FICGS - Search results for deep

There are 192 results for deep in the forum.

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-05-03 04:41:09)
Start positions

It seems to me that changing the start position from classical chess is "sufficient"... The purpose was, according to Fischer, to avoid databases and to favour creativity.. The same positions in the whole tournament allows to compare & analyze a bit deeper, maybe understand better the position. The start position will be different for the next tournament (working on). There are "only" 960 positions, there will be repetitions anyway... And what do you think about the Fischer rules ? Seems strange to me. I wonder if everyone knows how to castle in other start positions (king or rooks at different places)

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-07-04 20:15:35)
8-game matches

John... ??? :)

Vladimir Kramnik - Peter Leko (match for WCH classical title)
Vladimir Kramnik - Deep Fritz...

Of course it is desired... Who will remember the names of the players in the last ICCF final tournament ? Even if ICCF doesn't use this format, and (as you say) serious CC players didn't have the opportunity to play such tournament, knockout format is still desired.

My first idea was a pure enormous knockout tournament, but it's obviously not possible (too much rounds, a time problem), that's why I thought about this combined system.

Now look at the chess world : Many players don't understand why FIDE progressively reduces the number of games and time controls in WCH matches. It is the main reason why FIDE world champion title looses value. Not hard / accurate, not spectacular enough !! ..

What many players (me, at least :)) expect is a classical world championship with a big final match. You may have noticed that FICGS champion will have the opportunity to defend his title in a... 24 games match against his challenger... (!!) That's real fight, that's real challenge and that's what I expect to see from a championship, a big opposition between 2 players, and not a round-robin more or less aleatory, with too much names, not understandable for the most.

Now, as we said on TCCMB : FICGS is not "official" matter, chess is for fun here, but chess must be a show and I'm convinced it is relevant in correspondence chess too. We'll see that ;)

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-07-22 18:31:31)
What future for correspondence chess ?

You may have noticed this "grave" question on the home page... :)


Are draws and chess engines killing chess game, are the level and play simply standardized by Deep Fritz and Rybka... Is the extraordinary performance by Christophe Léotard at XIX th. ICCF correspondence chess world championship 'chancy', a statistical happening, or is there a place yet for human play in modern correspondence chess ?

"I really believe that Go is destined to take the place of Chess as the leading intellectual game of the Occident, just as it has reigned supreme in the Orient for some four thousand years." (Edward Lasker, international chess master)

"... {it is} something unearthly... if there are sentient beings on other planets, then they play go." (Emanuel Lasker, chess world champion)

It had been said that Chess 960 would replace Chess too. I don't think so...

Any predictions ?

Glen D. Shields    (2006-07-24 17:04:52)
Thanks Thibault

Thanks Thibault for the response.

I definitely concur that today's correspondence chess is different than 40 years ago. The two biggest things I miss about today's CC are the 1) blunders and 2) open tournaments. I remember the excitement of getting a postcard and rushing to check my opponent's move. Blunders weren't common, but they occured. Now they're non-existant. Blunders made for great lore!

Why no more open tournaments? Took me 40 years to get my rating where it's at. I'm not a top player, but what I've earned, I've earned mostly the "old fashioned" way. I avoid open tournaments to avoid losing to low rated players who just learned the moves, but because they have a a high powered muti-processor running Deep Fritz they can knock me down a hundred points. I miss chatting with beginners, teaching them the ins and outs of CC. Oh well :)

You mentioned the top CC players winning and then not sticking with the game because winning is too hard due to chess engines. Is the drop out rate at the WC level any different than it was in the past? Berliner won and dropped out 40 years ago. Palciauskas won 30 years ago and then he dropped out. Chess engines were not a factor when they won. I don't think top players drop out because of engines, but because it is too hard to keep a competitive edge to play at a top level for any length of time. Good results are a combination of talent, hard work and good fortune. Keeping all three together for any length of time is a HUGE endeavor.

Personally I think a bigger threat to CC burn-out is not chess engines, but chess servers. Servers make CC too easy. Today's CC today is like Bill Murray in "Ground Hog Day." You wake up to an inbox full of chess moves. You work all day/night replying. Then you wake up the following day to moves from the same people and do it all again. There are no week long breaks breaks between games like in the postcard days. Server chess is burning out everyone, not just the top players. The progressive server owners will need to address this issue someday.

Sooooo ... what's the bottomline for me? I liked the old days better, but the old days are gone. Chess engines are here to stay. Progress is part of life. I embrace progress and am determined to enjoy it. I get my thrills by learning about chess engines and their weaknesses. That gives me an edge and keeps the game fresh. But then that's me :)

Wayne Lowrance    (2006-07-26 00:32:35)
I'm feeling guilty

I just read The touching story of Glen and frankly I feel guilty. I complained here of basically, having to play a 1400 player. Reason obvious he has a 2800 rated program, but so do I. Glen earned his stature. the old fashon way, brain power, intuition, chess knowledge and a strong memory, putting all these tools to work for many, many years. My CC rating elsewhere is 2200+, sorry to admit my programs got me there. In the fairness vain, I didnt earn such a rating. I sorta like to kid my self that all the players I play use comps too. So I tell my self I earned this rating. I earned it playing on servers against people, just like me doing the same as I, getting help/advise from a program. I do not believe this is right, it is not fair for a player such as Glen. I do not have an answer. I am all in favour of Artificial intelligence and hardware advances applied to chess. I am a EE so it is natural for me to be deeply involved.

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-06 23:44:33)
Vladimir Kramnik vs. Peter Leko

Hi Dinesh.

I still can't explain myself this incredible outcome in Brissago. First, this "extraordinary" Marshall gambit, Leko leading the whole match... At last Kramnik winning the very last game. Then Peter Leko smiling, just saying (~) : "I'm glad about my play." .. and that's finished.

It just reminded me the second match Kasparov vs. Deep Blue ...

Anyway, it's always time to be paranoid :-)

Lionel Vidal    (2006-09-08 16:58:11)
ChuShogi would get my vote.

ChuShogi is by far my favorite chess-like game: as deep as Go strategically, more profound than chess tactically (at least on par with big chess) and great fun to play. Like Go a very elaborate handicap system does exist.
Its main drawback is that, just like go, you have to invest some time to learn it to fully appreciate the game: chess, xianqi or even shogi are maybe more immediately grasped by beginners while in ChuShogi or in Go, it may take a few games (or more likely many games) before you realise what you should strive to do or not to do, and what that &#@@# game is all about :-)

Lionel Vidal    (2006-09-09 10:40:13)
arimaa ?!

Arimaa may be a good choice too: it may be played on a chessboard, it is deep, fun and invented precisely to make any computer ridiculous :-) (Just like with Go and ChuShogi it is a very satisfying ego-boost-experience to feel vastly superior once in a while to even the best silicon brains :-))
And another point is that I don't know any site where you could play correpondence arimaa with a server. (whereas you can play Go or Chusogi at pbem server for instance... with even a graphical interface but not as comfortable as FICGS!)
Oh but wait... if you add a game, you'll have to change the name FICGS ? :-)

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-25 18:15:04)
Kramnik vs. Topalov

Benny, what did you think about the match Kramnik vs. Leko (with such fantastic games, ie. Marshall gambit) ? What about Kasparov vs. Deep Blue.. (only examples).. I prefer to see human chess with blunders at top level than to doubt.

Anyway, the match is not over yet, but Kramnik probably won the psychological battle already. Now Topalov must prove he plays the best chess...

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-10-02 15:11:16)
Kramnik plays under protest

Official statement and protest by V. Kramnik

To FIDE President H.E. Kirsan Iljumshinov
To the WCC Appeals Committee

On 2 October 2006 my manager received the following decision from FIDE:

“Tomorrow, 2 October 2006, at 15.00, the 6th Game of the World Chess Championship Match a Topalov-Kramnik with the score 3:2 in favour of Kramnik, will take place.”

Based on this decision I make the following statement:

I inform that I am ready to proceed playing the match by reserving all my rights. My further participation will be subject to the condition to clarify my rights regarding game five at later stage.

I do not agree with the decision made by FIDE and I formally protest against it. The decisions made on my requests, especially the resignation of the Appeals Committee, opening the toilets to the restrooms again, are chrystal clear admissions of FIDE of having taken a false decision. Logically FIDE admits herewith that it was a mistake to start game five by violating the rules and regulations of the competition and by changing the agreed playing rules and conditions during the match without my approval.

I deeply regret the unsportsmanlike and unequaled behaviour of my opponent whom FIDE donated a victory outside of the board by using dirty tricks.

High level functionaries inside FIDE once again were making the professional part of the chess world a disgraceful playground of their own interests. I strongly believe and hope that the course of these events made it obvious to everyone that drastic changes with regard to the professional management structures inside FIDE are evident.

By deciding just a couple of hours ago I had to assess between my personal interests and the interests of the entire chess world. It is very difficult to play under these circumstances. But I came to the conclusion to proceed under protest because I do not want to disappoint the overwhelming majority of the chess fans which are hoping for the unification since so many years.

I also had in mind the people of Kalmykia which are doing their utmost to organize this match on the highest level possible.

Last but not least I would like to thank very much for all the support I experienced during these days.

Elista, 2 October 2006
Vladimir Kramnik Classical World Chess Champion

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-10-02 18:01:18)
Rybka vs. Chessbase engines

Are there correspondence chess players who use Rybka here ? .. is it a better analysis tool than his well-known rivals (Deep Fritz, Shredder, Junior, Hiarcs...) ?

A thread about chess engines could be interesting : How to use chess engines in correspondence chess, which ones (when & why), their weaknesses.....

For sure many players don't want to tell their opponents their way of 'think' :) .. but it could be interesting to make this kind of comparison...

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-10-03 19:18:18)
Open letter

Another letter of support to Vladimir Kramnik, written by famous chess grandmasters... (source

Monday 2nd of October 2006

Dear Vladimir,

Through absolutely no fault of your own, you have suffered the consequences of an unprecedented combination of unethical behaviour from your opponent and glaring incompetence, for lack of a stronger word, on the part of the Appeals Committee.

In spite of evidently unfair treatment, which has not only resulted in your being forfeited one game, but also being subjected to petty attacks and ridiculous accusations from the opposing camp, you have agreed to continue the match for the sake of reunifying the chess world. This is a very impressive decision. It testifies to your remarkable sense of honour and is worthy of your true status of World Champion.

Regardless of the final result of this match you have earned the deepest respect of your fellow Grandmasters and colleagues as well as countless chess fans around the world. Thank you for being a model sportsman in a time and place where so many circumstances turned against you. You deserve to win.

With unfailing support,

GM Joel Lautier
IM Almira Skripchenko
GM Viktor Korchnoi
GM Laurent Fressinet
GM Nigel Short
GM Alexandra Kosteniuk
GM Pavel Tregubov
GM Pentala Harikrishna
GM Yannick Pelletier
WGM Sophie Milliet
GM Lev Alburt
WIM Anna Hahn
GM Rustam Dautov
GM Yasser Seirawan
GM Emanuel Berg
GM Helmut Pfleger
WIM Olena Boytsun
GM Vladimir Barksij
GM Bartlomiej Macieja
IM Maxim Notkin
GM Alexander Baburin
GM Tony Kosten
GM Alexander Khalifman

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-10-25 13:37:13)
Rating / 8-game match

Anyway this result is quite unusual in correspondence chess... :)

Conditions were best to realize such an increase of rating, and a part of the forfeit reasons are probably out of the match (a flag gate)... 6 games out of 8 were rated as a win in this match between Farit & John, with no other result for Farit when the rating calculation occured. It happened, it can happen, I think it won't happen often (I would be surprised if such a case occurs in semi-finals) but in all ways : That's great ! .. IMO :)

There's a part of "injustice" in all most watched sports and games, it's an essential element ! .. The biggest one 'strangely' is in soccer. At another level, chess stars choose their tournaments and manage their FIDE rating, remember ie. this match Etienne Bacrot (2470) vs. Vassily Smyslov (2510, wch) in Albert, with this result 5-1

An obvious, topical and nearer example : FIDE classical (old) world championship system is deeply unfair (for the challenger) but it MUST be kept !

As I said above, the concept (added to fast time control) may create some - rare - rating peaks, but effects are limited and I'm convinced it's interesting enough to try it.

To be continued... in a few years ? ;)

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-10-31 12:02:00)
Chess videos : Youtube

Some interesting chess videos on Youtube...

Sofia Polgar vs. Viktor Korchnoi (wow ! :))

Kramnik vs. Topalov (Elista, 2006)

Kasparov simultaneous exhibition

Game Over (Kasparov vs. Deep Blue) trailer

Kasparov vs. Altavista :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-11-14 16:47:18)
Kramnik vs. Deep Fritz, 2006

In less than 2 weeks from now, classical & FIDE world champion Vladimir Kramnik will play the best (at least most famous) chess program Deep Fritz 10 !

From november 25 to december 5, 2006 at the Federal Art Hall in Bonn. One million US dollars for Kramnik if he defeats Deep Fritz, half this amount otherwise...

We did not forget the previous match in Bahrain (2002), that ended with a 3-3 score.

Do you feel Fritz improved enough to beat a player like Kramnik, who most probably improved his play too... Will Kramnik play rather different openings than in his match against Topalov ? .. Anyway it should be an interesting match to follow.

A few links :

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-11-21 21:32:51)
Kramnik vs. Deep Fritz

I predict 3.5 - 2.5 in favour of Kramnik :)

Wayne Lowrance    (2006-11-24 06:44:37)
Kramnik vs. Deep Fritz, 2006

My two cents. I have little interest in this match. It is no longer any doubt wheather the programs are stronger than the Human. The playing field for this match is not even,. Kramnik has secured far too much of an advantage based on the rules of the match. He will play just well enough to secure a draw, or even perhaps push to a 31/2-21/2 win. After all gotta keep up the suspense for the next big payday cow. Anyways Fritz is not the strongest Engine I believe Human-Program matches should be played without handicap for the program. Then we know who is champs. so now in my view I already know. Wayne

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-11-26 12:51:03)
Game 1

Vladimir Kramnik - Deep Fritz

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.Qa4+ Nbd7 6.Qxc4 a6 7.Qd3 c5 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.Nf3 0-0 10.0-0 Qe7 11.Nc3 b6 12.Ne4 Nxe4 13.Qxe4 Nf6 14.Qh4 Bb7 15.Bg5 Rfd8 16.Bxf6 Qxf6 17.Qxf6 gxf6 18.Rfd1 Kf8 19.Ne1 Bxg2 20.Kxg2 f5 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.Nd3 Bd4 23.Rc1 e5 24.Rc2 Rd5 25.Nb4 Rb5 26.Nxa6 Rxb2 27.Rxb2 Bxb2 28.Nb4 Kg7 29.Nd5 Bd4 30.a4 Bc5 31.h3 f6 32.f3 Kg6 33.e4 h5 34.g4 hxg4 35.hxg4 fxe4 36.fxe4 Kg5 37.Kf3 Kg6 38.Ke2 Kg5 39.Kd3 Bg1 40.Kc4 Bf2 41.Kb5 Kxg4 42.Nxf6+ Kf3 43.Kc6 Bh4 44.Nd7 Kxe4 45.Kxb6 Bf2+ 46.Kc6 Be1 47.Nxe5 ½-½

Does Kramnik really hope to win the match in a struggle, just wait for a bug or only manage a draw more... Waiting for the 2nd game.

Wolfgang Utesch    (2006-11-26 20:16:14)
Kramnik vs. Deep Fritz, 2006

I think, Kramnik has played very well, the ending was won up to move 31. !

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-11-27 18:13:06)
Game 1 : Kramnik misses a win

GM Yasser Seirawan posted an article on Chessbase, explaining how Vladimir Kramnik missed the win against Deep Fritz in game 1 :

Elmer Valderrama    (2006-11-27 19:40:07)
not that Deep?

..CB shooting themselves in the foot as this reveals "Deep" Fritz 10 is reeling in the endings :/

Not so "the others" which wouldn't play that endgame like that.

Elmer Valderrama    (2006-11-27 20:40:39)
one move deeper..

..well, "Deep" Fritz 10 is at least one move deeper than Kramnik

Kramnik blundered mate in 1 in game 2 :(

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-11-27 20:46:06)
Game 2 ...

Deep Fritz - Vladimir Kramnik

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 b5 4.a4 c6 5.Nc3 b4 6.Na2 Nf6 7.e5 Nd5 8.Bxc4 e6 9.Nf3 a5 10.Bg5 Qb6 11.Nc1 Ba6 12.Qe2 h6 13.Be3 Bxc4 14.Qxc4 Nd7 15.Nb3 Be7 16.Rc1 0-0 17.0-0 Rfc8 18.Qe2 c5 19.Nfd2 Qc6 20.Qh5 Qxa4 21.Nxc5 Nxc5 22.dxc5 Nxe3 23.fxe3 Bxc5 24.Qxf7+ Kh8 25.Qf3 Rf8 26.Qe4 Qd7 27.Nb3 Bb6 28.Rfd1 Qf7 29.Rf1 Qa7 30.Rxf8+ Rxf8 31.Nd4 a4 32.Nxe6 Bxe3+ 33.Kh1 Bxc1 34.Nxf8 Qe3 35.Qh7# 1-0

... I have no word.

Charlie Neil    (2006-11-29 13:21:22)
Krammik vs Deep Fritz 2006

I was shocked at first then relieved to see the world champion making a blunder and such a blunder. Only proves that this is a terrible game! That one time Krammik knows how I feel all the time! B-)

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-11-29 19:38:21)
Another draw with White :/

Vladimir Kramnik - Deep Fritz

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 dxc4 5. Qa4+ Nbd7 6. Qxc4 a6 7. Qc2 c5 8. Nf3 b6 9. Ne5 Nd5 10. Nc3 Bb7 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Bxd5 exd5 13. O-O Nxe5 14. dxe5 Qc8 15. Rd1 Qe6 16. Qd3 Be7 17. Qxd5 Rd8 18. Qb3 Rxd1+ 19. Qxd1 O-O 20. Qb3 c4 21. Qc3 f6 22. b3 Rc8 23. Bb2 b5 24. Qe3 fxe5 25. bxc4 Rxc4 26. Bxe5 h6 27. Rd1 Rc2 28. Qb3 Qxb3 29. axb3 Rxe2 30. Bd6 Bf6 31. Bc5 a5 32. Bd4 Be7 33. Bc3 a4 34. bxa4 bxa4 35. Rd7 Bf8 36. Rd8 Kf7 37. Ra8 a3 38. Rxf8+ Kxf8 39. Bb4+ Kf7 40. Bxa3 Ra2 41. Bc5 g6 42. h4 Kf6 43. Be3 h5 44. Kg2 1/2-1/2

Charlie Neil    (2006-11-29 23:13:37)
Krammik vs Deep Fritz, 2006

After the blunder in game two Krammik plays on and IMHO pulls game three out of the fire I thought. after getting into trouble he saved a half point with style and fight. But I could be wrong.

Elmer Valderrama    (2006-11-30 18:22:46)
buy it!

..the more I look at the games the more I wish CB could sell out "deep" Fritz 10 especially to my fellow CC opponents..


Thibault de Vassal    (2006-12-01 11:19:43)
Deep Fritz, Rybka & future

The Chess Challenge 2006 in Bonn between classical world champion Vladimir Kramnik and chess engine Deep Fritz 10 confirms (who ignored ?) the best chess programs can rivalize with the world champion in a match, but it first shows us these calculating monsters still have weaknesses.

Question is : What are the real improvements in Fritz 10 compared to Fritz 9 (engine speaking only) ?

Here is what I think about chess engines nowadays (Fritz 10, Shredder, 10, Junior 10, Hiarcs 10 and particularly Rybka 2.2) :

The way of think to play correspondence chess is (or should be) mostly human one combined with a chess engine algorithm. We follow the tree of moves like a program with our selective algorithm (much better than chess engines), applying our judgement of the position when necessary only. The point is we evaluate moves and we almost never evaluate a position twice.

