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alice02 69 ( +1 | -1 )
grandmasters and sport
grandmasters can see a large number of moves ahead and large numbers of possible combinations.
In Australia there was recently a game of football - a Grand final - where Manly won 40-0 against Melbourne. Melbourne was tipped to win. It set me thinking as to whether any sports required the same type of thinking as chess. I guess the difference with sport is that the pieces (players) keep moving while the player is analysing.

some of the tactics of manly looked just like chess moves to me (Wouldn't dream of saying that in Australia - the players might be really insulted).

Do you think there is any comparison between chess thinking and sports thinking and which sports?
ccmcacollister 97 ( +1 | -1 )
Sure ... A friend who is an FM with a national Chess tournament win under his belt, and also a poker
player now says "Texas Hold'em" uses a lot of Chess skills. I guess he should know, as he
picked up over $20,000 for a top 10 Poker finish too. (Seems to pay over 5 times more n
Chess, but the entry fees can be that much higher too!). If we can call cards a sport, etc etc.

I feel like Chess has a lot of similarity, in the strategic thinking, to American Football ...
especially, if the team is one that uses multiple offensive and defensive formations, as most
Also there is strategy in Baseball such as the "dual" between pitcher and batter. How close the
batter stands ...what pitches and speed they are thrown to him. But also where the Fielders
are placed, since the batter may chose to attempt to hit long, short, gaps or bunt. Also base
stealing and sacrifice hits. And if baseball fits then Cricket, is just sort of baseball with lunch
in the middle ... :))

blake78613 67 ( +1 | -1 )
Wrestling, boxing, and tennis are all very similair to chess in that one move sets up another and you have to be thinking several moves ahead. I think its more true in American folk style (U.S collegiate wrestling) wrestling than free-style (a type of wrestling used in the olympics). In American folk-style the wrestler in the up position is not allowed to grasp his hands to stop an escape or reversal move from the wrestler in the down position. This means that in American-folk wrestling, there is a lot of action; while in free-style wrestling the wrestler in the down position mostly tries to his opponent from scoring.
doctor_knight 217 ( +1 | -1 )
blake78613, what exactly do you mean grasp hands? I did collegiate wrestling in high school and we were allowed to grasp our hands together and grasp the opponent's wrists. Do you mean you couldn't grab individual fingers? We used to grab an escaping wrestler with a gable grip and hip throw him back down all the time (we couldn't slam though).

Back to the original topic:
I think many sports are like chess in different ways. I study martial arts and have made many comparisons between martial arts and chess. Jujitsu is especially similar to chess since it has one ultimate goal of submission and everything else is really just changing the position to try to get a setup for a submission. Striking is also quite similar in different respects. There's a lot of combo work in striking that is vaguely similar to combination in chess. In both grappling and striking there is a lot of anticipating the opponent's next move and laying "traps". You have to tangle a bit and find your opponent's weakness or create one with either damage or threats. Then you have to attack your opponent's weakness in different ways depending on what it is. Once you have successfully exploited the opponent's weakness it usually means you have access to different ways to further increase your advantage until you have a win. You also have to time things right or they lose their effectiveness. Initiative has a huge roll as well. In addition, you can usually win almost instantly with a knockout or submission (like a checkmate)

Of course tennis and chess are also like this in many ways too. When it comes down to basic strategic principles, most forms of competition are very much alike. What really makes chess different than other stuff is the 64 squares where battle takes place and the geometric movement of the pieces. Simply put, it is competition. The field of battle and the rules make various forms of competition different from each other, but almost all forms of competition possess the same types of strategic principles.
More: Chess
blake78613 55 ( +1 | -1 )
doctor_knight, your making me feel like an old man. In my day (which was pre Dan Gable)

Using a Gable grip would have been illegal from the par terre (referees) position. In fact I got penalized in a college match for using an S grip after my opponent had sat out. Most throws were also illegal. If you had an opponent in a fireman's carry, you had to place at least one knee on the mat before placing him on the mat.

I know that collegiate wrestling has become closer to free-style to keep American's competitive; and I think its a pity and less chess like.
ccmcacollister 41 ( +1 | -1 )
blake .. If I can't make you feel young again, at least you won't feel alone now . . . I not only Know who Dan Gable IS, I think I might have at least been in time to be able to have gotten him as a Coach here in Iowa, had I continued wrestling.
However, despite retiring undefeated [One pin, two forfeits], from High School he never came recruiting . . . I'll have to pM you about the part played by the Gable Grip tho~!

. . . }8-)
doctor_knight 84 ( +1 | -1 )
yeah, we couldn't slam and had to go down to one knee to take down someone in a fireman or over our shoulder. However, how are you going to take someone down from the clinch without a throw? Of course a trip would work, but we usually used a head throw (as in putting the opponent across the hips and laying down backwards into a headlock).

I do remember what you were talking about with not grasping hands in the up position. You usually put one hand on the opponent's arm and one hand on his belly. However, some techniques like power-half nelsons and the cradle required grasping hands. The 3/4 nelson also required grasping hands.

