armageddon in norway chess

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lkaufman
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armageddon in norway chess

Post by lkaufman » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:34 pm

So Norway chess round 1 concluded with 5 draws, but White won 4-1 in the 10-7 (+3 sec inc from move 60) Armageddon game, Black getting less time but draw oddss. This suggests that Armageddon is valid in longer games than blitz, as was also shown in some U.S. Championship playoff games at odds like one hour to 22 or so minutes. Perhaps some organizer will propose dispensing with the normal games and just playing Armageddon with White having the normal 2 hours plus 30" inc and Black getting just half of those numbers, or even 1/3, whatever makes the results close to 50-50. This could be the answer to draws!
Naturally, this could work in computer events as well, although the time odds might have to be a bit steeper. Perhaps someone will conduct some tests, although they wouldn't be quite accurate since the engines wouldn't know about the draw odds.
Komodo rules!

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Laskos
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Re: armageddon in norway chess

Post by Laskos » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:29 pm

lkaufman wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:34 pm
So Norway chess round 1 concluded with 5 draws, but White won 4-1 in the 10-7 (+3 sec inc from move 60) Armageddon game, Black getting less time but draw oddss. This suggests that Armageddon is valid in longer games than blitz, as was also shown in some U.S. Championship playoff games at odds like one hour to 22 or so minutes. Perhaps some organizer will propose dispensing with the normal games and just playing Armageddon with White having the normal 2 hours plus 30" inc and Black getting just half of those numbers, or even 1/3, whatever makes the results close to 50-50. This could be the answer to draws!
Naturally, this could work in computer events as well, although the time odds might have to be a bit steeper. Perhaps someone will conduct some tests, although they wouldn't be quite accurate since the engines wouldn't know about the draw odds.
Can't the desire for draws be simulated in engines like Komodo by negative contempt? Imagine LTC 1/8 time and contempt -30 for Black.

For fast games (bullet), maybe 1/2 time and same -30 contempt. Just speculations.

And something like viceversa for White
Last edited by Laskos on Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JohnWoe
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Re: armageddon in norway chess

Post by JohnWoe » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:33 pm

You could just score draws as losses from White pov. And engines would naturally play "armageddon" games correctly.

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Re: armageddon in norway chess

Post by lkaufman » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:57 am

Laskos wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:29 pm
lkaufman wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:34 pm
So Norway chess round 1 concluded with 5 draws, but White won 4-1 in the 10-7 (+3 sec inc from move 60) Armageddon game, Black getting less time but draw oddss. This suggests that Armageddon is valid in longer games than blitz, as was also shown in some U.S. Championship playoff games at odds like one hour to 22 or so minutes. Perhaps some organizer will propose dispensing with the normal games and just playing Armageddon with White having the normal 2 hours plus 30" inc and Black getting just half of those numbers, or even 1/3, whatever makes the results close to 50-50. This could be the answer to draws!
Naturally, this could work in computer events as well, although the time odds might have to be a bit steeper. Perhaps someone will conduct some tests, although they wouldn't be quite accurate since the engines wouldn't know about the draw odds.
Can't the desire for draws be simulated in engines like Komodo by negative contempt? Imagine LTC 1/8 time and contempt -30 for Black.

For fast games (bullet), maybe 1/2 time and same -30 contempt. Just speculations.

And something like viceversa for White
Yes, of course I thought of that too. It's not perfect since a small value won't do enough while a big one weakens play too much, but I agree it's better than doing nothing. But this only works for engines that have Contempt and do it well, so it's not something we could do to create a rating list for Armageddon, but certainly it's okay for testing the idea with Komodo. I don't think we would have to cut the time as low as 1/8 for Black With White getting 2 hours + 30", at least with typical PCs with 4 cores only. It may be different for Komodo vs. Komodo than for Komodo vs Houdini or an older Stockfish of similar rating; self-play is more drawish.
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Re: armageddon in norway chess

Post by lkaufman » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:59 am

JohnWoe wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:33 pm
You could just score draws as losses from White pov. And engines would naturally play "armageddon" games correctly.
Be

Yes, that would help, but requires modifying the engine, not just using an existing one, and it's hardly a full solution, as by the time the engine sees the draw it's usually too late to do much about it. The Contempt idea is much more effective. Best would be to do both.
Komodo rules!

