Originally Posted by KyleJRM82
And I'm just the opposite (and as we know, these sorts of discussion are really just parallel rationalizations for what we each find to be our gut opinions on the matter).
When the commentator calls out "Sicilian Grunfeld Berlin," what you see as a boring intro to the actual game, I see as the essential flavor.
We know the the game will follow a certain style, with certain goals and certain types of results being likeliest, but still with opportunities for difference. We can see how the old SGB has evolved since some old master, long dead, first discovered a key opening principle and invented it. We can compare it to a rich history of past SGB games, played by various masters past and present. We can even remember the time that we played against an SGB in a club level tournament game with $20 in prize money on the line.
I acknowledge this. The years spent studying and playing chess in the standard position must definitely provide a richness of experience in seeing games that casual fans don't share. What are your feelings about the other thread (if you haven't posted in it yet), about whether chess is fundamentally an academic activity or a competitive one?
A chess game is like a great Tarantino movie. Sure, you can enjoy it for the blood and guys and spectacle, but it becomes a lot more enjoyable if you are steeped in the history of film and understand the shared language the director is trying to portray.
The dominance of Chess960 would strip all that essential history from the game, leaving a hollow shell of what once was. The competition would still be there, and I guess that's enough for some, but I think those people underestimate how much they'd be taking away from the rest of us. It would be the pokerization of chess, and I mean that perjoratively.
Well, if I am a casual fan who is an advocate of 960, and you are a player who has spent years studying the game and gets extra enjoyment out of it because of it, I would have to try to pitch it to you like this.
If 960 were adopted as the "main form" of the game, there would still be a lot of appreciation from certain positions that comes up from experience (like how poker tournament players know short-stack strategy, chess players still know general philosophy in closed-games, certain types of endgames and so on).
We would still have other games to study in different positions, except instead of looking up games by, say Closed Sicilian, you could look them up by position number or even a class of similar positions from the 960 variations. There would probably even still be general theory about each position, there would just be much less of it and much more of "you're on your own" over the board, and more room to try different things you see. There's much more of you in each game and much less of what other people have put there.
Also, there is a lot to be gained from the added appeal and accessibility. With the help of the internet, entire regions of the world could see high-level players emerge simply from their own desire, even if there is a lack of a chess program that finds them in their youth and gets them set studying...similar to how great poker players can pop up almost anywhere now. After every World Championship game, there would be a lot more potential analysis and argument that could be done about the opening strategy used by the players in the position.
The computers would still aide here, but they would lose much of their "end-all be-all" authority for arguments...and I think there's a lot of people who would like that too...as the computers are chopping away inevitably at the traditional game with only a few centuries of time left before they kill the academic aspect completely.
Ultimately also, with more people playing, there is more interest in the game, more eyes on the high-level matches, leading to more advertising and more ability for players to make a living.
I do agree of course that some of the "depth" of the experience for a group of players may be lost, but when we take into account what could be gained, I think it weights more for the change.