Two Pawn Handicap

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lkaufman
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Two Pawn Handicap

Post by lkaufman » Thu Aug 06, 2015 5:40 am

It seems most of us underestimated the grandmaster in this match or at least underestimated the handicap. I think it's pretty obvious now that the handicap of f2 and c2 pawns was just too much for anyone or anything to give to a grandmaster in a serious game. Yet Komodo won fairly easily playing Black and giving the f7 pawn only, which is the worst pawn for Black to remove.
I think two pawn handicap is still playable against an ordinary (around 2500) grandmaster, if we are a bit more conservative about the choice of the pawns. As it was, White was not only two pawns down, but his king was weakened and his pawns were split up into three groups. Moreover he only had two of the four pawns that can control central squares. I chose this handicap out of deference to the tradition of giving the "f" pawn as a handicap, but it's just too difficult, especially if repeated game after game while the grandmaster learns each time.
When Kasparov gave two pawns to Terrence Chapman (said to be 2150 level) in a match, he removed the "a" pawn plus one other varying pawn. This is what we should have done too, although I think it was a bit unfair to play one game with both edge pawns removed, which is probably no more than the f7 handicap. I think Komodo can still offer two pawns to a grandmaster, if one is the "a" pawn and the other rotates between "b", "c", "d", and "e". These feel more like "just" a two pawn handicap with no added positional advantages on top.
Comments, anyone?
Komodo rules!

JJJ
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Re: Two Pawn Handicap

Post by JJJ » Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:23 am

I totally agree. You can choose better pawn, not just the two worst possible.

Jhoravi
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Re: Two Pawn Handicap

Post by Jhoravi » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:18 am

Agreed. I believe two pawn handicap where the engine side chooses which pawns to remove is competitive against ordinary grandmasters.

Against a world top10, "f7 pawn handicap and a move" like in 6th game against GM Neuman is just right.

whereagles
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Re: Two Pawn Handicap

Post by whereagles » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:24 am

Indeed. Against -cf pawns, Neuman quickly came up with the winning strategy of blocking the center, obstructing the c-file and forcing exchanges.

The Bf5 in particular was a monster. Without c2 pawn, Rb1 was not possible, making stuff like Qb6 a stronger move than it usually is. Getting rid of this bishop virtually forced one exchange, and wiping white's Bf4 was also not hard.

It's not that 2-pawn handicap might be too much on paper.. just that any two pawns removed creates strategically exploitable weaknesses, and that shows at this level. Except perhaps -ah pawns.

Random pawn + move was tried in Naka-SF some months ago and Naka lost with -b7 and drew with -h7. If I recall correctly the loss was due to Naka trying to force a win. So I'd say -f7 seems perfectly fair vs top 10.

Vinvin
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Re: Two Pawn Handicap

Post by Vinvin » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:55 am

lkaufman wrote: Yet Komodo won fairly easily playing Black and giving the f7 pawn only, which is the worst pawn for Black to remove...
May be the f7 + a time handicap (time divide by 10 or 50 on the 24 cores).
This will make the games more lively to follow.

Jhoravi
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Re: Two Pawn Handicap

Post by Jhoravi » Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:03 am

I would like to point out that these Engines got their super ELO by maneuvering and winning from equal position.. Not from winning loosing positions (like piece odds)! I can't blame the programmers because it's 100% pointless to improve handling loosing positions against fellow engines But makes sense against us imperfect humans. If you're down a piece, you care less about bishop pairs or pawn structures and think more on attack, space and complications. It seems engines have the same positional considerations in dealing loosing positions. (Programmers wisely skip that part because loosing position is already lost so why bother care?) :)

Just my take.

duncan
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Re: Two Pawn Handicap

Post by duncan » Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:22 am

Vinvin wrote:
lkaufman wrote: Yet Komodo won fairly easily playing Black and giving the f7 pawn only, which is the worst pawn for Black to remove...
May be the f7 + a time handicap (time divide by 10 or 50 on the 24 cores).
This will make the games more lively to follow.
I think larry does not like weakening komodo strength wise that way, as we want to see komodo at its best. it is like saying play komodo on one core.

I would like f7 + 2 or 3 takebacks for human also maybe give him crafty which should allow the human to concentrate on his strengths rather than a hopeless attempt to cover up his weaknesses.

