Anti-computer tactics (gaming)

| 1

Anti-computer tactics (gaming)

Anti-computer tactics are a style of play used by humans to beat strong computer opponents at various games, especially in board games such as chess. It involves playing conservatively for a long-term advantage the computer is not able to see in its game tree search. This will frequently involve selecting moves that are believed to be sub-optimal in order to exploit known weaknesses in the way computer players evaluate positions.

In Starcraft

In the PC game Starcraft an unskilled Terran player is able to completely negate the initial attack if the AI is playing Zerg or Protoss by building a wall of Supply Depots that prevent the computer's units from entering their base. Because the Supply Depots are not hostile units the AI player's units will not attack them and will instead sit outside of the 'wall' while they are killed by the Terran player's Marines.

In chess

A number of tactics have been used at the highest level in games between humans and computers.

One particular example of the use of anti-computer tactics was Brains in Bahrain, an eight-game chess match between human chess grandmaster, and then World Champion, Vladimir Kramnik and the computer program Deep Fritz 7, held in October 2002. The match ended in a tie 4-4, with two wins for each participant and four draws.

Unusual opening

In 1997 Garry Kasparov played the anti-computer tactic move at the start of the game in order to get Deep Blue out of its opening book. Kasparov chose the unusual Mieses Opening and thought that the computer would play the opening poorly if it had to play itself rather than use its opening book. Kasparov played similar anti-computer openings in the other games of the match but the tactic backfired.

Double fianchetto

The double fianchetto is considered an anti-computer strategy.

Horizon effect

As recently at 2008 Hikaru Nakamura has shown that a blocked position with a resulting computer horizon effect, can be a highly effective anti-computer tactic even when playing 3-minute blitz chess against the top-rated Rybka chess computer.