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AlphaZero (Computer) vs Stockfish (Computer)
"Welcome Our New Robot Overlords" (game of the day Dec-08-2017)
AlphaZero - Stockfish (2017), London ENG, Dec-04
French Defense: Steinitz Variation (C11)  ·  1-0


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sac: 30.Bxg6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-09-17  JPi: About criterium of quality an obvious one is the tactical correctness then a more delicate one, how one side builds a decisive advantage. On these aspects Apha0 was quite impressive. Enough to "surprise" Stockfish.

"nicer" is indeed a subjective concept... For my part I didn't feel Aronian' games "nicer" Leaves to be subjective, I will wait the most relevant opinions of top GMs about this game. Let's wait it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  luzhin: It's the voluntary king march to e3 in the opening that gets me. Steinitz was right after all....
Dec-09-17  scholes: analysis of move 38...?

CG SF analysis after white 38th move. SF playing in this game, was playing on 64 cores, it saw it is lost and did not play most stubborn defence.If SF kept playing most stubborn defence then positional nature of sac will be clear. Still I think there are many kibitzers on this site who would have found this sac in seconds.

Dec-09-17  ughaibu: <it saw it is lost and did not play most stubborn defence>

But the analysis that you posted doesn't say that it's lost. So, are you seriously suggesting that Stockfish lost on purpose? Maybe it's in love with the other box.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game:
Dec-11-17  Tal1949: This was a lovely game played by AlphaZero. Stockfish 8 was totally clueless in many of these positions, confirmed by my super computer here.

However, the latest development version of Stockfish handles these positions easily. So, Google, stop playing marketing games against old chess engines. Trying playing the best at you might learn that you are not as good as you think you are.

Dec-11-17  TheSnear: I stopped viewing the game after 6...cxd4?! Stockfish has limited opening knowledge and relies on a reasonable opening book. No opening book prefers this move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <TheSnear> Right, but after <6...cxd4?! White uncorked <7.Nb5 TN>>

click for larger view

Opening Explorer

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <TheSnear: I stopped viewing the game after 6...cxd4?! Stockfish has limited opening knowledge and relies on a reasonable opening book. No opening book prefers this move.>

That's a stupid reason not to look at a great game of chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Passive aggressive behaviour takes many forms but can generally be described as a non-verbal aggression that manifests in negative behavior. It is where you are angry with someone but do not or cannot tell them.>
Dec-11-17  WorstPlayerEver: Well.. after 6... cxd4 Stockfish also plays 7. Nb5 it's weird also that A0 frequently plays good old Stockfish moves while Stockchips itself doesn't. Remarkable method of projection. So to speak (hereby I mean not So himself, obviously). I just checked it (old version 8), and I never use openings books for Stockfish. I almost forgot.

Because... because... that would spoil all the fun :P

<That's a stupid reason not to look at a great game of chess.>

Maybe you should try Fool's Mate sometimes, <keycrusher>. It's also easy to remember..

Besides, you are cherry licking. This whole project is a scam and you know it (that I'm sexy)

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < WorstPlayerEver: Well.. after 6... cxd4 Stockfish also plays 7. Nb5 it's weird also that A0 frequently plays good old Stockfish moves while Stockchips itself doesn't. Remarkable method of projection. So to speak (hereby I mean not So himself, obviously). I just checked it (old version 8), and I never use openings books for Stockfish. I almost forgot. Because... because... that would spoil all the fun :P

<That's a stupid reason not to look at a great game of chess.>

Maybe you should try Fool's Mate sometimes, <keycrusher>. It's also easy to remember..

Besides, you are cherry licking. This whole project is a scam and you know it (that I'm sexy)>

You post a lot of crap on many topics, but it's incredible how brain-dead your posts on this match have been.

Dec-11-17  WorstPlayerEver: <keymusher>

Brain-dead? Well, actually we are speaking of a dead brain. Pretty close but no marmalade.

If you weren't that lame, you had checked this variation at cg here and noticed that there are 2,746 games (1897-2017) after 6. Nf3 and only 15 games with 6... cxd4, 0.05% (although I think some more if one counts the transpositions).

2,510 games with 6... Nc6

But that's not all; 6... cxd4 has 46.7% losses for Black. Which is the high score in this variation (6. Nf3).

In 120 years 15 games of theory. You probably think that's romantic. And what do you know?

They all played 7. Nxd4

Ha ha ha isn't that ironic? And yes, the experts always think they know everything obvious... until it's obvious that they know very little about any subject en detail.

Speaking of details:

Now, what do you know? There are 9337/C11 games from 2006 until now. Hundreds start with 6. Nf3 but none of dem engees play 6... cxd4, check it for yourself. Have fun! NONE OF THEM!!!

I *wonder* why...

