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Member since May-04-12 · Last seen Apr-20-14
I am only a butterfly dreaming of being Chuang Zhu, dreaming of being Tiggler.

Favorite WCs all time: Kasporov, Alekine, Botvinnik, Lasker, Capablanca. Best of the rest: Nimzovitch, Rubinstein, Korchnoi, Keres. Bring back the 24 game WC matches and 12+ game candidates matches so that we can have heroic champs and challengers again. Kasparov, Alekhine, Botvinnik, Lasker, Capablanca, Steinitz, Nimzovitch, Tal, Morphy, Anand, Karpov, Fischer, Rubinstein, Keres ....

Apart from actual chess, the two topics that keep me coming back to this site are the mysteries of the Elo and related ratings schemes, and the the even more strange oddities of chess search engines.

With respect to ratings, I don't mean the routine operation of the calculations, but the scale which these operations create, sui gerenis. What is the mathematical basis, and is it reduceable to a Haar measure? Is there any reality hiding behing the statistical artifact? Are there undiscovered truths about the distribution of ratings points, and do they regress to the mean?

Engines are a big mystery to us. Not so big a mystery to us as we to them, however. <DcGentle> has a zealous purpose to create an engine that understands positional chess. If he succeeds, he will also create an engine that might be mistaken for a human, and whose moves will be explicable. My interest is more prosaic: to understand the engines in their own terms. Why do they not seem to perform correct searches at the depth they advertise. Would a better search result in more "chessic truth"? They are designed to win at short(ish) time controls, and compromise their searches to do it. But CC players need the really best moves, not some practical compromise. They don't build engines for that, so how can we trick the engines that we do have into finding the best moves, and not just winning because their blunders are not awful?

These questions lack answers, so if you have the answers, please be so kind as to post them in my chessforum. Full Member

   Tiggler has kibitzed 3880 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Apr-20-14 Kenneth Rogoff (replies)
Tiggler: <If so, I will undertake the work of sifting through <PiPi> posts past and present to show that my assertion to this effect is firmly supported by much evidence.> Please do. A harmless occupation that might keep you busy for a while. Since you are afflicted by ...
   Apr-19-14 twinlark chessforum
Tiggler: There are not even any new questions to ask about this. Had you even read the wiki link I sent you might have noticed there the very question that you asked. You asked: <You mean it exists in a void, nothingness in which there is nothing to measure or count, and no-one to do ...
   Apr-19-14 Louis F Stumpers (replies)
Tiggler: <al wazir>:<I should have researched the subject before posting> No fun if we all do that :)
   Apr-10-14 Karpov-Fischer World Championship Match (1975) (replies)
Tiggler: <Lambda>:<Of course, we could ditch this assumption that all games have the same, independent win/draw/loss probabilities. But then things get complicated.> I did not suggest that we ditch this assumption. My last comment obviously was not clear. It was also worded in an
   Apr-03-14 Karjakin vs Anand, 2014
Tiggler: <Petrosianic>:< In 1961, it's Botvinnik's level that went up, not Tal's down.> I fully concur with this opinion. Botvinnik's career exemplified the ethos of hard work, research, and preparation, combined with talent, of course. He is at the top of my chess pantheon, ...
   Mar-27-14 Anand vs D Andreikin, 2014 (replies)
Tiggler: <BobbyBishop: It was simply not a need to win situation.> He has given Karjakin an opportunity. I hope Sergey will rise to the occasion the day after tomorrow.
   Mar-14-14 Tiggler chessforum
Tiggler: <visayanbraindoctor>: Certainly you may ask. Many are confused about my accent, including my countrymen here in the USA, and in my former country, the United Kingdom. I emigrated thirty one years ago at age 37. I owe my academic education to the UK, and what seems to be the ...
   Feb-24-14 visayanbraindoctor chessforum (replies)
Tiggler: <visayanbraindoctor> A short while ago you asked on <twinlark>'s forum about the nuclear accident at Fukushima. Here is a link to a short public talk that I gave soon after that event, on March 29, 2011. My contribution runs from ...
   Feb-11-14 J M Bellon Lopez vs J Garcia Padron, 1981 (replies)
Tiggler: <mel gibson>:<Notice the best move is Q-g5 which is not the solution in the puzzle.> If the puzzle were: guess what white played, then Qg5 would not be the solution. But if the puzzle is find a sure win, then it is a solution, at least. And one does not need to consider ...
   Feb-05-14 Zurich Chess Challenge (2014) (replies)
Tiggler: <chessguru1: Let's be objective. To determine the greatest chessplayer of all time, lets discuss the criteria first. Suggested criteria below: 1. Number of years as world champion (20%) 2. Highest number of tournament wins (20%) 3. Highest Elo rating achieved (20%) 4. The ...
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Never kid a kidder

