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Source: (consider it) Thread: Kibitzing
# 16710

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Smudgie wrote the following in the Crowd Source Chess thread: Crowd-sourced chess on a discussion board with an open community has the attraction that anyone can play, whether a grand master or a rank amateur.

To maintain that sense of open community, whilst discussion of the game is great, can we please hold off from questioning or implying criticism other people's moves?

If I continue to get the impression that there are too many "Why on earth did you do thats, I may be forced to join the game. Then you'd definitely have something to question.

Circus Host

Kibitzing is a time honoured part of off-hand chess. The questioning of moves and strategies would be normal if we were gathered around the chess board partaking in a crowd sourced chess game. As well, since any person can make a move at almost anytime it is important to query the strategy of previous moves. I wonder why Smudgie was expressing concern about these elements of the game taking place in the thread. Discussion of the game requires criticism of moves, both explicitly and implicitly.

Posts: 972 | From: Saint John, N.B. | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged

Ship's Barnacle
# 2716

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These things are never black and white (sorry, couldn't resist).

I think the issue is twofold and derives from the fact that this is a) not a real life game and b) a game which is by its nature of being on a community bulletin board, should be accessible to anyone who wants to participate.

Obviously, if you were to observe a random selection of real life chess games, you'd see radically different games being played in each scenario, depending on how seriously the game was taken. Compare me playing against my brother-in-law with a grand masters tournament and there'd be little comparison apart from the colour of the pieces. Some people may have rehearsed strategies and be thinking ten moves ahead, some may just be looking at where they could move next that wouldn't get them into trouble.(I won't describe where my chess playing falls into that spectrum!)

Throw into that mix the fact that communication here depends purely on the written word without the benefit of eye contact, body language, shared history, tone of voice etc, and it is easy for what may be intended as interested enquiry or even supportive encouragement to improve one's game, to come across as discouraging or even scathing.

I am not saying that your comments did this, just that it can sometimes occur and the last thing that we want in a game like this is for people to feel that they are not worthy to play because their knowledge of strategy is inadequate. My host post was just an attempt to nip that in the bud. There are plenty of websites on the internet for chess experts to engage - the Circus games should be a little more suitable for the interested amateur to participate in.

So yes, talk about the game, talk about strategy, maybe explain why you make some of the moves you make, but I would appreciate it if players on that thread try to avoid saying or implying "why on earth did you do that?" so that no atmosphere of elitism begins to creep in. Hope that explains it OK.

Miss you, Erin.

Posts: 14382 | From: Under the duvet | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
# 16710

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I wonder what other participants in the game think of your ruling. Sometimes "why on earth did you do that?" elicits a response where the person posing the question actually learns something important. Not knowing the other participants in real life it is hard to gauge their strength based on moves in a game that are often not played in sequence.
Posts: 972 | From: Saint John, N.B. | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged

Ship's Barnacle
# 2716

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If the other participants in the game wish to comment, I am always willing to listen.

Miss you, Erin.

Posts: 14382 | From: Under the duvet | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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I have no personal opinion on this, no involvement in the thread or axe to grind in either direction.

However, I have been on these boards for a long time, and there is a tradition of how to interact with others in these sorts of situations. I feel Smudgie has a point, that critique of others should be done in a polite and genuine way. that means, you don't say "Why did you do that?!?" which sounds very critical and dismissive. Maybe you say "Can you explain that?" or even "I can't understand why you did that."

The core difference - as had been said in other places - is that after an encounter here, you don't discuss calmly in the bar afterwards. You don't see the look in someone's face. That makes a big difference. It means that the words have to convey the everything.

Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18859 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
# 16870

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I've been playing chess for 25 years and have never heard of kibitzing. In a chess club, games are played in near silence, with just light clicking sound of the pieces moving or clocks if the latter are used.

Discussions of the games always comes after they're complete and one has written down the complete sequence of moves. So if A plays B, while C plays D (all in near silence), then afterwards A & B would look through the moves of C & D, discuss and critique them and vice versa. It's most uncouth to discuss tactics & strategy in the middle of a game and downright rude to call into question the reasons why a player has made the move they just have. Even if someone's made a blunder, you don't comment on it, just make the most of it.

It just seems that on this thread, standard etiquette was suspended, so what was evident on was much more akin to mild sledging. Most of the questions, particularly from Caissa were not only lacking in accuracy, but also came across as rather smug.

I try to be self-deprecating; I'm just not very good at it.
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Posts: 3791 | From: On the corporate ladder | Registered: Jan 2012  |  IP: Logged
# 16710

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I'll bite where were my questions lacking in accuracy? Actually, I even wonder how a question can be lacking in accuracy. I see how can be. As to length of play, I have played for 44 years and I have seen much kibitzing during off-hand games even at chess clubs. If the norm is to have no commentary during the game then let it be so.
Posts: 972 | From: Saint John, N.B. | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged
# 11707

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My preference is not the same as Sipech's as I don't think this is the same as playing in a chess club, not that I have ever done that.

If we post only the moves, and no discussion, I would find it a lot less interesting, and probably wouldn't choose to continue.

In a one versus one game, of course you know what your own moves are for, and can't expect your opponent to tell you his/her intentions, but if multiple people are involved, I like to learn from how others see a position.

I think there is a difference between asking why something was done as a genuine question and asking as a way of saying that you consider it to be a mistake. The former I am in favour of.

We've evolved to being strange monkeys, but in the next life he'll help us be something more worthwhile - Gwai

Posts: 2210 | From: london | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
# 9110

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When all else fails, read the instructions.

The first line of Doublethink's Host post says

This thread is for the purpose of playing and discussing a communal game of Chess.
So I guess the issue being discussed here is the limits to be applied to that discussion. In keeping with the general ethos of the Circus, I would have thought such discussions should be courteous and co-operative, rather than critical. Self-criticism (which a number of us have done on the thread) is fine. But the best way to respond to a move which we might think is not the best is to demonstrate that over the board by what we do, not by what we think of the move.

Post mortems are different. IRL, members of a chess club will often look together at what went right and what went wrong. That seems fine to me in this context.

[ 14. June 2016, 18:03: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 21397 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ship's Foolwise Unperson
# 1984

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We definitely do want people to talk about the game - ideally not too much actually in the post containing their move as it can get confusing. Quite happy to have additional posts just for comment/discussion.

I think it is a question of phrasing. There is a difference between saying:

I think move x I might have tried pigeon to y4 - in the hope of developing this strategy. In the position we're in now I think purple has the advantage and orange's best chance is to go on the offensive.


How did purple get in such an atrocious position, could it get any worse ?

Likewise, I'd rather not have posts saying:

Well, I'm not moving next but clearly the only sane move is dove to z14.

As think this constrains the following player, and maybe undercuts their choice to make a different move if they think it more appropriate / interesting.

(Please note: I am deliberately not quoting specific posters here - I think we are in the process of working out how a new thread type works and it is perhaps not surprising that it will take a little time to shakedown.)

All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

Posts: 19219 | From: Erehwon | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged

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