Chess engines are very good analysis tools but are surprisingly not designed to be very good chess players. I think a major improvement in chess engines should be recognition of 'sufficient moves' : ie. it is no worth to always find the best move at a particular point of the tree, this reflection time could be used later... It depends on the evaluation of the position, on the clocks... Iterative model is quite basic (in a game at least !).

Another point is recognition of traps. This is the start of psychology in chess engines, and basics of the art of war. It first depends on who your opponent is, and on the clocks too. Finally, at the end of the tree, chess engines evaluate positions, but how many evaluate moves ? .. Speculative moves were a step, but it first shew chess engines were not able yet to see what move is worth to be analysed really deeper, consequently creating a 'human' weakness, particularly against some other chess engines.

I don't know how Rybka works, but as far as I read about this one that calculates much less positions (about 10 times) than Fritz, I wouldn't be surprised that Vasik Rajlich had implemented a better approach of human way of think, which is undoubtly the future of chess engines.

A good 'centaur' in ie. Playchess rapid tournaments is first a good choice between Chessbase engines according to the position and clocks. Fritz qualities probably apply best in standard games, where clocks are really designed for him. Among Chessbase engines, Hiarcs is probably the best Blitz player and could be the best correspondence chess player (even if it isn't the best CC tool for humans). Rybka is probably a kind of centaur itself (sorry, herself ;)), knowing when to use (in the tree !) brute force and more selective approachs - not to be compared to Hydra or Deep Blue which, on contrary, use most brute force.

My conclusion is chess engines have much to learn from humans yet, we'll see a Rybka 5 and Fritz 13, with much better results against other chess engines, but their results shouldn't increase a lot against the best humans in future. Finally, it will never be a good correspondence chess player :)

My two cents.

If I find time, I'll continue to implement my own chess engine..... but it's a lot of work :/

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-12-01 11:23:50)
buy it!


Actually question is : What are the real improvements compared to Fritz 9 (engine speaking only) ? .. I just tried to start an answer in another thread :

Lionel Vidal    (2006-12-01 21:42:25)
Intuition?! what for?

Don't you think intuition in any abstract game is in fine just a nice word to hide our (that is human) limitation in analytical power?
In many very good chess books (see for instance Watson opus), intuition is indeed shown as not an adequate compensation for a good, reliable, concrete analysis. Of course, for us humans, it is still very useful because the experience of already seen patterns may suggest the very best move in a given position, without even any calculation... but if you had the power to make a complete analysis, would you still use your intuition?

My feeling (and I am not very happy with that, but I don't see any evidence to contradict it) is that in 98% of positions, the brute-force stupid way of computers is already deep enough in the tree of possibilities to find the very best move (at least in any practical sense)... and the 2% left is only interresting for correspondence players... and then, only for the very best who can claim enough expertise, or enough time :-)

Now I am sure chess can still be fun: the old and only true chess way has just been re-edited: "tempête sur l'échiquier" (sorry I don't know the name of the english version)... at least I feel competitive enough :-))

Elmer Valderrama    (2006-12-01 22:13:19)
good news and bad news

Some good news and bad news for "deep" Fritz 10 (& CB..)

The good news is that game 4 was drawn with the computer playing a respectable good ending as White which forced Kramnik to display all his arsenal of strategic knowledge in endgames and his World class mastery to calmly withhold a difficult position...

The bad news is that "shallow" Toga would have played the same good moves made by Kramnik :-}

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-12-02 04:30:34)
Game 4

Deep Fritz - Vladimir Kramnik

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 d5 5. Nxe5 Nd7 6. Nxd7 Bxd7 7. O-O Bd6 8. Qh5 Qf6 9. Nc3 Qxd4 10. Nxd5 Bc6 11. Ne3 g6 12. Qh3 Ng5 13. Qg4 Qf4 14. Qxf4 Bxf4 15. Nc4 Ne6 16. Bxf4 Nxf4 17. Rfe1+ Kf8 18. Bf1 Bb5 19. a4 Ba6 20. b4 Bxc4 21. Bxc4 Rd8 22. Re4 Nh5 23. Rae1 Rd7 24. h3 Ng7 25. Re5 Nf5 26. Bb5 c6 27. Bd3 Nd6 28. g4 Kg7 29. f4 Rhd8 30. Kg2 Nc8 31. a5 Rd4 32. R5e4 Kf8 33. Kf3 h6 34. Rxd4 Rxd4 35. Re4 Rd6 36. Ke3 g5 37. Rd4 Ke7 38. c4 Rxd4 39. Kxd4 gxf4 40. Ke4 Kf6 41. Kxf4 Ne7 42. Be4 b6 43. c5 bxc5 44. bxc5 Ng6+ 45. Ke3 Ne7 46. Kd4 Ke6 47. Bf3 f5 48. Bd1 Kf6 49. Bc2 fxg4 50. hxg4 Ke6 51. Bb1 Kf6 52. Be4 Ke6 53.Bh1 Kf6 54. Bf3 Ke6 1/2-1/2

... I really wonder if Kramnik played this Petroff defense with any hope to win.

Elmer Valderrama    (2006-12-02 13:56:38)
Deep Joke

You have to agree that it's hard to be serious when a new program is more like a joke, a Deep Joke that is :p

OTOH I expect CB to get serious and release a really strong version of the program.

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-12-03 20:55:29)
Game 5

Vladimir Kramnik - Deep Fritz

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.e3 0-0 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 c5 8.Bb2 Nc6 9.Rc1 Re8 10.Bd3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 e5 12.dxe5 Qxd1+ 13.Rxd1 Nxe5 14.Nxe5 Rxe5 15.Be2 Bd7 16.c4 Re7 17.h4 Ne4 18.h5 Ba4 19.Rd3 b5 20.cxb5 Bxb5 21.Rd1 Bxe2 22.Kxe2 Rb8 23.Ba1 f5 24.Rd5 Rb3 25.Rxf5 Rxa3 26.Rb1 Re8 27.Rf4 Ra2+ 28.Ke1 h6 29.Rg4 g5 30.hxg6 Nxf2 31.Rh4 Rf8 32.Kf1 Nh3+ 33.Ke1 Nf2 34.Kf1 Nh3+ 35.Ke1 1/2-1/2

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-12-04 01:27:44)
Reminds me something...

Ok, now I'm afraid conditions are 'ok' so that Kramnik looses this match...

Let's say game 6 is a draw, Deep Fritz 10 wins the match by score 3,5-2,5 first program on a normal computer to beat a world champion. Great...

However Vladimir Kramnik can be satisfied of his performance, he obtained a completely winning position and didn't really loose any game. He just gave his opponent a full point in a draw position.

Honor is safe, everyone wins. Like the song, what a wonderful world :)

Elmer Valderrama    (2006-12-04 14:18:02)

I disagree, chess knowledge can't be equated to intuition, here is my long post about it (why am I writing about the same things all over and over and at the same time of year, I dunno ;)

1. Players without any intuition whatsoever but great working capabilitites (as Botvinnik, Fischer, Kasparov, ..engines..)

-they never relie on intuition (they dont have any at all after all) so everything must be subject to calculation, they have the "hardware" (perfect body and mental conditions, rigorous training, perfect visual/realistic representation of positions and a great chess knowledge which must be kept fresh in mind -if not, they wouldn't have reference points to judge/evaluate resulting positions.

When on top form they can beat anybody and I mean ANY body: human, extraterrestial, ultragalactic, trans-natural, hyper-divine,etc, and for an overwhelming score, like 6-0 ;)..well you know what I mean.

The drawback well you already know it, it last a mig, except for the engines, no-one can keep up with this regime (GK could for a long time, but resorting to short breaks (not playing for WC, choosing carefully where to play etc,) But most important it's impossible to implement for long if the "hardware" -see above- starts to "leak oil" then it's all over..

This can be brought up to an art, like Kasparov or Fischer, it is more powerful than understanding chess as a natural tongue (as intuitive players) because the "top-form" competitive element is always present and the "hardware" works in pristine conditions.

From the above it follows of course that engines are the ultimate chess warrior over the board at least (and only there, not in CC)

2. Those who have strategical intuition. (Capablanca, Petrosian, Karpov maybe Anand..)The general impression is that they are simply lazy people: not need to work out any thing as they just "know" where pieces should go and what the point is of their moves, usually there is no need for deep calculations, just two or three moves (4 to 6 plies) to corroborate the "feeling" and the game is won.

The "feeling" is hard to express in words, and usually is lost if expressed in words ;). It goes beyond a simply pattern recognition, or a full database of chess knowledge, it is about predicting the future possibilities (not having real positions in mind, just the "possibilities" or general lines of play in future positions which may or may not happen to appear for real in the game. They can play for long long time and win a lot of tournaments (Karpov I believe have the record of won tournaments)

3. Those who have special understanding in unbalanced positions (Alekhine, Tal, Korchnoi..) They are dynamic players who love to calculate but not for the sake of finding the best of the best of the best of the moves (as those in group 1 would do), they calculate SOME variations, those who have meaning to them I see them as players of group 2 with a more or less working "hardware" i.e they are not going to trust 2 or 3 moves variations neither they are going to speculate on the future possibilities without any ground/basic calculation under it. Their "feeling" is again hard to express in words, but I believe it is something like calculating a 10-12 plies variation with every position in-between being subconciously excrutinated for crushing unexpected turning moves (this is not done by players of group 1, they would calculate "normal replies" in that 10-12 plies variation and would have to go deeper (like 20-30 plies to see the point ;)

So that "feeling" is what enable us to compose music, create art etc but also it is something that enable us to err like fools :( Whether it can be mimicked by software or not it's an open question but as I said a calculation 40-50 plies deep it's practically equal to using intuition... Obviously the above classification of G Kasparov it's a bit rough in the sense that there are very few "pure intuitive" players (of either group 2 or 3) as mentioned by Don in his post most of the players is a mix of talent I believe, if I had to choose a pure intuitive player from those groups I would point Capablanca and Korchnoi, and of course Kasparov of group 1

Elmer Valderrama    (2006-12-04 14:32:04)
Deepy, the drawing monster

Now it's clear why CB was willing to pay 1 million if defeated: with Deep Jok..uh.. Fritz, they have created a drawing monster!!

At least it comes with a 1/2-point Life Guarantee


Thibault de Vassal    (2006-12-06 00:05:33)
Deep Fritz 10

... wins the match 4-2

It's a shock (even if Kramnik said it and repeated - deeeep fritz is favorite). It's hard to explain such a result.

Deep Fritz - Vladimir Kramnik

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Bb3 Qc7 9.Re1 Nc6 10.Re3 0-0 11.Rg3 Kh8 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.Qe2 a5 14.Bg5 Ba6 15.Qf3 Rab8 16.Re1 c5 17.Bf4 Qb7 18.Bc1 Ng8 19.Nb1 Bf6 20.c3 g6 21.Na3 Qc6 22.Rh3 Bg7 23.Qg3 a4 24.Bc2 Rb6 25.e5 dxe5 26.Rxe5 Nf6 27.Qh4 Qb7 28.Re1 h5 29.Rf3 Nh7 30.Qxa4 Qc6 31.Qxc6 Rxc6 32.Ba4 Rb6 33.b3 Kg8 34.c4 Rd8 35.Nb5 Bb7 36.Rfe3 Bh6 37.Re5 Bxc1 38.Rxc1 Rc6 39.Nc3 Rc7 40.Bb5 Nf8 41.Na4 Rdc8 42.Rd1 Kg7 43.Rd6 f6 44.Re2 e5 45.Red2 g5 46.Nb6 Rb8 47.a4 1-0

It seems to me it was allowed to Kramnik to consult Fritz opening book, so first why to play 8. ...Qc7 !?

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-12-06 10:53:56)

Why not a scrabble (thinking about that) where all letters are out and ordered before the start of the game ? .. No chancy factor at all, like chess the game is determined. It could be a very deep tactical & memory game, knowing letters of your opponent in advance, depending on your own words... Many interesting combinations, don't you think ?

Elmer Valderrama    (2006-12-06 14:21:49)
Deep (serious) dissappointment

..I think Kramnik website motto

"time is precious when you don't have enough of it"

couldn't be more true here: give him a CC time control and it would have been 0-1. ;)

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-12-06 18:18:54)
David Bronstein

David Bronstein (February 19, 1924, Bila Tserkva, Ukraine - December 5, 2006, Minsk, Belarus) was not only one of the fathers of anti-computer play, he also drew a challenge match for the title of world champion by a score of 12-12 with Mikhail Botvinnik, the reigning champion.

He played (and beat) all the first well known chess programs : Rebel, Fritz, Zarkov, Chess player, Deep Thought, Socrates, Saitek Sparc, MChess, Genius, Dark Thought, Deep Blue Jr., XXXX ...

Some of his games -

Lionel Vidal    (2006-12-09 14:34:04)

I am not sure this scrabble+ would be a better game than the current face to face competitive version. (the rules imply a game of skill; but also of risk management because of the clock and the correctness you may loose, but willingly give up, in a form of bluff very like poker).

The point is, why would one change a game where players can beat computers if one has enough skill (because computers are still bad at valuating the level of openess of a scrabble position), for a game where a searchable tree is (in theory) enough to play the very best moves?
The game then becomes IMO quite void of fun in correspondence play, because the player skill adds nothing to the computer evaluation. Note the difference in chess, where most correspondence players are convinced they do add and choose something worth improving the play. (although I have just give up the idea to buy an engine... gnuchess is enough for me as a sparring partner, and correspondence analysis, I let it to my shaky brain... for shaky analysis :-), but more fun!... And thank you Thibault, you convinced me to play correspondence chess again :-))

The deepness of the game is another wonder: in the current game I have to ponder many possibilities, an probalistic equipartition (sorry for the bad translation) (and good players always keep the count of the remaining letters)... it seems much more complex, though less analytical, than just wandering along a calculation tree?!

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-12-14 00:09:56)
Rybka clearly the best engine vs. engine

I fully agree with both of you... We must be careful, even if all these results are really impressive, most chess engines have been designed to play against humans and to be useful analysis tools. As I said in another thread, there are still many things to improve to make it the best engine vs. engine fighter.

Nowadays, the best chess engines try to 'think' like humans and actually have inherited human weaknesses from them, so IMO a Hydra or Deep Blue would crush ie. Shredder or Junior which try to make it harder for human brain while Fritz is clearly better balanced.

Maybe this new engines generation started with Fruit which plays very solid. So Rybka, which is clearly designed to beat his rivals but I'm not convinced at all it is a better tool to play correspondence chess.

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-12-16 03:55:35)
Topalov vs. Kramnik v2, is it worth ?

I don't know how many times Kramnik will have to defend his title if challengers provide the money, but I'm quite disappointed with this news of a match scheduled only 6 months after the previous one.

I suggest they organize a match Topalov vs. Deep Fritz 10 (reigning world champion) first...

What do you think ? :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-12-16 04:05:26)
Topalov vs. Kramnik v2, is it worth ?

Responding to myself, according to FIDE rules there could be a match about every 6 months (WCH tournament or Prize funded)...

Obviously good for world champion (and for FIDE), but maybe that's also good for chess after all. What disturbs me more is last result against Deep Fritz :/

Austin Ferrell    (2006-12-16 23:31:37)
What is the best computer chess game?

Someone here should be able to help me out... should I get Deep Fritz 10, Deep Fritz 8 or Deep Shredder 10 (I'm getting a multiprocessor addition).

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-12-16 23:38:52)
What is the best chess program ?

Hello Austin.

You mean the best chess engine or full program ? Anyway, I think interfaces are quite the same, with small improvements in Deep Fritz 10.

About the engines, it depends more on what you expect (style of play) and the use... I would have a small preference for Deep Fritz 10 in all cases.

Austin Ferrell    (2006-12-16 23:48:03)
Thanks, same with Deep Junior?

Thanks for the help. I just saw the multiproscessor Deep Junior. Do you still like Deep Fritz 10? The difference is just stylistic instead of the actual substance of the game, right?

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-12-16 23:59:42)
Deep Junior vs. Deep Fritz

Style of play is a bit different while main program is about the same...

Hard to answer without knowing more... What is the chess program of your dreams ? :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-01-17 23:59:52)
Chess engines ratings

Some useful links about ratings and statistics for all well known chess engines : Rybka (2.2, 2.1 ..), Deep Fritz 10, Deep Shredder 10, Deep Junior 10, Hiarcs 11, Zap!Chess paderborn, Loop 10.32, Toga II, Fruit 2.2, Glaurung 1.2, Spike 1.2, Smarthink, Naum 2.0, Ktulu 8.0, CM9000, CM10th, Fritz 9, Chess Tiger 15, Chess Tiger 2007, Ruffian 2.1, List 11 and many others...

Wayne Lowrance    (2007-01-18 01:19:11)
Chess engines rating

Very nice information. A great big word of caution. We play coorespondence games here. Those engine-engine tournaments do not indicate directly which program is best suited for correspondence deep analysis, I do not have enough experience with the engines except earlier versions of Fritz, shredder, Hiarc, Junior and of course Dr Robert Hyatts Various versions of Crafty and Rybka. Rybka is top rated eng-eng program for fast time controls. But not sure that it is best for deep analysis. My guess is that Latest Fritz is at least as well suited for deep analysis and perhaps better. Then their is Shredder another top eng-eng program that is very very good at deep analysis. From what I read and for what it is worth those are the best engines. But if you want the strongest program for 40/120 time control down to bullet chess,then the clear winner is Rybka by Vas. Hope this is of interest. Wayne

Ron Keyston    (2007-01-29 17:27:38)
"Major" Deep Fritz 10 Bug

I've confirmed this problem on two different computers with completely different hardware and different operating systems. I've also sent the problem off to Chessbase, but have not yet gotten much of a response. If anyone else has Deep Fritz 10, would you mind giving this a try and reporting back with your results? Also, if anyone has the non-Deep version of Fritz 10, I'd be interested in knowing if it is also affected by this problem.

Input a game into Deep Fritz 10 and get to a point in the game where it is possible for black to castle long. Now save the game into a database, close the game and then open it back up from the database. If you either turn on infinite analysis, or just try to make the move, black is not able to castle long...Fritz assumes that it is an illegal move.

Furthermore, if you castle long BEFORE saving the game into the database, then save it and re-open it, then go to the position after black has castled queenside and turn on infinite analysis, the analysis is "messed up." Either the analysis text is invisible, or it reports impossible lines, or the evaluation score is very obviously wrong. This should be enough info for anyone to give the test a try, but if you want some specific examples, please let me know.


Thibault de Vassal    (2007-01-31 00:09:34)
Rybka secret

An interesting (even if totally wrong) article about Rybka's strength and particularly his results against Deep Fritz on Rybka .. A computer gate, is Rybka cheating ? :)

Rybka forum -

Charlie Neil    (2007-02-02 11:45:33)
Without Computer

Marcus if you can please read the old forum postings, "Why do you play corr-chess." I made a similar comment about computers being used as the main player. Believe me I was wrong! As much as in correspondence chess you can use notes, books and databases for reference. Here at FICGS, (A great site!) players use their computers as a reference. It does not benefit anyone to just relay their computer moves without understanding them. Those players won't prosper nor will develop a passion we chessplayers have for the game. I believe that now to be the case. Personally I don't have a Juinor8, Fritz 10 or Deep Joe 90 or whatever to use as a reference point. I do have a pile of books that serve to confuse me in my games. As I continue to seek understanding in this game. People should use computers as long as the computers don't use them! How boring can it be just to imput moves? The computer isn't compulsory. And I am saving a fortune on stamps playing here! It is fun after all. It is only a game. Even if it is a terrible one.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-02-09 12:33:11)
Illya Nyzhnyk

For sure... It's said the teddy bear is called "Deep Rybka on Dual Xeon" or something :)

Teddy bears should be forbidden during chess tournaments, particularly world championships !

