Monday 26 May 2008

A better input method?

By now many of you would have seen the video of the US Women's Championship playoff (if not it is here). For the moment I want to go past the question of how to resign, or the suitability of the tie break method and focus on the mechanics of the game.
Clearly it got down who could play the fastest moves, rather than who could play the best moves. Now while this might be good for those looking for evidence that chess is a physical sport after all, it does move away from the previous position that chess is about ideas.
So two suggestions to bring reduce the reliance on physical dexterity, and return such playoffs to a battle of brains. Firstly, sleeveless tops, so the players aren't worried about cuffs getting the way. Secondly, and more importantly, dispense with the chessboard altogether.
Instead simply have a voice operated input system, where the players announce the moves which are then automatically played on a computer screen. This way it isn't the fastest mover who wins, although it may be the fastest talker. Also a player will have to wait until their opponent has completed a move before playing there's, rather than the 'move anticipation' visible in the video. Of course the players may have to separated so that player A doesn't shout out a blunder for player B, but that is why we have arbiters.
As for the technology to do this, it is pretty simple. Probably no more than a couple of hours of programming to put it into action.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The main programming problem is that the program would have to apply all the languages in the world as notation isn't restricted to english. Players shouldn't be forced to use English. Also the different notation styles like Kings bishop etc.