Versing the Human

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For a time in the 1970s and 1980s it was unclear whether any chess program would ever be able to defeat the expertise of top humans. In 1968, International Master David Levy made a famous bet that no chess computer would be able to beat him within ten years. He won his bet in 1978 by beating Chess 4.7 (the strongest computer at the time), but acknowledged then that it would not be long before he would be surpassed. In 1989, Levy was defeated by the computer Deep Thought in an exhibition match.

Deep Thought, however, was still considerably below World Championship Level, as the then reigning world champion Garry Kasparov demonstrated in two sterling wins in 1989. It was not until a 1996 match with IBM's Deep Blue that Kasparov lost his first game to a computer at tournament time controls in Deep Blue - Kasparov, 1996, Game 1. This game was, in fact, the first time a reigning world champion had lost to a computer using regular time controls. However, Kasparov regrouped to win three and draw two of the remaining five games of the match, for a convincing victory.

In May 1997, an updated version of Deep Blue defeated Kasparov 3½-2½ in a return match. A documentary mainly about the confrontation was made in 2003, titled Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine. IBM keeps a web site of the event. Deep Blue vs. Kasparov 1996, game 1.{| cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="border: 1px solid rgb(176, 176, 176); background-color: rgb(255, 206, 158); margin: auto;" | bgcolor="white" colspan="10"|[1] |- | bgcolor="white" rowspan="8"| | | | | | | | | | bgcolor="white" rowspan="8"| |- | | | | | | | |[2] |- | | | | | |[3] | |[4] |- | | | |[5] | | |[6] | |- | | | |[7] | | | | |- |[8] |[9] | | | |[10] |[11] |[12] |- | | | | | |[13] | |[14] |- | | | | |[15] | | | |- | bgcolor="white" colspan="10"|[16] |} The final position.With increasing processing power, chess programs running on commercially available workstations began to rival top flight players. In 1998, Rebel 10 defeated Viswanathan Anand who at the time was ranked second in the world, by a score of 5-3. However most of those games were not played at normal time controls. Out of the eight games, four were blitz games (five minutes plus five seconds Fischer delay (see time control) for each move) these Rebel won 3-1. Then two were semi-blitz games (fifteen minutes for each side) which Rebel won as well (1½-½). Finally two games were played as regular tournament games (forty moves in two hours, one hour sudden death) here it was Anand who won ½-1½ [9]. At least in fast games, computers played better than humans but at classical time controls - at which a player's rating is determined - the advantage was not so clear.

In the early 2000s, commercially available programs such as Junior and Fritz were able to draw matches against former world champion Garry Kasparov and classical world champion Vladimir Kramnik.

In October 2002, Vladimir Kramnik and Deep Fritz competed in the eight-game Brains in Bahrain match, which ended in a draw. Kramnik won games 2 and 3 by "conventional" anti-computer tactics - play conservatively for a long-term advantage the computer is not able to see in its game tree search. Fritz, however, won game 5 after a severe blunder by Kramnik. Game 6 was described by the tournament commentators as "spectacular." Kramnik, in a better position in the early middlegame, tried a piece sacrifice to achieve a strong tactical attack, a strategy known to be highly risky against computers who are at their strongest defending against such attacks. True to form, Fritz found a watertight defense and Kramnik's attack petered out leaving him in a bad position. Kramnik resigned the game, believing the position lost. However, post-game human and computer analysis has shown that the Fritz program was unlikely to have been able to force a win and Kramnik effectively sacrificed a drawn position. The final two games were draws. Given the circumstances, most commentators still rate Kramnik the stronger player in the match.[citation needed]

In January 2003, Garry Kasparov played Junior, another chess computer program, in New York. The match ended 3-3.

In November 2003, Garry Kasparov played X3D Fritz. The match ended 2-2.

In 2005, Hydra, a dedicated chess computer with custom hardware and sixty-four processors and also winner of the 14th IPCCC in 2005, defeated seventh-ranked Michael Adams 5½-½ in a six-game match (though Adams' preparation was far less thorough than Kramnik's for the 2002 series).[10]

In November-December 2006, World Champion Vladimir Kramnik played Deep Fritz. This time the computer won, the match ended 2-4. Kramnik was able to view the computer's opening book. In the first five games Kramnik steered the game into a typical "anti-computer" positional contest. He lost one game (overlooking a mate in one), and drew the next four. In the final game, in an attempt to draw the match, Kramnik played the more aggressive Sicilian Defence and was crushed.

There was speculation that interest in human-computer chess competition would plummet as a result of the 2006 Kramnik-Deep Fritz match. According to McGill University computer science professor Monty Newborn, for example, "the science is done".[11] [17][18]Chessmaster 10th edition running on Windows XPHuman-computer chess matches showed the best computer systems overtaking human chess champions in the late 1990s. For the 40 years prior to that, the trend had been that the best machines gained about 40 points per year in the ELO ranking while the best humans only gained roughly 2 points per year.[12] There was speculation that audience interest in human-computer chess competition would wane as a result of matches such as the 2006 Kramnik-Deep Fritz match in which Kramnik lost the match 4 games to 2.[13] The highest rating obtained by a computer in human competition was Deep Thought's USCF rating of 2551 in 1988 and FIDE no longer accepts human-computer results in their rating lists. Specialized machine-only ELO pools have been created for rating machines but such numbers, while similar in appearance, should not be directly compared.[14] A recent top chess engine, Rybka, has an estimated ELO rating of about 3200 (when running on an up-to-date PC, as computed by SSDF).

Chess engines continue to improve. In 2009 chess engines running on slower hardware have reached the grandmaster level. A mobile phone won a category 6 tournament with a performance rating 2898: chess engine Hiarcs 13 running as the Pocket Fritz 4 on the mobile phone HTC Touch HD won the Copa Mercosur tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina with 9 wins and 1 draw on August 4-14, 2009. [15]

Advanced Chess is a form of chess developed in 1998 by Kasparov where a human plays against another human, and both have access to computers to enhance their strength. The resulting "advanced" player was argued by Kasparov to be stronger than a human or computer alone, although this has not been proven.

Solving chessEdit

Using Levitt theory and a powerfull CPU (Although recently even the slowest of CPU's can reach grandmaser level), it would be mathematically impossible for a human to beat a computer. The solution for chess is solvable at present using only brute force..

The Final Theory of Chess (2008) argues that resolving the debate over whether White wins, Black wins, or the game is a draw in certain openings is both possible and practical given today's technology. Provided that chess researchers limit their analysis to opening systems which tend to lead to forcing lines where the opponent has limited options, (e.g. Blackmar-Diemer gambit), researchers can concentrate their efforts upon far fewer variations than would be necessary for many other highly fluid openings. A Final Theory of Chess wiki has been developed in order to put this theory into practice.

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