solve for chess

Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

In Matiyasevich's book on Hilbert's 10th problem, there was a passage on
how it was undecidable for a result of a game to be determined from an
arbitrary game. Is it still possible for a unavoidable algorithm/gambit
for a win/loss/stalemat for either black or white to be determined. If
so, what is computational complexity of solving chess?


--
entropy
47 answers Last reply
More about solve chess
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    Of course, strictly speaking chess can be solved. It is a finite game,
    with a specific starting point and a limited set of moves that can be
    made from any position. Therefore, it is POSSIBLE to determine best
    play for any position by analyzing the tree of all possible moves for
    that position all the way out to their game-ending state, exactly like
    endgame databases do now.

    However, EGDBs are at this time only created for up to 6 pieces on the
    board. It's a VERY LONG WAY until we have the answer for all 32 pieces.
    It's taken about 6-8 years just to go from 5 to 6 pieces as being the
    "state of the art", because of the necessary computation time and
    storage requirements.

    How long will it take to get to 32 pieces? Even if progress is linear
    (and it won't be), at best it's going to take close to 200 years before
    chess is solved!

    jm
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    > I wasn't aware of the entire 6 man Nalimov tablebases being completed.
    > Do you have a source and a hard figure for how many bytes it takes
    > to hold all of the 3-man, 4-man, 5-man and 6-man Nalimov tablebases?

    IIRC, the entire 6-man tablebases in De Koning format were completed
    quite some time ago (meaning, possibly as much as a year ago) by Marc
    Bourzutschky. I do not know how much space they take up, but I have a
    vague memory of somebody saying that it was around 1.7 TB. I don't even
    know if he kept all of them, as his main goal was to produce the most
    interesting ones to verify certain well-known studies.

    I'm pretty sure that Nalimov has personally completed all of the TBs in
    his format, but hasn't published them all yet.

    Guy Haworth, who keeps abreast of these things, might know more of the
    particulars.

    jm
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8Bit


    JVMerlino@aol.com wrote:

    >However, EGDBs are at this time only created for up to 6 pieces on the
    >board. It's a VERY LONG WAY until we have the answer for all 32 pieces.
    >It's taken about 6-8 years just to go from 5 to 6 pieces as being the
    >"state of the art", because of the necessary computation time and
    >storage requirements.

    I wasn't aware of the entire 6 man Nalimov tablebases being completed.
    Do you have a source and a hard figure for how many bytes it takes
    to hold all of the 3-man, 4-man, 5-man and 6-man Nalimov tablebases?

    >How long will it take to get to 32 pieces? Even if progress is linear
    >(and it won't be), at best it's going to take close to 200 years before
    >chess is solved!

    Complete 3 man Nalimov Tablebase...80 kB (measured)
    Complete 3+4 man Nalimov Tablebases...30 MB (measured)
    Complete 3+4+5 man Nalimov Tablebases...7.5 GB (measured)
    Complete 3+4+5+6 man Nalimov Tablebases...1-2 TB (estimated)
    Complete 3+4+5+6+7 man Nalimov Tablebases...200-600 TB (estimated)
    Complete 3+4+5+6+7+8 man Nalimov Tablebase...40-180 PB (estimated)
    ....
    Complete 3+4+5+...+30+31+32 man Nalimov Tatablebases...????

    I welcome any estimates that are better than the ones above,
    and I especially welcome anyone who has the courage to give me
    an estimate to replace the ??? above. I would also very much
    like some data on how long it takes/took to generate each set.

    --
    Guy Macon <http://www.guymacon.com/>


    ------------------------------------------------------------

    BTW, Here is a handy reference for expressing large numbers:

    *************************************************************

    SHORT VERSION:

    k kilo- 1.0E+3 x1,000 Thousand(US,UK)
    M mega- 1.0E+6 x1,000,000 Million (US,UK)
    G giga- 1.0E+9 x1,000,000,000 Billion(US)
    T tera- 1.0E+12 x1,000,000,000,000 Trillion(US), Billion(UK)
    P peta- 1.0E+15 x1,000,000,000,000,000 Quadrillion(US)
    E exa- 1.0E+18 x1,000,000,000,000,000,000 Quintillion(US), Trillion(UK)
    Z zetta- 1.0E+21 x1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Sextillion(US)
    Y yotta- 1.0E+24 x1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Septillion(US), Quadrillion(UK)

    Note: vendeka, xenna, xenno, and vendeko are bogus.
    Before you try using them, please read these pages:
    [ http://home.att.net/~numericana/answer/units.htm#prefix ]
    [ http://home.att.net/~numericana/answer/culture.htm#zillion ]
    [ http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/prefixes.html ]
    [ http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/binary.html ]

    LONG VERSION:

    *************************************************************

    NAMED POWERS OF TEN - US VERSION
    --------------------------------
    - N/A 1.0E+36 N/A 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000000 000 000 000
    - N/A 1.0E+33 decillion 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000000 000 000
    - N/A 1.0E+30 N/A 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000000 000
    - N/A 1.0E+27 octillion 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000000
    Y yotta- 1.0E+24 septillion 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
    Z zetta- 1.0E+21 sextillion 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
    E exa- 1.0E+18 quintillion 1 000 000 000 000 000 000
    P peta- 1.0E+15 quadrillion 1 000 000 000 000 000
    T tera- 1.0E+12 trillion 1 000 000 000 000
    G giga- 1.0E+9 billion 1 000 000 000
    M mega- 1.0E+6 million 1 000 000
    k kilo- 1.0E+3 thousand 1 000
    h hecto- 1.0E+2 hundred 100
    da deca- 1.0E+1 ten 10
    d deci- 1.0E-1 tenth 0.1
    c centi- 1.0E-2 hundredth 0.01
    m milli- 1.0E-3 thousandth 0.001
    µ micro- 1.0E-6 millionth 0.000 001
    n nano- 1.0E-9 billionth 0.000 000 001
    p pico- 1.0E-12 trillionth 0.000 000 000 001
    f femto- 1.0E-15 quadrillionth 0.000 000 000 000 001
    a atto- 1.0E-18 quintillionth 0.000 000 000 000 000 001
    z zepto- 1.0E-21 sextillionth 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 001
    y yocto- 1.0E-24 septillionth 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001
    - N/A 1.0E-27 octillionth 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001
    - N/A 1.0E-30 N/A 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001
    - N/A 1.0E-33 decillionth 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001
    - N/A 1.0E-36 N/A 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001

    Note: vendeka, xenna, xenno, and vendeko are bogus.
    Before you try using them, please read these pages:
    [ http://home.att.net/~numericana/answer/units.htm#prefix ]
    [ http://home.att.net/~numericana/answer/culture.htm#zillion ]
    [ http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/prefixes.html ]
    [ http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/binary.html ]

    *************************************************************

    NAMED POWERS OF TEN - UK VERSION
    --------------------------------
    - N/A 1.0E+36 sextillion 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000000 000 000 000
    - N/A 1.0E+33 N/A 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000000 000 000
    - N/A 1.0E+30 quintillion 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000000 000
    - N/A 1.0E+27 N/A 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000000
    Y yotta- 1.0E+24 quadrillion 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
    Z zetta- 1.0E+21 N/A 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
    E exa- 1.0E+18 trillion 1 000 000 000 000 000 000
    P peta- 1.0E+15 N/A 1 000 000 000 000 000
    T tera- 1.0E+12 billion 1 000 000 000 000
    G giga- 1.0E+9 milliard 1 000 000 000
    M mega- 1.0E+6 million 1 000 000
    k kilo- 1.0E+3 thousand 1 000
    h hecto- 1.0E+2 hundred 100
    da deca- 1.0E+1 ten 10
    d deci- 1.0E-1 tenth 0.1
    c centi- 1.0E-2 hundredth 0.01
    m milli- 1.0E-3 thousandth 0.001
    µ micro- 1.0E-6 millionth 0.000 001
    n nano- 1.0E-9 milliardh 0.000 000 001
    p pico- 1.0E-12 billionthh 0.000 000 000 001
    f femto- 1.0E-15 N/A 0.000 000 000 000 001
    a atto- 1.0E-18 trillionth 0.000 000 000 000 000 001
    z zepto- 1.0E-21 N/A 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 001
    y yocto- 1.0E-24 quadrillionth 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001
    - N/A 1.0E-27 N/A 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001
    - N/A 1.0E-30 quintillionth 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001
    - N/A 1.0E-33 N/A 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001
    - N/A 1.0E-36 sextillionth 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001

    Note: vendeka, xenna, xenno, and vendeko are bogus.
    Before you try using them, please read these pages:
    [ http://home.att.net/~numericana/answer/units.htm#prefix ]
    [ http://home.att.net/~numericana/answer/culture.htm#zillion ]
    [ http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/prefixes.html ]
    [ http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/binary.html ]

    *************************************************************

    --
    Guy Macon <http://www.guymacon.com/>
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    JVMerlino@aol.com wrote:
    > Of course, strictly speaking chess can be solved. It is a finite game,
    > with a specific starting point and a limited set of moves that can be
    > made from any position. Therefore, it is POSSIBLE to determine best
    > play for any position by analyzing the tree of all possible moves for
    > that position all the way out to their game-ending state, exactly like
    > endgame databases do now.

    It isn't possible, for two reasons: first, because there is no
    meaningful definition of "best play" for *every* position; and second,
    because even deciding what a "good" move is, in any provable sense,
    requires full advance knowledge of the response of one's opponent under
    every possible variation from that position onward; this is not
    forthcoming from human players, and even chess engines may employ
    partial move randomization. A move in chess is frequently only
    potentially good or bad, depending upon the subsequent sequence, and
    some moves that are bad in the short term may end up being good, or
    even decisive, in the long term, in ways that are unpredictable at the
    time they are made (because the subsequent move sequence is unknown and
    unknowable). Even the blunder of a piece may result in the
    repositioning of other pieces in a way that permits the blunderer to
    force mate in some future position, i.e., a blunder may inadvertently
    place the right piece in the right place at what (in a future position)
    will be the right time; this is equivalent to a very long range
    combination, except that it is inadvertent.

    Let the position to be analyzed be the opening of the game from the
    starting position, before White moves. There is no "best play" for
    White. What criterion does one use for "best"? To achieve checkmate
    in the shortest number of moves? The shortest mate possible is not a
    static figure because subsequent moves alter the position and thus the
    figure, and it is not generally possible ahead of time to know which
    moves will be made by one's opponent; therefore nothing can be proven
    except provisionally, and the conditions upon which this provisional
    proof are predicated may change with subsequent moves. Furthermore,
    there are many ways to checkmate in, say, 20 moves. Which of them is
    "best"? Even in the case where a forced mate exists from a given
    position, more than one forced mate of the same (shortest) number of
    moves may be possible from that position. Furthermore, not every
    position is guaranteed to result in a forced mate, and there may also
    be many ways to draw in cases where it is possible to force a draw --
    not to mention many ways to lose in cases where it is possible to lose!

