The Instigator
THEBOMB
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
FourTrouble
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points

Resolved: Bishops are superior to knights in the game of chess.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
FourTrouble
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,892 times Debate No: 21079
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (23)
Votes (8)

 

THEBOMB

Pro

First round shall be acceptance. Last round is reserved for summations, no new arguments.
FourTrouble

Con

I gladly accept, and look forward to my opponent's argument.
Debate Round No. 1
THEBOMB

Pro

I hope that my opponent knows the difference between a knight and a bishop and has at least a basic understanding of chess.
Knights versus bishops has been a chess debate since basically, the creation of the game. Many people say bishops are the best, while others say knights are the best. For the following reasons I hold bishops are more powerful than knights in the game of chess:

Contention 1. Horowitz Bishops

Horowitz Bishops were aptly named after the Chess Master Horowitz. The idea behind this basic premise is you move your bishops such that they complement each other, one bishop attacks one color, the other bishop, the other color. Basically, if you move to protect yourself from one of the bishops, the other bishop becomes stronger as you are strengthening the defense of one color you weaken defense of another color.

Contention 2. Mobility

a) Closed versus open positions

In a closed position, knights rule. In an open position, bishops rule. It is generally much easier to open a position then it is to close a position as opening a chess game can require as little as moving a single pawn while closing a chess game requires both players to cooperate. In a game in which 2 knights face 2 bishops, a player who realizes the value of having 2 bishops in an open position can easily open the position, why would they want to close the position when that would benefit their opponent? It is much easier to open up a pawn chain to release a bishop than it is to later close this pawn chain. The bishop only can gain power while the knight can only lose power as the game progresses.

b) Movement

This is obvious, a bishop can move from one side of the board to the other, which is an obvious advantage for when playing a bishop can attack more spaces. On the other hand, for a knight to reach the other side of the board there will have to be several carefully placed "hops" in order to physically get there. A bishop is long ranged and therefore, is better for attack.

Contention 3. The game

A chess game has generally been divided into three separate categories: the opening, the mid-game, and the end game. It is an accepted fact that a majority of chess games end in the end phase (if played out to checkmate) while the rest end in the mid-game. You never really see games played between to GMs ending in the opening (GMs do not really fall for the Fool's Mate).

a) The opening

This is sole spot where the knight rules as a knight can be developed faster than a bishop. The board at this point is normally closed. But, after a few pieces are taken and traded the game moves on to the mid-game. In the beginning, "the bishop pair is worth less than half a pawn when most or all the pawns are on the board". (1)

b) The mid-game

After the first few pieces are captured, the board opens up, there are less pieces to "clutter" the board. This is where the knight loses its edge over the bishop. The bishop is better in open positions so the bishop begins to dominate as more pieces are taken. A key thing to note is: as pieces are taken, the bishop gains value while the knight loses value. By this point, bishops are worth "more than half a pawn when half or more of the pawns are gone". (1)

c) The end-game

Now few pieces remain on the board. Most likely, the queens have been traded by this point and there are few pawns left. Now this is where the bishop is the most powerful piece on the board. The end-game is an extremely open position. The bishop is most powerful in open positions while the knight is least powerful in open positions. Furthermore, without the queen, knights are even less powerful, according to Emanuel Lasker in his book "Lasker's Manual of Chess", knights are more powerful with queens than without queens. Bishops do not lose power without the queen while knights do. A knight is overly dependent on the queen.

Contention 4. The Bishop pair's material value

According to Larry Kaufman, "The bishop pair has an average value of half a pawn (more when the opponent has no minor pieces to exchange for one of the bishops), enough to regard it as part of the material evaluation of the position, and enough to overwhelm most positional considerations. Moreover, this substantial bishop pair value holds up in all situations tested, regardless of what else is on the board. This large a bishop pair value is surprising because in the opening grandmasters will often give up the bishop pair to double the opponent's pawns or to gain a mild lead in development, factors which are generally not worth half a pawn" (1) A bishop pairs full value is the value of the bishops themselves plus a half a pawn. Making a total value of 7 whereas 2 knights total value comes out to 6.5.
In fact, Garry Kasporov implied "he had a probably won game once he won the bishop pair in a closed Ruy [Lopez] even though there were no open lines, no other advantages, and it took him some tempi (Nf3-h4-g6xf8) to take the bishop." (1) A grandmaster recognized the advantage doubled bishops give a player and took this advantage away from them.