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: <Tiggler>: Yeah, I mean, we want to finish this game in a good way, that is with a win. And I guess every teammate does as much as they can, some more, some less, but totally it adds up.

The problem here is the way the single members tackle this task, winning. Prerequisites are different, experiences are different, nevertheless we have to find a way.

For example for some members the eval is the only guideline, which I don't appreciate at all, if I am honest. I can be it here, on your forum, but elsewhere I'd have to be much more careful. When I started out seriously analyzing 13 years ago, I had already some experience with the then hardware/softwre combinations regarding chess, nevertheless I thought that the eval was kind of objective, which it really is not. I learned this the hard way, too often I followed engine proposals in my analysis, only to notice later, that I had again arrived at a dead-end because the engine had taken the wrong exit from the main road. Then another 2 or 3 days had passed and I had to roll back, very frustrating.

Today engines are more sophisticated and the hardware is much faster, so people are even more tempted to believe the eval says it all.

I can show the opposite. Maybe you know it, I have a collection of positional games, and anyone, for example <imag>, is invited to go over any of these games and compare the engine output with the moves of the game and then decide, which move is better.

I bet some eval-adherents would be surprised. But the whole team had this experience with our previous game against Akobian already, but what did they learn? Not much, I can tell. <imag> is still looking forward to <DPLeo>'s shoot out, as if the computer can offer the solution to all problems. If I tell them, the software is not perfect, they readily agree, but when it comes push to shove, 0.2 points of eval can decide, whether a forcing solution is even considered or just disparaged as "worse".

When I published this knight maneuver line, which was not even detected by myself, but by <Tabanus> (I had only simplified the perparation) all I got as reaction was a bad line from <kwid> ("We must watch our steps"). Of course we must, and if <Ng5+> is a draw, we have to find another line. But the idea of this maneuver is working, and if <Ng5+> really is a draw (which is not sure) then maybe a different preparation can do the job.

And then <imag> says he doesn't like a forcing line and in the next paragraph he stresses, that part of his analysis is "forcing".

Oh dear.

You see, how much patience I have to show here, it's not easy.

But then I imagine that they don't know better, this is the only way not to resign.

Anyways. Enough ranting.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!


Premium Chessgames Member
  WinKing: Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays <Tiggler>!
Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: Well, I had to reveal my opinion abour <18... d3>, even when knowing that I would provoke resistance, because the truth on the chessboard is the decisive factor to me, and not some engine evals. And did you notice that ChemMac did NOT object my opinion that the move ruined the game? Besides him no one really knowing chess took part in the ensuing discussion, by the way.

When I analyzed the Morra Gambit, I knew that I had an establishment of biased opinion against me, stating the obvious like Wikipedia "The Smith–Morra is not common in grandmaster games, but at club level chess it can be an excellent weapon." (Meaning it's not correct, but good enough for amateurs) :-)

And with current theory Wikipedia is right, but... well I don't want to digress.

Amusing to me are the stated opinions of <AJ>, where he wants to explain to me how "comp-assisted chess is played." ;-)

Well, anyways. Only one question, I know you read my article about pawn chains, and I tried to explain it to you in a follow up, but apparently it was not convincing.

Have you got any decisive chess fact, that would disprove my described positional method there, or is the whole method hard to understand?

This is, what I am curious about. If <imag> states that I am wrong, he must do this, because it's because of him alone that the team played this move.

