Invisible pieces

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
Jacob Ward
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by Jacob Ward » Thu Dec 24, 2020 3:16 pm

Andrew Martin wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 11:12 am
A talented seven year old girl ( or boy) should be left well alone to enjoy the game and not hot-housed by suggesting that she ( or he) can be the best in the world. That is, if you want the kid to have any sort of normal life.
On the other hand, children (mostly) need some pushing to put in the work they need to do to get good at anything - they are not able to formulate a study plan or deal with delayed gratification in the way an adult can. I'm not in the position of having a talented 7 year old, so I am speaking hypothetically, but I would have thought there is a difficult balance to strike to push them enough without ruining their enjoyment or excluding other interests.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Dec 24, 2020 4:08 pm

Much of "talk radio" in the US ended up as a hard right ghetto dominated by "shock jocks". Here, on the EC Forum, any discussion of the place of women in chess inevitably ends up dominated by "cock jocks" wanking off to their theories about how women have "less grey matter".

Tim Spanton
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by Tim Spanton » Thu Dec 24, 2020 5:24 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 4:08 pm
Much of "talk radio" in the US ended up as a hard right ghetto dominated by "shock jocks". Here, on the EC Forum, any discussion of the place of women in chess inevitably ends up dominated by "cock jocks" wanking off to their theories about how women have "less grey matter".
How true. If only one person would be brave enough to fly in the face of public opinion and put forward the other side of the argument.

John Moore
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by John Moore » Thu Dec 24, 2020 6:26 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 4:08 pm
Much of "talk radio" in the US ended up as a hard right ghetto dominated by "shock jocks". Here, on the EC Forum, any discussion of the place of women in chess inevitably ends up dominated by "cock jocks" wanking off to their theories about how women have "less grey matter".
Paul - I don't recognise this as a description of this thread in general or, actually, at all.

Helen Milligan
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by Helen Milligan » Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:46 pm

The discussion on a talented 7-year-old needs to be pursued here, because it's exactly the kind of cultural influence that makes a difference to kids. I imagine most of you are aware that World, Continental, and sub-Continental Junior and Youth events extend down to under-6 championships. These are split into Open and Girls, and into age bands (2 years; odd or even ages depending on the event). Any coach would understand that playing the strongest opposition possible is the way to improving as fast and as far as possible. But... if a talented girl plays in the Open, then she may well improve her chess, but she is unlikely to win one of the medals or direct titles. So she has nothing to show for it; her parents have nothing to be proud about; her school has nothing to announce at Assembly; her coach has little to use on his/her CV to get more students; her federation has little to use to promote junior chess in the country. The pressure is on, from all sides, for her to play in the Girls, win a medal and a WIM title (or whatever), and then all the benefits that follow. Those benefits don't (at this time) include experience against the very toughest opposition in her age band. OK, you may try to argue that it's only one event and she can play other less important Opens - but there's a limit to how much time off school you can take to go to chess events abroad, and there is also a limit to how much cash the parents can invest to take a kid to these prestigious youth events. All this adds up. It takes guts for a woman to choose Opens over Women's events to develop her chess, but at least it is her choice - kids are not the ones who make the choice between Open and Girls. (Having said that - of course the woman is under pressure too, mostly financial - there may be an opportunity for her to get board and lodging free in a Women's Zonal, but she would almost certainly not qualify for her country's free place in an Open Zonal...)

Paul McKeown is actually quite right and I certainly would not jump into the thread on lichess or even (having been burnt by a lot of personal attacks) into most social media conversations. This place is perhaps more genteel. I really felt that someone female should stand up and say something. However, on the down side, I doubt the numbers reading this thread are anything like those on lichess or the other platforms.

John McKenna
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by John McKenna » Thu Dec 24, 2020 10:38 pm

... "This place is perhaps more genteel. I really felt that someone female should stand up and say something. However, on the down side, I doubt the numbers reading this thread are anything like those on lichess or the other platforms.'

That's because "this place" was a well-known termite mound -

"Termites eat wood, so they are unlikely to bite humans even if they are taunted to do so. However, the soldier termites could bite if they perceive the human to be a threat to the colony’s harborage. Still, this is a very rare occurrence. There are no reports of humans being attacked by termites the way a colony of red ants may bite ceaselessly."

https://www.besttermitekiller.com/what- ... ve%20venom.

