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Date: 31 Dec 2008 09:03:00
From: Offramp
Subject: Alternative History: if Kasparov had never played chess
Imagine an alternative world where Garry Kasparov decided at a young
age to become a mathematician. He never takes up chess seriously. He
remains an enthusiastic amateur.
In that case, how long do you think Anatoly Karpov's tenure as World
Champion would have been?

I have my own feeling.

I think he would have been champion for 18 years. I think he would
have lost it narrowly in 1993.

Who to? You'll simply die when I tell you!

Nigel Short!!

But that isn't alternative history... that is science fiction!




 
Date: 01 Jan 2009 19:17:16
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Alternative History: if Kasparov had never played chess
On Jan 1, 7:46=A0pm, Andy Walker <n...@cuboid.co.uk > wrote:

> > =A0 But one thing is almost certain: the man
> > against machine battles would have suffered
> > mightily, as Mr. Kasparov, alone, held the
> > nastiest of the silicon beats at bay for a few
> > more years than any other human could
> > manage.

> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Seems very far from certain to me! =A0There were claims
> at the time that both Karpov and Anand had better anti-computer
> techniques, and there were also some much weaker OTB players who
> allegedly had [and continue to have] anti-computer success. =A0GK
> seemed to be overawed by the nodes-per-second figures and by the
> occasional apparently very human-like moves found by DB.


Yes, yes, well... there were also many nutters
at the time who bragged that if Bobby Fischer
had wanted to, he could give GK odds and still
win. What I was talking about was reality--
what actually happened; not idle speculations,
by armchair "experts".

I recall one game in which Mr. Karpov was
dead lost, but DT somehow, /miraculously/
allowed AK to acquire connected passed pawns
and win. There was something seriously wrong
with the program's /qualitatative/ evaluations,
though no one doubted it could count beans...
and very quickly. After this close call, we didn't
hear much from AK anymore, on the tilting at
silicon windmills.

Yet in the first match between Mr. Kasparov
and some earlier version of D.B., it did not come
down to some subtle flaw in the eval of connect-
ed passed pawns; GK blew the machine right
out of the water! Those who believed that the
awesome speed of this contraption would
sweep aside even the strongest granmasters,
were proved wrong. And this was not another
of those "do nothing, but do it well" schemes;
GK faced DT (or whatever they called it back
then) in REAL CHESS, and won powerfully,
decisively.

All that is needed to show what I am talking
about is to replay the various games-- real
games, with real moves. Mr. Kasparov, a man
honest folk find repulsive due to his often-times
despicable behavior, figuritively saved mankind
(for a little while longer).

But even after the demise of humankind at
the hands of evil chip-men like DeeperBlue,
reasonable men could still hold that humans
might, I say /might/, hold their own in the
realm of correspondence chess. As a part-
time reader of Chess Lies magazine, I have
noticed that one fellow managed a rating in
CC that exceeds even the peak USCF
ratings of BF or GK-- a Mr. Penquite.

However, I recently saw one of his old CC
games published in CL, and punched it in
to have a look. All book theory, as far as I
could tell, except the very tail end, where
his opponent up and resigned without any
fight. The victim was rated ~2400 or so, and
he went into a bad line... from ECO or BCO
or whatever, landing a tiny material advantage
but in a position where he could not develop
any pieces-- a crushing bind.

Rybka easily improved on Mr. Penquite's
play, once out of book!! Far too small a
sample to rely upon, but I get the impression
from this and from all the computer versus
computer games I've seen, that Rybka is
just an irresistable (by humans) force. In
sum, I would not bother with claiming that
we humans could hold off the onslaught of
computers via a slower time control; just
hang it up. As far as I can tell, the 3000+
ratings seen on certain test sites are very
real. Rybka is now apparently offering
odds of "the exchange" to grandmasters...
and it is only a matter of time before we
reach the odds of a Knight. This, in spite
of an obvious clumsiness to the way in
which the program is told to play the
openings or its contempt factor.


