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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #21 Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:42 am 
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So far nobody has defined what is a Mickey Mouse time setting. I looked on Wikipedia and found time settings of a few professional go competitions:

Mickey Mouse:
  • Maxim Cup: 30 minutes long.
  • Electron-Land Cup: 20 minutes for each player plus byo-yomi.
  • KBS Cup: 5 minutes with byo-yomi.
  • CCTV Cup: one move every 30 seconds.
  • South-West Qiwang: 30 seconds per move.
  • Daiwa Cup: five minutes per player, followed by a byo-yomi of 30 seconds a move.
  • NHK Cup: 30 seconds per move. In addition, each player has 10 periods of extra thinking time, 1 minute each.

Mickey Mouse trying to think a bit longer:
  • GS Caltex Cup: 10 min main time with 3 x 40s byo-yomi.
  • Siptan: 10 minutes total and 40 seconds for byo-yomi.

Not Mickey Mouse:
  • Ing Cup: 3.5 hours for each player, while players are available to buy an extra 35 minutes for an additional 2-point komi a maximum of three times.
  • Guksu: In the preliminaries, players are given 3 hours to play their matches. In the knockout league, players are given 4 hours, and in the final title match players are given 5 hours.
  • Chunwon: The time limits are 5 hours in the final, 4 in the main knockout, and 3 in the preliminaries.
  • Meijin: 8 hours each in the title matches and 3 hours in the league and prelims. Byo-yomi is 1 minute per move.
  • Shinjin-O: 3 hours.

On most Wikipedia pages, time settings are not indicated, so I don't know about other tournaments. My personal opinion is that, as a spectator, intermediate time settings like 60-90 minutes per side + byo-yomi would be ideal. Blitz games are too fast, I have no time to analyze the board position and play the "guess the next move" game. Conversely, I wouldn't sit down the whole day to watch Meijin title matches, probably because I am not able to appreciate the difference of level of professional play between 1.5 hours thinking time and 8 hours.


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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #22 Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:01 am 
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Hi jlt:

Many of the events you list don't exist any more - which is partly why I see a problem.

Others have seen a problem, too - notably the Chinese who seem to have settled on 2h each as the best compromise.

But where the China League has 2h 40m each plus a handful of games at NHK timing (presumably aimed at tv/interne audiences) and 2h each for the women's league, the Korean League (in its main Division A) has 10m + 5x40s; the Korean Veterans League has 30m + 5x40s, the Korean Young Stars League has 20m + 3x40s, the (Korean) Women's Kiseong has 20m + 3x30s, the Korean Pro-am League has 10m + 5x40s, the Korean KBS Cup has 10m + 3x40s, the Yongseong has NHK timing.

Whereas in Japan the Honinbo is in its 75th annual term, the Oza in its 67th, the NHK Cup in its 66th, the Kisei in its 44th and so on and so on, in Korean events it's now the 1st this or the 2nd that - then poof, they disappear!

So, Korea's profile is markedly different from those of Japan and China. Even our amateurs get more than them: the World Amateur has 1h + 3x30s.

I don't think anyone doubts the skills of the Korean players, and maybe Korea fans are much better then anyone else at following fast games, but in my view forcing their pros to play hyper fast all the time is like making a dog prance on its hind legs for entertainment.


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Post #23 Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:44 am 
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I am not able to appreciate the difference of level of professional play between 1.5 hours thinking time and 8 hours.
A silver lining? Maybe super-human bots can now give some objective, concrete numbers to the difference?

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #24 Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:17 pm 
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The "RIP" of classical chess because of draws only applies to matches and super tournaments, where the players are almost equal in rating. Since Chess is an objective game, i.e., mate the king, one side has to be given the incentive to rock the boat so to speak. Rating differences force the stronger player to take chances against a weaker player. I have tried many times to draw a master and failed, even in a drawish position.

There is no need for MM time controls at the amateur level and open tournaments, where players of varying ratings participate. Think Gibraltar or Isle of Man tournaments. The "super GM" will not want to draw an IM or mere GMs, so blood bath occurs.

