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questions on computer reasoning during analysis..

  • #1
    why does the computer asses somthing as a blunder, yet i chose to avoid a move because i perceived it as a potential positional annoyance and not part of my offensive? comp said to take the rook, i chose to check a severely compromise enemy king and keep my queen from potential paralysis. i won the game after a pawn for queen trade shortly after. i recognize my opponent was no gm but i am trying to understand the computers "thought process".
  • #2

    Engines try to find the best moves for both sides. To them, there's no such thing as "annoying" your opponent. They assume the opponent will find the most accurate and cold blooded defense no matter what.

    This means sometimes the engine suggests incredibly impractical moves, and rates moves that win easily as mistakes. If you're very far ahead, lets say the engine rates you at +20, then dropping to +15 may be marked as a blunder... but this is of course relative. If it's +20 but your opponent has lots of threats that's a worse position for you than +15 but your opponent has no counterplay.

    And finally, a quick check of piece activity usually (but not always) shows you why an engine prefers the move it does. Engines (and strong human players) often refuse to trade an active piece for an opponent's inactive piece. Instead, they confidently continue to improve their position, waiting to cash in with tactics until they can get the best price (so to speak).

  • #3

    sammy_boi wrote: Engines try to find the best moves for both sides. To them, there's no such thing as "annoying" your opponent. They assume the opponent will find the most accurate and cold blooded defense no matter what.This means sometimes the engine suggests incredibly impractical moves, and rates moves that win easily as mistakes. If you're very far ahead, lets say the engine rates you at +20, then dropping to +15 may be marked as a blunder... but this is of course relative. If it's +20 but your opponent has lots of threats that's a worse position for you than +15 but your opponent has no counterplay.And finally, a quick check of piece activity usually (but not always) shows you why an engine prefers the move it does. Engines (and strong human players) often refuse to trade an active piece for an opponent's inactive piece. Instead, they confidently continue to improve their position, waiting to cash in with tactics until they can get the best price (so to speak). thanks Sammy. i have also heard that computers are poor strategic players but basically perfect tactically, is this true? and if it is, and the top super engines have higher ratings than top humans, does this mean that tactics are more important than strategy? thanks sammy

  • #4
    Kingdom1zt wrote:

    thanks Sammy. i have also heard that computers are poor strategic players but basically perfect tactically, is this true? and if it is, and the top super engines have higher ratings than top humans, does this mean that tactics are more important than strategy? thanks sammy

    These days they're really good at everything... but there's still the problem of a horizon effect. Humans can judge, for example, a change in pawn structure on move 5 for its possible endgame consequences without needing to calculate every move in between, but such judgments are impossible for an engine.

    There are some other issues they have, but anyway, it's pretty safe to trust them. What I recommend is downloading an engine and UCI and setting it to show you its top 3 moves. Then if you see the top 3 are pretty close in evaluation, pick the moves that makes more sense to you. If the top move is much better than the 2nd best move, but it looks wrong to you, then you can play out both lines trying to understand the difference.

    And yes, these days the best engines will always beat the best humans... but not because they play perfectly wink.png You might imagine a master who always beats a beginner, but does not play perfectly. It's just the beginner makes too many mistakes to ever win.

    Asking whether tactics or strategy is more important... at the very beginning, definitely tactics. You have to develop the mindset that it's never ok to lose material, not even a pawn. After a player gets pretty good at not losing pieces for no reason, then there's no single thing that's most important. It would be like asking an athlete whether it's better to exercise arms or legs, an artist whether lines or curves are more important, a forign language speaker whether it's better to learn nouns or verbs tongue.png

    All things work together to make a player strong. Even engines have many parameters giving value to all sorts of strategic ideas.

    Some basic areas of study are: openings, tactics, strategy, and endgames.

  • #5

    sammy_boi wrote:

    Kingdom1zt wrote:

    thanks Sammy. i have also heard that computers are poor strategic players but basically perfect tactically, is this true? and if it is, and the top super engines have higher ratings than top humans, does this mean that tactics are more important than strategy? thanks sammy

    These days they're really good at everything... but there's still the problem of a horizon effect. Humans can judge, for example, a change in pawn structure on move 5 for its possible endgame consequences without needing to calculate every move in between, but such judgments are impossible for an engine.

    There are some other issues they have, but anyway, it's pretty safe to trust them. What I recommend is downloading an engine and UCI and setting it to show you its top 3 moves. Then if you see the top 3 are pretty close in evaluation, pick the moves that makes more sense to you. If the top move is much better than the 2nd best move, but it looks wrong to you, then you can play out both lines trying to understand the difference.

    And yes, these days the best engines will always beat the best humans... but not because they play perfectly wink.png You might imagine a master who always beats a beginner, but does not play perfectly. It's just the beginner makes too many mistakes to ever win.

    Asking whether tactics or strategy is more important... at the very beginning, definitely tactics. You have to develop the mindset that it's never ok to lose material, not even a pawn. After a player gets pretty good at not losing pieces for no reason, then there's no single thing that's most important. It would be like asking an athlete whether it's better to exercise arms or legs, an artist whether lines or curves are more important, a forign language speaker whether it's better to learn nouns or verbs tongue.png

    All things work together to make a player strong. Even engines have many parameters giving value to all sorts of strategic ideas.

    Some basic areas of study are: openings, tactics, strategy, and endgames.

    What I recommend is downloading an engine and UCI and setting it to show you its top 3 moves. what is a UCI? and, does a computer place value on sacrifice the same way as a human would?
  • #6

    An engine is the thing that e.g. calculates.

    A UCI is the graphics part (like a board and menus) that allows a person to interact with the engine.

    One of the strongest engines is free for download  https://stockfishchess.org/

    SCID and Arena are free UCIs you can download.

    ---

    There are some long term positional sacrifices an engine might not understand at first, but in general an engine will be better at evaluating sacrifices than a human.

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