This is a message of the committee against teddy bears.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-02-10 03:08:52)
Rybka, Fritz and future...

Computerchess is definitely an exciting challenge... The community is fast-growing, new versions of chess engines appear every day, many dream to be the next Vasik Rajlich and to produce an engine that would beat the well-known Chessbase engines and the famous Rybka.

These days, I had a look at Fruit 2.1, TogaII and Crafty source code that are available to download, and started to implement new search & evaluation functions. It's quite easy to understand why chess programming is so addictive, so much done and so much to do... finally I did not enter this mad race without an ending, probably for the same reasons Anthony Cozzie (the author of Zap! Chess Zanzibar) and many others retired.

However here are my feelings about future of chess engines, and the fight that just started between most probably Chessbase engines (Fritz, Shredder, Junior and Hiarcs) and a new era of chess engines that started with Rybka...

First, it's quite obvious to me that Rybka (now Rybka 2.3) is only another one of a long series of chess engines always stronger than each others ! .. I expect the next ones to reach 50, 100 then 200 points more (and maybe more) on the next chess engines elo rating lists, a scale that definitely can't be compared to human elo rating list ! .. Several reasons to this : (1) Chess engines are human killers at standard time controls, but chess engines are far to play perfect chess yet. (2) The way ratings are calculated.

Rybka taught us several things IMO :

- Algorithms and evaluation functions are no more enough. Now chess engines have to play chess, not only search a tree of chess positions... That's probably what Rybka brought to computerchess. Since Fruit 2.1 & Toga II source code is available, and computerchess community is constantly discussing improvements in algorithms, evaluations of positions and new ideas, to implement a chess engine becomes easier so I have no doubt that new very strong chess engines like Rybka will come.

- To become famous, a chess engine must 'also' beat his rivals. I first thought that Rybka was designed to be an engines killer only (at least before to be an analysis tool) with some tricks exploiting most engines weaknesses. No, Rybka is also a great UCI engine, simply stronger and with many options & features. Like Vasik Rajlich, who is engineer and international chess master, you'll have not only to think like an engineer to create such an engine. However I still don't think it is the best analysis tool for correspondence chess, it doesn't play really better chess and in all cases it is not enough. More, Rybka 3, 4, 5 shouldn't influence correspondence chess (maybe even human vs. machine) much... Computerchess influences computerchess first.

It's written sometimes that the strongest chess engines could reach a IM, even GM level at correspondence chess. I definitely disagree with that, at least for the moment (it will take a long time yet), but as chess engines results tend to approach correspondence chess ones (means more and more draws), I do think chess engines have much to learn from correspondence chess players way of thinking, meaning : A more psychological approach, bonus for traps detection. Evaluate moves, not only positions. A more complex search, not 'only' iterative (brute force is definitely useless). No more anti-human style, speculative moves (=weakness, ie. Deep Junior) for speculative results against strongest chess engines, draws are prefered. To avoid positions not understood by the engine. Longer games, closed games (if supported)... Opening books should look like correspondence chess GMs ones (of course according to the engine's style of play) and no more been made of FIDE GM games. A better time management... Future of computerGo may teach to computerchess about some evaluations.

A chess engine must play good moves AND try to win (which is not always the same). It seems Fruit & Rybka play solid and are waiting to exploit their opponent's weaknesses thanks to a better "chess" algorithm/knowledge. As far as I have seen, Shredder & Fritz still have the best 'eye', they see far but fuzzy. Quite the same about Fruit & Toga developped by a great engineer, Fabien Letouzey : Less chess knowledge but an improved algorithm. As for Rybka, a great chess knowledge and probably a smarter algorithm (not better, smarter !) were probably enough already. The future best chess engines will be made by good chess players...

An interesting point is it could be not so easy, maybe even nonsense, to create the best analysis tool that would also obtain the best results against other chess engines. My first prediction is Rybka won't be the top rated chess engine ever, hundreds of new ideas will appear in all parts of chess programming, slowly breaking Rybka secrets, then speed will be a factor again. Deep Fritz, Junior, Fruit or Hydra are most probably the core of the next generations of chess engines... but there's a lot of work yet :)

My two cents.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-03-05 10:19:11)
Playchess Freestyle Tournament

Thanks for info, Samy...

What a crosstable, no less than 17 players finishing with 5,5 / 8

Petr, I understand your frustration, anyway that's why I play correspondence chess only over the internet. Losing a game thanks to a connection lost or strange rules is not interesting much :/

Several remarks while looking at the final crosstable :

The winner uses Rybka 2.3 mp, the others too :) .. Rybka's author (Rajlich) scores 5 out of 8 (pos. 18)

With Rybka getting stronger and stronger at fast time controls, Advanced Chess will probably become Computer Chess and finally Rybka Chess very soon. 1 hour + 15 sec is no more interesting.

I recognize some famous 'names' used on the defunct, King Crusher (5 / 8), Deep Thunder (3,5 / 8)... Correspondence Chess GM Mikhail Umansky scores 2,5 / 8... and last but not least, french forums superstar Olivier Evan scores 2,5 / 7 :)

Achim Mueller    (2007-04-22 00:42:15)
Some more answers ;-)

@Don Burden

Full ack! If the rules stay as they are now it definitely makes sense to have groups of 11 or 13 players with e.g. 2 qualifiers.

@Mikhail Ruzin

Believe it or not, I would have been glad to play in group 02! There are seven "life" players and I bet a score of 4.5 or maybe even 4 points may be enough to qualify. In group 12 it's only 4 life players, and a result of 5 points (maybe 5.5 points) won't be enough for one player. There are only two remaining games, and all three strong life players have 4.5(one game to play), 4.5(1) and 4(2).

In this special situation exactly three games will decide who will quailify if you take a deeper look at the results and the contents of the games.


I never said it's easy for a 2300 ELO player if he plays for a draw only. But it's a big advantage for a player in a region between 2200 and 2500 if is aware that a draw will have the same quality as a victory against a certain competitor. Take a look at the world class cc players. There is a ~70% draw rate in the big tournaments, so the probability will be more than 70% if a player seriously tries to force a draw by choosing a certain opening and avoiding complicated variations.



Mikhail Ruzin    (2007-04-22 10:40:23)

@Achim Mueller In 02 group exactly ONE game will decide who will quailify if you take a DEEPER look at the results and the contents of the games.

Nick Burrows    (2007-04-22 18:55:20)

Well done Marc, i for one am impressed! Especially as Anand is such an effective quick player.
How deep did your theory go?
what was his final score? nick

Mikhail Ruzin    (2007-04-22 19:30:22)

Yes, of course Wolfgang =) @Achim Mueller DEEPER look at the results and the CONTENTS of the games.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-04-22 21:06:10)
win against Anand :-)

4900 lines ?? .. huge !

I just looked at the game a bit deeper. You played it really well... Would you have agreed a draw at move 16 ?

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-04-23 21:34:41)
Deep Fritz vs. Deep Junior

FIDE will organize a computer-computer 6-games match during the final days of the candidates match in june in Elista.

The "players" : Reigning computer chess world champion Deep Junior and 'reigning world champion' Deep Fritz. Time control : 75 min + 5 sec / move, the winner will get $60,000, the loser $40,000

This match brings a few questions : No particular comment on the choice of the engines, Rybka will wait for a win in a computer chess world championship... However I can't see a real interest for FIDE and for chess in such a match. I mean 6 games of rapid computer chess.. $100,000 !? Of course it will attract a few new players - to beat computers is an attractive challenge. But at least I hope Chessbase is the main sponsor :) .. does it mean a new Deep FRitz and Deep Junior version in june ? .. I hope that the games analyzed by Rybka 2.3 won't reveal the engines too poor.. :/ .. Finally what 'title' for the winner ?! ;)

Albert H. Alberts    (2007-05-23 14:49:38)

To Wolfgang Utech: ALL openings have more secrets can the engines can detect.Invariant of the program Fritz, Rybka, Junior, whatever.Question is to unveil them.It is more difficult with greater processing speed/deeper depth. In "so-called "free style" chess (allowing use of machines) players go over ELO 3000 no draws, so some of them should be able to beat machines with ease. Albert H.Alberts,

Albert H. Alberts    (2007-05-26 01:33:41)
Deep Fritz vs. Deep Junior

Thibault: Maybe the reason is that ICGA Ilyumzhinov=FIDE=ICGA=Chessbase=Fritz stage an advertisement campaign with Fritz-10 the New Ruling WC? In that case the 100 000 comes back triple. Who knows. Computer chessmen/women know that Rybka is unbeatable at the moment.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-06-06 19:12:00)
Rybka: $100,000 challenge to FIDE

The author of Rybka - undoubtly the strongest chess engine (Rybka 2.3.1), Vasik Rajlich challenges FIDE for a $100,000 match between Rybka and the winner of the "Ultimate Computer Chess Challenge 2007" between Deep Junior and Deep Fritz, that just started (first game drawn) :

Also the match offer to grandmasters is more and more interesting :;pg=1

I doubt Chessbase or FIDE would accept to organize & play such a match, even if Fritz 11 or 12 can beat the next Rybka... The war of engines is not on the chessboard nowadays but that's quite interesting to follow anyway :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-06-06 19:42:12)
Game 1

Well, the first game was a draw... to be continued.

Deep Junior - Deep Fritz
Fritz vs Junior Match Elista, 2007

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.d4 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b5 10.Bd3 Bb7 11.e4 e5 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Bxe5 14.h3 Qe7 15.Be3 Rfe8 16.Ne2 Rad8 17.Bxa7 c5 18.Bxc5 Qc7 19.Be3 Qxc2 20.Bxc2 Bxe4 21.Bxe4 Nxe4 22.Rfd1 Bxb2 23.Rxd8 Rxd8 24.Rb1 Be5 25.f4 Bc7 26.Rxb5 Rd3 27.Bd4 f6 28.h4 g6 29.a4 Ng3 30.Nxg3 Rxd4 31.Ne2 Rxa4 32.g3 1/2-1/2

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-06-09 04:48:24)
Nodes per second

Well, game 2 was a draw, game 3 was a win for Deep Junior...

"Deep Fritz is running on an eight-core machine and searching 13-14 million nodes per second, reaching a search depth of 20-21 ply. Deep Junior is employing the latest Intel Server technology with 16 cores. The program is running at 24 million nodes per second and consistantly reaching search depths of 24 ply."

Not bad in such a time control : 75 min + 10 sec per move... but does it mean anything to run two engines on two different computers !??

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-06-18 05:32:40)

Hi Wayne.

I mean, WCCC is a tournament like any other (no federations or whatever...), it is a big event and program authors come to play, that's great. But the format with so few interesting games can't provide accurate results :/

I agree that Deep Fritz & Junior are not the strongest chess engines today, but they are a good test for other ones and a way to improve the results of a tournament. IMO a World Computer Chess Champion should be ie. the SSDF 1st ranked program, which is continuous tournament with many games played, or maybe the games played at SSDF should be organized like a continuous swiss tournament.

Dirk Ghysens    (2007-06-18 06:11:14)
Top programs

According to the CCRL rating list, the top programs today are: 1 Rybka 2 Zap!Chess 3 Hiarcs 4 Naum 5 Loop 6 Deep Shredder Fritz (7th) and Junior (8th) are so weak, that they cannot play a significant role in a world championship. The latest version of Rybka (2.3.2) can be estimated at more than 200 Elo points above Deep Fritz and Deep Junior. The SSDF rating list is unreliable IMO, as they are using antiquated hardware, and several of the best programs are missing.

Albert Popov    (2007-06-20 12:40:06)
We are in need of a good challenge!

I don't think Rybka could win in the same overwhelming manner, if Deep Junior the Horrible took part in the tournament. Why, it might be a well-thought move on the Junior team's part. Aren't we in for another Rybka - Junior thrilling match challenge soon? I would bet on Junior in that chess brain war as Junior's long-standing loyal customer.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-06-20 15:03:22)
Rybka vs. Deep Junior

We'll have to wait & see :) .. I would be surprised if Junior beats Rybka in a 6-games match or so. In my opinion Junior is the old generation already, playing psychology while Rybka simply plays good chess. But let's wait the next versions, Junior most probably has an excellent software basis to make a very strong engine.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-06-20 22:54:33)
Internet chess

Well, the discussion with Tryfon Gavriel continues at TCCMB. As I had to explain the way I make FICGS, I copy my responses here :

Hello again Tryfon !

That's a very interesting discussion...

Actually I have to explain FICGS in its whole to respond :) .. To be continued for sure..

While registering a new member wrote to me a few months ago "Thanks for creating this ultimate chess challenge" or so... That's exactly what I try to do, mostly with the FICGS championship knockout & round-robin rules... Players just want challenge, that's the only assumption I start with, so I try to create interesting challenges. About the intellectual part, you're right but I'm quite sure that top level correspondence chess players still consider their game as an intellectual challenge, much more than a brute force or computer skills one. That's not the case for Advanced chess with fast time controls.

Let's take a look at the bicycle races again... The "Tour de France" is dying IMO.. because everyone understood we "don't know" if the champion is ok.. If doping was allowed (it would be a scandal for health of course), I'm sure the interest would raise again ! I think it is the same for chess & for everything else... The "Tour de France" syndrom happened in Elista with the match Kramnik vs. Topalov... It will have consequences. We need champions and we want true champions, every means are ok for this ! .. So the "engines allowed" rule is the only one possible or reasonable in my opinion.

Of course, chess & correspondence chess are changing, because these "walls" are nearer & nearer... maybe chess will die, maybe not.. The main problem is that in 1997, a super computer became World Champion... this year a "simple" computer Deep Fritz became world champion, soon Rybka on a cellular phone... :) Who is really interested to be a champion in "human category" ? FIDE world chess championship will continue to progressively lose its interest IMO...

Correspondence chess is just starting to grow in popularity and is told to be dying already. Surely correspondence chess will ask more & more time at a high level to win a few points, but it is possible to create more challenge by ie. changing the rating rules (the "design" of Elo rating system will become a problem).. Then, if it is not enough, we'll look for other challenges... It's told for years that Go (Weiqi) will replace chess in western countries... why not Big chess as the "brain only" game if there can't be doping in it.. just trying, as there's no other solution :)

A word about Poker of course, as it's probably the fastest growing game in popularity : IMO this game is at a stade like chess in year 1900, but the same problem will happen, even quicker. At a high level the game will be just more and more boring (if you wish to win real money) or chancy (in a wch tournament), or you'll have to always find weak players (well, not very challenging).

About the simultaneous exhibition against Alekhine or Capablanca, I'm not sure at all they would crush everyone at our chess servers, they are undoubtly more talented than all of us, but I feel it wouldn't be enough in all cases to win against correspondence chess style of play & knowledge accumulated for 50 years... A few players rated OTB 2000-2200 could draw against them IMO...

At last, yes I'm a fan of Sun Tzu's "The art of war" :) .. I strongly believe that correspondence chess will not die in the next few years because players will follow its principles more and more, as the only way to win ! .. Big chess follows the same principles... and Go is the most challenging game because of it too !

Tryfon, I'm not sure that we're opposite in our vision of chess ! .. Our servers have obviousy different goals, nothing more.. I do enjoy playing mad blitz games without chess engines... I just believe that the future of internet chess is "serious (engines allowed, rated) correspondence chess" on one hand and "human chess for fun (no engines, unrated)" on the other hand... The other ways look like nonsense to me.

I hope it responds.

Best wishes, Thibault

Michael Aigner    (2007-06-23 12:55:32)
Rybka 2.3.2a would!

Hi! Rybka follws the mentioned game Motley -Anand but finds an improvement at move 24. 24. Bh5 Qf5 26. Bxg7 with an unclear (IMO, according to Rybka equal position. it could follow Nc5 (Kxg7 26.Rf1) 26. Rxd8+ Kxd8 27.Kd6 Kd3+ 28.cxd Qa5+ 29.Ke2 Kxg7 still unclear, but in an otb game i would shourly prefer to play white. I can imagine when you look deeper in the position after Bh5 you might find a win for white - or lets say a variation in which it is almost not possible for black to defend in an otb game even when the objective evaluation says the position is equal. This could be the reason why Re8 is prefered by strong human GMs.

Albert H. Alberts    (2007-06-25 14:48:57)
Deep Fritz vs. Deep Junior

FICGS: Junior won over Fritz Elista 2007. Very sharp but correct remark by M.Aigner: people that bought Fritz will now want to have Junior too the FIDE-approved champ by K. Ilyumzinov= ICGA=FIDE=CHESSBASE=FRITZ(=Junior?). However: he future champ will be the program with the best BOOK with sharp novelties. The future world tournament champ will be the one who knows/WROTE this book. It is like in cycling: you can have a great "bike" (chess engine) but to win the Tour the France you still have to peddle. That champ/novelty finder/writer/head player can be one and the same person. Great news for the sport I think.The new "Fischer" will come. Albert H.Alberts,

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-07-04 11:31:09)
tie breaks + time controls

Garvin, I'll look at this question deeperly soon... Thx !

Marc, I quite agree, on the other hand it takes some time to operate the computer, a good chess player may be "also" required in such games, that would be interesting. Anyway, it would be hard to use longer time controls in a 1-day tournament. Less than 20 seconds per move would be hard with the current interface... How many days a playchess freestyle tournament takes ?

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-07-14 02:57:01)
Rybka vs. Ehlvest (2nd)

A new 6-games match occured during july 2007 between the latest version of Rybka and GM Ehlvest with some "advantages" given to the human. One more time, Rybka convincingly won the match : 4,5-1,5

Well, not so bad after Kramnik's 4-2 loss vs. Deep Fritz... Help, we need help :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-07-15 14:17:47)
Rybka vs. Human

Hello Jason.

You are right, but I doubt this "war" will end soon. Unlike pure calculation, chess is a symbol of intelligence, even if it's said to be pure calculation since Deep Blue won the match over Kasparov 10 years ago. It will be always possible to draw against the best computers, so there will always be challengers to try to equalize in a match against the king Rybka or any other super-calculator. Some will succeed, undoubtly... That's a question of time. And they will be chess heroes :)

About Go, the same cars on another circuit are not so successful, so why not to continue the race championsip anyway ? .. There is life, so there's hope... :)

Jason Repa    (2007-07-28 22:58:56)
A Better question

Is it possible that burrows tries to fashion himself a psychologist even though he has neither the education, training, nor anywhere near the intelligence required for such a vocation because he is attempting to resolve his own deep-seated psycho-pathological issues?

Philip Roe    (2007-08-23 17:31:35)
draws and wins

Those statistics might have some curiosity value but perhaps not much deep meaning. Especially in the lower sections, all of the games defaulted in ten moves or fewer give a false impression of decisive play. Even if they are excluded, I feel sure that the proportion of draws is much higher for stronger players, so I dont know what an average percentage would tell us.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-12 16:45:49)
drag and drop

Thanks Rodolfo, that's very interesting anyway, I'll have a deeper look very soon on it.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-10-01 19:48:57)
Endgames by Ludek Pachman

"Les finales" from "Elementary Theory" (?! translated from french) by Ludek Pachman... Endgames are the most interesting and deepest part of the game IMO :)

Hannes Rada    (2007-10-01 20:21:51)
Kasparov CC

If I remember correctly Garry once stated that he could win such a title easily, because he is superior in analyzing chess positions. Could be true, or not ? van Oosterom - Kasparov at CC conditions, what is your prediction ? Maybe Garry has an advantage because he can analyze deeper within a specific time unit due to his superior chess knowledge and experience.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-10-09 14:49:05)
Cracking Go less than a decade away ?

I just read this astonishing article in the last American Go E-Journal :

“I believe that a world-champion-level Go machine can be built within 10 years, based on the same method of intensive analysis—brute force, basically—that Deep Blue employed for chess,” wrote Feng - Hsiung Hsu (r) in “Cracking Go,” a provocative article in the October issue of IEEE Spectrum, published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). (...) "with some optimization a machine that can search a trillion positions per second would be enough to play Go at the very highest level."

