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Re: so what is a fair GM handicap vs Rybka?

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:56 pm
by Tord Romstad
Harvey Williamson wrote:
NKOTB wrote:In NFL football, games are made theoretically even by give one team points. Example, a bad team may be given a 21 point handicap to make the contest even.
.
with similar time controls to the current match, what handicap would the GM need so the match is considered even?
Maybe none of the above. Give the engine a time handicap and then we get a real game of Chess.
Hi Harvey,

This is one of the very few occasions when I strongly disagree with the contents of one of your posts: I think material handicap matches between humans and computers are vastly more interesting than time handicap matches.

We pretty much know that the strongest chess programs running on modern hardware are stronger than the best humans. The only thing we can hope to learn from time handicap matches between GMs and computers is how much a reduction in thinking time hurts the strength of a computer program. We already know the approximate answer to this question for games between two computers: A doubling in CPU speed gives somewhere around 60 Elo points. Maybe the constant is somewhat different for human vs computer games, but who cares?

Material handicap matches are much more interesting, because we can hope to learn something new about chess from them. How much is one pawn, two pawns or a knight worth in terms of Elo ratings? How big a material advantage would a top GM need in order to win against a perfect player? Nobody knows the answers to such questions, but experiments like the Rybka-Ehlvest match at least allow us to begin to speculate. That anyone can consider such a match to be less interesting than a time handicap match boggles my mind.

Tord

Re: so what is a fair GM handicap vs Rybka?

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:16 pm
by ologist
Mike S. wrote:
ologist wrote: Wow... I will even bet that I can beat it 3 times in a row. haha
Ok... after thinking twice about it, I think anybody could do it - always. You know how. :roll: The challenge would make sense only if it's done in public, with audience and anti-cheat control.
I totally agree with you. I WOULD love to do this in the public. I would almost feel less than a man for taking queen odds, but hey this is Rybka we are talking about, right? However, I will play this odds later, and if I win or lose I will post the game, no matter if this think it is real or not. Anything specific that you would like, e.g., any special time control, etc.?

Re: so what is a fair GM handicap vs Rybka?

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:50 pm
by Graham Banks
I think that a fair challenge would be for the GM to choose a set of starting opening positions after say 10 moves for each side.
These positions would not be revealed beforehand.
The catch would be that the GM would have to play with both White and Black from each position though.

Re: so what is a fair GM handicap vs Rybka?

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:55 pm
by Harvey Williamson
Tord Romstad wrote:
Harvey Williamson wrote:
NKOTB wrote:In NFL football, games are made theoretically even by give one team points. Example, a bad team may be given a 21 point handicap to make the contest even.
.
with similar time controls to the current match, what handicap would the GM need so the match is considered even?
Maybe none of the above. Give the engine a time handicap and then we get a real game of Chess.
Hi Harvey,

This is one of the very few occasions when I strongly disagree with the contents of one of your posts: I think material handicap matches between humans and computers are vastly more interesting than time handicap matches.

We pretty much know that the strongest chess programs running on modern hardware are stronger than the best humans. The only thing we can hope to learn from time handicap matches between GMs and computers is how much a reduction in thinking time hurts the strength of a computer program. We already know the approximate answer to this question for games between two computers: A doubling in CPU speed gives somewhere around 60 Elo points. Maybe the constant is somewhat different for human vs computer games, but who cares?

Material handicap matches are much more interesting, because we can hope to learn something new about chess from them. How much is one pawn, two pawns or a knight worth in terms of Elo ratings? How big a material advantage would a top GM need in order to win against a perfect player? Nobody knows the answers to such questions, but experiments like the Rybka-Ehlvest match at least allow us to begin to speculate. That anyone can consider such a match to be less interesting than a time handicap match boggles my mind.

Tord

Hi Tord,

Well we cant agree on everything :D

I don't really have any strong feelings either way on this subject.

I think the most interesting Chess to watch at the moment is Freestyle. It is very exciting to watch strong GMs playing with computer help.

Harvey

Re: so what is a fair GM handicap vs Rybka?

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:57 pm
by cooldalek
thanks

Re: so what is a fair GM handicap vs Rybka?

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:10 pm
by geots
NKOTB wrote:In NFL football, games are made theoretically even by give one team points. Example, a bad team may be given a 21 point handicap to make the contest even.
.
with similar time controls to the current match, what handicap would the GM need so the match is considered even?

Your analogy to football doesnt hold up. Its a bad one. The handicap is only for betting purposes. The actual underdog must STILL win the game straight up- without a handicap. And personally for me, i feel the same way about chess. Tho it may make it interesting for some spectators- not for me. Whether you are playing a computer or a person- you either win straight up- or you lose straight up. Your 3rd and only other option should be pass and not play at all.

Re: so what is a fair GM handicap vs Rybka?

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:56 pm
by NKOTB
I'll bet on Rybka vs a 1400 player with rook odds. Easy to set up in Areana (start engine - Rybka) setup position - make rook a space.

Re: so what is a fair GM handicap vs Rybka?

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:00 pm
by NKOTB
geots wrote:
NKOTB wrote:In NFL football, games are made theoretically even by give one team points. Example, a bad team may be given a 21 point handicap to make the contest even.
.
with similar time controls to the current match, what handicap would the GM need so the match is considered even?

Your analogy to football doesnt hold up. Its a bad one. The handicap is only for betting purposes. The actual underdog must STILL win the game straight up- without a handicap. And personally for me, i feel the same way about chess. Tho it may make it interesting for some spectators- not for me. Whether you are playing a computer or a person- you either win straight up- or you lose straight up. Your 3rd and only other option should be pass and not play at all.
I like the compare, it is a way to make the teams even for betting purposes. Handicaps have been and are still given long before computers.
A GM in a simul, getting little time compared to opponents is one way.

Re: so what is a fair GM handicap vs Rybka?

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:03 pm
by ologist
^^ I would too, because they would have to survive the opening and the opening/middle game transition to show the power of the extra rook. However, as I said before, I think a bishop or knight handicap is more practical for the purpose of not getting bashed in the opening, or the very early stage of the game were a rook has not found its ground yet.

Re: so what is a fair GM handicap vs Rybka?

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:21 pm
by NKOTB
are you saying that you would rather have knight or bishop odds instead of rook ?? If Rybka can easily defeat a GM down a pawn, I have to guess that it can easily defeat a 1400 player down a knight or bishop.