In many ways, the result of this match is no surprise. In computer vs computer play, draw odds is a lesser handicap than pawn odds, and Rybka had already won giving pawn odds against both Benjamin and Ehlvest. Going purely by Elo considerations, Benjamin would be expected to score just 1 or 2 points in this match.
Humans and Drawishness in Chess
The main reason for optimism for the human in this format is the theory that humans understand the drawing prospects in a chess position better than computers. There is some decent evidence for this belief, and Benjamin did slightly outperform his rating in this match. In fact, Benjamin performed in this match exactly as Hiarcs 10, Spike 1.2 and Fruit 2.2 did in CEGT 40/120 play against Rybka 2.3.2a, drawing and winning games at a 25% clip. These programs are already likely to be slightly stronger than the world's strongest human players.
This superiority of the human was demonstrated once in this match, in the fourth game, which was likely the most exciting and interesting from the human point of view. Benjamin made concessions to lock the position and then took the air out of it completely with a piece for two pawns sacrifice which sets up a rather complex fortress which no computer can even remotely understand.
Preparation and Preparation
Benjamin seems to have been reasonably well-prepared. He's been involved in computer chess for quite some time, understands the topics, and did appear to have a solid game plan.
Of course, you can always be better prepared, and some of Benjamin's experiments backfired. The best example is game 6, where he voluntarily made concessions only to watch the position explode immediately.
If Benjamin had been given a greater incentive to win, and had dedicated several months of preparation to the task, it's likely that a few of his errant experiments could have been avoided and perhaps the score would have been closer.
In previous matches between grandmasters and Rybka, the humans always performed better in the second half than in the first half. This match was the first exception. One possible explanation is that Rybka's extremely high draw-avoidance settings prevented simplifications, avoided draws by repetitions, and led to a general increase in the tension in each position and a related increase in the amount of energy required from the human to play each game. One thing is clear - there were no rest days, or even rest games, for Benjamin in this match.
The results very closely mirrored the outcomes of the openings. In three of the games (games 1, 2 & 4), Benjamin quickly obtained human-friendly positions. He scored two points in those three games and in fact nearly took the third point as well. In the remaining five games, for varying reasons, the opening positions got away from Benjamin, with at least moderate complications and somewhat open play. In none of these five games did Benjamin come anywhere near a draw.
What is Next?
As always, this is for Larry and potential sponsors to decide.
Especially in the second half of the match he went for open and dynamic positions that are a nightmare for humans to play against a computer.
I had predicted 5-3 for Rybka but think that a strong grandmaster with a very solid and conservative style can still beat Rybka in an event like this.
> he would realize that he had made an inferior move after he made it, but that is normal I think.
I didn't know that this still happens at the GM level.
> He felt that for future matches we [.] must [.] allow the GM some takebacks (he felt that this would help considerably, but is rather contrary to the laws and spirit of chess)
I find it as bad as Pawn odds, but we already had enough of those, so my "vote" goes for allowing take-backs (It'd be interesting to know how many take-backs a GM needs to beat Rybka.)
How many take-backs would the GM need for a "fair" match against Rybka?
I have run some tests using the Rybka Randomizer on a recent private version on my quad at game/1'. I determined the Elo value of each handicap at this time limit. Naturally the handicap values should be larger at longer time controls, but perhaps the relative values of the handicaps would not change too much. Here are the results:
Pawn and move (remove f7, I assumed that White would always open 1e4): 357 Elo.
Exchange (remove a1 and b8): 303
Three moves (White gets e4 and d4 free and plays first): 157 Elo.
Two edge pawns (White removes a2 and h2): 203 Elo
Knight for pawn (remove b1 and f7): 358 Elo
If we make the educated guess that handicaps would be worth about 50% more at tournament time control, and if we assume that Rybka's rating against human opponents is 3050, then we should win against a 2600 GM at three moves, lose at f7 odds or knight for pawn, and perhaps split at Exchange odds, although I don't really believe we could do so. Humans can adapt to the handicaps more readily than the computer can, while engines always play the "best" moves, which is not optimum strategy when you start in a losing position. Maybe a goal of Exchange odds is a reasonable target for the next couple years. For now, pawn odds (other than f7), three moves, and castling odds are the most reasonable to me.
