Computer Chess Club Archives




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

Author: John Merlino

Date: 09:40:22 02/15/05

Go up one level in this thread

On February 15, 2005 at 12:36:10, John Merlino wrote:

>>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.
>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
>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?

One more point. Even Arturo has been referring to this "well-tuned book" being
specifically prepared for a single opponent. And this is all well and good, and
of course preparation for your opponent is vital. However, could this one book
be used equally successfully against ALL opponents in a tournament. Clearly the
answer is no, and it might even be detrimental against other opponents.

So, once again, I think we may be talking about different things. You and Arturo
(and others) are talking about a book that is designed to be played against
another specific engine, and Uri and I (and others) are talking about one
"generically strong book" that is intended to be used against all opponents.


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