-- help bot





 
Date: 31 Dec 2008 15:17:32
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Alternative History: if Kasparov had never played chess
On Dec 31, 12:03=A0pm, Offramp <alaneobr...@gmail.com > wrote:

> Imagine an alternative world where Garry Kasparov decided at a young
> age to become a mathematician. He never takes up chess seriously. He
> remains an enthusiastic amateur.
> In that case, how long do you think Anatoly Karpov's tenure as World
> Champion would have been?


During the era in which Mr. Karpov and Mr. Kasparov
dominated, there arose (at least) two players who had
a hard time with GK in tournament play, but whose
ratings sometimes approached the rating of AK; as I
recall, their names were "Yusupov" and "Ivanchuck".

Surely, had Mr. Kasparov not kept Mr. Karpov busy
for so many years, these two players, and likely a
few others, would have had a much better shot at the
title. As history shows, it is not always the higher-
rated player that wins; and these fellows were, at
times, well within striking distance.

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

I remember it well... it was a bright, sunny day in
Silicon Valley, and Gary Kasporov had come to
give a simul. One of our youngest players -- a
super-sharp tactician even then -- took a board,
and was thoroughly outplayed in a theoretical
Sicilian Defense. "Where did I go wrong?", the
youngster queried. "You went wrong when you
sat down to play ME", came the nasty reply.

Ever since that day, little Blue, as we called
him then, determined that one day -- no matter
how long it took -- he would get revenge. And
sure enough, although "Chip" Blue was soundly
beaten in his first serious match against GK, he
later matured into a deeper Blue, and fulfilled his
promise.

So then, what would chess history be like if
Gary Kasparov had never existed? Well, the
obsession with Bobby Fischer might have been
even more ridiculous. And the carping about
FIDE would have taken a different turn or two.

But one thing is almost certain: the man
against machine battles would have suffered
mightily, as Mr. Kasparov, alone, held the
nastiest of the silicon beats at bay for a few
more years than any other human could
manage.

With the game of checkers, humans won a
small victory of sorts via the death of the last
hanger-on, whilst he still prevailed over the
machines. In chess, we were not so lucky.

I suspect that "the big story", as historians
might see it, will not be over petty infighting
or corruption within FIDE and the USCF, but
rather they will look back and see the way
that computers have come to influence the
game. More and more players are playing
chess online, and game analysis has been
improved /dramatically/; not published game
analysis per se, but the ability of each
individual to objectively analyse positions
and achieve results which are no longer
plagued with errors.


-- help bot









  
Date: 02 Jan 2009 00:46:00
From: Andy Walker
Subject: Re: Alternative History: if Kasparov had never played chess
help bot wrote:
> But one thing is almost certain: the man
> against machine battles would have suffered
> mightily, as Mr. Kasparov, alone, held the
> nastiest of the silicon beats at bay for a few
> more years than any other human could
> manage.

Seems very far from certain to me! There were claims
at the time that both Karpov and Anand had better anti-computer
techniques, and there were also some much weaker OTB players who
allegedly had [and continue to have] anti-computer success. GK
seemed to be overawed by the nodes-per-second figures and by the
occasional apparently very human-like moves found by DB.

--
Andy Walker
Nottingham


 
Date: 31 Dec 2008 09:20:22
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Alternative History: if Kasparov had never played chess
On Dec 31, 12:03=A0pm, Offramp <alaneobr...@gmail.com > wrote:
> Imagine an alternative world where Garry Kasparov decided at a young
> age to become a mathematician. He never takes up chess seriously. He
> remains an enthusiastic amateur.
> In that case, how long do you think Anatoly Karpov's tenure as World
> Champion would have been?
>
> I have my own feeling.
>
> I think he would have been champion for 18 years. I think he would
> have lost it narrowly in 1993.
>
> Who to? You'll simply die when I tell you!
>
> Nigel Short!!
>
> But that isn't alternative history... that is science fiction!

Considering that Short _did_ beat Karpov in their 1992 Candidates
Match, this seems quite plausible.