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

Author: Vincent Diepeveen

Date: 09:59:09 02/15/05

Go up one level in this thread

On February 15, 2005 at 12:40:22, John Merlino wrote:

>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.

Uri doesn't know what he talks about anyway of course. He still thinks 1.h3 is a
good book to test ones engine with.
I never saw him take that back.

This discussion goes way over his head.

My point is very simple.

You say: "close to 0%".

The point being made is that a program at todays hardware (and not some
imaginary  hardware from the year 2100, nor a hardcoded tournament book in the
executable like rebel had it) has a hard 0% chance to win the world champs.

I specifically mean world champs as the strongest opponents show up there. Not
just some amateurs.

So i very clearly want the discussion here that it is a hard 0% and not 'close'
to 0%. Close to 0% is also 10%.

It is not 10%. It is not 5%. It is 0%. And not 0,001%. It just never has
happened. And it never WILL happen. There is only 3 possible results in chess.
You win a game, you draw a game, or you lose a game.

So we cannot calculate with 0.00000001% if there never is going to be

There have been last 9 years precisely 2 winners. Shredder or Junior.

So chances 'near zero' is not a good definition at all.

We want hard formulations. As you win a title or you don't win a title.

It has 0% happened so far that an engine without book won that title.

It has a 0% chance.

A hard 0% chance.


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