Source:
1. http://home.comcast.net...
FourTrouble

Con

Introduction

Pro's argument is based entirely on the dogmatic "rules" and "general principles" of classical chess theory. At some point around the 1930's, this dogmatism began to change, with Nimzowitsch's seminal text on chess theory, "My System," providing the stimulus for change. In 1927, Alekhine beat the "invincible" Capablanca by playing positions with a pragmatic reliance upon involved calculations rather than on general principles. [1] Alekhine commented that "all general considerations must be entirely forgotten" and "only that which contributes to the execution of the plan selected is of any avail."

Today, nearly every single point Pro argues has been disproven by contemporary chess theory and practice, where the concept of "rule-independence" dominates play at the top level. In some positions, bishops are superior, in others knights are superior. With the collapse of general rules in modern chess, saying bishops are superior to knights is misguided, as it contradicts the underlying logic of "rule-independence."

The state of general rules is so suspect that Mark Dvoretsky even suggests abandoning the word "plan" (its too general), and using the phrase "next strategic operation," to emphasize the particular, local, time-limited, and pragmatic nature of modern chess play.


Discussing the minor pieces (bishops and knights), chess theorist John Watson says, in the seminal "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy," that "against all odds: championing the steeds." Watson continues, "disregarding the supposed abstract superiority of the bishops, the best modern players are familiar with many types of positions in which knights are acceptable or preferable." Watson then proceeds to analyze a huge number of positions and games where the bishop-pair is ceded for the advantage of having the knight-pair.

Steve Mayer agrees, arguing in "Bishop versus Knight: the Verdict," that knights are, on balance, equal to bishops (sometimes superior and sometimes inferior). Throughout the rest of this round, I will show what modern chess play looks like, and why Pro's case is flawed.

Mobility

According to Pro, knights rule closed positions and bishops rule open positions. The reasoning is simple (and wrong): in closed positions, bishops become blocked and inactive, whereas in open positions, bishops "can attack more spaces" because of farther range.

I agree that closed positions are better for knights. Pro concedes the point, and it alone should alert readers to the equality of the minor pieces: there are an equal number of closed-position games to open-position games. Thus, according to Pro's logic, knights are superior half the time.

Indeed, closed positions are considered the "classical" grounds for taking knights over bishops, in which knights win by creating permanent weaknesses, blocked bishops, crippled pawn structure, and unassailable outposts. No argument here, knights rule closed positions.

In modern chess play, however, it is actually the knights who dominate open positions. According to Watson, "if one's goal is to tie down a bishop-pair, it turns out that in practice, one will normally not attempt to lock up the whole pawn structure." Instead, the conventional wisom is reversed: players "control so much space that pawn-breaks are suppressed," and "the attempt to avoid such weakness grants the side with the knights a strong attack."

Modern chess play reveals that, in practice, the player with the bishop-pair attempts to slow down play, close and stabilize the position, and then carefully engineer an opening of the position that will emphasize the strength of the bishops. Players with knights, on the other hand, attempt to use knights' native flexibility and tactical reach to create threats and force concessions before the bishops are ready. As Watson says, "breaking in the center, the knights' owner will be able to force enemy pawns to advance, creating permanent outposts for the knight, at which point they are no longer inferior to the bishops, even in the long run."

Watson continues, "Chess opening theory is replete with examples of such pawn-breaks for the sake of gaining outposts and/or activity for the kngihts, so much so that they swamp the number of counter-examples in which the owner of the knghts scurries to close the position." Watson concludes, "the side with knights is able to exploit a temporary advantage in order to blast open the position and dynamically achieve concessions from the side with two bishops."

Mayer calls the opening of the position for the knight-pair "increasing the speed of the knights," and he refers to the well-known, classic Anderssen - Paulsen (1873) game. [2] In the game, White gives up the bishop-pair; then, White transforms this material imbalance by opening the position, and using his knight-pair to force permanent weaknesses in Black's position.

Pro refers to Kasparov, who "implied" that he won a game because of the "bishop pair in a closed Ruy Lopez" (my emphasis). What this suggests, then, is that bishops do better in closed positions than open positions, which completely negates Pro's logic and conclusion. In fact, if we analyze Kasparov's games, every single time Kasparov acquires the knight-pair, he immediately follows with a series of line-opening blows. Take this game [3] as example.

The point is clear, as soon as one begins to examine modern chess, one sees the side with knights opening lines in just about every position where bishops are traded for knights.