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Re: armageddon in norway chess

Post by Laskos » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:50 am

lkaufman wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:57 am
Laskos wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:29 pm
lkaufman wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:34 pm
So Norway chess round 1 concluded with 5 draws, but White won 4-1 in the 10-7 (+3 sec inc from move 60) Armageddon game, Black getting less time but draw oddss. This suggests that Armageddon is valid in longer games than blitz, as was also shown in some U.S. Championship playoff games at odds like one hour to 22 or so minutes. Perhaps some organizer will propose dispensing with the normal games and just playing Armageddon with White having the normal 2 hours plus 30" inc and Black getting just half of those numbers, or even 1/3, whatever makes the results close to 50-50. This could be the answer to draws!
Naturally, this could work in computer events as well, although the time odds might have to be a bit steeper. Perhaps someone will conduct some tests, although they wouldn't be quite accurate since the engines wouldn't know about the draw odds.
Can't the desire for draws be simulated in engines like Komodo by negative contempt? Imagine LTC 1/8 time and contempt -30 for Black.

For fast games (bullet), maybe 1/2 time and same -30 contempt. Just speculations.

And something like viceversa for White
Yes, of course I thought of that too. It's not perfect since a small value won't do enough while a big one weakens play too much, but I agree it's better than doing nothing. But this only works for engines that have Contempt and do it well, so it's not something we could do to create a rating list for Armageddon, but certainly it's okay for testing the idea with Komodo. I don't think we would have to cut the time as low as 1/8 for Black With White getting 2 hours + 30", at least with typical PCs with 4 cores only. It may be different for Komodo vs. Komodo than for Komodo vs Houdini or an older Stockfish of similar rating; self-play is more drawish.
Yes, I was thinking of 1/8 for LTC TCEC conditions.

But it's a hard pick, I don't think a serious rating list is possible even solely between SF, Komodo and Houdini. The time odds and contempt have to be picked very carefully case by case, as this "method" might even invert ratings and do many undesired things and hard to control distortions. Engine contempt is in itself a distortion of what humans do in these Armageddon conditions. It's very hard to find what are "fair conditions" and how to translate this to humans and viceversa, and "unfairness" here is ubiquitous (there is only one sweet point of "fairness" in a continuum of "unfairness", and it depends anyway on particular conditions).

For engines probably the best thing would be to pick unbalanced openings in the range of 0.7-0.8 (Komodo) eval, play side and reversed and use pentanomial variance for the paired games, which gives in these conditions some 1.5-1.6 smaller error margins than the naive trinomial variance. The draw rate would decrease from say 75% (or 85% in TCEC conditions) with balanced openings to some 45%-50%, the pentanomial error margins won't increase compared to the balanced case despite having much fewer draws, and the Elo difference would almost double. This methodology is sound, easy to apply fairly and is pretty rigorous, and my above speculations are much more well founded. The number of games needed to discern the better engine outside error margins is theoretically close to the minimum (it can be shown with some rigor). Also, the unbalance in the range of 0.7-0.9 Komodo eval is almost universally optimal across time controls and conditions where draw rates are high from balanced openings.

But I will check a simulation with Komodo of this Armageddon solution to the draw problem.

