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Print Page Chess Computer Community
    General Category => Discussions about Chess Computers => Message started by: Ismenio on July 19, 2005, 09:53AM
	

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Title: Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Ismenio on July 19, 2005, 09:53AM

Seeing two articles about chess and computers on Wired doesn’t happen every day.

They have a story about two dozen programmers who will be in Germany next month to compete in what they say is the first tournament of its kind.

I doubt this will ever happen but it would be interesting to see a dedicated chess computer that would play FRC, I think.

The article also mentions that the chess variant is gaining rank among grandmasters. That was news to me!

Article 1: Unorthodox Chess From an Odd Mind
Free your king and the pawn will follow:
http://wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68227,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1 (http://wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68227,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1)

Article 2: Chess vs. Chess960: A PC’s view
http://wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68243,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2 (http://wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68243,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2)

Ismenio


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Overtom on July 19, 2005, 06:10PM

[quote author=Ismenio link=board=1;threadid=370;start=0#msg2918 date=1121791993]
[size=2]Seeing two articles about chess and computers on Wired doesn’t happen every day.

They have a story about two dozen programmers who will be in Germany next month to compete in what they say is the first tournament of its kind.

I doubt this will ever happen but it would be interesting to see a dedicated chess computer that would play FRC, I think.

The article also mentions that the chess variant is gaining rank among grandmasters. That was news to me!

Article 1: Unorthodox Chess From an Odd Mind
Free your king and the pawn will follow:
http://wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68227,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1 (http://wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68227,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1)

Article 2: Chess vs. Chess960: A PC’s view
http://wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68243,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2 (http://wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68243,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2)

Ismenio[/size][/quote]
Ismenio,

You're quite right that Chess-960 is a very interesting variation. I've always considered it silly that in tournaments chess computers are actually allowed to consult their opening book and human contestants are not.

If you expect there will never be a dedicated chess computer that plays only FRC, then I think you're probably right.

But a dedicated chess computer that allows FRC as an option would not be very difficult to make, I presume, not much more so than, say, playing black from the bottom of the board.

By the way, playing from an opening book is not always an advantage. Yesterday, I organized a mini-match between Scisys Turbo 16K and Mephisto Europa because some Frenchman wrote to me that he didn't believe Scisys Turbo had an ELO of less than 1500. In the fourth game, Scisys played a variation that appeared not to be in Mephisto's book. The variation would have fooled many a human player, but Mephisto found the right answer and the opening exploded in white's face:

[Event "match of 4 games
[Site "OVERTOM"]
[Date "2005.07.20"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Scisys Turbo 16K"]
[Black "Mephisto Europa"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. e3 Bb4 5. Qc2 O-O 6. Nd5 Re8 7. Qf5 Nxd5 8. cxd5 d6 9. Qe4 Nd4 10. Nxd4 exd4 11. Qxd4 Bc5 12. Qc4 Qf6 13. d3 Bb6 14. Be2 Ba5+ 15. Kf1 Bf5 16. Qb5 Bb6 17. Bd2 Bxe3 18. Bxe3 Rxe3 19. Qxb7 Rae8 20. g4 Bc8 21. Qxc7 Rxe2 22. Qxa7 R8e3 23. Qxe3 Rxe3 24. Re1 Rxe1+ 25. Kxe1 Bxg4 26. Rg1 Qe5+ 27. Kf1 Bh3+ 28. Rg2 Qxb2 29. Ke1 Bxg2 30. f4 Bf3 31. Kf1 Qe2+ 32. Kg1 Qg2# {Black mates} 0-1

Before I forget - the result of the mini match was 4-0.

Regards,

tom


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Ismenio on July 19, 2005, 07:04PM

Hi Tom,

Thanks for posting another interesting game! I do like to see what comes out of both man and machine once they're out of their books.
Actually, I do find that aspect of FRC very appealing. I would very much like to see a top player go against a powerful computer programmed to to play FRC!

