Chess Vs. Billiards

DynoDan

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Interesting, though twice as many pieces on the chessboard as (pocket) billiard balls, still, the moves chess pieces can make are likely more restricted, as they are confined to the board squares. I was never really good at chess since I couldn’t think far enough ahead (or memorize the classic moves). The unlimited outcome of a straightpool position makes thinking ahead rather dependent upon the previous shot’s outcome. EVERY shot requires the evaluation of every other previous situation, since no two exact layouts ever likely repeat exactly. So, which game is more mentally challenging in he end?
 

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
Its unfair to say one is more mentally challenging. Chess has predictable patterns and 14.1 has predictable principles. If someone were to train data based on existing video then 14.1 is more challenging. In a match the opening move of 14.1 has more room to play. The challenge it creates to rearrange the table layout is more complex and less clear than chess openings.

Would a computer ever think to take a three foul rule after an opening break? The CPU I have access to would blow up if it had to calculate that. It would have to program in parallel offensive and defensive positions.

Mentally challenging means a computer can be programmed to recognize and perform as top tier pros. 14.1 is a tougher nut to crack.
 

fan-tum

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Interesting, though twice as many pieces on the chessboard as (pocket) billiard balls, still, the moves chess pieces can make are likely more restricted, as they are confined to the board squares. I was never really good at chess since I couldn’t think far enough ahead (or memorize the classic moves). The unlimited outcome of a straightpool position makes thinking ahead rather dependent upon the previous shot’s outcome. EVERY shot requires the evaluation of every other previous situation, since no two exact layouts ever likely repeat exactly. So, which game is more mentally challenging in he end?
This is the Shannon Number and represents all of the possible move variations in the game of chess. It is estimated there are between 10111 and 10123 positions (including illegal moves) in Chess. (If you rule out illegal moves that number drops dramatically to 1040 moves.
By the way, those 2 numbers didn't paste correctly. They are 10 to the power of 111 and123 and 10 to the 40th power.
 

Zerksies

Well-known member
I play pool better then chess. I'm in the 680+ fargo area APA 7/9 in pool which is above average and 1400 elo in chess which is the average chess player. I've probably done as much studying in chess as pool. I would say that chess has more mental difficulty. In chess you can move any piece at anytime and do good or look like a fool. In pool the position of the cue ball limits what shot options you have which in my opinion is a lot easier the pool table tells you what pattern you have. I find that the more options that you have the more difficult/ mental strain you have.

I do like the ELO system in chess it gives a good handicap against the whole world as to where you stand. The Fargo system has prospect for me. I've never been officially rated by them but I've played players that are and basing my judgement based on that. I was officially rated in APA 7/9 and i could of given other 7/9's weight
 

Pin

Registered
George Fels wrote that one-pocket is like chess with an added edge, because in chess only one piece is the king, whereas in one-pocket, any ball on the table can become the king in a single shot.

I really like that analogy.

When I was a kid I was reasonably good at chess. Probably worse than any serious player who studied the game seriously, but better than most casual players. I never thought many moves ahead, only occasionally two or three moves to set a trap or in the endgame. I'd try to put pieces in good positions, but without a specific plan, which is much simpler.
In 8-ball, I'd routinely have a plan for every ball, as most of us would. But the calculations and number of pieces to think about are simpler.
 

Guy Manges

Registered
Interesting, though twice as many pieces on the chessboard as (pocket) billiard balls, still, the moves chess pieces can make are likely more restricted, as they are confined to the board squares. I was never really good at chess since I couldn’t think far enough ahead (or memorize the classic moves). The unlimited outcome of a straightpool position makes thinking ahead rather dependent upon the previous shot’s outcome. EVERY shot requires the evaluation of every other previous situation, since no two exact layouts ever likely repeat exactly. So, which game is more mentally challenging in he end?
Chess, because you just set there... Not much more than all mental... Guy
 

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
Chess is more continuous and Billiards is discrete.
 

kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
In a general comparison Chess > Billiards.
In the specific comparison Chess < 1 pocket.

My logic... 1pkt is chess, without the chess specified movements but has the element of physical execution.

Chess has a big memorization component that's not found in pool. Certainly there is pattern recognition in 1pkt and having a database of shots in your mind, but that's a lot different than memorizing hundreds or thousands of opening variations and lines in chess.

"New" players like Gorst with natural talent can come compete at the top levels of 1pkt. In chess, even someone like Magnus, needs to spend years studying lines and past games (not just playing) to reach the top.

This doesn't make chess superior in any way, but I've always thought the comparison between one pocket and chess was incredibly silly. One pocket and brain surgery is a better comparison (both require a combination of positional knowledge and great eye-hand coordination).
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Pool seems more flexible and indeed improvisable than chess. The moves require physical competence but can encompass many consecutive racks. Any dancin' fool can play pool. Likely, not so, chess.
 

Pool Hand Luke

Well-known member
I play both, study chess almost every day. Pool not as much. Youtube has helped me improve in both.
If I lose in pool, it may be because I was hooked, a lucky shot fell for my opponent, or he is just a better player than I. The opposite is also true. Pool is a fun game and occasionally I can make a world class shot and/or can run out racks to win games. Love the game.

Chess is much harder. Study all you want and play every day and still get crushed by experts and masters who give you 5 minutes to their 1. There's no luck. Egos are on the line and tempers are easily lost especially on blitz money games with a crowd of kibitzers chiming in on the sidelines and your clock is about to fall. I love the game but could never play world class chess. I've been beaten effortlessly by grandmasters and masters playing 40 people in simultaneous exhibitions and US Opens. The highest rated players I won slow tournament games against were both rated 2178. That only happened twice. My highest rating was 1848, but for speed is more like 1600.

