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First of all, we ought to have a forum category: Vote Chess!
Second of all, I am horrified to learn that when we had a tie vote in one of my vote chess games, the move that was first voted on was the move that the system made. How ridiculous! If during the time voting is being done (which starts immediately after the opponent's move), someone comes up with analysis that refutes the first voted-on move and finds a better move, and the team rallies to the cause but only manages to tie, what is the reasoning here? In the game I was involved in, we had 2 votes for a game-losing move and 2 votes for a game-saving move. The early votes were obviously made without the least analysis!!!! Why should those votes supersede the votes made after analysis? This truly ought to be fixed!!! If anything, the later votes (done after analysis) should win over those done early without analysis. To put it another way, the system is set up to favor early and rash, inferior moves to the later, more thought out and therefore most often superior moves. Any thoughts on this?
P.S.: In the game I am speaking of, the first voted-on move (the game-losing move) was a knee-jerk response to our king being checked - just a simple move of the king one square sidewise to get out of check, but leaving a vunerable pawn available for the taking by the queen. The move I strongly campaigned for took a good bit of analysis, and it involved blocking the check with our queen (better for us to exchange queens than to lose any more material through the impending loss of a pawn [we had already lost a bishop through dumb votes]) and at the same time, while not directly guarding the seemingly available pawn, arranging it so that if the opponent in that position did decide to take the tantalizing and seemingly free pawn with his queen, a simple rook move on our part would trap their queen. So, we would save the game, whether or not the queens were exchanged or the pawn was taken or not taken! But this move lost to the 2 early votes that were apparently knee-jerk get-the-king-out-of-check-without-any-thinking votes which were equal in number to the votes for the game-saving/perhaps winning move.
I totally agree. I, too, have been in a vote chess game where there was a three-way tie. The worst of all the choices won the move, because a few members voted for a seemingly obvious choice that turned out to be really bad and cost us a win. I don't know what can be done, but I agree that the fist choice to reach the tie-level is maybe not the best.
Similar arguments can be made about last choice...
Really, the issue has to do with voting and ties. If everyone votes and there's a two-way tie, assuming that everywone who voted did so out of most pondering and consideration, which of the two is the better one to pick?
I understand that some times, as in chessaddictress' case, the earlier votes have less merit. In other cases, the earlier ones can have more merit. And there's no simple algorithm to determine which is the case each time - so, the chess.com admins decided (arbitrarily) to pick the first choice.
This is much like the traffic rule of driving on the right side of the road, picked arbitrarily and there's no advantage to it being right side or left side.
P.S. Chessaddictress, I totally understand your frustration. But you would be just as frustrated if first few votes were made by people with rating 2200+ and the last few were made by n00bs who thought they knew better - then a tie comes and n00bs win the vote and lose the game.
@Deb5527 and Bogonetic: Thanks for the words of support. :) I guess I tend to want to see the team vote in vote chess ideally as a kind of unified mind decision, with the last analysis being similar to the last thought of a single chess player before he moves the piece. But I of all people should know that that is not the reality of a team vote in a game, for all the obvious reasons. I understand what you are saying, Bogonetic, but it still does seem to me that perhaps another solution to a tie vote could be found. Any ideas? This way seems just too arbitrary for a chess game that often has involved hundreds, sometimes thousands, of hours of collective analysis. I for one do not believe It is as trivial as who goes first at a stop sign. But the more I think about it, perhaps the answer is not with the mechanics of chess.com, but with the team itself paying more attention to what is going on in the game with every move! It appears more than a few games are joined by plenty of players, who then simply drop out, or reappear only occasionally. We all have times when we may miss a move or two, but to join a team and really never participate, read the comments, or even vote - what's the point? Or to participate and then disappear at key points in the game. And I am talking about fairly high-rated players too.
Chessaddictress I have participated in one vote chess team that had a captain. The captain's duty was to abstain from voting, except in the case of a tie vote, then vote for the move that by concensus seemed the best. For that reason, the captain votes quite late in the time limit. After pondering this for a day or so, that seems to be the best answer I can think of. The challenge then becomes convincing the team of the benefit of a captain.
You're absolutely right, Chessaddictress, and you said it quite well: "the answer is not with the mechanics of chess.com, but with the team itself".
@Deb5527: That's a great idea - for the captain to delay voting until the end, in case of a tie. And the captain only has to be a reasonable person - able to see a move which hangs a piece, for example! :D :D
Yes, that's a great idea! Though many team members would not be online and available to vote during that one hour. :(
Early voters (a.k.a. drive-bys) tend to vote for moves that hang the team's queen or allow a mate in one. Late voters are much more likely to have read over the Team Comments, and to have actually put some thought into their moves. I agree that in the case of a tie the last move voted should be chosen. The current system leads to a lot of game-losing blunders by teams with few members.
Thank you, rigamagician! Your thoughts validate my first and current thoughts about the tie conundrum! And it's so true that the current method greatly and adversely affects games with few team members. There have been quite a few nights that I have lost sleep because someone voted early and badly, but because they voted first, their move was winning. So I messaged team members, and at some points we made phone calls - just to get in 2 votes that would overturn that early bad vote. I decided not to do that anymore, if I can help it!
The earlier suggested idea of a team captain was good, but who wants to try to force a captain situation on a team. I certainly don't.
That's certainly an idea. But I think the objection would be that the team with the tie would have a whole lot more time for their move than the opponent did, which would be unfair. What do you think?
In the best vote chess groups I am in, we discuss the moves in detail, and when we arrive at the move we want to make, we all vote for the same move. This is very educational, as the higher ranking members point out the problems in the moves suggested by the lower ranking member (usually).
In rare occasions a lower ranking member has a much better move than the top ranking members, so his move was the one voted on. (I enjoyed that a lot) ;)
Yes, I have played a lot of vote chess. It is an excellent way to learn from higher rated players. :) Appointing a team captain who calls the vote after the candidate moves have been discussed is an excellent way for the team to avoid votes for unconsidered moves. It is a much better way to play vote chess than allowing the members of the team to vote right away without hearing what other members have to say.
I think in vote chess the moves should be chosen stochastically:
randomly but weighted by the number of votes. This then puts more
importance on every vote and can make the game much more exciting
You can thank me later for inventing randomized vote chess.
Terrible idea which can be sabotaged by someone voting for blunders which will then happen every game and decide the game.
If its a blunder it will be weighted very lowly.
If there are only 20 players for example and someone votes for a blunder every move then it's very likely one will get chosen in the course of a game. It's just a terrible system.