So, you see, the remaining termites here not only push wood they also chew it endlessly and undermine any attempt to build or maintain any structure in their neck of the woods.

The other places mentioned, above, licechess, etc. are like anthills, beehives, or hornets' nests and you must expect to be attacked, bitten or stung if you emit the wrong signals in them.

In the insect world the female of the species is often dominant and deadlier than the male.

https://www.livescience.com/4359-female ... males.html

In the rest of the animal kingdom the reverse is the case, but not always -

"Male dominance is frequently assumed to be the norm in the animal kingdom and has been a significant matter of reform in modern human society... "

https://www.toptenz.net/10-species-fema ... %20society.

Attempts by a powerful and influential minority of humans to change this within a few lifetimes is an interesting social and cultural experiment but it is being conducted by mad social scientists and their avid followers among the political, cultural, sporting & media elites.

Chomp on...
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by Roger Lancaster » Fri Dec 25, 2020 10:56 am

Helen Milligan wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:46 pm
The discussion on a talented 7-year-old needs to be pursued here, because it's exactly the kind of cultural influence that makes a difference to kids. I imagine most of you are aware that World, Continental, and sub-Continental Junior and Youth events extend down to under-6 championships. These are split into Open and Girls, and into age bands (2 years; odd or even ages depending on the event). Any coach would understand that playing the strongest opposition possible is the way to improving as fast and as far as possible. But... if a talented girl plays in the Open, then she may well improve her chess, but she is unlikely to win one of the medals or direct titles. So she has nothing to show for it; her parents have nothing to be proud about; her school has nothing to announce at Assembly; her coach has little to use on his/her CV to get more students; her federation has little to use to promote junior chess in the country. The pressure is on, from all sides, for her to play in the Girls, win a medal and a WIM title (or whatever), and then all the benefits that follow. Those benefits don't (at this time) include experience against the very toughest opposition in her age band. OK, you may try to argue that it's only one event and she can play other less important Opens - but there's a limit to how much time off school you can take to go to chess events abroad, and there is also a limit to how much cash the parents can invest to take a kid to these prestigious youth events. All this adds up. It takes guts for a woman to choose Opens over Women's events to develop her chess, but at least it is her choice - kids are not the ones who make the choice between Open and Girls. (Having said that - of course the woman is under pressure too, mostly financial - there may be an opportunity for her to get board and lodging free in a Women's Zonal, but she would almost certainly not qualify for her country's free place in an Open Zonal...)
All very true although I hope Helen won't mind my adding a corollary. The argument that a talented 7-year-old girl is hampered if she plays only against other 7-year-old girls is of course true but any talented 7-year-old, irrespective of gender, is hampered if s/he plays only against other 7-year-olds. There's always a choice to be made between entering weaker events where a child has a chance of winning [with the prestige and other benefits that would confer] without necessarily learning much or, alternatively, entering stronger events for the experience. The recent online Junior 4 Nations provided such an example where even my club's youngest junior, a 5-year-old girl, got to play competitively against older children. I would hope other youngsters, girls and boys, had similar opportunities.

As I've already said, this is intended as a corollary to Helen's post and not a contradiction.

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Fri Dec 25, 2020 11:43 am

From an England perspective I don’t think there really is very much in the way of female only competition. The English Woman’s Championship stands out as being quite unique and it is a good one just for the variety. An interesting change to consider might be scrapping all the girls age group events at Major international junior events and perhaps having a clause that each country has to fill a girls spot in each each group of the Open, a bit like the recent online Olympiad.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Dec 25, 2020 1:13 pm

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 11:43 am
From an England perspective I don’t think there really is very much in the way of female only competition.
The reserved place in 4NCL division 1 teams and semi-reserved board in 4NCL division 2 perhaps? In practice these are often occupied by "hired gun" European players.

John Upham
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by John Upham » Fri Dec 25, 2020 1:26 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 1:13 pm
Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 11:43 am
From an England perspective I don’t think there really is very much in the way of female only competition.
The reserved place in 4NCL division 1 teams and semi-reserved board in 4NCL division 2 perhaps? In practice these are often occupied by "hired gun" European players.
The reserved place is for a person of different gender to the rest of the team.

