World Computer Chess Championship ?

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Don
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Re: World Computer Chess Championship ?

Post by Don » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:12 am

Uri Blass wrote:
bob wrote:
Rebel wrote:
Don wrote:
Rebel wrote:
hgm wrote:
Rebel wrote:As you know last year the Dutch became world champion baseball. For Americans that's a joke, and right they are.
But that is an amateur World Championship, right? And everyone knows that. The best Dutch players were also not participating in the Dutch team, because they play as professionals in the U.S. (Btw, the U.S. professional baseball championship is called the 'World Series', which is a real joke, as only North American teams participate...)

Note that in the WCCC there is no such limitation; professionals (commercial engines) and amateurs can both participate. The commercials just pay a somewhat larger entry fee. But that is actually to their advantage, because it means that amateurs with no chance of winning still pay for part of the costs of the event.
A world championship is only a world champion if the best players (teams) participate. Occasionally it may happen some players (teams) are absent but when it becomes chronic the title loses its value. A world champion soccer tournament without Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy and Spain is no world championship.

The ICGA made a fundamental choice, whether you agree with that choice or not the yearly WCCC is now a second division tournament not worthy to be called a world championship. And they knew that when they made that fundamental choice.
The ICGA DID indeed make a fundamental choice, one that earned my respect and many others as a result. Look at what their 2 fundamental choices were:

1. Deny Fabien Letouzey fair recourse out of fear and cowardice of losing their top draw in these events.

2. Maintain high standards of integrity by not showing favoritism even though it may have unpleasant consequences.


Maybe point 2 is "old fashioned" to you, but not to me. I believe in being yielding and making compromises when it doesn't matter and it helps people come together, but I don't believe in making compromises like this which involve trading off integrity out of fear and cowardice. I also believe that in the long run they have not given up anything.

Yes, I know that Vas was a superstar but it's sad that anyone feels that should give him a pass or special treatment and that the needs of Fabien Letouzey should be sacrificed for their personal benefit.
Don, it's not about Vas, nor Fabien. I support all previous ICGA cases of cloning. It's the way the ICGA has interpreted rule #2 and pushed it to its limits to get the desired result 16 programmers demanded and then leaving ALL of us in the dark by not specifying what is allowed and what's not.

I refer to a crucial quote of Mark Lefler: Ed, I think that is the best summary of this whole thing. Vasik took too much in the eyes of the panel.

So apparently the true meaning of rule #2 is that there is an (undefined) limit on the number of ideas you are allowed to take from open-sources. It's not about copying any longer (it always was) but the volume you take of common (non-copyrightable) chess knowledge idea's found in every decent chess program is suddenly a major issue.

And so open sources are hijacked by the ICGA to serve as a model and be careful you don't take too much. Problem is, there NEVER was (and still is) no definition of "too much".

This is a scaring scenario for newcomers, especially when you are good. I can perfectly imagine why the Vida's and Stockfishes of our time won't show up although they might have other reasons.
You keep saying this is about "taking too many ideas" but it is not. It is about taking too much of Fruit. Ideas and what was discovered in investigating Fruit/Rybka are two different topics. This is not now, and never was about just "taking ideas". It was about taking much more than just ideas.
This is not correct.

Ideas can be translated to code and even without copy and paste if you take all the ideas that are in another program it is going to be translated into an equivalent code that is not allowed.
That is copying or translating - not taking ideas. If I make an exact copy of Crafty without looking at a single line of code, I don't even have to understand it, so how is that taking ideas? An idea is not something written on a piece of paper or byes in computer memory, it's something that has to be processed by the brain. Copying a table for instance is not sharing an idea from another program, it's copying someone else's implementation. Stealing a book from a book store is not "taking ideas" even though ideas are approximated by the written word. Understanding the book and making application is the free use of ideas (and that is WHY the book was published.) Making a copy of the book and selling it as your own is not "using their ideas."

I feel that something is lacking in you because very often in discussion you get fixated on a tree and cannot see what the forest looks like. Or you get hung up on some technical definition of something that is out of context but sounds good to you.

The exact values that you give to positional factors or to material or the exact definition of positional facrors like mobility and passed pawns are clearly ideas in chess and it is clear that the claim against Vas is that he took too many ideas from fruit(inspite of the fact that Vas did not took all the ideas of fruit or something close to it).
The complaint is NOT that he took too many ideas, that is your invention. Read the report, what we see is that he copied the implementation of several things. Fruit was open source, which means Fabien encouraged the use of those ideas. So if Fablen Letouzkey encouraged the use of all his ideas, why did he cry foul? Maybe you are just a lot smarter than he is, but I think not. It's just that you don't understand the distinction between code and ideas and he does. You have to go a little beyond simplistic concepts to make that distinction.
Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.

