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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Computers, Analysis and Theory (Read 19255 times)
trw
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Re: Honey, Computers, etc.
Reply #45 - 06/24/09 at 00:36:05
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MNb wrote on 06/23/09 at 20:38:59:
Using a computer is never an excuse to switch your brains off. I teach that my pupils as soon as they use a calculator.
LDZ's wrong assumption is the we do.



No I think LDZ's point is he's crying at how easily the computer refutes his garbage openings.

CraigEvans wrote on 06/23/09 at 22:23:02:
Regardless of "laziness" - and the same accusation can easily be made of those who follow lines in books only to find themselves confronted by an improvement OTB - the simple point I'm making is that use of a computer to prepare is not cheating. And I think the lack of debate on that point is proof enough.



yea that point was never up for debate Wink

I was more or less hinting at the following point that you summarized better:
CraigEvans wrote on 06/23/09 at 15:39:16:
2) Hence I actually think that (similar to Smyslov's comments) rote learning is far more likely with books. As he says, the computer is used by any good player as a "partner", and moreover, a partner who you need to guide. As you rightly say, the computer's evaluations only make sense to himself and are based on concrete variations under specific pre-defined parameters, which are often misled by the horizon effect, material considerations, simple positional factors such as passed pawns etc. In other words, any good player worth his salt can completely look past =+'s given by the computer - if you play some lines of the French or Caro-Kann or Alekhine through a computer it will often give white a nonsensically large advantage because it understands nothing. A human who prepares his openings based solely on this number will actually be disadvantaging themselves compared to just trying to work things out OTB.

  
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CraigEvans
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Re: Computers, Analysis and Theory
Reply #44 - 06/23/09 at 22:23:02
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Regardless of "laziness" - and the same accusation can easily be made of those who follow lines in books only to find themselves confronted by an improvement OTB - the simple point I'm making is that use of a computer to prepare is not cheating. And I think the lack of debate on that point is proof enough.
  

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Re: Computers, Analysis and Theory
Reply #43 - 06/23/09 at 20:52:24
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I think this is a strange discussion.
Use whatever is working for you. Some will learn better by a book but other will find it better to use a computer to test different ideas.

Personally I think a combination of books, use of computer and my own analysis is the best way of learning and not to forget the practice -with human and the computer, whatever is available.
  

What kind of proof is that?
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MNb
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Re: Computers, Analysis and Theory
Reply #42 - 06/23/09 at 20:38:59
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Using a computer is never an excuse to switch your brains off. I teach that my pupils as soon as they use a calculator.
LDZ's wrong assumption is the we do.
  

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Re: Computers, Analysis and Theory
Reply #41 - 06/23/09 at 15:54:15
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Just wanted to remind people of the Kramnik debacle when following rote lines from a computer against Leko.
The computer was wrong in it's assessment, but the human element had been lazy.
  
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CraigEvans
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Re: Honey, Computers, etc.
Reply #40 - 06/23/09 at 15:39:16
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trw wrote on 06/21/09 at 21:32:39:
CraigEvans wrote on 06/18/09 at 21:15:03:
You learn 20 moves from a GM's book, you go into the game and after that 20 moves, you are on your own.

You learn 20 moves using a computer, you go into the game and after that 20 moves, you are on your own.



I'd actually like to seriously discuss LSA's point because it is a good one.

I agree with it and don't think I can refute it but for the purpose of fun... i'll play devil's advocate.

I would point out the main difference for me between a GM book and a computer line for the 20 moves is as follows:
1) The gm's moves usually have a sense of a concrete plan... you can see the pawn structure, space, piece play, endgame even taking shape. To boot, on top of the moves there is usually explanations and sidelines that help prove the point of endorsed plan. And in the end... the evaluation is as much your own opinion of the resulting position as it would be the GM's notated "=" or "+=" etc. What i'm trying to say is I don't believe it is possible to simple read a book by a GM and have only retained rote memorization. Either you will be able to understand the opening and the ideas behind it... or frankly you won't have the skill to memorize.
2) I see more rote memorization from databases/computers which leads to the next point. It is very difficult to follow computer analysis with understanding as often times the computers will endorse dumb plans that only make sense if you can see 15 moves ahead in all lines. Sometimes the computers themselves can't see this due to the horizon. I would further point out that your own creativity is stifled by computers as it is next to impossible to ignore = "+=" when it comes with a number in the very line you're analyzing. To this effect, once you start analyzing a position with a computer it is hard to stop!


As per the argument itself. Obviously no form of preparation for your game can be considered either cowardly or cheating only effective and non effective.


