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# There is an Ideal Opening Move in Chess

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Grape
 Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point Started: 4/16/2012 Category: Miscellaneous Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period Viewed: 8,828 times Debate No: 22880
Debate Rounds (4)

31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by lgreeff 3 years ago
A simpler way to look at this debate would be from the other end as it were. Imagine we had a database of all possible legal games. We then sort the database for wins for white, wins for black and ties. To start our game, we simply choose a game from either the wins for white or wins for black database depending on which color we are.

Each successive move will eliminate games from the database as they are no longer possible. Since we are playing only games that result in a win it doesn't matter what moves the opponent makes. The opponents moves simply serve to reduce the possible outcomes. The very first move already reduces the database to 1 20th since there are only 20 possible opening moves for white.

Whether or not there is only one opening move that always leads to a win is unknown, it may turn out that there are a few options, or all opening moves could force a win with advantage going to who starts first or second. Or it may turn out that only a draw can always be forced.

A comparative analysis of the three databases would reveal if there were overlapping opening moves. If there are opening moves in only the win databases that are unique to either black or white then an ideal opening move to force a win does exist.

The only way to determine this would be to have a database of all possible legal games. Sorting this to sensible games would make a huge difference to the total number of games. Or in other words games that force a win.

This approach reduces the debate to a series of eliminations leading to a win. Much easier to conceive.

(Based on an idea of mine for a chess computer I had in 1980)
Posted by hereiam2005 5 years ago
The debate is very good, but there was one flaw if con exploited could lead to his win.

The resolution is "there is an opening move" => indicate a single move at the beginning of the match by White, since Black's is called defense move instead. ( note the singular form of move)

Now white *assume* that there is a path that guarantee a win or a draw for White. If such path does not exist, no matter what White does always leads to a loss to Black if Black play ideally => every Black's opening defense move are considered ideal. This consequence is not negated by Pro.
Because a loophole in the resolution, Pro did not fully prove that the ideal opening move by White exist => resolution fail.
Posted by johnlubba 5 years ago
Hi Grape. :)

So I'm wondering now, If the ideal move seems possible based on a calculation of finite moves, but is yet un-known. Then why on earth have you won all the points in the debate, you concede yourself that it is un-known with only a hope of it being discovered in the future.

I am confused here.
Posted by Grape 5 years ago
"This suggests to me, but does not come close to proving, that every opening move in chess is ideal. It's pure speculation, but I wonder if it could be proved or disproved." - RoyLatham

I have a similar intuition, but I doubt that there is any good justification for it based on what we currently know.

"I am just wondering if this was a concession by Pro in the first round.

If we are persistent and do not die in some terrible disaster, humans will eventually solve the game of chess just as we have solved the game of checkers.

Hence meaning the ultimate move has yet to be discovered." - johnlubba

My argument was that there is an ideal move. The ideal move does not have to be known to us. It may never be known, and finding it would require immense computational resources.
Posted by johnlubba 5 years ago
I have read the first round by both contestants, What a interesting debate, It's much to complex for me to follow it completely.

I am just wondering if this was a concession by Pro in the first round.

If we are persistent and do not die in some terrible disaster, humans will eventually solve the game of chess just as we have solved the game of checkers.

Hence meaning the ultimate move has yet to be discovered.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
Interesting debate. Pro would always win, I think, because the resolution only asserts that the move exists, not that it can be discovered.

The definition of "opening move" is odd. White always moves first, so the opening move by Black is actually a two-move sequence with Black responding to White. There are 20 opening moves by White and 20 responses by Black. So if Black has any ideal opening move, then any opening move by White can be led by Black to a path that at least yields a draw. Thus if Black has an ideal opening move, White cannot have an opening move that guarantees a win. White may still have an opening move that leads to a draw.

This suggests to me, but does not come close to proving, that every opening move in chess is ideal. It's pure speculation, but I wonder if it could be proved or disproved.

Incidentally, tic tac toe is game in which optimal play by both sides guarantees a draw. http://ostermiller.org... Both sides have ideal opening moves.
Posted by One_Winged_Rook 5 years ago
I'm a bit behind on this one, but I wanted to comment to imabench. I was very impressed by his debate on prostitution against Danielle, and I thought he should have used that tatic here... he should have just concede totally that it is theorectically possible that there is an Ideal opening move... it does exist... he had to argue that although that does theorectically exist, the question should have just been raised if it's within the realm of possibility that human's will EVER be able to know it, or, assuming they can't... how long it will take before a computer will be able to solve it, if ever.... good job Grape and to imabench, try debating more like you did against Danielle
Posted by THEBOMB 6 years ago
@strikingfury

There are so many contradictions in that statement I do not know where to begin...
Posted by strikingfury 6 years ago
definitely no ideal move. i play chess and im rated in about the 1800s and i always play something different . it doesnt matter what u play. as long as both people dont make a mistake than they can draw
Posted by Grape 6 years ago
"[I]t is hard to lose a debate where what you are debating is a proven fact..." - blazeratman

You'd be surprised. Someone lost a four color theorem debate a while ago.
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