    For all of these reasons, it is not possible to "solve" chess.

    Mark Adkins
    msadkins04@yahoo.com
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    P.S. To further clarify what I have written below: It is not even
    theoretically possible to solve chess, no matter what the computing
    power involved. Until a position is reached where a forced mate is
    guaranteed, there is no move sequence proven to win; and because such
    positions are always in advance of the starting position, a computer
    will never be able to determine whether it (or its opponent) can force
    mate until *after* some unknown (and unknowable) future move of its
    opponent places the board in such a position.

    msadkins04@yahoo.com wrote:
    > JVMerlino@aol.com wrote:
    > > Of course, strictly speaking chess can be solved. It is a finite game,
    > > with a specific starting point and a limited set of moves that can be
    > > made from any position. Therefore, it is POSSIBLE to determine best
    > > play for any position by analyzing the tree of all possible moves for
    > > that position all the way out to their game-ending state, exactly like
    > > endgame databases do now.
    >
    > It isn't possible, for two reasons: first, because there is no
    > meaningful definition of "best play" for *every* position; and second,
    > because even deciding what a "good" move is, in any provable sense,
    > requires full advance knowledge of the response of one's opponent under
    > every possible variation from that position onward; this is not
    > forthcoming from human players, and even chess engines may employ
    > partial move randomization. A move in chess is frequently only
    > potentially good or bad, depending upon the subsequent sequence, and
    > some moves that are bad in the short term may end up being good, or
    > even decisive, in the long term, in ways that are unpredictable at the
    > time they are made (because the subsequent move sequence is unknown and
    > unknowable). Even the blunder of a piece may result in the
    > repositioning of other pieces in a way that permits the blunderer to
    > force mate in some future position, i.e., a blunder may inadvertently
    > place the right piece in the right place at what (in a future position)
    > will be the right time; this is equivalent to a very long range
    > combination, except that it is inadvertent.
    >
    > Let the position to be analyzed be the opening of the game from the
    > starting position, before White moves. There is no "best play" for
    > White. What criterion does one use for "best"? To achieve checkmate
    > in the shortest number of moves? The shortest mate possible is not a
    > static figure because subsequent moves alter the position and thus the
    > figure, and it is not generally possible ahead of time to know which
    > moves will be made by one's opponent; therefore nothing can be proven
    > except provisionally, and the conditions upon which this provisional
    > proof are predicated may change with subsequent moves. Furthermore,
    > there are many ways to checkmate in, say, 20 moves. Which of them is
    > "best"? Even in the case where a forced mate exists from a given
    > position, more than one forced mate of the same (shortest) number of
    > moves may be possible from that position. Furthermore, not every
    > position is guaranteed to result in a forced mate, and there may also
    > be many ways to draw in cases where it is possible to force a draw --
    > not to mention many ways to lose in cases where it is possible to lose!
    >
    > For all of these reasons, it is not possible to "solve" chess.
    >
    > Mark Adkins
    > msadkins04@yahoo.com
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    msadkins04@yahoo.com wrote:
    > JVMerlino@aol.com wrote:
    > > Of course, strictly speaking chess can be solved. It is a finite game,
    > > with a specific starting point and a limited set of moves that can be
    > > made from any position. Therefore, it is POSSIBLE to determine best
    > > play for any position by analyzing the tree of all possible moves for
    > > that position all the way out to their game-ending state, exactly like
    > > endgame databases do now.
    >
    > It isn't possible, for two reasons: first, because there is no
    > meaningful definition of "best play" for *every* position; and second,
    > because even deciding what a "good" move is, in any provable sense,
    > requires full advance knowledge of the response of one's opponent under
    > every possible variation from that position onward; this is not
    > forthcoming from human players, and even chess engines may employ
    > partial move randomization. A move in chess is frequently only
    > potentially good or bad, depending upon the subsequent sequence, and
    > some moves that are bad in the short term may end up being good, or
    > even decisive, in the long term, in ways that are unpredictable at the
    > time they are made (because the subsequent move sequence is unknown and
    > unknowable). Even the blunder of a piece may result in the
    > repositioning of other pieces in a way that permits the blunderer to
    > force mate in some future position, i.e., a blunder may inadvertently
    > place the right piece in the right place at what (in a future position)
    > will be the right time; this is equivalent to a very long range
    > combination, except that it is inadvertent.
    >
    > Let the position to be analyzed be the opening of the game from the
    > starting position, before White moves. There is no "best play" for
    > White. What criterion does one use for "best"? To achieve checkmate
    > in the shortest number of moves? The shortest mate possible is not a
    > static figure because subsequent moves alter the position and thus the
    > figure, and it is not generally possible ahead of time to know which
    > moves will be made by one's opponent; therefore nothing can be proven
    > except provisionally, and the conditions upon which this provisional
    > proof are predicated may change with subsequent moves. Furthermore,
    > there are many ways to checkmate in, say, 20 moves. Which of them is
    > "best"? Even in the case where a forced mate exists from a given
    > position, more than one forced mate of the same (shortest) number of
    > moves may be possible from that position. Furthermore, not every
    > position is guaranteed to result in a forced mate, and there may also
    > be many ways to draw in cases where it is possible to force a draw --
    > not to mention many ways to lose in cases where it is possible to lose!
    >
    > For all of these reasons, it is not possible to "solve" chess.
    >
    > Mark Adkins
    > msadkins04@yahoo.com

    You're wrong, and it's very simple to prove.

    But, to start with the definition of "best play" that you asked for:
    -- For any position that can be shown as won by the side to move, it is
    the move(s) that result in the shortest mate.
    -- For any position that is drawn, it is any move that does not turn
    the position into a lost game.
    -- For any position that can as lost by the side to move, it is the
    move(s) that result in forcing the opponent to take the longest path to
    mate.

    This is exactly how DTM endgame databases define it, and they work very
    well for that purpose.

    But your argument about requiring "full advance knowledge of the
    response of one's opponent" is completely beside the point. If you have
    a won position, it doesn't matter what your opponent plays as long as
    you still have a won position after your move. The same is true for a
    drawn position. You also say that "a move in chess is frequently only
    potentially good or bad, depending upon the subsequent sequence", but
    if there are 6 pieces left on the board, and I have all 6-man EGDB
    files, there is no "potential" about it -- the move is not only either
    "good or bad", but is actually "best play or not best play". The entire
    set of legal moves for every position involving 6 men HAS been
    determined to be either "best play or not best play".

    Additionally, I never said that "solving chess" meant "finding a move
    that wins". Your clarification in your follow-up post seems to imply
    that this is something that I stated. But it is not true. I'm only
    talking about finding "best play" from the starting position -- not a
    WIN from the starting position.

    So, if it has been already done for 6 pieces, why not 7, or 8, or 16 or
    32? The exact same mechanism that has SOLVED chess for 6 pieces can
    solve it for a larger number of pieces. And once it is done for all 32
    pieces, (and it "only" needs to be solved from the starting position),
    chess will be solved.

    Whether the final result of chess is that it is drawn or won for White
    remains to be seen.

    jm

    p.s. And, yes, I'm aware of all the technical issues involving
    computing and storing the necessary data to get to this solution.
    That's not part of this discussion. In a mathematical sense, but not
    necessarily in a practical sense, chess can be solved.
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    JVMerlino@aol.com wrote:

    > You're wrong, and it's very simple to prove.
    >
    > But, to start with the definition of "best play" that you asked for:
    > -- For any position that can be shown as won by the side to move, it is
    > the move(s) that result in the shortest mate.

    Can't you read? I'm not talking about forced mates. What if the
    position can't be "shown as won"? Most positions in chess are open to
    win, loss, or draw, and many others are open to two of these: the
    result in such cases depends upon the subsequent sequence of moves, not
    upon the current position, and that sequence is unknowable since it
    requires knowledge not only of your own plans but also of how the other
    player will move.

    Even in a position permitting forced mate, while it is true that any
    move leading to mate is good, there may be more than one move sequence
    which results in mate in a minimum number of moves. Which is the
    "best" and why?

    > Additionally, I never said that "solving chess" meant "finding a move
    > that wins". Your clarification in your follow-up post seems to imply
    > that this is something that I stated. But it is not true. I'm only
    > talking about finding "best play" from the starting position -- not a
    > WIN from the starting position.

    And you have yet to meaningfully define this even for forced mate
    positions, much less for arbitrary positions! To say that chess is
    "solved", incidentally, means that there is an algorithm for winning
    from the starting position. There is not, for either side.


    Mark Adkins
    msadkins04@yahoo.com
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    Guy Macon wrote:

    > You are wrong. Chess can be solved, given enough computing power and
    > storage. (The computing power and storage required might be to large
    > to fit in the universe, but that's another discussion...)
    >
    > Here is a simple exercise that may help you to understand
    > your error:
    >
    > Make a simple paper-and-pencil list that allows perfect play of the
    > game of tic-tac-toe. You should easily be able to make a "if in
    > this position make this move" list that results in perfect play.
    > You will have to make two lists so you can play X or O.

    <snip>

    Guy Macon, you are a silly troll. Tic-tac-toe is solved, unlike chess.
    There is a way to win, always, provided you make the first move.

    Mark Adkins
    msadkins04@yahoo.com
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    msadkins04@yahoo.com wrote:

    >It isn't possible, for two reasons: first, because there is no
    >meaningful definition of "best play" for *every* position; and second,
    >because even deciding what a "good" move is, in any provable sense,
    >requires full advance knowledge of the response of one's opponent under
    >every possible variation from that position onward; this is not
    >forthcoming from human players, and even chess engines may employ
    >partial move randomization.

    You are wrong. Chess can be solved, given enough computing power and
    storage. (The computing power and storage required might be to large
    to fit in the universe, but that's another discussion...)

    Here is a simple exercise that may help you to understand
    your error:

    Make a simple paper-and-pencil list that allows perfect play of the
    game of tic-tac-toe. You should easily be able to make a "if in
    this position make this move" list that results in perfect play.
    You will have to make two lists so you can play X or O.

    Note that there is indeed a meaningful definition of "best play"
    for every possible tic-tac-toe position.

    Note that you do *not* need "full advance knowledge of the
    response of one's opponent under every possible variation from
    that position onward." All you need to know is the present
    position of the tic-tac-toe board and what move to make in
    that position.

    Note that it doesn't matter whether your opponent makes random
    moves, and it doesn't even matter whether he has his own list
    that allows him to play perfectly. You aren't considering any
    of his future moves. You are just looking up the current
    position on the list and making the move it tells you to make.

    Note that it doesn't even take any brains to generate your list.
    It can be generated by a stupid brute-force program with ease.

    This being Usenet, There is at least a 90% chance that you will
    either withdraw without further comment or defend your position.
    If you choose to defend it, please explain the difference between
    tic-tac-toe and chess other than the size and complexity of the
    move tree being much larger in chess.

