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Print Page Chess Computer Community
    General Category => Discussions about Chess Computers => Message started by: Overtom on May  5, 2007, 02:08AM
	

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Title: Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
Post by: Overtom on May 5, 2007, 02:08AM

Just to let you avoid the mistake I made ...

Lately, lots of advertisements have appeared on eBay with the following text:

Brand New Toy Sudoku Handheld Game Computer Chess Black

Features:
  • No board to carry, no pieces to lose!
  • Advanced electronic chess have teamed up to give you a state-of-the-art handheld chess computer with all the features of full-size units
  • The chess is strong enough to beat over 99% of all players on its top level.
  • Fit in your pocket to give you a chess partner that is always ready to play anywhere, and will continue to challenge you!
  • Excellent challenge for even the most advanced players, also great for beginners
  • Lest you take back mistakes
  • Selectable opening lines for play and learning
  • Help mode shows all legal moves for beginners for ages 7 and up
  • 5 playing levels and teaching mode for beginning players
  • Rating:DV 3V
  • Battery:AAA(LR03)x2
  • Size:115mm* 105mm*20mm
  • Weight:150.7g


  • The computer looks like this:



    Recently I received one of these "chess computers". Unfortunately, you will not be able to see this computer in the Overtom Museum since THIS COMPUTER HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHESS (NOR WITH SODUKO, FOR THAT MATTER).

    The game the computer can play is called Kakuro. And only if you're interested in that game, this computer might be interesting. But if you expect to receive a chess computer, don't order it, for it would be a waste of money.

    With best regards,

    tom


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: spacious_mind on May 5, 2007, 07:31AM

    Well Tom, I was tempted a few times to buy one also but the board grid just didnt look right on it so I abstained. Unfortunately at your expense I know for sure to avoid it now!

    Nick


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: PaulM on May 5, 2007, 08:09AM

    Thanks for the heads up.


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: Ismenio on May 5, 2007, 02:58PM

    Indeed! Thank you Tom! For this is a model that I kind of had my eyes on and would eventually get it.

    Now, it seems to me this is a clear case of false advertising since the description indicates it does play chess!!!

    Once again, you've helped the chess computer community with your insight and research.

    Regards,

    Ismenio


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: RavenJA on May 5, 2007, 03:29PM

    I've also seen many inexpensive unbranded touch screen sets from Asia on ebay that I've been considering purchasing. THanks for the warning, Tom.


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: Overtom on May 9, 2007, 02:31PM

    I tried to complain with eBay about the misleading descriptions given by this seller. But every day the same kind of computer is being offered with the same text that suggests the computer can play chess/sudoku. I wonder if eBay doesn't want to take action because ceoshop1 sells some forty objects a day.

    By the way, this same firm is still offering this computer:



    As you can read at http://overtom.nl/chescom/EngLJ676.html (http://overtom.nl/chescom/EngLJ676.html), this is a computer that makes illegal moves.

    The other chess computers sold by ceo1shop look pretty but are no success either. They have been discussed in an earlier thread (which I can't find back at the moment). Anyway, I remember the conclusion was that all these small chess computers sold by ceoshop1 played completely uninteresting chess and had better be avoided if you want a computer to play chess with.

    With best regards,

    tom


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: TurboKing on May 10, 2007, 01:59PM

    [quote author=Ismenio link=board=1;threadid=1230;start=0#msg8831 date=1178402318]
    Indeed! Thank you Tom! For this is a model that I kind of had my eyes on and would eventually get it.

    ...[/quote]
    If we look at the picture of this so called chess computer, we can see 5 X 5 squares as a board instead of 8 X 8 ! can't be chess ;D
    before biding we should look at the picture carefully and check on google if the model & brand is chess related


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: Overtom on May 10, 2007, 02:55PM

    [quote author=TurboKing link=board=1;threadid=1230;start=0#msg8916 date=1178830752]
    If we look at the picture of this so called chess computer, we can see 5 X 5 squares as a board instead of 8 X 8 ! can't be chess ;D
    before biding we should look at the picture carefully and check on google if the model & brand is chess related
    [/quote]
    Yeah, don't they say "Hindsight is an exact science"? ;D

    Best regards,

    tom


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: Overtom on May 12, 2007, 04:39AM

    As I wrote before, eBay never responded to my complaint about the misleading content of the advertisement. So I left feedback saying "Wrong description!! Item was descrbed as chess/sudoku computer. It is neither!!"

    Two days ago, eBay wrote me a message (in Dutch) which meant:

    "Ceo1shop has filed an application for mutual withdrawal of feedback. Members are allowed to withdraw feedback if both agree that the feedback is no longer applicable."

