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Subject: Re: What is Botvinnik's legacy to computer chess?

Author: Christophe Theron

Date: 10:41:01 02/21/00

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On February 20, 2000 at 20:59:06, leonid wrote:

>On February 20, 2000 at 14:39:24, Christophe Theron wrote:
>>On February 20, 2000 at 01:39:09, Drazen Marovic wrote:
>>>What is Botvinnik's legacy to computer chess?
>>That to write a good chess program it's better not to be a strong chess player.
>>Strong players have too much prejudices about how to write a chess program.
>>In order to write a good chess program you must be ready to forget all you know
>>about chess, and re-discover it completely. Strong chess players have spent
>>years in learning the game and improving their play, so they are obviously not
>>ready to get into the process of forgetting everything.
>>In the future, it will happen to me too. Chess programming will certainly
>>evolve, but as I have spent nearly 20 years in programming Chess Tiger, I'll
>>probably be unable to adapt myself to totally new techniques. I'll become a
>>dinosaur and young programmers will take over me - and all my peers.
>>I hope this is not going to happen tomorrow, though.
>>    Christophe
>I believe that reality is even more simple that what you have said. Problem is
>not that much with the "big secret" to descover, in order to write the good
>chess game from scrach, problem is in the hardware speed. 20 or 30 years ago it
>was a shame and now it is only slightly better. Good game of today is able to
>see, without any artificial tricks, only 6 plies in few seconds in mid game. All
>the beauty of the best games is that they provide us with some decent chess game
>even before our hardware will permit it. Good game make all kind of sofisticated
>acrobatics in order to glance some next 4 or 6 plies deep into game, to make it
>enjoyable right now. But when the hardware will privide us with all those 10, 12
>plies brute search to start with? Then writing the new good chess game from
>scratch will become as simple as doing our three years of college.

Check your numbers. Most top commercial programs will compute 10 plies in the
middlegame in a few seconds (in say, less than 10 seconds) on current fast PCs.

Most of them compute 13-15 plies at 40 moves in 2 hours in the middlegame.


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