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spurtus 157 ( +1 | -1 )
Computer beating tactics
Just wanted to share some of the tactics I use to beat computers... anybody got any others to add?... or others tips to share?

- Break out of opening book ASAP.
- Be reluctant to exchange down with no advantage, more peices means more computation.
- Play closed positions, with solid defenses... its easy to see an attack coming, and you can keep defending until the computer goes suicidal and sacs a knight for a couple of pawns.
- Dont enter the endgame that is covered by its table bases,... i.e. the computer knows every possible move sequence to win with a pawn and king if possible, and will know the knight and bishop too!
- Dont be afraid to keep the opponents pieces moving, even if repetition is likely, you can often get a draw, simply because the computer refuses to budge from a position... there are many ways of inviting draws I have seen even when the computer does not want one.
- the old chestnut of a computer sacrificing all its pieces is a rare but possible tactic, it involves a position where it cannot see beyond a point in the game and can only see a loss of a major piece at the end of its search, hence will sacrifice anything to prevent this.( I seem to recall )
- Closed flank openings I have found to be strong.
- Always concentrate on passed pawn / pawn majority end games... consider sacrifices to produce these positions... its hard for the computer to see what the human brain can compute as a passed pawn that will queen if not attended soon enough.

Thats All,
parrvert 0 ( +1 | -1 )
pull the plug! :-)
anaxagoras 26 ( +1 | -1 )
My only comment is that what you call 'tactics' would be more appropriately called 'strategies.' Other than that, your experiences agree with my own. Playing a computer to a draw is not so difficult if that is your aim, but it can get kind of boring.
gnuvince 15 ( +1 | -1 )
Here's a tip: get the source code of the program and make some changes to the AI thinking :) For example, a make a pawn worth 15 points and a queen worth 2 ;)
philaretus 20 ( +1 | -1 )
Simpler still: make the King worth 1 point. In the programs his value is set at a high level, more than 40 points, I think. This is to dissuade the program from sacrificing the King. :)
anaxagoras 20 ( +1 | -1 )
I like what Reinfeld has to say about the value of the King:

"If you want to be mathematical about it, you might say the King's value is equal to infinity! And if you're checkmated, your King's value is equal to zero."
maca 6 ( +1 | -1 )
Especially Swapping the queens is good way to reduce the computer's power.
spurtus 26 ( +1 | -1 )
I'm surprised... maca...?....

I thought keeping the queens was better, since the possible moves get massively more complex to search with the mobility that the queen has.... conversely locked pawns and unmovable pieces do not add much to the search complexity.

peppe_l 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Spurtus In general exchanging queens IS a good way to minimize losing chances when playing vs program. (Tactical) complexity favours computers, not humans. Have a look at first games of Kramnik - Fritz match...
coyotefan 4 ( +1 | -1 )
spurtus GENIOUS! Why were you not a second for Kasparov?
loreta 18 ( +1 | -1 )
My opinion Computers are especially weak in end-games and their main strength is tactics { not strategy}... They are weak against sacrifices for long term benefits {and they don't do them, too}...
soikins 24 ( +1 | -1 )
loreta The mentioned ideas are well known but IMHO too general. Computers have made some steps forward. Just look at Junior sacrificing pawns for initiative or Shredder winning a nice endgame against GM P. Acs recently.
maca 63 ( +1 | -1 )
Swapping queens + endgame For example, in game Kramnik-Fritz, just as peppe_i said, Kramnik exchanged queens in some games, and if i remember correctly, he won or drew all of those games...

It might be that computers are weaker in endgames, but there were rumors about the kramnik - fritz - match about perfect endgame databases and so, and if those rumors are correct, it would be almost imbossible to win a computer program in endgame.


Ps. of course, i might be wrong. i'm not very strong player
philaretus 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Is chess coming to the end of its life as a game between human beings (except on the most casual level)? Perhaps in the future it will be a spectator-sport, with human crowds watching two computers play.
peppe_l 152 ( +1 | -1 )
Internet has more knowledge Than any human has, and yet playing Trivial Pursuit is as fun as ever. You know you COULD find all the answers from Google, but I cant see how it affects the joy of playing.

Pick up almost any Olympic sport and I bet computers and machines can do it better, and yet millions of people watch humans run in circles :-)

What makes human vs human games interesting is the fact that everyone has different playing style, and yes - mistakes! Plus isnt it true a brilliant combination is much more impressive when it is found by someone like us? Ask yourselves this - are you impressed if your calculator says 4256 * 5963 = 25378528? No? Well, are you impressed if fellow human being calculates the same thing in two seconds? Unless your name is Rain Man, I assume the answer is yes...

IMO chess programs have only managed to make humans look even more impressive - you have basically a mathematical game and yet Deep Blue has to calculate 5 billion moves per minute to beat someone who calculates few dozens of moves per minute at best. The way I see it that is pathetic :-) and certainly shows "artificial intelligence of chess programs" is nothing more than a distant dream.

I am wondering why on earth spectators would like to watch two computers play? Does chess audience really care are the games "perfect" or not?

Well, I hope this dark prophecy will not come true, because if Fritz 14.0 vs Deepest Junior 12.2 is all we get, my days as a spectator are over.

Luckily I am pretty sure it wont happen...

spurtus 62 ( +1 | -1 )
Apparently? ( couple of years ago technology )... you would need a computer the size of the moon to hold all the information that the human brain can store.

I think I must be storing a lot of useless informaton though!

Ponder this though... if you had the fastest deepest searching computer ever, and you matched it against itself, what would happen?... would it always draw?... or would it find a forcing line from move one?... or would white always win?... and even, if it knew every possible outcome from a move ( it is finite I believe ) then how could it possibly make a decision?

philaretus 48 ( +1 | -1 )
Consider the present condition of two examples of physical sport. Olympic athletes are monsters, charged up with drugs and hormones. Professional basketball is played by teams of 7ft. tall stick-insects, who can almost reach up and place the ball in the basket. The spectators seem to accept the fact that the players, in comparison with themselves, are scarcely human. It's not a big step to using robots to play these sports. So why not games of chess between computers becoming the norm?
finduriel 131 ( +1 | -1 )
identification Even though computers might be better at some things, one cannot identify with them. Have you ever heard anybody say "I model my playing style after Fritz 8.0"?
I am a fan of lets say certain basketball players because I like them, I like the individual way how they move on the court, I like how they present themselves off court. I dislike other players for the same reasons. Just look how much attention Kobe Bryant's alleged sex crime has attracted. It was on prime time on CNN all the time. Computers can't give us that sort of thrill, can they?

Los Angeles (AP) Mulholland Drive witnessed a terrible crime scene yesterday. Fritz was driving to the LA CCC (computer chess championships) with his kid Junior in the back of his van, when a middle-aged woman suddenly jumped in front of the car, holding a sobig worm in front of her and demanding that Fritz leave the car. The woman got into the car herself and drove of, holding Junior for ransom. Fritz later described the woman as wearing a black leather coat, black leggins and a black top with white letters on it: IARC. Rumors about a connection to the upcoming 24 GHz match against Shredder remain without foundation in fact, but police are awaiting the kidnapper's demands.
Shredder was not available for comment.