    Also, please consider the fact that there exists a list such as
    I described above for every possible chess position having six or
    fewer men on the board. Please explain why someone with enough
    computing power and storage couldn't do the same for seven or eight
    man positions. Then explain why someone with enough computing power
    and storage couldn't do the same for one particular thirty-two man
    position.

    --
    Guy Macon <http://www.guymacon.com/>
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    msadkins04@yahoo.com wrote:

    >Tic-tac-toe is solved, unlike chess. There is a way
    >to win, always, provided you make the first move.

    Then you should have no problem beating me!

    1 2 3

    | |
    A | | X X X X X
    | |
    ------+------+------
    | |
    B | |
    | |
    ------+------+------
    | |
    C | | O O O O
    | |


    You get the first move. Place your X or give me a move
    such as C1 or A2. Show me by example that "There is
    a way to win, always, provided you make the first move."

    Refusal to play will be counted as a lost game of tic-tac-toe.

    --
    Guy Macon <http://www.guymacon.com/>
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    msadkins04@yahoo.com wrote:
    >
    >Guy Macon wrote:
    >
    >> You are wrong. Chess can be solved, given enough computing power and
    >> storage. (The computing power and storage required might be to large
    >> to fit in the universe, but that's another discussion...)
    >
    ><snip>
    >
    >Guy Macon, you are a silly troll.

    "When anyone resorts to personal attacks, it is almost always
    because they are losing an argument." -The Happy Heretic

    >Tic-tac-toe is solved, unlike chess. There is a way to win, always,
    >provided you make the first move.

    I suggest that, having gotten the *WRONG* answer for tic-tac-toe
    ("There is a way to win, always, provided you make the first move"
    is wrong, wrong. wrong!), that you abandon all attempts to figure
    out chess. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tic-tac-toe

    I note that you were unable to answer the simple question I asked.
    Evasion noted. Here is that question that you cannot answer again:

    There exists a "if in this position make this move" list that allows
    perfect play for every possible chess position having six or fewer men
    on the board. Again I ask you to please explain why someone with enough
    computing power and storage couldn't do the same for all seven or eight
    man positions. Again I ask you to then explain why someone with enough
    computing power and storage couldn't do the same for one particular
    thirty-two man position.

    If you refuse to answer again, I will take that as an admission that you
    cannot answer the question and as an admission that you are wrong.

    Now, are you going to address the question I just asked (for the second
    time) in a calm, rational manner, or are you going to engage in silly
    name calling? My killfile is awaiting your answer. After you fail to
    beat me a tic-tac-toe, of course. I predict that you will resign.

    --
    Guy Macon <http://www.guymacon.com/>
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    * <msadkins04@yahoo.com> (04:55) schrieb:

    > JVMerlino@aol.com wrote:
    >
    >> You're wrong, and it's very simple to prove.
    >>
    >> But, to start with the definition of "best play" that you asked for:
    >> -- For any position that can be shown as won by the side to move, it is
    >> the move(s) that result in the shortest mate.
    >
    > Can't you read? I'm not talking about forced mates.

    But it's all about forced mates.

    > What if the position can't be "shown as won"? Most positions in chess
    > are open to win, loss, or draw, and many others are open to two of
    > these:

    No there aren't. Every position in chess is either a forced win for
    white or for black, or a forced draw.

    > Even in a position permitting forced mate, while it is true that any
    > move leading to mate is good, there may be more than one move sequence
    > which results in mate in a minimum number of moves. Which is the
    > "best" and why?

    Any is. This is silly. No one demands there is a single best move in
    every position. Of course there may be many perfect games of chess. But
    they all end the same.

    > And you have yet to meaningfully define this even for forced mate
    > positions, much less for arbitrary positions! To say that chess is
    > "solved", incidentally, means that there is an algorithm for winning
    > from the starting position.

    No, it doesn't mean that.

    > There is not, for either side.

    There is none yet, and may never be. But theoretically it is possible.

    mfg, simon .... l
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    Simon Krahnke wrote:
    > * <msadkins04@yahoo.com> (04:55) schrieb:
    > > What if the position can't be "shown as won"? Most positions in chess
    > > are open to win, loss, or draw, and many others are open to two of
    > > these:
    >
    > No there aren't. Every position in chess is either a forced win for
    > white or for black, or a forced draw.

    It isn't. Take a look at the very first position, the starting
    position. Is that a forced mate for White, a forced mate for Black, or
    a forced draw? (Answer, none of the above.) You don't seem to know
    what "forced mate" or "forced draw" means. It doesn't mean that the
    game will eventually end in a mate for *someone* or else in a draw. If
    White has a forced mate, and Black is subject to forced mate, it means
    that, in the current position, every legal move possible to Black can
    be followed by a move by White which leads to Black being mated, and
    that this is true for every position subsequent to this. If, on the
    other hand, Black is free to choose, in a given position, from moves
    which do not satisfy these conditions, he is not subject to a forced
    mate.

    Never mind "best" moves -- it's easy to see that in most chess
    positions, there are not even provably good moves. There are two kinds
    of moves in chess commonly called "good":

    (1) Provably good moves. These include, for example, moves necessary
    to execute a forced mate.

    (2) Heuristically good moves. These are based on heuristic, or rule of
    thumb evaluations which use *relatively short term* algorithms weighing
    gains in material and/or position. By "relatively short term" I mean
    evaluations which end with some future position which is not
    end-of-game.

    Heuristically good moves are not always objectively good moves, because
    even when they are exhaustive with respect to their evaluation depth
    (and most of them aren't), they may lead to inferior positions over
    move-sequences which are deeper than this. That is, they may lead to
    short-term gain but longer-term loss, where the latter outweighs the
    former (e.g., leading to positions where forced mate is possible
    against one) even though they initially gain material and/or positional
    advantage and thus look good at the time they are made. Similarly,
    heuristically bad moves may lead to winning positions over a move-frame
    longer than their evaluation frame.

    Most positions in chess are ambiguous in that they permit a win, loss,
    or draw; in these cases, knowledge of game outcome depends upon the
    future move sequence and is not strictly inherent to the current
    position; and half of the future move-sequence is determined by your
    opponent. Thus, the data necessary to evaluate the position in any
    provable manner is missing; it is unknown and unknowable if your
    opponent is free to choose among alternatives that lead to *different*
    game outcomes.

    In most chess positions, therefore, there are no provably good moves,
    but only heuristically good moves, which may not be objectively good
    moves.

    >
    > > Even in a position permitting forced mate, while it is true that any
    > > move leading to mate is good, there may be more than one move sequence
    > > which results in mate in a minimum number of moves. Which is the
    > > "best" and why?
    >
    > Any is. This is silly. No one demands there is a single best move in
    > every position. Of course there may be many perfect games of chess. But
    > they all end the same.

    Evidently you don't know what the word "best" means. To say that there
    is "more than one best move" in a given position is an abuse of
    language. If there is a "best" move there is only one; otherwise,
    there are merely good moves or winning moves.

    >
    > > And you have yet to meaningfully define this even for forced mate
    > > positions, much less for arbitrary positions! To say that chess is
    > > "solved", incidentally, means that there is an algorithm for winning
    > > from the starting position.
    >
    > No, it doesn't mean that.

    Certainly it does. This reminds me of that awful troll, Guy Macon, who
    asserted in another thread that the semantic content of algebraic chess
    notation is "the game of chess" rather than the moves described by the
    symbols.

    >
    > > There is not, for either side.
    >
    > There is none yet, and may never be. But theoretically it is possible.
    >

    No, theoretically it is impossible, because the starting position of
    chess does not provide sufficient data, in and of itself, for such an
    algorithm; only after the future move sequence has caused the game to
    reach a point where provably good moves (e.g., a forced mate) exists,
    is an algorithm possible; and as long as the future move sequence is
    half-determined by the moves of an opponent which are unknown and
    unknowable in advance, that data is not available.

    The simple fact is that in most chess positions, a move is good or bad
    depending in part on how your opponent moves subsequently. A
    particular move might be good if your opponent then moves one way, and
    bad if your opponent moves another way; in such cases there are no
    objectively good moves independent of his future move seqeuence, much
    less a "best" move independent of this.

    Mark Adkins
    msadkins04@yahoo.com
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    David Richerby wrote:
    > Chess is a finite two-player game of perfect information. It follows that
    > every position is either a forced win for White, a forced win for Black or
    > is a draw with best play.

    It isn't a game of perfect information. A game of perfect information
    is one where, at every move, the current game position contains all
    data necessary to determine game outcome. That isn't true for chess:
    take a look at the starting position. What is additionally necessary,
    from that position, and from most subsequent positions, is the future
    move sequence; and that is unknown and unknowable when playing an
    opponent whose moves in every possible position aren't known or
    knowable in advance.

    It isn't even a finite game. It doesn't follow, from the basic rules
    of chess and from the fact that there are a finite number of
    theoretically possible arrangements of pieces on the board, that the
    number of moves in the game must be finite. That requires the
    imposition of additional rules (e.g., ending a game automatically if a
    position is repeated (not merely consecutively repeated) a finite
    number of times.

    >
    >
    > > Most positions in chess are open to win, loss, or draw, and many others
    > > are open to two of these: the result in such cases depends upon the
    > > subsequent sequence of moves, not upon the current position, and that
    > > sequence is unknowable since it requires knowledge not only of your own
    > > plans but also of how the other player will move.
    >
    > But there are only finitely many such plans and sequences of moves so one
    > could, in principle, check each one of them and find the best.

    No, because there is no "best" move, in every position, independent of
    all possible future moves (including those of one's opponent); there
    are in most cases moves that are only provisionally good or bad,
    conditional upon the future move sequence. Since that has yet to
    occur, the data is not available. This is *imperfect* or incomplete
    knowledge.

    >
    >
    > > Even in a position permitting forced mate, while it is true that any
    > > move leading to mate is good, there may be more than one move sequence
    > > which results in mate in a minimum number of moves. Which is the
    > > "best" and why?
    >
    > There is no requirement for a unique best move. If you had to choose
    > between them, you could always use some arbitrary criterion such as the
    > one with the alphabetically first notation.

    OF COURSE there is such a requirement, because the word "best" requires
    it, semantically! In some position where it can be demonstrated that
    15 forced mates exist, each requiring the same provably minimum number
    of moves, there is NO "best move": there are 15 winning moves. They
    are all equally good, at least on the basis of length.

    >
    >
    > > To say that chess is "solved", incidentally, means that there is an
    > > algorithm for winning from the starting position.
    >
    > It means no such thing!

    Yes it does.

    > There are several definitions of `solved'. A
    > game is `ultra-weakly solved' if we know the theoretical result from the
    > initial position (e.g., `chess is a win for White'), is `weakly solved' if
    > we know how to achieve the theoretical result from the initial position
    > and is `strongly solved' if we know how to achieve the theoretical result
    > from every legal position. When people talk about `solving chess', they
    > usually mean one of the last two.