    Since this seller daily continues posting ads with the same misleading text, I wrote a message to ceo1shop with the following content:

    "I received a request to cancel my feedback for this object. However, this object was advertized as a chess computer. I was told by several members of http://users.boardnation.com/~chesscomputers/index.php?board=1 that they thought this might be a chess computer. Daily you add new computers to eBay with the same misleading description. You can hardly expect me to retract my feedback if you go on putting this object on eBay with false descriptions."

    So far, I did not receive any response, but if I will, I'll keep you posted.

    With best regards,

    tom


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: Ismenio on May 14, 2007, 07:33PM

    Hi Tom,

    Thank you for keeping us in the loop on this and for the great service you're providing us.

    Also, kudos to you for the kind, yet firm, manner you're dealing with this fellow. That seems to be a nice facet of your personality.

    Believe me or not, I actually liked the LJ-676 Chess :-
    It must be the kid in this old and silly guy who likes pretty much anything that is small and has an LCD on it 8)

    Interestingly how in this day and age someone actually produces a computer that makes illegal moves!
    That raises a question: does the Javascript kit you use to have us replay your nice test games handle that?
    That is, will it play an illegal move if you have it on the list or will it validate it and give you an error?

    Best regards,

    Ismenio


    Cartoon credit: http://www.cartoonstock.com


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: Overtom on May 15, 2007, 02:57AM

    Hi Ismenio,

    Ceo1shop (or Uxcell?) is quite a large seller. I fail to see why eBay allows him to sell goods with false descriptions. It must be the fact that he sells about a thousand objects per month (and offers even more).

    But I must confess that I already suspected this was not a chess computer. But I would never know if I didn't give it a try, would I? After all, this seller rarely responds to queries. This experiment cost me no more than 16 US dollars, which I consider cheap for finding out the truth.

    I don't possess enough technical expertise to judge why the LJ-676 makes illegal moves. Maybe a faulty circuit, or a programming mistake. Who shall say? It is a small miracle that they can sell a back-lit touch-screen handheld at that price, even with no chess program in it at all ;D



    As to your question about the Java applet, it interprets the 'short' notation. So, for instance, in the case of 'Ra5', it will check all the squares from which a rook can move to a5 and if it finds a rook on any of these squares, it 'knows' where the rook came from. There are no validation routines, so if you submit a game the applet doesn't understand, it will just malfunction. After all, the applet was made in less than a week (based on an applet I'd made before but had never finished - http://overtom.nl/EngTomChess.html) I agree this is not the way to build decent programs, but the applet was only meant to be used by myself. :-[

    With best regards,

    tom


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: Ismenio on May 15, 2007, 03:00PM

    Hi Tom,

    I think your applet is great! And in the scenario I was thinking about, not having a validation procedure is a plus since you would be able to demonstrate how computers like the CC1 make those "exotic" moves ;D

    Best regards,

    Ismenio


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: Overtom on May 15, 2007, 03:48PM

    Hi Ismenio,
    [quote author=Ismenio link=board=1;threadid=1230;start=0#msg8964 date=1179266421]
    ... in the scenario I was thinking about, not having a validation procedure is a plus since you would be able to demonstrate how computers like the CC1 make those "exotic" moves ;D
    [/quote]
    I'm afraid you're overestimating the applet - which once again shows your positive mentality. But I'm afraid the applet can do less than you attribute to it.



    With move 23. ... Ra5, the program will check all the squares from which a rook can move to a5. But since this is an illegal move, the program will never find this square (it only considers the legal squares). So things just go wrong in the program and it will malfunction.

    With best regards,

    tom


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: spacious_mind on May 16, 2007, 04:17PM

    Well I can say that China Backlit for all its faults including not knowing how to castle at least knows a checkmate when it sees one ;D

    I am currently in the middle of a 72 machine Under 1400 ELO tournament at 30sec/move settings. (I know torture but I am interested in finding out which machines play good and which machines play bad below 1400 ELO) So anyway you can imagine my surprise when I witnessed this game:

    [Event "2007 Under 1400 Active Chess Cup"]
    [Site "Group D - 30 sec/move"]
    [Date "2007.04.06"]
    [Round "12"]
    [White "Saitek Kasparov Chess Shadow, LV 4."]
    [Black "Lang China Backlit Touchscreen, LV 4."]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [ECO "D20"]
    [WhiteElo "1360"]
    [BlackElo "1000"]
    [PlyCount "90"]
    [EventType "tourn"]
    [EventRounds "16"]
    [EventCountry "USA"]