But... eh.. Stockfish plays 6... cxd4 and you are going to tell us how wonderful that is and oh, what a great game! And call ME an idiot (not that it's of any importancy; I probably am).

In what aspect? The aspect of cheating? What great game? Just like the other ones??? Get away!!!

Dec-11-17  WorstPlayerEver: PS

I hope you DO understand that these are nice puzzles, show how most extreme inactivity doesn't work in chess, you don't say, but the games DO NOT HAVE any relevance to any chess theory whatsoever. Who knows what the future may bring. But that's another question. So far.

Take your pick.

Dec-12-17  frogbert: It seems like several of you are missing what <Olavi> is actually saying. Depth-first with alpha-beta pruning is great in the big majority of chess positions - but there are well known issues in some positions where the horizon effect (two words that many people on this site use without really getting the impact of the concept) punishes Stockfish and friends quite ruthlessly.

Consider this recent game from the European Team Championship: Y Kuzubov vs V Sanal, 2017 - or more specifically this position:

click for larger view

Even at a depth of 60 ply, droidfish v 1.71 (a packaging of Stockfish for cell phones, using a build of Stockfish from september 2017) wants to play the blunder Rxf1+ followed by Bxa3 - which is a dead draw, despite the position before Rxf1+ being completely won for black (as demonstrated by Sanal in the game). Why? Horizon effect which causes the engine to choose the *local* maximum within its horizon, in other words the blunder Rxf1+ which wins the most material.

To quote the AlphaZero paper:

<AlphaZero evaluates positions using non-linear function approximation based on a deep neural network, rather than the linear function approximation used in typical chess programs. This provides a much more powerful representation, but may also introduce spurious approximation errors. MCTS averages over these approximation errors, which therefore tend to cancel out when evaluating a large subtree. In contrast, alpha-beta search computes an explicit minimax, which propagates the biggest approximation errors to the root of the subtree.>

Hence, for certain kinds of positions, an MCTS will provide better results, as it doesn't prune away the winning move/line the way a "standard" mini-max search may happen to do - or, like here, propagate the huge approximation error -4 point something (after Rxf1+) to the root of the search tree. (The correct evaluation of Rxf1+ is 0.00.)

This is basically the same kind of issue that makes it hard for (older versions of) Stockfish (and friends) to find/see the Bxg6 sacrifice in the current game - even though human, strong players at IM level (or even lower) will understand that Bxg6! is a very good move. To avoid blunders like Rxf1+ in the above position, the mini-max algorithm needs additional tinkering.

More or less by the same reasoning, there will be lots of positions where the "standard" mini-max algorithm will outperform the Monte Carlo Tree Search applied by AlphaZero too, in particular when it comes to "pure tactics" in variations that span over many, many moves.

Dec-12-17  frogbert: <Olavi: If a human beats another 100-0, you can trust that (s)he is better in everything about chess, some specialities excluded. But that's still not the case with engines. Some quite normal positions are handled better by say a well read IM, e.g. me, than Stockfish>

In short, I support the above statement from <Olavi> 100%. What he says is true, and the creators of Stockfish would agree with him. There's nothing controversial about such a statement at all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <wpe....Besides, you are cherry licking. This whole project is a scam and you know it (that I'm sexy)>>

Cherry licking? Really?

<keypusher....You post a lot of crap on many topics....>

This is true beyond question.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eisenheim: By Move 27 its incredible to see how much Space AZ has taken up - it's a them in the games I've seen, along with it breaking the adage of touching the same piece twice in exchange for more space. Would love to see a match between it and
Dec-20-17  brimarern: A ridiculously beautiful game! It has a feel like something produced by World Champion Capablanca. A piece for one pawn? And AlphaZero has such a grip on the position that it finds moves that look so patient, yet doesn't let black off the hook! I need to add this game to my memory collection!! Stunningly beautiful.
Premium Chessgames Member

