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shoshone
shoshone
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January 15th, 2019 at 11:58:00 AM permalink
Great strides have been made in recent years in chess programs and their performance is enhanced by today's fast multi-core processors. Far outpacing the microprocessor-based chess boxes of a few years ago, today's programs running on a home machine can regularly beat grandmasters. I understand that world champion Magnus Carlsen doesn't like to play his home chess program because it consistently beats him.

Today there are over thirty chess programs available for home computers and many have ELO ratings exceeding 3000. A typical rating of a world tournament player is around 2700. There are even machine vs machine tournaments. Humans just aren't in their class anymore.

A good way to get into this game is to download Lucas Chess, a free program. It comes with 51 chess engines, some of which can be used as tutors. If you ask its advice, the tutor will suggest several moves together with a change in the positions' value. A positive change is good for white and a negative change is good for black. Sometimes there is no move that you can make that will increase value for your side and the best you can do is make the move that is least bad for you.

One of the characteristics of these programs is the use of forks, such as pawn forks and knight forks. That is when a piece attacks two of your pieces at the same time and you can save only one of them.

Using the tutor's advice and takebacks I have beaten some of these engines and there is one I can beat consistently. One that is far above me is a commercial program named Deep Fritz 13. It is diabolical and aggressive and the only way I can beat it is to take one or more of its men off the board when they become too much of a threat. If anyone would like to test his skill against this engine perhaps we can arrange an online tournament.
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teliot
teliot
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January 15th, 2019 at 12:21:18 PM permalink
Download droidfish for your smart phone. Download "Arena" for your desktop.

The only game in town these days as far as "chess machines" are Leela and Stockfish. Leela is a "deep learning" neural network that runs on GPUs and is based on AlphaZero. Stockfish is the best alpha/beta CPU engine by a long way. Both are so much better than the world champion (Magnus) that playing against them ceases to have credible meaning. Both are free and their code is public domain. The top commerical programs are Komodo and Houdini. The one you mention, Deep Fritz, is not nearly as good. A full list of chess programs, by rating, is here:

http://www.computerchess.org.uk/ccrl/4040/

As for "forks" -- that is a simple tactic. Alpha-beta engines tend to be better at tactics than NN-based engines. NN engines create long-term strategic advantages, but suck at endgames. Either will find simple forks/skewers/pins/etc. whenever they are more valuable than the alternatives.

I encourage you to watch the current computer chess tournament at TCEC and to visit lczero.org

https://tcec.chessdom.com/live.php

Nice to see a thread about computer chess. It has been one of my many obsessions for the last 25 years.
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AxelWolf
AxelWolf
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January 15th, 2019 at 12:27:02 PM permalink
Quote: teliot

What's your rating?
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
teliot
teliot
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January 15th, 2019 at 12:27:30 PM permalink
Quote: AxelWolf

What's your rating?

At its best it was 2138, current is 2114, but I haven't played a tournament game since 1999.

http://www.uschess.org/msa/MbrDtlMain.php?12424345
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odiousgambit
odiousgambit 
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January 15th, 2019 at 12:46:34 PM permalink
I was going to get back into some chess but was led astray by some wishy washy people who reneged on playing some Clue

to mention "forking" makes me think the OP is new to chess, so I would have to say if he finds a program he can beat, it must be intentionally gaffed a little lame. I don't mean to be insulting, as I am told programs that work on a smart phone now challenge top grandmasters. Of course many programs allow certain settings where less experienced players can win, while you can also pick a setting that only the most talented can compete in on the same game.

I'm afraid I can't brag about my ranking in spite of my user name.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
shoshone
shoshone
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January 15th, 2019 at 12:52:51 PM permalink
Teliot:

I got the idea for writing this piece from visiting your web site and noticing that chess is one of your interests. We have corresponded in the past and you straightened me out on a point in math.