    1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e3 Be6 4. Na3 c3 5. Ne2 cxb2 6. Bxb2 Nc6 7. Nb5 Nf6 8.
    Nf4 Bd5 9. Bd3 e6 10. O-O Bd6 11. Nxd6+ Qxd6 12. Nxd5 exd5 13. Rb1 Kd8 14. Bc3
    Rb8 15. Qc2 a5 16. Rfc1 h5 17. Rb5 Qa3 18. Qd2 a4 19. Rcb1 b6 20. Qb2 Qd6 21.
    Qc2 a3 22. Bf5 Re8 23. Qb3 Rb7 24. Rc1 Ke7 25. h3 Kf8 26. h4 Re7 27. Kh1 Rb8
    28. Bb2 axb2 29. Qxb2 Rbe8 30. Qc3 g6 31. Qxc6 gxf5 32. Qxd6 cxd6 33. Rxb6 Ne4
    34. f3 Nf2+ 35. Kg1 Nd3 36. Rc2 Rxe3 37. Rxd6 Nf4 38. Kh1 Ke7 39. Rh6 f6 40. a4
    Ke6 41. Rc6+ Kd7 42. Rcxf6 Re1+ 43. Kh2 R1e2 44. Rxf5 Rxg2+ 45. Kh1 Re1# 0-1

    In group play it currently has 3.1/2 points out of 14 so therefore the title of worst chess computer playing game ever made will probably not go to LJ-676 ;D

    The Chess Shadow is handicapped in this tournament because it does not have a 30 second move setting. But still that does not give it an excuse to lose to the LJ-676 ;D

    The Chess Shadow is currently at 7.5 points from 14 games. Not bad considering at level 4 it plays at 15 seconds. Level 5 plays at 1 minute (I think) so for this tournament it is not an acceptable setting for me.

    Anyway for me the title of worst playing chess computer will not go to the LJ-676 ;D

    best regards

    Nick


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: Overtom on May 17, 2007, 05:58AM

    Hi Nick,

    Do I understand it correctly that you are holding a huge tournament involving 72 (sic!) weaker chess computers?

    If you are, you're certainly doing work that may be quite relevant since it's mainly the stronger computers that have been tested for strength. The weaker ones have often been grossly ignored.

    Needless to say I'm very curious to learn the results and wouldn't mind seeing them here in due course.

    With best regards,

    tom


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: plozikou on May 17, 2007, 01:26PM

    Hello Nick, I am obviously interested in knowing if there is any Boris in the candidates. I am also interested in knowing the final cl(oops!)ification.

    Thank and have a nice day.

    Dan. ;)

    www.boris-is-king.com (http://www.boris-is-king.com)


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: spacious_mind on May 17, 2007, 07:54PM

    Tom & Dan:
    Thanks for your interest in my low ELO machines tournament ;D

    Yes it is 72 machines that are entered. I grouped them into 8 groups of 9 machines. Therefore each machine will get 16 matches. Also since each machine gets to play 8 other machines after group play I should have a a good feel of the ELO ability of each machine.

    The rules are 30sec/move with slight exception, if for example a machine plays 35 sec on a level I will accept that but not if the time difference is too big, then I will set to the next level down. So some machines may have a a penalty, but since I want to have an idea of their abilities in 30sec/mov setting as a standard I can accept a penalty and I can blame the programmers for being stupid. ;D After all it is my tournament therefore my rules ;D

    Yes Boris is represented in Group F with brown Boris Diplomat and Group G with Boris.

    So the initial Group games are a total of 576. Sofar I have played 280, therefore I am halfway through the group games. After this you still have the knockout stage of the top 4 machines in each group playing 4 match knockouts until you have a champion. So this will take me a while.

    Once I have finished the group games I will post the group standings if you are interested and the games in pgn. But that will take me probably another 3 months to finish the games.

    If anyone is interested in the machines playing then let me know and I will start a new post with the details.

    Also if anyone is interested in predicting the groups final order or the final champion then that would be fun to know and compare later when I finish all the games ;D

    As you know this is a slow process, since you only play when you have the time and the mood to play. So my goal is to finish U1400 this year. If I can do that then maybe next year I start U1600. And I will let the final 16 U1400 machines enter the U1600. Which will give them the opportunity to show more if they can show more..and so on up the ELO ladder ::)

    Anyway Rome was not built in a day. ;D

    ps.. Dan your website shows a lot of care and attention.

    best regards

    Nick


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: plozikou on May 18, 2007, 04:44AM

    Hello Nick, I congratulate you and I encourage you in your titanic work! But as a Boris defender… I would like to remind you that as I say it on my site: I could validate that on all the Boris I have, no clock turns at the same speed. On this subject, it is mentioned in the Boris Diplomat's instruction manual: "Note that BORIS Diplomat’s timer is not designed as an accurate timepiece, but will chronicle standardized time units for comparative play"

    Then it is necessary to be certain to give 30 seconds to Diplomat because it really needs it...

