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Is there any chance that a 1300 rated player can beat a 2700 rated player?

  • #301

    I'm not sure if someone mentioned this, but what if their cell phone rings too many times and the td makes them automatically lose? Then the 1300 would win, but I think that the probability that they would be paired one on one in a tourney would be about the same as the chance of the 1300 winning.

  • #302
    Tmb86 wrote:

    Forget about practical timescales, no-ones suggested we actually try and make this happen. The question is whether there is any chance, and clearly the answer is yes.

    Yes. It is the probability that, with the beginner picking random moves, the master gets beaten.


    But the question is the same as whether you could win 100 times in a row at the casino. The answer is yes, but that's not really interesting to know...

  • #303

    It reminds me of the joke between a mathematician and an engineer. They had a bet to see which person can reach the goal line by stepping half the distance towards the line for each move. The mathematician found it impossible. The engineer said "Close enough."*

    *The joke isn't the same as told. I think i got it... close enough.

    Anyway, the point is, it's close enough to impossible to say that it's not going to happen. 

  • #304

    Well that depends on what interests you, Irontiger. I think it's interesting how many people are unable to differentiate between impossible and improbable - and even understand what 'improbable' actually means. It is entirely possible if we were to arrange this match that the 1300 would win the very first game. Improbable, but possible. You're probably more interested in the occurance of improbabilities when they occur in your life as coincidences and such. 

    Or perhaps you are interested when your 0.000154% (close to impossible?) chance of hitting a royal flush comes good.

  • #305


  • #306
    Estragon wrote:
    Elubas wrote:

    Yet again, it seems some people are confusing extremely low chance, with impossibility.

    No.  Some people misunderstand the limits of probability.

    For instance, the common misconception that a million monkeys on a million keyboards for a million years would at some point produce the works of Shakespeare is pure rubbish.  They might possibly produce in the process a couple of lines - if you don't count for line breaks or capitalization or punctuation. Random entries will not produce specific results.

    You can get the 2700 player flying drunk and distract him with two lovely ladies, and he will still beat the 1300 player 100% of the time. 

    Statistics may provide a theoretical possibility which is infinitesimal, but that doesn't mean there is any practical chance it will occur.  It's not a random matter, there is skill involved.

    How do you define "practical chance?" Does it mean any odds greater than one in a million or something? I'm not sure about the precise distinction you're making between the theoretical chance and the practical chance. If you mean practical in terms of, can I ever expect it to happen in my lifetime, then I of course agree with you.

    Here's the thing: let's assume that every precise keystroke that would produce Shakespeare isn't impossible for a monkey to hit (it doesn't matter if this is true or not; the assumption is there just to make a point), and thus, all you need is a lot of time for everything to align and for it to actually happen.

    For example, let's even take the above paragraph I wrote. I don't think there is some physical force that keeps the monkey from typing in "Here's, space, the, space, thing, colon." Even the colon could possibly be hit -- I don't think there is a physical force making it impossible to hit two keys at approximately the same time. It's just that there are so many other possibilities, so it would be very hard for all of these possible things to align themselves so precisely, and yet there is nothing that really restricts it as one possibility out of infinite.

    I would most certainly think it would take more than a million years for the monkeys to type Shakespeare. Ten to the 350th power is probably closer to the mark -- but it doesn't matter. That will eventually happen in infinity, too. If you had that many years to wait, you could expect it to happen, and with infinity, you do have that.

  • #307

    Valentin: If you could randomize every single move of chess you played, then a chance will exist. For example, if I pick my first move randomly (I would use a random number generator, of course), then there is a 1 in 20 something chance I will randomly pick 1 e4, a good move, and so on.

    Or let's say there are 100 possible strokes (Including those with shift) on a keyboard. Then there is a 1 in 100 chance that I will pick the first correct letter for Hamlet, and so on.

    This might be a better way to put it because that would perfect the randomness. I think the monkeys are just mentioned because they make for a cute example Smile

  • #308

    The sequence "How can I compare thee to a Summer's day" has the exact same probability to be churned out by a random character generator / monkey as every other sequence of equal length. This seems to be the key point Estragon and Valentin are missing. A particular sequence of 30 or so brilliant chess moves has the exact same probability to be churned out by a random move generator / 1300 as a particular sequence of absolute bunk.

