WCCC 2019 Macau..

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Peter Berger
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Re: WCCC 2019 Macau..

Post by Peter Berger » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:38 pm

I am not so sure.

Community efforts like Stockfish and LeelaZero can't enter that easily for obvious reasons. And if they do, they face their own challenges, like an operator who can't enter a move on the board in like 15 seconds...

Robert Pope
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Re: WCCC 2019 Macau..

Post by Robert Pope » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:01 pm

Peter Berger wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:38 pm
I am not so sure.

Community efforts like Stockfish and LeelaZero can't enter that easily for obvious reasons. And if they do, they face their own challenges, like an operator who can't enter a move on the board in like 15 seconds...
What obvious reasons?

Peter Berger
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Re: WCCC 2019 Macau..

Post by Peter Berger » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:10 pm

Robert Pope wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:01 pm
Peter Berger wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:38 pm
I am not so sure.

Community efforts like Stockfish and LeelaZero can't enter that easily for obvious reasons. And if they do, they face their own challenges, like an operator who can't enter a move on the board in like 15 seconds...
What obvious reasons?
You'd need a lot of people to agree with each other. And there is no obvious lead programmer or team boss to guide the common efforts organisation-wise. Just think of Stockfish: it's safe to say that you'd need +at least+ five well-known lead people to agree on entering such a competition, and probably some public community vote in addition to be on the safe side.

crem
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Re: WCCC 2019 Macau..

Post by crem » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:21 pm

Peter Berger wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:10 pm
Robert Pope wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:01 pm
What obvious reasons?
You'd need a lot of people to agree with each other. And there is no obvious lead programmer or team boss to guide the common efforts organisation-wise. Just think of Stockfish: it's safe to say that you'd need +at least+ five well-known lead people to agree on entering such a competition, and probably some public community vote in addition to be on the safe side.
Leela team didn't visit because of location, it's just too far for everyone to fly.

We really planned to visit hoping it would be somewhere in Europe, but China is too far and also requires visas etc, also flying far means taking longer vacation at work etc (and people whose work is chess engine don't need to take vacations).

Also in Leela case, it has to be be two people, one of core devs (because, after all, this event is more about meeting with other chess engine devs than about competition), and one operator who knows how to move pieces on the board. Because none of core devs happen to be a chess player.

Also organizers only cover flight cost (now sure about hotel) for core devs, so we'd need to crowdfund operator's travel and accomodation (or alternatively find some local operator).

And renting cloud instance to run Lc0 is also something not free.

Peter Berger
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Re: WCCC 2019 Macau..

Post by Peter Berger » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:54 pm

Cool - so Leela +does+ have someone who can speak for it.

Maybe you should just plan and hire some organisation guy for the next time then. This doesn't solve the vacation problem, but everything else sounds pretty easy to me.

You are already thinking along similar lines ( "crowd-funding" for the operator e.g.). Some of this could probably be negotiated with ICGA anyway - no one really knows how they spend their money :D.

And if there is money needed in the end: you could just ask for it, like here. I wouldn't be surprised if you'd get a serious amount of money for participation easily.

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hgm
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Re: WCCC 2019 Macau..

Post by hgm » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:04 pm

I wonder how much of this is true. That about visa is nonsense for sure: I am here in Macau, and I didn't need a visa at all. I entered through Hong Kong, and that didn't require a visa either. (Considering the situation there in the airport now, this might have been an unlucky choice... Time will tell.)

I furthermore think it would be enough for the ICGA if just one of the heavily involved developers would register for the tournament. Note that all contributers to a GPL'ed project have automatically and irrevokably granted permission for the program to participate. So if there are any problems, they are purely of their own making.