We also see, in modern chess practice, lines in which one side concedes the bishops in order to set up a solid centre. A pawn-break follows, opening the position and creating enough activity for the knights to equalize, or in some cases, even gain the advantage. Examples are the Slav and Caro-Kann defense, both openings used at the top level of play.

The Nimzo-Indian defense -- considered one of the strongest openings for Black in response to d4 and c4 -- also takes advantage the knight-pair. Black cedes the bishop-pair after the early exchange on c3, after which Black attempts to open the position and create activity for the knights.

"Contention 3. The game"

a) Pro concedes that knights are "developed faster than a bishop," and that the "bishop pair is worth less than half a pawn when most or all the pawns are on the board." Pro helps me make my case. Thank you, Pro.

b) As I've already explained, Pro's understanding of the middlegame is based on classic middlegame manuals, outdated and simply wrong. Pro continues to argue "bishop is better in open positions," but I've already shown that is not the case.

c) Pro completely misunderstands the endgame. First, knight + queen is stronger than bishop + queen, according to "Lasker's Manual of Chess." Pro concedes advantage to knights here. Second, Lasker's text (written in 1925) is outdated, and is based on classical "general principles" that have been proven wrong in modern chess.

Finally, the endgame alone does not suggest the bishop is more powerful than the knight. The "general rule," in this case relevant, is that knights are better when the pawns are centralized on one side of the board, and bishops are better when the pawn isles are spread across the board. In the sum of positions, the two pieces are considered equal.

We conclude: knights are superior in the opening and equal in the middlegame and endgame.

"The Bishop pair's material value"

Pro quotes Kaufman's probabilistic analysis of a database of 300,000 games in 1999. Kaufman's methodology is suspect: it analyzes classical games (before 1930) when bishops were considered better than knights because chess players did not know how to deal with the bishop-pair. It also does not account for the games played since 1999, where chess practice has defintively proven knights equal to bishops. Moreover, Kaufman admits knights are worth "1/16" more than bishops, when considered unpaired.

[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 2
THEBOMB

Pro


I thank my opponent for their response and will continue.



Introduction:


In this passage my opponent makes the mistake of assuming modern day chess strategy is somehow better than classical chess strategy. This is undoubtedly false. Today the top ranked player in world is named Magnus Carlson. His coach is Garry Kasparov who has stated repeadedly that Carlson “has a positional style similar to that of past world champions such as Anatoly Karpov, José Capablanca” (1). These three players follow classical strategy and are among the best players in the entire world. Another such player who follows classical strategy is Vladimir Kramnik. Kramnik’s playing style is similar of another grandmaster named Anatoly Karpov who idolizes the classical player Capablanca. Karpov described his playing strategy like this: “Let us say the game may be continued in two ways: one of them is a beautiful tactical blow that gives rise to variations that don't yield to precise calculation; the other is clear positional pressure that leads to an endgame with microscopic chances of victory.... I would choose the latter without thinking twice. If the opponent offers keen play I don't object; but in such cases I get less satisfaction, even if I win, than from a game conducted according to all the rules of strategy with its ruthless logic.” (2) My opponent is simply stating a blatant lie. Classical strategy is still utilized by grandmasters around the world.


My opponent provides the game Alekhine versus Capablanca to further his point. While yes, Capablanca did lose he was unprepared thinking Alekhine would be an easy matchup. Even Alekhine was surprised Capablanca lost. They never had a rematch so it is impossible to tell from this matchup whether Alekhine, at his best, would defeat Capablanca at his best. (3) Alekhine, as grandmaster, “consciously sought lesser opponents for his subsequent championship matches, rather than giving Capablanca another chance.” (3) The two never played each other at their best. Later, Alekhine lost to a player named Max Euwe, who plays according to the rules of classical chess. Just look at Euwe’s book, The Development of Chess Style, which further expands upon classical chess strategy presented by Stenitz. (4)


Even in modern chess strategy players such as Bobby Fisher have a preference for bishops rather than knights.


Horowitz Bishops


My opponent makes no mention of this in their rebuttal.


Mobility


It is an undisputed fact, bishops are more mobile. They can move from one side of the board to the other quicker than a knight can. While yes, in a closed position game, a knight is stronger than a bishop this game can easily become an open positioned game where, according to classical chess strategy, the bishop is the strongest. (5) Furthermore, there are some positions where bishops are stronger even in a closed position, such as Roy Lopez. My opponent cites my quote of Kasprov who won the game because he took, captured, the opponents bishop, not because he had his own. He recognized the necessity of capturing the bishop and did so.