An interesting attempt at fighting LDZ's battle for him, Wizard, and one that made me stop and think for a little while. Here are my comments:

1) I am one of a number of players I know who have never ever sat down and read a chess book properly. By that, I have almost never sat down and played through the lines on a boar,d I've never taken it away and looked in databases for typical positions, I've never really even read over much of the text other than the moves themselves. A lot of my old dragon theory (some of which I still weirdly remember) I gleaned from a particularly long and boring train journey when I was 18, accompanied only by The Complete Dragon and my MP3 player. Did I have a real understanding of what I was doing in the opening... perhaps, perhaps not, that would have to have come from my understanding of chess in general. Did I know 20+ moves of theory in some lines? You bet.

2) Hence I actually think that (similar to Smyslov's comments) rote learning is far more likely with books. As he says, the computer is used by any good player as a "partner", and moreover, a partner who you need to guide. As you rightly say, the computer's evaluations only make sense to himself and are based on concrete variations under specific pre-defined parameters, which are often misled by the horizon effect, material considerations, simple positional factors such as passed pawns etc. In other words, any good player worth his salt can completely look past =+'s given by the computer - if you play some lines of the French or Caro-Kann or Alekhine through a computer it will often give white a nonsensically large advantage because it understands nothing. A human who prepares his openings based solely on this number will actually be disadvantaging themselves compared to just trying to work things out OTB.

Either way, I suppose the main point is that even if the GM has an idea of a concrete plan as well as the moves - if someone else is giving you that sort of help to learn moves then under LDZ's definition, that would be cheating. In fact, one could argue that books and magazines are even more a "cheat" in this sense, exactly because of the additional guidance, tips, plans and comments they give. The computer takes whatever moves you give it, and outputs a number at the end - it is up to the human to interpret this however.

An interesting case in point (very brief digression) is in the very detailed analysis done by Markovich, LG, Kam (and myself in places) of some Alekhine lines. Sometimes even as far as 25-30 moves eep the computer is giving white a huge "+/-" and then suddenly realises his mistake. A computer alone could never find some of the lines which we have found on those threads which actually make black look quite reasonable in, for example, the Voronezh variation. Realistically, a human alone would probably also struggle. But to say that using a computer to help you prepare for games is cheating... well, I think we're all agreed it's a pretty weak position to take. Computers, books, magazines, GM seconds/thirds/fourths (if you're Kasparov et al) - it's all the same. It's absolutely no different to revising for an exam, getting a tutor to help you in areas you are struggling with - it is help for the pre-test preparation. As long as you don't have the answer book then it isn't cheating. Since you're on your own as soon as you're inside the tournament hall, it isn't cheating. It's just replacing paper with bytes, and GMs with a calculator.

As for the freedom of speech issue... well, we've been over this a thousand times. Think Markovich, Smyslov et al have covered that one nicely.

I think you'll have confused some people by calling me LSA, however, Wiz.  That alone is justification enough to do it... Wink
  

"Give a man a pawn, and he'll smell a rat. Give a man a piece, and he'll smell a patzer." - Me.

"If others have seen further than me, it is because giants have been standing on my shoulders."
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Re: Computers, Analysis and Theory
Reply #39 - 06/23/09 at 10:15:09
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Markovich wrote on 06/22/09 at 12:33:26:
MNb wrote on 06/21/09 at 21:27:40:
Anyhow he has not thought yet about the argument why freedom of speech does not apply. Would it help to repeat it for the zillionth time?


Right.  Freedom of speech does not apply in this venue because this is a private forum, and Tony may choose to regulate what can and cannot be posted here, a task that he has delegated to appointed monitors.

Futher it is simply idiotic to think that because you can't say whatever you like, however you like, in this one little forum your speech is significantly restricted.  You can go out on any street corner in New Jersey or Ohio or whereever and shout your opinions to all passers-by; you can have them printed up and hand them out in front of libraries or deliver them to peoples doorsteps.  

But as you point out, Lev has never taken note of this argument, so it is perhaps futile to repeat it.

@TimS:  London, Ohio or London, Kentucky?

London, Middlesex
  
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Re: Computers, Analysis and Theory
Reply #38 - 06/22/09 at 22:05:24
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I disagree with the premise that memorising something I analysed with the aid of a computer is different in any way from any other line I memorise.  

I use the computer as an aid, and not a crutch.  I force the computer to analyse positions it would not normally analyse.  I ask it questions and challenge my own thinking.  In this way, the resulting lines are created by a symbiotic relationship between my computer and myself.

When I quote a line that Fritz gives, I usually do so for one of two reasons: a) to give credit to the computer for discovering a tactic that I overlooked or b) to show where I disagree with the computer.  

