Electronic Chess Wars

England number ane Mickey Adams right away writes an first-class weekly column inwards the Sabbatum Daily Telegraph and it has croak purpose of my essential chess reading for the week. Sadly, it doesn't appear on the spider web as well as therefore the solely mode to teach it is see a newsagent as well as purchase a re-create of the paper. It's good worth it, as well as of assort you lot would teach Malcolm Pein's every bit first-class daily column for your coin (though you lot tin teach that ane online too).

In his column for fourteen April, Mickey mentions the Monroi electronic game recording system, which he had the adventure to sample inwards Gibraltar. Here's what he has to say:

"Considering the lineament of the handwriting of many chess players, this stance definitely has potential. Sadly for technophobes similar myself it is quite fiddly and, peculiarly when you lot are nether or as well as therefore pressure level from the clock, it is tardily to teach into the incorrect move. In my offset experience alongside it, I had resorted to pen as well as paper past times circular two."

I've never used a Monroi for existent myself, but I possess got examined ane closely as well as know what he means. It is basically a PDA [pocket computer] as well as you lot possess got to seat your human face right over it to come across what you lot are doing, avoid reflections, etc. With a paper scoresheet, you lot don't possess got to alter your torso seat at the board; you lot simply plow your caput sideways, human face as well as scribble - nearly all you lot possess got fourth dimension for if you lot are playing to the FIDE fourth dimension control. But Mickey's right, it has potential. He goes on:

"One other characteristic of the MonRoi organisation is that the moves tin travel fed direct to the meshwork without the take away for a sensitive board. This attribute, which is achieved past times making the entire playing hall a wi-fi zone, is distinctly double edged as well as has led to concerns nearly cheating."

Mickey doesn't croak into special and, I must admit, I've non heard anyone else mentioning a problem organisation nearly cheating. How would that work, I wonder?

"On the addition side, it has enabled me to convey you lot or as well as therefore games from the Foxwoods Open inwards Connecticut..."

Mickey goes on to annotate a span of games from the the States tournament. Buy the paper if you lot desire to read his annotations. This was of involvement inwards or as well as therefore other administration as I had simply been reading (on the Chessvibes blog) nearly a hassle inwards the USA nearly provincial newspapers refusing to give away a chess column because it contained a Monroi-input game which was allegedly copyrighted past times the MonRoi company. Mickey mentions zilch nearly this inwards his column, as well as therefore presumably the Daily Telegraph is non expecting to teach slapped alongside a writ for breach of Monroi's copyright.

I've got the feeling that mortal has got the incorrect halt of the stick here. I retrieve what MonRoi may travel trying to produce is to ensure that their alive games transmissions are kept exclusive, as well as that other chessplaying sites don't render simultaneous webcasts of alive play. That seems a reasonable aspiration on Monroi's part, though it may travel difficult to enforce legally. What I don't retrieve they are trying to produce is to slap a copyright on private game scores to halt journalists using them afterwards the trial for columns as well as magazines. That would travel unreasonable as well as unworkable. It is also out of line alongside accepted legal precedent for unannotated chess game scores.

At present, in that place seem to travel 2 competing systems for automating the capture as well as dissemination of chess games. One is the DGT Electronic Board as well as the other is the MonRoi electronic scoresheet. One organisation captures the moves as they are made on the board, the other as the players tape them.

It rather depends on your role inwards the tournament as to which organisation you lot are probable to prefer. As a player, you lot are likely to a greater extent than probable to prefer an electronic board as you lot don't possess got to produce much - apart from that footling ritual at the halt when you lot position your kings on squares inwards the middle to betoken the result. Then you lot retain your duplicate scoresheet, throw the signed ane on the arbiter's desk as well as leave. With the MonRoi system, you lot possess got to inquire the operator for a print-out of the moves - as well as in that place mightiness travel a queue for this.

If you lot are a tournament organiser, you lot mightiness simply prefer an electronic scoresheet-based system. For ane thing, you lot don't possess got to organise the moving of ton-loads of heavy wooden boards as well as sets, complicated wiring, hiring operators to run the organisation for it (and it is non straightforward, believe me). Of course, MonRoi needs an operator too, but in that place are no wires as well as the dinky handheld gadgets select upward less space. To travel fair, I empathize that the DGT organisation is right away capable of beingness run wirelessly too.

I've no incertitude in that place are lots of other factors too. This final fortnight has provided an chance to come across the 2 systems running inwards tandem, at the 2007 European Championships inwards Dresden. The electronic board method has been used for the men's/open championship, patch the MonRoi has been sued for the women. I'm non quite certain why in that place has been this sex division; possibly it is because the MonRoi organisation normally comes alongside women operators - or because they experience that women players volition travel to a greater extent than amenable to technological alter (Mickey Adams is non the solely super-GM MonRoi refusenik).

Anyway, it has been interesting to compare notes on the competing systems. I've already written something nearly the outbreak of 'Mad Gamescore Disease' inwards Dresden, as well as at the fourth dimension I was referring to the opened upward entitle games, i.e. DGT-generated scores. Things possess got non improved much on this front. Every circular seems to possess got featured a crazy gamescore which possess got sometimes been withdrawn from the spider web concealment inwards mid-transmission.

I've solely sampled the Dresden MonRoi transmission a span of times. I was watching patch Tatiana Kosintseva was completing her overwhelming victory inwards the penultimate circular of the women's event. Towards the halt of the game, in that place was a mad episode when she of a precipitous position her rook en prise, but Atalik didn't select it but position her ain rook en prise. Just as I was suspecting a novel strain of MGD, in that place was a flurry of pieces on the board, the MonRoi send righted itself as well as the right moves of a precipitous appeared.

So, based on a pocket-size sample of games, it looks rather as if MonRoi is scoring slightly over DGT on the accuracy as well as reliability stakes. But that is non the halt of the story. I'm certain this technological state of war nonetheless has a long mode to run. In truth, both systems possess got their drawbacks. One of them is that they both rely on the same inputter: the stressed-out, time-troubled - as well as unpaid - chessplayer. Here's an stance for all you lot technophobe chessplayers out there, to travel used the side past times side fourth dimension you lot are confronted alongside a fleck of unfamiliar technology scientific discipline during a tournament: at the halt of the game, as you lot are reporting the number to the arbiter, why non also manus over an account for your services - "For Data Input Services - £5 per game - delight brand banking venture represent payable to 'A Chess-Player'".
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