Looks serious... Any opinion ?

Claude Brisson    (2007-10-11 09:05:06)
pinot noir

(he was speaking about the defeat of Kasparov by Deep Blue)

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-10-31 18:51:22)
Deep Shredder 11 available

Amsterdam 2007 blitz world champion, Mainz 2006 World Computer Chess960 Champion, Reykjavik 2005 blitz world champion, Tel Aviv 2004 blitz world champion, Graz 2003 computer chess world champion & blitz world champion and so on...

No, that is not Rybka :) .. Deep Shredder 11 is now available and said by Chessbase to have an improved strength of 100 points elo, actually about 80 according to CEGT computer chess 40/20 rating list, which is not bad at all ! .. Evaluation function (passed pawns..) seems to be the main improved part of the engine.

Congrats to Stefan Meyer-Kahlen.

Did someone try the new engine ?

Joseph Thomas    (2007-11-04 04:19:15)
Deep Shredder 11

There seems to a good amount of improvement in engine strength. I have a copy of Shredder 11 UCI, but I haven't had it long enough to really test its strength on my own. Apparently according to the CCRL it cracked the top five programs and should be about equal to Zappa Mexico. I wonder where Fritz and Junior 11 will end up?

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-11-09 01:05:28)
Chess sponsorship

An interesting discussion about chess sponsorship started on (Susan Polgar forums)

Several issues : "How to bring chess to the masses ?", "How to make chess a show ?", "What kind of sponsorship is possible ?"

Susan obviously thinks that OTB chess still has a great potential and that organizations could do much better to promote it... Here's my last response in the thread (reminds some old threads here) :


In other words, you say that chess has a show-potential like any other sport that could be used and that isn't...

For sure traditional marketing methods could help to promote OTB chess, and chess organizations could do much better... but is chess "bankable", just like an actor ? .. I just saw one more comparison between chess & poker in the thread "How to bring chess to the masses", but there's a major problem in chess that doesn't exist in poker or soccer : "everything can't happen", at least at a first sight, actually the way people can see it...

FIDE tried to change some things, ie. time controls, wch cycle but that's not enough, obviously. Anyone can win a lost hand at texas hold'em against any professional player, like any 2nd division soccer team can beat the Real Madrid once... Of course long-time statistics will be always favourable to the best players, but it takes a much longer time... Everything can happen in any event in these games (poker wch, soccer world cup). The probability for a real surprise that makes buzz is much lower at chess, the same best players invariably play the best tournaments, won statistically (ie.) 20% by Anand, 19% by Topalov, 18% by Kramnik and so on... quite boring.

The only interesting chess events follow the same scheme : David vs. Goliath, the buzz-genius 12 boy vs. Kramnik, mystery-Deep Blue vs. Kasparov, Anna Kournikova vs. Fischer & so on... nowadays the man vs. machine match is no more interesting since any home computer is stronger than HAL 9000 or Kramnik and there's no clear world champion (too many FIDE wch, different cycles..)

Chess needs real events and I'm curious to see the ones "that could bring chess to the masses" in the future... Maybe I'm a bit pessimistic, at least for OTB chess, but I'm very interested to see how good marketing methods will be able to transform our chess world... Just wait, hope & see :)

Best regards, Thibault


I'm now working again on SEO (Search Engines Optimization) for FICGS, more and more players find us via Google... Of course one next step is to sponsor the FICGS WCH & freestyle tournaments but it is a hard task for sure... All comment and suggestions on this issue are welcome :)

Wayne Lowrance    (2007-11-25 01:22:13)

Nice games Silkin. I thought I was in deep trouble after the opening. Best Wishes Wayne

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-12-20 18:44:21)
Kramnik vs. Anand 2008

Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, FIDE & UEP (Universal Event Promotion) have come to an agreement : The next FIDE World Chess Championship will take place from October 11 to 30, 2008 in the National Art Gallery in Bonn (Germany). Reigning world champion Viswanathan Anand will play challenger Vladimir Kramnik in a twelve-game match. The prize fund is 1.5 Million Euro, the main sponsor is an industrial enterprise, Evonik Industries, located in Essen (Germany) which was the exclusive sponsor of the 2006 World Chess Challenge between Vladimir Kramnik and the most famous chess program distributed by Chessbase, Deep Fritz.

Any predictions ? .. (may Anand lose his title before that date ?)

Garvin Gray    (2008-01-04 17:37:57)
new engine

Considering buying one of the single processor engines.

Already have Rybka 2.3.2a and fritz 8 plus a few freebie engines.

Recommendations? I have looked at the cegt tables and cant see Shredder 11 there. I see Deep Shredder 11 there alot, but not just Shredder 11.

Have I read the tables incorrectly or is Shredder 11 just poorly rated in the cegt tables?

Tano-Urayoan Russi Roman    (2008-01-05 00:23:04)
Shredder 11

In CEGT they tested Deep Shredder using 1 CPU. There is ranked 3rd in 40/4 and 40/20 behind Rybka and Fritz 11. In CCRL 40/40 is second behind Rybka and just ahead of Fritz and Zappa Mexico. (All of this in 1CPU)

Benjamin Block    (2008-04-28 16:20:51)
How do you play correspondence?

Hi, In bigchess i use my own brain because i don´t know if there is any computer i think around 1 min in the moves. In Go i am a beginer and i just think 10s. In corrspondence chess i let my computer think 0-1 min. How do you play corrspondence? Do you use Deep position analysis?

Wolfgang Utesch    (2008-05-02 15:59:02)
Showdown time

It seems we should have a (deeper!) look at WC-Quarter Final Riccio-Zubac - it is showdown time! The both last games are equal for all the 33 moves and Riccio has just to draw for the match win - easy? I'm not sure.

Jason Repa    (2008-05-06 21:54:09)
Bird Brain loses in 33 Moves!

"Obviously playing the From or the approach adopted by black in these games is not an accurate response!"

That's not obvious at all. What's obvious is that I beat you quite easily when you and I played cc so you're far from being any kind of authority whatsoever!

"1f4 does not lose or lead to a worse gane for white - it just allows black to get equality very quickly and easily"

I just finished trying to explain to you, in the way a young child should be able to understand, that there is more to think about in chess than trying to play what current theory considers to be the best try for an opening advantage. Yet here you are rambling on about the same nonsense you were in your previous posts. Was Fischer's 2.d3 against the French the objectively strongest move? Even against (and perhaps especially against) computers, it can sometimes be better to play sidelines or moves which may serve to confuse an opponent. Is the King's Indian Attack the best try for an opening advantage for White? Probably not. But it was used by Kasparov to defeat Deep Blue. If you still can't understand the concept I've been trying to teach you, after several posts, I don't know what more I can do for you. Just keep mindlessly playing what established theory tells you are the strongest lines,(without having even the incipience of an understanding as to why) and keep mindlessly trusting the evaluations your program gives you, and you'll keep getting CRUSHED by guys like me.

"1 f4 doesnt develop any piece (except the king!) and is a bit committal and slightly weakening of the king side."

After this statement, if I didn't know better, I would have thought you were someone who just learned how to set up the pieces. It might be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard anyone say. Does 1.e4 develop a piece? How about 1.d4? I suppose those moves are "a waste in cc" as well. We should all be playing 1.Nf3 and 1.Nc3 according to you, lol.

1.f4 grabs space. It stakes out influence both in the center and on the kingside. It effectively prevents 1...e5 (lest White goes into a dubious gambit system) as an alternative to other moves which achieve this. There are also other intangibles that are part of the picture, such as the psychological effect the move may have, the lack of preparation an opponent may have against it, etc. If you ever began to understand chess at a level beyond just plugging moves into a program, you might start to appreciate that allowing concessions (such as the slight weakening of the White kingside resulting from 1.f4) is all part of the game. Fischer's famous quote: "you gotta give squares to get squares" is a famous example. If allowing static liabilities were something to be avoided at all cost, you'd never see a Sicilian Scheveningen. It allows all sorts of weaknesses.

As for your so called "analysis". It's a complete joke! For starters, you're "analyzing" a game resulting from the Leningrad Variation of the Bird's Opening. I line I've never played in my life, let alone here on FICGS. Is this how you try to win an argument/debate? By misrepresenting the facts? An intelligent person who genuinely felt that their argument had a leg to stand on, would simply take one of the 4 games I provided to you and do some analysis from there. Showing where Black could have improved. Then finally, after trying to "score points" with examples of the Leningrad Variation of the Bird's Opening, which I have never played, you post a game where White played poorly and lost to a lower rated player. As if that's never happened before in chess, lol. You don't even know enough to post the date of the game. I couldn't find this game on any of my databases(totally over 4,000,000 games), so if you didn't just make it up out of thin air, perhaps you got more wrong, such as the actual moves that were played, in addition to incorrectly stating:

"Look what happened to Evgeny Alexseev as black - a very strong 2600+ GM at the time - he continued 6 ..b6 7 h3 c5 8 Qe1 Bb7 9 g4 and lost to IM Sengupta."

Is it Black that lost here or White?

I took a brief look at the game, and it's hardly representative of proper play by White. 7.h3 was dubious at best. I prefer 7.Ne5. White then misses another opportunity to play the knight to e5 after 7...c5. Then 9.g4? is a gross thematic mistake. The only thing this game proves is that you're completely incapable of discussing chess in an intelligent way. Real chess players look for games that illustrate the critical lines for both sides, and try to arrive at some actual insights.

There is a reason I crushed you when we played cc last year.

Hannes Rada    (2008-05-14 20:10:41)
Jason's query

Jason, I gave up OTB chess some 20 years ago. So I have no OTB rating (anymore) Playing in my chessclub was not and ist not compatible with my working hours. CC is perfect for me. Analyzing and making move later in the evening when I am returning from work, or whenever I can find time. It's wise to play the strongest possible opponents. But cc rating does not implicitly say anything about chess strength. Too many variables may influence the players chess abilities. (Too many games at the same time, lack of motivation, ....) On the other side an ambitious 1800 Elo newcomer can sometimes more dangerous than an "old" CC-GM. FICGS is quite a nice community. Here you have the chance to raise your rating and play against the higher rated players pretty soon compared with ICCF. But your "strong opponent experience" will end here around 2500 - 2550. Raising your rating in ICCF takes much more time (because tournaments are slower) but when you've established yourselve at a certain level than you have the chance to play the > 2700 guys like van Osteroom & Co :-) But at this level correspondence chess is no fun anymore. I've talked to GM Peter Hertel from Germany several years ago and he told me that he had to analyze and work on his cc - chess positions around 10 hours per day to compete at this level .... if you are retired or jobless and a billionaire (van Osteroom) than you have the best chances of winning an ICCF championship final .... :-) Do you think the playing cc helps to improve your otb abilities ? I've talked to several players regarding this issue and I received different answers. From: Yes I benefit from my cc-opening experience To: No, these are absolutely different stories. OTB requires the abilites to calculate deeplines correctly and to maintain concentration for a couple of hours. All things which are absolutely not necessary for cc. My experience for the short time frame when I played both otb + cc is that for the purpose of improving the otb abilities it would have been better to study chess books and solving tactical exercises than playing cc.

Jason Repa    (2008-05-14 21:31:38)
corr. & otb

"But cc rating does not implicitly say anything about chess strength."

I disagree. But first be clear that I'm talking about correspondence chess strength. I never said that corr. chess strength has a 1 to 1 relationship with otb chess strength. I know too many guys who are better corr. players than me that I could mop the floor with at any time control in a live chess game.

But having said that, I believe that people have high corr. ratings for a reason. At a minimum they're good at employing interactive chess engine research and have good updated databases. I think overall chess knowledge and judgment are factors as well. Stronger chess moves win more games. Yes, I understand that sometimes an ambitious 1800 can beat a higher rated opponent, on occasion, but it's overall results that are important, not anomalies. The same is true otb. Sometimes experts and national masters beat GMs. That doesn't mean they're a stronger chess player than the GM.

"Do you think the playing cc helps to improve your otb abilities?"

I'm not surprised you're getting differing stories. Like anything else, it depends on how you use the experience and of course on your individual aptitude. Some people will just memorize the opening theory they learn from corr. chess, if that. Others will do much more with those games, such as developing technique, increasing their strategic knowledge, learn more endgame theory, etc. I think it is without question that corr. chess can have great benefits for your otb chess game, if used properly. Just being forced to comb through opening books and game databases alone is useful.

"OTB requires the abilities to calculate deeplines correctly and to maintain concentration for a couple of hours"

I agree that the ability to concentrate well is important for otb chess, but I think you're overvaluing calculation. The reality is that otb is all about COMPETITION. It's a mental fight. I know guys are are great analysts, and with the right hardware/software would probably be great corr. players, but they don't handle the pressures and stresses that go along with competition very well. Judgment and competence, especially while under stress and duress, are of the utmost importance in otb. You can calculate as deeply as you want, but if you're expending energy calculating lines that you should have rejected, or mismanaging your time by thinking too deeply in a spot where it's not necessary, you won't get good results in otb.

I don't have any desire to try to get anywhere near 2700 level in corr. chess. And I agree with your analysis that it would not be fun anymore and become a huge drain of time sitting behind the computer. Perhaps not unlike what a professional chess player has to go through in order to prepare for their tournaments, with the chief exception that the professional chess player gets paid for such a sacrifice.

"...for the purpose of improving the otb abilities it would have been better to study chess books and solving tactical exercises than playing cc."

I don't see why these things have to be mutually exclusive. For me I get more motivated to study my chess books and look through my databases when the positions occur in games. I also think about what I'm doing and analyze the positions using my own mind when I play corr. chess. Maybe that's not the case for everyone, but it is for me. As for tactics, I think blitz/bullet against strong opponents can be very useful for developing that.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-05-19 21:54:37)
Fritz 12, Shredder 12, Junior 12

While Rybka 2.3.2a w32 1CPU/mp still leads CEGT rating lists, Fritz 11 is now only about 50 elo points behind...

CEGT 40/20 (AMD 4200+)

Rybka 2.3.2a w32 1CPU - 2966
Fritz 11 - 2913
Naum 3.1 w32 1CPU - 2890
Deep Shredder 11 w32 1CPU - 2890
Hiarcs 12 SP 1CPU - 2869
Toga II 1.4.2JD 1CPU - 2864
Fruit 2.4 Beta A w32 1CPU - 2864
Zappa Mexico II w32 1CPU - 2844

Any predictions on the future ratings of Rybka 3 & Chessbase engines : Fritz 12, Shredder 12, Junior 12, Hiarcs 13, Zappa or other free engines ?

I can't find a rating for Junior 11 in CEGT rating lists, does anyone know it ?

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-07-18 14:24:09)
Chessbase Deep Rybka 3

Chessbase, who distributes the best chess engines (Fritz, Shredder, Junior, Hiarcs, Zappa...) now also distributes the little fish : Rybka 3 and Deep Rybka 3 are available.

Rybka 3 (by Vasik Rajlich) is the reigning computer world champion and should be at least 80 points stronger than the previous version Rybka 2.3.2

Did anyone test it already ? What about the improvements (particularly Monte Carlo Analysis in endgames) ?

Rybka 3 book with 3,387,966 positions (260 MB) is also available.

Wayne Lowrance    (2008-07-19 05:32:16)
ChssBase Deep Rybka 3

I think 80 points is conservative. Big disapointment is you must buy the New Rybka 3.ctg book separetly, Wayne

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-07-29 14:05:49)
why so few retrograde analysis fans here

Because I hate this ! :o)

Just joking, but I don't like it much for real. As I made this site mainly in a competitive way, probably most players look for the same things as me here, a deeper chess (& Go) games understanding and of course competition - this is a men's feature, you know :))

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-09-29 21:13:05)

U have not only extraordinary deductive abilities but great imagination. I have nothing against russian language. Moreover, Pushkin and Lermontov are my favourite poets. Lesya Ukrainka and Kotljarevsky are the greatest ukrainian poets imho. Communists (like you?) 70 years artIficially (i've no spell checker) propagate russian in Ukraine. It were only 10% of ukrainian schools at that time. Nowadays the situation is opposite. If you living in Ukraine, spend some time to learn ukrainian if you are able. When i sad i'll accept ANY decision by voting majority i mean i'll accept. I hate persons like Zvarych and another ProFFesors. My Ph.D. has been defended in USSR (not US) in deep 1989.

Denis Ivanchenkov    (2008-09-29 23:27:26)
Iouri Basiliev

"Communists 70 years artIficially propagate russian in Ukraine. It were only 10% of ukrainian schools at that time. Nowadays the situation is opposite." so you think it is good to use communist methods - making LESS than 10% of russian language schools? "If you living in Ukraine, spend some time to learn ukrainian if you are able." oh thanks for such a deep, wise and unexpected advice. and this is my advice for you - to read "European Convention for the Protection of National Minorities" this will also ansver your Alsace issue.

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-09-30 09:36:24)
Denis Ivanchenkov

It is interesting and very exciting to know something new about yourself. I'm waiting of your explanations. But, please, take away russian TV's propaganda anti-orange rhetoric. Just your deep reasoning.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-10-06 18:03:43)
Rybka is World Computer Chess Champion

No surprise, Rybka wins the 16th World Computer Chess Championship (2008)... Strangely, Rybka was running on the most powerful hardware, a 40-core system, in comparison Mobile Chess was running on a Nokia cell phone, so results are to be compared. Anyway, good result for Hiarcs, and a (very) bad tournament for Shredder.

The tournament results :

Rybka 8.0 / 9
Hiarcs 7.0 / 9
Junior 6.0 / 9
ClusterToga 5.5 / 9
Shredder 4.5 / 9
Falcon 4.0 / 9
Jonny Beijing 4.0 / 9
Deep Sjeng 3.5 / 9
The Baron 2.5 / 9
Mobile Chess 0.0 / 9

Iouri Basiliev    (2008-10-21 14:10:51)

The games are over. Steel do not 100% sure about 3.Bc4, the game Ilmars-Michael needs to be analysed, but 3.Nxe5 simply wins. Anyhow, it was nice to study deeply this opening imho. Thanx to all players!

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-10-21 17:54:17)
Pre-arranged or not

... that's the eternal question. Let's see how the match finishes, I doubt to see Anand winning by +2 or more with no ambiguity, unlike the last Kramnik versus Deep Fritz match. We will see.

Benjamin Block    (2008-11-01 10:05:59)
Looks easy to draw.

Looks easy too draw. And it don´t need any deep play. How many possible position is that in the game? I think the computer can fix it easy. 300 000 000 poisitons only on 3x3. Not much a computer fix it on 1 sekund.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-12-01 23:13:42)
True but...

That's right but I've to make some deep changes to do this.. not exactly simple :) .. I'll think about it (which doesn't exactly means "no, thanks" :)).

Don Groves    (2008-12-02 00:29:32)
Deep changes

Thanks, Thib. Until the next time you have time for "deep changes" ... ;-)

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-12-06 15:21:14)
Rybka 4, Fritz 12, Hiarcs 13 & future...

What about a small point on chess engines ?

A few months ago, it was quite predictable to me that Chessbase engines (well, Rybka 3 actually also is a Chessbase engine now) like Fritz, Shredder & Hiarcs were dedicated to catch Rybka in the computer chess rating lists.

The current CEGT 40/20 (AMD 4200+) rating list shows :

Rybka 3 x64 4CPU 3202
Rybka 2.3.2a x64 4CPU 3079
Deep Fritz 11 4CPU 3031
Zappa Mexico II x64 4CPU 3022
Shredder WM Edition Bonn 4CPU 3011
Naum 3.1 x64 4CPU 3011
Hiarcs 12 MP 4CPU 2968

In other words, Rybka 3 always has a quite large advance, but all other ones filled the major part of the gap with Rybka 2.3.2, including free chess engines. What future for chess engines now ? What kind of improvement can we expect from Rybka 4, Fritz 12, Shredder 12, Hiarcs 13 and co. ?