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hgm
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Re: World Computer Chess Championship ?

Post by hgm » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:40 am

Don wrote:It will never be possible to have a formal definition of "too much" ...
I think the wrong meaning is attached here to the phrase "too much". It does not mean "more that was allowed", but rather "so much that he could be caught". Compare it to a male athlete using testosteron. It is hard to prove it, because it is a natuarally occurring substance, the levelsof which vary from person to person. So if you take just a little of it, you can get away with it, although you are not 'clean'. That does not mean the UCI is going to specify how much of it exactly a cyclist can take.

Or, in Don's favorite metaphore, when you are late for the start of a Marathon, and let the cab that brings you drop you 1 km from the start somewhere in the back of the crowd, and go on to win, there probably isn't anyone that would notice. That doesn't mean that this is an acceptable way to run a Marathon; it remains cheating. If, however, you let yourself be dropped 1 km from the start, in front of the pack.... Then you cheated "too much"

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Re: World Computer Chess Championship ?

Post by mcostalba » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:59 am

bob wrote: Simple question. WCCC Hong Kong. Do you REALLY believe anything there was better than deep thought? It was the ONLY program with a real GM-level rating. But a comm failure cost it one game. You attach too much significance to the "world computer chess championship" title...
It is not who wins the tournament but who partecipates that makes the tournament a world championship.

This is a very simple concept to grasp, but people seems to miss this point. So I have to think this thread has hit some nerves, this disussion about ICGA is a kind of a violated taboo, perhaps the time is still not come to discuss these arguments without be called crazy, girl dumped, under drugs and so on (note that I have never personally attacked none, neverthless I was named by people that think of themself to be rationale and well mannered).

Anyhow the problem is real and will not disappear just insulting the opponents. If also for the future ICGA will fail to attract (not "allow to enter") the strongest engines will shoot itself in the foot. To be "World Champion" of the year will be (as is already now) just a marketing label to attract the casual Joe user that knows nothing about engines, just wants to buy a strong chess software to play with.

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Re: World Computer Chess Championship ?

Post by hgm » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:16 am

mcostalba wrote:It is not who wins the tournament but who partecipates that makes the tournament a world championship.
That is a counter-productive attitude. It is much better for any sport to have a World Championship, than to have none. If people are not interested to participate, it is a pity, but we would still be off worse by making it impossible for everyone to participate. Absolutely nothing will be gained by stopping to organize World Championships. As long as there is enough attendence for them, they should continue.

It seems you just want to spoil it for others. Because you are not interested to participate, it must be made possible for others to participate too...

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Re: World Computer Chess Championship ?

Post by mcostalba » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:25 am

hgm wrote:If people are not interested to participate, it is a pity,
If people is not interested to partecipate to what is called "World Championship" is not a pity, it is a failure of tournament organizers !

It means there is a problem, a problem that people organizing the tournament (not the players) should ask themself "Why?" and "What we can do to improve this?". In any sport, if a world championship is organized and none of the strongest partecipates then the event is a failure and there are some consequences. Acting as "nothing as happened" is very arrogant and shortsighted.

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Re: World Computer Chess Championship ?

Post by kinderchocolate » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:43 am

mcostalba wrote:
hgm wrote:If people are not interested to participate, it is a pity,
If people is not interested to partecipate to what is called "World Championship" is not a pity, it is a failure of tournament organizers !

It means there is a problem, a problem that people organizing the tournament (not the players) should ask themself "Why?" and "What we can do to improve this?". In any sport, if a world championship is organized and none of the strongest partecipates then the event is a failure and there are some consequences. Acting as "nothing as happened" is very arrogant and shortsighted.
My question is, if you didn't have to pay for the entry fees. Would you sacrifice your annual leave for the tournament? This's not the human world championship, everybody would be paid.
Last edited by kinderchocolate on Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: World Computer Chess Championship ?

Post by Rebel » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:45 am

bob wrote:
Rebel wrote: Don, it's not about Vas, nor Fabien. I support all previous ICGA cases of cloning. It's the way the ICGA has interpreted rule #2 and pushed it to its limits to get the desired result 16 programmers demanded and then leaving ALL of us in the dark by not specifying what is allowed and what's not.

I refer to a crucial quote of Mark Lefler: Ed, I think that is the best summary of this whole thing. Vasik took too much in the eyes of the panel.

So apparently the true meaning of rule #2 is that there is an (undefined) limit on the number of ideas you are allowed to take from open-sources. It's not about copying any longer (it always was) but the volume you take of common (non-copyrightable) chess knowledge idea's found in every decent chess program is suddenly a major issue.