Also, there was this interesting article from ChessBase (from May): http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2370

From there , there are links to other sites and even an interview with Mickey Adams on that subject where he is open to the idea of FRC. Another plus for him! (IMO)

http://www.chessvariants.org/people.dir/adams.html

I haven't had that much interest in FRC until recently but I'm starting to like the idea of combining that with computers. Maybe Fischer really has a point here.

Ismenio


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Endspielgott on July 20, 2005, 01:14AM

[quote author=Overtom link=board=1;threadid=370;start=0#msg2923 date=1121821845]

If you expect there will never be a dedicated chess computer that plays only FRC, then I think you're probably right.

tom
[/quote]

Tom/Ismenio,

I think it should be no problem to "fill" the Resurrection with FRC...only some programming work needed.

This would be also an interesting project for Ruud!

Christian


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Ismenio on July 20, 2005, 04:30AM

I wouldn’t mind having a computer with the ability to play both traditional and FRC. I have never played it myself but I’ll check around for some freeware/shareware to give it a try.

Now here’s a silly question but I have to ask: what happens if you start a Tasc for example, in “position” mode and shuffle the pieces to a Chess960/FRC starting mode and hit play? I am not at home so I can’t test it but I’m (oops!)uming you’ll get an error right?
Is that true for other computers as well or could we have one with a program that would just accept that and start playing?

Ismenio


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Dick Schneiders on July 20, 2005, 05:06AM

[quote author=Ismenio link=board=1;threadid=370;start=0#msg2930 date=1121859028]
I wouldn’t mind having a computer with the ability to play both traditional and FRC. I have never played it myself but I’ll check around for some freeware/shareware to give it a try.

Now here’s a silly question but I have to ask: what happens if you start a Tasc for example, in “position” mode and shuffle the pieces to a Chess960/FRC starting mode and hit play? I am not at home so I can’t test it but I’m (oops!)uming you’ll get an error right?
Is that true for other computers as well or could we have one with a program that would just accept that and start playing?

Ismenio

[/quote]

Ismenio,

If that doesn't work, why couldn't you simply use the problem mode and set up the position that you wanted?


Dick Schneiders


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Endspielgott on July 20, 2005, 05:44AM

[quote author=Dick Schneiders link=board=1;threadid=370;start=0#msg2931 date=1121861213]
[quote author=Ismenio link=board=1;threadid=370;start=0#msg2930 date=1121859028]
I wouldn’t mind having a computer with the ability to play both traditional and FRC. I have never played it myself but I’ll check around for some freeware/shareware to give it a try.

Now here’s a silly question but I have to ask: what happens if you start a Tasc for example, in “position” mode and shuffle the pieces to a Chess960/FRC starting mode and hit play? I am not at home so I can’t test it but I’m (oops!)uming you’ll get an error right?
Is that true for other computers as well or could we have one with a program that would just accept that and start playing?

Ismenio

[/quote]

Ismenio,

If that doesn't work, why couldn't you simply use the problem mode and set up the position that you wanted?


Dick Schneiders
[/quote]

Dick,

you are right. It is as easy as that: Just setup the position and the play. It is easy with the Tasc, and this works of course whith other Computers as well...if they do not check the position. If a computer checks the position, he will find out that it is not a "valid" one since a FRC starting position cannot be reached from the original starting position.

Christian


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Dick Schneiders on July 20, 2005, 05:58AM

[quote author=Endspielgott link=board=1;threadid=370;start=0#msg2932 date=1121863449]
[quote author=Dick Schneiders link=board=1;threadid=370;start=0#msg2931 date=1121861213]
[quote author=Ismenio link=board=1;threadid=370;start=0#msg2930 date=1121859028]
I wouldn’t mind having a computer with the ability to play both traditional and FRC. I have never played it myself but I’ll check around for some freeware/shareware to give it a try.

Now here’s a silly question but I have to ask: what happens if you start a Tasc for example, in “position” mode and shuffle the pieces to a Chess960/FRC starting mode and hit play? I am not at home so I can’t test it but I’m (oops!)uming you’ll get an error right?
Is that true for other computers as well or could we have one with a program that would just accept that and start playing?

