"The robot is going to lose. Not by much. But when the final score is tallied, flesh and blood is going to beat the damn monster."
-Adam Smith

Comparison of Computers and Humans with respect to Chess!


Characteristics Computers Humans
Weaknesses Horizon effect
Power cuts
Bad heuristics
Pawn grabbing
Too much alchol,
Lack of sleep
Bad opening preparation
Emotional swings
Mortality
Average weight Varies from a few stone to several tonnes (in the case of Deep Blue) generally under 18 stone.
Emotions None, but will soon simulate by electronically laughing at your moves. Fritz 4 is becoming a bit of a cocky program. Excited when winning, Annoyed when losing. Can also simulate to trick opponent (if opponent is not a computer).
Calculating speed Millions of moves a second A few moves a second.
Appreciation of aesthetics None Pleased when getting attractive looking positions, when pieces are coordinated, and harmonious.
Usage of numbers Used extensively to assess
and compare chess positions. Alpha-beta pruning is a popular technique used in chess playing programs.
Limited to calculation of grading points, and prize money. Sometimes also used to count pawns.
Experience of fear/ worry / nerves None Sometimes concerned when playing much stronger players or uncomfortable with the position which came out of the opening.
Plan formulation From the "bottom up" - i.e. from looking at millions of variations and then giving the impression of having thought a strategic plan through the normal "top-down" route when the moves produced seem "centralised" by a well conceived plan. From the "top down" - Position generally assessed, and then plan formulated based on this assessment. Implementation generally checked by calculating a few variations.
Effect of observers None Can become conscious of observers
Feelings about moving pieces twice when they could have been moved once. If the number assessment is high enough, the computer will "swallow its pride" and not care about the history of its previous moves. Feeling of stupidity inhibits making what could possibily be the best move- the history of the game therefore has a bearing.
Tiredness thresholds None- as long as there is electricity there is untiresome calculation. Towards the end of a long game/ match, tiredness can creep in.
Use of "experience" To train heuristic function To form concepts about the game.
Improvement curves made possible by Better, faster hardware; Evaluation function improvement. Practice and study. Losing to stronger players sometimes helps.
     

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