Stockfish (3300) is one of the engines available on Lucas Chess as well as Komodo (3240) and Houdini (3093). I can occasionally beat them with tutor advice and takebacks but these are not the latest versions. They generally charge for the latest versions and offer older versions for free. One remarkable thing about these engines is they can recognize a forced mate as many as 15 moves in advance. I wonder how many human players can do that!
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teliot
teliot
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January 15th, 2019 at 1:08:46 PM permalink
Quote: shoshone

Teliot:

I got the idea for writing this piece from visiting your web site and noticing that chess is one of your interests. We have corresponded in the past and you straightened me out on a point in math.

Stockfish (3300) is one of the engines available on Lucas Chess as well as Komodo (3240) and Houdini (3093). I can occasionally beat them with tutor advice and takebacks but these are not the latest versions. They generally charge for the latest versions and offer older versions for free. One remarkable thing about these engines is they can recognize a forced mate as many as 15 moves in advance. I wonder how many human players can do that!

Ah, okay. I am much better with numbers than people -- apologies for not recognizing you.

BTW, I've seen these bots announce mate in 70 (or more) moves. It's amazing stuff. Just watch a few games on TCEC ...
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lilredrooster
lilredrooster
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January 15th, 2019 at 1:35:59 PM permalink
I'm thinking this thing can probably beat any human and maybe even pretty easily.
from the article:

"In early December, researchers at DeepMind, the artificial-intelligence company owned by Google’s parent corporation, Alphabet Inc., filed a dispatch from the frontiers of chess.

A year earlier, on Dec. 5, 2017, the team had stunned the chess world with its announcement of AlphaZero, a machine-learning algorithm that had mastered not only chess but shogi, or Japanese chess, and Go. The algorithm started with no knowledge of the games beyond their basic rules. It then played against itself millions of times and learned from its mistakes. In a matter of hours, the algorithm became the best player, human or computer, the world has ever seen.


Most unnerving was that AlphaZero seemed to express insight. It played like no computer ever has, intuitively and beautifully, with a romantic, attacking style. It played gambits and took risks. In some games it paralyzed Stockfish and toyed with it. While conducting its attack in Game 10, AlphaZero retreated its queen back into the corner of the board on its own side, far from Stockfish’s king, not normally where an attacking queen should be placed.

Yet this peculiar retreat was venomous: No matter how Stockfish replied, it was doomed. It was almost as if AlphaZero was waiting for Stockfish to realize, after billions of brutish calculations, how hopeless its position truly was, so that the beast could relax and expire peacefully, like a vanquished bull before a matador. Grandmasters had never seen anything like it. AlphaZero had the finesse of a virtuoso and the power of a machine. It was humankind’s first glimpse of an awesome new kind of intelligence."


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/26/science/chess-artificial-intelligence.html



note: I believe that Chess.com's bot which you can play for free, at level 10, the highest level, is equal to or close to being equal to a Grandmaster
𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘧 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳.........𝖤𝖽𝗀𝖺𝗋 𝖠𝗅𝗅𝖺𝗇 𝖯𝗈𝖾
Face
Administrator
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January 15th, 2019 at 1:46:00 PM permalink
Quote: lilredrooster

I'm thinking this thing can probably beat any human and maybe even pretty easily.
from the article:



Well that was disconcerting. Gratz to the author.
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shoshone
shoshone
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January 15th, 2019 at 1:52:50 PM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

Of course many programs allow certain settings where less experienced players can win, while you can also pick a setting that only the most talented can compete in on the same game.


I'm a lot better at fielding contempt than I used to be, so I'll refrain from making a pun on your handle.

You are right. In Lucas Chess you can set the engines to play their best move, next best move, and so on down to their worst move. Do that and even a good engine will advance a king's bishop's pawn and let you pull a fool's mate. Deep Fritz has three settings, Beginner, Hobby Player, and Club Player. I use the highest setting because I learn nothing from my opponent making foolish mistakes. If I feel threatened and take its queen off the board it starts displaying one of several "I resign" messages, but still will continue playing if I force it to move. Often it wins anyway. Anyone who thinks he's a good player should play Deep Fritz and get his head turned straight.
"I am not concerned that someone does not know of me; I am concerned that I do not know of him" - Confucius

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