    The term used was "solved" (without weakening qualifier). Note that
    "knowing how to achieve the theoretical result from every legal
    position" implies knowing how to achieve it from the starting position.
    That is, solving chess means discovering an algorithm for reaching the
    theoretical result from the starting position. Now, what is "the
    theoretical solution" where the game of chess is concerned? The
    theoretical problem isn't how to lose, or how to tie: the theoretical
    problem is how to win. The theoretical solution to the game of chess
    is therefore an algorithm guaranteeing a win from the starting
    position. THAT is what is usually meant by "to solve chess".

    Mark Adkins
    msadkins04@yahoo.com
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    David Richerby wrote:
    > <msadkins04@yahoo.com> wrote:
    > > Tic-tac-toe is solved, unlike chess.
    >
    > Correct. It sounds to me like you're trying to say that we can't solve
    > chess because we don't know how to play it perfectly. But `solving chess'
    > means exactly the same thing as `knowing how to play chess perfectly'!

    You're presuming, in defiance of logic, that there IS such a thing as
    "perfect chess play". I've tried to demonstrate that it is precisely
    the theoretical absence of such play which renders chess unsolvable.

    >
    > > There is a way to win [Tic-Tac-Toe], always, provided you make the first
    > > move.
    >
    > No, both players can force a draw after any initial move, though it is
    > possible to make a losing second move.
    >

    I have never been a Tic-Tac-Toe afficionado, but I do recall, with
    reasonable certainty, reading and (and discussing with others) a way to
    win at the game provided one moves first. Now, all evidence of such an
    algorithm seems to have vanished. This does not surprise me very much,
    considering the fact that this is a pseudo-reality which seems to
    undergo a variety of fundamental "editing" so that (for example) events
    which occurred in the past vanish from record; also, I am used to
    dealing with pseudo-sentients like yourself, who lie compulsively and
    habitually, from a pathological contrarianism. My recollections of the
    Tic-Tac-Toe algorithm are from school days, many decades ago, and it
    might, possibly, have been erroneous: I do not recall exhaustively
    analyzing it, but it made sense to me at the time; now, however, there
    seems to be no recoverable record of it -- the closest thing being the
    assertion of a winning algorithm for 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe. I routinely see
    advertisements for "new release" movies which I KNOW, with absolute
    rather than merely reasonable certainty, have been out before, years
    ago, though all archival evidence of this disappears by the time the
    events reoccur. The same is true for many newspaper stories, magazine
    covers, and obituaries. As for Tic-Tac-Toe, I really don't care enough
    to try to reconstruct what was once widely published as a winning
    method. Perhaps it never was what it claimed to be: but something
    claiming to be this certainly held nearly universal circulation.

    Mark Adkins
    msadkins04@yahoo.com
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    > It isn't even a finite game.

    Ok, you're clearly delusional, extremely bad at math, or (most likely)
    just a troll.

    To say that chess is not a finite game is so laughably and
    fundamentally wrong means that there is absolutely no point in arguing
    with you any more.

    *plonk*

    jm
  17. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    Guy Macon <http://www.guymacon.com/> wrote:
    > T tera- 1.0E+12 billion 1 000 000 000 000
    > G giga- 1.0E+9 milliard 1 000 000 000

    In the UK, it's becoming much more common to use `billion' for 10^9, as in
    the US.


    Dave.

    --
    David Richerby Lead Sushi (TM): it's like a raw fish
    www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ that weighs a ton!
  18. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    <msadkins04@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >JVMerlino@aol.com wrote:
    >> You're wrong, and it's very simple to prove.
    >>
    >> But, to start with the definition of "best play" that you asked for:
    >> -- For any position that can be shown as won by the side to move, it is
    >> the move(s) that result in the shortest mate.
    >
    > Can't you read? I'm not talking about forced mates. What if the
    > position can't be "shown as won"?

    Chess is a finite two-player game of perfect information. It follows that
    every position is either a forced win for White, a forced win for Black or
    is a draw with best play.


    > Most positions in chess are open to win, loss, or draw, and many others
    > are open to two of these: the result in such cases depends upon the
    > subsequent sequence of moves, not upon the current position, and that
    > sequence is unknowable since it requires knowledge not only of your own
    > plans but also of how the other player will move.

    But there are only finitely many such plans and sequences of moves so one
    could, in principle, check each one of them and find the best.


    > Even in a position permitting forced mate, while it is true that any
    > move leading to mate is good, there may be more than one move sequence
    > which results in mate in a minimum number of moves. Which is the
    > "best" and why?

    There is no requirement for a unique best move. If you had to choose
    between them, you could always use some arbitrary criterion such as the
    one with the alphabetically first notation.


    > To say that chess is "solved", incidentally, means that there is an
    > algorithm for winning from the starting position.

    It means no such thing! There are several definitions of `solved'. A
    game is `ultra-weakly solved' if we know the theoretical result from the
    initial position (e.g., `chess is a win for White'), is `weakly solved' if
    we know how to achieve the theoretical result from the initial position
    and is `strongly solved' if we know how to achieve the theoretical result
    from every legal position. When people talk about `solving chess', they
    usually mean one of the last two.


    Dave.

    --
    David Richerby Devil Watch (TM): it's like a
    www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ precision chronometer that's possessed
    by Satan!
  19. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    <msadkins04@yahoo.com> wrote:
    > Guy Macon, you are a silly troll.

    You're starting to look very silly yourself, Mark, but I'll be charitable
    and assume you're not trolling yourself. Somebody once said that one can
    afford to be obnoxious or wrong but not both at once.


    > Tic-tac-toe is solved, unlike chess.

    Correct. It sounds to me like you're trying to say that we can't solve
    chess because we don't know how to play it perfectly. But `solving chess'
    means exactly the same thing as `knowing how to play chess perfectly'!
    (Unless we mean ultra-weakly solving chess, but the whole point of ultra-
    weak solution is that you don't need to know how to play perfectly.)


    > There is a way to win, always, provided you make the first move.

    No, both players can force a draw after any initial move, though it is
    possible to make a losing second move.


    Dave.

    --
    David Richerby Carnivorous Whisky (TM): it's like a
    www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ single-malt whisky but it eats flesh!
  20. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    msadkins04@yahoo.com wrote:

    >It isn't. Take a look at the very first position, the starting
    >position. Is that a forced mate for White, a forced mate for Black, or
    >a forced draw? (Answer, none of the above.)

    CORRECT answer: *one* of the above (we don't know which one,
    but we know for sure that it is one of those three.)

    I am still waiting for your tic-tac-toe move... Do you resign?
  21. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    msadkins04@yahoo.com wrote:

    >I have never been a Tic-Tac-Toe afficionado, but I do recall, with
    >reasonable certainty, reading and (and discussing with others) a way to
    >win at the game provided one moves first. Now, all evidence of such an
    >algorithm seems to have vanished. This does not surprise me very much,
    >considering the fact that this is a pseudo-reality which seems to
    >undergo a variety of fundamental "editing" so that (for example) events
    >which occurred in the past vanish from record; also, I am used to
    >dealing with pseudo-sentients like yourself, who lie compulsively and
    >habitually, from a pathological contrarianism. My recollections of the
    >Tic-Tac-Toe algorithm are from school days, many decades ago, and it
    >might, possibly, have been erroneous: I do not recall exhaustively
    >analyzing it, but it made sense to me at the time; now, however, there
    >seems to be no recoverable record of it -- the closest thing being the
    >assertion of a winning algorithm for 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe. I routinely see
    >advertisements for "new release" movies which I KNOW, with absolute
    >rather than merely reasonable certainty, have been out before, years
    >ago, though all archival evidence of this disappears by the time the
    >events reoccur. The same is true for many newspaper stories, magazine
    >covers, and obituaries. As for Tic-Tac-Toe, I really don't care enough
    >to try to reconstruct what was once widely published as a winning
    >method. Perhaps it never was what it claimed to be: but something
    >claiming to be this certainly held nearly universal circulation.

    So you refuse to admit that there is no winning method for tic-tac-toe,
    and you prefer to believe that somehow archival evidence of something
    as well-publicized as a movie release disappears than to believe the
    obvious - that you are delusional. Alas, you aren't one of those nice
    delusional people who are charming and fiendly, but are instead one of
    those nasty delusional people who engage in unprovoked personal attacks
    on anyone who questions your version of "reality."

    Here are some definitions that you should be aware of:

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Kook

    [Usenet; originally and more formally, `net.kook'] Term used to
    describe a regular poster who continually posts messages with
    no apparent grounding in reality. Different from a troll, which
    implies a sort of sly wink on the part of a poster who knows
    better, kooks really believe what they write, to the extent that
    they believe anything.

    The kook trademark is paranoia and grandiosity. Kooks will often
    build up elaborate imaginary support structures, fake corporations
    and the like, and continue to act as if those things are real even
    after their falsity has been documented in public.

    While they may appear harmless, and are usually filtered out by
    the other regular participants in a newsgroup of mailing list,
    they can still cause problems because the necessity for these
    measures is not immediately apparent to newcomers; there are
    several instances on record, for example, of journalists writing
    stories with quotes from kooks who caught them unaware.

    See also Troll

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Troll

    1. v.,n. [From the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban] To utter a posting
    on Usenet designed to attract predictable responses or flames; or, the
    post itself. Derives from the phrase "trolling for newbies" which in
    turn comes from mainstream "trolling", a style of fishing in which one
    trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite.
    The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and
    flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do,
    while subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in
    fact a deliberate troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be
    in on it. See also YHBT.

    2. n. An individual who chronically trolls in sense 1; regularly posts
    specious arguments, flames or personal attacks to a newsgroup,
    discussion list, or in email for no other purpose than to annoy someone
    or disrupt a discussion. Trolls are recognizable by the fact that they
    have no real interest in learning about the topic at hand - they simply
    want to utter flame bait. Like the ugly creatures they are named after,
    they exhibit no redeeming characteristics, and as such, they are
    recognized as a lower form of life on the net, as in, "Oh, ignore him,
    he's just a troll."

    Some people claim that the troll (sense 1) is properly a narrower
    category than flame bait, that a troll is categorized by containing
    some assertion that is wrong but not overtly controversial.

    The use of `troll' in either sense is a live metaphor that readily
    produces elaborations and combining forms. For example, one not
    infrequently sees the warning "Do not feed the troll" as part of
    a followup to troll postings.

    See also Kook.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Killfile

    [Usenet; very common] (alt. `KILL file') Per-user file(s) used by some
    Usenet reading programs (originally Larry Wall's rn(1)) to discard
    summarily (without presenting for reading) articles matching some
    particularly uninteresting (or unwanted) patterns of subject, author,
    or other header lines. Thus to add a person (or subject) to one's kill
    file is to arrange for that person to be ignored by one's newsreader in
    future. By extension, it may be used for a decision to ignore the
    person or subject in other media.

    See also plonk.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Plonk

    [Usenet: possibly influenced by British slang `plonk' for cheap booze,
    or `plonker' for someone behaving stupidly (latter is lit. equivalent
    to Yiddish `schmuck')] The sound a newbie makes as he falls to the
    bottom of a kill file. While it originated in the newsgroup talk.bizarre,
    this term (usually written "*plonk*") is now (1994) widespread on Usenet.

