are ashamed that it appears nowhere else, and you are the only one who uses it. 

When you give a definition of something as "A or B", and every useful categorization depends on B, then B is your definition. In your case, your definition of luck is necessarily "not being able to [relatively easily] increase one's chances of success from practice or knowledge".

So instead of saying: "By definition it was our own actions that determined the moves so therefore not a force of luck."

You should just outright say something like: "We both could have played better if we practiced or knew more, so therefore it was not a force of luck"

Since this is your admitted position, I am confused as to why you don't actually state it in your posts, unless like I mentioned before you are somehow ashamed of that worldview

 

Nope.  The result is not from your own action,  because as you have admitted before your human ability is part of your skill set.   Describe the action in deal or no deal?   Not only does none exist,  Your actions have no influence over your chances of a successful result from the suitcase in deal or no deal,  therefore it is purely luck,  not skill.   By definition of the word itself. 

The word action is interchangeable with "ability"  or "efforts"  depending on the source of the definition.  cambridge,  oxford,  etc..   But they all mean the same thing,  it means skill showing it negates luck.

Do you realize how silly you sound?  YOU are the one arguing that there is skill in picking a suitcase in deal or no deal.   Because YOU are the one who clearly can't distinguish between games based solely on luck or those based solely on skill.   You can't distinguish between deal or no deal or chess because your whole premise is based on luck and skill determining every game at the same time and in every action.    Which is simply not true and apparently goes against your whole con and fake profession.

LIke I told the above poster luck in life is not specific to chess or gaming,  or how we apply the words to them.  Which is to distinguish between games and to credit rightful human achievement in a competitive multiplayer sport.    Anything not by design in the game or part of the gameplay or mechanics is purely incidental, not specific to chess,  and not part of the topic of this thread.

Ziryab
CooloutAC wrote:
Ziryab wrote:

I’ve played tens of thousands of games of speed chess, often 6-10,000 in a single year. It is a shadow of what chess offers to those who love all aspects of the game. Speed kills, as they say. Smoke and mirrors prevails over deep planning and exacting calculation.

Make no mistake, speed chess is loads of fun. It can even be beneficial to improving players. But, it does not represent the fullness of what chess is.

 

Classical doesn't represent the full aspects of "real" chess anymore then bullet does.   For us online players blitz is the balance and where it is at.  For OTB players its rapid.   These formats represent a middle ground and balance for both exercised skills  and memory/prep.  You want to believe lower rated players or speed chess players only win by luck to feed your ego and superiority complex.  But you are lying to yourself and showing you have no sports sense and understanding of competitiveness,  which is why you don't understand the reason for the words luck and skill existing.  



The amount of games you play have no bearing on these facts or give any merits to your argument,  except once again,  to feed your ego.

 

Your problem is that you do not know enough about chess to understand how utterly ridiculous you sound.

CooloutAC
Ziryab wrote:
CooloutAC wrote:
Ziryab wrote:

I’ve played tens of thousands of games of speed chess, often 6-10,000 in a single year. It is a shadow of what chess offers to those who love all aspects of the game. Speed kills, as they say. Smoke and mirrors prevails over deep planning and exacting calculation.

Make no mistake, speed chess is loads of fun. It can even be beneficial to improving players. But, it does not represent the fullness of what chess is.

 

Classical doesn't represent the full aspects of "real" chess anymore then bullet does.   For us online players blitz is the balance and where it is at.  For OTB players its rapid.   These formats represent a middle ground and balance for both exercised skills  and memory/prep.  You want to believe lower rated players or speed chess players only win by luck to feed your ego and superiority complex.  But you are lying to yourself and showing you have no sports sense and understanding of competitiveness,  which is why you don't understand the reason for the words luck and skill existing.  



The amount of games you play have no bearing on these facts or give any merits to your argument,  except once again,  to feed your ego.

 

Your problem is that you do not know enough about chess to understand how utterly ridiculous you sound.


That is your ego and superiority complex talking,  which is what makes you a blind hypocrite.   The truth is chess is no different then any other sport and all one needs is common sports sense and an understanding of human nature.  Sorry if comments make you feel special for playing it.   But it is the stereotypical players like yourself that cause it to be less respected by general society.