Why there is no interest in Computer with odds Vs Humans match?

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Nordlandia
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Re: Why there is no interest in Computer with odds Vs Humans match?

Post by Nordlandia » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:52 pm

Time odds has also been mentioned as one possible way to handicap the engine. I recall 1:30 or 1:60 time scale was discussed as possible candidates. Alternately 1:90 or 1:120 time scale but Komodo is allowed to think during human's turn.
Last edited by Nordlandia on Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why there is no interest in Computer with odds Vs Humans match?

Post by Dann Corbit » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:54 pm

Concerning:

What is the difference between a large material disadvantage arrived at through inferior moves and a large positional disadvantage arrived at through inferior moves?

IOW, a computer would not let you arrive there either, playing white.

Consider also that chess with odds has a long history.
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscol ... id=1016090

I think the whole idea of giving the computer a crappy position so the human might win is just not exciting for me.
Other people might like it.

But I do not see a terrible positional disadvantage as better than a terrible material disadvantage.

Stockfish:
r1r3k1/pp2pp1p/3pb1p1/8/4P3/2P5/P1P1BPPP/3R1RK1 w - - acd 38; ce -230; acs 115; acn 1328000; pv Bd3 Rxc3 a4 Rac8 Ra1 Bc4 Rfd1 b6 h4 Kg7 g4 Bxd3 cxd3 Rb3 a5 b5 a6 Rb8 Rac1 Ra3 Rc7 Rxa6 Rdc1 Kf6 d4 h6 f4 Re8 Rb7 Ra4 Rxb5 Rxd4 Re1 e5 Rf1 Kg7 fxe5 dxe5 Re1 Rd3 g5 hxg5 hxg5 Rg3+ Kf2 Rxg5 Ra5 Rh8 Rxa7 Rg4 Ra5 Rh2+ Kf3 Rgh4 ; bm Bd3;

Sting:
r1r3k1/pp2pp1p/3pb1p1/8/4P3/2P5/P1P1BPPP/3R1RK1 w - - acd 32; ce -222; acs 158; acn 1653000; pv a4 Rxc3 Bd3 Bc4 Rb1 b6 a5 Bxd3 cxd3 Rxd3 axb6 ; bm a4;

Note that the plans are pretty much identical, just permutations.
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Re: Why there is no interest in Computer with odds Vs Humans match?

Post by jp » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:00 pm

Nordlandia wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:10 pm
Ovyron: the days when human can compete against the computer in the classical starting position is by a long shot over. Material odds or cripple the hardware is needed to give the human any practical chances.
But I wouldn't use the words "cripple the hardware" here (in human vs. computer discussion), because there is no natural standard for what the hardware should be. Any hardware will be much worse than the best in existence now and much better than simple devices on which you can do calculations.

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Re: Why there is no interest in Computer with odds Vs Humans match?

Post by jp » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:03 pm

Dann Corbit wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:54 pm
Consider also that chess with odds has a long history.
Yes, but that probably dates back to exactly the times when humans enjoyed e.g. running races of humans vs trains or horses, etc., which we'd find very strange today.

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Re: Why there is no interest in Computer with odds Vs Humans match?

Post by Ovyron » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:10 pm

jp wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:33 pm
Well, I'm not one to push for material handicaps, but I wouldn't feel that a handicap game must have a crazy back-story or history that connects it the chess starting position to justify itself.
But chess games have a "history", they don't begin in the middle of the game, you get there from the opening positions, and in chess, players have infinite freedom to choose what they play, and how they arrive to it. The only exception is thematic tournaments, but can you show one where the sides are playing suboptimally to reach the starting board? The worst I've seen is thematic tournaments with the Muzio variation of the King's Gambit, and white players were giving material handicaps starting with a Knight less, yet it seems white is fine as white scored better, so this isn't about the material (I'm sure there's plenty of positions where the side with most material is losing), but about evaluation advantage (which can be achieved in positions with equal material.)
jp wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:33 pm
How many moves out of book is the second example? I don't think the moves between the end of book and the end of move 16 must be "played" by the engine. It seems a bit artificial to claim they are. We could produce them by any means and just start at the position at the end of move 16, which would be fine.
No, because we don't know what moves the human is going to play. This is just like the game would be if the human was playing without any handicap, and the book is there to add variety. But the human can play some obscure opening to get the engine out of book ASAP, or get into the Sicilian Lowenthal hoping the book last very long. Etc. Like a normal game, except the engine would play badly once the book is over, so the human can capitalize and make it so that when the engine shows the human with huge advantage and goes full strength, it matters.

Anyway, Larry has the right idea, just let the human decide what handicap they want to play. If anybody asks why was the handicap used, answering that's what the human wanted works. If nobody steps up to the plate then the answer to the OP's "Why there is no interest in Computer with odds Vs Humans match?" would be that no human was interested in any kind of handicap (above 2200 rating, for no money), so the case was closed.
Nordlandia wrote:Ovyron: the days when human can compete against the computer in the classical starting position is by a long shot over. Material odds or cripple the hardware is needed to give the human any practical chances.
There are many other options (depth limit, node limit, takebacks...)
Dann Corbit wrote:IOW, a computer would not let you arrive there either, playing white.
Oh, but it did! The example I posted wasn't made up, white was actually Komodo, and it played those moves, once out of book. So Depth 1 Komodo chose its own handicap position, and black's human moves decided where to go (black had absolute freedom as well). The human can choose their own poison. And at no point this stops being chess (because game starts from opening position, it's when Komodo changes to full strength that is different), unlike material odds.
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Re: Why there is no interest in Computer with odds Vs Humans match?

