Why don't strong engines enter WCCC?

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vittyvirus
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Why don't strong engines enter WCCC?

Post by vittyvirus » Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:41 am

I see that Deep Junior won WCCC 13. Where is Stockfish? Houdini? Gull? Others, who can completely CRUSH Deep Junior?

jdart
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Re: Why don't strong engines enter WCCC?

Post by jdart » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:00 pm

1. It's expensive to participate (travel, etc.).

2. For the commercial engines, there is no real benefit, unless maybe you win, there is some possible marketing gain, hard to quantify.

3. Ever since Rybka was banned for being an unacknowledged derivative of Fruit, you've seen less participation. ICGA has just recently been also investigating past participants Thinker and Loop. I think closed-source engine authors don't want to have that level of scrutiny and potential controversy.

Personally I'd like to see Stockfish enter, but the team has other priorities, I assume, or is deterred by 1.

--Jon

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hgm
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Re: Why don't strong engines enter WCCC?

Post by hgm » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:48 pm

Well, this is only partly true. Stockfish, for instance, could easily participate: its originality is not in question, the source is open and verifiable, and there would be plenty of people willing to operate it at their own expense.

It is just that some of its main authors for unfathomable reasons want to wage a personal vendetta against ICGA, or other organizers of over-the-board tournaments.

Houdini does not want to participate because the organizers cannot guarantee it will get the title in advance. That Houdini crushes Deep Junior is only true in a match of many games, when they use a neutral book and equal hardware, etc. In a single game everything can happen, especially if you play with black against a well-prepared opening line. Chess at high level is a drawish game. Hence Houdini's policy to never participate in a tournament where own books are forbidden, or where it does not play at least 24 games against any competitor, etc.

Komodo had a good excuse in that its principal author was terminally ill. I am sure the other issues don't scare it too much; on previous computer tourneys (e.g. CCT) Don Daley had never any objection to show source code to the organizers to prove originality.

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kranium
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Re: Why don't strong engines enter WCCC?

Post by kranium » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:14 pm

hgm wrote:Houdini does not want to participate because the organizers cannot guarantee it will get the title in advance. That Houdini crushes Deep Junior is only true in a match of many games, when they use a neutral book and equal hardware, etc. In a single game everything can happen, especially if you play with black against a well-prepared opening line. Chess at high level is a drawish game. Hence Houdini's policy to never participate in a tournament where own books are forbidden, or where it does not play at least 24 games against any competitor, etc.
I disagree, it's clearly ICGA Rule #2 that prevents Houdini from participating:
2. Each program must be the original work of the entering developers, possibly with the inclusion of game
playing code and/or data from other sources for which the entering developers have a legal right of use.
Developers whose code is derived from or includes (1) game-playing code; and/or (2) data written by
others, must name (a) all the other developers of whom they are aware; and (b) the source of such code
and/or data, in their tournament registration details.

Programs which are discovered to be undeclared derivatives of others may be designated invalid by the
Tournament Director if he is convinced, after seeking advice if he feels that to be necessary, that the
closeness of derivation is of such a level as to constitute unfair competition. A listing and an executable
version of all game-related code and data running on the system must be available on demand to the
Tournament Director prior to the start of and during the tournament. The Tournament Director has the
right to submit the executable version of a program for testing for similarity with other known programs,
and/or to submit the listing to an expert or experts of his choosing for examination, also to determine
similarity. Under all circumstances the Tournament Director will take all reasonable steps to ensure that
any such listing and/or executable are treated as being strictly confidential.

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kranium
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Re: Why don't strong engines enter WCCC?

Post by kranium » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:44 pm

jdart wrote: 3. Ever since Rybka was banned for being an unacknowledged derivative of Fruit, you've seen less participation. ICGA has just recently been also investigating past participants Thinker and Loop. I think closed-source engine authors don't want to have that level of scrutiny and potential controversy.
--Jon
exactly...
+1

Milos
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Re: Why don't strong engines enter WCCC?

Post by Milos » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:31 pm

hgm wrote:It is just that some of its main authors for unfathomable reasons want to wage a personal vendetta against ICGA, or other organizers of over-the-board tournaments.
Lol, you are hilarious. "Unfathomable reasons" :lol: :lol: :lol:
Imagine you are FC Barcelona and are invited to play some tournament in Cambodia (after you pay like 10 million dollars for participation) with local teams from Cambodia league for a title of "Cambodian World Champion".
What's the chance Barcelona would compete??? :D

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Re: Why don't strong engines enter WCCC?

Post by lucasart » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:36 pm

Milos wrote:
hgm wrote:It is just that some of its main authors for unfathomable reasons want to wage a personal vendetta against ICGA, or other organizers of over-the-board tournaments.
Lol, you are hilarious. "Unfathomable reasons" :lol: :lol: :lol:
Imagine you are FC Barcelona and are invited to play some tournament in Cambodia (after you pay like 10 million dollars for participation) with local teams from Cambodia league for a title of "Cambodian World Champion".
What's the chance Barcelona would compete??? :D
+1

ICGA and its WCCC is completely irrelevant to most of us. That's why we don't care to participate in it.

Stockfish has nothing to prove:
  • it tops all (up to date) rating lists
  • twice runner-up, and once winner of TCEC
  • won the last TCEC Chess960 too
  • will win anything you throw at it...
Today, in 2014 (as opposed to 1984), TCEC is the the real World Computer Championship.
Theory and practice sometimes clash. And when that happens, theory loses. Every single time.

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lucasart
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Re: Why don't strong engines enter WCCC?

Post by lucasart » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:02 am

hgm wrote:Well, this is only partly true. Stockfish, for instance, could easily participate: its originality is not in question, the source is open and verifiable
You still don't get it. The question is not "is SF worthy of WCCC?". The question is "is WCCC worthy of SF?". And the answer is a resounding NO!
Theory and practice sometimes clash. And when that happens, theory loses. Every single time.

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Re: Why don't strong engines enter WCCC?

Post by Frank Quisinsky » Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:12 am

Hi Lucas,

since many years ICGA isn't a big deal for us for some good known reasons. But in questions of clones ICGA are right. Here we need strong rules.

That I dislike in TCEC organisation! Too many clones are playing here.

But I can give your 15 other points TCEC is perfect for me too. With other words, never the group of computer chess people will build the same opinion to such complicated topics.

It's a question of time the group of programmers are building a new organisation and kick out ICGA. Better ... ICGA get younger helpers with fresh get-up-and-go.

Best
Frank
I like computer chess!

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vittyvirus
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Re: Why don't strong engines enter WCCC?

Post by vittyvirus » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:21 am

WCCC is really not worth Stockfish. If Stockfish would participate vs. Deep Junior in 12 games, I bet, at worse, it would lose one game and win or draw every other.
P.S. I'd like to see Stockfish participating at WCCC.

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