Check out Coffee Chess sometime if you're interested. Lots of really good players and trash talk going on.
 

JolietJames

Boot Party Coordinator
Silver Member
Chess is more mentally challenging imo. Higher rated players don't get much challenge until they are several moves In because it often takes a dozen or more moves before it's an actual new game with which they are unfamiliar. For me, chess is challenging from move 2 forward. Like poker, I can only play decent chess when I have been playing often. I can play decent pool after taking a year off. I define decent pool for me to be 550-600 Fargo speed. When I'm playing pool often I play above that level. If I haven't played chess in a while I can hardly beat level 3 beginners on chess master. Like the OP, I can't remember the standard formations, nor do I see more than a couple moves ahead on my best day. In pool, like golf, one great shot can make up for a couple poor shots. Rarely can one recover as easily in chess.
 

JolietJames

Boot Party Coordinator
Silver Member
I play both, study chess almost every day. Pool not as much. Youtube has helped me improve in both.
If I lose in pool, it may be because I was hooked, a lucky shot fell for my opponent, or he is just a better player than I. The opposite is also true. Pool is a fun game and occasionally I can make a world class shot and/or can run out racks to win games. Love the game.

Chess is much harder. Study all you want and play every day and still get crushed by experts and masters who give you 5 minutes to their 1. There's no luck. Egos are on the line and tempers are easily lost especially on blitz money games with a crowd of kibitzers chiming in on the sidelines and your clock is about to fall. I love the game but could never play world class chess. I've been beaten effortlessly by grandmasters and masters playing 40 people in simultaneous exhibitions and US Opens. The highest rated players I won slow tournament games against were both rated 2178. That only happened twice. My highest rating was 1848, but for speed is more like 1600.

Check out Coffee Chess sometime if you're interested. Lots of really good players and trash talk going on.
Still impressive. That's strong. I watch Agadmater's yt channel often.
The owner of the pool hall I came up in was a master chess player and was a Grandmaster for a couple hours because he beat a Grandmaster in a tournament before getting knocked back down the next round.
 

Nick B

This is gonna hurt
Silver Member
Chess:
1664989253415.png


Pool:
1664989295005.png
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
In the end neither is mentally challenging, it is the middle that can get interesting! When asking which is the mentally toughest of the two I would pick pool, one pocket in particular. You have an infinite number of moves, so does your opponent. A really strong opponent will surprise you over and over taking you out of your game.

Chess you may have three or four positions you are trying to develop simultaneously while watching a few more situations your opponent is trying to develop. Most situations, you are both working on. It is largely a matter of timing, one leads the other follows. The leader generally comes out best unless the follower can make a move with multiple potentials, seizing the lead.

Playing one pocket with a stranger I somewhat absentmindedly let him outmove me quite badly in a game. Two shots on my part reversed that. That is so unlikely in chess that you simply concede.

The freewheeling potential of pool makes it harder. The restrictions of chess make it harder. Oddly enough after a few years of playing a lot of chess I found checkers to be harder than either one! I was usually playing chess three to five moves ahead, every piece on the board. I beat far better players simply because they would get five to seven moves ahead and fall into considering logical moves. I played an illogical game even if it cost me a point or two here and there to be able to keep them a little off balance. The issue with checkers, now I was playing endgame almost from the first move! That was a brain cruncher to put the way I played chess or pool to shame. The very limitations of checkers makes it an extremely difficult game to play.

One thing of interest, pool and chess started off as war games, teaching future military leaders strategy. I suspect checkers did too but I don't know that for sure.

Hu
 

MitchAlsup

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Pool is primarily a game where you play yourself. {run all the balls left}
Chess is primarily a game where you are playing the other guy. {I get a move, he gets a move}
 

KissedOut

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Chess is to pool as advanced real analysis is to arithmetic.

When I was in college in the 70s a relatively low level not very well known National Master (well below Grandmaster) came to do a simultaneous exhibition, playing 40 games at once. The college held a tournament to pick the 40 opponents and I was fortunate enough to qualify for a spot. On the day I was there with 2 or 3 friends to 'advise' me. We were told not to do analysis on the game board. But in the middle of the game we started analyzing on the game board, and then realized we weren't sure what the actual position was. I got more and more nervous as he progressed nearer and nearer to my game. When he got there I 'fessed up and admitted we weren't sure about the position. He took one glance at the board ad moved a couple of pieces and said that was the position. He was right. He knew the exact position in one game out of forty.

And he wasn't a remarkable player. At the top level Super Grandmasters can play simultaneous blindfolded chess. These is no comparison to any version of pool in the amount of mental effort or ability.
 

u12armresl

One Pocket back cutter
Silver Member
I play pool better then chess. I'm in the 680+ fargo area APA 7/9 in pool which is above average and 1400 elo in chess which is the average chess player. I've probably done as much studying in chess as pool. I would say that chess has more mental difficulty. In chess you can move any piece at anytime and do good or look like a fool. In pool the position of the cue ball limits what shot options you have which in my opinion is a lot easier the pool table tells you what pattern you have. I find that the more options that you have the more difficult/ mental strain you have.

I do like the ELO system in chess it gives a good handicap against the whole world as to where you stand. The Fargo system has prospect for me. I've never been officially rated by them but I've played players that are and basing my judgement based on that. I was officially rated in APA 7/9 and i could of given other 7/9's weight
You cannot move any piece at any time.
 
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