And so open sources are hijacked by the ICGA to serve as a model and be careful you don't take too much. Problem is, there NEVER was (and still is) no definition of "too much".

This is a scaring scenario for newcomers, especially when you are good. I can perfectly imagine why the Vida's and Stockfishes of our time won't show up although they might have other reasons.
You keep saying this is about "taking too many ideas" but it is not. It is about taking too much of Fruit. Ideas and what was discovered in investigating Fruit/Rybka are two different topics. This is not now, and never was about just "taking ideas". It was about taking much more than just ideas.
Entirely missing the point. I have questions for you, maybe it's more clear then. Please answer them in your role as ICGA official.

1. In the hypothetical case the Stockfish guys enter then what do you do? Its source code is publicly available.

2. In the hypothetical case Critter enters then what do you do?

Keep in mind there are programmers reading your reply with an interest to participate but also knowing what has happened with Rybka. Modern programmers who have borrowed from open sources and the CPW. Programmers like the SF guys and Richard Vida.

And one step further:

Say you allow both to play but during the tournament or afterwards another complaint is filed with the request of an investigation, then what do you do?

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Re: World Computer Chess Championship ?

Post by Rebel » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:04 am

hgm wrote:I don't think there is anything unclear about the rule 'thou shallt not take'. It is like complaining that you don't want to work for a certain employer because he doesn't want to specify upto the cent how much you can grab when you dip your hands into his cash register...

Newcomers know whether their code contains implementation details that they don't have the slightest idea of what they are for and why they are there, but are only in their code because they happened to be in the code that they ripped...

And when in doubt they can submit their source code, or the parts that they have doubt about, in advance, and ask if it would be OK. Nothing seems simpler than being honest.

Furthermore, you seem to assume that people fail to participate because they think their code would not qualify in the rule #2 sense. This is a totally unproven and highly dubious assumption. For one, the involved authors all deny it. And for Stockfish it would be plain ridiculous, because everone knows how it developed...
Are you just unwilling to acknowledge the aftermath of the Rybka affair has created a problem for newcomers (modern programmers who borrow from open sources and the CPW) with an interest to participate or do we just have some kind of misunderstanding?

It's easy for us old-timers, we are above any suspicion. Newcomers especially when they are good are suspect by definition. When a new program enters you know the first question asked in every forum. The result of living in a post Rybka world.

Please don't pretend it's business as usual, it's not.

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Re: World Computer Chess Championship ?

Post by Uri Blass » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:06 am

Don wrote:
Uri Blass wrote:
bob wrote:
Rebel wrote:
Don wrote:
Rebel wrote:
hgm wrote:
Rebel wrote:As you know last year the Dutch became world champion baseball. For Americans that's a joke, and right they are.
But that is an amateur World Championship, right? And everyone knows that. The best Dutch players were also not participating in the Dutch team, because they play as professionals in the U.S. (Btw, the U.S. professional baseball championship is called the 'World Series', which is a real joke, as only North American teams participate...)

Note that in the WCCC there is no such limitation; professionals (commercial engines) and amateurs can both participate. The commercials just pay a somewhat larger entry fee. But that is actually to their advantage, because it means that amateurs with no chance of winning still pay for part of the costs of the event.
A world championship is only a world champion if the best players (teams) participate. Occasionally it may happen some players (teams) are absent but when it becomes chronic the title loses its value. A world champion soccer tournament without Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy and Spain is no world championship.

The ICGA made a fundamental choice, whether you agree with that choice or not the yearly WCCC is now a second division tournament not worthy to be called a world championship. And they knew that when they made that fundamental choice.
The ICGA DID indeed make a fundamental choice, one that earned my respect and many others as a result. Look at what their 2 fundamental choices were:

1. Deny Fabien Letouzey fair recourse out of fear and cowardice of losing their top draw in these events.

2. Maintain high standards of integrity by not showing favoritism even though it may have unpleasant consequences.


Maybe point 2 is "old fashioned" to you, but not to me. I believe in being yielding and making compromises when it doesn't matter and it helps people come together, but I don't believe in making compromises like this which involve trading off integrity out of fear and cowardice. I also believe that in the long run they have not given up anything.

Yes, I know that Vas was a superstar but it's sad that anyone feels that should give him a pass or special treatment and that the needs of Fabien Letouzey should be sacrificed for their personal benefit.
Don, it's not about Vas, nor Fabien. I support all previous ICGA cases of cloning. It's the way the ICGA has interpreted rule #2 and pushed it to its limits to get the desired result 16 programmers demanded and then leaving ALL of us in the dark by not specifying what is allowed and what's not.

I refer to a crucial quote of Mark Lefler: Ed, I think that is the best summary of this whole thing. Vasik took too much in the eyes of the panel.

