Chess Machine thinking patterns
September 9, 2005 7:34 AM   Subscribe

It isn't difficult to find a chess programme that is better at playing chess, but you won't find many that shows you what it is thinking. It also explains how it works. Rather fascinating.
posted by SharQ (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Stale Mate!
posted by Gyan at 7:40 AM on September 9, 2005


Holy shit, that's rad. The "how it works" page refers to it as an "artwork", and the Thinking Table sure would be one.
posted by Plutor at 7:40 AM on September 9, 2005


Very cool. It should run for office.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:40 AM on September 9, 2005


It is cool, but it is a triple post.
posted by OmieWise at 7:45 AM on September 9, 2005


What's not clever is that it seems to do a full "think" even after a standard opening. That's inefficient. I did the basic p-K4 and it wasted time covering every option, as far as I could see.
posted by Decani at 7:46 AM on September 9, 2005


Hey, a Hattrick!!
posted by Pendragon at 8:06 AM on September 9, 2005


Decani writes "What's not clever is that it seems to do a full 'think' even after a standard opening. That's inefficient. I did the basic p-K4 and it wasted time covering every option, as far as I could see."

It does say: "The program's unconventional initial moves may raise eyebrows among experts: we did not give it an "opening book" of standard lines since we wanted it to think through every position." I guess the "thinking artwork" is more important than the chess - they do say also that it doesn't play the best game of chess, but plays at an "average" level...
posted by benzo8 at 8:21 AM on September 9, 2005


I'd say worthy of a trifecta.

Decani, if you read the information on the site, it explains that this isn't designed to be an effective chess machine, but a consistent and transparent one.
The chess playing engine is designed to be at the same level as the average viewer of the piece. If you're a tournament chess player, you would clobber most casual players--and you'll clobber Thinking Machine 4 too. If you barely remember the rules of the game, the artwork may clobber you instead. The chess engine we built is simple and uses only basic algorithms from the 50s (alpha-beta pruning and quiescence search). The program's unconventional initial moves may raise eyebrows among experts: we did not give it an "opening book" of standard lines since we wanted it to think through every position.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:26 AM on September 9, 2005


Damnit.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:27 AM on September 9, 2005


Damnit.
posted by [expletive deleted]

/files in oxymoron collection
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:33 AM on September 9, 2005


The only winning move is not to play.
posted by basicchannel at 8:43 AM on September 9, 2005


Metafilter is the ultimate game.
posted by Rothko at 8:48 AM on September 9, 2005


Do some people just come here to search every post for being a repost and then pat themselves on the back on being the first person to post a comment about it?

I mean I spend too much time on the net like the rest of you, but still I can safely say "get a life".

Thinking chess game worth the repost; even though it did cream me time after time.
posted by 13twelve at 9:06 AM on September 9, 2005


Well it's certainly got a fine collection of gameplayers, that's for sure.
posted by spock at 9:11 AM on September 9, 2005


Do some people just come here to search every post for being a repost and then pat themselves on the back on being the first person to post a comment about it?

It's apparently how MeFi Nazis keep score, but your question probably belongs in MeTa. <heh>
posted by spock at 9:14 AM on September 9, 2005


13twelve : "Do some people just come here to search every post for being a repost and then pat themselves on the back on being the first person to post a comment about it?"

Or maybe they just remember seeing it earlier. Get a brain.
posted by Gyan at 9:31 AM on September 9, 2005


So why go to the effort of finding the other posts of it? Thats what I don't get. Like you had to spend time finding them and writing a comment and for what?
posted by 13twelve at 9:43 AM on September 9, 2005


To help illustrate it's a double and it's not just you that thinks so. Otherwise it's like saying "This piece plagiarizes from some painting I saw a while ago! Shame!"
posted by abcde at 10:09 AM on September 9, 2005


So why go to the effort of finding the other posts of it? Thats what I don't get. Like you had to spend time finding them and writing a comment and for what?

It's called courtesy. Gyan was putting in the time and effort that the original poster failed to.

Hope this clears it up for you.
posted by soyjoy at 10:26 AM on September 9, 2005


Ya. It was even posted again this year, I believe. Just noising the signal ...
posted by mrgrimm at 11:03 AM on September 9, 2005


SharQ, I think people who have to prove something is a repost, especially if they have to search back for the exact instance(s) of said "heinous offense", are petty asshole martinets; most of them can never be more than that, as they expend too much of their limited brain power in "proving" they're "better" than you to have any left over to make a contribution of their own, especially of a kind that would show any alleged value they have without referring to you in any, ultimately spurious, way.