[Fritz 10]: 1. d4 e6 2. e4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 cxd4 [last book move] 7. Nb5 Bb4+ 8. Bd2 Bc5 9. b4 Be7 10. Nbxd4 Nc6 11. c3 a5 [11 ... Nxd4 12. Nxd4 a5 13. Bd3 ⩲] 12. b5 Nxd4 13. cxd4 Nb6 14. a4 Nc4 15. Bd3 [15. Bxc4!? dxc4 16. 0-0 ±] Nxd2 [=] 16. Kxd2 Bd7 17. Ke3 b6 [17 ... 0-0 18. Kf2 =] 18. g4 h5 [18 ... 0-0 19. g5 ⩲] 19. Qg1 [19. g5 0-0 ⩲] hxg4 20. Qxg4 Bf8 21. h4 [21. Qg5 Qc7 =] Qe7 22. Rhc1 [Traps the king in the center] g6 [22 ... Rc8 23. Rxc8+ Bxc8 24. Rc1 =] 23. Rc2 Kd8 [Black loses the right to castle - 23 ... Ra7 24. Rac1 ⩲] 24. Rac1 Qe8 25. Rc7 Rc8 26. Rxc8+ Bxc8 27. Rc6 Bb7 28. Rc2 Kd7 29. Ng5 Be7 30. Bxg6 Bxg5 31. Qxg5 fxg6 32. f5 Rg8 33. Qh6 Qf7 34. f6 Kd8 35. Kd2 Kd7 36. Rc1 Kd8 37. Qe3 Qf8 38. Qc3 Qb4 39. Qxb4 axb4 40. Rg1 b3 [40 ... Bc8!? 41. Kc2 Ke8 ⩲] 41. Kc3 [ ±] Bc8 42. Kxb3 Bd7 43. Kb4 Be8 [43 ... Ke8!? 44. Rc1 Rh8 ±] 44. Ra1 [White prepares the advance a5] [+-] Kc7 45. a5 Bd7?? [Black crumbles in face of a dire situation - 45 ... bxa5 46. Rxa5 Kb7 +-] 46. axb6+ [+-] Kxb6 47. Ra6+ Kb7 48. Kc5 Rd8 [48 ... Rh8 does not help much 49. Ra2 Rxh4 50. b6 +-] 49. Ra2 Rc8+ [49 ... Be8 is no salvation 50. b6 Rc8+ 51. Kd6 Kxb6 52. Rb2+ Ka7 53. Ke7 +-] 50. Kd6 Be8 51. Ke7 g5 [51 ... Kb6 cannot undo what has already been done 52. Kxe6 Rc7 53. Ra8 Bxb5 54. Rb8+ Ka5 55. f7 Rxf7 56. Kxf7 +-] 52. hxg5 1-0.

I understand the irony of using an engine to review a computer game. ;>D

The AlphaZero - Stockfish (2017) computer match was a convincing lopsided victory for the newcomer with 28 wins, 72 draws and no losses; the database has ten of AlphaZero's wins. The French often gives White a clear space advantage out of the opening, but this game demonstrates a gradual process of pushing Black off the board, who is helplessly reduced to shuffling pieces at the end. People noticed 17. Ke3 as a quaint computer move but note another quaint computer move after 15 ... Nxd2:

click for larger view

16. Qxd2?? is out due to 16 ... Bb4, but I'll bet 100 out of 100 humans would automatically choose 16. Nxd2 followed by 0-0, making AlphaZero's 16. Kxd2!? and 17. Ke3 quite inspired. Other computer moves are 19. Qg1 along with the Pawn throwaways 40 ... b3 & 51 ... g5. Notice Fritz the anti-human cyborg awards no "!" to 30. Bxg6 whereas many commentators would say "!!" without question. This endgame is not exactly an easy win but looks like it when the White King marches in on the dark squares.

We all know that computers can beat us at our own game. Without delving into Terminator philosophy, this match result raises the real possibility that computers will "solve" chess within our lifetimes, or at least make computer matchups evenly played draws by definition. Disturbingly, it also increases the specter of cheating with computer help ruining OTB play.

Chess fans around the world are now anxiously awaiting AlphaZero's book on how to defeat the French Defense.

For trivia buffs, this is the first computer game to earn a spot in the Best Games contest. Since you asked, see for yourself:

Game Collection: 2004's Greatest Chess Games

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Game Collection: 2008's Greatest Chess Games

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Go AlphaZero. =)

Mar-17-18  RAlehin: I am stunned as early as white's 7th move...
Of course Nb5 is "safe" from a human point of view (black has no way to defend the comatose d4 pawn against three attackers) but what is the added value of this move, instead of just capturing with the knight on f3 straight away ? Apparently only A0 knows, it being the only "player" to have used this in the site's database.
Mar-17-18  RAlehin: I just burst into a laughing fit, upon seeing 16 Kxd2. Apart form chess combativeness I suspect AlphaZero has grown a lovely sense of humour as well.
Mar-17-18  RAlehin: The approach to lock up black's light-squared bishop is akin to Nakamura's when he imprisoned white's rooks behind their own lines: Rybka vs Nakamura, 2008
Mar-17-18  RAlehin: In earlier times (and even today) a handicap was used to level out the competition between opponents. I wonder how AlphaZero would handle such a situation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jambow: Love this game... and against the French no less. That AlphaZero can leave the c file open and still do this is remarkable. Of course the king controls the back field nearly from inception.

This game isn't at all about the tactical brutality that engines so often employ to overwhelm us, but rather a strategic motif from the depths of the Marinas Trench. This ushers in a new era in which the silicon monsters pay homage to Steinitz and Nimzowitch. Roberta Flack is heard serenading the ghost of Philidor with killing me softly with your pawns.

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