Why Bother With Human vs. Human Tournaments??

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Sean Evans
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Why Bother With Human vs. Human Tournaments??

Post by Sean Evans » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:45 pm

Hi group,

If chess players are interested in or obsessed with the best chess moves and games possible, then why are people still interested in Human vs Human tournaments, matches and games?

If you offered a fraction of the prize money that human tournaments receive, we could have many Computer vs. Computer tournaments, matches and games at a much higher quality of chess!

Is it for the same reason a toddler sees itself in the face of a Teletubbie that the chess player masses see themselves in the faces of FIDE rated chess players?! Or, perhaps an argument could be made that a human being might be able to find a new novelty that a computer chess game would miss...perhaps.

I could buy two identical computers with four-core CPU's 24 gigs of RAM and have Rybka vs. Shredder matches that play at a much higher level than human matches.

Anyway, food for thought for the ignorant chess masses.

Cordially,

Sean :?

tmokonen
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Re: Why Bother With Human vs. Human Tournaments??

Post by tmokonen » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:24 pm

If we go by that line of thinking, then we may as well abandon all sprinting competitions, since automobiles and horses are faster than people.

It's the thrill of human competition, complete with human error, that makes human played chess interesting. Plus, us meatbags can still come up with some wonderful chess masterpieces from time to time.

alpha123
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Re: Why Bother With Human vs. Human Tournaments??

Post by alpha123 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:42 pm

tmokonen wrote:If we go by that line of thinking, then we may as well abandon all sprinting competitions, since automobiles and horses are faster than people.

It's the thrill of human competition, complete with human error, that makes human played chess interesting. Plus, us meatbags can still come up with some wonderful chess masterpieces from time to time.
Exactly.

Peter

shiv
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Re: Why Bother With Human vs. Human Tournaments??

Post by shiv » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:19 am

Sean Evans wrote:Hi group,

If chess players are interested in or obsessed with the best chess moves and games possible, then why are people still interested in Human vs Human tournaments, matches and games?

[stripped]

I could buy two identical computers with four-core CPU's 24 gigs of RAM and have Rybka vs. Shredder matches that play at a much higher level than human matches.

Anyway, food for thought for the ignorant chess masses.

Cordially,

Sean :?
In addition to points nothed by others: engines, regardless of how strong they are, will not dive deep into middlegame planning or endgames. Humans will try to create a novelty or aim for subtle plans. Computers still play for tactics often in the midst of aimless maneuvering.

Opening novelties too (unless in highly tactical positions) are not good when introduced in machine-machine matches unless the human programmed opening book was responsible.

When I look at comp vs comp matches, unless they are in highly tactical positions, they are often useless for "improving your chess understanding".

A racing analogy is the robot car races not as popular as human car races such as formula 1. Similarly, for best quality games, advanced chess matches are the way to go (ie human + computer for each side).

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JuLieN
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Re: Why Bother With Human vs. Human Tournaments??

Post by JuLieN » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:38 am

Sean Evans wrote: If chess players are interested in or obsessed with the best chess moves and games possible, then why are people still interested in Human vs Human tournaments, matches and games?
For two main reasons :

1) Firstly, because this is not only a science but also a sport, and watching champions colliding is just fascinating. => COMPETITION

2) because the absolute best move that maybe a computer would find is not necessarily the most beautiful one. For example, my favorite player is Michael Tal. I reviewed nearly two thousands of his games, and selected my 500 favorite ones that I then analyzed and commented : his moves were splendid, but I found that many were wrong. Never mind, his opponents didn't manage to answer them properly, and the games were beautiful. => BEAUTY
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Re: Why Bother With Human vs. Human Tournaments??

