Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Round 1 of the Gothic Chess Computer Chess Championship

Chaos Theory is a branch of mathematics that gained some popular exposure in 1993 when Michael Cricton's novel, Jurassic Park, became a summer blockbuster after its June 11 release (I was one of the few that got to see it the night before on June 10.)

I was thinking about this as item after item went wrong last night at the Main Line Chess Club in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania.

1. I unpacked the computer, the monitor, the cables, the external hard drive with my 300 Gigabytes of tablebases, etc. I hooked up the monitor and computer first and.... no power! The outlet in the section of what usually is the Art Room in this Senior Center was not producing any voltage. Time to move!

2. I moved to another location in the room. Hooked the monitor and computer back up and..... "Out of Range" was displaying on the monitor. Did I mention how I hate MultiSynch monitors that lack analog controls so you can adjust them! All of this migration to solid state electronics with no external controls is becoming the trend. So now I was in "binary mode" -- the monitor was hit or miss, no middle ground.

3. It took 10 minuted to troubleshoot that one of the two videos cards in the box became unseated during the hour long drive to the club. Most likely some rough patches of road on I-95 during the construction project were to blame.

4. After having fixed this, I then realized I was missing a USB cable. I had no way to hook up my external drive, which contained all programs of the participants, plus my Gothic Chess tablebases! Ugh!

Time was running out. I had the latest copy of SMIRF installed on my C drive. It was either Vortex vs. SMIRF or the trip was wasted.

And so it was... SMIRF had the white pieces, Gothic Vortex with the black pieces...

And National Master Dan Heisman was onhand to watch an extremely interesting game.... Vortex allowing its Queen to be taken by SMIRF's Bishop on move 8!

Here is the link to the game:

SMIRF 1.69e vs. Vortex 2.2.1


Smirf said...

Hmm... , Ed, that all is sounding very strange. I cannot imagine, that Vortex should have offered its lady without any serious compensation. So it would make sense to show your spectators the whole game notation.

By the way, the SMIRF GUI now is able to save PGN data also without any move comment (e.g. produced by listening to its engine) simply by checking the 'pure' option before saving a game.

Martillo Program said...

A very exciting game I see! This is hard for me to know how to say. I was supposed to be round 1 opponent of Vortex but I made a bug in my protection code to make sure Martillo is run only 1 time per day and that = the tournament game only. But now I am glad because this game was exciting to see and it wouldn't happen without my big bug! Also hard to say now, how can we bring our programs to deal with this strength of Vortex? To not be concerned of queen loss and then to have such an attack can't be a code algorithm! It makes me appreciate Vortex more!

geography_teacher said...

We haven't heard any comments from the smirf programmer yet.