Ismenio

[/quote]

Ismenio,

If that doesn't work, why couldn't you simply use the problem mode and set up the position that you wanted?


Dick Schneiders
[/quote]

Dick,

you are right. It is as easy as that: Just setup the position and the play. It is easy with the Tasc, and this works of course whith other Computers as well...if they do not check the position. If a computer checks the position, he will find out that it is not a "valid" one since a FRC starting position cannot be reached from the original starting position.

Christian
[/quote]

Christian,

Thanks - I will try that on some of my computers, as this FRC idea is interesting to me. Not that I have already mastered all the standard openings, but quite the contrary. I don't know the openings as well as I should, and this FRC will make that lack of knowledge not a problem.

By the way, isn't the standard opening position actually one of the possible 960 FRC positions! ;D

Dick Schneiders


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: alainza on July 20, 2005, 06:07AM

Hi Christian,

[quote author=Endspielgott link=board=1;threadid=370;start=0#msg2932 date=1121863449]
if they do not check the position. If a computer checks the position, he will find out that it is not a "valid" one since a FRC starting position cannot be reached from the original starting position.
[/quote]

I suppose they don't do such "sophisticated" validations, this could be tricky to find out if a position can or not be reached !
Of course, FRC starting positions are easy to detect (no pawn move) but the general case seems almost impossible.

Have you read Smullyan's book on retrograde analysis ? (I haven't found it on Amazon.com, the French title is "Mystères sur l'échiquier avec Sherlock Holmes)

I wonder if there are programs able to solve such problems ???


Best,
Alain


Best,
Alain


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Chris on July 20, 2005, 08:59AM

Hi Alain / All :)



I don't know about dedicated machines, for FRC or retrograde analysis ( I have Raymond Smullyan's follow-up book 'The Chess Mysteries of the Arabian Knights - which is excellent!) but there is freely available software that will do Retrograde analysis (eg I know of a program called 'Retractor' though I have not used it myself - http://xenon.stanford.edu/~hwatheod/Retractor/


In terms of FRC there are now quite a number of compatible chess engines freely available.

Best wishes

Chris


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: mychess on July 20, 2005, 02:06PM

Hi,

A question :
If you play b1c3-a1b1-c3a4-a4c5-c5b3-b3a1, you have a (simple) FRC position, but you play a usual chess.So you can't detect that theses 3 only common positions (knight right, left then together) from usual chess to FRC .

However, I think it is possible to castle with FRC (if not, why the king is necessary between the rooks).
If so, the problem mode is not enough to play FRC on a cl(oops!)ic (hé Dick, not a mistake here ;-) chess computer.

The question : is it possible to castle in FRC ?

Good
- morning
- afternoon
- night

(choise the good good ;-)


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Dick Schneiders on July 20, 2005, 02:46PM

[quote author=mychess link=board=1;threadid=370;start=0#msg2938 date=1121893615]
Hi,


However, I think it is possible to castle with FRC (if not, why the king is necessary between the rooks).
If so, the problem mode is not enough to play FRC on a cl(oops!)ic (hé Dick, not a mistake here ;-) chess computer.

The question : is it possible to castle in FRC ?

Good
- morning
- afternoon
- night

(choise the good good ;-)

[/quote]

Yes, Olivier, you are correct (this time ;) ), about this. FRC does have a castle rule, and the problem mode in our computers would not handle this properly. I did not think about this earlier.

