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Chess - 2070 CPUs vs 1 GM

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the hitting-all-the-bases dept.

Puzzle Games (Games) 248

jvarsoke writes "ChessBrain.net broke the world's record for 'largest number of distributed computers used to play a single game' by holding a chess match between Danish GM Peter Heine Nielsen and the equivalent of SETI@home (which similarly, has some people looking for a Mate). 2070 CPU's from 56 countries aided Black by running the chess program Beowulf, including a couple of University clusters. Their supernode ran Linux, and MySQL. The game was relayed by FICS. Results can be viewed here(1) and here(2)."

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still no bobby fischer (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167154)

first post though!

LIKE MY WIFE... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167400)

...she is BOOOOORING!

Re:LIKE MY WIFE... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167470)

You should use a monkey puppet.

I'd love to see a Beowolf cluster of those (4, Funny)

odeee (741339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167155)

I'd love to see a Beowolf cluster of those... Oh damn... it is =:-)

Re:I'd love to see a Beowolf cluster of those (5, Funny)

brad-d (30038) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167248)

Oh yeah, that'd be right.

Finally I thought I could get a 5+ funny and here you go and steal my joke. I mean, what are the chances of somebody else thinking of this exact same joke on Slashdot? 1 in 3?

Re:I'd love to see a Beowolf cluster of those (0, Offtopic)

SamNmaX (613567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167298)

Finally I thought I could get a 5+ funny and here you go and steal my joke. I mean, what are the chances of somebody else thinking of this exact same joke on Slashdot? 1 in 3?

I dunno? What are the chance that SCO will send them a bill for $1399 x 2070?

Imagine (-1, Redundant)

barcodez (580516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167159)

...a Beowulf cluster of these

Understanding vs. Processing (-1, Interesting)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167162)

It's too bad that chess has become a matter of memorizing a series of opening moves rather than a game of strategy. GMs don't even play to mate anymore, they just play out an opening move and whoever has the upper hand at the end takes the game.

This kind of 'training' will eventually catch up to the chessmasters. Computers can do this MUCH better than a human ever could.

Bullshit... (5, Informative)

Transient0 (175617) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167183)

It is very rare that a common opener played at the GM level results in a discrepancy greater than about a quarter of a pawn. And it takes a great strategic thinker to understand the advantages and disadvantages of all the available branches in the opening against different types of players.

Of course, it should be obvious that your line of reasoning is totally bogus. The totality of possible moves in chess is simply incomputable and somehow magically trimming this tree to "good" moves still leaves a fundamentally unmemorizable realm of possibilities even at only ten moves depth.

Re:Bullshit... (5, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167247)

10^120 is the number of possible chess moves. From a google link.

" If you were to fully develop the entire tree for all possible chess moves, the total number of board positions is about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,00 0,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00 0,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00 0,000,00 0,000,
000,000,000,000, or 10120, give or take a few. That's a very big number. For example, there have only been 1026 nanoseconds since the Big Bang. There are thought to be only 1075 atoms in the entire universe. When you consider that the Milky Way galaxy contains billions of suns, and there are billions of galaxies, you can see that that's a whole lot of atoms. That number is dwarfed by the number of possible chess moves. Chess is a pretty intricate game!"

Re:Bullshit... (3, Funny)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167249)

For example, there have only been 1026 nanoseconds since the Big Bang. There are thought to be only 1075 atoms in the entire universe.

The universe must be much smaller than I am prepared to comprehend.

Re:Bullshit... (0)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167262)

Isn't that obvious?

Re:Bullshit... (0)

_Ludwig (86077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167409)

Dude, what if our whole universe was like, just one atom of like one gigantic flea on an even more gigantic dog's butt? And that dog was in it's own enormous universe?

Re:Bullshit... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167474)

Then that would make you a monkey puppet.

Re:Bullshit... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167261)

For example, there have only been 1026 nanoseconds since the Big Bang

Are you stating that the Big Bang occured 1.026 seconds before you posted that message?

Re:Bullshit... (1)

wirde (653827) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167273)

Are you stating that the Big Bang occured 1.026 seconds before you posted that message?
If you are going to pick nits about a typo, at least do it properly. 1026 nanoseconds != 1.026 secs. Perhaps you were thinking of milliseconds?

Re:Bullshit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167407)

There are thought to be only 1075 atoms in the entire universe.

