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Subject: Re: Time control legend

Author: Don Dailey

Date: 17:31:29 05/13/98

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On May 13, 1998 at 18:14:43, Fernando Villegas wrote:

>On May 13, 1998 at 13:52:30, Don Dailey wrote:
>>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.
>You are right. Fritz is not that bad in positional play. That has became
>a kind of legend and nobody -as happens with legends- ask, now, how much
>true that that statement is. I Have played many games against Fritz 5
>and it is no totaly deprived of sound positional judgment and the very
>last version that you can get in chessbase USA is a lot stronger in that
>sense. Precisely I was going to post a new post enterily dedicated to
>that. I have not made many test, but in equalo or similar positions the
>new Fritz 5 is not only decent, but clearly good in evaluating
>positional factors.
>Nevertheless, always a question rest qwithout answer: what is, in this
>fiel, Knopwelñedege? Is more or less the same we consider as theory in
>the field of human chess playing? I think it should be not. A theroy is
>a guide for certain kind of mind looking solutions and so it's validity
>is partially related with that. I mean, a computer thinks in a different
>way or it should, so a different kind of theroy could be more adbisable.
>But of course I am not ptogrammer, I cannot say more than this. As wee
>say in my country, "A different thing is wityh the guitar in your
>>The thing I notice about Fritz is that even on 1 ply, most of its
>>moves are reasonable, at least positionally.
>>- Don

Hi Fernando,

When I renamed the subject heading I should have called it another
legend (instead of time contol legend!)  Then the Fritz part would
have been approapriate also to the subject!  That's probably why
I'm not a writer!

But to address your rhetorical question, "what is knowledge in this
field",  the term is thrown about loosely.   In my post I was refering
to the evaluation function only (people try to measure it by number
of terms which I believe is ludicrous.)

But it can be viewed in a more global sense.  There is lot's of "smarts"
in chess programs that go beyond a static evaluation function.
The first thing that pop's into mind is knowing when to stop the
search, or continue with an extension.  Another is being more
about the time control algorithms and so on.

I have noticed that you take a more abstract view than most (and more
than I do for sure!)  You ask questions or present facts in ways to
stimulate the imagination, while I tend to ask dry pointed questions
and give out detailed specific answers!   I think this is great.
Maybe some will rub off on me.

- Don

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