So soyjoy got it exactly backwards, as martinet assholes can't but do. Therefore you now know that, unless soyjoy hurries up with great brilliance of its own, you may comfortably ignore anything soyjoy says about anything, with only one chance at missing anything of value; that sole exception, of course, is "I would like to send you a lot of money, will you send me instructions on how to do that?", which has obviously such a low probability that you might as well forget I even brought it up.

The same goes for all your other "critics" in this thread. Somebody would really have to try to make up for being so petty, and as I don't recall any of those Mefites making an intelligent contribution to the site I doubt they'd be capable of compensating for their obvious character flaws in any worthwhile way. Except of course by sending money.

Anyway.

About that chess program: all those curvy moving colored lines distract me and might actually trigger a migraine on a bad day. I prefer the way GNU Chess "shows thinking" via the Xboard interface, in standard algebraic chess notation in the "message" bar.
posted by davy at 11:05 AM on September 9, 2005


The worst thing is, I actually googled and used the search (for Chess and site:metafilter.com) Sorry about this, guys.

Grouphug!
posted by SharQ at 11:22 AM on September 9, 2005


SharQ, Yahoo has a fuller index of Metafilter. But the best method is to plug all your URLs in the 'URL' field, one by one. Upon Preview, repeats will be flagged with a dark-blue box that highlights earlier occurrences. Your post was formed entirely within the 'Description' field. The code doesn't subject the links within, to autosearch.
posted by Gyan at 11:30 AM on September 9, 2005


Oh SharQ, you don't have to apologize to assholes. It comes across as snivelling. Besides, even if I hadn't prompted them by posting this sentence, your explanation only invites somebody to insult you further by telling you you're "stupid" for not searching the "right" way. Even when they use a polite format, such as "in the future you might try [something]", most of these people will be unable to avoid being snide about it. However Gyan, perhaps "sensing" that I'd be ready to hop all over it for any further abuse, somehow did manage to post something helpful in a non-objectionable fashion, so I'll get off its case for a while.
posted by davy at 11:39 AM on September 9, 2005


So, if I understand davy correctly, people who politely inform of a double or in this case triple post, and give advice on how to avoid doing so in the future are insulting and snide, except when they quake in fear of davy and his righteous indignation. Gotcha.

For the record, I remembered this being posted twice before. Also, I enjoyed it a third time. It's nice to watch the machine plot its options when you know you've worked it into a corner. The endgame can produce interesting patterns on the board.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 5:59 PM on September 9, 2005


"So, if I understand davy correctly, people who politely inform of a double or in this case triple post, and give advice on how to avoid doing so in the future are insulting and snide, except when they quake in fear of davy and his righteous indignation. Gotcha."

Well, that might be what you read but it wasn't what I meant. Sometimes I'm not as clear as I could be. To go through this again, like I said, Gyan's helpful advice was just that: helpful and not snide. Perhaps I overestimated how much one might fear my wrath; for all I know Gyan might've even given that helpful advice if I were never born.

As for YOU however, you really didn't have to jump in with your snideness SIX HOURS later. Are you having a bad day too? Shall we have a big blow-out for mutual PMS-relief?

I think I made my point before this, even making allowances for my crack about my nemesistical aptitude, clearly enough so that there's really no need to go on about it. But hey, I'm easy. Your call, d00d.

As for that chess program, I play chess so badly -- and these days so infrequently, even against the computer -- that I'm pretty sure half the seventh graders who can play at all could wipe the board with me. That's another reason all those colored lines distract me: to play chess without being totally humiliated I'd need to focus both my IQ points on my own so-called thinking.
posted by davy at 6:28 PM on September 9, 2005


Well, I suppose using standard looking chess pieces would have been too conventional.

As it is, I fail to see the point of it.
posted by Polarisman at 9:54 PM on September 9, 2005


The worst thing is, I actually googled and used the search (for Chess and site:metafilter.com)

No, the worst thing is that Google and Mefi search clearly display the previous posts. Oops, there I go being a "martinet" again!

The point, though, isn't the mistake that SharQ made, which most of us have - it was 13twelve's jumping all over Gyan for a completely standard double-post comment including links. Once I defended Gyan, davy felt the need to hold his own little Referendum on All Things Soyjoy. Challenged by [expletive deleted], he feels the need to drag PMS into it.

Hilarious, though not nearly so much as when he's trying to make a more substantive point.
posted by soyjoy at 6:56 PM on September 11, 2005


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