IMO one future version in theory may reach 3600 or more in such rating lists (which probably doesn't mean anything compared to the human rating list) but the interest of programmers may now decrease in this race where efforts/money can be compared to the grandmasters involvement to enter the elo top 100... What do you think ?

Andrew Stephenson    (2008-12-06 21:51:23)
Reaching a peak

My gut feeling is that rating improvements will tail off and we will not see any program crack 3400. I dont know the sales figures but looking for example at New In chess analysis by Carlsen he seems to use only Rybka and perhaps this program is becoming completely dominant among GM's. Perhaps the biggest impact will be hardware improvements allowing faster deeper analysis. This will mean fewer points missed and quicker conclusions as the time needed for the program to dig into the position shortens. You can still see examples of theoretical analysis in recent New in Chess Year books where misjudgements have been made because they needed to keep the program running a bit longer to see the evaluation flip but I think this will decrease ........

Normajean Yates    (2008-12-11 01:46:47)
my response...

Excellent, thought provoking article.

About subconscious thinking - I am in two minds: as an existentialist I am uncomfortable with the concept: yet there are memory/thought acts which bear no other explanation yet. The famous existentialist psychiatrist R.D.Laing who applied Sartre's work to psychiatry, also did not dwell on this issue, really..

I believe it is partly volition, partly innate - the innate part being proneness to 'subconscious', involuntary and in particular obsessive-compulsive thought patterns in OCD or in certain bipolar depressive states [I am bipolar depressive type 2], which responds to high-dose fluoxetine...

I am more comfortable with the part of the article I quote in the next paragraph, although there no reason we should have a specifically '*chess* pattern-recogniser organ' [1] - more likely we have an innate but more general 'chessy' pattern-recogniser-faculty ('organ') which takes in chess too. [our music-hearing faculty i.e. the ear can hear music, but not only music..] *This* is what the author Rune Vik-Hansen means, I am certain.

[from the article:] 'Playing on Noam Chomsky’s LAD, or Language Acquisition Device, we might say that chess players are guided and supported by a, perhaps slightly Kantian sounding, CAD; “Chess Acquisition Device, making is possible to display sound chess judgment which foundation is the subtle interplay between knowing what to keep and what to discard among triggered moves and in the final part of this article, we will have a closer look as how to increase and improve our chess judgment to form better decisions over the board.'

I will only add that subsequent investigations and deeper questioning of de Groot's subjects (experimented chessplayers? ;-) ) has shown that this faculty/device/organ is less important to chess ability than de Groot thought...

[1] I am calling this presumed faculty/device an 'organ', just like Noam Chomsky occasionally does [in his *linguistics* output, not in his *political* output! :)] - even if you choose to think of it as just a metaphor, it is a very hepful and suggestive metaphor.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-12-15 19:17:56)
so Deep Blue...

Just my 2 cents, I'm far to be prof. of anything ! :)

Anyway, I think it is admitted now that we have reached the point where brute force can't fight anymore against knowledge, actually the processor speed is probably becoming less and less important. (but the respect of your new quad proc, Don ;))

Hannes Rada    (2008-12-25 21:12:07)
Game 1

looked very promising for White. Without deeper looking into the position I thought that white is going to win here. But than I found that black has perpetual check due to his pair of rooks. With only 1 rook on booth side, i think white should win. Wolfang, have you analysed a possible exchange of rooks at move no. 51 51. Rb7 instead of 51. a4 ? I did not analyse this position, but at first sight this seems to be a good chance for winning this game. Can you comment this ?

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-12-26 20:26:06)
Pichelin - Utesch

Hi Hannes, as far as I experienced, Xavier is an excellent chess player, beyond Rybka & chess engines, with a very good understanding of the game and very efficient ideas, also in quiet positions. Wolfgang is able to make very deep & accurate analysis in complex or strange positions while playing fastly, really hard to play. Moreover both have a coherent, maybe different, global match strategy.

In my opinion, we may see quite surprising and long games, that could be decided in a way since the opening, I mean psychology could be the key in such a match. The way the pieces will be dealt may show some things.

50 / 50 :)

Gultekin Gumusyazici    (2008-12-28 18:18:43)
Thibault de Vassal

Just Remember Kasparovs's complain about deepblue (bot-robot). He cried "This machine steals my photographic memory and plays as me." Chess game with common rulez has turned game determines winners whose memory realizes most likely picture of usual games. This is bot behaviour. Cheating is about neglecting improvements that is not common at pictures adopted as most likely winner moves. I always try unusual moves to surprize bots. At start I success but then bots leads game to other direction where most likely picture occurs by not doing move they fail. That is bot cheat. As Atalik has taken moves back.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-12-30 20:19:18)
Chess engines & databases

Hello Bradley, it's all in the rules :

Everything's allowed (but in the NO ENGINES category). Using chess engines is recommended if you want to make deep analysis & reach the highest ratings. The only way to cheat (that is strictly forbidden) is to mirror 2 games, as explained in the rules.

Best wishes for the new year,

Wayne Lowrance    (2009-01-05 18:06:24)
Rybka 4 Fritz 12, Hiarcs 13 & future

It is my thought that Vas is running close to empty on improvements from Rybka 3 to Rybka 4. Rybka 3 was a huge, huge improvment.Other programmers are getting closer, specifically Naum. I sorta think Vas is looking a ways in the future when cluster comps are taking hold. Before Rybka 3 release there was a lot of excitement about Monte Carlo, but Rybka 3 Monte Carlo is not effective overall, It is just a novelity as far as my evaluation is concerned. Maybe too, like cluster MC will have a place. Correspondence chess players sh ould be delighted with Rybka three. A few minor improvements can be made, but wont improve ELO much, such as deep evaluation pv listing. Right no for CC player the current PV thing is crazy. Well nice topic Wayne

Ben Milton    (2009-01-06 15:24:33)

Thank you very much, but the problem is even though i might know what the opponent might play, i still dont know what move to play so it leads to a trap, the best i can do is to go as deep as possible. Also i heard a few things about "IDeA" which is a tool centaurs use to go deeper but unfortunately Fritz 11 does not have that...Any how if youd be willing we can have the games and i am willing to give you all my e-points (12) if you win and if you dont i dont want any e-points in return. I jus want to see the results. How does it sound?

Don Groves    (2009-01-12 22:50:39)

Hello, Tom -- It seems to me that "cheating" is defined as doing something that is against the rules of the game. Here, the rules specify that engines may be used, so using them is not cheating.

I understand your concern about players letting an engine play their games for them, but I don't think many here do that. I think the players here generally use engines to do deep analysis of moves they themselves have selected, not to select all the moves via the engine. Otherwise, there is no learning and the player is only harming him- or herself. This is only my opinion, of course.

Another point to consider: all top players in tournaments have advisers that help them prepare lines and analyze games during adjournments. And they all use engines as part of this process. Do you consider this practice to be cheating?

Normajean Yates    (2009-01-15 05:34:46)
engines and deep analysis...

A year ago, Thibault posted links to record of GMs v engines -- but almost all games were blitz.

raising questions:

1. At standard [2.5 hours / 40 moves] time controls, and at correspondence time controls [like here - or even 1 day/move] - humans are still better than engines. true?

If true, how long are they expected to be better?

[I mean in competitive chess, not in specifically design positions which are at present very difficult for engines]

2. which engine is best for standard and correpondence time controls (as I defined in 1)?

Wayne Lowrance    (2009-01-16 05:22:27)
Engines & deep analysis

I agree with Thibault, in blitz or standard time controls Rybka and 2 or 3 others have no pier with human top gm's. But in correspondence time, I think the top GM's will certainly hold their own, or more Wayne

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-01-18 18:20:34)
SSDF rating list

Current SSDF ratings for the best chess engines running on 2GB Q6600 2.4 GHz are :

Deep Rybka 3 x64 - 3226
Deep Fritz 11 - 3086
Zappa Mexico II x64 - 3064
Naum 3.1 x64 - 3046
Deep Shredder 11 - 3043
Deep Hiarcs 12 x64 - 3033
Hiarcs 11.2 MP - 3008
Deep Junior 10.1 - 2981

By the way, how long before a new Deep Junior version...

Normajean Yates    (2009-01-19 15:30:21)
:) [to rodolfo] - and, to sophie: re OTB

to rodolfo:


to Sophie:
[and a general point to all wikichess contributers]:

I think that it will be a bit less confusing if in your wikichess entries, you include the phrase '(at OTB chess)' or something like that.

The reason is that this is (for chess) a site where engine-use and *slow* correspondence-chess is the default.

Contemporary computer programs do not get 'tense' or 'fooled' by an attack -- they just calculate the static evaluation functions for positions on the game tree [using hash tables, alphabeta, iterative deepening, nullmove, quiessence search, endgame recognition heuristics, etc etc for efficiency :) positions]

computer programs *can* be fooled [otherwise every game here would have the same result by now], but not by the same techniques as those by which humans can be... :)

Don Groves    (2009-02-02 00:11:53)
Hardware vs. software in chess

It seems to me that what hardware advances do is allow software algorithms to run more efficiently, which then allows deeper analysis in the same amount of time compared to older hardware.

If we want to know the best chess software, we must play many engine vs. engine games on identical hardware. Presumably then, the winner will also be better on more advanced hardware.

Another thing to consider is that the hardware need not be a general purpose computer, but may be specifically designed to run a certain algorithm. In this case, the engine using that algorithm would have a large advantage in an engine vs. engine contest on that hardware.

Arnab Sengupta    (2009-03-15 14:54:44)
Great player

Hello Guys Do you think that Anand is as great a player like Tal, Fisher, Kasparov...and i would really like to see Anand taking on deep bule or something like that...has he ever player any chess computer?

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-03-15 18:17:32)
Anand vs. Computer

I don't remember Anand playing a match against a computer like Deep Blue, Deep Fritz, Junior, Rybka & so on... But it is quite possible to find a few games like Anand vs. Fritz 3, 4 or other old programs in chess databases IMO.

Anyway, it is quite hard for me to answer your question as I still think the world is divided into 2 categories, Garry Kasparov and those who dig :) (The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, of course) .. More seriously, Anand is probably one of these 4 or 5 best players of all times, but who may be quite irregular (or just human), unlike Kasparov. Tal was another genius, maybe more a gambler, but none (Topalov, Anand, Kramnik...) ever reached the level of Garry Kasparov in my opinion.

I'm not sure Anand will be interested in losing to a chess computer, particularly as even Fritz is getting stronger & stronger.

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-06 21:31:27)
Rating peaks

Among possible problems : It is likely that players could reach higher artificial ratings (peaks) this way, even if we change the complete system & the way tournaments are built. IMO instant ratings mean that games should start as soon as a player enter a tournament waiting list - gradually, like at IECG server - otherwise it would be even harder to predict your opponents tournament entry rating, by the way there is no more TER taken in account in Go rating calculation, that is an advantage in some ways but one of the main problems also]

As for me, the deep reason why I may prefer the 2 months system is this very special "moment" that FIDE players know when waiting for their next rating. The other system makes everything faster & faster, just like the world wide web but finally maybe the passion flies away faster also. My 2 cents :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-17 19:28:33)
Poker vs. Chess

I agree with Nick on this. 3 rounds & 100 chips by round is the only way to play "deep poker" IMHO (also to try to have significant ratings). In some cases, such a rule may work also for chess & Go, but it should probably be different as the number of moves is really different in each game, that's a problem. Let's try anyway.

Maybe the increment could not be added if the move has been played in more than a week (7 days), what do you think ? Not too hard and it may incitate to continue to play !?

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-05-01 20:57:25)
Applying FICGS rules

I just had a deeper look at the 12 games and I applied FICGS rules only (just like in the match Lacrosse-Ghysens).

According to me, Xavier has an advantage in game 28302, it is not so clear in game 28305 but IMO this game should be rated also. As a result, 4 games will be rated in this match, Xavier's future rating is now 2577.

Normajean Yates    (2009-05-09 23:09:00)
names that sophie's post suggest:

('summer breeze' reminds me of that corny ?bee-gees song 'how deep is your love': that phrase featured prominently in that song) -- sickly-sweet-icky-yuck ;)

but invisibility: how about 'The Cheshire Cats'? [the grin...] - but it would be a bit out of place unless one had an all-Cheshire team -- most unlikely..

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-05-18 21:43:40)
Rybka 3 wins the 17th WCCC

Rybka 3 is still the king of computer chess, she just won the 17th WCCC tournament on an Intel Xeon W5580 / 3.2GHz x 8 with 8 points ahead of Junior, Deep Sjeng & Shredder (6.5 points).. Hiarcs finished the tournament with 6 points.

That's a pity, Fritz did not participate, once more.

Normajean Yates    (2009-06-04 08:19:04)
Russi Román - my respects to you!

Tano-Urayoán Russi Román, I express my deep respect for, and solidarity with, you.

Anyone who knows some *actual* history of Puerto Rico will understand why I posted this..

Daniel Parmet    (2009-08-11 20:08:24)

The following 11 quotes are all by me:
1- "Experiences are the keys to life."
2- "Happy endings are just stories that haven't finished yet."
3- "If you expect nothing then the following will happen: either 1) you will receive nothing and thus can be happy your expectations were met or 2) You will receive something and thus be happy you have received something. And.... Happiness ensues..."
4- "Step up and face your fear or you will never be what you should be."
5- "A mistake is only a mistake if you let it happen twice. Otherwise it is a learning experience. your experience."
6- "Life is painting a picture over many years with different paints and tools."
7- ""Horney concluded that love was at least a temporary escape from all her anxiety and insecurity" - Karen Horney
Does anyone else think that someoe named 'Horney' shouldn't be talking about love?"
8- "Take each event in a singularity and say if time passes will any of this matter?"
9- "Plans are ideas that never come to fruition."
10- "You should only get upset about the little things cause you have no control over the big things."
11- "Causing another problem without fixing the initial problem just makes the initial problem worse as time continues"

The following are classic quotes:
11- "If you lose the game you should win the analysis!"
12- "Every passing minute is a chance to turn it all around." - Vanilla Sky
13- "Life is pain my dear and anyone who says otherwise is selling something." - Princess Bride
14- "The 7ps: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance" - U.S. Military
15- "Water water everywhere but not a drop to drink!" - Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner
16- "You can get in way more trouble with a good idea than a bad idea cause you forget the good idea has limits" - Warren Buffet
17- "Teach a child to be polite and courteous and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to merge his car onto the freeway."
18- "Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone."
19- "There is no tomorrow without the pains and pleasures of today" - Gabriel
20- "If life weren't this complicated, it would be nowhere near as fun. Why? WHY NOT!" - Catch-22
21- "When you've done things right people won't know you've done anything at all." - Futurama
22- "The right perception of any matter and a misunderstanding of the same matter do not wholly exclude each other." - Kafka's the trial
23- "the Trausi follow the normal practices of Thracians in general, except in one particular- their behaviour, namely, on the occasion of a birth or a death. When a baby is born the family sits round and mourns at the thought of the sufferings the infant must endure now that it has entered the world, and goes through the whole catalogue of human sorrows; but when somebody dies, they bury him with merriment and rejoicing, and point out how happy he now is and how many miseries he has at last escaped." -Herodotus Viv
24- "When a Persian herald demanded the surrender of arms, the king shouted back 'come here to get them'; and when he had seen that he was surrounded, he commanded his men to have a good breakfast since their dinner would be served in hell." - Herodotus
25- "I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it"
26- "Why, we don't even know what living means now, what it is, and what it is called? Leave us alone without books and we shall be lost and in confusion at once. We shall not know what to join on to, what to cling to, what to love and what to hate, what to respect and what to despise." - Fyodor Dostoyevsky Notes from the Underground
27- "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." - Scott Adams
28- "Nobody is always a winner and anyone who says otherwise either is a liar or doesn't play poker."
29- “The darkness immutable tranquility holds sway.” - Jun’ichiro Tanizaki
30- “People who are constantly asking 'why' are like tourists who stand in front of a building reading Baedeker and are so busy reading the history of its construction, etc., that they are prevented from seeing the building.” - Ludwig Wittgenstein
31- “Either move or be moved.” - Ezra Pound
32- "The real meditation is the meditation of one's identity..... You try finding out why you're you and not somebody else. And who in the blazes are you anyhow??" - Ezra Pound.
33- “The image is more than an idea. It is a vortex or cluster of fused ideas and is endowed with energy.” - Ezra Pound
34- “The thought working its way towards the light.” - Ludwig Wittgenstein
35- “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” - Ansel Adams
36- “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” - Ansel Adams
37- "Wanting to think is one thing; having a talent for thinking is another." - Ludwig Wittgenstein
38- “Philosophers use a language that is already deformed as though by shoes that are too tight” - Ludwig Wittgenstein
39- “Nothing is more important for teaching us to understand the concepts we have than constructing fictitious ones” - Ludwig Wittgenstein
40- “don’t for heaven’s sake, be afraid of talking nonsense! But you must pay attention to your nonsense” - Ludwig Wittgenstein
41- “In a conversation: One person throws a ball; the other does not know: whether he is supposed to throw it back, or throw it to a third person, or leave it on the ground, or pick it up and put it in his pocket, etc” - Ludwig Wittgenstein
42- “I really do think with my pen, because my head often knows nothing about what my hand is writing” - Ludwig Wittgenstein
43- “What I am writing here may be feeble stuff; well, then I am just not capable of bringing the big, important thing to light. But hidden in these feeble remarks are great prospects.” - Ludwig Wittgenstein
44- “I ask countless irrelevant questions. If only I can succeed in hacking my way through this forest!” - Ludwig Wittgenstein
45- “Even to have expressed a false thought boldly and clearly is already to have gained a great deal” - Ludwig Wittgenstein
46- “Don’t concern yourself with what, presumably no one but you grasps!” - Ludwig Wittgenstein
47- “when you are philosophizing you have to descend into primeval chaos and feel at home there” - Ludwig Wittgenstein
48- "You cannot step into the same river twice." - Heraclitus
49- "Eternity is a child playing, playing checkers; the kingdom belongs to a child." - Heraclitus
50- "Nothing endures but change." - Heraclitus
51- "For a guest remembers all his days the hospitable man who showed him kindness." - Odyssey Book 15 Line 75
52- "Watching [GM Nigel] Short peruse the photos of young women, I had a fanciful notion that the development of specialized skills and character traits in early childhood is like a country fair in which you are alotted a fixed number of tickets to spend on the various concessions. This particular fixed number of tickets to spend on the various concessions. This particular fair is of short duration and happens only once in a lifetime. Nigel took the chess roller-coaster a dozen times, and rode the honesty ride twice, and so he had insufficient tickets left to take the Train Beyond Adolescence more than a stop or two. I myself missed the athletic concession, and I should have ridden -damn it- the chess coaster three or four times." - King's Gambit: A Son, A Father, and the World's Most Dangerous Game by Paul Hoffman page335
53- “I don’t know, but I do know with great precision why nobody else knows either.” - John H. Cochrane
54- "One must have chaos within oneself, to give birth to a dancing star." - Friedrich Nietsche
55- "I created chaos on the chess board and my strength lay in finding hidden harmonies. I always cultivated being at peace in chaos. manifest your unique character on the chess board." - Josh Waitzkin
56- "Leave numbers behind and ride the wave of the game." - Josh Waitzkin
57- "The weakness of an artist is dogma." - Josh Waitzkin
58- "Everything i've learned, i've eventually unlearned. I spend more time unlearning than learning. You must challenge your own micro thought constructs." - Josh Waitzkin
59- "It is like a tunnel, the deeper you get into the more you see there is to learn." - Josh Waitzkin
60- "Your emotions are there for a reason. Observe their ripple." - Josh Waitzkin
61- "The same mold, teachers have learned a certain way. great teachers should listen first." - Josh Waitzkin
62- "Change from psychology and technical errors, transition from opening prep to first middlegame decision or tactical to strategical." - Josh Waitzkin
63- "There is some part about any discipline that should appeal to any person." - Josh Waitzkin
64- "Identify thematic connections by breaking down the walls between different disciplines." - Josh Waitzkin
65- "You know your country is dying when you have to make a distinction between what is moral and ethical, and what is legal." - John de Armond
66- "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." - George Orwell
67- "When you stop learning you start dying." - Scott Adams
68- "If you could buy some people for what they are worth, and sell them for what they "think" they are worth, there would always be a profit margin."
69- "Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about."
70- "Life is too short to waste time hating anyone."
71- "When in doubt, just take the next small step."
72- "When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer."
73- "Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?" - Ellis
74- "If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back."
75- "Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need."
76- "There are three sides to every story: your side, their side and the truth." - Bablyon 5
77- "Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher." - Japanese Proverb

My apologies if some of the classics are in the ficgs quote file already as I just keep my own (and pull quotes from everywhere). I tried to cull out the duplicates.

