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Bogey players

 
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samuel
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Joined: 09 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: 09.03.2021 17:44    Post subject: Bogey players Reply with quote

Do you have bogey players who seem to beat you most of the time even though you have a better ranking than them? You see other players you often beat winning against them, but for some reason they always seem to play brilliantly against you? Or maybe you are the bogey player to someone else?

I've found dimkar especially difficult, he is quite far below me in the rankings yet he won 4 out of 5 against me, and when we last played I had to really work very hard and keep my concentration to scrape the win. I just think, if he played like this all the time he would have to be better ranked than he is! So is it a clash of styles that doesn't work for me, does he use certain methods that I'm not good at reading but that perhaps other players don't use?

Similiarly I've won 3 of 4 against Ironshield, one of the best in the business. The last one was pretty comprehensive too, it felt quite easy. I surprised myself with my form against him. Why? I don't know, just something seems to work for me in our games.

What do others think about these anomalies?
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samuel
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PostPosted: 09.03.2021 17:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thinking about it more, when I played at stratego.com I often lost to 'gold' level players but had a pretty good record against 'platinum' level guys. This could be a couple of things - not being fully focused for what appears to be an 'easier' game and thus making mistakes, against being fully applied for the top players knowing you can't take your eye off the ball for a moment.

Or, something in the playing style of the good but not that good players, that is different from the way the excellent players go about it, maybe the latter suits me better? Obviously I don't beat them all the time but I felt I would win my fair share, and lose too many against 'gold' levels. I wonder....
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ryuu
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PostPosted: 13.03.2021 15:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi samuel,

I am not a Stratego player and have no idea what a "gold level" or "platinum level" player is; but I assume that means such a guy is pretty good.

But anyway, what you wrote reminded me of a similar effect observed in chess, when a mid-level master (rating 2000 and a few points) managed to defeat a grandmaster (2600 or higher); or where a chess amateur could win against a master or (in very rare cases) even a grandmaster; so I would like to add a few thoughts here.

There have been studies about this, and the result is seen as some sort of psychological reason.

At the beginning, the master may think that this opponent should be easy enough to defeat, and expects a quick victory. But then, the cat sees the mouse biting back, so to say. His "weak" opponent does not make blunders as expected, and holds up an even position up to move 20 or so.
The master begins to wonder, but not to worry. He is so much stronger that this guy will make a mistake soon or later anyway.

But the mistake does not happen.

The master begins to feel some sort of pressure. He just "has to" win against such a weak opponent. A draw is not enough. This weak player just "has to" screw up, soon or later.

But still, his opponent does not do such things. He defends himself as good as he can. His moves may not be that of a world champion, and he misses opportunities. But still, the master cannot get the deceisive advantage he is waiting for so impatiently.

The master may then try to enforce a victory, taking minor risks at first, finally going to some sort of "all or nothing" strategy.
But those risky moves may even backfire. The master, nw, is the one who has to defend - but still, he can't accept this. This "weak" opponent may not even be aware of having a slight advantage here, leave alone knowing what to make of it, right?

But badly, the "weak" opponent knows pretty well what he is doing.

Overstraining his position's ressources, taking too high risks, underestimating his opponent and with his nerves going haywire, the master finally ends up in a position where all he can do is to show fairplay and give up. The strategy of "all or nothing!" ended up with a "Nothing!".

Maybe it goes the same way with Stratego players?

Best regards
Ryuu
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samuel
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PostPosted: 14.03.2021 23:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ryuu

Yes I think this could be it. In addition I don't know if other players find they get into a bit of a 'funk' where they lose several times in a row and it feels like nothing is working, that they're going to lose no matter what? I get that sometimes and the frustration builds to the point where you actually have to laugh about it. The last time this happened to me, I even lost a couple of games to lotto where the opponent got really lucky, and it was as if I was cursed, doomed to never win again!

But equally you can get on a really nice run of wins and feel so confident, you do play better I think, its all mental and about your focus on the game and your ability to read what's going on (or not). I remember years ago, losing 11 straight games here, my worst ever run - yet almost immediately after this when I dug deep mentally to do something about it, I won 30 straight - both are still my record streaks showing on my stats today! I don't think that's a coincidence.
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ruben87
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PostPosted: 15.03.2021 12:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

ryuu wrote:


[...]
There have been studies about this, and the result is seen as some sort of psychological reason.

[...]

Best regards
Ryuu


Interesting post, Ryuu. Do you have links to these studies? I am eager to read this. I think this plays a role in Stratego too sometimes. Maybe even more than chess because the luck factor is higher. A less good player can choose to lotto, the top player might be afraid of that and as a result plays very predictable which benefits the beginner.

