How Strong is the best Shogi engine?

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pichy
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How Strong is the best Shogi engine?

Post by pichy » Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:29 pm

Is the best Shogi engine capable of beating the World's human Shogi champion in a super fast computer?

http://shogi.me/blog/2011/02/larry-kauf ... roduction/

pichy
Posts: 2564
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Re: How Strong is the best Shogi engine?

Post by pichy » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:16 pm

pichy wrote:Is the best Shogi engine capable of beating the World's human Shogi champion in a super fast computer?

I just found out that the Computer program Akara defeated the women’s Osho champion Shimizu Ichiyo. Akara contained 4 computer engines, Gekisashi, GPS Shogi, Bonanza and YSS. Akara ran on a network of 169 computers. The 4 engines voted on the best moves. Akara selects the move with the most votes. If there is a tie vote then Akara selects Gekisashi’s move. Researchers at the University of Tokyo and the University of Electro-Communications developed Akara.

Shimizu moved first and resigned in 86 moves after 6 hours and 3 minutes. Shimizu said she was trying to play her best as if she was facing a human player. She played at the University of Tokyo on 11 October 2010. The allotted thinking time per player is 3 hours and 60 seconds byoyomi. 750 fans attended the event. This is the third time since 2005 that the Japan Shogi Association granted permission to a professional to play a computer, and the first victory against a female professional. However, a computer has never defeated a male professional under standard time controls. Hidetchi reviews this game.[7]

Akara aggressively pursued Shimizu from the start of the game. Akara played with a ranging rook strategy and offered an exchange of bishops. Shimizu made a questionable move partway though the game, and Akara went on to win.[8] Ryuo champion, Akira Watanabe, criticized Shimizu’s game. On 19 November 2010, the Daily Yomiuri quoted Watanabe. Watanabe said, "Ms. Shimizu had plenty of chances to win. But the main challenge would be to beat Watanabe the Male Shogi Champion who play versus Bonanza back in 2007.

The Japan Shogi Association (JSA) gave reigning Ryuo Champion Watanabe permission to compete against the reigning World Computer Shogi Champion Bonanza on 21 March 2007. Daiwa Securities sponsored the match. Hoki Kunihito wrote Bonanza. The computer was an Intel Xeon 2.66 GHz 8 core with 8 gigabytes of memory and 160-gigabyte hard drive. The game was played with 2 hours each and 1 minute byo-yomi per move after that. Those conditions favor Watanabe because longer time limits mean there are fewer mistakes from time pressure. Longer playing time also means human players can make long-term plans beyond the computer’s calculating horizon. The 2 players were not at the same playing level. Watanabe was 2006 Ryuo Champion and Bonanza was at the level of 2 dan shoreikai.[1] Bonanza was a little stronger than before due to program improvements and a faster computer. Watanabe prepared for a weaker Bonanza as Watanabe studied old Bonanza game records.

Bonanza moved first and played fourth file rook anaguma as Watanabe expected. Watanabe thought some of Bonanza’s moves were inferior. However, Watanabe deeply analyzed these moves thinking that maybe the computer saw something that Watanabe did not see.[5] Watanabe commented after the game that he could have lost if Bonanza had played defensive moves before entering the endgame. But the computer choose to attack immediately instead of taking its time (and using its impressive endgame strategies) which cost it the match. Bonanza resigned after move 112. Hidetchi reviews this game.[6]

After Bonanza’s loss Watanabe commented on computers in his blog, “I thought they still had quite a way to go, but now we have to recognize that they’ve reached the point where they are getting to be a match for professionals.” Ryuo champion Akira Watanabe clarifies his position on computers playing shogi. Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper quoted Akira Watanabe on June 27, 2008. Watanabe said "I think I'll be able to defeat shogi software for the next 10 years". Another indication Bonanza was far below the level of professional Watanabe came 2 months after the match at the May 2007 World Computer Shogi Championship. Bonanza lost to the 2007 World Computer Shogi Champion YSS. Then YSS lost to amateur Kato Yukio in a 15-minute game

lkaufman
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Re: How Strong is the best Shogi engine?

Post by lkaufman » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:23 pm

There is a huge gap in shogi between the men's champ and the lady's; it's not like the gap between Carlsen and Judy Polgar. There are plans to have this computer play former champ (now retired) Yonenaga. He would be much stronger than the lady's champ but not close to the current one in strength. I think a fair answer to your question is that the best computer in shogi is certainly what we would call Grandmaster strength in chess, maybe even strong Grandmaster, but not Elite GM and certainly not World Champ level yet. I would say 3 years will be needed to reach World champ level.

We have a Komodo shogi program but it is only strong amateur level, as it was only about 2 week's project. We may return to it at some point.

muxecoid
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Location: Israel

Re: How Strong is the best Shogi engine?

Post by muxecoid » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:05 pm

What about crazyhouse? It combines the key parts of chess and shogi, but it usually seen as something that should not be played with time controls over 5 minutes per game :(. For this reason it deserves a negative "tradition" score. With tangible boards (flippable pieces?) and long time controls it may be very interesting.

Did anyone ever organize a serious crazyhouse tournament with long time controls?

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