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Subject: Re: Most brilliant novelty from cct7 Witchess-Arasan

Author: John Merlino

Date: 09:36:10 02/15/05

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>I hope that you realize 750 rating points means roughly 0% chance.
>
>What is the chance in YOUR opinion a program without book in 2005 has to win a
>world champs event?
>
>If you say 0%, that means 700+ rating points.
>
>Vincent

I'll try to answer all of your posts in this one response, so as to not have to
bounce around this thread.

The obvious flaw in your argument above is that you are all of a sudden talking
about winning a championship, but *I* am talking about using ratings to
determine the statistical likelihood of SCORING POINTS in a single game, which
has been the point of this discussion, unless I am grossly mistaken.

As somebody else alluded to in this thread, you can be less than 300 points
behind the highest ranked person in a tournament. But if you are the
lowest-ranked player in this tournament, and there are a lot of other
participants, your statistical chances of winning the tournament are practically
zero.

So, I agree with you that a program going into the computer world championships
without a book has close to a 0% chance of winning the tournament. But this
would also be true if all programs were of theoretically equal strength, and not
having a book only decresed the strength by 300 points.

You also refer to a human playing some very large number of games (I think you
said 5000?) against a program without a book, eventually allowing the human (or
engine with learning) to beat the program close to 100% of the time. This is
also WAY outside the boundaries of this discussion. But the clear refutation of
that argument would be to say "Maybe so, but what happens in the first 10-20
games of that test?" I'd bet that your theoretical human, who, let's say, is 700
points weaker than the engine (just to pull that number out of the air), would
lose almost all of those games.

Finally, I'm not sure why you are all of a sudden talking about Chessmaster not
entering a world championships. Admittedly, I did bring up my very brief tests
with Chessmaster on ICC that took place well over two years ago, just to provide
some evidence that a strong program without a book can still perform decently
against other strong engines, even occasionally beating them. But as for the
reason that Chessmaster does not enter the WC, you should ask Johan what it is,
because it has always been his decision.

I haven't been involved in Chessmaster in more than two years, so I can't
comment on the current situation. I wouldn't even venture to guess as to what it
might be -- but I'm sure you know his e-mail address, so why don't you just ask
him, instead of bringing up something that has nothing to do with this topic?

jm



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