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Dołączył: 28 Kwi 2004
Posty: 883
Skąd: Łódź
Wysłany: 2006-02-28, 22:59   THE FUTURE OF RENJU (By Ando Meritee)

Dawno, dawno temu znalazłem taki oto artykulik... Kilka razy mi już "zaginął", na szczęście odnalazłęm go w swoich archiwach i na wszelki wypadek zamieszczam na forum, przy okazji dyskusji o turniejach tematycznych). Być może ktoś ma czas, żeby przetłumaczyć...


By Ando Meritee
Let's discuss about very serious matters concerning the future of renju. It is really hard to impress all my feelings and thoughts about that, so the article will not be written in a best way.
We must admit that there has been a quite big progress in renju during last 10-15 years. The game has grown up, at least with present rules. And it is all thanks to hundreds of active renju fans who investigate openings every day. But everything has its limits. The number of playable openings is reducing every day. From time to time somebody finds a victory in position which was considered unclear until then. Renju used to be a game which required creativity, now it has become a game which needs knowledge, mostly about opening theory. You can become a good player only if You learn all the opening theory. Otherwise You will be beaten even if You are talented person and like creative play with a lot of combinations. As the game has become so theoretical, it is not so fun anymore, people do not enjoy it as much as the used to do 5-6 years ago. In generally, people wouldn't play any game or take part in any sport competition if they knew the final result in advance. Only if they do not know the end of the game, they can prove their skills and creativity. Otherwise it is senseless.
The question is - What do we expect from renju? We must choose between two directions - creativity or theoretical know-how. Many people have already realised that renju has turning too much into "theoretical" game. But they really do not want this to happen. They still want to enjoy their creative play. But there are less and less possibilities to try something new and unusual because playing something unusual will mostly lead to loss.
A few years ago there were the first signs of unsatisfaction about renju rules. Looking at opening statistics of the tournaments we could see that only a few openings were played - mostly i10, i11, sometimes i12, i1, i9, i5, i8. But even many of these openings should not be played at all as theoretical investigations have proved that they are too good for black (95% black win, maybe). Such openings are i10, i12, i9, i8. And high-level renjuplayers know that. This is why You do not see them playing these openings any more in serious tournaments. So it was i11, i1, i5 left. But we even know the situation there. White usually wins in i5 and i1, therefore i11 gives a draw. Of course, these calculations are made, presuming that good players are playing (it is based on my experience and tournament statistics).
There are also direct openings but people don't need to learn so much. Every time, when they are player no.2, they put 2nd move diagonally and expect 3rd move, knowing that if it will not be i11, the opponent will be in big trouble. But if players are no.1, they will set up the only direct opening what they know. A renjuplayer needed to know 13 indirect openings and 1 direct opening. This time was really awful. So people started to think about alternative possibilities of opening rules...
In August 1996, the opening rules were changed. According to new rules, which were copied from Japan, the only difference is that the player no.1 will make 2nd move (white stone) instead of player no.2. Now people have to be ready to play any of 26 openings. This was really happy and relaxing moment for players who favoured creative play. The tournament statistics changed - players with black didn't win as much games as they used to be. Everything seemed to be balanced. But not for a long...
Active renjuplayers turned immediately their "hungry faces" (myself too, of course) towards direct openings as they had already investigated everything in indirect openings. By today direct openings are rapidly approaching to the same situation as indirect openings. Openings d1, d2, d4, d5, d6, d7, d10, d12, d13 already can not be played. Black win in d11 can be considered as a miracle, though it happens sometimes. 9d shares his destiny with i11. Right now, d3 and d8 give possibilities for both sides. But don't worry, soon we will make clearance even there. Saying very radical, only i11, d3, d8, d9 can be played. (Maybe I am wrong about d11). Only 4 from 26! Even in these 4 openings we have very little left for creativity.
In my opinion the changing of the rules in 1996 was only a temporary solution. But it was definitely necessary to show people the growth of creativity using new rules. This change could be called like a middle-step in a way to really new renju rules. I say, we need to change rules in future. Present rules may stand maybe 3-5 years and after this many players will loose interest, because they do not get what they look for.
Perhaps it is time to start think about alternative ways for opening rules. It is even hard to start suggesting anything knowing that it would cause huge resistance from many people.
There can be many simple changes of rules which would make renju as a game what we just need - we have to start thinking across the board, start using our brains again.
My suggestion for future rules: Everything will remain the same as present rules, except first three moves are not limited, they can be put anywhere on the board. The possibility to change the color will remain, of course. One good thing is that we do not need to put two 5th moves any more, because the new rules make renju positions too different from present positions. The rule of alternative 5th moves was related to the rule that black plays first move in the middle. According to the new rules black can play elsewhere than in the middle. The result is - a lot of interesting positions which really demand both players to think hard. The importance of theory will be minimal. Even if people wanted to investigate everything as they used to do, it would be too complicated - instead of 26 openings there are thousands of openings. I and some other people have tested this opening rule for many times. The first blitz tournament according to new rules was played in Karepa in August, 1996. I think it was quite successful and I hope it will be another one in this year in Karepa.
No matter which will be the new rules, there will be many people resisting all this. There are many people who have learned so much theory during years and they would want to use this against other players and beat them as a contribution for wasted time while learning theory. It would be big sacrifice to drop all the present know-how and return to the brain-work. In generally, all renju books, databases would become worthless. More exact - it becomes only a very little part in the new renju theory. So, quite normal, resistance is expected also from the people who make books and databases. Another thing: it has been a long time tradition that black puts first move in the middle, and all tradition-lovers are afraid of changing this. But I must remind that first move was played in the middle already when the game was very young, with no opening regulations. So it was obvious that black wanted to play in a best way which made them play in the middle. This time nobody knew that with no regulations the black wins, especially if he puts the first move in the middle. We know it now and we are looking for equality and balance in the game, so what could be the reason to follow that very old tradition.
It is really hard to explain all this in one time. I must wait and see what other people say about this. Then I can continue with arguments. I really want to hear people's opinion - both supporters and opponents.
However, such serious change will need a lot of research, test tournaments and single matches in order to prove its efficiency. It may take many years. It may also be that there will never be any changing of rules and boring life goes on. Let's see...

Dołączył: 04 Paź 2004
Posty: 4287
Skąd: Polska
Wysłany: 2014-10-30, 01:07   

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