The Game


a) Opening


Yes, knights do develop faster but, to “ruin” a knights development all it takes is a single pawn. Openings such as Ruy Lopez zaitsez, and the Sicilian openings utilize something known as a fianchetto Bishop. This is where a single bishop controls a central diagonal (b2, g2, b7, g7) and therefore, is extremely powerful. In some games of the Kings Indian, a bishop on g7 is so powerful that players are willing to sacrifice material rather than exchange for it.


b) Middle Game


Classical strategy is not wrong. I will continue by saying, a knight is a supporting piece in this stage. It is extremely difficult to attack with just a knight alone. Knights generally find an “outpost” and sit there supporting an attack within their vicinity. If the “action” so to speak, moves to the other side of the board, then the player has to spend that time moving the knight to the other side of the board. Now what happens if the knight ends up in the corner of the board? It is basically powerless, a bishop in the corner still has power.


c) End game


I stated a knight will lose power with the loss of the queen (by the end game the queens have usually been traded) while a bishop does not lose as much power as the knight without the queen.



Material Value


The Knight being worth 1/16th more is only really useful for a computer program not practical chess play. Furthermore, Kaufman found an unpaired bishop and an unpaired knight are equal (within 1/50th of a pawn) but, a paired bishop against a paired knight gives the bishop a definite advantage. 1/50th of a pawn is statistically useless. (6)





  1. http://en.wikipedia.org...

  2. http://en.wikipedia.org...

  3. http://en.wikipedia.org...

  4. http://www.chesscafe.com...

  5. http://en.wikibooks.org...

  6. http://home.comcast.net...




FourTrouble

Con

Preface

Pro's single overarching argument is that modern chess theory/practice is not superior to classical chess theory/practice, and that "classical strategy is still utilized by grandmasters." True, modern chess does use strategies from classical chess, but modern chess only does so when a particular position calls for it. The modern concept of "rule-independence" still dominates the decision-making process, and the chosen strategy is always dependent on the pragmatic analysis of positions, not on the blind application of general principles (otherwise known as the classical approach).

Reading over Pro's reasoning, I have to admit I was somewhat shocked by Pro's explicit misunderstanding (assuming it was not intentional misrepresentation) of the facts. Particularly laughable was Pro's characterization of today's top players, Kasparov, Carlsen, and Kramnik, and Pro's blatant equivocation between "positional" chess and "classical" chess.

Kasparov

When Kasparov compares Carlsen's "positional" style to Karpov and Capablanca, it is to differentiate Carlsen from tactical players like himself, Alekhine, and Tal. Pro takes the quote out of context to conceal the reference to tactical chess. To clarify: positional play places emphasis on strategic, long-term characteristics of the game over direct tactical attack (I take the definition from Pro's discussion of Kramnik). Notice at once that this has nothing to do with differentiating between bishops or knights, and is practically irrelevant to our debate. What's more, Pro equivocates by claiming that positional chess is the equivalent of classical chess. Ironically, it was theoretically-inclined positional players (Nimzowitzh, Reti) that first used rule-independence as the primary variable in the evaluation of positions.

Carlsen

Pro claims Carlsen plays classical chess. Utterly absurd. In a recent interview, Carlsen says, "I don't have any clear preferences in chess. I do what I think circumstances require of me." Carlsen continues, "Having preferences means having weaknesses." [1] We couldn't ask for a better definition modern chess, directly from Carlsen himself.

Kramnik

Again, Pro equivocates, claiming that Kramnik's self-characterization as a positional player makes him a classical player. Pro's claim is nonsense. Kramnik is well-known as a paradigm-shifting player, the leader of the "Pragmatic School" [2], the only player to take Kasparov's world-champion title away.

In response to losing, Kasparov described Kramnik's style as "pragmatic and tenacious," further evidence of Kramnik as the leading exemplar of modern chess and rule-independence. [3] As such, Kramnik's revolutionary play can hardly be called "classical," and Pro's fantasy that "positional chess" is "classical chess" is just that, a fantasy based on faulty reasoning and insistent equivocation.

