Computer Chess Club Archives




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

Author: Fernando Villegas

Date: 16:29:52 02/21/00

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On February 21, 2000 at 14:28:27, Christophe Theron wrote:

>On February 20, 2000 at 18:56:47, Fernando Villegas wrote:
>>So you have changed your mind about this. I remember you rejected some
>>judgements I have posted here or elsewhere about the intrinsic human limits of
>>scientifical or technical creativity. I said that programers are doomed some day
>>to become exhausted of new ideas, as in fact show the career of some of the big
>>names in the recent past. I do not like it, but it happens.
>I do not remember which post of yours I rejected, so I'm not sure I have changed
>my mind.
>However, I might have changed my mind. Maybe...
>It's true that when you have spend 10 or 20 years in a chess program, you are
>not ready to throw everything and write a new one with totally different ideas.
>However it is not what happened to some of the big names in the recent past IMO.
>Computer chess programs are following the same successful philosophy since
>decades now. No "big name" would have had to throw everything in order to keep
>up with state of the art. The spracklens and others already had alpha/beta
>searchers with all the modern enhancements (hash tables, extensions, and so on).
>What happened to them is different I think. Maybe they become tired of it, maybe
>other problems went in the way, maybe after being on top for years it's hard to
>find the motivation again...

Well, sure it can be so, but I suspect that you become tired when you are tired
to try hard without new substantial improvements of you previuos work.What
happened to the Spracklens is a paradigm. They really tried hard -in saitek- to
overcome Lang and they were not capable to do so. So, not they became tired to
be winners, but became tired ot to be anymore the winner, but just second best.
There is a book by Simone Beauvoir about age and lose of alacrity, specially
conspicuosly happenning in sciences. It is ilustrative and entertaining. L<e
livre s'apelle "La Vielliese". Not funny to read, but...
Fernando, 51 years old :-(

>What I explain in my previous post is something else. I think (I hope) that
>eventually a new way of programming chess will emerge. Maybe closer to how the
>brain works, maybe a totally different stuff. Anyway, it would be sad that
>alpha/beta/hash_tables/extension... rule forever.
>So in case a guy comes with a neural network chess program and kills everybody
>else, I would try to compete and improve mine for a while. If after several
>months of hard work I'm still killed over and over again, it's likely that I'll
>give up programming chess. I don't compete just for the beauty of it. I like to
>But if no revolution happens in the next 30 years, you could also find Ban,
>Morsch, Donninger, Lang, Uniacke, Mayer-Kahlen, Moreland and their friends (or
>maybe sons) in the 2030 SSDF list. :)
>    Christophe

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