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  • #16
    There is always a dark side where money and awards are available... and in places where your options are small...

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    • #17
      Why not just get rid of grandmaster/ master titles altogether? They don't exist in other sports (other than bridge, I guess) and they're not any worse off for it. You're as good as your ranking and your tournament results, that's it.
      Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Federtiu View Post
        Exactly! The quotes are colourful, the anecdotes are great, and it does look at a serious problem in chess, but I fear that people may draw incorrect conclusions from it.

        The article does not provide any evidence for the claim that 10% of the GMs have cheated their way to the title, and even if that claim is correct I suspect it is almost exclusively people who were very close already. The Nigel Short quote about his dog is very funny, but also very much a Nigel Short quote, he is quite notorious for his colourful language and opinions.
        There was Alexandru Crisan, who was very much a fake GM; and probably some other, less notorious cases as well. But in general, yes.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Powell View Post
          Why not just get rid of grandmaster/ master titles altogether? They don't exist in other sports (other than bridge, I guess) and they're not any worse off for it. You're as good as your ranking and your tournament results, that's it.
          I do think there would be some disadvantages to abolishing the titles. They are a great marketing tool, and very recognizable to non chess-players. For instance, when I became a GM, I was interviewed by my local newspaper. Saying you're a grandmaster sounds a little bit more impressive than saying you're number 622 in the world.
          And I can tell from experience that the titles can be strong motivators. The fact that I was close to the GM-title made me work harder, play more, and really go after it.
          They are such strong markers in your chess career, and I think it would be a shame to lose that.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Powell View Post
            Why not just get rid of grandmaster/ master titles altogether? They don't exist in other sports (other than bridge, I guess) and they're not any worse off for it.
            There are belt colors in martial arts.

            Besides, chess isn't a sport; it's a brain exercise like getting a degree, and degrees come with different levels of titles.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by 18.99s View Post

              There are belt colors in martial arts.

              Besides, chess isn't a sport; it's a brain exercise like getting a degree, and degrees come with different levels of titles.
              The questions on chess being a sport or not is a complicated one, but here are two things I'd like to point out that may change your outlook on chess a little bit.

              Firstly, there is this article on the importance of fitness for professional chess players

              https://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id...-playing-chess

              And secondly there is the well-documented effects of things like adrenaline, and testerone on chess performance, which surely make it closer to a sport than to 'getting a degree'.
              I recall reading (although unfortunately I can't find the article) how adrenaline levels in a top level chess match are similar to those in a boxing match.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Federtiu View Post
                I do think there would be some disadvantages to abolishing the titles. They are a great marketing tool, and very recognizable to non chess-players. For instance, when I became a GM, I was interviewed by my local newspaper. Saying you're a grandmaster sounds a little bit more impressive than saying you're number 622 in the world.
                And I can tell from experience that the titles can be strong motivators. The fact that I was close to the GM-title made me work harder, play more, and really go after it.
                They are such strong markers in your chess career, and I think it would be a shame to lose that.
                Also, GM titles are forever. Even if a grandmaster's several decades past their peak and their rating has fallen precipitously, they're still a grandmaster; and it tells everybody something about their accomplishments, experience and understanding of the game. Some of the older grandmasters have dropped into the 2200s or even 2100s rating-wise; but no matter how far they drop, they'll always be a cut above hobby players like me just by virtue of their title. And rightly so.
                Last edited by LopenUupunut; 07-15-2021, 02:43 PM. Reason: typo

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                • #23
                  It seems to me a person would have to be an excellent chess player, beyond hobby status, to fake a GM. Don't you have to show up and play tough competition at some point? Also, how does chess proficiency translate into $$$$$?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by lonewolf View Post
                    It seems to me a person would have to be an excellent chess player, beyond hobby status, to fake a GM. Don't you have to show up and play tough competition at some point?
                    Right; even a strong hobby player couldn't fool a real GM like Federtiu for long. Which is why there aren't many stories of completely fake GMs; and the few there are typically involve a rich guy sticking to local (or even entirely imaginary) tournaments and paying a few friendly grandmasters to lose games and keep their mouths shut.

                    (Fake GMs in this sense are to be distinguished from random loons on the Internet pretending to be strong players; who are usually even easier to recognize as fakes because they're out in the open and actively drawing attention to themselves.)

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                    • #25
                      Beth Harmon, the greatest international Grand Master ever.

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                      • #26
                        These titles are great aids when you tell the story and the history about chess, so perhaps it's good for the popularity of the sport; I chuckled a bit last month (or so) when Wang Hao said in a post-match interview that "I play like a 2200 player after 40 moves when I'm tired", but perhaps nobody outside the chess world would know what this number and his joke mean...while titles sound more, well, impressive?

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by LopenUupunut View Post
                          Also, GM titles are forever. Even if a grandmaster's several decades past their peak and their rating has fallen precipitously, they're still a grandmaster; and it tells everybody something about their accomplishments, experience and understanding of the game.
                          So true. In my early 20s I could have beaten Glenn Cunningham at a mile, but, of course, he was in his 70s by then. And yet he was still a world record setter and I was never to be.

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