The result of the final match from the post is actually a great example of why centipawn advantages don't matter as much in human play - humans don't always make the best moves, and there is a psychological element to chess which is hard to capture with a computer. The example that comes to mind is a famous match between Rashid Nezhmetdinov and Oleg Chernikov where Rashid sacrifices his queen for a brilliant attack: https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1260278
In a recent game I took a fair amount of time, and then when I noticed my time running out I made a move in a panic and left a rook hanging. A total blunder. All my opponent had to do was take it and I was ready to resign.
But because I'd taken a considerable length of time I assume my opponent thought it was a very deliberate move. A poisoned piece. He/she didn't take it and I went on to win the game.
It assumes the opponent will always play according to the probability statistics of Lichess users at a certain level, and gives you the moves that will lead to the highest expected evaluation.
There are some pretty fun lines, like: 1. g3 d5 2. Bh3 Bxh3 3. Nf3...
I guess white players in the Hungarian just blitz out the first moves, not assuming anyone will capture...
I asked him how long it took him to find such a position, which was met with laughter and a statement to the affect of "Way more than I want to admit". Which led us into a discussion of the obvious, that it's great to find such situations, but you can't rely on them. Even if he ever gets to use it, he only gets to use it once, after that, everyone will know about it. So, not only does he have to wait for the position to occur, but he'll only use it in a game that really matters.
There are many books on "opening traps", and every one that I've read always has the disclaimer that it's not at all good to rely on these, it's only a good idea to be familiar with them so you don't fall for them. And, on the off chance that you do gain an advantage, you still have to convert that into a win. We didn't actually play a game from the position mentioned above, but we did discuss it, and it's pretty clear I'd still get my *ss handed to me against an IM.
I too have a friend that has way more chess ability than me, I’m trying to beat him the old fashioned way but I’ll also take a crack at it using this approach, for fun.
Chess.com uses Glicko with an initial rating of 1200 (https://support.chess.com/article/210-how-do-ratings-work-on...), while Lichess uses Glicko-2, and sets their initial rating to 1500 (https://lichess.org/page/rating-systems).
Just anecdotally, I’m an ~1800 rated player on chess.com, and ~2050 on Lichess. Percentile rank wise, I’m in the top 3.5% on chess.com, and closer to top 10% on Lichess.
I think this matches the general perception that Chess.com has many more casual players. This is likely a function of all the cross promotion they’ve done to grow the game, especially on Twitch. Neither site is “good” or “bad”, but my friends who play casually seem more likely to play on Chess.com.
You are correct that ratings are not comparable, but percentiles are not really comparable either. IIRC, chess.com computes the percentile rank on the overall player population, while lichess only compares the score of players who have been active in the last 7 days.
> Just anecdotally, I’m an ~1800 rated player on chess.com, and ~2050 on Lichess
I have similar ratings to yours on both sites, can confirm the anecdata.
> I think this matches the general perception that Chess.com has many more casual players.
I guess it depends on what you define as "casual". Chess is a game where ratings work beautifully because it's individual and there's not a lot of randomness, so your rating will converge on your skill in short order.
What I noticed is that there are a lot of casual players on both sites, but Chess.com has a "wider" distribution if that makes sense, with lots of absolute beginners (think <1100 chess.com), while lichess seems to have less of those.
Also, IIRC lichess has an absolute rating floor at 800, while chess.com doesn't have one.