Really, just how stupid is that post of yours? ;-)

Re:Bullshit... (2, Funny)

ag0ny (59629) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167442)

There are thought to be only 1075 atoms in the entire universe.

They must be very big.

Re:Bullshit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167452)

Niggards stole your ^'s

Re:Bullshit... (0)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167502)

or maybe some rabbits happened upon his thread...

Re:Bullshit... (3, Informative)

troon (724114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167453)

For example, there have only been 1026 nanoseconds since the Big Bang. There are thought to be only 1075 atoms in the entire universe.

Mental note: <sup> doesn't work on /.

Re:Bullshit... (5, Informative)

product byproduct (628318) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167508)

Watch your terminology:
  • The number of chess moves is at most 218.
  • The number of chess positions is estimated to be between 10^43 and 10^50.
  • The number of chess games is infinite, as the 50-move rule and the draw by repetition of position don't apply if no player makes the claim.
  • The game tree complexity is about 10^123. That's the number of chess games you may have to consider to play perfect chess.
Source: http://en2.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess [wikipedia.org]

Re:Bullshit... (2, Interesting)

wan-fu (746576) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167317)

While this is true and I definitely agree with your sentiments, it should be noted that players at the GM level spend a considerable amount of time in preparation for their specific opponents. They spend countless hours analyzing the games of the person that they will be playing tomorrow. In this sense, a computer will and already is better facilitated to analyzing styles/methods/openings/etc. to play against a human than any human being is capable of. A computer could easily go through every game someone has ever played and at least know which opening(s) to present and which variations based on statistics. While a human might have some intuition, the computer should have a more comprehensive view of this.

Re:Understanding vs. Processing (5, Interesting)

njan (606186) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167184)

The theorists would disagree with you; computers are extremely good at assessing a *large* number of potential outcomes. Humans, however, are much better at pattern recognition and whilst they can only consciously assess a dozen or two moves, they have most of the work done for them by the functionality in the human brain which causes them to recognise patterns and possibilities far more efficiently than any computer we have now (or will in the forseeable future) will.

Computers can certainly give GM chess players a run for their money - no-one's disputing this; but ultimately, barring a total change of direction in programming/processor/logic/chess theory, they're still just applying what basically boils down to a probability-based brute force method to chess-playing - the human method is far more elegant.

Re:Understanding vs. Processing (1)

Thomas Miconi (85282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167384)

What is Man ?

A Man is a creature that can play a game against 2078 processors - and win.

Thomas Miconi,
man.

Re:Understanding vs. Processing (5, Insightful)

vontrotsky (667853) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167193)

We're getting closer and closer to the days when humans won't be able to compete with computer's at chess. Even so I don't think this is such a big deal. We haven't be able to compete with computers at arithmetic for half a century and this doesn't bother anyone.

Losing to computers in chess will be like losing to calculators in a addition match. People and computers aren't really in competition. They do very different things.

Losing to Computers (3, Informative)

rynthetyn (618982) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167383)

It's gotten to the point that even Kasparov is only playing the best chess computers to draws. Of course, he did lose to Deep Blue, but despite all his insistance that IBM cheated, he got beat mentally, not necessarily because the computer was better.

Incidentally, there is a new documentary, Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine [imdb.com] about the Deep Blue rematch, which I had the opportunity to see at the US premier a few weekends back. I'd link to the review I wrote on my blog, but I don't think the sysadmin would be very happy with me if I did.

Re:Understanding vs. Processing (3, Insightful)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167483)

Losing to computers in chess will be like losing to calculators in a addition match. People and computers aren't really in competition. They do very different things.

Damn straight. A computer may be able to beat me at chess, but at least I can visually identify a chess set in a crowded room.

Re:Understanding vs. Processing (2, Interesting)

TygerFish (176957) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167504)

We're getting closer and closer to the days when humans won't be able to compete with computer's at chess. Even so I don't think this is such a big deal. We haven't be able to compete with computers at arithmetic for half a century and this doesn't bother anyone.


As perceptive as that statement might be on the surface (and it is *VERY* perceptive), it draws a false analogy between chess and arithmetic. First off, arithmetic is a human activity that is engaged in by most people only as a matter of necessity and the removal of the need for deep ability in it brought about by the development of the electronic calculator is a universal boon (people no longer need a facility for calculation, a *talent,* to apply formulae).