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-10-07 16:00:18)
Fritz 12 rating at CEGT

I just discovered the first rating for Fritz 12 in the CEGT 40/20 (2GHz) rating list, 2933 so less than 20 points better than Fritz 11, quite a deception. Naum 4 is still not so far from Rybka 3.

1 Rybka 3 x64 1CPU 3112 17 17 1142 73.9% 2931 34.1%
2 Rybka 3 w32 1CPU 3053 16 16 1234 68.3% 2919 38.7%
3 Naum 4 w32 1CPU 2988 17 17 831 58.2% 2930 47.9%
4 Naum 4 x64 1CPU 2988 20 20 628 55.6% 2949 48.4%
5 Deep Fritz 11 1CPU 2937 14 14 1248 54.2% 2908 47.5%
6 Fritz 12 2933 19 19 674 48.8% 2941 46.0%
7 Fritz 11 2916 7 7 6292 54.9% 2882 42.3%
8 Shredder WM Edition Bonn 1CPU 2912 13 13 1580 50.7% 2907 41.7%
9 Zappa Mexico II x64 1CPU 2910 15 15 1084 54.7% 2878 45.0%
10 Thinker 5.4Ai x64 1CPU 2902 18 18 762 51.1% 2895 49.5%

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-10-20 22:14:38)
Shredder 12 vs. Rybka 3

Shredder 12 (the chess engine more than the interface) looks much more promising than Fritz 12, here are the current CEGT rating lists, Naum 4 and Rybka 3 are not so far !

40 / 40 rating list

1 Rybka 3 x64 1CPU 3105 16 16 1293 71.7% 2944 35.0%
2 Rybka 3 w32 1CPU 3053 16 16 1234 68.3% 2919 38.7%
3 Deep Shredder 12 x64 1CPU 3000 27 27 351 55.1% 2964 45.9%
4 Naum 4 w32 1CPU 2988 17 17 831 58.2% 2930 47.9%
5 Naum 4 x64 1CPU 2982 18 18 728 54.2% 2953 48.8%
6 Deep Fritz 11 1CPU 2936 14 14 1298 53.5% 2911 47.3%
7 Fritz 12 2928 18 18 778 47.3% 2947 46.3%
8 Fritz 11 2916 7 7 6292 54.9% 2882 42.3%
9 Zappa Mexico II x64 1CPU 2915 15 15 1134 54.5% 2883 45.1%
10 Shredder WM Edition Bonn 1CPU 2912 13 13 1580 50.7% 2907 41.7%

40 / 4 rating list

1 Rybka 3.0 x64 4CPU 3238 11 11 3400 80.4% 2993 27.7%
2 Naum 4.0 x64 4CPU 3126 11 11 2400 64.9% 3020 41.7%
3 Deep Shredder 12 x64 4CPU 3105 15 15 1300 65.8% 2991 35.9%
4 Deep Fritz 11 4CPU 3066 10 10 2500 58.3% 3008 44.5%
5 Stockfish 1.4 JA x64 4CPU 3032 11 11 2400 53.0% 3011 38.8%
6 Zappa Mexico II x64 4CPU 3026 8 8 4050 49.6% 3029 40.1%
7 Thinker 5.4D x64 4CPU Inert 3012 11 11 2200 50.3% 3010 39.5%
8 Hiarcs 12.1 4CPU 2998 11 11 2400 49.7% 3001 39.2%

Congrats to the author of Shredder !

Philip Roe    (2009-11-06 08:46:48)
Milton Scholarship


So you've dug deeper than I have.

Fascinating. I would certainly like to see it in context.


John Smith    (2009-11-13 02:56:53)
Introduction to Centaur Chess

Hi all,

While I have played allot of chess, so far I only used my computer for an occasional analysis and mostly for the database features.

I am assuming it takes to know engines quite well to become good at advanced/centaur chess, so any advice would be really helpful.

1) Which engines are better at what type of positions? Is Deep Junior best at unclear sacrifices?, Rybka best for positional play?, Schredder best for endgames?

2) Which engines understand different pawn structures better, e.g. which is the best engine to study a stonewall-structure game and which is best for a King's Indian Mar de Plata game?

3) How to interpret the engine value for the position? e.g. if I, say as White, sac a pawn and the evaluation is -0.1, that is less that 1 pawn, does this mean I have enough positional compensation for the pawn?

4) Which engines take long-term weaknesses into their evaluations, even if they can't see anything concrete within their horizon?

5) Which free engines are worth consulting? toga? stockfish? Glaurung? thinker? Which of these are good for complex positions, which for quiet ones?

6) Are there any engines which improve their play during time, that is they learn? e.g. if in a position guiding the engine by hand proves that another move than its preferred one is best, will it be able to spot the move again, if the same position is re-entered?

7) Which is the best interface for analysis?

8) Is there a page with statistics of how each engine performs in every opening?


Thibault de Vassal    (2009-11-13 16:44:56)
Centaur chess

Hi John, I'm afraid there's no clear answer to these questions, in my experience it is not possible to classify chess engines so accurately, each position is differently understood by chess engines, and actually is differently not understood, in example many great moves were found in some way "by chance" by engines like Deep Junior... But this is old computer chess already, Junior has not been updated for a while and Rybka is probably best in all parts of the game for a few years (maybe that is to change).

As Michel said, experience is the key IMO.

John Smith    (2009-11-13 18:19:12)
thanks for your responses

I see, it is a quite unexplored area.

Have engines advanced really that much though? Surely, there has been progress, but I did an experiment, I annotated some of my games using Fritz6 and Fritz 11. What caught me off guard was the fact that their 1st recommendation was the same everywhere, and in fact, oddly, Fritz 6 converged first to the "correct" reply.

They still sometimes fail to find some critical moves made by positional masters like Karpov or Kramnik. Of course they have also found many moves of their own (Bxh2!? vs Kasparov) which were not even considered by human masters.

Since my initial questions are probably on too abstract grounds, I'd like to ask a purchase question. I will buy Rybka soonish, however I was wondering if it is worth purchasing other engines as well.

- Is Shredder 12 worth it? are there some parts of the game where it does better than Rybka?

- Are they planning to release a new Deep Junior?

- Is the old Deep Junior 11 worth it, or because it hasn't been updated, even in positions where its strengths lie it has been surpasses by other engines?

Wayne Lowrance    (2009-11-13 18:42:00)
Centaur Chess

Howdy John, I will try and give maybe a little more detail to the best my ability.
1) Rybka is probably best up to "end game" and in end game I like Naum and Zappa.
2) Stonewall: , do not know best engine, but probably not Rybka
3.) Not enough information and again it depends on Engine Tactics. But in general, probably is worth looking into deep P.V.
4) Have no idea
5) No idea.
6) Out of book move "repeat/improvement recognition" as far as I know is not a feature. You as the Centaur of course should recognize this.
7) Well, you will get big arguments here. Many will tell you Aquarium (if you can master it).
8) NO In CC chess, the book is probably the most important thing to study and improve.As mentioned, experience is number one. Dont know if this post is of any value Wayne

John Smith    (2009-11-17 10:25:12)

So which engine is good to co-consult given Rybka?
In order to be useful it should have a different style, as an engine with style similar to Rybka's is unlikely to provide significantly additional information.

I am guessing Deep Junior is somewhat old (?), Shredder is also solid+positional so possibly not too useful to co-consult, Naum & Zapa have been discontinued and in Fritz the focus has shifted more to training features in the interface.

Is it only Rybka these days? What about the open source & free engines that exist?

Xavier Pichelin    (2009-12-10 22:10:00)
119.95$ not 1200$

For the site the

1) Now Rybka Aquarium 2010+ / Deep Rybka Aquarium 2010+ will include Rybka 3/Deep Rybka 3.

2) Super Bonus. Instead of a right for a free upgrade to Rybka 4 / Deep Rybka 4 you will get a free copy of a professional chess database program Chess Assistant 10 along with Aquarium 2010+!

Lazaro Munoz    (2010-01-29 06:05:09)
Piece Values in Big Chess

I am amazed at the number of opponents that are still applying piece value from regular chess in big chess.

I made some regression analysis based on what we value in regular chess in terms of mobility and applied to big chess. Using the pawn and knight as the standard since in both games 3 pawns will probably beat a knight (if they are separated far enough). I assigned the pawn the value of 1 and and knight a value of 3 and extrapolated variables that we seem to use in valuing the other pieces such as number of squares it can reach, and penalty for being stuck on the same color.

I got the following values:

Bishop=7 **

** The bishop value changes by pairs available, for example 4 white square bishops don't even come close to value 2 white squares and 2 black squares bishops so this is best value but it can go down to 6 or even 5 as pairs are lost.

Interesting, just like in chess a rook+bishop almost equals a queen and two rooks beat a queen. And a queen equals the value of the pawns (ok similar).

I still find opponents who exchange bishops for knights with impunity, not knowing the true values of the pieces.

I notice that nobody has ever mentioned this. I hope I did not give out some deep secret.

Of course you mileage may vary.


Thibault de Vassal    (2010-03-21 22:52:10)
SSDF rating list (march 2010)

The new SSDF rating list reveals at least one thing : Between an old Athlon 1200 and a modern Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, there is at least a 120 point gap. Unfortunately, Ippolit/Ivanhoe/Igorrit/Firebird are still out of the list.

SSDF RATING LIST 2010-03-21 %120316 games played by 311 computers
Rating + - Games Won Oppo
------ --- --- ----- --- ----
1 Deep Rybka 3 x64 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 3227 27 -25 1005 83% 2962
2 Naum 4 x64 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 3149 25 -23 986 74% 2963
3 Deep Shredder 12 x64 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 3124 26 -24 863 70% 2972
4 Deep Fritz 12 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 3117 37 -36 373 60% 3043
5 Deep Rybka 3 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 3090 39 -38 332 58% 3033
6 Deep Fritz 11 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 3081 22 -21 1142 68% 2946
7 Zappa Mexico II x64 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 3068 27 -26 696 59% 3002
8 Naum 3.1 x64 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 3052 30 -29 572 59% 2990
9 Deep Hiarcs 12 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 3039 22 -21 1087 61% 2958
10 Deep Shredder 11 x64 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 3038 26 -26 726 58% 2981
11 Hiarcs 11.2 MP 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 3010 25 -25 761 54% 2984
12 Glaurung 2.2 x64 MP 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 3007 22 -22 1001 60% 2933
13 Shredder 12 256MB A1200 MHz 3006 39 -39 320 45% 3040
14 Naum 4 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2998 29 -29 574 50% 2996
15 Deep Junior 10.1 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 2975 25 -25 766 48% 2992
16 Rybka 2.3.1 Arena 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2926 22 -22 964 52% 2912
17 Fritz 11 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2915 27 -27 669 47% 2935
18 Deep Fritz 8 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 2912 25 -26 753 39% 2991
19 Shredder 8 MP 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 2908 28 -29 603 39% 2984
20 Deep Shredder 11 256MB Athlon 1200 2907 30 -30 534 45% 2941
21 Hiarcs 11.1 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2879 23 -23 941 49% 2882
22 CM King 3.5 x64 MP 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 2866 31 -32 530 33% 2990
23 Junior 10.1 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2864 19 -20 1271 47% 2882
24 Deep Junior 8 2GB Q6600 2,4 GHz 2859 29 -30 589 36% 2961
25 Fritz 10 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2851 34 -33 458 64% 2749
26 Zap!Chess Z. 256MB Athlon 1200 MH 2842 21 -21 1060 50% 2840
27 Fruit 2.2.1 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2833 19 -19 1385 62% 2750
28 Spike 1.2 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2817 26 -26 714 57% 2766
29 Chess Tiger 2007 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2775 25 -26 748 46% 2805
29 Rybka 1.0 beta 128MB K6-2 450 MHz 2775 64 -69 115 38% 2860
31 Zap!Chess 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2737 30 -29 562 53% 2713
32 Gandalf 6.0 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2735 24 -24 855 56% 2693
33 Pocket Fritz 3 Hiarcs Ipaq 214 624 MHz 2733 64 -58 142 66% 2617
34 Chessmaster 9000 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2720 36 -35 385 56% 2680
35 Pro Deo 1.1 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2714 24 -23 876 57% 2660
36 Pocket Shredder Ipaq 114 624 MHz 2698 83 -70 100 74% 2520
37 Deep Sjeng 1.5a 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2675 31 -31 493 52% 2663
38 CEBoard Fruit 2.3.1 XScale 400 400 MHz 2647 65 -61 129 62% 2564
39 Revelation Rybka 2.2 XScale 500 MHz 2632 47 -45 240 62% 2549
39 Ruffian 2.0.0 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz 2632 49 -49 205 46% 2661
41 Pocket Fritz 3 Glaurung 2.1 Ipaq 614C 2528 69 -74 100 40% 2604
42 Pocket Fritz 2 XScale 400 MHz 2508 48 -46 225 57% 2459
43 Resurrection Rybka 2.2 StrongARM 203 MH 2484 43 -43 260 51% 2477
44 Resurrection Fruit '05 StrongARM 203 MH 2395 67 -63 120 60% 2320
45 Hiarcs 9.5a/9.6 Palm TungstenE OMAP 126 2392 35 -35 400 45% 2426
46 CEBoard Crafty 2004 HP RX4240 400 MHz 2375 52 -54 180 41% 2443
47 R30 v. 2.5 2274 41 -38 343 69% 2136
48 Palm Tiger 2009 Tung C 400 MHz 2229 66 -71 110 38% 2317
49 Chess Genius 1.4 SX1 OMAP 310 120 MHz 2151 50 -48 210 60% 2081
50 Chess Tiger 14.9 Palm m515 16MB 42MHz 2103 69 -74 100 39% 2182

Thibault de Vassal    (2010-03-25 10:57:09)
Blitz time controls

... that is not easy to predict.

Anyway, what about this :

- 20 moves / 1 hour time control all game long
- 40 moves / 2 hours, then 20 moves / 1 hour

I would even prefer the first one that is easier to read but IMO it is not so interesting. The 40 moves / 2 hours has the advantage to offer the possibility to explore very deeply the most interesting positions encountered...

Sebastian Boehme    (2010-04-08 04:20:59)
Chess is...

Chess is like the ocean - deep, mysterious and sometimes so hard to bear.

Wayne Lowrance    (2010-04-24 20:25:52)
Entry fee for higher class tournament

I do not like it. What you will see is a higher bracket classification in the waiting list stage will see presumably some qualified players entry, soon to be filled up with a host of players with deep pockets entering, so it ends up being not a higher bracket but a lower class bracket. This just does not seem fair. It means (as you have already pointed out) players with deep pockets can buy there way into rating points. I will not support or tolerate that notion if I can avoid it.

Tano-Urayoan Russi Roman    (2010-05-15 20:57:44)
Rybka 4, news, tests & results

Here is the chessbase version

and the chessok with aquarium

Thibault de Vassal    (2010-06-01 22:42:07)
Rybka 4!

Strange... many rybkaforum members will harass Vasik with questions on these performances, most probably :/

Just looking at the new CEGT rating lists, Rybka 4 would be 30 to 80 points stronger than Rybka 3 :

CEGT 40/20

1 Deep Rybka 4 x64 4CPU 3220 39 39 200 74.8% 3031 40.5%
2 Rybka 3 x64 4CPU 3181 10 10 3099 73.9% 3000 35.3%
3 Stockfish 1.7.1 x64 4CPU 3159 11 11 2201 69.1% 3019 40.3%
4 Rybka 3 x64 2CPU 3146 10 10 3481 72.6% 2977 35.7%
5 Naum 4.2 x64 4CPU 3140 15 15 1226 61.5% 3059 44.4%

CEGT 40/4

1 Rybka 4.0 x64 4CPU 3265 24 24 500 70.7% 3112 40.6%
2 Rybka 3.0 Dynamic x64 4CPU 3233 19 19 1200 79.8% 2994 25.9%
3 Rybka 3.0 x64 4CPU 3231 9 9 4300 78.0% 3012 30.2%
4 Rybka 3.0 Human x64 4CPU 3229 21 21 1000 78.8% 3001 26.8%
5 Stockfish 1.7.1 x64 4CPU 3198 13 13 2150 72.2% 3032 33.1%

Thibault de Vassal    (2010-06-02 16:43:27)
Rybka 4 wins ICT10

Rybka 4 just won the latest edition of the International Computer Chess Tournament (ICT10, 10th edition) ahead of Deep Sjeng (surprise!?) and far from the other Chessbase engines: Hiarcs, Deep Shredder and Deep Junior...

Interesting to see that Rybka (by Vasik Rajlich) only lost to Deep Sjeng (by Gian-Carlo Pascutto) and won all the other games, including against the well known Hiarcs (by Mark Uniacke) and Shredder (by Stefan Meyer-Kahlen).

Rybka 8/9
Deep Sjeng 7/9
Hiarcs 6/9
Deep Shredder 6/9
Deep Junior 5.5/9
Komodo 5/9

The other participants were Pandix, The Baron, Spark, The King, Kallisto, Almond, RedQueen and Joker.

Wayne Lowrance    (2010-06-28 18:40:50)
Save/Reload hash in Rybka

Howdy. I had all sorts of trouble with it too. I finally posted it on Rybka forum. But first, I am not sure your going about it correct. You just need to go to select new engine, then set engine parameters, and there you find save/load hash. Sounds like your getting to this point anyways.
Ok, I paste what was told me at the forum.

This is msg I get when ticking Save Hash (Save hash failed). I created a folder R4.rsh
but apparently it is not found the path is:
C:\users\administration\documents\ChessBase\nogames\EngineParameters\Deep Rybka 4x64\R4.rsh
What am I doing wrong. R4 manual no help.
Fritz12 GUI & Vsta

That was question post:

I think you need to create a file not a folder. :grin:
Nothing ventured, nothing gained...
Reply Report

this is 1 of 2 responses. Other is from Vas himself as follows.

You need to create a dummy file - you can just do that with notepad or something.

This last was from Vas.
Ok, summary :) All you have to do is create a file.rsh: (By the way, My Son stopped bye and he said "dad I will do it for you)" So he created the dummy file "file.rsh". works fine :)
Hope this helps, Wayne

Scott Nichols    (2010-08-09 21:12:59)
Entry fee for higher class tournament

Just a note to say how this new rule is affecting at least one player here (me), :) I "earned" entry to a higher class tournament by winning the class just below. I paid my ten E-points and received entry into the next higher class. We have been playing for a while and I am holding my own ok. I have met new players and am overjoyed at the chance to play them. They are all friendly and welcoming. Life couldn't be better, ......but....... Maybe it's just me, but I feel at this point that I never REALLY earned my way into this realm. The old way was to suffer through months and years of climbing the rating ladder a little at a time and then finally reach that next level. Also, just my opinion, is that these days there really isn't a big difference in strengths between 1850 and 2450 given that we all have fast computers running on Rybka mostly. The difference I find is the human side of the ratings. The old days whether Shredder could beat Fritz, or Deep Junior could beat Hiarcs are long gone. So I guess what I'm trying to say without rambling any further, is that as much as I like playing in the higher section, I would prefer to "EARN" it the old way. Just one players opinion, Thank you

Thibault de Vassal    (2010-09-17 00:29:38)
Svante Carl von Erichsen on Go WCH #4

As you probably read in the news, Svante Carl von Erichsen won the 4th FICGS Go WCH, beating his challenger Huayong Yang 3-2, Svante Carl wins the Go championship for the 4th time in a row!