    See also killfile.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
  22. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    msadkins04@yahoo.com wrote:
    >
    >David Richerby wrote:
    >> Chess is a finite two-player game of perfect information. It follows that
    >> every position is either a forced win for White, a forced win for Black or
    >> is a draw with best play.
    >
    >It isn't a game of perfect information.

    Learn what "a game of perfect information" is and then we can talk.
  23. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    * <msadkins04@yahoo.com> (18:38) schrieb:

    > Simon Krahnke wrote:
    >> * <msadkins04@yahoo.com> (04:55) schrieb:
    >>> What if the position can't be "shown as won"? Most positions in chess
    >>> are open to win, loss, or draw, and many others are open to two of
    >>> these:
    >>
    >> No there aren't. Every position in chess is either a forced win for
    >> white or for black, or a forced draw.
    >
    > It isn't. Take a look at the very first position, the starting
    > position. Is that a forced mate for White, a forced mate for Black, or
    > a forced draw? (Answer, none of the above.)

    It's a forced win for black. Yes, I can prove that, but won't.

    > You don't seem to know what "forced mate" or "forced draw" means.

    Well, let's check if you know.

    > It doesn't mean that the game will eventually end in a mate for
    > *someone* or else in a draw. If White has a forced mate, and Black is
    > subject to forced mate, it means that, in the current position, every
    > legal move possible to Black can be followed by a move by White which
    > leads to Black being mated, and that this is true for every position
    > subsequent to this. If, on the other hand, Black is free to choose, in
    > a given position, from moves which do not satisfy these conditions, he
    > is not subject to a forced mate.

    Whoa, you not only know it, you dare to publish it.

    > Never mind "best" moves -- it's easy to see that in most chess
    > positions, there are not even provably good moves.

    There are.

    > There are two kinds of moves in chess commonly called "good":
    >
    > (1) Provably good moves. These include, for example, moves necessary
    > to execute a forced mate.

    And that includes at least one move in every position that is no forced
    win for the opposite color.

    > (2) Heuristically good moves.

    These are irrelevant when talking about solving chess. Heuristics can
    only help on solving chess faster.

    > These are based on heuristic, or rule of thumb evaluations which use
    > *relatively short term* algorithms weighing gains in material and/or
    > position. By "relatively short term" I mean evaluations which end with
    > some future position which is not end-of-game.

    A Heuristic might as well be perfect.

    > Most positions in chess are ambiguous in that they permit a win, loss,
    > or draw; in these cases, knowledge of game outcome depends upon the
    > future move sequence and is not strictly inherent to the current
    > position;

    Of course it is.

    > and half of the future move-sequence is determined by your
    > opponent. Thus, the data necessary to evaluate the position in any
    > provable manner is missing; it is unknown and unknowable if your
    > opponent is free to choose among alternatives that lead to *different*
    > game outcomes.

    That's just a finite number and I could look at all of them.

    > In most chess positions, therefore, there are no provably good moves,
    > but only heuristically good moves, which may not be objectively good
    > moves.

    What exactly are these magic unsolvable positions and how do identify
    them?

    >>> Even in a position permitting forced mate, while it is true that any
    >>> move leading to mate is good, there may be more than one move sequence
    >>> which results in mate in a minimum number of moves. Which is the
    >>> "best" and why?
    >>
    >> Any is. This is silly. No one demands there is a single best move in
    >> every position. Of course there may be many perfect games of chess. But
    >> they all end the same.
    >
    > Evidently you don't know what the word "best" means. To say that there
    > is "more than one best move" in a given position is an abuse of
    > language. If there is a "best" move there is only one; otherwise,
    > there are merely good moves or winning moves.

    I said it's silly.

    >>> And you have yet to meaningfully define this even for forced mate
    >>> positions, much less for arbitrary positions! To say that chess is
    >>> "solved", incidentally, means that there is an algorithm for winning
    >>> from the starting position.
    >>
    >> No, it doesn't mean that.
    >
    > Certainly it does.

    Since chess is a forced win for black, it's obvious there is no such
    algorithm. None the less, proving this would solve chess.

    > No, theoretically it is impossible, because the starting position of
    > chess does not provide sufficient data, in and of itself, for such an
    > algorithm; only after the future move sequence has caused the game to
    > reach a point where provably good moves (e.g., a forced mate) exists,
    > is an algorithm possible; and as long as the future move sequence is
    > half-determined by the moves of an opponent which are unknown and
    > unknowable in advance, that data is not available.

    So there's data in solved positions that's not in the starting position?

    mfg, simon .... l
  24. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    msadkins04@yahoo.com wrote:
    > David Richerby wrote:
    >> Chess is a finite two-player game of perfect information. It follows
    >> that every position is either a forced win for White, a forced win for
    >> Black or is a draw with best play.
    >
    > It isn't a game of perfect information. A game of perfect information
    > is one where, at every move, the current game position contains all
    > data necessary to determine game outcome. That isn't true for chess:

    It's absolutely true for chess. It's just that we don't know how to
    determine the game outcome from most positions.


    > take a look at the starting position. What is additionally necessary,
    > from that position, and from most subsequent positions, is the future
    > move sequence; and that is unknown and unknowable when playing an
    > opponent whose moves in every possible position aren't known or
    > knowable in advance.

    A good move is good against any reply.


    > It isn't even a finite game. It doesn't follow, from the basic rules
    > of chess and from the fact that there are a finite number of
    > theoretically possible arrangements of pieces on the board, that the
    > number of moves in the game must be finite. That requires the
    > imposition of additional rules (e.g., ending a game automatically if a
    > position is repeated (not merely consecutively repeated) a finite
    > number of times.

    You're right that the game doesn't end automatically by either the fifty
    move rule or threefold repetition. However, we're assuming that the
    players make optimal moves and, if one player has a way to win the game,
    making a move that allows the opponent to claim a draw cannot be
    optimal. Likewise, not claiming that draw cannot be optimal. So we may
    assume that the game terminates as soon as a draw claim could be made.


    >> But there are only finitely many such plans and sequences of moves so
    >> one could, in principle, check each one of them and find the best.
    >
    > No, because there is no "best" move, in every position, independent of
    > all possible future moves (including those of one's opponent); there
    > are in most cases moves that are only provisionally good or bad,
    > conditional upon the future move sequence.

    No. The quality of a move does not depend on what reply is played. If I
    play a move which allows you to checkmate me in one, it's still a bad
    move, even if you don't spot it. If you don't spot it, you've played a
    bad move, too.


    > Since that has yet to occur, the data is not available. This is
    > *imperfect* or incomplete knowledge.

    That's not what imperfect information means. In principle, knowing just
    the position, I could mull over all your possible plans so I could work
    out all the relevant information. In contrast, if we're playing some sort
    of card game, I cannot possibly work out what cards you have in your hand
    (in most circumstances) so I do not have perfect information.


    >> There is no requirement for a unique best move. If you had to choose
    >> between them, you could always use some arbitrary criterion such as the
    >> one with the alphabetically first notation.
    >
    > OF COURSE there is such a requirement, because the word "best" requires
    > it, semantically! In some position where it can be demonstrated that
    > 15 forced mates exist, each requiring the same provably minimum number
    > of moves, there is NO "best move": there are 15 winning moves. They
    > are all equally good, at least on the basis of length.

    You are obviously unfamiliar with the mathematical use of words such as
    `best' or `optimal'. A move is best if there is no move that is strictly
    better than it. This means that there might be more than one best move in
    this sense. This differs slightly from general usage but it's hardly very
    important, is it? After all, I've explained how to generate a single best
    move.


    >>> To say that chess is "solved", incidentally, means that there is an
    >>> algorithm for winning from the starting position.
    >>
    >> It means no such thing!
    >
    > Yes it does.

    Oh no it doesn't! Trust me: I'm a doctor.


    >> There are several definitions of `solved'. A game is `ultra-weakly
    >> solved' if we know the theoretical result from the initial position
    >> (e.g., `chess is a win for White'), is `weakly solved' if we know how
    >> to achieve the theoretical result from the initial position and is
    >> `strongly solved' if we know how to achieve the theoretical result
    >> from every legal position. When people talk about `solving chess',
    >> they usually mean one of the last two.
    >
    > The term used was "solved" (without weakening qualifier).

    The term `solved' is rather informal -- I was trying to add a little
    precision to the discussion.


    > Note that "knowing how to achieve the theoretical result from every
    > legal position" implies knowing how to achieve it from the starting
    > position.

    Note that I'm not stupid and had worked that out myself. Perhaps that's
    why the term `strongly solved' has a name that makes it sound better than
    `weakly solved'?


    > That is, solving chess means discovering an algorithm for reaching the
    > theoretical result from the starting position. Now, what is "the
    > theoretical solution" where the game of chess is concerned? The
    > theoretical problem isn't how to lose, or how to tie: the theoretical
    > problem is how to win.

    What if that's not possible?


    > The theoretical solution to the game of chess is therefore an algorithm
    > guaranteeing a win from the starting position. THAT is what is usually
    > meant by "to solve chess".

    It might be what you understand by the term...


    Dave.

    --
    David Richerby Mentholated Cat (TM): it's like a
    www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ cuddly pet but it's invigorating!
  25. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    msadkins04@yahoo.com wrote:
    > take a look at the starting position. What is additionally necessary,
    > from that position, and from most subsequent positions, is the future
    > move sequence; and that is unknown and unknowable

    well that doesn't matter (that the move sequence is
    unknown). At the starting point opening theory rules.

    let's say that if you start with 1.d4, then your
    opponent can either follow theory, e.g. aiming
    for Kings Indian, with a position with d6/Nf6/Bg7,
    or deviate from theory, in which case he/black
    probably will end up with an inferior position.

    Conversely, if white will deviate from theory,
    black might get better chances, if he/computer/alien/
    zombie/GM or whatever would be a good player.

    Now interestingly enough, i believe that if both
    sides follow main line theory, they end with a draw.

    With 1.e4 white imho has slightly better chances,
    but fundamentally black can still defend well
    enough to keep a drawish position, resulting in
    a drawish endgame, e.g. as indicated by egtb's.

    Ergo, chess is solved, and it is a draw.

    So.. i propose to change the rules of chess,
    abolish the 50 move endgame rule, and then
    white might still have a slight chance to win.

    And..
    it will keep us busy for some 200 yrs more :)

    best regards

    http://superchess.com
  26. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    superchess@wanadoo.nl wrote:
    > let's say that if you start with 1.d4, then your opponent can either
    > follow theory, e.g. aiming for Kings Indian, with a position with
    > d6/Nf6/Bg7, or deviate from theory, in which case he/black probably will
    > end up with an inferior position.
    >
    > Conversely, if white will deviate from theory, black might get better
    > chances, if he/computer/alien/zombie/GM or whatever would be a good
    > player.
    >
    > Now interestingly enough, i believe that if both sides follow main line
    > theory, they end with a draw.

