Using a computer in correspondence chess

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NickFaulks
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:37 am

Mike Truran wrote: And, by the way, your own FIDE rating is I believe 1779. What earns you the right to accuse a FIDE rated 2390 player of "phenomenal ignorance"?
Oh, we're reduced to that one now. My rating's higher than yours, so any opinion I propound, no matter how unfounded, is more valuable than yours.

Adam is factually wrong and I suspect he knows it, which is why he has to dismiss any form of chess which tests for an ability different from the one which has got him his FM title as "cheating".

Mike Truran
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by Mike Truran » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:46 am

Fair enough. But accusing someone of "phenomenal ignorance" is pretty strong stuff.

It would be nice to have some evidence that correspondence players are actually using "creative" imagination", "separating the wheat from the chaff" etc rather than just letting an engine run overnight.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by MartinCarpenter » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:50 am

Well, the fact that there are still things like Correspondence World champions I guess :) If it ever reached the stage of simply being repeating what an engine running overnight produced then everyone would have basically the same ability which they definitely don't seem to.

It might very well have mutated into principally a test of your ability to manage chess engines, but if you view it as an activity with the end goal of playing the best chess possible then that was inevitable and probably even to be welcomed.

Kevin O'Rourke
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by Kevin O'Rourke » Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:46 am

let it run overnight and in the morning the computer comes up with e4 :-)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:53 am

Kevin O'Rourke wrote:let it run overnight and in the morning the computer comes up with e4
It is a way of testing engines that you remove their opening book and see what they come up with. I would expect the knowledge gap long since closed, but I recall a tale about an engine that reached the position after 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 and concluded without its book that the Bishop was best placed attacking f7. So it played 4. Bc4 . Playing against other engines, this proved a strong idea, as they could then flounder without prior knowledge to take them safely through the potential complexities of the Two Knights, Evans' Gambit etc.

Kevin O'Rourke
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by Kevin O'Rourke » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:15 am

I like Bc4 not the worst move in the world if the Bishop has since be prodded.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:03 pm

4 Bc4 has been seen a fair few times in databases, including by some GMs (notably J Polgar)
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Brian Towers
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by Brian Towers » Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:21 am

Mike Truran wrote:Of course it's a different game from over the board chess. Just like sprinters taking performance enhancing drugs is a different game from the game played by sprinters who don't take drugs.
No, Mike. It's just like pole vaulting is a different game from high jumping. You and Adam sound like rather thick but very talented 2m 30cm high jumpers who after coming last by a few metres whinge "Those cheating b*st*rds were all using poles!"
Mike Truran wrote:And, by the way, your own FIDE rating is I believe 1779. What earns you the right to accuse a FIDE rated 2390 player of "phenomenal ignorance"?
I didn't think I'd see you jump the shark ...

Back in the late 80's I used to play for South Bristol. One of the club's strong players was somebody called Paul Helbig. I remember his mum, Doreen, was a top international correspondence player. If I recall correctly she was British Ladies champion (or thereabouts) and played in Olympiads. Her otb rating was round about 100. Clearly the British Ladies otb champion would have crushed her over the board and been crushed by her at correspondence. It really makes no sense to try and compare the two. Regardless of whether your grading is 2176 or 2390 to do so is an act of ignorance. Doreen could tell you that with her grading even lower than mine.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:00 am

Brian Towers wrote: If I recall correctly she was British Ladies champion (or thereabouts) and played in Olympiads. Her otb rating was round about 100. Clearly the British Ladies otb champion would have crushed her over the board and been crushed by her at correspondence.
By that era just before widespread availability of strong software, over the board British Ladies champions would have been IM standard in some years. Personally I'd doubt that a 100 player even with books and infinite time could do much damage to an IM.

John McKenna
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by John McKenna » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:27 am

Personally I'd doubt that a 100 player even with books and infinite time could do much damage to an IM.
Chessbase News (19.06.2005): The computer-assisted PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament, staged on Playchess.com, ended with a shock win by two amateurs: Steven Cramton, 1685 USCF and Zackary Stephen, 1398 USCF, using three computers for analysis, defeated teams of strong grandmasters all the way to victory in the finals. We bring you a report -
http://en.chessbase.com/post/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2461
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:41 am

John McKenna wrote:(19.06.2005):
Back in the 1980s, which was when you were claiming that the correspondence Ladies Champion could beat the over the board Ladies Champion, there were no computer engines available outside of university super computers that could get past 150. As far as I recall, the tournament you highlight wasn't correspondence in nature. The time limit was for normal play, so the engine's speed of calculation was a factor.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by MartinCarpenter » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:10 pm

And in case anyone reading that Chessbase report has doubts that Cramton/Stephen contributed some notably useful skills of their own - they beat hydra in that tournament!
(Just before that beast utterly crushed Adams in a match.).

That was all quite short time limits (60 minutes/game), I'd be much less sure how human/computer mixes stand vs pure computers nowadays. Especially if anyone was mad (cruel?) enough to build a modern, purpose designed chess focused super computer(!).

The much longer time limits at correspondence will help the humans a lot in providing useful input though.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:26 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote: I'd be much less sure how human/computer mixes stand vs pure computers nowadays.
It's going to depend on the position. Watching one of the Carlsen - Anand games in a fairly turgid position, I was struck by the number of plausible options given. There were three engines, each giving four choices. Between them they gave around seven or eight decent options, all of which retained a balanced position.

That makes it very difficult for those who would claim that engine use can always be detected, but equally difficult for those using engines ,when allowed, to decide their next move and general plan.

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by Joey Stewart » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:08 pm

As a former correspondence player, I might be able to offer a little insight....

I found it can be very useful to help improve your ability to form plans in the middlegame by first analysing the position yourself, trying out various different ideas before settling on one and ONLY then to blunder check it with an engine to assess the soundness of the ideas.
More often than not the tactics you think are good can be refuted by some sort of brilliant un natrual counterplay, and invariably the engine ends up steering you towards more positional plans.


Ultimately, though, I gave up playing correspondence - I dont like the way engines make a mockery of the game, and it was doing very little for my over the board chess ( positions where you can often push your luck and take some chances would end up being steered into draws all the time) as well as spoiling my ability to do calculations in my head.
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by MJMcCready » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:31 pm

Tim Spanton wrote:
MJMcCready wrote:But the iccf doesn't allow the use of computers. It is.stated on their.site.
That's simply not true.

The quotes from GM Leitão actually come from an ICCF interview:
https://www.iccf.com/Message.aspx?message=225

'It is expected that players will decide the moves for themselves. It is unacceptable behaviour to
have someone else play your games (for instance playing “mirror games” is not acceptable).'

That's what I originally read, its from the ICCF Code of Conduct Guidelines page 3. I understood from the quote above that computers are not allowed.

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