Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

General Discussion about the game of Checkers.

Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:15 pm

MostFamousDane wrote:I am assuming this is what you meant otherwise you have not read or undestood a single post in this topic
No, here where we disagree. I really meant to say that chess are more complicated than checkers.

No disrepect to checkers in no way. My assumption is based on just simple math fact:

1) More positions.

We are using 64 squares in chess and 32 in checkers, 24 pieces against 32 with different trajectory.

2) More moves.

Average chess game before long endings is aout 40-50 moves. Average Anglo-American Checkers game before long endings is 25-30 moves

Thats all.

Complexity of chess can be compared (probably) with complexity of 10x10 (Polish) or 12x12 (Canadian).

The most complex board game with minimum simple rules I ever saw and played - GO.

About mastering game ... almost the same, in chess and checkers you need approximately 5-7 years to come on top, having a good competition. For genious, talented people this number years study can be drop, but not much ... still 4-5 years.

Regards,
Alex
I am playing checkers, not chess.
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Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby Palomino on Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:19 pm

I believe the below quote to be appropriate to add to this discussion, it comes from Derek Oldbury's obituary written for the Times newspaper by Martin Bryant (past Executive Director, British Draughts Federation)
I once had a conversation with Derek about several other board games (which he also studied to a lesser degree!) and we concluded that we would need a lifetime to study and master each one. Perhaps if there is such a thing as reincarnation he'll come back as a great chess player next time and get the public recognition for his work as well.

For me it's enough that I enjoy playing our game and I don't spend much time fretting over the comparisons of chess to checkers made by others, believing that most of those who make disparaging remarks towards our game are no more than ignorant checklers (that's hecklers with a "c" :lol:) who, for the most part if the truth be known, have little knowledge of either game.
CHECKERS: The Mind Sport of Kings and Ordinary Men.
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Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby Ingo_Zachos on Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:08 am

It is interesting to see that this topic arises frequently on this forum and also arose at George Miller`s BBS a few years ago quite frequently.

As a chess player that turned into a checker/draughts player that has players many variants in tournament play, I can say that the depth of both draughts/checkers in all variants and chess is high enough to prevent a solution of the games, and thus is it surely not possible for any human brain to master it perfectly.

In chess, many endings and some opening lines are now "solved", like in draughts/checkers.

That does mean you can find, by restrictive choice of an opening repertoire, combined with an endgame database, a way to safely draw a game.

In chess and all forms of draughts/checkers we also have to conclude that the playing strengths of the best programs is now higher, especially in rapid and blitz games, then the strengths of any human player.

Alex is right that a player that wants to develop into world class must invest years of study in chess and in all variants of draughts/checkers.

Although a talented player in one particular board game may also develop great talent in another in short time:
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=8079


But note that Habu took training lessons from strong grand masters and knew how to train properly. He never had the illusion of becoming a decent IM in chess without hard work, and in interviews he pointed out that further advance would take much more time.

Note that also some chess and checker players were strong, world-class bridge players like Pierre Ghestem or Irina Levitina. But the biggest success in bridge for both came after the left chess and draughts and it took some years to rise to world-class in bridge for them as well.

Switching from one variant of draughts to another is a different story, as the tactics and strategy may be so close that they do not have to learn from scratch.

Many strong Draughts 100 Champions were also strong Champions in Drauhgts 64, like Iser Kouperman or Alexander Schawarzmann. They can make a switch from world-class to world-class in less then four years, and may also be world-class in more then one variant at the same time.

For our variant, as played under the WCDF rules, Italian Dama and Ceska Dama may be the closest relatives, and the success of the Italian players shows that here a switch is possible in little time, but even here you have to study endings and new ballots and some openings that are different.

For Draughts 100 and Draughts 64 players the switch is a bit harder, as the formations are different to judge and the openings and endings are completely different, but still they can be very strong in tactics from the beginning, while a chess grandmaster would have to start from scratch.

Mustafa Durdyev took a few years to rise to world-class, but the example of Nadiya Chyzhevska shows that it is possible to switch in one year, though her lack of pp and positional feeling was still apparent and could have lead to two losses against Amangul. On the other hand her calculation abilities were already very good and helped her to get out of lost positions resulting from bad pp-knowledge and lack of positional feeling.

I think if a player like Schwarzmann or Chizkov or Georgiev would turn to Checkers as played under WCDF rules, he would be competitive in any high-class event, but not a World Champion without deeper study of the books. But I am sure they would know that and study hard, and could get strong enough to win a Qualifier within two or three years.

If a Carlsen or Anand would turn to any form of draughts, it would take 1-2 years to be competitive, and a further 2-3 years to become World-class, and it might be that even then they don’t reach that level, as the visualization is quite different, especially the compulsive capture rule is hard to get by, as is that a piece takes and ends up on the square after the piece that had been taken, as in chess u end up on the square the captured piece stood before.

But I am sure each one of them would not rely on natural skills, but also train with world class players and study hard.

They know it takes hard work and time to form a talent into world-class.
In any mind sport.