Post by lkaufman » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:23 am

Nordlandia wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:52 pm
Time odds has also been mentioned as one possible way to handicap the engine. I recall 1:30 or 1:60 time scale was discussed as possible candidates. Alternately 1:90 or 1:120 time scale but Komodo is allowed to think during human's turn.
Well, we ran one match that way. Komodo gave 30 to 1 time odds (90' + 30" to 3' + 1") to a near-2600 GM Erenburg, with no ponder, plus used only one core of a laptop, plus played Black every game, plus used opening book only thru move 3, plus no TB, and still he got only a single draw out of four games!! Obviously there must be some time odds enough for even a 1200 rated player to win, but when the computer's thinking time appears to be zero, only the math-minded will care whether it's a 1000 to 1 or 10,000 to 1.
Komodo rules!

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Re: Why there is no interest in Computer with odds Vs Humans match?

Post by lkaufman » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:25 am

jp wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:03 pm
Dann Corbit wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:54 pm
Consider also that chess with odds has a long history.
Yes, but that probably dates back to exactly the times when humans enjoyed e.g. running races of humans vs trains or horses, etc., which we'd find very strange today.
Fischer played tons of handicap chess, Kasparov played one public match, and even Carlsen and MVL have played blitz handicap matches with IM Lawrence Trent. It's not quite ancient history.
Komodo rules!

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Re: Why there is no interest in Computer with odds Vs Humans match?

Post by lkaufman » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:32 am

Ovyron wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:13 pm
jp wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:44 pm
I have no idea why people would want to do something like that.
Because at least it's only one side playing stupidly (drunken engine). This is how the start of the game of material handicap looks like:



What's the problem with those players??

Here's what I propose looks like:



Here, Komodo at full strength is switched on, because it thinks white's advantage is as big as in the material handicap position.

Note this was human as black playing the best moves that they thought could play (knowing engine will play badly and would reach big advantage no matter what), it may be a good idea to reach a position they think they can't lose (and if so, then the advantage given was too much and the engine should play at full strength sooner.)

This is different from the first game where black would play 4...Nxh5?? allowing the rook to capture the knight, and 5.Nc3?? where white doesn't punish it. So it's no longer chess.

In the second game, black did no such thing, it's still chess, drunken Komodo had a choice of what to play, and played as best as it could once out of book, but with its search limited.

At least we could learn something about the Silician Dragon, I don't think 1. h3 Nf6 2. g4 Nxg4 3. h4 Nf6 would ever be played by people trying to win.
We played one GM match along the lines you are proposing; the GM (Perelshteyn) played normal opening moves, the computer played one or more very early blunders or stupid moves. We had 1.d4 g5??; 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nxe5??; 1.e4 e6 2.d4 Ke7??; and 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 Nb8? 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Nc3 Nb8?. 45' + 15". I believe he drew the two listed in the middle and lost the first and last listed. I suppose you could complain that he might have chosen other opening moves, but I think that would be nitpicking, all of his moves were normal GM moves.
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Re: Why there is no interest in Computer with odds Vs Humans match?

Post by Ovyron » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:17 am

lkaufman wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:32 am
the GM (Perelshteyn) played normal opening moves
No, he didn't, those moves were played for him (I'm advocating for freedom of choice, which to me is a core part of chess).

Looks like 1.d4 g5?? gets very close, though a part of chess is not knowing what your opponent is going to play, so this would work if the GM played 1.d4 by himself, and didn't know the engine would play g5.

So yeah, I hold that the best handicap is the one that carries all the elements from normal chess, which has all material from the beginning, the engine playing with the strongest hardware available, both players start with the same time on the clock, there's no takebacks, the GM doesn't know what the engine will play, and the GM can choose all of her moves from the opening position (no thematic chess).

What if we build an opening book that plays into a hole no matter what the GM plays? Playing the g pawn two moves at inappropriate times, the Knight dancing back to beginning square, exchanging Knight for a protected pawn, moving the King early, are all good ideas, others could be opening a center pawn two steps and move the Bishop to the 3rd / 6th rank to be captured, the a / h pawns two moves forward and the rook up to be captured by the opposing Bishop, and probably many other things could be tried (like unsound openings like a suicidal variation of the King's Gambit, or spending several moves to get the Queen to a3/h3/a6/h6, etc.)

The GM wouldn't know what the engine is going to do, and a stubborn GM could decline the "sacrifice", but that's part of chess, so it could bring some excitement back into the match, as not even the Komodo side would know what kind of handicap will the human run into, because they'd not know in advance the GM's moves, and would have to "prepare" for everything.

Since traditionally Human v Machine matches have an opening book anyway, I think it'd make sense to take advantage of it to implement the handicap on there, and it may be the closest we can get the match to resemble pure chess.
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Re: Why there is no interest in Computer with odds Vs Humans match?

Post by jp » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:41 am

Ovyron wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:10 pm
jp wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:33 pm
How many moves out of book is the second example? I don't think the moves between the end of book and the end of move 16 must be "played" by the engine. It seems a bit artificial to claim they are. We could produce them by any means and just start at the position at the end of move 16, which would be fine.
No, because we don't know what moves the human is going to play. This is just like the game would be if the human was playing without any handicap, and the book is there to add variety. But the human can play some obscure opening to get the engine out of book ASAP, or get into the Sicilian Lowenthal hoping the book last very long. Etc. Like a normal game, except the engine would play badly once the book is over, so the human can capitalize and make it so that when the engine shows the human with huge advantage and goes full strength, it matters.
How many moves out of book is the second example?

I don't know what you mean by "we don't know what moves the human is going to play". I'm just saying that claiming the engine was really "playing" the moves from end of book to end of move 16 (just because we could make it spit out those moves at depth 0 or something) is a bit artificial, like making up the pre-game history of the material-handicap game.
Last edited by jp on Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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