You might recall Alexei Shirov taking that place when playing for Pride and Prejudice. Did Aaron Summerscale perform a similar duty when playing for the same team?
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
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Geoff Chandler
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by Geoff Chandler » Fri Dec 25, 2020 3:15 pm

Christmas Day and I allowed 30 minutes online to catch up on my corress games at RHP,
(It appears only one other opponent is allowed online as well...good their clocks is ticking, not mine.)

Came here to see what's what. Chuckled at Roger tip-toeing around Helen.

"As I've already said, this is intended as a corollary to Helen's post and not a contradiction."

What would you if you were playing her at chess, let her take moves back?

Good grief man, she is a female chess player, a good one, not a nun.
Do you add extra bits on the end of every post in case you disagree or it's misconstrued.

Hi Helen,

"if a talented girl plays in the Open, then she may well improve her chess,
but she is unlikely to win one of the medals or direct titles.
So she has nothing to show for it; her parents have nothing to be proud about;
her school has nothing to announce at Assembly; her coach has little to use on his/her CV to get more students;
her federation has little to use to promote junior chess in the country. "

I agree, A child should never play above their strength/rating/age group on well
intentioned but misguided advice but I'd group all the above reasons a long way second.
(and one needs kicking into touch.)

If the child (boy or girl) is slaughtered by slightly stronger older players then no adult words will console. A demoralised
talent to the game could be lost and they will learn nothing but how to recognise sympathetic stares from adults.

Put them where they qualify to be, never upgrade. Six smooth wins build confidence, encouragement, '
It will give them the taste of winning and then, and only then do all the above reasons (except one) kicks in.

If they upgrade and get walloped with 6 defeats then it's tears, sneers from peers and a feeling they have
let everyone down because they were upgraded by coaches/parents who thought they could do better.

That is too much baggage for young shoulders and can lead to them ditching the game all together.

This bit Helen:

"...her coach has little to use on his/her CV to get more students."

Are there really coaches out there tossing kids into higher sections like lab rats on the off
chance that one does well so they can enhance their C.V. to get more (paying) students?

Currently watching Oliver Twist on the telly (again) that's the kind of thing a Fagin would do.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by David Sedgwick » Fri Dec 25, 2020 5:46 pm

Helen Milligan wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:46 pm
... I certainly would not jump into the thread on lichess or even (having been burnt by a lot of personal attacks) into most social media conversations. This place is perhaps more genteel. ...
Mike Truran, Chris Fegan and other ECF Board members - are you out there? :lol:

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Fri Dec 25, 2020 5:58 pm

John Upham wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 1:26 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 1:13 pm
Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 11:43 am
From an England perspective I don’t think there really is very much in the way of female only competition.
The reserved place in 4NCL division 1 teams and semi-reserved board in 4NCL division 2 perhaps? In practice these are often occupied by "hired gun" European players.
The reserved place is for a person of different gender to the rest of the team.

You might recall Alexei Shirov taking that place when playing for Pride and Prejudice. Did Aaron Summerscale perform a similar duty when playing for the same team?
It was Wood Green, who did it as a one weekend stunt in 2004/5 when neither opponent was expected to cause much difficulty. It did not go unnoticed that when Pride and Prejudice were promoted to division one, they fielded seven men in their very first weekend and in most subsequent weekends too .

Simon Rogers
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by Simon Rogers » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:24 pm

Helen Milligan wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:22 pm

Also - no duck, Geoff. Thanks to others for their welcome. Yes, we have chess and life as normal in NZ at the moment but it hangs by a thread, with the virus at our borders. I can't organise the club's planned Training Tourneys (with foreign coaches) or contemplate IM norm round-robins. The NZ Championship (with Ben Hague as favourite) starts next week with no players from abroad.
Best of luck for the New Zealand Chess Championship, Helen. We will be cheering on you and Ben Hague.
I've noticed that you are number 8 seed in the Open Tournament.
According to the entry list for the open, there is one from Malta and one from India.
Perhaps if you have chance, you could keep us informed as to how you are doing.
Last edited by Simon Rogers on Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

Helen Milligan
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Re: Invisible pieces

Post by Helen Milligan » Tue Dec 29, 2020 5:27 am

The 'foreigners' are NZ permanent residents or citizens who have retained their original FIDE federation. No-one else can get into NZ at the moment. You can follow it at the website! Lots of juniors... I miss the Asian and World Senior events!

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