    Certain Boris have faster and others slower clock. For example, on my benchtest machine, I must add 3 - 4 standardized time units per minute to be equivalent to 1 true minute.

    Finally, I am very interested to know the whole tournament result. But I am obviously interested to know the cl(oops!)ification of Boris Diplomat. Thank you.

    Best regards ;)

    Dan

    www.boris-is-king.com (http://www.boris-is-king.com)


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: TurboKing on May 18, 2007, 12:24PM


    Quote:
    If anyone is interested in the machines playing then let me know and I will start a new post with the details

    yes that would be interesting to know the worst computers in order to avoid them ;D
    Seriously let us know the list of the machines and the results :)


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: spacious_mind on May 18, 2007, 02:13PM

    [quote author=plozikou link=board=1;threadid=1230;start=0#msg8985 date=1179488696]

    Then it is necessary to be certain to give 30 seconds to Diplomat because it really needs it...

    Certain Boris have faster and others slower clock. For example, on my benchtest machine, I must add 3 - 4 standardized time units per minute to be equivalent to 1 true minute.

    Finally, I am very interested to know the whole tournament result. But I am obviously interested to know the cl(oops!)ification of Boris Diplomat. Thank you.
    [/quote]

    Dan:
    I am very happy to set the clocks correctly for a good comparison as per your suggestions. Especially since I know this is of interest to you.

    Can you confirm that you are asking that I set the levels as follows:

    Boris Diplomat = 32 display units/move
    Boris = 32 display units/move

    If I have misread your comments then please let me know your suggested settings.

    All the best
    Nick


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: plozikou on May 18, 2007, 02:48PM

    Hello Nick :), I am happy to be a little part of your huge project... The thing that I said, it is that each Boris has his own clock speed. However, better means of adjusting the clock, it is to make run the Boris clock and to time it with your watch or a chronometer to see how much a truth 30 seconds is equivalent in Boris standardized time units.

    You will see that the standardized time units are not equivalent to real seconds. Try for 1, 2 minutes or more the difference will be more evident. Perhaps that for only 30 second that will be not significant.

    On my benchtest machine, if you want to give Boris 1 real minute, you must set it for 63 standardized time units because the clock of this specific Boris is slower than a real clock. But for my Boris Master, it is the opposite; I must give him less time because his internal clock is faster than a real clock.

    Anyway, really I don’t want to bother you with details… Just inform you with a bit of humour!

    And sorry for my English, if I'm not clear, I’m so better in French. Good luck in your project!

    Best regard. Dan. ;)


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: spacious_mind on May 18, 2007, 03:12PM

    [quote author=TurboKing link=board=1;threadid=1230;start=0#msg8993 date=1179516295]
    yes that would be interesting to know the worst computers in order to avoid them ;D
    Seriously let us know the list of the machines and the results :)
    [/quote]
    Hi Turboking
    I can see the smiley behind your first comment but still it does bring up some reservations which I have had since I started the tournament about if I should post details or not.

    I know that Tom has a genuine appreciation and love for the low end ELO machines and I also see that Dan has a great love for his Boris Collection. There are many fantastic collectors of low end ELO machines who visit this site.

    There is history behind many of these machines.

    So anyway my concern was that people who happen to read the results would avoid these machines and that is not what I am trying to show by playing this tournament.

    It was mentioned earlier that there is a serious lack of information on low ELO machines. I recognise that and since I happen to have a few oldies and newer ones that fit into that category I have the urge to play them and enjoy them and categorize them. But not avoid them ;D

    I had planned when finished to provide the information to Schachinfo to help by adding additional information in their already great database of games and machines.

    Because I am competitive, I do plan to name one the champion and one the the baddest ;D But this is only meant to be as fun and not to detract or increase the perceived value or the beauty of a machine ;D

    After all once the top machines step into U1600 they are just as likely to be knocked out immediately !

    Anyway thanks for your "tongue in cheek" comment which I do appreciate since it allows me to mention my reservation.

    All the history of computer chess starts at U1400 and I do not want to detract. Unfortunatley most of that history has been lost over the years also with regards to info on game tests etc :'(

    Take care and all the best

    Nick

    ps when I posted the game and comments about the LJ-676 I actually just wanted to defend this poor machine a little ;D


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: spacious_mind on May 18, 2007, 03:20PM

    Dan:
    Your english is very easy to read and very easy to understand ;D and much better than my french.

