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

Author: Christophe Theron

Date: 18:25:42 02/21/00

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On February 21, 2000 at 19:29:52, Fernando Villegas wrote:

>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 :-(

That's certainly something that will happen to me, and every programmer, sooner
or later.

I hope it will happen later to me, because I think that training my mind to find
new ideas all the time is good for my brain.

I think that when I was younger I was not as creative as I am now. It is good to
work hard on something that requires new ideas all the time. It is a good

Of course, you can never be sure of what will happen...

    Christophe, almost 35 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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