World Computer Chess Championship

Discussion of computer chess matches and engine tournaments.

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Harvey Williamson
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Re: World Computer Chess Championship

Post by Harvey Williamson » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:49 pm

Henk wrote:
Does that mean that there will also be a livestream?
There has been for several years now so I doubt this year will be any different.

Henk
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Re: World Computer Chess Championship

Post by Henk » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:59 pm

Harvey Williamson wrote:
Henk wrote:
Does that mean that there will also be a livestream?
There has been for several years now so I doubt this year will be any different.
I mean a stream where they show room where games are played plus operators. Like a livestream about Tata Steal tournament on youtube for instance. Maybe also add interviews.
Last edited by Henk on Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mcostalba
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Re: World Computer Chess Championship

Post by mcostalba » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:00 pm

Tord wrote: This being said, I miss hanging out with chess programmers.
Hi Tord!

nice to see your writing again! Chess programmers miss you too....stockfish devs miss you even more :-)

Looking at this discussion it seem to me like looking at a living fossil!

People talking about winners, competition, rules....I don't know.

Do you all think that in TCEC engine authors join because of they think they can win? Today there are only 3 engines that can have some possibility to win a tournament..and the winner wins with a good chunk of luck too. Nevertheless a lot of engines do participate and people have a lot of fun chatting. Focusing on who will win is really misleading and is not the reason why an on-line tournament is successful.

I see many discussions here that to me make no sense and I am not excited to read them.

I see some people is worried of current situation with their organization and are trying to figure out how to recover. But the point is exactly this one: people is aiming at recovering the past consensus and popularity...this is the big limit here: if for absurd ICGA today was popular as in the past with on-site tournaments then there would have not being this thread. They don't think "What can I do to do better then TCEC, better then anybody else", they think "What can I do to recover the old status"....this is why I am pessimistic regarding this organization: I see people looking back, I don't see people looking at the future.

Robert Pope
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Re: World Computer Chess Championship

Post by Robert Pope » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:14 pm

Kotlov wrote:
Tord wrote: Regarding Stockfish in particular, by the very nature of the project, it's a non-competitive program. It's designed to show that cooperation and sharing are at least as effective* as competition and secrecy for driving progress in computer chess. Having it compete in a WCCC seems totally wrong to me.
Golden words.

______
*more effective
Just curious, is there something about the TCEC that makes competing in it less wrong than competing in a WCCC? I don't see the distinction, but maybe I'm missing something.

pijl
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Re: World Computer Chess Championship

Post by pijl » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:16 pm

Tord wrote:Speaking only for myself: Cost is not a big issue. Time is somewhat an issue, but the most important factor to me is that the dark sides of the competitive side of computer chess have become increasingly visible to me in the years since I played those OTB tournaments. I believe competition in computer chess does far more harm than good, and I no longer want to be part of it. There is a slight chance that I'll come to some WCCC or similar event in the future, but if I do, I'll intentionally use some simple toy program that has no chance of finishing near the top. I'll be there to interact with the other programmers, not to try to win.
Viper would be a good candidate for this. Or perhaps Gothmog :-)
Tord wrote:This being said, I miss hanging out with chess programmers. If something like an informal rapid or blitz tournament for chess programmers (not their programs) is arranged some time, I would love to participate. Some kind of meetup or conference with no actual tournament would be fun, too.
There are some tournaments that are really more for fun than anything else. For instance, the IGT (in Italy) has engines ranging from Pedone/Chiron to self-build projects on a PIC. When I participated the last two years I could predict with a high level of confidence where the Baron would end up. Even when I would have brought bigger hardware that would not have changed much. And this year I'm planning to go again (dates unknown, but I'm told the location will probably be in Mantua).

The CSVN tournament is perhaps more a tournament as the participants are usually a bit closer to each other in strength, but also here joining is more for fun than anything else.

So if not in Stockholm, I hope to see you at one of the other tournaments again.
Richard.

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Harvey Williamson
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Re: World Computer Chess Championship

Post by Harvey Williamson » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:22 pm

Tord wrote:tournament would be fun, too.
Hi Tord,
Really good to hear from you. I am sure Richard Pijl and I would be willing to share a bottle of pure malt with you anywhere :)
Cheers,
Harvey

pijl
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Re: World Computer Chess Championship

Post by pijl » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:28 pm

mcostalba wrote:Do you all think that in TCEC engine authors join because of they think they can win? Today there are only 3 engines that can have some possibility to win a tournament..and the winner wins with a good chunk of luck too. Nevertheless a lot of engines do participate and people have a lot of fun chatting. Focusing on who will win is really misleading and is not the reason why an on-line tournament is successful.
I'm joining quite a few tournaments, both online and OTB. I never join because I think I can win with the Baron (although that sometimes happens with a generous portion of luck). I'm sure that is true for most that join OTB tournaments, even for those who actually have chances to win.

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Harvey Williamson
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Re: World Computer Chess Championship

Post by Harvey Williamson » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:18 pm

Harvey Williamson wrote:
Tord wrote:tournament would be fun, too.
Hi Tord,
Really good to hear from you. I am sure Richard Pijl and I would be willing to share a bottle of pure malt with you anywhere :)
Cheers,
Harvey
I spoke with Richard. We suggest a programmers/team members pub crawl of Leiden regardless of there being a chess tournament or not :) But of course you have to be there, Tord!

gojac
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Re: World Computer Chess Championship

Post by gojac » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:22 pm

Just a curiosity. (I am not a chess engine developer.) Is there any competition for the best chess engine innovation of the year? I mean something that would approach chess engine originality from the positive side.

For example, ICGA could invite (but not force) WCCC participants to submit short technical reports. The reports would then be peer reviewed and the best one would be awarded say 1000$ and also published in an ICGA publication.

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Ovyron
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Re: World Computer Chess Championship

Post by Ovyron » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:47 pm

mjlef wrote:I read your post three times, but I still do not understand what changes you want. The only goal I know of for the WCCC it to have the tournament. David has stated here he wants to invite the TCEC winners to participate. But of course anyone can join, limited only by available space and perhaps funds.

Could you state what changes you would make, because I do not understand.
I'll try to be as concise as possible:

Change the goal of the ICGA and the WCCC. The current goal doesn't work, if you set your new goal to something, the changes that need to be made will be obvious, and you'll not even need to ask anyone what they want.

For instance suppose that the ultimate goal of the ICGA becomes:

To award the strongest chess entity of the world the title of WCC Champion.

Then your priorities change. You would go and discuss with the very top people involved how to make them play in your tourney, because waiting for them to apply may not work.

You also don't care about other engines participating, or about the number of them, because it suffices for the top 2 to be there to play for the title, as Nelson said.

"Inviting" the top chess programmers is a good idea, but if they're Robert Houdart and Tord Romstad and they're not interested in playing in the WCCC (Robert isn't even participating in these discussions, Tord thinks participating goes against Stockfish's philosophy) that goes against your goal, so how do you solve it?

Start it backwards, announce that the top engines will be there, Houdini, Kodomo, Stockfish... Then look for the best possible operator of those entities.

TCEC just has those engines, "magically", whatever method that they use can be copied by the WCCC to be able to have the entities on there.

With this ultimate goal, if you suspect there's another entity that would defeat these, you get in direct contact with their authors to get it to play. Imagine if the ICGA contacted Deep Mind and got Alpha Zero into the WCCC, now, that alone may attract enough attention that others will apply just to play the thing.

This is just an example. The changes you need to make depend on your goal.

It seems we all want in this thread for the the WCCC to be succesful and a meaningful title, we just can't agree to the methods to get there.
Make someone happy today.

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