sfm: <elh: sfm's claim that a chess-playing algorithm requires many programmer-years is ludicrous.>
I haven't gone through my 6-year old statements, but wonder where I said exactly that.
There is a world of difference between an "algorithm" that can made legal moves, and one which makes good moves.
<Computer chess is quite simple. At high level the algorithm is basically
For each legal move from the current position:
Calculate material balance
Repeat to desired search depth.>
Such a program could just as well play h3,a3,b2 as the first, second, third move.
<If you are unconcerned with optimizations, it could surely be coded in about a hundred short lines.
If you are unconcerned with readability, it could be stuffed into eight or ten lines of obfuscated perl.>
You start your posting with talking about how long _time_ it takes to write programs. Then you talk about compressing/obfuscating them.
Any programmer knows that this takes more time to do, not less - so it appears not to be relevant.
<Such a chess program would be fairly easy to beat positionally>
Such a program would be incredibly easy to beat for a human that had played chess for less than a week. It would not make a single sensible move, apart from saving material if it could see it being lost.
<...since it would ignore important but less tangible factors such as piece activity, pawn structure, etc. While true positional understanding is beyond the reach of computers, a very convincing approximation can be achieved by throwing in a few simple heuristics (like a minus score for backward pawns), and simple brute-force searching.>
Ah, we are going a bit beyond the handful of lines, aren't we?
Trying to make anything worthwhile will take considerable time. Chess programmers have in total dozens of man-years on developing programs.
<Computer chess is considered very old hat by computer scientists.>
An truly odd statement. Can you bring any quotes?
<Everyone and his dog has written a chess engine>
Despite spending 5 years in AU, Denmark, in the Computer Science faculty, I don't know any one who actually carried out this task, despite a number of them being most interested in chess. The general opinion was, that to get it anyway further than legal moves would eat enormous time.
<..and judging by the attitudes of certain posters here, i may have to write one myself to prove the point.>
Which you didn't exactly get done, I assume? Even less so one that actually made sensible moves.
- - -
This thing started with my claim that Turing has not written an algorithm where you'd feed a position into, and that it would return these moves, simply by doing calculations as computers can do.
Anyone who knows the very least about Turing's work, and computer science history, would write it off as, yes, ludicrous.
Should anyone know about just one single other algorithm, published at that time, that would come anywhere near this in complexity, please let me know. We would have world sensation.