Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Amir Ban article from rgcc - cheating by DB on move 36 ?

Author: Chris Whittington

Date: 11:28:27 09/27/97

Hmmm, this seems an interesting conspiracy theory .......


Amir ban wrote:


>Robert Hyatt wrote:


> When they publish details, we'll find out.  By the way, for Rolf,

> who is always nagging about why they have published something, here

> is an important question:


>   "Have *you* ever published something in a significant scientific

>    technical journal?  (of course not)  Do you have *any* idea of

>    the lead time from writing an article until it is published in

>    such a journal? (of course not)  Here is a clue:  the typical

>    lag from submission to publication is over one year.  One year

>    is considered very quick turnaround, while many journals operate

>    on a 2-year delay.  So back off and give them time."

In view of the huge amount of commentary, analysis and whatnot by 

 reomotely close to this match during the match and after it, even you

 Bob m ay admit that this yours is a weak statement. What kind of

 preparation and lead time is needed to give some meaningful comments 

 what everyone is asking ?


If you couple this with IBM's (especially Mr. Tan's) statements of

 say-nothing gibberish, and IBM's very obvious policy of

 keep-your-mouth-shut before, and amazingly, after the match, you will

 understand that it is NOT the case that some annoyingly slow editors 

 some obsocure journals are keeping the story from the world while the

 the Deep-Blue team is biting its nails in frustration at the delay.


Please remember we are not waiting to hear details about the SP

 architecture, or IBM's marketing hype on molecular biology. We are

 waiting to hear something on computer chess and the match.


The world has noticed, and IBM are well aware, that Kasparov has 

 the suspicion of cheating, with the 2nd game in mind. Rather than

 discuss and reveal everything they have on this remarkable game, they

 chose to deliver a few pages of cryptic dumps marked "IBM 

 to Kasparov and his aides eyes only. Since Kasparov asked us to 

 those, I have seen them (I understand something was also published on

 the NY Times. I don't know if everything or only part of it). The

 interesting part of it were the printouts of the 36'th and 37'th 

 of game 2 (axb5 and Be4).


Garry's cheating theory was that there was a "go-for-second-best"

 button, and that this may have been used at the 36th move. This is 

 possible to implement of course, and may be quite effective. In this

 regard Kasparov said something that is very significant I think: "If 

 expert is allowed to override the computer just once in any game, I 

 already in trouble". This still doesn't mean that this kind of 

 took place. I didn't find any evidence for this, but I cannot rule it

 out in view of what the printouts tell.


The printouts show that Qb6 was the move considered all the time. DB 

 well to see Black's best counterplay after Qb6, throwing 2 or 3 pawns 

 open lines and attack the white king, as shown by the PV. The 

 throughout was around +0.5 pawns for white and dropping slowly. 

 axb5 was accepted without a PV with a value of 0.4-0.5.


There were several things the needed explanation in the deciphering:


- There was no explanation why the Qb6 score dropped so low with 

 ahead by 2 pawns or more. I mean, it's not like you could see the

 material regained or a decisive king attack mounted. The only

 explanation was that the evaluation function gave the compensation, 

 contrast to all PC programs who evaluate white to be more than a pawn 

 there. So it seems that DB is not so much the calculating giant as 

 positional wizard ?


- No PV for axb5 (but that can happen of course).


- Time management mystery: I think I could make out DB's time 

 policy, but could not understand what happened in this move. The 

 time allotment was only about 3 minutes, but a move was not played by

 that time, although in other moves, DB would always play a move at 

 planned time. There was no obvious reason not to play the move at the

 normal time, which was still Qb6. Instead DB went into a procedure it

 called "panic-time", where there started a countdown to about 14

 minutes. Several minutes into "panic-time" DB switched to axb5. Some

 time later, not connected to any event shown in the log, with the

 panic-time countdown still with 7 or 8 minutes to go, DB announced

 "panic-time" and played a move. DB still had other moves to consider 

 that ply level. So what happened ?


  In the previous move, the 35th (Bxd6) DB thought for 15 minutes. It

 seems cleat that the "panic-time" mechanism was activated there (for

 some unknown reason), and the machine thought until "panic-time"

 interrupted it. This is significant I think. Was DB malfunctioning at

 this point of the game. Could it be that an operator, seeing the

 depressing "panic-time" messages appearing for the 2nd move in a row

 really panic and push the "Move Now" button ?


There is no reason to rush into any conclusions here, but the DB team

 needs to give answers to the these questions:


1. What was the basis for preferring 36. axb5 over 36. Qb6 ?


2. Why was "panic-time" activated in the 36th move and why was a move

 played when it finally played ?




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