Is winning, losing, and drawing games the ultimate measure of a player's overall knowledge of chess?

PushingForFun
SmyslovFan wrote:

@PushingforFun, I'm pretty sure you've got your people mixed up. Carlsen has an incredible memory for the great games and players of the past. You're describing what happened with Kasparov's other famous student, Hikaru Nakamura.

Perhaps the same was true with Hikaru, but Magnus himself said:

"It’s clear that (Kasparov) knew much more than me… At times it was difficult to keep up with the speed and depth of his analysis ... he was shocked at how little it turned out I knew." - Carlsen, 2011 ChessBase interview

PushingForFun
mickynj wrote:

"It's also why his play so often resembles an engine without its opening book."

Perhaps all that opening knowledge and prep doesn't really add up to "deep chess understanding." In fact, it sounds more like memorization.  I would suggest that Carlsen's ability to figure things out over the board and to come up with the best ideas in the position are more indicative of deep chess understanding. He finds ideas and winning attempts where other players don't

I agree. Though the OP asked about "knowledge", not "understanding".

Carlsen clearly has superior chess understanding (on that point, you and I agree). As far as "chess knowledge", though? There are other players who possess more.

SmyslovFan

I had a nice compliment last night that is pertinent to this conversation. 

I spent several hours (11pm til 2:30am local time) chatting and analyzing with three other of the city's best players (all experts and Class A players). After we were done, one of the players turned to me and told me he was impressed with how quickly and accurately I evaluated so many positions, and got to the meat of the matter. One example was looking at a R++B+ps vs 3 minor piece endgame. I pointed out that one of the passed pawns on the rook's side was worth a full minor piece. Further analysis proved I was correct. My friend's compliment meant more to me than many of the games I've won. 

Chess knowledge doesn't exist in a vacuum. Chess knowledge presents itself in analysis with others. Capablanca was renowned for his chess acumen, and his ability to know instantly where a piece belongs. I don't like it when people try to claim they have knowledge beyond their ability, but I love to analyse with players who have an understanding of the game, regardless of their rating. 

SmyslovFan
PushingForFun wrote:
SmyslovFan wrote:

@PushingforFun, I'm pretty sure you've got your people mixed up. Carlsen has an incredible memory for the great games and players of the past. You're describing what happened with Kasparov's other famous student, Hikaru Nakamura.

Perhaps the same was true with Hikaru, but Magnus himself said:

"It’s clear that (Kasparov) knew much more than me… At times it was difficult to keep up with the speed and depth of his analysis ... he was shocked at how little it turned out I knew." - Carlsen, 2011 ChessBase interview

Do you see the difference between Carlsen acknowledging that he learned a great deal from the greatest player in history and claiming that Kasparov complained about Carlsen's lack of knowledge?

congrandolor
kaspariano wrote:
congrandolor wrote:

If winning was about "knowledge", it would be enough to play following general principles: "move your central pawns", "centralize your pieces", "double your opponent pawns and avoid he double yours" "occupy columns with your rooks", "grab material", "keep your bishop pair in open positions and endgames with pawns in both sides", etc. Most time chess is concrete, you have to calculate, not just folow your "knowledge".  And in order to calculate well you must manage well your time, keep focus, not be intimidate by your opponent, not get tired... So, no, chess knowledge and results are not the same.

 

Real chess knowledge is not about following general principles in chess to solve positions, not all chess positions require chess general principles solutions... if you are getting the wrong concepts of what chess knowledge is from books you have read or are reading, I recommend you throw them away and try to find better ones.  But maybe is not the books teaching you wrong...

That is my point, people mix knowledge and calculation, when they are different things. does stockfish know the list of all world champions? I dont think so, yet it keeps crushing opponents.

kaspariano
congrandolor wrote:
kaspariano wrote:
congrandolor wrote:

If winning was about "knowledge", it would be enough to play following general principles: "move your central pawns", "centralize your pieces", "double your opponent pawns and avoid he double yours" "occupy columns with your rooks", "grab material", "keep your bishop pair in open positions and endgames with pawns in both sides", etc. Most time chess is concrete, you have to calculate, not just folow your "knowledge".  And in order to calculate well you must manage well your time, keep focus, not be intimidate by your opponent, not get tired... So, no, chess knowledge and results are not the same.

 

Real chess knowledge is not about following general principles in chess to solve positions, not all chess positions require chess general principles solutions... if you are getting the wrong concepts of what chess knowledge is from books you have read or are reading, I recommend you throw them away and try to find better ones.  But maybe is not the books teaching you wrong...

That is my point, people mix knowledge and calculation, when they are different things. does stockfish know the list of all world champions? I dont think so, yet it keeps crushing opponents.

 

That is true.  It is also true that a chess player can lose a game even when he made most of the better calculations in it.  So my point is that a better player is not determined by how often he wins. 

najdorf96

Indeed. If even the sometimes whimsical @batgirl weighs in, THIS is a heavy topic! Cool! First off apologies@kaspariano for undoubtedly referring to him in the third person when replying to him. Heh. Obviously came in late to the party. That being said, my use of semantics may have played a role in some misunderstanding between us. Indeed 2, when I said "ultimate" I really mean one's OWN ultimate overall chess knowledge (his ceiling) which does, in my opinion translates to WLD OTB, online daily, bullet, blitz etc at certain points of their career or playing time (ie experience playing competent and/or competitive chess)

PushingForFun
SmyslovFan wrote:
 

Do you see the difference between Carlsen acknowledging that he learned a great deal from the greatest player in history and claiming that Kasparov complained about Carlsen's lack of knowledge?

I didn't say "Kasparov complained about Carlsen's lack of knowledge", I said: "Kasparov was shocked by how little Carlsen knew."

Which Carlsen himself said. "(Kasparov) was shocked at how little it turned out I knew."

Nowhere in any of my posts have I claimed that Kasparov "complained" about Carlsen.

congrandolor
mickynj wrote:
"The better player is not determined by how often he wins"
I'm sorry, but that is simply nonsense. The object is to win the game. The person who wins more often is the better player.it's really as simple as that.it makes no sense t say things like "I made the better moves, but I lost the game." Obviously, one of those moves was a real stinker!

I couldn't agree more, but that is a different question. OP question was Do wins, draws and loses demonstrate the chess knowledge of a player?, not who is the best, which is what you are talking about. Being the best includes knowledge, but is wider, as also includes Good nerves, time managment, focus (think of Ivanchuk, for example), psycological skills, good health...

Spektrowski

Haven't read the thread since the beginning, but, in short, the answer is no.

Winning, drawing and losing chess games is a measure of how well can you apply your chess knowledge in a game against an opponent for a duration of time allocated for the game.

ForgottenAmericans

GM Bryan Smith's excellent DVD the Four Pillars of Chess Strength discusses the types of chess skill that make up your strength, listing 4, including psychology in there. While IM Erik Kislik's thought-provoking book Applying Logic in Chess lists 5 (concrete knowledge, positional understanding, logic, pattern recognition, and calculation). Essentially both of them argue that if you improve in all of the components of chess skill, it is hard for your rating to not go up. Likewise, it appears that Kasparov means positional understanding mainly for chess culture.

batgirl
mickynj wrote:

Obviously, we seem to be mixing together at least three separate questions here: 1)What is chess knowledge, 2)What is chess understanding, and 3)What constitutes chess playing ability.

as well as how each is defined.