Apart from that I experienced that some players have indeed, as Samuel says, a hard time playing certain players/playing styles. I have always difficulties with fighter for example. In this point the ranking doesn't protect you . What helps me is to think it over. Why do I struggle with this player so much and what change of strategy might help overcome this (losing streak). Reflection is an important part of Stratego (and in general life ).
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samuel
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PostPosted: 15.03.2021 16:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

The interesting thing is, in barrage I don't do that - I treat every opponent the same, regardless of ability or barrage experience. I think because I know its quite possible to lose barrage to lotto and you have to be ready for everything. So the mindset is different - and so are the results, as I'm up at the top of the rankings in that and generally fear no one, I fancy beating anybody at barrage (not every time of course but I know I can compete with anyone). So the psychological approach is different and I daresay, how I approach barrage is the same as how the top players approach classic games - they don't care who the opponent is, they have that subconscious ability to treat them just the same.
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ryuu
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PostPosted: 18.03.2021 18:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello again,

@Ruben87: I do not have a link; I found that in one of my chess books (or maybe even spread across more than one book). I think it had a chapter called "psychology in chess".
So far I had no luck finding it again.

But one question that arises from my experience as a chess player: If you think you have no chance against this opponent anyway, maybe you play somehow ... different?
Maybe you try things that you would hesitate to do if you saw any chance to hold up - but against this much-too-strong guy you don't care because you are sure he "will defeat you anyway"?

I remember one occasion where I played like this against a guy nearly 700 rating points ahead of me. I was an amateur with 1400-and-a-few points, he was close to 2100.
(for comparison, the usual entry ranking of newbies is roughly 800 to 900 points, a regular chess club player usually has about 1500 while the actual world champion is at 2800 and a few)
After sacrificing pieces recklessly (some sort of "lotto" too, because I had at best a fair hope that this would get me somewhere), my "pointless" attack suddenly broke through, and I had him checkmated...

Best regards
Ryuu
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samuel
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PostPosted: 19.03.2021 02:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I mean upsets happen in sport all the time and occasionally we hear about huge upsets, like someone you've never heard of beating Federer in a big tennis comp, or the Lakers losing to the Kings or something.

I even remember an amateur player who got into a professional darts tournament somehow, and beat Phil Taylor. For those who don't know about Taylor, he's possibly the most dominant single sports competitor of all time - 16 times world champion and over 200 major tournament wins in a 30 year career. For about 27 of those years he was almost unbeatable and the psychology was definitely there with him - he had players beaten before they even started because they didn't think they could win.

So for an amateur player to beat him in a proper, televised game, was unthinkable. The guy never went on to become a top pro or anything either, it was a real one off. Taylor had an absolute granite mindset too, he wanted to beat everyone and never even drop a leg if he could help it. So what happened here? The kid just had the game of his life, Taylor didn't play his best...and he lost.

I think things like this can happen in any discipline, sport or hobby. But it is rare. How many times out of 100 games do you think the lowest ranked player at Gravon would top Freddy? Maybe once? But it could happen...
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ruben87
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PostPosted: 30.03.2021 13:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

ryuu wrote:
Hello again,

@Ruben87: I do not have a link; I found that in one of my chess books (or maybe even spread across more than one book). I think it had a chapter called "psychology in chess".
So far I had no luck finding it again.

[...]

I remember one occasion [...] I had him checkmated...

Best regards
Ryuu


Thanks Ryuu, There is no hurry but tell me if you found it . Interesting story about chess. I never win of big players but my level is probably a lot less than 1400 .

Samuel wrote:
Yes, I mean upsets happen in sport all the time [.....]

I think things like this can happen in any discipline, sport or hobby. But it is rare. How many times out of 100 games do you think the lowest ranked player at Gravon would top Freddy? Maybe once? But it could happen...


Im a big Federer fan but the Taylor example is nice .

Indeed it happens everywhere. I think apart from psychology: focus, concentration, not preparing can tribute. With stratego you can add luck. I think Freddy would be beaten more than once.
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samuel
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PostPosted: 31.03.2021 17:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well last time I looked, Krampus was dead last in the 2021 ranks with a rather interesting record - he won his first match but has since lost 27 straight! Would he beat Freddy maybe 4 or 5 times out of 100? Perhaps and as you say, if anything it would be from lotto and luck rather than skill, which isn't available in most other games or sports. I remember beating Freddy a few years back when he admitted he was drunk LOL. So that could happen too
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ruben87
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PostPosted: 31.03.2021 17:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

samuel wrote:
Well last time I looked, Krampus was dead last in the 2021 ranks with a rather interesting record - he won his first match but has since lost 27 straight! Would he beat Freddy maybe 4 or 5 times out of 100? Perhaps and as you say, if anything it would be from lotto and luck rather than skill, which isn't available in most other games or sports. I remember beating Freddy a few years back when he admitted he was drunk LOL. So that could happen too


Beating Freddy is always an accomplishment . I think drunk-Freddy is still at least at a rating of 1600.
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ryuu
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PostPosted: 04.04.2021 15:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again,

@Ruben87: if that topic is of such great interest for you; I think Dutch chess master Max Euwe wrote some books of interest here; for example one with games of a master playing against an amateur. At least he had a word of advice in it.

I just don't want to do any advertising here, you know

Best regards
Ryuu
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