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  1. #1
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    Hybrid Chess Clubs are Virtually here!

    Just tried out “Chess Ultra” Quest 2 for Oculus which is owned by Facebook.
    Quest 3 will be out soon.

    You put the goggles on and play on a virtual board with anyone from anywhere who has the $4-500 hardware and is on the net.
    The chess module is about $10. It only plays at about 2000 but that is not its most important function.
    You can also buy modules for famous museums etc.
    You sit down and reach out and grab a virtual piece and move it.
    Your online opponent makes the next move, and you see their virtual hand move the piece and so on.

    I knew you could buy an interactive- board and hook it up to your phone and watch the red lights come on –
    indicating your opponent’s move, but this is way better.

    This will change chess clubs forever.

    Handicap players can watch the game on their ordinary tv hooked up to Oculus at home.
    Their care person can don the goggles and play the moves called out by the handicapped player against the opponent at the bricks and mortar club.
    You can now live in Darwin and play in a chess tournament in a Sydney club – as long as you have the hardware in Darwin and the club has it at the club.
    Just a set of goggles with a hand controller to move the pieces at each end.

    So now clubs can sign up members from all over the world and have them play in hybrid events at the club.

    Round 1 you might play OTB with old Fred.
    Round 2 you might play Igor from Minsk online.
    Round 3 you are back to OTB.
    Your team match against the club 60 kilometers down the road could have people from all over the world playing.
    Online tournaments can have up to 32 players.
    Why pay air tickets and accom. when all you have to pay the star is appearance fee.

    Cheating – eventually, down the road, the hand controller will take your pulse and the cameras will keep an eye on you.
    Cheaper to set up a bank of cameras than to fly there.
    Also, eventually, you will have a report from Stockfish after the game.
    The computer will have a database of your games with which to compare your game and look for disturbing anomalies.

    YouTube has a VR section and I believe you can walk around events being played live if someone is filming with a 3D camera.

    The downside –
    It will take a bit of getting used to.
    At the moment it is not exactly like playing OTB. Close. Give it 6 months.
    We won’t be rating games within the next 12 months but as new versions come out, anything is possible.

    The upside –
    It is cheaper than airfares.
    The covid risk is gone.
    Your club now has a much wider catchment area – the World!
    I would imagine simuls would be easy enough to organize.

    What about coaching? I don’t think you can chat at the moment.
    Maybe you play on Chess Ultra and talk on the phone?

    Got a lazy IM who couldn’t be bothered coming to the club?
    They can stay at home in their sweatpants and play online.

    Does anyone have experience playing online with Chess Ultra?

    OK, keyboard warriors, let’s have it. Why won’t it work? Don’t hold back! I can take it!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Corker View Post
    OK, keyboard warriors, let’s have it. Why won’t it work? Don’t hold back! I can take it!
    It's a logical development and probably will work if enough people get the equipment. If it could be used unilaterally as an interface to an online game it might promote uptake.

    However in the final analysis it is still online chess so it may just cannibalise the existing market rather than attract anyone else, and it has the same limitations as an alternative to OTB.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout View Post
    It's a logical development and probably will work if enough people get the equipment. If it could be used unilaterally as an interface to an online game it might promote uptake. However in the final analysis it is still online chess so it may just cannibalise the existing market rather than attract anyone else, and it has the same limitations as an alternative to OTB.
    I think that's a good summary. A further point is that chess works very well in two dimensions, so virtual reality doesn't really enhance the experience greatly.

  4. #4
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    I also think it is a good summary.
    But when you play chess at the Brisbane Club you are playing 3D, unless it has changed since I was there.

    I play 2D chess on Chess.com and LIchess and it is ok.
    But much better is picking up the piece and moving it and putting it down on the board and then pressing the clock.
    I don't get that on Chess.com or Lichess. But I can get that to a certain extent with Chess Ultra.
    I know it is not the same as real life, but it has only been out for about 6 months.
    With the other programs included, something will be in black and white one week, next time you play it, it is in color. They are upgrading all the time.

    Especially for physically handicapped people, who want to play in a club environment, I think this could be an improvement.
    If the HC person was at the club physically, they would have a person moving the piece for them, which could be distracting to the opponent.
    The downside is that if the HC person was playing remotely, the person in the club would have to don the headset.
    I imagine eventually the hardware will move out of the headset into the connected computer and the headset would become a set of sunglasses instead.
    To make the experience more sociable, you can pay a high school kid to walk around the club filming on a 3D camera and streaming to a YouTube channel.

    I think we have to move away from the notion that a "chess club night" only has physical people.
    I think Queensland's total physical chess club attendance per week, pre covid, would have been no more than 200. That includes all clubs that are still going.
    Say, 30 at BCC, 25 at RCC, 25 at GCCC etc. I don't think there would be more than 200 per week.

