Game Changer - a review

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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Game Changer - a review

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:25 pm

"Moved but the section is now back live your review deserved it."

Agreed - and thanks.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Game Changer - a review

Post by Geoff Chandler » Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:24 pm

Thanks Carl.

John McKenna
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Re: Game Changer - a review

Post by John McKenna » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:15 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:58 pm
Hi Carl, if there is no reason other than lack of use for the 'Book Review' bit to be closed. Stuff this there (and close it again!)


Image

I’m not a good chess player, infact on my recent 68th birthday
they arranged the candles on my cake in the shape of an ‘?’

This is me when computers and chess crop up.

Image

I’ve not changed. But AlphaZero is completely different. A new breed.

I had heard all the hype but ignored it and not matter how many links
people were giving me to games Alpha played there was no way I was
going to play over a computer v computer game. (did that once, they had
to get the Good Samaritans to talk me down from the edge of a cliff.)

One lad even offered to buy me a copy. (an offer I nearly took him up on it
- not to read but to sell on E-Bay.) I even started arguing with people about
the book even though I had never seen it let alone owned a copy or read it.

Eventually I played over one game. ‘Wow!’ and bought the book...

SNIP

This is a position from a game Mathew talks about, the notes are mine.

Stockfish - Alpha


White appears to have everything we are told to get and be very happy with.
A genuine Knight out post, in full command of the e-file, a nice tidy grip on
the centre. Black has loose pieces (the Rook and Knight pawns c6 and a5).

Alpha’s compensation is the tactical threats hanging over the White King

47.Qe6 ....

Attacking the c6 pawn and the Knight. It's what you do when you have all the mobility.

47 .... Nh4

If 48.Qxc6 then 48...Nxg2 and Black is now winning. The White Queen meekly returned
to e2 and Black crept forward. The White pieces can never stray too far from the King.
The e-file which White took on move 12 and kept till move 96 did nothing of any value.

SNIP



Hi Geoff, what if instead of the line you gave from the book W tries prophylaxis, e.g. -



1.Qc2 Qg5 2.Ne6 Qg6 3.Qd2 Re8 4.Re2 Nh4 5.Qe1 Rb8 6.Nf4 Qh6 7.Qb1+ g6 8.Nd3...

Your mammoth review, from which I quote extracts, above, prompted me to buy the book. Frankly I was surprised by your enthusiasm for the play of AZ - you a self-confessed computer chess Luddite!

My main criticism of the book is that it is full of 'personification' - "... AZ thinks... ". NO, it doesn't, it computes.

We humans know the difference between 'thinking' and 'computing' and we even think when we're computing,. AZ never thinks, it just computes.

Once humans start saying that it 'thinks' you start along the road to 'personification' and even begin to believe that it plays like a human (unlike the other engines).

Again, no. It simply plays chess in its own inimical way. and any similarity to human play is purely coincidental.

GM Mathew Sadler and WIM Natasha Regan will give a talk, simul and book signing in Sittingbourne, Kent, from 19:45 to 22:30 next Thurs. 29th Aug.

http://www.swalechessclub.co.uk/
Last edited by John McKenna on Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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Jon Tait
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Re: Game Changer - a review

Post by Jon Tait » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:39 pm

on this topic, here's my not quite a review review...

https://200opengames.blogspot.com/2019/ ... azero.html
blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/

John McKenna
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Re: Game Changer - a review

Post by John McKenna » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:45 pm

... Well, there's no use in wondering what the real AlphaZero would have done because AlphaZero doesn't play the King's Gambit. Or 1 e4...
Hi Jon, thanks for the link from which I quote, above.

Yes, it is true that "AlphaZero refuses to play 1.e4 as White..." (Game Changer)

Stockfish, however, seems not to be averse to playing 1.e4 against AlphaZero.

And, "In 26 games AlphaZero faced with 1.e4, AlphaZero played 1... e5 26 times." (Game Changer)

Stockfish then chose to play 2.Nf3 and after AlphaZero's 2... Nc6, either the Spanish or Italian game ensued.

If, after 1.e4 e5, AlphaZero's opponent plays 2.f4 then AlphaZero would have to play against the Kings Gambit and either accept or decline it.

Just as your, supposed, human opponent masquerading as 'AlphaZero', in the game in your link, had to do and we wouldn't have to wonder, in vain, what AlphaZero would do anymore - for it, too, would have to do one or the other.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Game Changer - a review

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:54 pm

John McKenna wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:45 pm
If against Stockfish, or any other opponent, after 1.e4 e5, AlphaZero's opponent plays 2.f4 then AlphaZero would have to play against the Kings Gambit and either accept or decline it.
I don't think any public domain analysis as yet surfaced as an analysis of the King's Gambit using AlphaZero methods. Do the threats to f7 out way the weakening of the dark squares around White's King. How strong is the sequence 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 d6 ? Is it better to play 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 ? Or should White play 3 . Bc4 allowing .. Qh4 check ? If Bc4 lines are good, should Black play 1. e4 e5 2. f4 d5 3. exd5 to follow with .. exf4 either immediately or a move or two later?

John McKenna
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Re: Game Changer - a review

Post by John McKenna » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:03 am

While we await the oracular answers to those fundamental KG (or KFC as predictive typing would have it) questions you might want to change "out way", Roger

NB: Some idea of the answers might be found here -

GM Mathew Sadler and WIM Natasha Regan will give a talk, simul and book signing in Sittingbourne, Kent, from 19:45 to 22:30 next Thurs. 29th Aug.

http://www.swalechessclub.co.uk/
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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Jon Tait
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Re: Game Changer - a review

Post by Jon Tait » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:44 am

John McKenna wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:45 pm
Yes, it is true that "AlphaZero refuses to play 1.e4 as White..." (Game Changer)
Stockfish, however, seems not to be averse to playing 1.e4 against AlphaZero.
Yes indeed. In that case AlphaZero does play 1...e5.

I thought my meaning was clear though: that is, given that I failed to win, how might White have played the variation/position better. So my unspoken question is how might AlphaZero have played this as White. And there's no way of knowing that because AlphaZero doesn't play 1 e4 as White.
blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/

John McKenna
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Re: Game Changer - a review

Post by John McKenna » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:53 pm

I did think that you meant that but wanted to be clear what the book contains about it.

Also, some of the games AlphaZero played with Stockfish were not from the initial position but from positions used in a TCEC (Top Chess Engine Ch.) match. Though I very much doubt that the Kings Gambit was one.

As Geoff Chandler has already noted, one of the limitations of the book is the lack of a comprehensive index that includes opening classifications of all the games and specifies which openings were from set start positions (tabiyat).

And, earlier, in a post by Watford CC (see link below) directions on how to play against a derivative (called Leela) of AlphaZero were given. You could try dallying the KG with her until Fat Fritz comes to market.

viewtopic.php?f=49&t=9774
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John McKenna
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Re: Game Changer - a review

Post by John McKenna » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:04 pm

John McKenna wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:53 pm

... Also, some of the games AlphaZero played with Stockfish were not from the initial position but from positions used in a TCEC (Top Chess Engine Ch.) match. Though I very much doubt that the Kings Gambit was one...
Correction - it has been pointed out to me that AlphaZero and Stockfish did play a pair - one of each colour - of Kings Gambits in 2018.

They were made to start from a position in the Bishops Gambit - 1.e4 e5 2.f4 ef 3.Bc4...

Both games were drawn.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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