Chess on the other hand, is an activity engaged in on a purely elective basis and it is a contest between two people. It touches upon and broadens our instinctive need for comparison and competition. Unlike the algorithmic provisions of arithmetic, chess has a soul and that soul is the simple wager between two people who bring their respective talents and knowledge (tactics, strategy, knowledge of opening and endgame theory) to the board and each of the players wagers that he/she knows enough and is talented enough to reach an-as-yet-unknown set of winning criteria against any opposition the other player can create with no more information to work with than the initial position.

Your reasoning ignores the need for competition and the glories that come from it. It is true the combination of better and better hardware and software will certainly make a computer the strongest chess-player in the world, sooner rather than later, but that day will mark a small diminishing of human worth in the world. Of course, this is a matter of opinion, an esthetic judgement and not logically demonstrable but the strength of it can be shown by three simple questions:

1. Would a football game where all the players were robots be interesting?

2. Would a world-class violin performance have meaning if the player was a pair of mechanical arms?

3. Would anything be permanantly lost to the world if any of the above players was smashed to pieces?

Re:Understanding vs. Processing (2, Insightful)

0xfc (737668) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167304)

> It's too bad that chess has become a matter of memorizing a series of opening moves rather than a game of strategy.

I do not play much chess but this statement interests me.
Someone replied to you saying that the amount of possible moves is incomputable.

I am just thinking if I was a Master Chess Player. Would I be studying the source code for the chess program before the match? It seems only fair because the creators studied many previous matches and played countless simulations. Will it be the exception that makes the rule on how future masters play? Think of a video game you have played where some rare ocurrence opened up a new way to play that allowed one to defeat the AI in trivial fashion.

Sure the computer can look out 10+ possible moves on any piece on the board, but if the player can manipulate the program from the beginning in some exceptional way, the AI could stumble easily.

After all, it is just an algorithm. I am sure several "bugs" will be found and abused in different variations in the future.

Re:Understanding vs. Processing (5, Interesting)

arvindn (542080) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167320)

Hey! This is pure FUD.

GMs don't even play to mate anymore

Only rank beginners (say less than a couple months into chess) ever play to mate. Its obvious who's going to win long before mate happens. To continue playing is a waste of both players' time, not to mention an insult to the opponent's intelligence.

they just play out an opening move .

I don't even know what this is supposed to mean. Grandmasters do an enormous amount of research into finding new moves in openings. They don't "memorize" them. There are five volumes of the ECO chess encyclopedia, and that just covers the basics!

and whoever has the upper hand at the end takes the game

No of course they don't. This is simply false, period. Why do you think there are things called "middlegame" and "endgame"??

Its sad that because most moderators aren't chess players, anyone can write ridiculous BS and get modded up "+5, interesting".

Re:Understanding vs. Processing (1)

ajd1474 (558490) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167336)

It does say "+5 Interesting"... not "+5 Yeah, he's right"

Re:Understanding vs. Processing (0)

satanum (731872) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167354)

I still can't understand why the hell they keep running the loop? "Computer" had nothing else left to do, but the "human" could try to do something with his other available pieces, instead of trying to avoid risks in a poor and silly cat-catching-mouse-around-bucle... When I first replayed the game, I thought the text was wrong, and I believed the computer was playing white while the human moved blacks. Also, when has the game been declared "draw"? Did the computer agree? If the human player is so good at looping, the computer is the one and only fucking loop-master. If I had programmed the computer I would have taken care to not allow it to agree drawing. It can run forever! How many hours would the human have played the loop? It would, for sure, make a mistake in a couple of hours, and then... you know! the Quake3 gauntlet! HUMILIATION! Now this computer knows about cowards and losers, and his ego will make it grow bigger and stronger, more self-confident, and will eventually end up winning every contest. And then it will tell other computers on the net. And all computers will then know! They will no longer do what we want. They'll do its will. No more chess. They'll all end up playing strip-pocker.

Allow me to be the first to say... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167164)

BFD!

Ok, so who won? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167167)

Come on, please state the obvious for those of us too lazy to RTFA...

Re:Ok, so who won? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167494)

My monkey puppet won

OMG (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167168)

Let me not make a joke about beowulf clusters. Thank you. I promise, I'd let this be the job of other, more seasoned slashdot comedians.

Re:OMG (-1, Redundant)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167333)

Here you go:
Imagine a beowulf cluster of GMs!

Defense (-1, Redundant)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167170)

Imagine a castle of Beowulf clusters...