At the exclusive events, such as the world championship match, a change in the format will undoubtedly occur. One proposal is to give the challenger an extra white, and the defending champ gets draw odds. Or, a tie break with MM time format will be played first -- the winner gets draw odds, giving the loser the incentive to play for the win in the classical event.

I am also predicting more and more exclusive/invitation only tournaments to invite up and coming lower-rated GMs. Fans are tired of the super GMs giving draw offers to each other.

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #25 Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:53 pm 
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All this discussion don't make chess very attractive (to me at least). Looks like the only way to keep money and audience is a wild fight under a kind of time pressure... Weird.

For go we are still a bit more lucky. Go AI beat pros, bring some new ways to think the game too but don't rush the go world to play faster.

By today's standards we should play faster to keep interest from watchers. Other side we loose quality of play, it's like a vicious circle.
I could dream some protection coming from clever state who understand that the market system is not the best one to keep go alive and productive.
Go is so elitist, only very few play it. Even in Asia, where it's something that people did hear about it but don't get wrong it doesn't mean they do play it. If the decision makers don't play, how will they have interest in protecting the game?

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #26 Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:19 am 
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One can wonder if go at limits and slow are of the same essence. However, there may be a case to say that newer technologies leap over the generational gap to bring back the old school.

It sounds odd, but what if fast time settings do better on TV while traditional and long limits do better on the internet? Having a major event on all day means more spectators thinking and talking about it throughout. This could give more opportunities for non-spectators to be introduced to the game or sport after which the event's importance could keep them interested and the long limits could let them learn the rules and follow the match before its end.

By contrast, a spectacle speed game's main time may give more opportunities for ads at the beginning, after which a latecomer can follow the game through byo-yomi.

Off topic: Forgive me if I don't quite follow this, but if Caruana accepted the draw because he believes he has a better chance of defeating Carlsen in the rapids than winning the last game then must he not agree with Kasparov that Carlsen either underestimated his ability to win (strange) or lost his nerve. Or Caruana overestimated his chances in the rapid.


I find chess analysis videos interesting, even if I only understand little.
Could not promotion work from that perspective?

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #27 Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:27 am 
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It appears the MM time control is good for chess (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/ ... t-in-chess). The rapid tie breaks actually attracted much more attention in Twitch and elsewhere than any of the classical portion.

To be honest, as a lowly 15Kyu player, I enjoy watching an entire NHK cup match although I have no clue what the players are doing (more English translations please!); whereas the Meijin matches and the likes are just too much for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #28 Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:36 am 
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PatD wrote:
To be honest, as a lowly 15Kyu player, I enjoy watching an entire NHK cup match although I have no clue what the players are doing (more English translations please!); whereas the Meijin matches and the likes are just too much for me.


I believe you could enjoy longer games with a good English commentary. If you haven't done so, look for instance at the Lee Sedol vs. Alphago matches with a commentary by Michael Redmond.

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #29 Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:25 pm 
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Elom wrote:
Off topic: Forgive me if I don't quite follow this, but if Caruana accepted the draw because he believes he has a better chance of defeating Carlsen in the rapids than winning the last game then must he not agree with Kasparov that Carlsen either underestimated his ability to win (strange) or lost his nerve. Or Caruana overestimated his chances in the rapid.

Carlsen's position was better, but he offered a draw, which Caruana accepted.

Caruana accepted the draw offer because his position was worse. He was likely to lose if he played on and was very unlikely to win.

Kasparov thought it was wrong of Carlsen to offer the draw because Carlsen had a better position and little chance of losing if he played on.

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #30 Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:55 pm 
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dfan wrote:
Elom wrote:
Off topic: Forgive me if I don't quite follow this, but if Caruana accepted the draw because he believes he has a better chance of defeating Carlsen in the rapids than winning the last game then must he not agree with Kasparov that Carlsen either underestimated his ability to win (strange) or lost his nerve. Or Caruana overestimated his chances in the rapid.