    That's not so interesting. It's probably fair to say that most people
    think this.


    > With 1.e4 white imho has slightly better chances, but fundamentally
    > black can still defend well enough to keep a drawish position, resulting
    > in a drawish endgame, e.g. as indicated by egtb's.
    >
    > Ergo, chess is solved, and it is a draw.

    Er... no. Waving one's hands and saying that Black can probably hold a
    draw after following current opening theory in no way counts as `solving
    chess'.


    > So.. i propose to change the rules of chess, abolish the 50 move endgame
    > rule, and then white might still have a slight chance to win.

    Makes no difference. The 50 move rule was extended from, as I recall,
    1984 to 1992. Almost no games got into positions where the extended rule
    applied so it reverted to 50 moves in all positions. Also, I defy any
    human being to play out these 200-move forced mates. The first 150 moves
    look completely random.


    Dave.

    --
    David Richerby Flammable Dish (TM): it's like
    www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ a fine ceramic dish but it burns
    really easily!
  27. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    David Richerby wrote:
    >>Ergo, chess is solved, and it is a draw.
    >
    > Er... no.

    ok, there's no proof for this, that's true.
    there's also no proof that if you flip a coin
    ten billion times, that the number of heads
    or tails will be between 49 and 51 %.
    But statistically speaking, the more often
    you flip a coin, the more nearby the percentage
    will go to 50 %.

    The more perfectly chess players, or computers
    are playing, the more likely it becomes the
    game ends in a draw.
    >>So.. i propose to change the rules of chess, abolish the 50 move endgame
    >>rule, and then white might still have a slight chance to win.
    > Makes no difference. The 50 move rule was extended from, as I recall,
    > 1984 to 1992.
    ok, interesting info, but then we didn't have such good/large
    computerized endgame tables as nowdays, you know.

    > Also, I defy any > human being to play out these 200-move forced mates.
    well a computer program can easily do it.
    whether it would make a difference for the drawing chances of
    the game, i don't know. my statement was a bit joking
    (after all it would be just another chess variant,
    and not official chess), and indeed a speculative statement

    ok, if we would like white to win, let's think about one other
    chess variant, where stalemate would mean a full point (i.e. a win)
    for white. This obviously would increase white's chances.
    Could such a variant be 'solved' (in the sense that it
    would be always a win for white) ?

    And if 1.e4 would be the best move in such a variant,
    would that mean that 1.e4 would also be the best move
    in 'normal/official' (Fide) chess ?
    My answer is yes,
    But you of course would disagree again
    :)
  28. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    David Richerby wrote:

    >
    > A good move is good against any reply.

    And if there is no move that is good against any reply, it being
    understood that a "reply" may last an arbitrary number of moves? Do
    you disagree that it is possible for a move to be good against some
    replies, and not good against others, and that it may be possible in
    some positions, or even in most of them, that every possible move is
    ambiguous in this fashion? I'm not talking about ambiguous with
    respect to the short term, necessarily, but ambiguous with respect to a
    total game sequence of moves.

    > msadkins04@yahoo.com wrote:
    >
    > > It isn't even a finite game. It doesn't follow, from the basic rules
    > > of chess and from the fact that there are a finite number of
    > > theoretically possible arrangements of pieces on the board, that the
    > > number of moves in the game must be finite. That requires the
    > > imposition of additional rules (e.g., ending a game automatically if a
    > > position is repeated (not merely consecutively repeated) a finite
    > > number of times.
    >
    > You're right that the game doesn't end automatically by either the fifty
    > move rule or threefold repetition. However, we're assuming that the
    > players make optimal moves and, if one player has a way to win the game,
    > making a move that allows the opponent to claim a draw cannot be
    > optimal. Likewise, not claiming that draw cannot be optimal. So we may
    > assume that the game terminates as soon as a draw claim could be made.

    OK, this is about the only thing in the latest batch of replies that
    interests me. I will hopefully have more to say about this subject
    (solving chess, or not) but in the meantime I would like to know a few
    things about the current status of these rules. First, they are not
    basic chess rules, so under what circumstances do they apply? My
    understanding is that they are supplemental rules of chess.

    Second, why do you assume that one player always has a way to win the
    game prior to the intervention (whether automatic or claimed by a
    player) of an anti-perpetual game rule? That is, even assuming that
    your premise that "chess is a win for White" or "chess is a win for
    Black" are theoretically possible until it is known otherwise, why does
    this imply that a guaranteed win for one side must always be possible
    prior to the intervention of an arbitrary anti-perpetual game rule?
    Why couldn't it be the case, under your thesis, that, for example,
    White is guaranteed a win from start of game, if he "plays perfectly",
    but that in some cases this requires more moves than are possible under
    these anti-perpetual game rules? Or perhaps more than are possible
    under any anti-perpetual game rule? Why couldn't it be the case that
    in the presence of some (any) anti-perpetual game rule, is it possible
    under your thesis for Black, playing perfectly (as a theoretical loser)
    to stretch a game out until the anti-perpetual rule kicks in, even
    though if the game could go on arbitrarily long White would eventually
    be guaranteed a win in all circumstances?

    >
    >
    > >> But there are only finitely many such plans and sequences of moves so
    > >> one could, in principle, check each one of them and find the best.
    > >
    > > No, because there is no "best" move, in every position, independent of
    > > all possible future moves (including those of one's opponent); there
    > > are in most cases moves that are only provisionally good or bad,
    > > conditional upon the future move sequence.
    >
    > No. The quality of a move does not depend on what reply is played. If I
    > play a move which allows you to checkmate me in one, it's still a bad
    > move, even if you don't spot it. If you don't spot it, you've played a
    > bad move, too.

    This is specious. I didn't say that there were NO circumstances in
    which a move is provably good, merely that in most cases there is no
    provably good move.

    Incidentally, I'd be interesting in getting your reply to the
    following. It is scarcely unanswerable (as I phrase it below) but
    since you seem to be the most informed/coherent/objective of those
    taking your position in this thread, I'd be interested to see how you
    reply.

    At the start of game, each one of the legal moves available to White is
    known to result in games in which White wins, as well as in games in
    which Black wins, as well as in games which draw. More generally, for
    any move sequence (W1B1W2B2...Wn) which results in a win for White, in
    the general case there are numerous move sequences which, up through
    the move Bn-1 (the next to last move), eventually result in each of
    these outcomes. That is, at most points in a total game sequence of
    moves, the partial sequence up through that point is indistinguishable
    as a win, loss, or draw, since there are sequences of each kind
    identical through that point. What is the selection criterion for
    White to play a "perfect game"?

    >
    >Trust me: I'm a doctor.

    Har. Physician, heal thyself.

    Mark Adkins
    msadkins04@yahoo.com
  29. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    msadkins04@yahoo.com wrote:

    >David Richerby wrote:
    >
    >> A good move is good against any reply.
    >
    >And if there is no move that is good against any reply, it being
    >understood that a "reply" may last an arbitrary number of moves? Do
    >you disagree that it is possible for a move to be good against some
    >replies, and not good against others, and that it may be possible in
    >some positions, or even in most of them, that every possible move is
    >ambiguous in this fashion? I'm not talking about ambiguous with
    >respect to the short term, necessarily, but ambiguous with respect to a
    >total game sequence of moves.

    (SHOUTING)

    YOU HAD THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION HANDED TO YOU ON A SILVER PLATTER,
    AND YOU REFUSED TO EVEN CONSIDER IT! IT'S SIMPLE; JUST ASK THE SAME
    QUESTIONS ABOUT TIC-TAC-TOE. ANALYSING TIC-TAC-TOE AND ANALYSING
    CHESS IS THE *EXACT SAME TASK*!!! IN BOTH CASES YOU GENERATE A TREE
    OF ALL POSSIBLE REPLIES, REPLIES TO REPLIES, ETC. THE *ONLY* DIFFERENCE
    IS THE SIZE OF THE TREE. APPLY YOUR STATEMENT "it is possible for a
    move to be good against some replies, and not good against others
    .... it may be possible in some positions ... that every possible move
    is ambiguous in this fashion" TO A GAME OF TIC-TAC-TOE. YOU WILL
    CLEARLY SEE THAT AT LEAST ONE BEST MOVE *ALWAYS* I REPEAT *ALWAYS*
    EXISTS FOR *EVERY* I REPEAT *EVERY* POSITION. UNDERSTAND WHY THIS
    IS TRUE FOR TIC-TAC-TOE AND YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHY IT IS TRUE FOR
    CHESS. OR BE WILLFULLY IGNORANT, PRETENDING THAT NOBODY GAVE YOU THE
    SIMPLE ANSWER AND KEEP REPHRASING THE QUESTION -- YOUR CHOICE.


    >OK, this is about the only thing in the latest batch of replies that
    >interests me.

    Too bad the answer to your oft-repeated question doesn't interest you.
    Why do you keep asking if you aren't going to listen to the answer?

    >I will hopefully have more to say about this subject
    >(solving chess, or not) but in the meantime I would like to know a few
    >things about the current status of these rules. First, they are not
    >basic chess rules, so under what circumstances do they apply? My
    >understanding is that they are supplemental rules of chess.

    Read the rule book yourself. The URL has been posted a dozen times.

    >This is specious. I didn't say that there were NO circumstances in
    >which a move is provably good, merely that in most cases there is no
    >provably good move.

    Again the refutation is right in front of you. Prove to yourself
    that there is always an optimal move in tic-tac-toe. Once you
    understand that, do the same with six pawns on a 3x3 board with no
    promotion allowed. Then prove it to yourself with a standard game
    that has only two pawns and a king on each side. Then add pieces
    and compexity, proving to yourself at ever step that there is always
    an optimal move. Then perhaps you will understand where your
    thinking has gone awry.

    >Incidentally, I'd be interesting in getting your reply to the
    >following. It is scarcely unanswerable (as I phrase it below) but
    >since you seem to be the most informed/coherent/objective of those
    >taking your position in this thread, I'd be interested to see how you
    >reply.
    >
    >At the start of game, each one of the legal moves available to White is
    >known to result in games in which White wins, as well as in games in
    >which Black wins, as well as in games which draw. More generally, for
    >any move sequence (W1B1W2B2...Wn) which results in a win for White, in
    >the general case there are numerous move sequences which, up through
    >the move Bn-1 (the next to last move), eventually result in each of
    >these outcomes. That is, at most points in a total game sequence of
    >moves, the partial sequence up through that point is indistinguishable
    >as a win, loss, or draw, since there are sequences of each kind
    >identical through that point. What is the selection criterion for
    >White to play a "perfect game"?

    Answer the question yourself for tic-tac-toe. The answer for chess is
    exactly the same. The tree of moves is larger - to large for us - but
    you can imagine a brain-damaged person for whom the tic-tac-toe tree
    is too lrge to figure out. (This is the key point) just because he
    can't figure out the optimal tic-tac-toe move does not mean that no
    optimal tic-tac-toe move exists! I implore you to look at the answer
    that is staring you in the face.
  30. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    Guy Macon wrote:

    snipped relevant parts.

