3

I don't watch chess tournaments because it is such a poor experience. The live stream of the players showcases the board at an angle and I struggle to see what is going on.

Meanwhile, the digital image of the board that is usually also there is often behind the actual game. In classic, maybe not a big deal, but it's a dealbreaker for blitz and rapid.

Why don't chess tournaments solve this issue by using a top-down camera angle? It's not hard to extend the camera down from a pole attached to the roof, or you can even use a camera connected to a flexible cable which you can extend and then curve downwards, kind of like on a lamp:

This would then give the following much more clear viewing experience:

Obviously you'd use a high quality camera, and you also need to use pieces which are more easily distinguishable from a top-down view, which are both minor changes, that could lead to great improvement.

9

I see a couple of reasons not to do this:

  1. It's a lot harder to distinguish the pieces. For example, bishops and pawns look really similar, and the black queen and king look similar too.
  2. When you watch a game as an on-site spectator, you don't view it top-down either. Even better: the players themselves don't view the board top-down, but from an angle.
  3. Video streams are often accompanied by a live analysis board, which is top-down and offers much more (the remaining time for both players, the evaluation of the current position and the best lines according to a strong engine). A top-down video stream would basically duplicate this.

    They can, as you say, be a little out-of-sync with the video (on a slow connection, the live board can be even faster because of buffering) but that seems (to me) like a better problem to tackle. Maybe the next generation of livestreams will be able to do this?

The lamp standard in your picture would rather annoy me as a player, but hanging from the ceiling (like some other lamps) would bypass that particular problem.

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