Vinvin
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Re: Two Pawn Handicap

Post by Vinvin » Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:34 am

duncan wrote:
Vinvin wrote:
lkaufman wrote: Yet Komodo won fairly easily playing Black and giving the f7 pawn only, which is the worst pawn for Black to remove...
May be the f7 + a time handicap (time divide by 10 or 50 on the 24 cores).
This will make the games more lively to follow.
I think larry does not like weakening komodo strength wise that way, as we want to see komodo at its best. it is like saying play komodo on one core.
...
Nevertheless, that would a good publicity for Komodo : "At 1 second by move, Komodo with a pawn down is able to defeat a 2650 GM !!"

Uri Blass
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Re: Two Pawn Handicap

Post by Uri Blass » Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:38 am

lkaufman wrote:It seems most of us underestimated the grandmaster in this match or at least underestimated the handicap. I think it's pretty obvious now that the handicap of f2 and c2 pawns was just too much for anyone or anything to give to a grandmaster in a serious game. Yet Komodo won fairly easily playing Black and giving the f7 pawn only, which is the worst pawn for Black to remove.
I think two pawn handicap is still playable against an ordinary (around 2500) grandmaster, if we are a bit more conservative about the choice of the pawns. As it was, White was not only two pawns down, but his king was weakened and his pawns were split up into three groups. Moreover he only had two of the four pawns that can control central squares. I chose this handicap out of deference to the tradition of giving the "f" pawn as a handicap, but it's just too difficult, especially if repeated game after game while the grandmaster learns each time.
When Kasparov gave two pawns to Terrence Chapman (said to be 2150 level) in a match, he removed the "a" pawn plus one other varying pawn. This is what we should have done too, although I think it was a bit unfair to play one game with both edge pawns removed, which is probably no more than the f7 handicap. I think Komodo can still offer two pawns to a grandmaster, if one is the "a" pawn and the other rotates between "b", "c", "d", and "e". These feel more like "just" a two pawn handicap with no added positional advantages on top.
Comments, anyone?
I prefer 90+30 time control and only one pawn handicap.
If you do not use 90+30 you cannot claim that you beat GM's with pawn handicap in normal chess and GM's do not use faster time control than 90+30 in normal chess.

Jesse Gersenson
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Re: Two Pawn Handicap

Post by Jesse Gersenson » Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:35 pm

Uri Blass wrote:
lkaufman wrote:It seems most of us underestimated the grandmaster in this match or at least underestimated the handicap. I think it's pretty obvious now that the handicap of f2 and c2 pawns was just too much for anyone or anything to give to a grandmaster in a serious game. Yet Komodo won fairly easily playing Black and giving the f7 pawn only, which is the worst pawn for Black to remove.
I think two pawn handicap is still playable against an ordinary (around 2500) grandmaster, if we are a bit more conservative about the choice of the pawns. As it was, White was not only two pawns down, but his king was weakened and his pawns were split up into three groups. Moreover he only had two of the four pawns that can control central squares. I chose this handicap out of deference to the tradition of giving the "f" pawn as a handicap, but it's just too difficult, especially if repeated game after game while the grandmaster learns each time.
When Kasparov gave two pawns to Terrence Chapman (said to be 2150 level) in a match, he removed the "a" pawn plus one other varying pawn. This is what we should have done too, although I think it was a bit unfair to play one game with both edge pawns removed, which is probably no more than the f7 handicap. I think Komodo can still offer two pawns to a grandmaster, if one is the "a" pawn and the other rotates between "b", "c", "d", and "e". These feel more like "just" a two pawn handicap with no added positional advantages on top.
Comments, anyone?
I prefer 90+30 time control and only one pawn handicap.
If you do not use 90+30 you cannot claim that you beat GM's with pawn handicap in normal chess and GM's do not use faster time control than 90+30 in normal chess.
Once the f7 pawn is removed from the starting position adjusting the time conditions won't ever get you to fide's definition of 'normal' chess (I assume you mean "standard" chess). Further, we disagree what constitutes 'normal' chess. You contend it's defined by FIDE; I contend it's defined by the two people playing the game, less you have instances such as, "That's not how we normally play, around here."

Morphy played Anderson and was using about an hour per game, Anderson was using about 8 hours. Was that normal chess? Check online games and figure out what percent of those online games are played at the 'normal' time controls you're claiming as normal. On the contrary, check how long games played in the noise of bar rooms take, how long do two players sit at the board in the santity of their living rooms, or the nooks of cafes?

Larry, we should offer Terrence Chapman knight odds. Also, as a guideline, the odds should be adjusted if there are two or three losses in a row by either side.

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