    Dude, you are doing what you tell others not to do. Engaging someone who
    should have been kill filed along time ago. Although reading ignorant
    opinions on the internet is somewhat amusing. His, not yours.
  31. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    none wrote:
    > Guy Macon wrote:
    >
    > snipped relevant parts.
    >
    > Dude, you are doing what you tell others not to do. Engaging someone who
    > should have been kill filed along time ago. Although reading ignorant
    > opinions on the internet is somewhat amusing. His, not yours.

    Well, we agree on one point of the above: if the awful troll calling
    itself "Guy Macon" had entered me in its killfile, as it has threatened
    to do, then it need not even take up space in the reply tree of this
    thread. I, on the other hand, though lacking a killfile, have early on
    stopped reading his silly misrepresentations (of the facts and of my
    description of them). So I cannot say that I fully understand your
    reference, above, to his message content -- though it was quite obvious
    that he was a silly hypocrite ("doing what you tell others not to do")
    when he personally attacked me in claiming that personal attacks
    indicate weakness on the part of the attacker.

    I'm still waiting to hear back from David Richerby.

    Really, I've seen NOTHING indicating that there can be such a
    "solution" to chess, even theoretically. Believe me when I say that
    this is a mare's nest.

    Mark Adkins
    msadkins04@yahoo.com
  32. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    I am still waiting to see proof that chess is "solvable". Most of the
    participants in this thread who maintain that it is keep throwing out
    terms like "optimum move" even when I have clearly shown that in the
    general case, any partial game sequence is repeated in numerous total
    game sequences having different game outcomes. For example, in the
    general case, if there are 14 moves in a game so far, and the 15th move
    is not definitive in resolving the game, then moves 1 through 15 (no
    matter what is chosen for 15) constitute a partial game sequence that
    is present as the first 15 moves of numerous total game sequences of
    various types (win for White, win for Black, forced draw, perpetual
    game). How can move 15 be said to be "optimal" when the SAME move is
    present in the same position of the same subsequence through the same
    game point, in games with radically different outcomes? Again, I tell
    you, it is total game sequences of moves which determine whether a
    particular move is good, not the other way around. This is a little
    like the so-called principle of survival of the fittest. The "fittest"
    is not the smartest, the fastest, or the strongest; stupidity, slowness
    and weakness survive everywhere; the "fit" are the survivors; ergo,
    "survival of the fittest" means only that the survivors survive. It is
    mere tautology.

    Mark Adkins
    msadkins04@yahoo.com
  33. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    msadkins04@yahoo.com wrote:

    >I am still waiting to see proof that chess is "solvable".

    Asked for and provided. Several times. You simply refuse to
    accept the answer provided, rejecting it without explaining why.
  34. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    none wrote:

    >Dude, you are doing what you tell others not to do. Engaging someone who
    >should have been kill filed along time ago. Although reading ignorant
    >opinions on the internet is somewhat amusing. His, not yours.

    Point very well taken. I have failed to follow my own advice. :(
    I appreciate you taking the time to correct me on this - it really
    *is* best to not reply.
  35. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    Simon Krahnke wrote:
    > * <msadkins04@yahoo.com> (03:50) schrieb:
    >
    > > I am still waiting to see proof that chess is "solvable".
    >
    > Well here it is: Do an standard Alpha-Beta search on the initial
    > position with unbounded depth and without any forward pruning.
    >
    > Since in this configuration all values will be mate or draw, the final
    > result must also be mate or draw.
    >
    > That will answer the question if it's a forced mate for white or black
    > or forced draw, and give an optimal move for white on the initial
    > position.
    >
    > For a more complete solution just repeat the algorithm on other positions.
    >

    Sorry, but this strikes me as the most awful obfuscatory gobbledygook.
    You haven't at all proven that one side or the other can, by his first
    move, guarantee one of these outcomes regardless of the moves of the
    other side. So far as I can see, you've merely stated (quite
    inaccurately) that any game of chess must either result in a win by one
    side OR the other, or in a draw. Well, so what?

    As for the other party which claimed, falsely, in another message, that
    I've already seen such proofs "several times", but that I have rejected
    them without stating why, I can only honestly repeat that I have seen
    no such proof. I can also state that, in attempting to reply to that
    party's message, my reply was directed automatically to a "newsgroup"
    (non-existent, I believe) called "alt.dev.null". What follows are the
    full headers of his message (or as full as I can get from Google Groups
    (whether still called "Google Groups Beta" or not):

    (start of headers)

    Path:
    g2news1.google.com!news3.google.com!border1.nntp.dca.giganews.com!border2.nntp.dca.giganews.com!nntp.giganews.com!sn-xit-02!sn-xit-06!sn-post-01!supernews.com!corp.supernews.com!not-for-mail
    From: . =?ISO-8859-1?B?P g E g Au gPg==?=
    Newsgroups: rec.games.chess.computer
    Subject: Re: solve for chess
    Followup-To: alt.dev.null
    Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2005 02:22:32 +0000
    Organization: .
    Message-ID: <11imvf9s2nngobe@corp.supernews.com>
    References: <entropy.1v4c3y@news.chessbanter.com>
    <P8o*R+vYq@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>
    <1126546171.369984.221020@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>
    <4328b13a$0$20054$dbd4b001@news.wanadoo.nl>
    <3Og*iSKYq@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>
    <43299f6b$0$19056$dbd49001@news.wanadoo.nl>
    <1126921844.576581.290680@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>
    X-Complaints-To: abuse@supernews.com
    Lines: 9

    (end of headers)

    One wonders: why all the subterfuge? Just what processes was this
    party attempting to evade in posting a message which made false
    accusations against me, but to which a reply was automatically directed
    to a newsgroup which, so far as I know, is non-existent and which in
    any case is outside both the original newsgroup and any newsgroups
    relevant to the topic at hand? Another way of putting it is: why are
    my opponents here such deceitful cowards? What are they trying to
    hide? These are not rhetorical questions. Answer them fully and
    accurately and clearly, such that I am made aware of the answers
    explicitly, without unnecessary delay(s). Why, for that matter, in
    previewing this message, has the option (from the preview screen) of
    posting it disappeared, instead offering only the options (from the
    preview screen) of editing or canceling it?

    Mark Adkins
    msadkins04@yahoo.com
  36. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    * <msadkins04@yahoo.com> (03:50) schrieb:

    > I am still waiting to see proof that chess is "solvable".

    Well here it is: Do an standard Alpha-Beta search on the initial
    position with unbounded depth and without any forward pruning.

    Since in this configuration all values will be mate or draw, the final
    result must also be mate or draw.

    That will answer the question if it's a forced mate for white or black
    or forced draw, and give an optimal move for white on the initial
    position.

    For a more complete solution just repeat the algorithm on other positions.

    > Most of the participants in this thread who maintain that it is keep
    > throwing out terms like "optimum move" even when I have clearly shown
    > that in the general case, any partial game sequence is repeated in
    > numerous total game sequences having different game outcomes.

    Too bad you already confessed you know what »forced mate« means.

    Any of the pre-final optimal moves in a forced mate tree do only
    force a mate if I carry on doing only optimal moves.

    mfg, simon .... l
  37. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    Simon Krahnke wrote:
    >
    >* <msadkins04@yahoo.com> (03:50) schrieb:
    >
    >> I am still waiting to see proof that chess is "solvable".
    >
    >Well here it is: Do an standard Alpha-Beta search on the initial
    >position with unbounded depth and without any forward pruning.
    >
    >Since in this configuration all values will be mate or draw, the final
    >result must also be mate or draw.
    >
    >That will answer the question if it's a forced mate for white or black
    >or forced draw, and give an optimal move for white on the initial
    >position.
    >
    >For a more complete solution just repeat the algorithm on other positions.

    That is one of the most brilliant bits of technical writing that
    I have seen in quite a long time. Clear, concise, and quite simple.

    To bad that the reply that you will get from the msadkins04@yahoo.com
    will consist of name-calling, with no attempt to understand what you
    just wrote.
  38. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    <msadkins04@yahoo.com> wrote:
    > I am still waiting to see proof that chess is "solvable".

    I and others have tried to explain to you why chess is solvable but you've
    refused to accept any explanation (or, as far as I can recall, any part of
    any explanation) that has been offered. I really can't see any other way
    of trying to convince you.

    The things that you claim to be blatantly false about chess (the existence
    of optimal moves, the game-theoretic evaluation of a position depending
    only on the position) are things that anyone with an undergraduate-level
    education in mathematics should be able to understand and see to be true.
    People have tried explaining all of this to you but you've rejected
    everything.


    > This is a little like the so-called principle of survival of the
    > fittest. The "fittest" is not the smartest, the fastest, or the
    > strongest; stupidity, slowness and weakness survive everywhere; the
    > "fit" are the survivors; ergo, "survival of the fittest" means only
    > that the survivors survive. It is mere tautology.

    The `survival' is not survival of individuals but survival of physical
    characteristics. Those characteristics that make individuals more likely
    to survive are, in turn, more likely to be passed on to the next
    generation. But if you want an argument about that, go to talk.origins.


    Dave.

    --
    David Richerby Portable Mentholated Drink (TM): it's
    www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ like a refreshing juice beverage but
    it's invigorating and you can take
    it anywhere!
  39. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    Before talking nonsense, read the basic scientific litterature about games,
    and game theory:

    GM Adelson-Velsky, VL Arlazarov, MV Donskoy: Algorithms for games (Springer
    ISBN 0387966293)

    On the web, there is Aske Plaat's PhD
    http://www.recherche.enac.fr/~alliot/ALGOS_JEU/thesis.ps

    Or Victor Allis' Phd:
    http://www.recherche.enac.fr/~alliot/allis.ps

    And many other things.

    Stop pestering people if you don't understand the very simple mathematics
    behind game theory.


