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Human Interference In Computer Chess Championship? 34

migstradamus writes "In a twist with interesting implications for the computer chess world, the intervention of a human programmer and a human arbiter have had a decisive impact on the World Computer Chess Championship that finished today in Graz, Austria. What happens when a programmer acts against his creation's best interest? ChessBase has an eye-witness report on the dilemma. This year's event was already controversial due to the disqualification of one of the programs midway through for being derivative of an open source program."
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Human Interference In Computer Chess Championship?

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  • by Isao ( 153092 ) on Monday December 01, 2003 @01:05PM (#7599869)
    This isn't being looked at because it's open-source, but because code may have been used without credit (plagerism) and the code may be too similar to the original (tourney rules prohibit gameplay too similar to other programs).

    The author also has failed to reveal his code to the committee despite several opportunities.

  • by You're All Wrong ( 573825 ) on Monday December 01, 2003 @06:45PM (#7603593)
    Fritz is, believe it or not, Fritz Reul's, first name.

    A computer program cannot "refuse to permit the inspection of his code".
    Computer programs cannot be "_innocent_ of plagiarism, but _guilty_ of stubornness".

    It was evidently a human that was being talked about. A human who is called Fritz by dint of his name being, of all things, Fritz.

  • by bwt ( 68845 ) on Monday December 01, 2003 @11:27PM (#7605897) Homepage
    This is mostly foolish because of course if the computer had seen anything better to play it wouldn't have repeated the position three times whether it was aware of the implications of the repetition or not.

    Actually the computer playing the white pieces (Shredder) was in a position that it evaluated as overwhelmingly better. Because of a bug in its programming, it didn't factor 3-fold repitition when it had a forced win. It had engaged in the repition in order to fully calculate all the way to mate. When it found the winning line it happened to go through a position that had been repeated twice before and it wasn't programmed to avoid the draw in a line with a forced win.

    I actually think the ruling was absurd -- the computer did announce to its human user ahead of time the move it intended to play and the fact that it was a threefold repitition. The programmers intent in this situation was perfectly clear. To put the burden on the human to decide whether or not to claim the draw kind of defeats the idea of it being computer chess. Clearly the computer was observing that the draw rule was satisfied, even if it didn't say "I claim a draw".

    As a result of this ruling, I see no reason that a human user couldn't throw a game on purpose for the benefit of a third party competitor by ignoring the computers move and playing another. I mean after all perhaps e2-e4 is just an observation of a legal move.

    If anything, the program playing the black pieces should have been DQ'd from the program for allowing human discretion in the situation.

The absent ones are always at fault.