    Thanks for the additional info. Before I play the Boris machines I will time them as you suggested and let you know the outcome. This would be interesting to know and compare to see if my Boris machines timers run at the same speed as yours.

    regards
    Nick


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: alainza on May 18, 2007, 10:52PM

    OK Nick, now that you have well advertised your tournament, everybody here is looking forward the results...
    But in the mean time, can you share the list of the computers which play this tournament ?

    Of course, a web page updated weekly would be great ;) but I understand that it can take some time do build and publish (I have a french software that can be used for that, it is used in almost all tournaments in France and I used it for
    a tournament I played with my machines a few years ago (http://www.zanchetta.net/echecs/default.aspx?page=Tournois)

    Best regards,
    Alain


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: Overtom on May 19, 2007, 03:52AM

    Nick,

    I don't know if you're very much looking forward to playing all the games yourself.

    Otherwise other members, who have some spare time on their hand, might consider playing a few games for the tournament.

    Personally, I wouldn't mind playing a few games.

    With best regards,

    tom


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: spacious_mind on May 19, 2007, 10:02AM

    [quote author=Alain Zanchetta link=board=1;threadid=1230;start=0#msg9002 date=1179553967]
    OK Nick, now that you have well advertised your tournament, everybody here is looking forward the results...
    But in the mean time, can you share the list of the computers which play this tournament ?

    Of course, a web page updated weekly would be great ;) but I understand that it can take some time do build and publish (I have a french software that can be used for that, it is used in almost all tournaments in France and I used it for
    a tournament I played with my machines a few years ago (http://www.zanchetta.net/echecs/default.aspx?page=Tournois)

    Best regards,
    Alain
    [/quote]

    ALain:
    Thanks for your input and link !! A web page has crossed my mind al lot lately but as you said that also takes time to build. A weekly update of course as well as a simple fast web page is possible :)

    rgds
    Nick


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: spacious_mind on May 19, 2007, 10:09AM

    [quote author=Overtom link=board=1;threadid=1230;start=0#msg9003 date=1179571942]
    Nick,

    I don't know if you're very much looking forward to playing all the games yourself.

    Otherwise other members, who have some spare time on their hand, might consider playing a few games for the tournament.

    Personally, I wouldn't mind playing a few games.

    With best regards,

    tom
    [/quote]

    Tom:
    I like your suggestion and offer to help !! ;D I have made a couple of slots available by taking out a couple of fringe machines that could play later in a U1600 tournament.

    I will post the current groups line-ups as well as current available slots.

    Tom and and anyone else who is interested let me know what you think after you see the groups :)

    Thanks

    Nick


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: TurboKing on May 19, 2007, 10:23AM

    I would also like to help but I don't have any old chess computer ;D
    the oldest one I have is my Turbo King :P


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    Title: Re:Neither chess nor Sudoku computer!
    Post by: Overtom on May 22, 2007, 03:37AM

    Returning to the original subject ...
    [quote author=Overtom link=board=1;threadid=1230;start=0#msg8930 date=1178969951]
    As I wrote before, eBay never responded to my complaint about the misleading content of the advertisement. So I left feedback saying "Wrong description!! Item was descrbed as chess/sudoku computer. It is neither!!"

    Two days ago, eBay wrote me a message (in Dutch) which meant:

    "Ceo1shop has filed an application for mutual withdrawal of feedback. Members are allowed to withdraw feedback if both agree that the feedback is no longer applicable."

    Since this seller daily continues posting ads with the same misleading text, I wrote a message to ceo1shop with the following content:

    "I received a request to cancel my feedback for this object. However, this object was advertized as a chess computer. I was told by several members of http://users.boardnation.com/~chesscomputers/index.php?board=1 that they thought this might be a chess computer. Daily you add new computers to eBay with the same misleading description. You can hardly expect me to retract my feedback if you go on putting this object on eBay with false descriptions."

    So far, I did not receive any response, but if I will, I'll keep you posted ...
    [/quote]
    After eleven days I received the following message from ceo1shop@uxcell.com.hk

    "Thank you for your reminder and we will p(oops!) this piece of
    information to our
    in-charge colleagues. Thank you.

    Best regards
    Ceo1shop"


    Very decent of them to p(oops!) it on to their "in-charge colleagues" ... but the so-called chess/sudoku computer is still being offered at eBay!!

    With curiouser and curiouser regards,

    tom



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