Post by cornetmike » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:51 am

JuLieN wrote:
Sean Evans wrote: If chess players are interested in or obsessed with the best chess moves and games possible, then why are people still interested in Human vs Human tournaments, matches and games?
For two main reasons :

1) Firstly, because this is not only a science but also a sport, and watching champions colliding is just fascinating. => COMPETITION

2) because the absolute best move that maybe a computer would find is not necessarily the most beautiful one. For example, my favorite player is Michael Tal. I reviewed nearly two thousands of his games, and selected my 500 favorite ones that I then analyzed and commented : his moves were splendid, but I found that many were wrong. Never mind, his opponents didn't manage to answer them properly, and the games were beautiful. => BEAUTY
I completely agree. Computers cannot play with imagination. And beauty flows from the purely human attribute of imagination!

regards

Mikey

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Spacious_Mind
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Re: Why Bother With Human vs. Human Tournaments??

Post by Spacious_Mind » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:51 am

JuLieN wrote:
Sean Evans wrote: If chess players are interested in or obsessed with the best chess moves and games possible, then why are people still interested in Human vs Human tournaments, matches and games?
For two main reasons :

1) Firstly, because this is not only a science but also a sport, and watching champions colliding is just fascinating. => COMPETITION

2) because the absolute best move that maybe a computer would find is not necessarily the most beautiful one. For example, my favorite player is Michael Tal. I reviewed nearly two thousands of his games, and selected my 500 favorite ones that I then analyzed and commented : his moves were splendid, but I found that many were wrong. Never mind, his opponents didn't manage to answer them properly, and the games were beautiful. => BEAUTY
You are right. But I think in order for beauty to shine, many times in chess, the opponent plays a part, as you stated above by perhaps not always playing the perfect countermoves, thereby setting up beauty to shine.

It happens in computer chess as well, but it gets harder and harder to see when the opponents rarely make mistakes due to their enourmous strength and speed. But, if you slow down a little, beauty does exist and can be appreciated.

I played this game in an online Tournament only last Saturday. I played with Gideon 3.0 (32 Mhz) rated @ ELO 2300 against my opponent's Saitek Analyst D+ 16 Mhz with a rating I would guess at @ ELO 2050.

[Event "6.Online Aktivschach WM / Gruppe D"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2010.01.24"]
[Round "6.1"]
[White "D+ 16 MHz, Saitek"]
[Black "CM Gideon 3.0 32 MHz, TASC."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A90"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2010.??.??"]

1. d4 f5 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Nf3 O-O 7. Bf4 d5 8. c5 b6 9. cxb6 axb6 10. O-O c5 11. Nc3 Nc6 12. Nb5 Bd7 13. Bc7 Qc8 14. Bf4 Na5 15. Nc3 Ne4 16. Rc1 Nc4 17. Qb3 Nxc3 18. bxc3 Ra3 19. Qb1 Qa6 20. Ne5 Bb5 21. Nd3 g5 22. Be3 Ra4 23. a3 Nxa3 24. Qb2 Nc4 25. Qb1 Ra8 26. h3 Nxe3 27. fxe3 Ra7 28. Qc2 Bd6 29. Nb2 Ra2

[D]6k1/r6p/qp1bp3/1bpp1pp1/3P4/2P1P1PP/rNQ1P1B1/2R2RK1 w - - 0 30

My Gideon looked at first as if it would slowly just choke D+ to death, but in this position most humans might see 30. Bxd5! engines too.

Saitek Analyst D+, however in this 30 seconds per move match, would only search no more than 5 ply in this complicated middlegame position. Therefore the next move !! because of it's beauty, no engine as far as I can tell in this world today would play it. How many human's would play it?


30. Rxf5!!

That move is beauty.... a machine that does this with 5 ply! 16 MHz. Or don't you agree?

exf5 31. Qxf5 Bc6 32. Rf1 h6 33. Qg6+ Rg7 34. Qxd6 Qa8 35. Qe6+ Kh8 36. Qxh6+ Kg8 37. Qe6+ Kh8 38. Nc4 dxc4 39. Qh6+ Kg8 40. Bxc6 Qd8 41. Bb5 Ra4 42. Qe6+ Kh8 43. Bxa4 1-0

Sure the opponent did it's part to set up beauty :)

Well this little old Saitek D+ knocked me out of this Online Championship, totally unexpected. But how can I complain when I see beauty like this :P

Best regards

Nick

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