Here is a good description of FRC and how the castle move works.

http://www.chessvariants.org/diffsetup.dir/fischer.html

Dick Schneiders


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Title: Re:Chess960 � Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Ismenio on July 20, 2005, 02:55PM

Well, I also didn't think about castling! But, that aside, I just tested on the Tasc and it will take a shuffled FRC position as valid and start playing! I just played a few moves but it didn't complain and because it was taking longer for it to move I think it's safe to (oops!)ume that it is not using any opening book ;) (it may have tried but I guess the King program returned a "huh?" :D

I used this position:



From: http://www.chessvariants.org/multimove.dir/d.pfr/r1/pr1frame.html

And I came across the same page as Dick for the castling. Here's what they say:

Castling may be performed under the following conditions:

* Neither King nor Rook has moved.
* The King is not in check before or after castling.
* No square through which the King must move is under attack.
* All squares between King and Rook are vacant.
* No other pieces occupy any of the squares p(oops!)ed over by the King or Rook.
* The castling move does not result in a capture.

A King may castle with its a-side Rook or its h-side Rook. When castling a-side, the King and Rook go to the same spaces they would go when Queen-side castling in Chess. When castling h-side, the King and Rook go to the same spaces they would go when King-side castling in Chess. This table shows where the King and Rook end up for each type of castling.

White castles a-side Kc1, Rd1
White castles h-side Kg1, Rf1
Black castles a-side Kc8, Rd8
Black castles h-side Kg8, Rf8


Hey Dick, how about setting up a Phantom to play FCR? ;D

Ismenio


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Dick Schneiders on July 20, 2005, 04:59PM

I wonder if you could set up the FRC position, using the problem mode if necessary, and then when it is time to castle, set up the position again, after the castle, using problem mode. This would be a big bother, but wouldn't that work?

Dick Schneiders


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Ismenio on July 20, 2005, 06:38PM

Well, I don't think I'll finish this game and I didn't quite read all the FRC rules but I did a "traditional" castling with the Tasc and it took it! Here's what I have so far:

1. Nbc3 - Nbc6
2. f4 - f5
3. e4 - fxe4
4. Nxe4 - d5
5. Ng3 - e5
6. fxe5 - Nxe5
7. be2 - Ne6
8. Be3 - d4
9. 0-0 - dxe3
10. Nxe3 - (to be continued?)

I may actually play against it using this kind of setup! :)

Ismenio


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Endspielgott on July 20, 2005, 11:43PM

[quote author=Alain Zanchetta link=board=1;threadid=370;start=0#msg2934 date=1121864852]
Hi Christian,


Have you read Smullyan's book on retrograde analysis ? (I haven't found it on Amazon.com, the French title is "Mystères sur l'échiquier avec Sherlock Holmes)

Best,
Alain

[/quote]

Alain,

no I did not read this book (yet)..but the title sounds interesting...do you know if it is obtainable at amazon.fr (I think I could read it in french)?

All the best,

Christian


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: alainza on July 21, 2005, 02:25AM

Hi Christian,

[quote author=Endspielgott link=board=1;threadid=370;start=0#msg2949 date=1121928202]
no I did not read this book (yet)..but the title sounds interesting...do you know if it is obtainable at amazon.fr (I think I could read it in french)?
[/quote]
I remember now that you said once you can talk French :)

It has been re-edited under a slightly different name :
http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/2080680498/qid%3D1121937586/171-7141793-5413829 (http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/2080680498/qid%3D1121937586/171-7141793-5413829)

This is really a great book, introducing gradually all concepts and tricks from Retrograd Analysis. I am not particularly interested in RA but this book made me see it another way, and I had really a great time reading it.

Best,
Alain


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: Endspielgott on July 21, 2005, 03:00AM

Salut Alain,

thank you very much. I will definitedly buy it...and try to understand what´s written inside
;D

Christian


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Title: Re:Chess960 – Fischer Random giving new life to computer chess?
Post by: mychess on July 21, 2005, 09:10AM

Hi,

If I understand the rules of castle in RFC, and if I choose the initial position with Ra1, Kb1, Rc1, when it is possible,
I can make a right castle move with Kb1-g1 !!!
I propose to name this king a...turbo king (trademark ?) ;-)))

If you use a problem mode, they are 2 problems (same reason) :

- The computer never think about your castle, and
- it never castle itself.

Olivier (mychess).



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