    Australia wide?
    Let's say 250 per state and territory. Maybe 1500 people per week for 45 weeks of the year.
    And that is for one of the most marketable games on the planet with a client base of 27 million.
    Compare that to Netball or Soccer or any other Team's Sport. And remember, chess is a team's sport.
    All those businesses making money from coaching kids in school teams will agree to that.
    Try paying your staff out of what you make from adult chess players, who by the way, only play as individuals.

    At the moment, today, it doesn't make sense for clubs to start buying the 3D headsets, same as the DGT boards were too expensive at the start.
    But eventually we will have to address the movement of OTB players onto online.
    They are voting with their feet and mice, in their millions.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It would be great if we could get more discussion on the problems besetting Australian Chess. We are down to about 1500 people a week going to clubs!
    Most people on Chesschat seem to have moved over to discussing the Wuhan virus or Welfare in Australia.
    You do realise that you are in a "closed system". Your words fork no lightning over there, over there, over there..................
    Whereas, if you brought your years of chess admin. experience over to the discussions on how to get people playing OTB chess in Australia again,
    you could actually make a difference.
    The last person leaving an Australian chess club won't have to put out the light, because he'll be meeting under a tree.

    I was going to upset everyone on Chesschat in 2022, over a series of months, but this should be way more effective.
    Happy 2022!

  5. #5
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    I wasn't saying it won't work. According to post #1 it already does. Technology has changed the way we do many things over the course of a few decades, though not always as dramatically as some soothsayers predicted, so this may be the normal way of playing chess in a few more decades.

    In my lifetime, though, I don't see Ultra or its descendants being used for championships, major tournaments, titles or ratings. The first goal is to muscle in on online chess. There can also be a role in training and commentary.

    What might be more promising for this technology is where something otherwise can't be done, for instance 22 people could play a soccer match from their loungerooms.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for your positive contributions. Good feedback is always welcome.

    I'm just trying to get the debate started on how to use online chess to the advantage of bricks and mortar clubs.

    The market for "championships, major tournaments, titles or ratings" is tiny. I am guessing they will awways stay OTB.
    The market for getting club chess levels up to netball or soccer levels is huge.

    People take their kids to Netball training nights because of the infrastructure driving the whole venture and the TV money and exposure driving it.
    They don't bring their kids to chess clubs in big numbers because the club numbers are so small and usually played in school rooms, with no teams.
    I'm just hoping we can change our perception of a chess club from being purely physical to a hybrid version.

    "Who am I playing?"
    "Nigel from Bournemouth"
    "Not him again!"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Corker View Post
    Thanks for your positive contributions. Good feedback is always welcome.

    I'm just trying to get the debate started on how to use online chess to the advantage of bricks and mortar clubs.

    The market for "championships, major tournaments, titles or ratings" is tiny. I am guessing they will awways stay OTB.
    The market for getting club chess levels up to netball or soccer levels is huge.

    People take their kids to Netball training nights because of the infrastructure driving the whole venture and the TV money and exposure driving it.
    They don't bring their kids to chess clubs in big numbers because the club numbers are so small and usually played in school rooms, with no teams.
    I'm just hoping we can change our perception of a chess club from being purely physical to a hybrid version.

    "Who am I playing?"
    "Nigel from Bournemouth"
    "Not him again!"
    Being able to play leagues and matches against other clubs online is a big plus - agree that's where the big club gains probably are.

    This technology could be useful for disabled players, probably not much use over normal online play otherwise.
    IA Craig Hall

    www.chess.org.nz - Canterbury Chess Club
    http://respectrum.nz - Major sponsor

  8. #8
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    Going through many, many Standings files, I noticed that 4 or 5 Juniors and a few Adults, play at different clubs through the week.
    All driving, or taking public transport.
    The Juniors who do this will be the hard core of our future top players.

    If they could play in multiple clubs through the week, from home, using either 2D (laptop), or 3D Chess Ultra, how much time is saved.
    Remember, these kids are also top achievers at school. Time is very precious to these families.

    Do a trial run with the most organised club in each state.

    1. Run your weekly event, be it a one-night blitz event or 6-week event.
    2. Have a laptop at the club connected to any relevant chess playing portal.
    3. Instead of Little Jimmy’s mum spending 30 minutes in traffic each way to get him to the club on time, he plays in the club event via laptop.
    His opponent, at the bricks and mortar club, sits at the laptop playing his opponent with a camera screen open at all times. One should be enough.
    If the experiment works, you might have 2 laptops running next event.

    Eventually, you have 20 physical people and 10 laptops going. For big events, you might have a 3D camera focussed on Board 1 for the entire event.
    If it doesn’t work. What is the cost?

    And what is the cost of doing nothing?

    And if it works, you will probably end up paying someone to manage your online customers.

    I think a new group called Amazon is starting to make a few dollars out of online business. Probably won't catch on.

    And then you look at Chess Ultra.

    Thanks for your input, it all helps.
    Someone has to do something.
    We shouldn't go down without a fight. Especially when we are sitting on one of the most marketable games on the planet.

