Subject: Chessbase And Innovation Sun Feb 21, 2021 1:55 pm
In light of the FF2 event, I find myself questioning historical Chessbase innovations. The concept of a chess database itself was surely their idea, right?
I find myself questioning this now: the story that Garry Kasporov was preparing for a match the Fred Friedal's home and said, "If only there was some software that would help me go through my opponents games more easily" (or words to this effect), and that this is where the idea came from, now sounds as likely as the story that Diana Ross discovered the Jacksons - a story (now known to be false) that Motown put out when the Jacksons first appeared on TV.
I can't help feeling that to anyone who worked with databases and who was fanatical about chess, a chess database is a completely obvious idea: the only thing you'd need to make a product of it is personal computers with plenty of disc capacity, because the market for a chess database on mainframe computers would be too small.
Now, there are many chess databases to choose from, and some of them are free, but it did seem as though, for a long time, Chessbase were the only game in town regarding chess databases, and that their application was bigger, better and more fully-featured than their competitors' offerings. But did they really invent the chess database, and were they really the first to offer one? I think the answer is "yes" - link - so there was a time when Chessbase really were world-beating innovators.
It has been over 20 years since I last met Frederic Friedel, but my lasting impression is that he is a highly polished person in terms of dress and social skill. This makes it all the more surprising to discover that his roots lie in journalism!
Subject: Re: Chessbase And Innovation Sun Feb 21, 2021 2:37 pm
Stockfish has largely killed off commercial chess software. When first lc0 and then sf allowed the selling of value add networks on top of GPL software, the result was predictable. The mob mentality of those who are unfamiliar with the FSF and the open source movement is also predictable if regrettable.
Posts : 2281 Join date : 2020-11-17 Age : 55 Location : United States of Europe, Germany, Ruhr area
Subject: Re: Chessbase And Innovation Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:38 pm
Preparation and help to the chess community is ONE thing. But chessbase made money out of the freeware chess Games and sold them to the chess players. The chess players themselves made the games. And chessbase sold them back to them.
In the 1985 Kasparov simultan event Ed Schröder posted , Kasparov says he has a file of chess games That is Organizer. Bobby Fischer also claims (after he was champion) that he has to replay games beeing played all over the world to prepare against the next concurrent for his world chess champion title.
Subject: Re: Chessbase And Innovation Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:21 am
Bobby Fischer also claims (after he was champion) that he has to replay games beeing played all over the world to prepare against the next concurrent for his world chess champion title.
The more I think about this video, the more important one particular detail becomes: Carson asked him if turning up late to games was psychological warfare against Spassky. Bobby's answer: no - his reason for turning up late is that he doesn't go to bed until 06:00 AM and then got up half an hour before his games were due to start.
This resolves ALL THE IMPORTANT THINGS about Fischer:
1. How did he get to be so good?
He didn't go to bed until he'd resolved every last chess issue he obsessed about.
2. Why did he later develop mental (and physical) health issues?
Because his circadian clock cycle was so bad. US schools, for example, used to pressure parents to get their kids taking Ritalin, a stimulant drug, for ADHD (it generally worked for about 2 years then stopped working), when improving the child's sleep cycle would have done the trick in most cases.
Another important detail in the video: he didn't want to play matches before the next world championship because this would entail giving away his "secrets" before the championship finals. How prophetic!
Carson had no way of knowing this at the time, but the information he uncovered in that interview was more precious in terms of understanding Fischer than anything else I've ever read - including personal correspondence with a man in the Philippines who tried to get Fischer to start playing again (he concluded that he had wasted his time and that nothing was going to work). This little interview is even more valuable than the film about the Icelandic policeman who was his "bodyguard" during the 1972 match, and who became his friend for the rest of his life.
I think you've uncovered a real gem there Mclane - a long lost masterpiece of inestimable value!
Subject: Re: Chessbase And Innovation Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:33 am
Chessbase news has picked up on the release of this video, and it's clear from the article's comments that people agree with me that it is of historical importance regarding the Bobby Fischer story - link.
Not always true, but often a disarming unthreatening conversation can unearth more valuable information than a full-blown interrogation.
Quaint old expression says it nicely: softly softly catchee monkey. In this case, of course, Johnny Carson and his team seem to have had no idea how valuable their charming little interview was (because it didn't become clear until much later). Or maybe Fischer would have opened up later if people had asked him the right questions in the right way. If I was a journalist able to interview him now, I'd know what questions to ask - but I wouldn't have done until I saw this Carson video.
Subject: Re: Chessbase And Innovation Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:02 am
Yes the video explains Fischers later behavior. But don't forget the classic video
Here you see the adopted son fischer ("adopted" by dick schaap) Meets the real son. And fischer speechless.
This is complex, but it looks as though Fischer was jealous of the unconditional love that most parents have for their blood children.
For Fischer, it appears to be visibly painful, 5 decades later, on that video.
For a child, a parent who chooses to abandon them is primal loss, and an emotional crippling that can last for the rest of their lives: that sounds like exaggeration - but there is evidence to support that notion.