So apparently the true meaning of rule #2 is that there is an (undefined) limit on the number of ideas you are allowed to take from open-sources. It's not about copying any longer (it always was) but the volume you take of common (non-copyrightable) chess knowledge idea's found in every decent chess program is suddenly a major issue.

And so open sources are hijacked by the ICGA to serve as a model and be careful you don't take too much. Problem is, there NEVER was (and still is) no definition of "too much".

This is a scaring scenario for newcomers, especially when you are good. I can perfectly imagine why the Vida's and Stockfishes of our time won't show up although they might have other reasons.
You keep saying this is about "taking too many ideas" but it is not. It is about taking too much of Fruit. Ideas and what was discovered in investigating Fruit/Rybka are two different topics. This is not now, and never was about just "taking ideas". It was about taking much more than just ideas.
This is not correct.

Ideas can be translated to code and even without copy and paste if you take all the ideas that are in another program it is going to be translated into an equivalent code that is not allowed.
That is copying or translating - not taking ideas. If I make an exact copy of Crafty without looking at a single line of code, I don't even have to understand it, so how is that taking ideas? An idea is not something written on a piece of paper or byes in computer memory, it's something that has to be processed by the brain. Copying a table for instance is not sharing an idea from another program, it's copying someone else's implementation. Stealing a book from a book store is not "taking ideas" even though ideas are approximated by the written word. Understanding the book and making application is the free use of ideas (and that is WHY the book was published.) Making a copy of the book and selling it as your own is not "using their ideas."

I feel that something is lacking in you because very often in discussion you get fixated on a tree and cannot see what the forest looks like. Or you get hung up on some technical definition of something that is out of context but sounds good to you.

The exact values that you give to positional factors or to material or the exact definition of positional facrors like mobility and passed pawns are clearly ideas in chess and it is clear that the claim against Vas is that he took too many ideas from fruit(inspite of the fact that Vas did not took all the ideas of fruit or something close to it).
The complaint is NOT that he took too many ideas, that is your invention. Read the report, what we see is that he copied the implementation of several things. Fruit was open source, which means Fabien encouraged the use of those ideas. So if Fablen Letouzkey encouraged the use of all his ideas, why did he cry foul? Maybe you are just a lot smarter than he is, but I think not. It's just that you don't understand the distinction between code and ideas and he does. You have to go a little beyond simplistic concepts to make that distinction.

I simply disagree with you and mathematical evaluation is clearly an idea.
Ideas is something that the brain can understand(the fact that you can implement it in a chess program without understanding does not change it).

Suppose that I translate the algorithm of stockfish to english and use the same algorithm that stockfish use in a correspondence chess game when
computers are not allowed(with some small changes and I may not use 64 bits for hash keys and simply remember the full board).

Suppose that I do not use the computer in order to use the algorithm but my own brain and write every calculation on a piece of paper.

Of course I practically can get a significant lower depth in this case and I may need some hours to get depth 2 for every move in most positions but I can use some hours for every move in a correspondence game.

Suppose that I am honest about what I do and I even decsribe exactly what I did in the relevant game.

Did I use the code of Stockfish or the ideas of Stockfish?

Note that I think that it can be productive for computer chess
if somebody really try to do it and implement stockfish's algorithm(or Ippolit's algorithm) in one correspondence game including describing all the calculation in some blog so people who read the blog can follow the process without using a chess engine.

It clearly can help people to understand Stockfish or Ippolit.

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Re: World Computer Chess Championship ?

Post by hgm » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:12 am

mcostalba wrote:If people is not interested to partecipate to what is called "World Championship" is not a pity, it is a failure of tournament organizers !
No, it is a failure of the non-participants.
It means there is a problem, a problem that people organizing the tournament (not the players) should ask themself "Why?" and "What we can do to improve this?". In any sport, if a world championship is organized and none of the strongest partecipates then the event is a failure and there are some consequences. Acting as "nothing as happened" is very arrogant and shortsighted.
Oh, I am sure ICGA is giving thought to the matter how things can be improved. In fact I was invited a few month ago to participate in an ICGA discussion panel about the rules. I declined, of course, because I don't feel that as a non-serious contender I should try to shape the rules that might be important to those that really have something at stake.

But the problem is that little can be done at the moment. Because there is not much interest for computer Chess in the World at large, so we can forget about sponsors that would enable ICGA to associate a $100,000 prize with the WCCC title. And the problem is that prestige, even if the title would have that, is an ineffective tool to attract participants. On the contrary, because the prestige would only go to the winner, and there can only be one. So the high prestige actually scares those away that think they might not win, and that the impact of this on their sales might be significant. Fritz has been conspicuously absent from tournaments ever since Rybka became top dog...

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