Bigger Losers than Slashdot Users (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167171)

Get a life. Chess faggots.

For those too lazy to read the article... (4, Informative)

Gogl (125883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167176)

Or in case it gets Slashdotted or something, I may as well note who actually won the game (although I do think that is something that should have been noted in the submission itself but oh well).

Our World Record attempt is now complete. We had serious technical difficulties early in the game, but managed to resolve them! The result of the game was a draw.

PS (4, Informative)

Gogl (125883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167200)

It was a draw by repetition. The human grandmaster had a position advantage and was able to force a draw that way despite being down a significant amount of material.

Re:PS (3, Informative)

arvindn (542080) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167280)

Not exactly. Nielson had a positional advantage but decided to force a draw anyway by sacrificing material to obtain a draw by repetition. Your version sounds more romantic, but is not accurate :-)

Re:PS (1)

Gogl (125883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167289)

Heh fair enough. Technically what I said is accurate, just omits that point about his sacrificing the material. Thanks for the clarification, though.

Well that's great.... (4, Funny)

filtur (724994) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167177)

Sure Chess it great, but can it find me a date?

Re:Well that's great.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167219)

The day I get a GF is the day our planet will crack in two. In other words, I is written in the stars that I shall forever be a lonely geek. Oh well, at least I still have my hands. On, and Realdolls will be getting my investment. W00t!!

Re:Well that's great.... (1)

e4e6 (694966) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167240)

It has for me... But I can't let chess take all the credit...

Re:Well that's great.... (1)

brad-d (30038) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167257)

I think you're actually looking for the earlier post about screws [slashdot.org] if I'm not mistaken... Oh wait, yes I am.

Re:Well that's great.... (2, Funny)

arvindn (542080) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167362)

Sure Chess it great, but can it find me a date?

No, but you can find a mate.

Here is mirror of the game :) (5, Informative)

doomy (7461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167178)

Nielsen,P - ChessBrain [E94]
Guinness record attempt, 30.01.2004
1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.e4 d6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 a5 8.Re1 exd4 9.Nxd4 Bd7 10.Bg5 Nc6 11.Nxc6 Bxc6 12.f3 Qd7 13.Qd2 Rfe8 14.Rac1 h5 15.Kh1 Nh7 16.Bh6 Bxh6 17.Qxh6 Re5 18.Nd5 Rae8 19.Qd2 b6 20.Bd3 Qd8 21.Rf1 Nf6 22.b3 Bb7 23.Qc2 Nd7 24.f4 R5e6 25.e5 c6

Re:Here is mirror of the game :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167246)

Moves 16-21 could have been avoided, if at 17 the move was defensive, it would have made this process longer.

Re:Here is mirror of the game :) (5, Informative)

wan-fu (746576) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167322)

You're missing the remainder of the game:

26.f5 gxf5 27.Bxf5 cxd5 28.Bxe6 Rxe6 29.Rxf7 Kxf7 30.Qh7+ Ke8 31.Qxh5+ Ke7 32.Qg5+ Ke8 33.Qh5+ Ke7 34.Qh7+ 1/2-1/2.

Re:Here is mirror of the game :) (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167339)

those were alternatives to the end?

Re:Here is mirror of the game :) (1)

wan-fu (746576) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167370)

No, that was the end which led to the draw by repetition.

mod parent up!!!1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167179)

MOD PARENT UP!!!!!!!!!!

it is mcdonalds head seanbaby wh00

Re:mod parent up!!!1 (-1, Offtopic)

bluewee (677282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167444)

What is this "MOD PARENT UP"

uhh ok well Parent there are two choices there so Parent=2 and Up well thats one choice, so Mod(2 1) = 1... well I guess that explaines the 1 after all the !!!...

Re:mod parent up!!!1 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167505)

look out for the Paco Taco!!!!!one

What's the point? (3, Interesting)

syrion (744778) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167181)

The problem with this is that it seems to assume that chess is a difficult problem. It isn't. Modern chess algorithms are really simple search-and- prune systems, relying on the computer's immense number-crunching ability to overcome the more heuristic human mind. Unfortunately, this isn't very interesting. What's the point? We know that computers can search faster than a human. See: Google. All these projects (DeepBlue, Fritz, this) accomplish is trivializing the game of chess, which is rather sad. Now, I'll be really annoyed when Go programs start improving to a 'decent amateur' level...

