World Chess Computer Champion?

Discussion of anything and everything relating to chess playing software and machines.

Moderators: bob, hgm, Harvey Williamson

Forum rules
This textbox is used to restore diagrams posted with the [d] tag before the upgrade.
mwyoung
Posts: 1642
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 8:00 pm

Re: World Chess Computer Champion?

Post by mwyoung » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:48 am

Martin Thoresen wrote:
hgm wrote:What matters for a World Championship is whether you have endorsement by the community to call it such.

Unlike what some people claim here, it is not a good thing if just any person or group of outsiders (i.e. non-participants) can organize a tourney and call it a World Championship. It would in fact be a total idiocy to allow that, because it would totally devaluate the title World Champion, to no one's advantage.

This thread is not criticising TCEC, which is a great initiative.

And you are wrong about one thing: It is up to you to decide whether you want to proclaim TCEC the World Championship. And thus implicitly whether the Komodo claim is right or wrong.
I definitely get your point. To be honest, I was not really thinking much about Komodo using the the title of "2013 World Chess Engine Champion!".

I am in a way glad that you people know that I am not promoting TCEC as the "unofficial world computer championship". I also told Chessdom to rephrase the intros of their articles, because at some point they used this exact phrase.

In any way, Both Larry and Mark are present at this forum so I guess it's a matter of time before they read it. I will not force them to change that text.

Best,
Martin
Martin we do know that you were not promoting your tournament as a WCCC event in any way, and I tried to state this often in my post, and I am sorry for any drag that this Komodo issue has had on your fine tournament.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Take on me. foes 0

Martin Thoresen
Posts: 1833
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:07 pm

Re: World Chess Computer Champion?

Post by Martin Thoresen » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:20 am

mwyoung wrote: Martin we do know that you were not promoting your tournament as a WCCC event in any way, and I tried to state this often in my post, and I am sorry for any drag that this Komodo issue has had on your fine tournament.
You have clearly stated it several times. So there is absolutely nothing to apologize for on your part.

Best,
Martin

User avatar
hgm
Posts: 23774
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:06 am
Location: Amsterdam
Full name: H G Muller
Contact:

Re: World Chess Computer Champion?

Post by hgm » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:29 am

Modern Times wrote:Yes - and I think the community does endorse TCEC as a World Championship.
We know that you think that. But, without wanting to belittle your contribution to computer Chess, which is enormous, you are not part of the community of engine authors. You are not in any way intending to run for that championship, and neither are many of the people here who are so eager to tell the ICGA how to conduct their business.

If the community would really be in favor to replace the current WCSC with an on-line event like TCEC, (which remains to be seen) with relaxed requirements for originality, it should be easy enough for them to establish this collecting a list of signatures (i.e. organizing). I would certainly not be in favor of this. (As I understand it my engines are not even allowed to participate in TCEC, not being SMP...) But I never saw much in the way WCSC is conducted in parallel with WCCC now, and I am not in principle against on-line events, so I can imagine rule changes that would sway me in favor of an on-line event.

User avatar
Rebel
Posts: 4788
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:04 am

Re: World Chess Computer Champion?

Post by Rebel » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:50 am

hgm wrote:
Rebel wrote:Last, regarding the subject line, if you know the story of Don and how hard he fought against his incurable disease looking in the face of death using his energy (or what was left) programming Komodo as a delay for the inevitable and then winning the hardest competition just before he died then I am perfectly okay with the sentiment of those who are left behind. It's a tribute to one of the best programmers. Let them.
The problem here seems to be that some of the people that have an axe to grind with ICGA seem so obsessed by this, that they have abandoned all moral restraints. Anything that would hurt ICGA, or those Chess-program authors that abided by its rules, is good and must be defended. No matter how criminal, morally corrupt, or disgusting it might be.
There is (was) no need for you to make things personal. You are wrong about my intentions as well.

There is only one way for the ICGA to survive and regain the legitime right to call themselves the representives of the vast majority of the chess programmers organizing a world championship. In case you did not noticed (or aren't willing to admit) there is a deep split among the chess programmers and the fans of CC, notable caused by the ICGA itself. As such I consider the word-title as vacant (the topic at hand) until they resolve the problems and unite the chess programmers, as it once was.