It is interesting that someone who is so careful about his own freedoms wishes to curtail the freedom of others to do research as they see fit.  

Alexei Shirov, one of the most fearless GMs around, openly discusses how he uses computers to help him in Fire on Board I and II.

Of course, he isn't the only one, with just about every modern author using computer analysis to supplement their own thinking.

The argument that players simply memorise computer lines is wrong in its inception because the players must put those lines into the computer to begin with.  The process is not purely mechanical, and even if it were the otb player would soon be  out of what he has memorised and thinking anyway.

As Tartakower once said, between the opening and endgame the gods have placed the middlegame.
  
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Re: Computers, Analysis and Theory
Reply #37 - 06/22/09 at 12:33:26
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MNb wrote on 06/21/09 at 21:27:40:
Anyhow he has not thought yet about the argument why freedom of speech does not apply. Would it help to repeat it for the zillionth time?


Right.  Freedom of speech does not apply in this venue because this is a private forum, and Tony may choose to regulate what can and cannot be posted here, a task that he has delegated to appointed monitors.

Futher it is simply idiotic to think that because you can't say whatever you like, however you like, in this one little forum your speech is significantly restricted.  You can go out on any street corner in New Jersey or Ohio or whereever and shout your opinions to all passers-by; you can have them printed up and hand them out in front of libraries or deliver them to peoples doorsteps.  

But as you point out, Lev has never taken note of this argument, so it is perhaps futile to repeat it.

@TimS:  London, Ohio or London, Kentucky?
  

The Great Oz has spoken!
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Re: Honey, Computers, etc.
Reply #36 - 06/22/09 at 12:13:23
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Gambit wrote on 06/20/09 at 16:30:39:
Excuse me, but I do have a FIDE rating of 2027. I think that is the equivalent of 2127 USCF, since FIDE ratings are at least 100 points higher.

Under what name?
  
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trw
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Re: Honey, Computers, etc.
Reply #35 - 06/21/09 at 21:32:39
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CraigEvans wrote on 06/18/09 at 21:15:03:
You learn 20 moves from a GM's book, you go into the game and after that 20 moves, you are on your own.

You learn 20 moves using a computer, you go into the game and after that 20 moves, you are on your own.



I'd actually like to seriously discuss LSA's point because it is a good one.

I agree with it and don't think I can refute it but for the purpose of fun... i'll play devil's advocate.

I would point out the main difference for me between a GM book and a computer line for the 20 moves is as follows:
1) The gm's moves usually have a sense of a concrete plan... you can see the pawn structure, space, piece play, endgame even taking shape. To boot, on top of the moves there is usually explanations and sidelines that help prove the point of endorsed plan. And in the end... the evaluation is as much your own opinion of the resulting position as it would be the GM's notated "=" or "+=" etc. What i'm trying to say is I don't believe it is possible to simple read a book by a GM and have only retained rote memorization. Either you will be able to understand the opening and the ideas behind it... or frankly you won't have the skill to memorize.
2) I see more rote memorization from databases/computers which leads to the next point. It is very difficult to follow computer analysis with understanding as often times the computers will endorse dumb plans that only make sense if you can see 15 moves ahead in all lines. Sometimes the computers themselves can't see this due to the horizon. I would further point out that your own creativity is stifled by computers as it is next to impossible to ignore = "+=" when it comes with a number in the very line you're analyzing. To this effect, once you start analyzing a position with a computer it is hard to stop!


As per the argument itself. Obviously no form of preparation for your game can be considered either cowardly or cheating only effective and non effective.
  
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MNb
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Re: Computers, Analysis and Theory
Reply #34 - 06/21/09 at 21:27:40
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Anyhow he has not thought yet about the argument why freedom of speech does not apply. Would it help to repeat it for the zillionth time?
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
GC Lichtenberg
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Re: Computers, Analysis and Theory
Reply #33 - 06/21/09 at 21:23:51
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Gambit wrote on 06/21/09 at 18:14:54:
And provoking means making people think.

Somehow I doubt you feel provoked...
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Computers, Analysis and Theory
Reply #32 - 06/21/09 at 19:27:46
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Actually,

I hope this is readable in Iran.

But as for voting, since you are clearly American, please review the US Constitition and Constitutional law regarding the protection of individual rights, property rights and the First Amendment. 

Then, you may want to look at international law, since this is clearly an international website (apparently based in France).
  
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Re: Computers, Analysis and Theory
Reply #31 - 06/21/09 at 18:14:54
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And provoking means making people think. What do you  think this is, Iran, where freedom of speech is censured?

Where is my vote?
  
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