I would be very surprised if there wouldn't be someone who owns powerful hardware that is willing to let it be used for a tournament that has a high chance to result in a world title could not be found rather easily. Finding an operator that lives near the location should not be very difficult at all. That Chess-engine developers would be incompetent to move pieces over the board as instructed by the computer sounds completely absurd to me. This might perhaps be a worry in the blitz tourney, but at normal match controls an idiot should be able to do it. In one one of the Chinese Chess games I participated in the opponent was operated by a charming Cinese girl, who did not seem to know the rules (as on two occasions she attempted to move a Horse one step diagonally, before recovering and make the correct move), and she performed the job adequately.

crem
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Re: WCCC 2019 Macau..

Post by crem » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:37 pm

hgm wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:04 pm
I wonder how much of this is true.
Ok, it's a balance between desire to go there and amount of hassle.
Indeed if we really wanted to go there, we could free up time from work, we would prepare visas etc. But it's just too much hassle, and too tiring (22 hours in a plane one way, then 3 days there and then 22 hours back) -- just not worth it.
hgm wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:04 pm
That about visa is nonsense for sure: I am here in Macau, and I didn't need a visa at all.
Probably you are holder of one of the lucky citizenships which don't need a visa to China.
Actually I don't need visa too, but other reasons (vacation and too long flight) outweight.
hgm wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:04 pm
I entered through Hong Kong, and that didn't require a visa either. (Considering the situation there in the airport now, this might have been an unlucky choice... Time will tell.)

I furthermore think it would be enough for the ICGA if just one of the heavily involved developers would register for the tournament. Note that all contributers to a GPL'ed project have automatically and irrevokably granted permission for the program to participate. So if there are any problems, they are purely of their own making.
We did announce it and called for volunteers in Lc0 discord, noone responded.
hgm wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:04 pm
I would be very surprised if there wouldn't be someone who owns powerful hardware that is willing to let it be used for a tournament that has a high chance to result in a world title could not be found rather easily.
Probably, but it requires time and effort which could otherwise be spent to Lc0 development.
hgm wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:04 pm
Finding an operator that lives near the location should not be very difficult at all.
That Chess-engine developers would be incompetent to move pieces over the board as instructed by the computer sounds completely absurd to me. This might perhaps be a worry in the blitz tourney, but at normal match controls an idiot should be able to do it.
Last year we lost of time in tablebase draw because of inexperienced operator.
For me personally it would also be a problem. I can misplace bishop on long moves, things like finding square "g6" while looking from black's perspective also takes like 5 seconds for me, and under stress it could be even more.
So a need of qualified operator is actually a lesson from the last year (also someone from Komodo team said that WCCC is not a chess engine championship but a championship of a team engine+operator, and they seem to be right).
hgm wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:04 pm
In one one of the Chinese Chess games I participated in the opponent was operated by a charming Cinese girl, who did not seem to know the rules (as on two occasions she attempted to move a Horse one step diagonally, before recovering and make the correct move), and she performed the job adequately.
All in all, we wanted to go there, but not wanted hard enough to be ready dealing with all the hassle.

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hgm
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Re: WCCC 2019 Macau..

Post by hgm » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:37 am

crem wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:37 pm
Ok, it's a balance between desire to go there and amount of hassle.
Indeed if we really wanted to go there, we could free up time from work, we would prepare visas etc. But it's just too much hassle, and too tiring (22 hours in a plane one way, then 3 days there and then 22 hours back) -- just not worth it.
You must be very unfavorably located. For me flight time was only 11 hours, and for half the planet it would be less. There must be Leela developers that live closer by?
Probably you are holder of one of the lucky citizenships which don't need a visa to China.
Actually I don't need visa too, but other reasons (vacation and too long flight) outweight.
Macao is not the people's republic; it has different rules, and there are border posts between it and the people's republic. U.S. or E.U. citizens don't need visa. That it takes long is a valid concern, but that some concerns are valid doesn't alter that the fact that the visa argument was nonsense.
We did announce it and called for volunteers in Lc0 discord, noone responded.
I did not see any announcement in TalkChess, where all the people are. "LC discord" (first time I hear about it!) I cannot even read without registering...