To establish that and restore the ICGA to its old glory days (note my intention) there need to be a change in leadership. It's obvious nothing is going to change with David in charge. It's time for him to leave and handover his responsibilities to people with a fresh look at the situation anno 2014, people who abandon old relic rules that did well till 10 years ago.

In the last "world championship" none of the participants were top-10 because for 2½ years the ICGA leadership did nothing to resolve the crisis among chess programmers. OTOH we have TCEC which is recognized by the top programmers and the fans. Why is it that what Martin can, David is unable?

Modern Times
Posts: 2419
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:02 pm

Re: World Chess Computer Champion?

Post by Modern Times » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:12 pm

hgm wrote:
Modern Times wrote:Yes - and I think the community does endorse TCEC as a World Championship.
We know that you think that. But, without wanting to belittle your contribution to computer Chess, which is enormous, you are not part of the community of engine authors.
I mean accepted by members of the general public, not by the authors themselves. Without an audience, computer chess is nothing. A very satsifying hobby for the extremely talented authors for sure, who I respect greatly for their talent. And without an audience, commercial engines would likely hardly exist as well.

User avatar
hgm
Posts: 23774
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:06 am
Location: Amsterdam
Full name: H G Muller
Contact:

Re: World Chess Computer Champion?

Post by hgm » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:22 pm

Rebel wrote:There is only one way for the ICGA to survive
The ICGA is actually thriving, and shows no signs of perishing at all. Of course Chess has lost most of its interest for the AI community, which was already reflected in the name change ICCA -> ICGA. To think it has lost much of its glory because some fanatics do not like the way it conducts is business for orthodox Chess is quite, well, short-sighted and narrow-minded.
and regain the legitime right to call themselves the representives of the vast majority of the chess programmers organizing a world championship. In case you did not noticed (or aren't willing to admit) there is a deep split among the chess programmers and the fans of CC, notable caused by the ICGA itself.
That seem to be two independent issues, mentioned in the same breath. That there is a deep split between Chess programmers and CC fans doesn't at all exclude that the ICGA represents the majority of Chess programmers. The ICGA was not founded as a consumer organization. If the interests of fans and the majority programmers don't coincide, it is logical that they serve the programmer's interests. I don't think there is anything wrong with that.
As such I consider the word-title as vacant (the topic at hand) until they resolve the problems and unite the chess programmers, as it once was.
Well, good for you. It is a free world, and everyone can pick the delusions he likes best.
To establish that and restore the ICGA to its old glory days (note my intention) there need to be a change in leadership. It's obvious nothing is going to change with David in charge.
I don't consider that obvious at all. I am pretty sure David is amenable to reason, and sensitive to the wishes and desires of a large majority of Chess programmers (as opposed to harassment by a single person that wants to coerce him).
It's time for him to leave and handover his responsibilities to people with a fresh look at the situation anno 2014, people who abandon old relic rules that did well till 10 years ago.
Talking about how to improve the rules is always good. I am curious as to what exactly consider 'relic rules', and how you would want to replace them. I am not too crazy myself about the rules (or in fact the interpretation of the rules) for participation of open-source programs. OTOH, do you think it would be a good thing to adopt the rules:

1) Everyone is allowed to participate, with programs written in part or in whole by others.
2) Partcipant that make use of rule 1 are allowed to lie about the origin of their programs, to prevent that the original authors share in their glory
3) If this requires them to lie about the origin of their code, this is of course OK. They must never be denied the rights garnted to them by amendment (2).

??? I agree that decency is mostly a relic of the past (in Computer Chess, anyway), but I don't think that such a rule change would be very succesful.

I also think that it is a great misjudgement of the situation to think that the rules are the problem. The current rules did not prevent participation of Komodo. The current rules did not prevent the participation of Stockfish. If in the next WCCC event both these programs would participate, the problem would be mostly solved, and no one would complain anymore. Now that the consensus seems to be that Ippolyt is not stolen work, I would personally applaud it if the current rules would be interpreted such that one of the Ippo derivatives that is not lying about its origins would be allowed to participate too. Barring them because the 'true authors' are unknown, and thus cannot be asked for permission, is an invalid argument, IMO. Release of code in the public domain or under the GPL is an implicit permission for the code to be used this way. (And that is a legal fact.)
In the last "world championship" none of the participants were top-10 because for 2½ years the ICGA leadership did nothing to resolve the crisis among chess programmers.
What was there too solve? That Houdini, when it still was best, was too chicken to participate unless the rules would first be tweaked so he would be award the title in advance? (No own books, infinitely-many games.) That Marco has sworn never to participate in a World Championship and Tord rather plays the viola?