But in the end more than 60 voters were on my side and I could even convince <blue wave> and <kb2ct> that my method would have worked.

So I am not alone against the whole team, even as this might look to be the case.

And another matter:

About improving the decision making process: Instead of just quoting lines and evals we have to discuss the logic behind the moves. This is missing nearly entirely when the team is discussing potential move candidates. But often it seems necessary urgently.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: The pawn chain of which you have spoken previously, in the Williams-World game is not a pawn chain at all, but merely an echelon.

The pawn chain of which Nimzovitch wrote was invariably a chain of pawns of both colors, as occurred in World-Akobian.

The echelon, when the opposite color squares in front of it are not occupied by enemy pawns, is an inherently weak formation that should generally be avoided.

The reason is that those squares resemble a chain of holes: squares through which the enemy pieces can freely pass, or on which blockades can be established. Furthermore, the echelon is immobile because any pawn advance entails abandonment of the support by one neighbor and of the support to the other. Even worse, the pawns can be pinned by a rook on either rank or file, as well as by the same colored bishop on any diagonal including the one the pawn echelon occupies.

Premium Chessgames Member
  mistermac: You must come up and see my echelons sometime, <Tippler>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  mistermac: A typo, <Tiggler>, a typo, just a Freudian Typopop, and a happy New Year!
Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: <Tiggler>: Well, the game is over and the team won. *hmmmm*

You were right that the previous game was a unique experience. This one was quite different, and the main culprit was rhe opening, which raised too high expectations.

I am quite tired now, I just finished the analysis of the last post- mortem variant I want to show. I am writing a PGN summary, but whether this will end on the game pages, has not been decided.

Maybe not.
We'll see.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <DcGentle: <Tiggler>: Well, the game is over and the team won. *hmmmm* You were right that the previous game was a unique experience. This one was quite different, and the main culprit was rhe opening, which raised too high expectations.>

I think there were some striking similarities in the concluding phase. In each case our opponent was restricted, bound and gagged, while we had freedom to patiently reposition our resources and to develop long-range plans.

This was a positional win, in my opinion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: <Tiggler>: You are right, in the end he could not do much, because he lacked his knight. He could have moved a rook to the queenside, but this was in vain as well. He simply missed the move <Ka2> at the right moment of the game, when he was forced to move the king to a2, it was too late.

But to recognize this, was not easy for him... especially when he was not using any engine, and he didn't explicitly say this. Maybe he lurked on some engine output on the way, but this is not enough.

Some GMs have a strange relationship to engines, I know that Gelfand for example even looks down on engines. I mean, he may have had his experiences in earlier times, but nowadays engines are stronger.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: < I know that Gelfand for example even looks down on engines. I mean, he may have had his experiences in earlier times, but nowadays engines are stronger.>

Refreshing to hear you say this, because sometimes your comments imply that you also look down on engines. However, I know your attitude is more nuanced than that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <ChemMac: <tiggler> Geezers all unite! No complaint from me. Tiggler, where were you as a Prof? In my case: CCNY. "i love the sound of my own voice, and can listen to myself for hours - and they actually paid me for it for 45 years!">

Like you, I never left school, and am now Emeritus Prof. at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

I spent the last 20-some years here, but before that traveled around a bit more than you: Imperial College (London) - grad student and Lecturer (Asst. Prof.) for 16 years, University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) for 3 years, University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)for 6 years.

Never played a lot of competitive chess, and none at all before age 30. Then a few years in Thames Valley leagues (team chess), a few games for Berkshire on a low board, a few weekend Swiss tournaments in mid-America, then 3-4 years of correspondence ending about 1991. At that time computers were forbidden, but illicitly used by some (not me). Correspondence rating was about 2100 (USCF), based on only about 30 games.

I do not recall ever playing anyone with an international title in a rated game, but I did play OTB, and occasionally beat, a few USCF masters.

Never played again after 1991, until joining the World Team in 2012 (vs GM Akobian). That was my first experience of computer-assisted chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: Well, engines have their strengths and weaknesses. The following position arises in my summary (I gave the link on the WT pages, it's on the Analysis Forum)

click for larger view

Black to move and win.

