Suggestions from a tournament player:

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Suggestions from a tournament player:

Postby Firebrandx » November 2nd, 2012, 10:59 am

Greetings!

I've been competitive chess for about 13 years now (retired OTB and currently working on my ICCF IM title). I recently purchased Pure Chess for the PS3 and found the graphics to be incredible. Unfortunately from a features standpoint, Pure Chess is quite lacking in the basic accoutrements. After an evening of playing around with the software, I was able to set a new world record on the beginner tournament of 41 seconds, but have since started playing one of the top 'Play by Mail' players a game of CC. Anyway, I'd like to suggest some improvements, both in design and features:

1. Provide a basic 2D diagram as an optional display. The checker chips just don't work for me. The best 2D diagram style pieces are "Fritz", and anyone can do some googling to see what they look like.

2. Provide time control options for the "Play by Mail" games. Stuff like 3 days per move, 10 moves in a week, etc.

3. There's a bug when setting the "random color" option for "Play by Mail" games. The message sent still claims the opponent will be taking white.

4. There are some serious load time issues in "Play by Mail". Last night, it was taking Pure Chess several minutes just to load the current turn of a game, and it would often crash back to the previous menu without loading.

5. I notice the "Play by Mail" interface is what I call 'touch-move" fixed. This means accidentally moving the wrong piece cannot be retracted, even though the actual reply has not been sent yet. This might be fixable in the options, so I will check on that, but it shouldn't ever be 'touch-move' in CC. Only when the reply is sent should it count. I ended up having to play an inferior line of the Sicilian in one of my games because of not being able to correct a move before sending it.

6. Please add in a notification jingle noise when a new CC move arrives in the mail. It's easier for me to hear that while I'm playing than to suddenly notice I was sent a new move many minutes ago.

7. An extra-nice option for "Play by Mail" would be for a basic conditional string. This means a player is able to list his opponent's likely reply and have his own automatically set in response. The string should be long enough to handle most any circumstance, and I figure a 50 move string limit should be plenty.

8. Although I've not checked for this, please make sure to allow claims of draws by 3-fold, 50-move rule, and insufficient mating material (e.g. opponent only has a knight or two and nothing else) in all game formats.

9. I'm not really worried about it, but as others have requested, a live chess interface would be fun. Here again, make sure all the bases are covered with the various draw rules, and also allow for fixed time controls like game in ten minutes and whatnot.

10. DO NOT get involved in prize tournaments. People will cheat using engine software on their computers. I was a victim of this a few years back on the PSN "at home" virtual reality interface, where I went undefeated until a prize tournament came up and my first opponent used chess software to beat me (which I confirmed later when I reviewed the game on my computer). If you hold any tournaments at all, there are to be no prizes, and the expectation that "anything goes".

Well that's all I have for now. I'll write a few more notes and suggestions as I play more of the game. Thanks for your time!

-FBX
Firebrandx
 
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Re: Suggestions from a tournament player:

Postby Firebrandx » November 12th, 2012, 4:52 pm

I just want to add that not having time limits in "Play By Mail" is really putting me off on the game. I played one of the top 5 rated players on there, and the moment I reached a winning position, he has since refused to move now for several days. People shouldn't be able to simply refuse to move forever to avoid losing.

I will no longer be playing or supporting "Pure Chess" until time constraints are put in place on CC games.
Firebrandx
 
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Re: Suggestions from a tournament player:

Postby Firebrandx » November 12th, 2012, 11:49 pm

Yet another problem: There's no way to decline a "Play By Mail" challenge. The challenges can never be deleted from your message list, and the moment you view the game data of their first move, you are locked into the game. The only way out is to then forfeit the game. All my losses are from having to forfeit game challenges I don't want to play, and there are more coming all the time. I have to just leave those messages on my machine and never dare look at the data. That's just terrible. Come on guys!
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Re: Suggestions from a tournament player:

Postby wizard » November 23rd, 2012, 3:59 am

Great suggestions!

I was thinking the same things and I'm a novice player not a tournament pro.

I can see how it would bare against a 3D super graphic game to see the value of 2D view as an option but it really is a very valid point. In computer games you don't have the natural overview no matter how great the graphics as in real life games. Pieces tend to block others out and stearing the camera around when you are thinking can be annoying.

I can really see how a very serious player would not always want the graphics to marvel at.

I too tried the checkers and then put the game in top view to have as an option when i only wanted to focus on tactics, and i thought actually that checkers was very clever way to maintain the beautiful graphics at the same time. but...

for me the symbols on top of them arent standard enough. Maybe those Fritz diagrams on top of black and white checkers in top view would work.


As for the other ideas about play by post it feels like many of them have been taken right out of chess.com's online turnbased play. Something worth checking out maybe: http://www.chess.com/echess/
It's all in the hat!
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Re: Suggestions from a tournament player:

Postby Firebrandx » December 26th, 2012, 4:09 am

So I heard back from the top 5 player that I trapped into a winning position. He made it quite clear he's never going to move in the game, so it will stay in limbo forever on both our PS3's.

The basic gist of him being a sore loser is because his computer failed him by getting trapped into a losing position. Since I knew ahead of time he was using a computer after reviewing my first game with him, I merely used a custom opening game archive specifically designed to trap computers. It worked like a charm as his moves fell right into one of the traps. He's being a self righteous hypocrite about the whole thing and shouting in caps about how I'm the cheater. You know, like somehow he's decided he is the very best human CC player in the world, and so OBVIOUSLY the only way he would EVER lose is to a non-human. Oh the outrage :roll:

It always makes me laugh when a cheater gets self righteous about losing to somebody ready for them. They conveniently forget they were cheating to begin with, and become enraged at the thought of being out-conned. Never mind the fact that no rules about computer use are even stated for these 'Play By Mail' games. Pure Chess doesn't even have time controls, much less rules and regulations on CC resources.
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Unwanted Challenges

Postby Maggard » March 8th, 2013, 6:28 pm

If you recieve a game request that you wish to decline, try using the PSN Message to decline. Simply find the unwanted move in the messages, respond to the sender that you must unfortunately decline at this time and then delete the message including the move. When you then open Pure Chess and enter the PBM area their Move should no longer exist.

Please let me know if this works to clear your unwanted game requests.
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2D Diagram Option

Postby Maggard » March 8th, 2013, 6:30 pm

This is needed enough, I'd purchase DLC to have it available. My eye sight isn't improving and making a mistake is too easy with the available views.
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Re: Tournament Rules DLC

Postby Maggard » March 8th, 2013, 7:39 pm

I see some benefits to the requests targetted toward Tournament style play but do not currently have a strong desire for from their inclusion. What would you think about them being a Tornament Play DLC?
This allows users of casual play to not fear playing a bit of chess and those wanting to learn tournament style to purchase the DLC.

The PBM would need to handle requests for a Tournament to a player without the DLC. It should simply notify the requestor Tournament play is not available and allow the option to convert to a casual play game. Altenatively, it could prompt the challenged player to purctase the DLC, decline or convert to casual play.

What suggestions would you see included in such a DLC and which need in the game for casual play?

For example, the 2D is needed for both casual and tournament play. While timed moves is less important for casual chess.

I do wish there was a way for a judgement when a player refuses to play when the game is lost. It does justify the limited number of slots in PBM. This is one need I am not sure if it should be in casual or DLC. Perhaps both need the option to propose a draw.

Being a casual player I rely on your expertise on what would make Tournament Rules DLC a benefit to all Pure Chess players.
Maggard
 
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