    <msadkins04@yahoo.com> a écrit dans le message de news:
    1126921844.576581.290680@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    >I am still waiting to see proof that chess is "solvable". Most of the
    > participants in this thread who maintain that it is keep throwing out
    > terms like "optimum move" even when I have clearly shown that in the
    > general case, any partial game sequence is repeated in numerous total
    > game sequences having different game outcomes. For example, in the
    > general case, if there are 14 moves in a game so far, and the 15th move
    > is not definitive in resolving the game, then moves 1 through 15 (no
    > matter what is chosen for 15) constitute a partial game sequence that
    > is present as the first 15 moves of numerous total game sequences of
    > various types (win for White, win for Black, forced draw, perpetual
    > game). How can move 15 be said to be "optimal" when the SAME move is
    > present in the same position of the same subsequence through the same
    > game point, in games with radically different outcomes? Again, I tell
    > you, it is total game sequences of moves which determine whether a
    > particular move is good, not the other way around. This is a little
    > like the so-called principle of survival of the fittest. The "fittest"
    > is not the smartest, the fastest, or the strongest; stupidity, slowness
    > and weakness survive everywhere; the "fit" are the survivors; ergo,
    > "survival of the fittest" means only that the survivors survive. It is
    > mere tautology.
    >
    > Mark Adkins
    > msadkins04@yahoo.com
    >
  40. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    * <msadkins04@yahoo.com> (02:30) schrieb:

    > Simon Krahnke wrote:
    >> * <msadkins04@yahoo.com> (03:50) schrieb:
    >>
    >> > I am still waiting to see proof that chess is "solvable".
    >>
    >> Well here it is: Do an standard Alpha-Beta search on the initial
    >> position with unbounded depth and without any forward pruning.
    >>
    >> Since in this configuration all values will be mate or draw, the final
    >> result must also be mate or draw.
    >>
    >> That will answer the question if it's a forced mate for white or black
    >> or forced draw, and give an optimal move for white on the initial
    >> position.
    >>
    >> For a more complete solution just repeat the algorithm on other positions.
    >
    > Sorry, but this strikes me as the most awful obfuscatory gobbledygook.

    That is: You understand a word, or what?

    > You haven't at all proven that one side or the other can, by his first
    > move, guarantee one of these outcomes regardless of the moves of the
    > other side.

    Sure I haven't. You got to read the game theory stuff yourself.

    > So far as I can see, you've merely stated (quite
    > inaccurately) that any game of chess must either result in a win by one
    > side OR the other, or in a draw. Well, so what?

    Well, look above. It's all a conclusion from this simple fact. I know
    games that can just go on forever, no matter how hard I try to win or
    lose. But chess is finite given optimal play.

    mfg, simon .... l
  41. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    superchess@wanadoo.nl wrote:
    > David Richerby wrote:
    >> superchess@wanadoo.nl wrote:
    >>> Ergo, chess is solved, and it is a draw.
    >>
    >> Er... no.
    >
    > ok, there's no proof for this, that's true.

    And to say that chess is solved means that there is a proof.


    > there's also no proof that if you flip a coin ten billion times, that
    > the number of heads or tails will be between 49 and 51 %.

    That's an entirely different scenario. Tossing a coin ten billion times
    is an experiment and, for every n in the range 0-10^10, there is a
    non-zero probability that you'll get n heads. Chess is either a win for
    White, a win for Black or a draw. We don't know which and no amount of
    experimentation will demonstrate it because the only way to prove that a
    position is a forced win for one side is to investigate every possible
    sequence of moves from the losing side.


    > The more perfectly chess players, or computers are playing, the more
    > likely it becomes the game ends in a draw.

    So you (and many other people, myself probably included) believe. But
    until there's a proof, chess isn't solved.


    >>> So.. i propose to change the rules of chess, abolish the 50 move
    >>> endgame rule, and then white might still have a slight chance to win.
    >>
    >> Makes no difference. The 50 move rule was extended from, as I recall,
    >> 1984 to 1992.
    >
    > ok, interesting info, but then we didn't have such good/large
    > computerized endgame tables as nowdays, you know.

    The rule was changed precisely because computer analysis indicated that
    there were forced wins that would be chopped off because of the 50 move
    rule. Tablebases without pawns aren't all that hard, as I recall.


    > ok, if we would like white to win, let's think about one other chess
    > variant, where stalemate would mean a full point (i.e. a win) for
    > white. This obviously would increase white's chances. Could such a
    > variant be 'solved' (in the sense that it would be always a win for
    > white) ?

    That's not what solved means! Solved means that we know the outcome (and
    possibly how to get there). Chess with stalemate being a win for White
    (let's call it stalemate-chess) would be no easier to solve than ordinary
    chess, though it would be more likely to be a win for White for the simple
    reason that a non-zero proportion of chess games end in stalemates. But
    why do we want to make the game easier for White to win by adding
    artificial rule-changes? (Surely, if you think stalemate shouldn't be a
    draw, it should be a loss for the side whose king is stuck?)


    > And if 1.e4 would be the best move in such a variant, would that mean
    > that 1.e4 would also be the best move in 'normal/official' (Fide) chess?
    > My answer is yes, But you of course would disagree again

    If 1.e4 forces a win in stalemate-chess, it forces at least a draw in
    ordinary chess. On the other hand, it's possible that there is another
    move that forces a win in ordinary chess, such as 1.d4.


    Dave.

    --
    David Richerby Unholy Cat (TM): it's like a cuddly
    www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ pet but it's also a crime against
    nature!
  42. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    In <1126329923.040657.262420@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> JVMerlino@aol.com writes:

    >Of course, strictly speaking chess can be solved. It is a finite game,
    >with a specific starting point and a limited set of moves that can be
    >made from any position. Therefore, it is POSSIBLE to determine best
    >play for any position by analyzing the tree of all possible moves for
    >that position all the way out to their game-ending state, exactly like
    >endgame databases do now.

    >However, EGDBs are at this time only created for up to 6 pieces on the
    >board. It's a VERY LONG WAY until we have the answer for all 32 pieces.
    >It's taken about 6-8 years just to go from 5 to 6 pieces as being the
    >"state of the art", because of the necessary computation time and
    >storage requirements.

    >How long will it take to get to 32 pieces? Even if progress is linear
    >(and it won't be), at best it's going to take close to 200 years before
    >chess is solved!

    And I don't think it is possible to store the results without using all
    atoms in the universe.

    /Martin
  43. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer,alt.dev.null (More info?)

    "Mark Adkins" <msadkins04@yahoo.com> wrote:

    >As for the other party which claimed, falsely, in another message, that
    >I've already seen such proofs "several times", but that I have rejected
    >them without stating why, I can only honestly repeat that I have seen
    >no such proof. I can also state that, in attempting to reply to that
    >party's message, my reply was directed automatically to a "newsgroup"
    >(non-existent, I believe) called "alt.dev.null". What follows are the
    >full headers of his message (or as full as I can get from Google Groups
    >(whether still called "Google Groups Beta" or not):

    ***SNIP***

    What do you mean "non-existent?" alt.dev.null is right there on your
    beloved Google Groups. See <http://groups.google.com/group/alt.dev.null>.

    Everyone else here can post to alt.dev.null. If you are having trouble,
    I suggest that you complain to the administrators who run the internet.
    If you need a phone number or email address for them, just ask in the
    alt.dev.null newsgroup and someone will be sure to help you.


    ..
  44. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer,alt.dev.null (More info?)

    Mark Adkins wrote:
    > "Mark Adkins" <msadkins04@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>As for the other party which claimed, falsely, in another message, that
    >>I've already seen such proofs "several times", but that I have rejected
    >>them without stating why, I can only honestly repeat that I have seen
    >>no such proof. I can also state that, in attempting to reply to that
    >>party's message, my reply was directed automatically to a "newsgroup"
    >>(non-existent, I believe) called "alt.dev.null". What follows are the
    >>full headers of his message (or as full as I can get from Google Groups
    >>(whether still called "Google Groups Beta" or not):
    >
    >
    > ***SNIP***
    >
    > What do you mean "non-existent?" alt.dev.null is right there on your
    > beloved Google Groups. See <http://groups.google.com/group/alt.dev.null>.
    Besides, the "followup" header is trivially overruled. anyone incapable of doing
    so probably isn't going to write anything worth reading anyhow :)

    > Everyone else here can post to alt.dev.null. If you are having trouble,
    > I suggest that you complain to the administrators who run the internet.
    > If you need a phone number or email address for them, just ask in the
    > alt.dev.null newsgroup and someone will be sure to help you.
    Or to quote Another Place:
    1.9) Where do I complain?
    Probably you want the folks who run the net. Address mail to:

    Usenet Central Administration
    1060 West Addison Street
    Chicago, Illinois
    USA 60613-4305

    They should be willing to help you out.
  45. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    Martin Moller Pedersen wrote:
    >
    >JVMerlino@aol.com writes:
    >
    >>Of course, strictly speaking chess can be solved. It is a finite game,
    >>with a specific starting point and a limited set of moves that can be
    >>made from any position. Therefore, it is POSSIBLE to determine best
    >>play for any position by analyzing the tree of all possible moves for
    >>that position all the way out to their game-ending state, exactly like
    >>endgame databases do now.
    >
    >>However, EGDBs are at this time only created for up to 6 pieces on the
    >>board. It's a VERY LONG WAY until we have the answer for all 32 pieces.
    >>It's taken about 6-8 years just to go from 5 to 6 pieces as being the
    >>"state of the art", because of the necessary computation time and
    >>storage requirements.
    >
    >>How long will it take to get to 32 pieces? Even if progress is linear
    >>(and it won't be), at best it's going to take close to 200 years before
    >>chess is solved!
    >
    >And I don't think it is possible to store the results without using all
    >atoms in the universe.

    You appear to be assuming that one can only store one bit of information
    per atom - a rather dubious assumption. A one kilogram storage unit
    that occupies one liter of space can store a maximum of 2^1031 bits by
    encoding information in the spin, speed and direction of the particles
    inside the storage unit.

    Or you can simply build a quaunntum computer with a couple of hundred
    qubits of storage.

    Do a web search on "Quantum Computing" and "Black Hole Computing"...
  46. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    Guy Macon <http://www.guymacon.com/> wrote:
    > Martin Moller Pedersen wrote:
    >> And I don't think it is possible to store the results without using all
    >> atoms in the universe.
    >
    > You appear to be assuming that one can only store one bit of
    > information per atom - a rather dubious assumption. A one kilogram
    > storage unit that occupies one liter of space can store a maximum of
    > 2^1031 bits by encoding information in the spin, speed and direction of
    > the particles inside the storage unit.

    The key word here may well be `maximum'...


    > Or you can simply build a quaunntum computer with a couple of hundred
    > qubits of storage.

    This must be some strange new meaning of the word `simply' that I wasn't
    previously aware of.


    Dave.

    --
    David Richerby Swiss Homicidal Apple (TM): it's like
    www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ a tasty fruit but it wants to kill
    you and it's made in Switzerland!
  47. Archived from groups: rec.games.chess.computer (More info?)

    David Richerby wrote:
    >
    >Guy Macon <http://www.guymacon.com/> wrote:
    >
    >> Martin Moller Pedersen wrote:
    >>> And I don't think it is possible to store the results without using all
    >>> atoms in the universe.
    >>
    >> You appear to be assuming that one can only store one bit of
    >> information per atom - a rather dubious assumption. A one kilogram
    >> storage unit that occupies one liter of space can store a maximum of
    >> 2^1031 bits by encoding information in the spin, speed and direction of
    >> the particles inside the storage unit.
    >
    >The key word here may well be `maximum'...
    >
    >> Or you can simply build a quaunntum computer with a couple of hundred
    >> qubits of storage.
    >
    >This must be some strange new meaning of the word `simply' that I wasn't
    >previously aware of.

    (Laughs)

    I use the Dilbert Pointy-haired Boss definition of
    "Simple"; If I don't know how to do it, it must be easy!

    :)
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