But I have a warning, I showed this position to <peterfritz> who has most likely the fastest box of the team. And his latest Houdini 4 had the solution move on place 9 of its Multi-PV-output-list, after 10 minutes, I guess this means at least 35 ply on his box.

Not really encouraging, regarding today's engine performance, or is it? I found the move myself, with these positions my slower engine would find something like this overnight perhaps, but I lack the patience.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChemMac: <DcGentle> stated - which I have just seen - that I did NOT (hmmm - emphatically?) object to his statement that ..d3 "ruined the game". I said later that I, in a Rapids game, would have immediately played ...d3 at that point. Given time for an in-depth calculation, I'd have surely used it! I can understand that the temperament of a correspondence player would prefer a different move. For such; "ruined" may be an appropriate term. On principle, that ...d3 was logical and indeed proved to be, possibly, the winning move. As I said, it made White play c4, giving a target for Black's b5, and that enabled Black's Q-side play. Computers may be fine, but ..d3 was for me an essential move for several reasons, both strategical and tactical. It was an intelligent move, which of course was no guarantee of it being also good!

I thank DcGentle for anointing me as being knowledgeable about Chess, but I never had time to study; opening theory in particular. As a player therefore, I often got into poor positions, especially with Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: <ChemMac>: Well, as someone who is working on a new paradigm chess engine, I use to see things in chess more systematically, and the last team game demonstrated the power of pawn chains very convincingly. Especially the status of mild Zugzwang that was forced upon Black in this game made him helpless.

And we could have achieved something similar in this game, had the pawn structure be different! This is the main reason why I was so against <18... d3>! True, after the knight exchange White was also helpless in our game, but playing it differently had made him helpless earlier, without previous trades. This is the point most teammates have not understood by now, I guess.

I wrote an article about it: DcGentle chessforum. For educational reasons it starts slow, but the second part is the more important one.

I dunno whether you already noticed it, I wrote a summary (Analysis Forum chessforum) which contains a line to demonstrate what I mean.

Another advantage would have been, that all the blockade draws and other draw traps would have been avoided.

By the way, I published this link of my summary on the WT pages, but did not get any feedback.

Oh well.

All the best,

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <DcGentle>:<This is the point most teammates have not understood by now, I guess.>

You persist in your assertion that your teammates lack understanding, whereas actually they just disagree with you.

I did see your summary. If I were at all convinced, I would try to refute it. I don't see the evidence that you tried to refute it yourself, however. If my students don't do that with their own work, I seldom go to the trouble to do it for them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Bobwhoosta: <Tiggler>

An Ignorant's view on computers in chess:

I think the main reason computers are so dumb positionally and also don't "search accurately" at their supposed search depth is related to the inability to create a static numerical value that illustrates the potential in any one positional feature.

For instance, just taking split pawns, there are so many dynamic factors that come into play that you can't really say they're strong OR weak until you see some other positional factors. Now here's the REAL rub: Combining positional factors and then relating all of them to a numerical value is almost completely impossible. In fact, as we can see from Carlsen's games, it's possible for a number of extremely small advantages, each one minute and almost impercebtible by themselves, to quickly snowball into a huge advantage. Of course the near-perfection that computers show in short-term tactical decisions more than makes up for this relatively small weakness, but I think it will be some time before someone creates a set of parameters that explains positional imbalances accurately WITHOUT resorting to insanely long variations.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: Hi <Bobwhoosta>! Nice to see you visit.

Yes, I agree with what you say, to the extent that I can grasp it.

I recall a game last year, when Carlsen won a rook ending as black. He had three versus two pawns on the king's side, and there were two pawns each on the Q's side.

Carlsen, in the post mortem, explained: without the Q-side pawns it is completely drawn. The only way to win is to make sure the Q-side pawns get in the way of the white rook.

Carlsen sacrificed, first one, and then the other of his Q-side pawns to maximally discombobulate white R. Then he attacked on the K- side and promoted a pawn.

How far, I thought, have the engines got to go before they can match the insight on this genius?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Bobwhoosta: <Tiggler>

I guess what I was saying is that computers tend to understand chess positions more concretely in terms of long lines of calculations.