Svante Carl kindly accepted to answer a few questions on his match & computer Go:

FICGS - Hello Svante Carl, congratulations once again for winning this match against a surprising challenger who started here a few months ago with a 10 kyu rank, Huayong Yang, now rated 2438 after scoring 2 points in your 5 games match (which is a great achievement for sure). What did you think about his play & yours in these games?

Svante Carl - I think that he greatly underestimated his rank initially. As far as I know, he had not played for a long time and believed that his ability had therefore deteriorated. I do not think that you can drop more than one or at most two stones, though -- it is like cycling or swimming, you never unlearn it. I had the impression that we were quite evenly matched in summa, but our strengths are in different aspects of the game; I cannot really put my finger on the difference, though.

FICGS - After a previous win, you said that you spend a quite long time to analyze, which probably helps you to reach a higher level than 2 dan (your EGF rating) compared to OTB play... It looks obvious to me that correspondence chess moves generally ask for much more time than Go moves at a high level but I may be wrong, how much time did you spend on your longest analysis during the match? Do you remember for which move?

Svante Carl - I usually spend at least a few minutes on each move, except when the continuation is obvious. I often use more, and if I do not find a satisfactory move then, I will even postpone the move to another day, so that I can sleep over it and let my subconcious work on it.

FICGS - Do you watch other games played by your future opponent before starting your match? Do you think that this is really important in preparation like it can be in Correspondence chess?

Svante Carl - I sometimes glance over the games in the championship qualification tournament, but I do not try to prepare this way. I do not think that such preparation has any value in Go, especially in correspondence Go, since you have time during the game to do deep analysis. I usually try to take each game out of standard fuseki patterns pretty quickly, anyway. Of course, I know that my opponents in these title matches are always very tough and demand my utmost respect.

FICGS - Do you still follow the recent developments in computer Go? What do you think about the latest Go engines? How much time do we have yet before the best Go players are caught by computers according to you?

Svante Carl - I have the impression that the currently most promising technology (Monte Carlo/UCT) has the potential to achieve a rank of about 2 or 3 dan (EGF/KGS). I think that the next fundamentally new idea or breakthrough might add 2 stones, to get to 4 or 5 dan. I do not have any idea where it might go from that, but I think that it gets always harder.

What I would find interesting is having more intermediate board sizes. The best bots are almost on par with the best professionals on 9x9 now. I would propose to try to achieve a similar level on 11x11, then 13x13, then 15x15 etc.. Regarding 9x9, I think that the currently predominant komi of 7.5 points is too big, and that this has a negative impact on the experiments because the bots do not play in a balanced environment. It might be worthwhile to introduce the Taiwan rule (last move compensation) to get more fine-grained scores.

FICGS - What programs did you use this year to analyze? (just trying, of course it may be part of your secrets ;))

Svante Carl - It is not a secret. I just use an editor, usually EidoGo or CGoban3, to visualize the variations I imagine.

FICGS - Finally, what thoughts would you like to share on your 5 games, that could help us not to miss the best times or to help us to understand the most complex moves...

Svante Carl - I cannot give a detailed commentary, but I can try to summarize my impressions.

I think that Game 5 was quite balanced until move 21, but I think that the white invasion was a bit ambitious then. Of course, White did not need to die there, but after moves 32-33 I think that Black had a good result anyway (move 32 should go out faster in my opinion; note how E14 helps Black in enclosing White).

In Game 3, I think things got quite difficult for White in the lower left, but I let him take the initiative by backing off at move 35 (I should have simply closed off F10 then). White gained control of the centre as a result, and in the large endgame, I lost too many points there.

In Game 4, I fell behind in the opening through some slow moves (there was some discussion on the Life-in-19x19 forum about this, see the link in the comments of that game). In the endgame, Black then lost some points in the centre, so that I was a bit ahead when the game timed out.

In Game 1, I made some bad decisions on the left side, and never managed to turn things around. I think I was behind by about 5 points in the end.

In Game 2, I think that Black should not have ignored move 24. After I got quite some territory from my moyo and also reduced his top side, I could play it safe.

I look forward to the games with Olivier Drouot that recently started, but I also hope that Yang Huayong will re-enter the championship cycle.

Jimmy Huggins    (2010-10-29 05:21:56)
Strong Tournament at Rybka Forum

Just to let everyone know I've added a standing page and an unique commentary and recap page for fans and players a like a chance to look at all the game a little deeper. I'll invite any of the strong players to comment on the games as they go. As long as they don't give moves away that may affect the game. I thought this would add to unique style of the tournament.

Wayne Lowrance    (2010-11-02 22:18:30)
Strong Tournament at Rybka Forum

yep, I am aware of both sites. That is not the problem as I see it.
Those sites are good if you have arrived at 6 man positions. The problem occurs far before that during analysis. Example player(a) in deep analysis with his hardware/programs determines that a 6 man tablebase will occur and player (b) with his hardware/program is unable to verify that and thus will object to 6 man ruling as He cannot verify it. Not much time will be saved I am afraid if the game continue until the current position is a 6 man position.
Of course a lot of communication can resolve it for player (b) but that is a big work load for someone. So I am very much in favor of the idea, but do not see clear solution to it.

Thibault de Vassal    (2010-12-15 23:06:54)
Chess positions too complex for engines

Hi Hannes, I'm not sure if Qe2 is good or not, I'll look at that... Well, I posted these 2 positions quickly after your message in the other discussion, but I'm quite sure that I can find tens of positions like this if I have a deeper look at my games... To be continued.

Thibault de Vassal    (2010-12-21 17:31:39)
Junior 12, Deep Junior 12

The new engines by Amir Ban and Shay Bushinsky (who where World Computer Chess Champions) Junior 12 & Deep Junior 12 are available... It probably evolved quite a lot since the amazing Junior 7, anyone tested it already?

Thibault de Vassal    (2012-08-21 16:23:20)
This is politics

I remember this interview of Kramnik with very good things said (I have no idea on the last part though, even if I have no doubt that things went in the right direction... fast enough or not. Quote: "nowadays eighty percent of the Russian population is not forced to fight for their existence, as they had to, some ten, fifteen years ago.")

But if things must not evolve too fast (as it probably happened in Russia 15-20 years ago), it is likely that both US (or European countries) & Russia don't even envisage to go the right way these times on political issues, mainly because the ones who control it don't want it. There are many more or less complex & historical reasons to this of course, completely logical, but anyway it could be better and even if Kasparov was paid by US or whoever, it looks quite logical & reasonable to ask for some deep changes in Russia too...

I try to keep a sociological view rather than an ideological one. I do not defend one existing system more than other ones, but unfortunately in most situations the power tends to protect itself too much "in order to" protect citizens, that is true in a good part but there also start many problems. It is still fine to me when citizens have choice and can leave easily but that's not so easy in our world.

Thibault de Vassal    (2012-09-21 12:06:44)
A radical idea?

Good idea, quite possible but would need some deep changes.

Thibault de Vassal    (2012-09-25 23:27:53)
Limit number of poker games


1) It would be quite long to explain the full calculation for different examples, maybe best is to have a deep look at rating rules then come back to the discussion, sorry if it is not clear enough after that but trust me, it would change everything on ratings.

2) Both, I guess... the problem is that blinds shouldn't change and there isn't time controls that solve the problem.

3) Those who will go all in early will probably not reach the top of the rating list... That's the point :)

Hands that involve just 1 and 2 chips are real poker! The technical one, not the chancy one.

Eros Riccio    (2013-05-10 16:29:52)
Eros Riccio on his win in 8th chess WCH

Hi Alvin:

1) It depends on the position. Deciding a move may take from a few seconds to many days. My longest thought was 64 days for a move, in a decisive game of a past Italian Championship, the move was so hard for me that I also used the 30 days leave in order not to exceed the time limits for a single move. If someone is curious, it's move 40...Rh3 of the game Baiocchi - Riccio 0-1, 57 Italian Championship, played in 2007. Back then, after all my analysis with many different engines, I found out that Hiarcs was the engine that understood better than all the others that endgame, so I sticked to it mostly and its suggestions rewarded me with a win that allowed me to become Italian Champion.

2)The top 2 engines, which I usually use (and consider about equal) in infinite analysis at the same time with 3 cores each on my 6 cores computer are houdini 3 and deeprybka 4.1. Then come all the others, hard to pick a third place, probably critter or stockfish, depending on positions (stockfish is very strong in endgames, critter in tactical positions)

Attila Ba    (2013-05-15 17:41:52)
Deep analysis - can it be improved?

The idea behind deep analysis is to store engine evaluations of chess positions in a permanent way and build an analysis tree out of them. Deep analysis is an improvement over simple engine analysis in two ways:

1) Permanent storage of analysis results makes them reusable. You don't have to analyse the same position from scratch over and over again (which is a waste of valuable CPU resources) rather you can build and improve upon your earlier results.

2) The search is configurable. You have control over which positions are examined and in what way. This gives you freedom to tailor the analyis to your own needs not having to rely on the defaults provided by your engine.

This idea is presented in a revolutionary way in the Deep Rybka Aquarium GUI. However using this framework I have encountered some problems. The lesser one and non lethal one is that draws by repetition are not handled correctly. This is for a reason: moves in the transposition table should be valued in an absolute way (regardless of the line which lead to them) in order to preserve the integrity of the tree. Since Aquarium has no means to incorporate lines, it simply ignores them

My other problem is that though the search is configurable I'm not absolutely certain about what is going on. It is not entirely clear to me exactly which nodes are selected for analysis.

These problems made me to try to come up with a deep analyis program of my own. After several failed attempts finally I have on my hand a solution which is not only capable of performing deep analysis but overcomes some of the difficulties of Interactive Deep Analyis (IDeA) provided by the Aquarium framework.

First I introduced a mechanism that can handle repetitions. In order to achieve this I attribute not one but two scores to each move and re-define the concept of root position already present in IdeA. The first score which I call 'idea' score is the same as presented in IdeA. The second is what I call 'alpha' score is calculated by minimaxing the tree from the root position taking into account repetitions.

Consider the following game:

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. Ng1 Nf8

The value of move 2. ... Nf8 at depth 18 by Houdini 3.0 is -19 centipawns. So the idea score of this move at depth 0 should be -19. Yet 2. ... Nf8 repeats the starting position. Therefore its alpha score with respect to a root equaling the starting position should be 0 centipawn which is exactly what my program calculates for it. ( For the sake of simplicity I don't require threefold repetition, since you would never allow your opponent to repeat a position if you have better ideas. )

So when my programs lists the tree it will present both scores for every move (which in most of the cases are equal of course - therefore this is mostly an aesthetic improvement rather than being a substantial one).

The improvement which I'm most interested in is that having full control of node selection now I have freedom to shape the tree search.

In order to keeps things simple I have only three parameters characterising the search:

1) engine depth
2) move distance (centipawns)
3) search depth

Engine depth means a fixed depth at which each move is analyzed. After long experimenting I have arrived at depth 18 as a good default for Houdini 3.0.

Move distance is a tolerance up to which moves are allowed into the analyis. For each position first the best move is determined. The search for alternative moves is continued until a move is found that has a valuation less than the valuation of the best move by 'move distance' centipawns (it is this 'distance' away from being the best move). The tree is then expanded for moves within 'move distance'.

To compensate for exponential growth of analyzed nodes I use a simple technique: at each ply after ply 1 the move distance is halved. So if the move distance at ply 0 and ply 1 is 20 centipawns, it will be 10 centipawns for ply 2, 5 centipawns for ply 3 and so on. This means that at greater depth less and less moves are allowed per position. So the analysis with greater depth slowly evolves into 'autoplay' rather than 'tree search'.

The other method to reduce exponential growth is the well known beta cut provided by alphabeta search. In order that all candidate moves in the root position and all candidate responses to them get proper values, I only allow beta cuts with ply 2 and deeper.

Once an alphabeta search of certain depth is carried out, the whole tree is mimimaxed out for the root. Now the initial evaluations of the root moves may change. This may make moves which initially fall out of the 'move distance' to become viable. So the search has to be repeated for those moves as well. This has to be done at every ply level.

My iterative search at a certain depth only ends when no new nodes are added by the alphabeta search (the tree is 'settled' for this depth). Only then the program is allowed to deepen the search (this I call 'refined' search).

With engine depth of 18 and move distance of 10 centipawns an average position can be analyzed to depth 10 within a matter of hours. This means a couple of hundred (possibly a couple of thousand) positions are analyzed to depth 18. Depth 10 deep analyis means an ultimate depth of 28 if you take into account that the engine depth is 18.

Whether this method has added ELO value over simple engine search is yet to be tested.

Thibault de Vassal    (2015-06-19 02:16:28)
Wch Match Tie Break Rules

Ah... I must say this is an interesting idea. Actually it changes many things! This is a deep change in the whole game after all (in my view).

Any opinion?

Peter W. Anderson    (2015-07-02 16:20:58)
Wch Match Tie Break Rules

Yes, this could be a small but deep change. Perhaps some drawing opening lines would be less attractive because they will lead to stalemate. I see that as a good thing as it will lead to more fighting chess.

As nobody has objected perhaps it should be implemented :)

Pablo Schmid    (2015-07-02 20:32:45)
Wch Match Tie Break Rules

I am against that rule. Giving a bonus for stalemate is almost like playing for stalemating your opponent, which is not the aim of the game and this would change the game deeply.

Thibault de Vassal    (2015-07-05 14:22:20)
Wch Match Tie Break Rules

Thanks for the article Alvin, I read it entirely. My feeling is still about the same than Pablo's: This is deeply changing the game. Doesn't it mean restarting from zero while at the end (which may be not so far), the same problem will appear again... maybe slightly weaker, but still?

On the other hand, I concede that I made a (less) deep change in the rules when I started FICGS, by not adopting the 50 moves rule, so I'm still hesitating.

My position would be first to wait and see what ICCF will decide on this point, meanwhile I'll try to have more opinions here on this.

Peter W. Anderson    (2015-07-09 09:35:12)
Wch Match Tie Break Rules

I have avoided commenting further on this idea because I wanted to see what other people had to say. But now I will reply to the points made.
“Giving a bonus for stalemate is almost like playing for stalemating your opponent, which is not the aim of the game and this would change the game deeply.”
As I said I am against a points bonus, but am in favour of using stalemates for tie breaks. The real question is would someone start a game aiming for stalemate as opposed to start the game trying to win? I am not sure how you would do that – either way you have to try to build up an advantage and if it gets big enough it will lead to mate and if it is not quite big enough it might lead to stalemate. Anyone who gets the choice between a win and stalemate will presumably always take the win.
The one way I think this will really affect the game is by discouraging some very deeply analysed defences that are known to drawn or close to drawn but will almost certainly lead to stalemate. Personally I think this is a good thing, but I accept that the opposite view could be taken :)

“I think you overlooking a little that a good defense leading to stalemate means showing great skill. It´s not all about luck.”
Reaching stalemate as the defending side can be very simple (e.g. king and pawn vs king) or can indeed show great skill. It is almost never down to luck. In the case where great skill is shown that skill earns you half a point instead of no points. Nonetheless, the very fact that you needed great skill to save the game shows how close you came to losing, so I see no reason not to use this as a tiebreak rule.

“And stalemating gamepoints definitely will favour stupid engine playing and not human thinking with endgame skill”.
Like Pablo, I think quite the opposite is true. In fact one of my motivations for suggesting the change was to increase the human element in the game.

“According to me, stalemating an opponent (or having King + Bishop vs. King) reflects who played better ONLY IF rules say it before the game. In some cases, it actually reflects a better play, but in some others, it only shows that the stalemated player (or naked king) found a clever way to draw the game by giving the opponent the illusion of an advantage. Isn't it quite subjective after all?”
I have some sympathy for this viewpoint. If we could play perfect chess and at the start of the game someone decided to take the draw by allowing themselves to be stalemated then that would be a very good example supporting that view. However, I think the reality is different. In most cases when someone gets stalemated (or would be stalemated if the game was played through to its conclusion) it is because they have got a worse position and have little choice if they want to save the game.
If the defending side could achieve a draw by stalemate or by other means, then under today’s rules they could choose either way. Under my proposed rules they might be wise to choose the other method, unless of course they were confident of achieving more wins in the match.

“Maybe the games become more interesting if instead give small extra score for win with black!? Encourage black to play for a better score, just as UEFA do in football.”
This might be helpful for tournaments but I don’t think it helps at all for match play. In reality, if you can win just one game in a match you will most likely win the match. Therefore you don’t need a bonus to play for a win with black in a match situation.
However, I think this point indirectly touches on an issue with match play and how hard people try to win, and I do think the stalemate tiebreak rules would help a little with this.
The problem as it stands is that the higher rated player (or the champion in the case of the tile match) knows that if all games are drawn he will win the match. The higher rated player (or champion) can therefore take a low risk approach to the match, with both black and white (actually I think the low risk approach with white is just as much a problem).
If the higher rated player (or champion) was not certain that all draws would win them the match then they would probably try harder to win. This would give a better chance of decisive games in matches.
One way of a achieving this would be through a toss of a coin if the match is tied with all draws. Personally I would not find this satisfactory.
Whilst the likelihood of stalemate is quite low, it will nonetheless be there, so this rule might encourage the higher rated player or champion to try harder for a win.
I will speak from personal experience on this matter. In most of my recent matches I have been the higher rated player. I still play some relatively risky defences as black (e.g. the modern against 1.e4) and I always try to win with white. However, I have to be honest, if I am the higher rated player, I do not always play the very sharpest lines as white and I do not often play some of my riskier defences to 1.d4. If the stalemate tiebreak rule was in place, I would be taking more chances with both white and black.
So whilst I accept that it is not perfect, I still think the stalemate tie-break rule is a good idea. However, as nobody else has spoken out in favour of it I accept that it is very unlikely to be implemented and I won’t write any more on this matter unless someone asks me a direct question. It is time to concentrate on my matches under the existing rules! :)

Pablo Schmid    (2015-07-12 02:09:18)
Wch Match Tie Break Rules

Here is most examples of my ficgs practice (corr and Advanced chess). This represent a low percentage of my games. These games are food for thought from my own assisted experience against that rule that I call "+1 decisive advantage chess". I believe you could already burn a lot of chapters in ending's book. Most of my games show balanced games until the end, sometime, the "punished guy" could have played another drawing defense, sometimes not, unfairly to me. The game would be more safe, with less sacrifices of piece vs 2 or 3 pawns and things like that because of fearing an ending with king vs king + piece or king vs king + pawn even if the sacrifice was sound and well played. Game 22895 and 84758 I would probably have been punished by the rule in the ending of game 22895 (and my opponent in the other game), and that type of ending in general (piece + pawn up vs piece when the king cannot block the pawn). Game 37122 Shame on me, my advantage in that ending was not sufficient to force my opponent to sacrifice his bishop for my last pawn. This is why I only deserve 0,5!
Game 37920 That king of pawns vs piece + pawn would become lost for the player without the piece, what a way of punish some balanced sacrifices for pawns!
Game 54907 and 20704 That kind of opposite bishop ending would be "lost" for the guy pawnless even if the transition into an inferior but drawn ending was the intention of the "inferior guy".
Game 74870 The ending is perfectly balanced but my opponent couldn't finish the game the way he did because of the rule.
Game 74875 I would have been half-losing in the pawn ending after a nice defense in an interesting unbalanced material line.
Game 74880 the ending knight + h pawn would have been "half losing" for me even if we can't say that I was clearly worse overall.
Game 76734 and 76764 Technichally this game is not directly concerned by the rule but it is very close. I was on the verge of defeat but I have managed to defend stubornely. If he have played well to get a winning position and then the win disapear because of bad play but still finish with a draw, he would get a bonus because he played better overall? The way I managed to defend would not be rewarded?
Game 77809 In this game the whole deep opening line would probably be "half losing" for Black in the ending because of the new rule.
Game 80954 Suddenly it seems that I would have been punished for my defense in the final position.
Game 85106 I did not play specially badly but... I would have been punished for my way of finishing the game!