Furthermore, a WCCC participant told me yesterday, when we were discussing the non-participation of Leela, that someone actually did respond positively to the request. He seemed completely ignored.
Probably, but it requires time and effort which could otherwise be spent to Lc0 development.
Again, just posting it here would probably be enough. There are always people that know people, etc.
Last year we lost of time in tablebase draw because of inexperienced operator.
For me personally it would also be a problem. I can misplace bishop on long moves, things like finding square "g6" while looking from black's perspective also takes like 5 seconds for me, and under stress it could be even more.
So a need of qualified operator is actually a lesson from the last year (also someone from Komodo team said that WCCC is not a chess engine championship but a championship of a team engine+operator, and they seem to be right).
Yeah, where did you dug up him? My wife would have done better. Tessa Pijl (Richard's then 12-year-old daughter) used to do better... You should realize that the description 'inexperienced operator' was a (rather gross) euphemism, which took hold because a more accurate description of the situation was considered unfit for printing. To perform like this a lot more than just inexperience is needed. 'Inexperience' only means you have never done it before; not necessarily that you are incompetent for doing it. Sorry for being so blunt about it, but political correctnes gets to be very counterproductive if it creates misunderstandings that finally result in non-participation. For one, 5 sec is not a problem at all. I always allow 10 sec of operator time for myself (5 for entering and 5 for executing), and I am really slow as operators go. That still only takes a minor fraction of the time you have. (And for most of that time the engine would actually be pondering on the right move.) You should of course take account of the expected operator time in the initial time you set for the program, and take care to keep the computer's clock in sync with the official match clock if a discrepancy occurs because of an unexpectedly long game. But 5 minutes of instruction by someone who has done it before should be enough to learn that. Secondly, you never have to "find anything like square g6". You don't read the moves, you look at an image of the board on your monitor, which shows you a big fat arrow for the move that was made, after the computer beeps to alert you that one was made, and you just move the piece on the match board like the image shows (e.g. "behind that Pawn", or "next to that Knight"). I am never 'coordinate conscious' at all; it is not needed. Finally, if it takes longer under stress, you'd better enter the moves at your leasure.
All in all, we wanted to go there, but not wanted hard enough to be ready dealing with all the hassle.
Not wanting to go there is of course anyone's right. What I object to is gross exaggeration of the hassle to justify it.

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mclane
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Re: WCCC 2019 Macau..

Post by mclane » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:53 am

crem wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:21 pm
Peter Berger wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:10 pm
Robert Pope wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:01 pm
What obvious reasons?
You'd need a lot of people to agree with each other. And there is no obvious lead programmer or team boss to guide the common efforts organisation-wise. Just think of Stockfish: it's safe to say that you'd need +at least+ five well-known lead people to agree on entering such a competition, and probably some public community vote in addition to be on the safe side.
Leela team didn't visit because of location, it's just too far for everyone to fly.

We really planned to visit hoping it would be somewhere in Europe, but China is too far and also requires visas etc, also flying far means taking longer vacation at work etc (and people whose work is chess engine don't need to take vacations).

Also in Leela case, it has to be be two people, one of core devs (because, after all, this event is more about meeting with other chess engine devs than about competition), and one operator who knows how to move pieces on the board. Because none of core devs happen to be a chess player.

Also organizers only cover flight cost (now sure about hotel) for core devs, so we'd need to crowdfund operator's travel and accomodation (or alternatively find some local operator).

And renting cloud instance to run Lc0 is also something not free.
Who are the programmers of LC0 ?
What seems like a fairy tale today may be reality tomorrow.
Here we have a fairy tale of the day after tomorrow....

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Ovyron
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Re: WCCC 2019 Macau..

Post by Ovyron » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:21 am

The question remains: what is it that the operator needs to do in person that can't be done remotely? These discussions sound like the things you'd expect to send by snail mail, taking ages to send and receive letters to communicate, ignoring the existence of emails, or online forums.

The WCCC, as if the Internet never existed :roll:
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

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