Friday, 25 May 2007

Shades of Grey

One of the important observations made by Lasker in the previous quote is that in Chess there is only Win, Draw, and Loss. This points to the difficulty that chess has in attracting and keeping the non-competitive player. Unlike most other sports there is no intermediate feedback in chess. While you may think your winning (or losing) at various stages of the game, it is only when the game is over that you know for sure.
In modern society fast feedback has become an important requirement for any activity to become popular. Whether it is video games or Sudoku, people feel more comfortable if the activity contains signposts to indicate how well you are doing as you go along. Chess, for most of us, doesn't have these signposts. Of course this is only partly as a result of the rules of chess, as I suspect that the greater skill a chessplayer has, the more likely he is able to determine the correct assessment of any given position.
Would chess be more popular if it contained an intermediate scoring system? Personally I doubt it, but thinking about this matter did lead me to an idea about how to 'better' market chess, an idea I will share in tomorrows post.

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