Of course, the numbers can me changed at need. There are several advantages
- good quality and exciting match
- strong motivation to improve rybka time management, and ponder time usage
- real chess is played, in which the starting position is the starting position, the rules are the rules, and a draw is a draw
- Live broadcasting can be a bit annoying (you can partially solve this, by asking that every day at 10:00 -or whenever- a new game has to start)
- If LK has to host the match, he really needs a lot of time.
Another possibility is to give severe material odds against unprepared players. For instance, during a chess tournament, you may offer money to the participant that defeats rybka at knight odds (I mean, the knight is removed from rybka's pieces). The rules are: one game at 5+3 computer time (the human can play on the PC at will), human must win to get the money. BTW, one would need an opening book explicitly prepared for the game, which can bu quite painful, as no knight odds databases exist.
-to show human play features: engine plays standard chess (time etc), human is given long time (or other advantages).
-to show rybka play features: human plays standard, rybka is given some handicap.
That makes sense.
As for the knight odds games, the big shot would be challenging kramnik or anand just after their next match :) You could pop up to the loser, and ask: "ehi, consolation prize: if you win a knight odd match against my rybka running on my laptop, you get xxxx $. It takes just 5 minutes". Then you switch on a quadcore laptop (they will be out at reasonable price in a few months), and give him a chess lesson, thanks to your latest version of antihuman rybka and knight odds book :)
That's just joking, probably. If the next human to be challenged is not too strong, probably a knight odds game can be an option. In that case, a serious opening book is needed. I think you may ask some help about that to the forum community.
Somehow, I'd think that a human GM would do better with knight for pawn than with f7 pawn and move. This might be related to the issue of Rybka overvaluing transient factors.
Next match:Knight odds but Rybka always plays white:)
Can Rybka draw elo2500 under such circumstances?
Knight odds are really big advantage . It's a famous classic advantage with long history in the game
.It is the best known advantage strong players use to give to much weaker opponents.
If Rybka can do that that would certainly make headlines.
About the knight odds and bench-pressing an (adult) hippo, I agree :)
The timing is a little off though. A month ago we could have flown you out to the San Fransisco Zoo to test this hypothesis! :-)
Yes, I'm closer to Libertarian than I am to either of the two main political parties in this country. :-)
> I assume that the tiger would have to officially accept the challenge from Vas.
The underdog always has a chance :)
60 min time controls.I'm not kidding.Usually he can only draw it without much of the difficulties ,but to defeat the engine it's another story :).It's hard ,even for Elo2500.Think of it.
In some of these games he couldn't make any progress (in middlegame!) despite material advantage,and decided to sac a piece to continue the progress. Than Rybka defended ,equalized and won simetimes.Funny thing but looked like Rybka "knows" how to lock position.
I think he plays Rybka on quad hardware.
I used to be an 2300 Elo player and not specially strong in blitz (I think I am currently something like 2450 in blitz rating on ICC but I did not play for some years), but I can speak the phone while beating Rybka leisurely with much shorter time controls. With an extra knight on the board the machine only have one tooth (knight) that the human might decide to "pull out" at the first instance. Without knights the machine is toothless and each exchange hurts the machine. After a few more exchanges white is reduced to desperate fighter without any limbs.
Maybe grandmasters cannot play chess anymore?
He told he played knight odds ,but Rybka get full point if she survives ( makes a draw).
And he said he didn't won such match.I'll ask him to send me the copy of the games.
Yes ,he's GM. It was strange to me when he told me that
Did you check this? I would not just take his word for this (more likely he is a non-GM who is lying than he is a GM who cannot win playing with an extra knight)
Maybe there is a big difference in otherwise equally rated players, in playing computers. When I play a computer I do not "consciously" think about my opponent as a machine
but I think I do quite a lot of "higher level" thinking that would not work so well against humans. I always try to aim for middle game positions where the underlying "problem" needs a "logical" and principled treatment. Or if this is not possible, try to reach balanced positions with good prospects for swapping pieces.
Later tonight I will try to play a few games at Night odds (I have done this before) and see how much effort is needed.
Powered by mwForum 2.27.4 © 1999-2012 Markus Wichitill