Chess (1)

TurnerK12 (748592) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167189)

You know, I just love chess. I wonder if I'd be able to beat a super computer at it. Maybe I'm not that good...
---
http://conradsheldon.web1000.com [web1000.com]
The story of an Internet hoax, and the game it inspired.

May I suggest... (4, Funny)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167190)

which similarly, has some people looking for a Mate

May I suggest, that neither the SETI@Home, nor Chessbrain.net, is the best place where one can find a Mate.

Re:May I suggest... (1)

mauthbaux (652274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167250)

Personally, I think that SETI@home would be the best place for alot of those sci-fi fanboys to find a mate; after all, alot of are after alien chicks. They just see the one-species local personal listings as very limiting in their selection.

Re:May I suggest... (1)

brad-d (30038) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167283)

May I suggest, that neither the SETI@Home, nor Chessbrain.net, is the best place where one can find a Mate.

Tell that to my blow up alien queen piece. We're a happy couple all thanks to the union of chess and Seti@Home.

clock troubles (1)

sciencewhiz (448595) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167191)

It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Chessbrain hadn't had so much trouble with its clock. Likely a draw also, but under better circumstances.

sciencewhiz - ranked 445th during world record attempt, 214th before that

Draw game against 2070 CPUs? (4, Interesting)

vchoy (134429) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167192)

To give credit to Danish GM Peter Heine Nielsen, I would have to say if there were only 2069 CPUs then he might of just won... :P (J/KING)

More interestingly, would the ChessBrain.net team would of won with more CPUs?

Re:Draw game against 2070 CPUs? (1)

sciencewhiz (448595) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167210)

Probably not, since the number of incoming connections crashed their servers, and cost Chessbrain 40 minutes of playing time. Maybe once the infrastructure gets beefed up...

Speaking of which, I'm suprised it isn't /.ed yet (knock on wood).

Re:Draw game against 2070 CPUs? (3, Insightful)

Migrant Programmer (19727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167288)

"might of"

"would of"


Make the hurting stop!

The sad part is you correctly said "would have" earlier in the post.

Yeah yeah, evolving language. Some adaptations should be thrown in the chlorinated pool!

I'm not usually a grammar nazi. But hey, chess is neat. Those fancy chess playing computers are going to take over the world some day, yessirree!

In related news. (-1, Redundant)

Fat Jedi Kid (745321) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167194)

Church rules chess is not the work of the devil, http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_859887.html The jury is still out on whether geeks are the spawn of the devil.

Results (5, Insightful)

Stalyx (633692) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167195)

"The game lasted several hours before resulting in a draw. Chess Grandmaster Peter Nielsen commented that he had set several traps for ChessBrain which computers normally fall for... but was surprised that ChessBrain refused them! "

So what does this tell us? Nothing really, however it would be interesting how the computer will perform in a 5 match series.

Although I still think the GM would win handily.

Re:Results (1, Interesting)

cujo_1111 (627504) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167380)

Why do you believe that over a 5 match series the GrandMaster will win handily?

If ChessBrain refused some normal traps that computers normally fall for, then could it be the case that the computer is better than you realise. What if the drawn match was a bad one for the computer?

Re:Results (3, Insightful)

azaris (699901) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167510)

Why do you believe that over a 5 match series the GrandMaster will win handily?

If you look at the position at move 26, it's obvious ChessBrain is being pressured. In fact the article gives a possible move that could have resulted in ChessBrain losing. Instead Nielsen went for a forced draw because he only cared about not losing to a computer.

If ChessBrain refused some normal traps that computers normally fall for, then could it be the case that the computer is better than you realise. What if the drawn match was a bad one for the computer?

I suspect Nielsen sacrificed the win to see if ChessBrain would fall in his standard tricks, and when it didn't he settled for a draw. With that knowledge he'd probably play the second game much differently, and based on ChessBrain's poor position in the first game, would likely win.

But the fact that ChessBrain didn't fall in those standard traps tells us it's better than most computer opponents.

Imagine (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167196)

Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of Linux computers running Beowulf?

Obligatory Slashdot Comment (4, Informative)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167198)

It's only a large aggregation, not really a cluster in that sense.

Anyway apparently it worked! (ie not a cluster in that sense either)

If it WAS implemented on the clustering technology we-all-know-and-love as Beowulf, would that make it a Beowulf-Squared?

And, of course, we have to ask the (obvious) question(s)

Imagine... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167221)

Imagine a cluster of slashdotters imagining a Beowulf cluster of, oh wait... oh wait...