Carlsen's position was better, but he offered a draw, which Caruana accepted.

Caruana accepted the draw offer because his position was worse. He was likely to lose if he played on and was very unlikely to win.

Kasparov thought it was wrong of Carlsen to offer the draw because Carlsen had a better position and little chance of losing if he played on.


It occurred to me that Carlsen's decision to offer a draw in a position where he was ahead, and most chess masters (including Kasparov) thought it doesn't make sense ("why not just play and win the 12th game and be done with it?") - is somehow similar to some seemingly stupid decisions that strong Go AIs makes in yose, when they clearly throw away points when ahead, just to maximize winrate (and win anyway).

I guess Carlsen made his judgement using a "minimize risk at all costs" strategy, just like AlphaGo does, which to "mere mortals" it may look wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #31 Posted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:45 am 
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sorin wrote:
It occurred to me that Carlsen's decision to offer a draw in a position where he was ahead, and most chess masters (including Kasparov) thought it doesn't make sense ("why not just play and win the 12th game and be done with it?") - is somehow similar to some seemingly stupid decisions that strong Go AIs makes in yose, when they clearly throw away points when ahead, just to maximize winrate (and win anyway).

I guess Carlsen made his judgement using a "minimize risk at all costs" strategy, just like AlphaGo does, which to "mere mortals" it may look wrong.


Not to disagree with Carlsen, but it's not like mere mortals don't minimize risk when ahead. The thing is, go AI bots, when ahead, sometimes make moves that seem stupid in the endgame, even to humans who know how to play solidly and conservatively.

Now, human endgame calculations generally assume perfect play, which may be unrealistic. AI winrates assume imperfect play, with mistakes. The question is, which mistakes? The assumption of imperfect play may also be unrealistic.

To give an exaggerated example. Suppose that two shodans are playing an even game. In the endgame the winrate calculations assume that they make 10 kyu mistakes by both players. Playing to maximize such winrates may lead to 5 kyu mistakes. Which may then not only lose points, but may actually put the game in jeopardy against the actual shodan opponent.

To analogize to Carlsen's decision, he may have made his winrate calculations on the assumption that in rapid play he might make 5 kyu mistakes while Caruana would make 10 kyu mistakes. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #32 Posted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:57 pm 
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Ken Regan is the foremost researcher of the objective evaluation of chess strength by looking at the moves played (as evaluated by computers), as opposed to results. In this post he estimates that the drop in quality from classical to rapid is 200-300 Elo.


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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #33 Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:08 am 
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I took this much time getting into this because checking that MAYBE my copy of Dine's "Chess Marches On" had survived the 2006 house fire << there are several thousand books here, so not that fast to check >> So I can;t quote, but to paraphrase .....

The reason is when posting a few rapid transit championship games (NY club) against Reshevsky he discussed the loss of strength when playing 10 second chess. But also that not all grandmasters were affected the same, so who strongest at normal time (40/2 hours then) not necessarily the same at 10 seconds.

This is of course famously also true with blindfold. Koltanowski not one of the top grandmasters a regular chess but at simultaneous blindfold he was.

I am rather sure that the same is true with go. It is not just that the blitz games aren't as good but that which players best at abnormally short time not going to be the same as if the games were played at normal time controls.

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Post #34 Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:51 pm 
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Indeed there is a difference in ability between playing "classical" chess vs rapid or blitz chess, and longer time limit go vs. fast games. Athletes know thta runners who have ability at long races (1 km +) are not so good at sprint races (e.g. 200 m). In the case of runners it it is known that different kinds of muscles favor the two kinds of race. Sprinters have more "fast twitch" muscle than distance runners "slow twitch". In blitz games there are different techniques used than in slow games. I, also, have heard from pro go players that there are more complicated fights in fast games than in slow games. Supposedly in slow games the player can read out the fight and see whether it is worth starting the fight. In a fast game, when there is not time enought to read out complicated fights, a player gambles that the opponent will make a mistake first (or last). In running races the sprinters won't compete against the distance runners in longer races and, vice versa, the distance runners won't compete against sprinters in sprint races. This dichotomy exists in bicycle races, most noticeable in races involving hilly courses versus short and straight courses. I know it wouldn't happen but I propose not mixing fast games and slow games in determining a champion. Speaking for myself alone I'll just mention that in chess my rating for "daily" games on chess.com is 400 points higher than my rating for 10 minute sudden death games.