Now, to stay on topic, how would it make it less chess like? It just means you have a slightly different set of techniques and positions to learn and deal with.
blake78613 145 ( +1 | -1 )
From a tieup position, there are several ways get a takedown without throwing your opponent. Generally you try get behind them.

You were allowed to grasp hands to execute a pinning combination, but not to prevent your opponent from escaping. I'm not sure what you mean by power-half nelson, but you don't have to grasp your hands to apply a half-nelson. Applying a half-nelson if you hadn't broken your opponent down was tricky business. You had to keep your body at a right angle to your opponent, if not your opponent would have the leverage needed from your half-nelson to roll and pin you.

The reason I think folkstyle is more like chess is because the down wrestler would use a combination of moves to escape reversal. The counter to one his moves would set up another move. You would think about 4 or 5 moves ahead. In freestly wrestling reversals or escapes or almost unheard, and you don't see these combinations. The wrestler on the bottom is reduced to passive defense and only tries to prevent his opponent from throwing him on his back.

Here is an example of an American wrestler (Jackie Berube) trying to make the transition to freestyle wrestling. She would later become a great freestyle wrestler and get second at the world championships.
doctor_knight 328 ( +1 | -1 )
well, don't forget that in chess, the winning side theoretically always wins. In wrestling the guy on top theoretically always wins. That is of course assuming that he can keep his weight dead center, never give an inch of his balance, and always make the next theoretically correct move. I actually got most of my reversals from rolling the opponent when his balance shifted or when he let up I quickly turned into him to try and hook a leg I could use to again roll him. If you really study it hard enough, you can almost always find a way to at least fight back.

There are certain problems with grasping hands too. One of the problems is that it's a lot harder to control the way the opponent's body is turning. But probably the biggest problem with grasping hands is that you can't control the opponent's arms and on the ground, he can usually use them to resist effectively. But the main thing is that just like chess, in order to turn the tide from a losing position, the one on the winning side has to give a concession like a shift of balance.

I think I was using the term throw incorrectly. I guess what I was really talking about was taking the opponent's feet off of the ground. Of course now I do remember a takedown with wrist control where you kept the opponent's arm tight against your chest as you put pressure on the top of his shoulder forcing him down.

And a power-half is a technique to use if the opponent is resisting the normal half by arching his neck. If you are trying to get the half nelson with the right hand, you would put your left forearm on his neck, grasp your hands, and force his head down so you could slip your right hand in and get the normal half. (an interesting aside; there is a takedown from the clinch that lands the opponent immediately in a half-nelson pin. One of the guys on my high school team used this to pin someone in less than 30 seconds. Of course he was a state champ, but...)

That video was interesting, but one thing that annoyed me were the comments that said, "she must have a judo background." Whatever, those were just perfect head throws which is a pure wrestling move.

personally the part of wrestling that is fascinating to me is in neutral position because it is one of the only practical applications of wrestling in real fighting. However you learn a lot of really good things about balance and positioning from the ground work, you just learn lots of bad habits too.

but anyway, I may be getting too off-topic.

I think the main point is this: the person on top has an advantage. It's like chess; once you crowd your opponent in, the only real way for him to break out is for you to make a concession like allowing him to trade pawns or something. With correct play, a chess player with advantage should always win. The problem really becomes psychological then. You don't necessarily have to use a combination in wrestling or in chess to fight back from a losing position. A lot of times, you can defend positionally as well. Perhaps free style doesn't allow as many combinations from the bottom, but maybe it allows more positional defense. It seems more like two different openings to me rather than one being more like chess than the other.
blake78613 75 ( +1 | -1 )
I agree that the people making comments about the video had no idea what they were talking about.

I didn't mean to imply that freestyle wrestling doesn't require, but I think it puts more of a premium on power and less on thinking.

Here is a video that demonstrates that American college wrestlers can convert to freestyle:

and finally sticking to the chess analogy, here is what Dan Gable thinks about playing for draw:

ccmcacollister 98 ( +1 | -1 )
Speaking ... of grandmasters and sport; it reminds me that the Grandmaster-Polgar sisters' had a dual
training regimen while they were learning to become great Chessplayers. Besides Chess being
practiced/studied everyday, they also learned to play Table-Tennis (aka Ping-Pong). According
to one male T-T opponent who took them on, he had a very difficult time of it, tho he was
considered a good player. I cannot recall who he was now, but it seems he expected an easier
time of it.
Personally, I don't see how the strategy might be anywhere nearly as complex as in Chess
[ Then again, I was famously Bad at table-tennis, so there might be some things I "just don't
get" about it :) ] . But he said the sisters demonstrated a mindset very comparable to the
killer-glee they can display in playing Chess~!
I do feel like character and attitude learned from Chess or from Sports could be very
useful and transferrable to use in the other activity. Also sportsmanship. Perhaps the
concentration is similar!?