Thibault de Vassal    (2016-03-09 22:03:56)
AI beats a professional Go player

To be continued.

Thibault de Vassal    (2016-09-12 18:36:27)
AlphaGo games commented

Interesting Go games to learn from...

Games played by AlphaGo (either versus itself or versus Lee Sedol)

Francois Caire    (2016-11-12 16:48:17)
Stockfish fixes memory leak in Syzygy

I tested it and after a 24 hour analysis in an endgame position, stockfish was using only 2.6 Gb of ram with 2Gb hash size.

Author: Marco Costalba
Date: Sat Nov 5 07:55:08 2016 +0100
Timestamp: 1478328908

Rewrite syzygy in C++

Rewrite the code in SF style, simplify and
document it.

Code is now much clear and bug free (no mem-leaks and
other small issues) and is also smaller (more than
600 lines of code removed).

All the code has been rewritten but root_probe() and
root_probe_wdl() that are completely misplaced and should
be retired altogheter. For now just leave them in the
original version.

Code is fully and deeply tested for equivalency both in
functionality and in speed with hundreds of games and
test positions and is guaranteed to be 100% equivalent
to the original.

Tested with tb_dbg branch for functional equivalency on
more than 12M positions.

stockfish.exe bench 128 1 16 syzygy.epd

Position: 2016/2016
Total 12121156 Hits 0 hit rate (%) 0
Total time (ms) : 4417851
Nodes searched : 1100151204
Nodes/second : 249024

Tested with 5,000 games match against master, 1 Thread,
128 MB Hash each, tc 40+0.4, which is almost equivalent
to LTC in Fishtest on this machine. 3-, 4- and 5-men syzygy
bases on SSD, 12-moves opening book to emphasize mid- and endgame.

Score of SF-SyzygyC++ vs SF-Master: 633 - 617 - 3750 [0.502] 5000
ELO difference: 1

No functional change.

Peter W. Anderson    (2017-04-19 13:42:06)
WCh and other ramblings

Congratulations to Eros for retaining his FICGS world title again. A casual glance at our 36 games might give the impression that I did not put him under much pressure apart from in game 95512. Actually it is more a case of him making it look easy. He generally plays extremely accurately in the opening and avoids deeply hidden pitfalls in the middle game – I always get the feeling that I am playing someone who understands the game well rather than someone purely reliant on engines.

I have decided to give up playing normal correspondence chess. Engines have simply become too strong and the amount of human input into my games has decreased over time. Human input remains (games 95516, 95512, 93727/87343 being good examples), but there is far too much hard work with engines these days for my liking. I am sure a GM would add a lot more value but I am a mere mortal! I will probably play some big chess instead. I tried this a couple of times and really enjoyed it. I just hope nobody writes an engine for it.

With regards to the format of the world championship, we need to recognise that with engines getting stronger the draw odds is a bigger and bigger advantage for the champion. Despite that I personally think the current format is fine. I generated a significant advantage in 2 games – in addition to game 95512, I believe game 87337 offered real chances if I had not forgotten to play 25.Nb4 as intended (I could barely look at a chess board for a month after screwing that game up, but that is another story). If people keep trying they may eventually beat Eros. The bigger issue to my mind is Eros’s own statement of boredom with defending the championship. So time for a change when the current cycles are finished?

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-08-06 17:36:46)
When chess is just beauty

I just lost my chess master.

François Melison was a great friend to me, and a very special chess player as all who played him over the board know.

Actually he was the only one I never saw playing to win, even during a rated tournament (his performances were always 200 or 300 points below his level, often losing on time in winning positions - even when having the time to win, even against fide masters).

It seems to me that his deep motivation was to understand, to touch the beauty and nature of the game... that changed my vision of chess but not only, most probably, even if I was never close to approach his talent and vision of the board. He played correspondence chess when real mail was used, when it was a very special thing compared to this strange time dominated by computers. He was able to play blindfold of course, and some simultaneous games are great memories for a few of his chess friends.

He just played for the beauty of chess, or maybe he played for the beauty only.

He was 54 only. I'll miss him.

Condolences from all his friends at ESIGETEL go to his family.

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-10-19 20:05:55)
Morozevich speaking of chess & Go

An interesting interview from the now rare & still incredible Alexander Morozevich (well known for his creativity & spectacular chess), speaking about Go, Deepmind's AlphaGo, Kasparov's return (or not) & other things...

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-10-19 20:14:23)
AlphaGo Zero

Must read... AlphaGo would have been able to re-learn from scratch & reach the level of the AlphaGo (2015) that beat Lee Sedol in... 3 days... only 3 days!

Not so surprisingly, it took 21 days to reach the level of the version that beat Ke Jie this year. Now he would have reached a stellar rating (that does not mean much to us poor humans) of about 5000 (!) and he's able to win 100 games out of 100 to the AlphaGo "Lee".

Really stunning.

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-12-07 16:44:05)
AlphaZero stronger than Stockfish

It looks like there's no more month without news from Google Deepmind... This time again, this is quite stunning!

AlphaZero would have been able to beat (crush) the most recent version of Stockfish, that is also the world champion program and of course the free engine well known by correspondence chess players.

But most important is that actually AlphaZero would have outperformed Stockfish after only 4 hours of training (if I understood well), while it took 8 hours to outperform AlphaGo Lee and only 120 minutes to outperform Elmo at Shogi! However it seems much much harder for the neural program to improve at chess after this stunningly fast auto-learning.

100 games played (25 wins & 25 draws with white! 3 wins with black... no loss, either with white or black, which is an incredible performance)

All details available (must read) here:

A few games played by AlphaZero against Stockfish are included in the arxiv article.

Ilmars Cirulis    (2017-12-08 18:10:02)
AlphaZero stronger than Stockfish

That too close to conspiracy theory. If one can't trust Deepmind, well, there are even worse ways how they could cheat - including completely falsified games by some bored grandmasters with engine and lots of free time.

Ilmars Cirulis    (2017-12-08 21:12:35)
AlphaZero stronger than Stockfish

Btw, AlphaZero and the match is proof of concept, for research purposes. And that was done excellently.

If one remembers that Deepmind priorities isn't being computer chess or Go champion, but advancing Artificial Intelligence research (and earning money for Google - using those advances and gained experience) then any accusations of cheating or not participating in CCRL seems meaningless.

Ilmars Cirulis    (2017-12-08 21:23:22)
AlphaZero stronger than Stockfish

There will be some more matches, I hope. I expect that at least some criticism about settings and machine of chess engine will be heard.

Also more serious paper about AlphaZero (chess/shogi/go) will be publised.

And then Deepmind are going to leave chess in the past, in the same way as it did with go. At the best, it will be used for testing some of next research ideas, and we will get few more games to look at.

And then it will make a superhuman Starcraft player, then maybe some AI that can do math research like the humans do (I would like to live so far :D), then maybe computer will learn languages properly... :)

Chess is just random checkpoint for Deepmind. We will have to make our own AlphaZero to play with, anyway. :)

Ilmars Cirulis    (2017-12-09 11:24:21)
AlphaZero stronger than Stockfish

Tuning against specific opponent = 100% cheating, in this context. In that case Deepmind simply lied in their own article.

Ilmars Cirulis    (2017-12-14 12:09:18)
AlphaZero stronger than Stockfish

Conspiracy theories and not understanding of Deepmind motivation.

They tested if the concept works. It was success. They are satisfied and start working on other interesting/useful stuff, as they mostly don't care about chess.

The only training of AlphaZero happened when it played against itself. Stockfish was just an opponent to play against - to check how strong has AlphaZero became.

AlphaZero too had no opening book or endgame tablebases, so that's not relevant. Etc. etc., basically too much conspiracy theories and too much caring about which is the most strongest engine (at least in comparison to Deepmind, as they are totally chill about it, imho :D). :)

Ilmars Cirulis    (2017-12-14 12:12:53)
AlphaZero stronger than Stockfish

Sure, give each engine both CPUs and GPUs. :D

Also, look at suffering of Baduk/Go community and try to evaluate - what's the probability that Deepmind will release the trained Neural Network of chess playing AlphaZero. :) It's about zero.

They don't care about TCEC, they are in machine learning business, not chess business.

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-12-16 02:15:04)
DeepZen reached 9 dan (Go)

Everyone is talking about AlphaGo / AlphaZero but I just realized that another Go program reached 9 dan in 2017 : Zen or Deep Zen

It won a computer tournament and beat number 1 japanese player Iyama Yuta 9d, that seems quite significant.

A way to compare the success of the program by Google Deepmind.

Garvin Gray    (2017-12-23 00:53:39)
Monte Carlo Analysis

In the Fritz 16 gui, you choose Monte Carlo Analysis from the header options, just like you would if you were choosing infinite analysis or deep position analysis and the many other types of game styles.

Your main engine must be Fritz 16, which seems to be a pain. This is one of my questions about this analysis style. Will explain more below.

Then after choosing Monte Carlo Analysis, Fritz gui will change over to MCA and a new screen will appear with options:

Search depth: default is 5. The first is the search depth, with a default of "5". This controls how far ahead (in half-moves, or "plies") the engine will look before making a move. For example, if you leave this at "5", the engine will look 2.5 moves ahead before making a move. Remember, the engine is going to be playing a lot of games against itself and storing the moves in the form of a tree, so the search depth is important. You must realize, however, that there's something of a tradeoff here; the higher you set the search depth, the more time the engine will need to make each move -- so you're trading time for depth. On the other hand, setting a lower search depth means that many more games will be played in a given amount of time, but that the moves themselves are likely to be more superficial.

Keep in mind, too, that you should use only odd numbers for the search depth, because chess engines tend to develop a tactical "blind spot" when made to analyze at even ply depths. Rule of thumb: odd numbers good, even numbers bad.

The second setting is the "width" of the tree. This is similar in some ways to the "Branching factor" in Deep Position Analysis and is another "space for time" tradeoff. If you create a "Narrow" tree, you won't see many alternative moves displayed in your game tree but the overall process of playing games and generating the tree will be faster. "Broad" trees show more alternatives but take longer to generate (it requires more processor time and thus slows down the chess engine).


So in all from my reading- what I can seem to deduce is- MCA plays many games against itself starting from the set position. The longer you leave the analysis, the more 'reliable' the results.

The question, or issue I am having at the moment for testing is, in the Fritz gui, I am having to use Fritz 16 as the main engine but am not seeing the analysis change to any other engines, so am wondering how long before it does, or will it only analysis the position in Fritz 16?

Considering at the start when you were loading your setting, you were given the option of four engines, this seems confusing to me.

So I thought I would ask if someone else had more experience with MCA and how it works?

Also, what about Deep position analysis? We could start a thread about that one too.

Thibault de Vassal    (2018-09-24 00:15:43)
Some questions to H. Kruse, WCH finalist

After that the last FICGS chess WCH final match finished, the choice was made again to ask a few questions to Eros Riccio's challenger: Herbert Kruse, for the 2nd time. He kindly accepted to answer it so let's learn a bit more on our top-ranked correspondence chess player.


Hello Herbert, you're not really a player to introduce as you're very active here and at several chess websites for years, with outstanding ratings in each one (as far as I know), you're the 1st FICGS CUP winner & several times FICGS WCH challenger, each time facing "the wall" Eros Riccio, what could you tell us about yourself particularly as a chess & correspondence chess player?

- i began late with 16 to play my first tournament game, but with 18 i already was kicked out of a night club in company with tony miles ;) (dresscode) had vlastimil hort as trainer for a short time and played in teams with gutman, michalchisin, klovans, gipslis and some other GMs. corr chess i began, because i love to find the truth and because of freestyle, where i began to build very strong computers

What kind of computers do you build? Is it all dedicated to chess?

- i have several dual xeon e5 computers with 64gb ddr3 and 16 to 20 real cores and they all play chess ;)

Once again, GM Eros Riccio managed to draw the 12 games of the match. What are your feelings on these games? How did you estimate your chances to destabilize your opponent in the openings and to create complications enough with White (or Black)?

- this time my feelings were neutral. 1% chances to win, but i hoped he would lose his concentration if i began more games with him (we played 6 other games at the same time)

Doesn't "1% chances to win (the match)" mean about 0.17% to win only one game with White, even when losing one with Black? Isn't it a bit pessimistic after all, or is it the new so called Riccio-effect? :)

- if the strongest players face each other there is no win possible, except some has a mouse slep or forgot something during human interfacing

When did you start playing correspondence chess and what changed since that time? What attracted you most in the game?

- 2004 and evaluation of the position is the key point of improvement since then. attractive was to be better than actual world class players :)

Could you tell us anything on the way you work chess and play your correspondence games? Any tip or secret? (nothing to lose to ask :))

- with black i play for fastest way to 0.00 and with white i try every promising way to make a game for a longer time complicated

Do you use several ones at the same time when analyzing a game? (still grabbing some tips)

- i only use the newest stockfish versions of brainfish and corchess because the other engines are not so good. because i have many games i decide which one gets the most cores and time and let them run in infinity mode until i am happy that can be after 1 week or more sometimes.

You're not far to rank 2nd as a poker player at FICGS, you obviously started to take on Big Chess as well. What other games do you play? Did you consider to play Go already?

- i played go against the german champion and lost so i quit :)) played backgammon money game and internet (in fibs with kit woolsey i played over 100 matches) in bridge i was best bidder in germany 1994 to 1995, but dont play much nowadays

Do you have specific goals to achieve as a player?

- 2 goals, since a long time: be ficgs world champion and win one german bridge championship

How do you imagine correspondence chess evolution within a decade? What kind of engines/computers do you expect to use and what will look like centaur chess according to you? (in other words, what part will remain to the human player in the decision?)

- i think the engines today are already unbeatable, so in 20 years the would still not lose and chess is dead since about 4 years

What did you think about Google Deepmind's Alpha Zero performance vs. Stockfish?

- it was a joke because they let a bad version of stockfish play. i would not have lost one game against az0 and maybe won 2 til 5 out of 100

Conditions of this AlphaZero vs. Stockfish match were very specific (opening books, unbalanced hardware...) What weaknesses did you detect in AlphaZero play?

- it was the lack of precision, what would let it lose against stockfish in its tuned newest version but i look from a view of a player who is used to play with deep 60 :)

It seems that computers did not completely take on Bridge yet, what do you expect within a decade?

- i have not seen bridge programms, but the game is so easy that it must be already mastered by computers

Thibault de Vassal    (2018-12-07 02:36:32)
AlphaZero 2.0

And of course the article on the Deepmind's website:

Thibault de Vassal    (2020-05-05 17:54:22)
AlphaGo, the movie (Deepmind)

For all Go lovers, the film about the victories of AlphaGo over professional players, european champion Fan Hui 2 dan then Lee Sedol 9p and Ke Jie 9p.

Of course, AlphaGo was the start of the "AI" adventures in the Go game when it played Fan Hui... AlphaZero was even much stronger not long after that.

Thibault de Vassal    (2020-05-06 01:41:10)
AlphaGo, the movie (Deepmind)

Actually, the story ends with the defeat 4-1 of Lee Se-dol, but it is really great to see more of the way the match was conducted (and how this incredible champion lived that huge challenge). Great archive IMO.

Thibault de Vassal    (2020-07-30 01:28:33)
Chess engines levels from 1985 to 2020

What do you think about these elo estimations for chess engines, from Mephisto to DeepBlue, then AlphaZero and Stockfish, Komodo & so on?

Old names surfacing: Rybka of course, all Chessbase engines (Fritz, Junior, Hiarcs & Shredder) but also older but well known names like Fruit, Crafty, Chess Tiger, Chess Genius, Chessmaster, Rebel, Saitek, Nimzo and many others... Those graphics are always funny to watch :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2020-09-03 00:09:24)
Stockfish 12, neural network

Stockfish 12 is available, and surprise surprise it includes NNUE (efficiently updatable neural network) out-of-the-box. It would be significantly stronger than its predecessors.

Did anyone try it in deep already? Any thoughts?

There are 13 results for deep in wikichess.

Thibault de Vassal    (2407)
e4 e5

The open game is a fight for center squares : d4 and d5 are already under control, and the probable next moves 2.Nf3 or 2.Nc3, then 2. ... Nc6 or 2. ... Nf6 will take control of e4 and e5 squares as well.

Games are often more tactical than in Sicilian opening (1.e4 c5), and requires more calculation than deep strategy. Furthermore, black chances to win are lower than in Sicilian, so I avoid to play it against computers or at correspondence chess.

According to Chessbase and correspondence chess statistics, black chances are about 43%


Contributors : Thibault de Vassal

Deepjyoti Goswami    (1600)
e4 d5 exd5 Nf6 Bb5+

I want comments from you guys. Definitely d4 is better. But how bad this one is ?
Contributors : Deepjyoti Goswami

Benjamin Block    (1419)
d4 d5 Nf3 c6

Played by the computer Deep blue round 6 vs Garry Kasparov 1996.


Contributors : Benjamin Block

Benjamin Block    (1397)
e4 c6 d4 d5 Nc3 dxe4 Nxe4 Nd7 Ng5

Played by deep blue vs Garry Kasparov 1997 1-0.


Contributors : Benjamin Block

Deepjyoti Goswami    (1544)
d4 Nf6 Nf3 g6 Bg5 Bg7


Contributors : Deepjyoti Goswami

Deepjyoti Goswami    (1544)
c4 Nf6 g3 b6 Bg2


Contributors : Deepjyoti Goswami

Deepjyoti Goswami    (1544)
c4 Nf6 g3 b6 Bg2 Nc6 Nf3


Contributors : Deepjyoti Goswami

Deepjyoti Goswami    (1544)
c4 Nf6 g3 b6 Bg2 Nc6 Nf3 Bb7 Nc3


Contributors : Deepjyoti Goswami

Deepjyoti Goswami    (1544)
e4 c5 Nf3 Nc6 d4 cxd4 Nxd4 Nf6 Nc3 a6 Nxc6


Contributors : Deepjyoti Goswami

Deepjyoti Goswami    (1544)
c4 Nf6 g3 b6 Bg2 Nc6 Nf3 Bb7 Nc3 e6 a3


Contributors : Deepjyoti Goswami

Deepjyoti Goswami    (1544)
c4 Nf6 g3 b6 Bg2 Nc6 Nf3 Bb7 Nc3 e6 a3 d5 cxd5


Contributors : Deepjyoti Goswami

Deepjyoti Goswami    (1544)
c4 Nf6 g3 b6 Bg2 Nc6 Nf3 Bb7 Nc3 e6 a3 d5 cxd5 exd5 d4


Contributors : Deepjyoti Goswami

Deepjyoti Goswami    (1544)
c4 Nf6 g3 b6 Bg2 Nc6 Nf3 Bb7 Nc3 e6 a3 d5 cxd5 exd5 d4 Be7 O-O


Contributors : Deepjyoti Goswami

FICGS : deep ,   Wikipedia : deep ,   Dmoz : deep ,   Google : deep ,   Yahoo : deep

Chess is above all, a fight ! (Emanuel Lasker)

As one by one I mowed them down, my superiority soon became apparent. (Jose Capablanca)

The boy (then a 12 year old boy named Anatoly Karpov) doesn't have a clue about Chess, and there's no future at all for him in this profession. (Mikhail Botvinnik)

Back to FICGS , Wikichess

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