Alekhine and Euwe

Pro cites Euwe's The Development of Chess Style as an example of "classical strategy," and implies that classical chess is superior to modern chess because Euwe beat Alekhine. First off, it is obvious that Pro has not read Euwe's book. Euwe's book is the first text offering a historical analysis of chess style, tracing the "shift in paradigm" from Philidor's chess theory, termed "Romantic" chess, to Steinitz's "Classical" chess, to Nimzowitsch and Reti's "Modern" chess. The development is shown as a paradigm-shift, in which earlier theories and practices are replaced by newer theories and practices in the same way science progresses. Refutations are discovered and solutions proposed. Euwe thus distinguishes the Romantic era, where "concern was not for sober truth... only for beauty" (pg. 12), from the Classical era in which "truth" was discovered through guiding "classical principles," and finally the Modern era, where refutations to these principles led to the adoption of more and more principles, with "an exception to every principle" (pg. 15).

Euwe's book ends short of today's "Pragmatic" era of Kramnik, Leko, Anand, Carlsen, Aronian, but the progression is obviously towards the emancipation of chess from rules and principles in favor of pragmatic analysis that unpacks the particularity and uniqueness of every position. Think about it: why else would we play chess if we had it figured it out? Chess is an ever-evolving game that constantly defies our expectations because of its inherent complexity, each position requiring its own novel evaluation and decision-making process. To even suggest that bishops are superior to knights completely undermines the progress in chess theory, from the Romantic to the Classical to the Modern to the Pragmatic.

Horowitz Bishops

I did not respond to this because I thought it was implied in my discussion of the bishop-pair and knight-pair. Also, Pro's definition of "Horowitz Bishops," which is a term I have not seen in the theoretical chess literature (not once, I'd be surprised to see a reputable source behind it), is easily turned: because bishops rely on being paired for their power, as soon as a bishop is exchanged, the other bishop is stuck on one color and easily becomes inactive and powerless relative to the knight that can switch between colors.

Mobility

So now, let's be generous to Pro and, for the sake of argument, grant Pro that classical chess is correct. Hypothetically, just for the sake of argument... It still does not follow, given classical strategy, that bishops are better than knights. Take mobility, for example. Every piece has an ideal position in which its mobility and activity is best exemplified. Bishops have more range and mobility than knights in a very limited set of positions (when they are unblocked by pawns and other pieces). Kights, on the other hand, can move over pieces, giving them a clear mobility advantage in closed positions. Pro concedes this point.

Furthermore, a knight can attack a total of 8 squares, and can move in every direction of the board, whereas bishops can only move (in an ideal situation where they are unblocked) to 7 squares, and only in two directions, diagonally. If you really think about it, bishops are far more limited: bishops cannot go through pieces, they move to less squares, in less directions, and are stuck on one color. Mobility advantage clearly goes to knights.

Opening

Knights are better, Pro conceded this point. Pro's example of the Kings Indian is actually an example in favor of knights: it is an opening where White's knights take the early advantage, but Black pins hopes on a late-game bishop (on g7) advantage when the position opens up.

Middlegame

See Round 2.

Endgame

See Round 2. Turn Pro's argument: knight + queen is stronger than bishop + queen. When queens are exchanged, knights and bishops equalize. Pro's faulty logic assumes (for now reason) that bishops become stronger on exchange of queens.

Material Value

Kaufmann's analysis is flawed. First, it ignores "draws," which account for the majority of games. Second, victory/defeat, as a criterion of "truth," is not theory-laden. Lost games are more often attributed not to theory but to particular bad moves, and Kaufmann's analysis ignores that. Finally, his results demonstrate statistically negligible difference between bishops and knights. Pro concedes the point, so no point arguing it.

Conclusion

According to Federico Garcia, "there is no way that a non-modern player has any success in modern chess." [4] The reasoning is obvious: modern chess has developed pragmatic responses to every strategy in classical chess, so that where a classical player would be unable to handle the pragmatic strategies of modern chess, a modern player would have no problem whatsoever in dealing with a classical player.

In modern chess, knights and bishops exist in unstable equilibrium, their value changing depending on the position, and the distribution of positions favoring neither. Resolution is negated.

[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[4] http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 3
THEBOMB

Pro

I want to end this debate for reasons I sent via PM to my opponent.
FourTrouble

Con

Unfortunately, Pro was unable to finish the debate. I was counting on using this last round to bring some of my separate and unconnected points together, and to offer a lucid summary of my position. That said, I don't want the debate to be too unfair because I had an extra round.

Suffice it to say, Pro never showed that the number of positions favoring bishops surpassed the number of positions favoring knights. I just want to briefly point out, for example, that Pro himself admitted that knights dominate closed positions, and Pro never contested the fact that closed positions make up half the number of positions. That alone made my case for me, in Round 2.

