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Subject: Time control legend

Author: Don Dailey

Date: 10:52:30 05/13/98

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On May 13, 1998 at 13:06:56, Christophe Theron wrote:

>On May 13, 1998 at 07:14:16, Ralph Jörg Hellmig wrote:
>
>>So if there is a special time control, one program may play positionally
>>better, but the other one has better tactics, for example, the
>>positional better program will be stronger if the time control
>>increases, as it does also see the deciding tactics ...
>
>Another chess legend.
>
>Who has any proof of this statement?

I have empirical evidence of it.  That is if you mean longer time
(or faster hardware) favors the program with more knowledge.


>More knowledge better at longer time controls? Take a look at the top of
>the SSDF list, sit down a minute, and think again about this legend.
>
>I think that if you have more time to compute, you need LESS knowledge.
>We still have to find which kind of knowledge is needed in this case,
>and which other can be thrown out happily.
>
>
>
>    Christophe

Hi Guys,


I used to believe strongly that with faster and faster hardware,
knowledge becomes less important.  The reason I believed this
was that eventually all programs would converge on a game theoretic
solution, which is essentially proof of this concept.

HOWEVER, at the depths we are currently doing (and for the forseeable
future) it seems that the opposite is true.  I did a big experiment
where many programs with varying amounts of knowledge played each
other.  I generated hundredes of thousands of games on several computers
over several weeks of time.  What happend was that the programs with
the most knowledge, improved very rapidly with depth compared to the
programs with little knowledge.

I suspect with a great amount of depth, the knowledgable programs
would not be able to improve very much since they would be close
to "perfect while the dumb ones would be playing catch-up.  But it
looks like we are a long way away from these ranges at current
time controls on modern hardware.

About your reference to Fritz.  Is Fritz really so bad at positional
chess?  Some people confuse conservative play with bad chess.  Could
this be the case here?  It's hard for me to believe Fritz could be
that horrible and still be on top just due to a little extra speed.
I'll bet you will find that it's evaluation is reasonable, well
balanced and not as bad as it's reputation.   It's my understanding
also that Franz has added knowledge gradually over time to keep up.

The thing I notice about Fritz is that even on 1 ply, most of its
moves are reasonable, at least positionally.


- Don





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