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Komodo vs GM Smerdon knight odds match

Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:17 am
by lkaufman
The first non-blitz match in history in which a GM will take knight odds has been scheduled! On the evenings of April 10 and 11 (starting at 8 p.m. New York time) we have scheduled a six game match between Komodo (regular, MCTS, or NN to be decided) and Grandmaster David Smerdon, FIDE 2508 Standard, 2562 Rapid, at the FIDE Rapid time control used in the World Rapid Championship (15' + 10"), on chess.com. David, born 1984, is a professor in Australia, and is the author of a new chess book, The Complete Chess Swindler, so he should presumably know something about how to avoid being swindled when a piece ahead! The match is being played specially for the ICGA Journal, and I'll be doing an article on it there with contribution by David. He will receive prize money of $100 per win and $25 per draw so he'll be motivated to play for the win while still having motivation to bail out to a draw once the win is gone. As with past knight odds matches, Komodo will play White alternating between b1 and g1 odds. It will have a small opening book to provide variety, which I'll share with him before the match. Hardware will be my new 32 core Threadripper 3970x. Komodo will use a sizable Contempt setting, but will still be playing for a draw unless/until Smerdon loses much of his advantage. The match is not part of a show on chess.com, but I expect to comment live during the games.
Readers may recall that my son IM Raymond Kaufman (FIDE 2281) played a similar four game match with Komodo (MCTS) in January, in which Komodo won the first two games, while the last two were time-forfeited by Komodo's refusal to move in tablebase drawn positions due to a problem that was fixed right after the match. If we count those forfeits as draws, and include Rapid games at knight odds against Jeremy Kane and FM Larry Gilden (including both shorter and longer rapid time limit games), Komodo's total score was 13.5 to 3.5 against an average FIDE rating of 2121 for a performance of 2355. So based on Smerdon's Rapid rating, Komodo's expected score would be 23.3%, so if Komodo draws half the games and loses the other half, that would be better than expected based on this calculation. But there are many unknowns.
What do you think? Can Komodo at least hold half the games?

Re: Komodo vs GM Smerdon knight odds match

Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:49 am
by MikeGL
Sounds exciting. Thanks for the heads up.
Ballpark score could be 3.5 - 2.5 win for Komodo.
All draws plus 1 win for the engine.

Re: Komodo vs GM Smerdon knight odds match

Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:51 am
by Marcus9
Fantastic! It's the match I've been waiting for, Thank you Larry

Re: Komodo vs GM Smerdon knight odds match

Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:31 pm
by rcmaddox
lkaufman wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:17 am
The match is not part of a show on chess.com, but I expect to comment live during the games.
This means the match can be followed at the Komodo website?

Re: Komodo vs GM Smerdon knight odds match

Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:07 pm
by lkaufman
rcmaddox wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:31 pm
lkaufman wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:17 am
The match is not part of a show on chess.com, but I expect to comment live during the games.
This means the match can be followed at the Komodo website?
No, it means that if you watch the games live on chess.com, you can see whatever comments I and others watching make. Expect three games each evening with about a five minute break in between each.

Re: Komodo vs GM Smerdon knight odds match

Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:17 pm
by lkaufman
MikeGL wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:49 am
Sounds exciting. Thanks for the heads up.
Ballpark score could be 3.5 - 2.5 win for Komodo.
All draws plus 1 win for the engine.
Well, as Tal reportedly said when told that Bobby Fischer said in the 1960s that he could give knight odds to any woman chessplayer, "Fischer is Fischer, but a knight is a knight" (or something like that). I believe that eventually Komodo will win a match like this, but not this year, we need a major breakthru for that to happen in my opinion. We did beat MVL in a (fast) rapid match at handicaps averaging about a 2.0 eval for him, but knight odds is way more than that. In the opening, a knight is worth nearly four pawns, so even with the first move, White is down about 3.5.

Re: Komodo vs GM Smerdon knight odds match

Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:38 pm
by Ovyron
Still hoping that some chess streamer picks it up (they just need to tune in, stream the background and add their commentary while the games are played.)

Re: Komodo vs GM Smerdon knight odds match

Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:53 pm
by lkaufman
Ovyron wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:38 pm
Still hoping that some chess streamer picks it up (they just need to tune in, stream the background and add their commentary while the games are played.)
Fine with me, feel free to forward this announcement to anyone who might be interested in doing so.

Re: Komodo vs GM Smerdon knight odds match

Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:28 pm
by Laskos
lkaufman wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:17 pm
MikeGL wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:49 am
Sounds exciting. Thanks for the heads up.
Ballpark score could be 3.5 - 2.5 win for Komodo.
All draws plus 1 win for the engine.
Well, as Tal reportedly said when told that Bobby Fischer said in the 1960s that he could give knight odds to any woman chessplayer, "Fischer is Fischer, but a knight is a knight" (or something like that). I believe that eventually Komodo will win a match like this, but not this year, we need a major breakthru for that to happen in my opinion. We did beat MVL in a (fast) rapid match at handicaps averaging about a 2.0 eval for him, but knight odds is way more than that. In the opening, a knight is worth nearly four pawns, so even with the first move, White is down about 3.5.
Very interesting.

2 GM wins, 4 draws. In this range, I guess. In other metric, something like 80-90% range that this young active GM won't lose the match.

Re: Komodo vs GM Smerdon knight odds match

Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:37 pm
by Collingwood
Laskos wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:28 pm
2 GM wins, 4 draws. In this range, I guess. In other metric, something like 80-90% range that this young active GM won't lose the match.
Young and active compared with 70-year-olds, but Smerdon isn't active compared with a professional.