It's a real shame this debate ended early. It was a lot of fun, and I thank my opponent for debating this with me. And with that, I'll let the debate end early and leave the rest to the voters.
Debate Round No. 4
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by FourTrouble 5 years ago
FourTrouble
If you are an 1800 player, you know that your word barely has any authoritative weight in these theoretical issues. Most IMs or GMs would never tell you bishops are flat-out stronger, some may prefer bishops but that is personal preference, having more to do with what kinds of positions they are comfortable with than with the actual strength.
Posted by strikingfury 5 years ago
strikingfury
yup bishops are totally stronger. im a chess player in the 1800s and bishops are a lot stronger . most people cinsider it to be 3.5 points. but knights are strongest in the center with pawns supporting them.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
It'd also be cool if someone could proxy vote for Logic (he can't vote himself, but left an RFD).
Posted by Logic_on_rails 5 years ago
Logic_on_rails
Not that I'm an expert authority on the subject, but it's generally estimated that chess.com ratings are about 200-300 points inflated in terms of online chess (not 'live chess' vs. over the board) . Unfortunately I haven't played in official tournaments, although from my chess.com rating of about 1760 that's probably about 1450 - 1500 FIDE.

As to the debate itself, Con won this easily enough. The problem is in proving that bishops are superior to knights. For example, if players adopt strategies to reduce the bishop's effectiveness because it is perceived better than a knight then is the bishop really better than the knight? Not in the resulting positions.

While I don't quite agree with modern chess being purely pragmatic, con certainly showed a deep understanding of how modern chess has come about. Clearly, modern chess is very pragmatic, although much of it is still derived from underlying principles which we use to evaluate the positions we get to through such pragmatic play.
Posted by FourTrouble 5 years ago
FourTrouble
lmao -- like Maikuru says, 16k is nuts.
Posted by 000ike 5 years ago
000ike
Its not called a horse,...its a knight.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
Dont trade a queen for a horse, unless against me.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
@maikaru

Have you seen me with horses? I am great with horses, and bishops in the end game. Horses in my opinion trump the queen. Just my opinion though.
Posted by 000ike 5 years ago
000ike
I haven't done real life competitions, but from the people that have on chess.com they generally say the uscf/fide ratings are a lot lower. A chess.com 1500 would be like a fide 1300.
Posted by FourTrouble 5 years ago
FourTrouble
either of you guys know how the ratings on chess.com compare with real ratings (uscf or fide)?
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
THEBOMBFourTroubleTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: A good debate. Pro had the burden of proof. Con argued well enough to undermine the case that bishops are provably superior. The weak point in Con's case was the claim that half of all games are closed. It seems most end open, and the end is what counts. But Pro didn't exploit that well enough. Con make good arguments from expert opinion modern chess strategies, and was helped by Pro withdrawing early. Con loses conduct for "laughable" and similar characterizations.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
THEBOMBFourTroubleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct would go to Con if he raised an issue with Pro's early withdrawal, but I can only assume Pro's proposition to end early was accepted. Pro presented a strong opener but could not recover from Con's explanation that the chess paradigm has shifted toward a style of play in which positions trump individual piece strengths. Instead, Pro chose to list off various chess players and seemingly misinterpret what he believed was their preference for bishops over knights. Con's contentions stand.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
THEBOMBFourTroubleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro started very strong with his open positions vs closed positions illustration but was unable to defend against Con's rebuttals.
Vote Placed by sherlockmethod 5 years ago
sherlockmethod
THEBOMBFourTroubleTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con handled all contentions well. I really enjoyed his rebuttals concerning the Grand Masters. I found no reason to support Pro's argument in light of all the rebuttals offered. Con did very well here.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
THEBOMBFourTroubleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter LlamaMan.
Vote Placed by LlamaMan 5 years ago
LlamaMan
THEBOMBFourTroubleTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: I never win at chess... but if these two played chess I think pro would win
Vote Placed by 000ike 5 years ago
000ike
THEBOMBFourTroubleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's opening arguments were remarkably strong, and I found myself leaning in his favor since he effectively proved that bishops have a theoretically superior value. However, Con's counter was even more powerful in that he emphasizes that those principles were merely hypothetical, and the thought and evolution of chess play has led to the discovery that those dogmatic rules are not always applicable. Con affirmed the position that knights and bishops are equal with all things considered.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
THEBOMBFourTroubleTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I think that pros argument of midge was well proven and well correct, in my last tournament they saved me. His argument about the endgame stood as well.