Greetinx from Germany,

Ingo Zachos
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Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby neilwenberg on Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:13 am

Some very interesting posts here. I am the kind of checker player who can get the double corner on the wrong side and possibly let my oppnent jump 2 for my 1 withou even realizing it. Yet I enjoy playing the game if I can find someone who can play at the same low level that I push my pieces across the board at. I too in the distant past in the great state of North Dakota started going to chess tournaments to try to encourage chess players to come to our checker tournaments. I could not find even one chess player who would come to play at our checker tournaments so gave up on chess witha 1200+ rating by the chess federation.
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Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby Chexhero on Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:09 am

Last year at the Ohio tournament there was this chess master that showed up. We talked a bit and he told me how fascinated he was with checkers when he attempted to solve a problem. He was amazed that the solution was about 35 moves deep and that he could not solve it. He claimed that he had no idea the about the amount of depth the game had and the precision needed to play it. He never played in the tournament, but showed up nonetheless in great respect for our game. I never saw him after that first day, but maybe he will make another appearance this year, I won't know because I won't be there. Checkers can fascinate people, they just need to give it a chance like that guy did.
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Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby chipschap on Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:56 am

To answer a question posted somewhere above, Vishy Anand got something over A MILLION DOLLARS for his recent successful world chess championship defense. So I would say at the very highest levels chess most certainly pays more than checkers! But take another example. In Japan, top Go professionals make six figure incomes and into the seven figures for the champs.

Checker champions are underpaid and overworked!

About computers 'solving' checkers but not chess: it hardly matters. Humans can no longer beat the best chess programs (over the course of a multi-game match, not a one-off thing), just as they cannot beat the best checker programs (same caveat). Interestingly the best Go programs play at a middling level of expertise; the search space for Go is apparently phenomenal and the evaluation functions harder to construct. So humans are still 'in the game.'
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Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby George Hay on Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:01 am

JohnAcker, computers play much better than humans in Othello, a.k.a. Reversi.
The Computer Othello entry in Wikipedia has this entry in its timeline:

1997: Logistello won every game in a six-game match against world champion Takeshi Murakami. Though there had not been much doubt that Othello programs were stronger than humans, it had been 17 years since the last match between a computer and a reigning world champion. After the 1997 match, there was no longer any doubt: Logistello was significantly better than any human player.

1997 was also the year that Deep Blue beat world champion Gary Kasparov 2-1-3 in chess.
In 1992 Marion Tinsley beat Chinook in a match 4-2-33. In the rematch in 1994, Tinsley had
to resign for health reason after 0-0-6. The six draws include Tinsley's dramatic play in game 2 to get
out of a very threatening position to save the draw, and perhaps the game of checkers!
In 1995 Chinook beat Don Lafferty in a close match 1-0-31.
On July 19, 2007 the article Checkers is Solved by Jonathan Schaeffer, et al,
is published in the journal Science.
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Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby MostFamousDane on Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:00 am

Regarding computer checkers I found this nice little position in An Introduction To Championship Play (adapted from a problem originally set by Dr. T. J. Brown)



What is the result ? What are the moves ?
Feel free to use your favourite computer program to solve this one!
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Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby Chexhero on Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:12 am

Idk Sune, looks like a clear red win to me and computer agreed. Is there something I am missing?
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Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby MostFamousDane on Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:21 am

Chexhero wrote:Idk Sune, looks like a clear red win to me and computer agreed. Is there something I am missing?


Yes you are missing two things :D

1. It is a draw
2. The computer can't see it
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Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby Chexhero on Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:40 am

What do you mean the computer can't see it? See's the win until the very end, no it doesn't. But judges the game as a win, yes it does. However, with a larger endgame database it may be able to reach it from that position.
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Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby MostFamousDane on Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:43 am

Chexhero wrote:What do you mean the computer can't see it? See's the win until the very end, no it doesn't. But judges the game as a win, yes it does. However, with a larger endgame database it may be able to reach it from that position.


Well I guess it depends on what program you are using let's say you use kingsrow with the 5 piece db and you put in on autoplay it will lose the position eventhough the position is drawn. It displays a score of approx -200 because that is the number of pieces (2x100) white is down - but there is still a draw here!!!!
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Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby Chexhero on Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:04 am

Ohhh! It is a draw, for some odd reason, I missed that in your first response lol. Do you have the continuation? I am still not convinced.
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Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby MostFamousDane on Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:52 am

Chexhero wrote:Ohhh! It is a draw, for some odd reason, I missed that in your first response lol. Do you have the continuation? I am still not convinced.


I guess you will have to buy Liam's book to get it :). No seriously I have double checked that I posted the correct position trust me it is a draw. Assume that I'm right and try and solve it!. I will post the solution in a couple of days so other people have the chance to solve it.

I'll give you a couple of hints:

1. How do you normally draw (especially when you are pieces down) ?
2. No more pieces are taken off the board!

I think you will enjoy it if you manage to find the solution!
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Re: Why Checkers is NOT easier than Chess

Postby Chexhero on Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:18 pm

Oh now I think I see what your talking about. White has a fortress built that may be impossible to break. But it is still hard for me to believe that red has no possible way to break in. I anxiously await your solution Sune. In the mean time, I will work hard to try and find the red win I am almost sure is there :)
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