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The Non-Human Factor . (Part 2)

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(Note: You may notice sometimes I employ some terms which would be  more appropriate for human beings. It is for the sake of clarity. I would like to make it clear that a machine is a machine  and a human being is a human being. Bear in mind though that  any Chess program has a human team working in the shadow.)

Q.3.- This is evident: they see every tactical trick, they see the strongest points in their openings and the weakest of moves in yours. They are able to exploit the slightest of inaccuracies and make you commit more mistakes. In zeitnot positions, you are ,simply, lost.

They always see any attacking possibility, as well as the way of carrying the attack out without hesitation by using direct attacks, weird regrouping of pieces, intermediate moves, etc.

They also perceive all the drawbacks in any move immediately pinpointing it and taking advantage of it. They never tire, so they are always looking for the strongest attacking move in every position. When calculating, they never change the move order by mistake, forget moves and they continually put you under a stressing pressure .

Q.4/Q.5: When you play against one of this programs, you feel a terrible pressure.(They play on your nervous resistance too). This is because they always manage to turn the position into a tactical battle. Even in closed positions they are always  building up pressure by the continual creation of threats. The more they put pressure on your position, the quicker it will be torn apart (with your pieces lacking coordination until the position is impossible to be hold together and breaks down). Their amazing opening book and their skills at assessing positions (the more tactical the better but I think they are no longer afraid of strategical positions either) turn them into formidable opponents. When they clinch something, it is forever, no matter if it is an advantage or material. This is why gambits for the sake of them are disappearing from CC (remember: you cannot speculate against a computer. Your way of seeing things is not “their” way of the same.) Another feature is that they abandon their own opening book when they find something better while analysing. A human chessplayer only leaves the book when his opponent does it first, when s/he has a TN of his/her own , when s/he forgets the moves or when the book line ends.

Threats, threats, threats: they are always creating threats and forcing you to take defensive measures, having to change your best-placed pieces and keep the clumsiest ones.

Another amazing skill is the apparent easiness with which they provoke play with heterogeneous forces. They are very cunning in this field. While you may be contemplating lines with the same balance of forces they are always exploring changes ( Queen vs. 3 pieces or 2 pieces and 2 Pawns, or vs. 2 Rooks, etc.) They seem to possess an extreme ability at assessing these positions and go for them. So the human opponent , only thinking in the same correlation of forces may be abruptly woken up by a sudden change in that correlation of forces.  (Boris Spassky has always said Bobby Fischer was the first in showing a computer-like style of playing, and Bobby was very good at this method too (see my post “A Contribution by Bobby Fischer”, published on Feb 1st, 2014 in this same blog). Another feature opposite to humans in many cases is that they do not particularly feel any leaning towards keeping the Bishops/ exchanging BxN, but when they decide to keep the Bishop pair it can be lethal . They have reached a deep insight into what to change / what to keep in the matter of B’s and N’s.

Q.6.- Of course an absolutely strong GM could beat a program any time or at least one time. The problem is how many times in a row and after how many previous (human) defeats in a row too, etc. I think nobody would try to do it in short-time scheduled games like blitz. Perhaps a good test would be a 40-move-in-two-and-a-half-hour game  + a classical adjournment with home analysis using a computer to analyse (so as to level the chances. After all, the program has a program to analyse too! But the matter of openings should have to be somewhat rebalanced. Or perhaps not, to leave the human being to their own devices  ). Moreover, considering that players use programs in CC and victories keep taking place, I tend to think that a hole , leading to some sort of mistakes , does exist…Where is it if any?

(So as not to tire the reader, I will leave the matter of the possible weaknesses of programs and the answer to the 7th question for the next post.)

 williams

Mate in 3 moves. P.H. Williams 1904

wieck

F.G. Wieck 1859. Mate in 3.

Happy New Year 2016 to all my readers!.

QChess.

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Written by QChess

January 1, 2016 at 9:05 am

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