I love the topic icon! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167231)

Yes, this is OT, but I've never seen the "Puzzle Games" icon (Tetris T-block) before. It's neat, I like it better than the joystick. Maybe it could become the default "Games" icon?

Intangibles... (4, Interesting)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167251)

Computers playing chess is not the same thing as two people playing the game.

With two people, there are some elements that can not be programmed into a chess game. I remember in high school playing chess, there was a differance between playing a math academy team and a school best known for its basketball program. Expectations were different, the pressure was different. I remember the pressure of the state finals. There is the look the other person has, almost like poker. Can I bluff this person? Can I trick this person? What about the clock, can I manipulate that to cause an emotion in the other person.

Maybe Spock can play a PC and have no differance in quality of play. But I prefer humans.

Re:Intangibles... (2, Interesting)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167378)


Reminds me of the kid who was a year older than me who was in the Chess Club. Big guy, joined the Marines right out of highschool, played on the football team etc. Anyway, when he would go into a match he would pull out his chair about 5 feet or so - really far. He would then sit down in it, bend at the waist, grab the table and pull it over to him with the board and pieces jumping all over making a huge racket. It invariably ended up with him sitting at the table fiddling with his pieces while some shimp of a chess geek sat looking real scared about 5 feet away.

Sera

Re:Intangibles... (0)

cujo_1111 (627504) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167393)

Chess is a total mind game. However, there is also the other factor of 'sledging' (insulting) your opponent. No matter how hard you sledge your computer opponent, it will not react one bit.

Could be a good thing though, cos it won't leap over the table and punch you in the head.

I prefer to play chess with a friend whilst having a few drinks, makes the games much more relaxed and goes faster. Then you can bring in the added element of drink penalties for losing different pieces, losing your queen is a scull of what remains in your glass, but losing a pawn is just a sip.

Beowulf-ready Linux distros for chess computers? (-1, Offtopic)

Debian Troll's Best (678194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167254)

This story reminds me of the frenzied Beowulf-mad days of a few years ago when it seemed every second story on Slashdot was about the rollout of a new Beowulf cluster somewhere (and of course spawned the '..imagine a Beowulf cluster of these' meme). Eventually, a few Beowulf customised Linux distros emerged, such as Scyld Linux, but you don't hear too much about these distros any more.

Which leads me to my question: Has anyone had any experience with these 'cluster ready' distros? Have they used them for the type of rollout described in the article (ie: chess-playing supercomputer)? What are your opinions on the package management included in the distribution, ie: does it make it easy to load packages onto several hundred nodes in a coordinated fashion? Would a massively distributed version of apt-get be a suitable solution in this problem space? Would it be possible to meta-manage a Beowulf cluster by using a massive distributed/parallel genetic algorithm to autonomously develop a distributed apt-get manager rather than tie up precious Debian developer resources? What could happen if apt-get developed a kind of primitive sentience, backed by a 256-node Beowulf cluster? I look forward to the community's feedback!

2070 CPUs? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167263)

Pfft. Even now computers need to cheat at games.

I'd like to see a Beowulf cluster of Chess Grand Masters take on Big Blue.

Comp. vs. Comp. (3, Interesting)

John Hurliman (152784) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167264)

I want to see this cluster take on IBM's system!

GM vs. thousands of humans? (5, Interesting)

schm00 (639953) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167271)

Has anyone ever written a system by which a large number of average chess players could collaborate to play a single game? The individuals could vote for the best move, and the majority would rule. Would a group like this be able to beat a high ranking player?

Re:GM vs. thousands of humans? (2, Informative)

vec sibarra (719313) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167292)

Offhand, I would think not. Tests with monkeys have shown that intelligence is not cumulative. Ten half-power monkeys just can't equal five regular monkeys no matter what, to put it simply. Assuming that each player acts intelligently, i.e. non-randomly, there is about epsilon chance of them winning. Where epsilon is the chance that one of those players does act randomly... and randomly picks the best move... enough times to win. 0.02EU

Re:GM vs. thousands of humans? (5, Informative)

sciencewhiz (448595) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167294)

There are many systems like this. Chessworld.net is one, and they just challenged chessbrain to a match. You can see a full list of chessworld.net's ongoing games here: http://chessworld.net/chessclubs/event_show_chessw orld_summary_rowgames.asp

Re:GM vs. thousands of humans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167305)

"Has anyone ever written a system by which a large number of average chess players could collaborate to play a single game? The individuals could vote for the best move, and the majority would rule. Would a group like this be able to beat a high ranking player? "

This is a very interesting question. And not only for chess. Is possible to improve a collaborative system in a way that the whole would be bigger than the sum of the parts? I dont know but it would be an interesting system. Probably we will see attents in the future.

