Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: likelihood instead of pawnunits? + chess knowledge

Author: Ingo Lindam

Date: 09:39:38 10/25/02


I repost my former post under this new title just hoping to encourage
more people to join the discussion:

I am new at the Computer-Chess Club and would like to discuss some
suggestions for (a new generation of) chess knowledge using (and
generating?) chess engines. During my time at the university and at my
first job after making my exams in computer science I was involved in
statistical speech/pattern recognition and machine translation. That
might atleast a reason for some of my ideas.

I am not sure whether these suggestions have never been made or just
named to be impossible to implement. (I am sure they are not.)

I would really like to see the computers measure a position rather in a
set of probabilities e.g. (P+,P=), where

P+ = Probability in the position to evaluate white/player to move will
win and
P= = Probability that position will end in a draw
P- = Probability in the position to evaluate white/player to move will

with P+ + P= + P- = 1

(also a confidation measure about the Probabilities might be useful)

Ofcourse out of the set of probabilities a single measure could obtained
to be optimization criteria in an search algorithm. A simple one would
be P+ + 1/2P=, but also different formulas considering strength of
opponent, standing of the match or just an increasing influence of P=
when position is weak might be interesting.

Even more important seems to me to demysticize terms like "chess
knowledge", "experience", "plans", "positional criteria".

There is such a huge amount of chess games and analysis in a computer
readable/usable format and what else should be a source of chess
knowledge than games and results? Yes, there are books and ideas of
great human chess thinkers as Nimzowitsch. But also his ideas are
experiences from his own analysis and games and should also be
verifyable by modern pratical chess. And where not, they might be no
longer of any use.

A chess engine that is able to calculate 3 Million positions per second
should have no problems with dealing with less than 2 Million. As more
as a lot of conclusions out of the "experience" of 2 Million chess games
may be drawn rather in preperation of a match than during a game.

"Positional pattern" (another mysticized term reserved for human beings
especially GMs) may easily formulated and efficiently retrieved on the
basis of low level chess position items and clusters of those. Computer
scientists may argue that there is a too huge amount of possible
patterns. But a chess engine as well as a GM (not less a normal human
chess player) should first of all be interested in patterns that often
apear in practical chess.

I expect that a CD (or DVD) full of positional chess patterns drawn out
of a suitable number and choice of chess games (out of a permanently
growing number) will have a much greater effect on the play and results
of a chess knowledge using chess engine than 4 or 5  pieces tablebases
have nowadays on the results of tablebases using chess engines.

This suggestions or ideas or statements are no critisism of the current
methods of chess engines. I have great respect of the ability of chess
engines like ... (we know them all and I don't dare to bring them in an
order or to leave a talented engine out).

I just wonder if my suggestion or questions may cause a fruitful


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