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Re: armageddon in norway chess

Post by Guenther » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:17 am

lkaufman wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:34 pm
So Norway chess round 1 concluded with 5 draws, but White won 4-1 in the 10-7 (+3 sec inc from move 60) Armageddon game, Black getting less time but draw oddss. This suggests that Armageddon is valid in longer games than blitz, as was also shown in some U.S. Championship playoff games at odds like one hour to 22 or so minutes. Perhaps some organizer will propose dispensing with the normal games and just playing Armageddon with White having the normal 2 hours plus 30" inc and Black getting just half of those numbers, or even 1/3, whatever makes the results close to 50-50. This could be the answer to draws!
Naturally, this could work in computer events as well, although the time odds might have to be a bit steeper. Perhaps someone will conduct some tests, although they wouldn't be quite accurate since the engines wouldn't know about the draw odds.
BTW do you know, if the armageddon games count for the blitz ratings, or if they are simply discarded for blitz elo?
(Or may be, if this becomes an adopted new way for future tournaments they will create a new list?)
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Re: armageddon in norway chess

Post by Gian-Carlo Pascutto » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:33 am

Guenther wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:17 am
BTW do you know, if the armageddon games count for the blitz ratings, or if they are simply discarded for blitz elo?
(Or may be, if this becomes an adopted new way for future tournaments they will create a new list?)
The details for URS are not published but from the high level description such a system could be adopted for time imbalance.

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Re: armageddon in norway chess

Post by lkaufman » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:57 pm

Guenther wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:17 am
lkaufman wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:34 pm
So Norway chess round 1 concluded with 5 draws, but White won 4-1 in the 10-7 (+3 sec inc from move 60) Armageddon game, Black getting less time but draw oddss. This suggests that Armageddon is valid in longer games than blitz, as was also shown in some U.S. Championship playoff games at odds like one hour to 22 or so minutes. Perhaps some organizer will propose dispensing with the normal games and just playing Armageddon with White having the normal 2 hours plus 30" inc and Black getting just half of those numbers, or even 1/3, whatever makes the results close to 50-50. This could be the answer to draws!
Naturally, this could work in computer events as well, although the time odds might have to be a bit steeper. Perhaps someone will conduct some tests, although they wouldn't be quite accurate since the engines wouldn't know about the draw odds.
BTW do you know, if the armageddon games count for the blitz ratings, or if they are simply discarded for blitz elo?
(Or may be, if this becomes an adopted new way for future tournaments they will create a new list?)
Since Armageddon games are fundamentally different from normal games due to the draw odds it would not make sense to rate them together with normal games. I don't think FIDE is rating them, but it's not safe to assume that FIDE won't do something that doesn't make sense, I'm not sure. A separate list would be fine, but it wouldn't be practical to set up a whole rating list for one event. Of course someone will calculate what they would be.
Komodo rules!

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Re: armageddon in norway chess

Post by Laskos » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:32 pm

Laskos wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:50 am

But I will check a simulation with Komodo of this Armageddon solution to the draw problem.
Checked a bit. At bullet TC I took Komodo "1" at 60''+0.6'' as one engine and Komodo "2" at 45''+0.45'' as the second engine.
Direct match gave:
+18 -6 =76
or
56:44

Now the procedure:
I gave time odds matches (with that scoring of draws) both sides. 2x time odds were not enough, as "1" easily won its match being time handicapped, but only drew its match with "2" being time handicapped.
3x time odds were more or less fine. Here are the results (I used the apropiate contempt of +/- 30 in each case):

"1" 3x time handicapped vs "2" (draw scoring):
59:41

"1" vs "2" 3x time handicapped (draw scoring):
66:34

These two results ideally should be equal for a fair handicap match with that draw scoring. But in any case, the difference between "1" and "2" is accentuated compared to the initial match with no handicap (and normal scoring). Draw rate is indeed close to 50% in these 2 handicap matches.

The handicap should be carefully chosen, and I think that 8x time handicap might be about right for LTC on 4 cores. But these are in a sense self-games which can exaggerate the steepness of the handicap.

All in all, I think it's hard to implement this imbalance and scoring consistently both in engine matches and in human matches. It does not seem to assure in any easy way fairness.

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