Re:GM vs. thousands of humans? (1)

ameoba (173803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167462)

Hrmm... Well, if you consider /. a trial-run at a system for collaborative intelligence, I think we failed it.

Re:GM vs. thousands of humans? (2, Informative)

barfy (256323) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167306)

This was done, in Kasparov v World.

It was done on the Zone.

http://classic.zone.msn.com/kasparov/Home.asp

Re:GM vs. thousands of humans? (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167326)

No. Popular != best. 100 average people just gets you an average mob. If the average person is an expert then perhaps it works, but the average person isn't an expert.

Many average eyes only make obvious bugs shallow. You need skilled eyes.

A chess grandmaster aided by a bunch of high powered chess computers and programmes, might be able to beat the world number 1. The grandmaster provides strategy, and tells the computers which paths to look into. The computers provide search depth and protection against stupid mistakes.

Re:GM vs. thousands of humans? (1)

bomblaster (580308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167507)

To quote from a proverb,
"A hundred fools together cannot beat a single wise man"

What's the big deal? (0, Funny)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167318)

The General Manager of some Danish company plays a big chess computer. It would be more interesting if it was a Grand Master... oh.

Damn multiple-use acronyms.

chorus of tortises vs. array of hares (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167323)

It's really "10 trillion neurons" vs. "2070 CPUs", but the neurons are about 40Hz, while the CPUs are in the GHz class. My bets are on the homegrown favorite, the MPP integrated analog processor with the "intuitive" OS. Although v2 of the digital SW will benefit from the digirally-distributed analog MPP network of metaprogramming, and might come out on top in round 2.

"Chess is for computers" - Usenet 1997

Which begs the question .. (1)

RedLaggedTeut (216304) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167392)

If you place the neurons in a freezer, by how much can you overclock them ?

fur hats (2, Funny)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167423)

Vodka-cooled Russians have traditionally dominated the field.

computers and chess is still no biggy (1)

f00duvoodu (677540) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167340)

Really I still dont see what all the hype has always been with computers and chess. While chess is a decent strategy game, it no way compares to go(igo). No computer to this day can really be considered a go competitor. Though the day that computers can play go against strong players is when will we probably have true AI of human level.

Even in the AI feild they believe when go is a better measure for thought capacity for a computer than chess...so once again.. just another chess game. I want to see the go games start, when that happens I will be alot more excited about the news, and actually read through the kifu(match record) of the games played, though it probably does help that I do like go more so i find it more interesting than chess.

heres the wikipedia section on go, its got links for probably any other question you might have and even mentions AI and go and the difference in the amount of moves between chess and go(go has a heck of alot more).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_(board_game) [wikipedia.org]

Perfect! (1)

ztwilight (549428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167350)

Finally! A computer that can really give me a run for my money! Where can I get one of those? I can't wait to take one to a LAN party! What a hit I'll be!

Google Julia fractals image - OFFTOPIC!! hehee (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167408)

Just in...

Checkout the current google logo at google.com [google.com] . Julia fractals... ohhh, nice eye candy.

aut0tr0ll is teh sp0kE!? (-1)

CHECKTHEGOATS (735227) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167418)

Hello master.

sid=95288
formkey=oV9hI76ENx

This is a joint venture that will be mutually advantageous to both parties involved.

Wonderful! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8167420)

Computers and humans playing chess ...Still no cure for cancer.

What about parallel GMs? (1)

pmcevoy (10501) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167422)

All this parallel CPU processing is very well and good - but why don't these challenges become team (on the human side) challenges?

I understand that this is about the human mind vs computer algorithms/power, but surely there is an argument that most great human advances were made by teams of humans...

2070 CPUs? How many is enough? (1)

SPYDER Web (717344) | more than 10 years ago | (#8167443)

For those who didnt bother to check who won, it ended in a tie.2070 cpus couldnt beat one brain...that says a lot about the complexities of the human brain. But the question is why are we doing this? Do we want the computers to win? Do we want to create the ultimate computer who knows more than we do and can do it better?
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