Monday, May 21, 2018

Chess LAN party

Posted by Andrew Ooi
LAN party is a gathering of people with computers or compatible game consoles, where a local area network (LAN) connection is established between the devices using a router or switch, primarily for the purpose of playing multiplayer video games together.
~ Wikipedia





I remember the good old days when my friends would connect our computers at the college and play a space game via our LAN. At first it was in the same room but when they expanded the LAN to cover two buildings we could play in different rooms/buildings. That was back in 1994!

However today LAN party is a thing of the past. No. Playing in a cyber cafe does not count as all of those games are connected to the Internet (making it global) and it's not considered LAN (Local Area Network). 

I like the idea of chess LAN party because it has that rebellious idea and goes against the strict rule of traditional competitive chess rules where no electronic device is allowed. It's refreshing to me as using computers is second nature for work or for play. I think it's the same for many of the younger generations.

Picture this. A chess competition where participants bring their on laptops and connect either wired or wirelessly to a local network (not internet because it is slightly slower) supported by a chess server like a local LICHESS or free ICC server. They all play in the same room. No real chess boards or expensive chess clocks needed! There may be arbiter(s) there just to make sure no one cheats using an engine. However an arbiter may be redundant as chess servers also have engine detection algorithms. 

The tournament can be friendly or competitive with prizes. There is something attractive about playing in the same room connected electronically that is hard to describe. LAN party has it's own culture. Also it's a bridge between traditional board games and the world of e-sports.

Also it can be no different from our traditional one day rapids but I think this can be a very interesting alternative to over the board face to face games.

What do you think?


P/S: 
one advantage is that organisers don't need DGT boards to broadcast the games to the public. The chess server does that allowing the public to view every single board being played. Also pairing arbiter as well as  software like Swiss Manager won't be needed as that too is built in the chess server. So, admin work is minimal.
The only technical problem I foresee is that chess server software is notoriously difficult to install. 

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