    The only thing is, the complete works of Shakespeare and a flawless chess game are both a ridiculously miniscule subset of the possible outcomes available.  

  • #309

    Nothing is impossible for politicians and statisticians.

    In both cases, you just need some patience... Cool

  • #310

    Tmb: Yeah, I think mentioning the random character (or move) generator purifies the randomness concept, making the point more clear. If a move is just randomly picked, then the correct move being picked has absolutely nothing to do with skill.

  • #311

    But, the moves of a 1300 are NOT random, he sits there, and makes 1300 plans, and plays 1300 moves. Remember, he's trying to win (that as the 1st post supposition). He's gonna be playing moves that look good to him, not rely on some hopelessly obscure chance that any random move may be good enough.

    I agree, randomly, eventually, a generator are gonna find 50 great moves in a row. A 1300 never will.

  • #312

    and, one of my favourite sayings:

    Statistics are like a bikini, what they reveal is interesting, what they conceal is vital. :)

  • #313

    rooperi: A plausible argument, but I still think the 1300 would eventually win.

    I would argue that the fact that a 1300's moves are not random probably improves his chances -- weak players are quite capable of playing good moves for the wrong reasons.

    He might never play some 2800 level sacrifice that the generator comes up with (in other words, he may never play perfectly), but on the other hand, he is more likely to take advantage of hanging mates in 1, or hanging pieces.

    Of course, that's my assumption. I think with infinite time a 1300 would not only beat a 2700 eventually, but will probably do so at a higher rate than the random generator, although it will still be extremely low.

    Again, if it's possible that a 2700 will hang mate in 1 (after seeing Petrosian's queen blunder and Kramnik's missing of mate in 1, I do think it's possible, although it will probably be even less likely against a lower rated player because lower rated players don't put as much pressure on you), and there is a chance that the 1300 will live long enough to see it and execute it, then it will happen, if we have infinite time to observe.

  • #314

    Elubas is missing Estragon's point: A million monkeys, a million keyboards, etc. would not produce a Shakespeare work. The random events that would produce such a thing have already occured: It's Shakespeare himself. For such a phenomenon to repeat, the premise would have to be an infinite number of monkeys, with an infinite number of keyboards, and an infinite number of years....... But then, they wouldn't even need 'keyboards', they could start with pencils and paper. I mean, they've got an infinite amount of time to get this job done, so even if they didn't randomly scribble the words on the paper, they would eventually hit upon the idea of tools (remember the 'caveman' in 2001 A Space Odyssey who suddenly picked up a bone and started bashing heads?). Then they'd make more tools, and discover agriculture and build machines and schools and universities, and a few thousand years later....... Bam! Somebody writes Hamlet again! Mission accomplished!

  • #315

    There you go! Laughing

  • #316

    Just to point out again, if the question was whether or not a 1300 could play a perfect game, I might agree with you rooperi that a 1300 would never do that.

    However, such a thing is not required for the 1300 to win the game, as the 2700 might not play perfectly, either.

  • #317
    melvinbluestone wrote:

     For such a phenomenon to repeat, the premise would have to be an infinite number of monkeys, with an infinite number of keyboards, and an infinite number of years.......

    If the first two variables are infinite, then you don't need an infinite number of years. The work would be produced on the first attempt.

  • #318
    FirebrandX wrote:
    melvinbluestone wrote:

     For such a phenomenon to repeat, the premise would have to be an infinite number of monkeys, with an infinite number of keyboards, and an infinite number of years.......

    If the first two variables are infinite, then you don't need an infinite number of years. The work would be produced on the first attempt.

    lol, true

  • #319

    I haven't read all these posts, but it seems that some people can't get it through their thick sculls that it doesn't matter that the 1300 player's moves are not random. Sooner or later they will be right, even if it's for the wrong reason.  As I stated earlier, I've gotten Lucky, and been right for the wrong reason, many times doing tactics.

  • #320

    Yes, but you were lucky for one move. Do you think you can be lucky for a long string of moves?


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