Would you really want a World Championship where the participants have no say in whether they participate or not? Don't you think such a 'championship' would not be severly criticised by the losers? ("They were running an obsolete version, with a book that is not suitable for my engine"...)
OTOH we have TCEC which is recognized by the top programmers and the fans. Why is it that what Martin can, David is unable?
Which 'top programmers'? Mark Uniacky? Amir Ban? Stephan Mayer-Kahlen? Oh, no, I guess you mean the real top programmers, which knew how to find the download key...

And do you think that the people that so stubbornly refuse to participate in the WCCC, would allow their engine to participate in TCEC once it was called 'World Championship'? Wouldn't their reasons for not participating stay exactly the same?

User avatar
hgm
Posts: 23774
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:06 am
Location: Amsterdam
Full name: H G Muller
Contact:

Re: World Chess Computer Champion?

Post by hgm » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:30 pm

Modern Times wrote:I mean accepted by members of the general public, not by the authors themselves. Without an audience, computer chess is nothing. A very satsifying hobby for the extremely talented authors for sure, who I respect greatly for their talent. And without an audience, commercial engines would likely hardly exist as well.
There are plenty of sports that don't attract any audience at all. (Not professional sports, of course.)

I don't think the primary goal of ICGA should be to popularize computer Chess under the general audience. Commercial engines would sell anyway. Because people think it is fun to play Chess, and want to analyze their games with a strong engine. The part of the general audience that is interested in engine-engine games is actually a tiny minority of the general audience.

Uri Blass
Posts: 8605
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:37 pm
Location: Tel-Aviv Israel

Re: World Chess Computer Champion?

Post by Uri Blass » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:01 pm

I do not agree that the ICGA represent the majority of programmers but it is not relevant for the fact that I am against calling TCEC world computer championship.

I think that after what happened with Rybka many programmers are against the ICGA.

I think that the decision to ban Rybka is wrong
I agree that the title of world computer chess champion is not important in these days but all of this is not enough.

The general rule is that in order to call tournament a world championship at least the organizer of the event should call it in this name.

Thorsten did not call his tournament world championship and other people have no right to revert it.

If tomorrow ICGA decide to stop calling their furure tournaments in the name "world championship" then nobody will have the right to use this name for their future tournaments.

IGarcia
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:27 pm

Re: World Chess Computer Champion?

Post by IGarcia » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:33 pm

Martin Thoresen wrote:
mwyoung wrote: Martin we do know that you were not promoting your tournament as a WCCC event in any way, and I tried to state this often in my post, and I am sorry for any drag that this Komodo issue has had on your fine tournament.
You have clearly stated it several times. So there is absolutely nothing to apologize for on your part.

Best,
Martin

If komodo calls their engine as TCEC Champion, instead of world champion, there are several problems solved:

-komodo team will be not seen as a liars.
-TCEC will not be confused with an WCCC

And any with curiosity about "TCEC" will soon find is a great tournament with fair rules and top engines, where the winner is a deserved Computer Chess Champion (CCC). Up to you to think about the missing word "World".


To HGM: I not speaking about a tour the france... im speaking about a fair competence. Martin runs all in automatic way, there are logs, games are live. Little room for any rare manipulation.

User avatar
hgm
Posts: 23774
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:06 am
Location: Amsterdam
Full name: H G Muller
Contact:

Re: World Chess Computer Champion?

Post by hgm » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:53 pm

Are you implying competition in the Tour de France is not fair? The TdF is usually also broadcasted live...

I don't think you have a point. The TdF is just as fair or unfair as the UCI World Championship. It carries far more prestige. And no winner of the TdF ever proclaimed himself World Champion.

It is just not done. Not in any sport. Those who argue that it would be absolutely normal to do this in computer Chess seem completely out of touch with the world of sports in general.

Post Reply