In my opinion it's because positional features are difficult to express individually, and only make sense in the full context of the position. So attributing a numerical value to, say, an isolated queen's pawn is almost impossible.

I like one of the engines' ideas, using the space control as an evaluating tool in determining the numerical value of the position, but I think this will tend to favor possibly short-term activity over long-term structural defects. I suppose you could combine the two, and I bet that's how they do it, but overall it is difficult for me to look at engine evaluations as anything approaching an exact science.

For instance, 30 years ago if someone walked up to a position and said "+1.2" we wouldn't see that as giving ANY information about the position. It's unhelpful in a lot of ways to rely on this sort of evaluation as it contributes nothing to the understanding of the position. Of course we can see that as the number of engine trolls who denigrate high class players because Rybka shows a .1 defecit over the top move choice, all the while ignorant of the amazingly deep considerations that go into every move by the human players.

Anyway, this post is even more of a ramble than the last, so I'll stop now while I'm only a league behind... ;-P

Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: <Bobwhoosta>: Nice to see you rambling about such an interesting topic, because what I am trying to do is just to <understand> Carlsen's positional moves, which is hard enough at times, but when you know _why_ something is happening, you found the reasons and will most likely be able to describe them.

Most fellow GMs say they don't know how Carlsen does the winning, they haven't understood it, and whether I can do it, I dunno either. Sometimes you see such commentary like: "This moves increases the activity of Carlsen's pieces." So? This is all? Congratulations. And what about possible opponent's actions? I can forgo such commentary.

But the truth is, maybe no one but Carlsen himself knows, what he is doing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <Bobwhoosta> and <DcGentle>

This is the game I had in mind in my last post:

Anand vs Carlsen, 2013

While looking for it, I discovered this somewhat similar ending that Carlsen lost (blitz):

Carlsen vs Radjabov, 2013

Neither ending is free of errors, to be sure, but both are fascinating.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Thanks for the link. I will be sure to watch it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <DcGentle: Most fellow GMs say they don't know how Carlsen does the winning, they haven't understood it>

I am not a GM, but this opinion surprises me. If I may comment to the contrary, it seems to me that Carlsen's ways of winning are rather positionally clear-cut. He grabs every square, diagonal, and file that he can, while prophylactically disallowing effective counterplay. The latter is especially important in his style; and he does it far better than any other active player today. In this sense he plays quite similarly to Karpov and in a way like a super-Petrosian. Imagine a more active Petrosian unwilling to give away early draws and is as relentless as Fischer is in endings, playing out every little advantage until there is nothing left to play for. But that's just my opinion.

What I think what the GMs mean is that they have not encountered such a style in years. it's not a 'normal' style. Recall Kramnik's comment after losing to Karpov that he did not understand what happened; he did everything according to what he knows of chess and yet still lost. I have studied that game- and in the end concluded that Karpov won by grabbing every square that he could while disallowing any effective counter-play, and kind of squeezed Kramnik off the board.

I have seen enough of both Karpov's and Carlsen's games to notice the similarity.

This kind of style is not the stereotypical 'brilliant' attacking game. That's why Petrosian, Karpov, and Carlsen rarely produce the kind of attacking 'chaotic' combinational game that Kasparov did. (See their most notable games collections.)

That's fine with me, to have a great positional world champion. I can hardly understand Kasparov's games when pieces begin exploding all over the board. I used to have Alekhine's best games collection. I admit I could not understand many of his games either; and prefer Capablanca's.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <visayanbraindoctor: Thanks for the link. I will be sure to watch it.>

Well it's a little outdated now, but this is what one could know less than three weeks after the event.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Tiggler> You explained the explosion nicely. It was a mystery to lots of laymen. Thanks.

If I may ask, what is your accent? It doesn't quite sound American.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <visayanbraindoctor>: Certainly you may ask. Many are confused about my accent, including my countrymen here in the USA, and in my former country, the United Kingdom. I emigrated thirty one years ago at age 37.

I owe my academic education to the UK, and what seems to be the greater part of my adult life experience to the USA. I certainly no longer feel at home in Britain, when I visit.

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