    Fortunately, I think Chess Australia has more members than Falconry Australia.
    Though, I suspect they are catching up on us. Have to watch 'em like a hawk!

  9. #9
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    I dont see the attraction of such technology. Chess is well suited to 2d representation and use of the mouse, nothing needs to be fixed

  10. #10
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    This is going to be a fixture in the metaverse for sure
    Grandmaster, FIDE Trainer, 2018-19 Australian Champion

    Do you love your chess as much as I do?

    What is your chess dream?

    Are you willing to do what it takes?

    Everyone who is an expert at something now...learned from another expert.

    Share your chess journey with me – illingworthchess@gmail.com – and I’ll give you my 7-Page Basic Chess Training Plan, to direct your chess training and improvement.

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Colliver View Post
    I dont see the attraction of such technology. Chess is well suited to 2d representation and use of the mouse, nothing needs to be fixed
    You don't get the big pic - there is money in it so demand will be created. Zuckerberg wants to buy the remainder of Hawaii
    Zionism is racism as defined by the UN, Israel by every dirty means available steals land and water, kill Palestinian freedom fighters and civilians, and operates an apartheid system to drive more Palestinians off their land

  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Illingworth View Post
    This is going to be a fixture in the metaverse for sure
    But it won"t help struggling local coaches. I have been promoting your coaching site to local beginners but they are already hooked on Chess.com. I tell them that Max is a great guy known him for years etc but to no avail.
    Zionism is racism as defined by the UN, Israel by every dirty means available steals land and water, kill Palestinian freedom fighters and civilians, and operates an apartheid system to drive more Palestinians off their land

  13. #13
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    I no longer think State Club Team’s Championships are viable over 10 boards.

    Not enough clubs can muster a decent team without having to “fill in” the lower boards.
    Which is Australia’s strongest club? No one cares. Move on.

    However, an Australian Cities Teams Championship may be viable using online teams.
    The best players from the best clubs can play from home.
    Old style 2D computer screens can be used until 3D becomes more life-like.
    Once the Adult Entertainment Industry sees the value in games like Half Life Alyx etc. it will improve rapidly.

    1.Each state should be able to get 10 strong players together for a round robin over the year.

    2.Throw in a “State of Origin” twist, with say, 7 players must be born in the state and we could be onto a winner.
    Sydney v Melbourne, Brisbane v Syderney!

    3.Each state puts up a $1,000 surety against forfeits. There just has to be 10 reliable players left in each state!

    4.Fast time control. Millions and millions of people play fast chess online. The people have voted. End of story.
    15 mins per side with 10 sec. increment. Suggestion.
    Same as the forthcoming Blockbuster RCC v GCCC April 7th. $100 Best Game, $100 Best Sacrifice.

    5.2-3 females per team. Several Juniors also. It is their only chance to play in a state side.

    Forget ratings – you are playing for your State. For kids, it looks good on your resume!

    Let's use online chess to our advantage!

  14. #14
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    It is hard to get a real "snapshot" of Australian Chess.
    Up here in Qld. everyone tells me chess coaches are making a motza. $100 an hour, yada yada.
    I don't see how, but they have no reason to lie to me.

    Why not just announce your kids as the State Junior Team.

    Nature abhors a vacuum.
    I don't think any state can be bothered having State Junior Teams or State Female teams or State Girls teams or State Open Teams.
    Too much hassle, dude.
    So why are they going to object to you taking care of something no one wants to do. You will be doing the state association a favour.
    Then they can get back to running weekenders.

    Your "State Team" are going to need a Manager, Coach etc. Book them matches with countries in our time zone using Lichess.
    Get onto your local newspaper/over the fence freebie and get a story done.

    One my schools is organising matches with teams in Vladivostok and Khabarovsk in the new year.
    We will also be playing Miami High, my old school. All by Lichess. We have no "deal" with Lichess. It is just what we can afford.

    Once you venture into the "teams" world, everything changes. Who made the team? How do I get into the team?
    Bragging rights for parents and grandparents.
    The media might become interested if you have a good hook - such as playing os teams.

    Your school computer Lab. gets 5 computers and gets each of them an address with Lichess.
    No privacy issues because "Chat is turned off" and it is just one computer address v another with the student making the moves. No names.
    Lunchtime - 5 kids sit down and play. They get up and then boards 6 to 10 sit down to play. All finished in time for the bell and back to class.



    My apologies to any State which does have the 3 above mentioned state teams. Please advise.

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    I don't like the non personal aspects at all. No squirm at a brilliancy, no big laughter when reminiscing. No pushing their king over. But okay for those appreciative of the nature of adult entertainment websites but I prefer my one night in Bangkok
    Zionism is racism as defined by the UN, Israel by every dirty means available steals land and water, kill Palestinian freedom fighters and civilians, and operates an apartheid system to drive more Palestinians off their land

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