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #35 Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:19 pm 
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As I've said before, slow vs fast is an oversimplification. Humans are not robots such that reading_quality = some_factor * time_spent_thinking.

No, humans get fatigued sometimes. Minds wander, sometime. Sometimes they over complicate things. And sure, sometimes they don't have enough time to come up with a good analysis.

So yeah, too much time can be a problem. Overthinking can be a problem. Too little time can be, too. Health can be a problem. Bad dinner last night can be a problem.

But to say any of these are a problem, we have to first identify what we are trying to achieve. Entertainment for viewers? Identification of a world champion? Quality of life for pros?

Without clarifying these specifics, this discussion is pretty meaningless.

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #36 Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:31 pm 
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By the way, may I ask the reason for the term "Mickey Mouse"? Is there any reason for this nomenclature other than to annoy me? Is there something fast about what Mickey Mouse does? Or is it simply to illustrate tournaments with fast time settings as childish?

While we are clarifying things, I'd like to know.

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #37 Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:36 am 
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They are not childish, they just something which cannot be treated with the same respect as the Full Monty. John of course is a Full Monty man, particularly when it comes to Python.

In Chess, we have Armageddon Time Limits because:
1 - The scenario 'Retention of the title in the case of a draw' has become commercially distasteful.
2 - The sponsorship money FIDE has only goes so far.

Gone are the days when the world championship funds were in such excess that they could be spent on driving fleets of black taxis around London. These are the days of the tight budget.

What is the knock-on effect of such cartoon structures? The standard of Chess seems to be very high in this title match.
If the GMs only spend their time on rapid play, I can imagine that it would be normal for their standard of play to suffer. I think that they, like Go players, probably don't only spend their time in rapid play events. So I don't really buy that issue as being a super serious one, only a distasteful intrusion of reality into the game.

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #38 Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:42 am 
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Kirby wrote:
By the way, may I ask the reason for the term "Mickey Mouse"? Is there any reason for this nomenclature other than to annoy me? Is there something fast about what Mickey Mouse does? Or is it simply to illustrate tournaments with fast time settings as childish?

While we are clarifying things, I'd like to know.


Kirby wrote:
Still, I think that you do have a point in that, rather than getting too upset or frustrated over what I perceive as biased, it would be more proactive of me to translate material on my own, and bring my own contributions to the table (though, I'm sure you'll still be able to bait me in the future by using "Mickey Mouse" in your posts).


I'm quite surprised this hasn't been settled in the last seven years actually, I'm curious about the origin of the term myself. It does seem to come from Chess, but only appears in informal discussions and analysis from what I've seen.

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #39 Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:28 am 
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The term "Mickey Mouse [x]" arose shortly after the cartoon was produced by Disney. It was perhaps most applied within Business - A Mickey Mouse Operation.

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 Post subject: Re: Kasparov agrees on Mickey Mouse
Post #40 Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:45 am 
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Time settings are established with two goals in mind:

  • Determine who is the strongest player
  • Make the competition enjoyable for spectators.

Long enough time settings are necessary to fulfill the first goal. One certainly would not say that someone is the "best painter" after looking the productions he makes in 5 minutes.

Concerning the second goal, I said above that "intermediate" time settings would be ideal for me.

I suppose that short time settings are called "Mickey Mouse" because spectators watch blitz games like they would watch cartoons, considering them as easy entertainment, with a lot of action going on, and without taking much time to think.

There is nothing wrong with Mickey Mouse; cartoons or blitz games can also be enjoyable to watch, but that's a more superficial activity.

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