Nakamura To Play Komodo In Man-vs-Machine Chess
Nakamura will face the latest and greatest Komodo Monte Carlo in a unique match format.

Nakamura To Play Komodo In Man-vs-Machine Chess

News
News
Jun 13, 2018, 1:27 AM |
110 | Chess.com News

Hikaru Nakamura will play a groundbreaking man-vs-machine chess event this Sunday as he is slated to face 20 levels of the Komodo chess engine on Chess.com before taking on the newest version, Komodo Monte Carlo, in three odds-chess games.

The match is scheduled for Sunday, June 17, beginning at 10 a.m. Pacific time (1 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. UTC). Watch the broadcast live as Nakamura streams his own commentary at Chess.com/TV and Twitch.tv/chess.

Nakamura, who was bested in a four-game match by Komodo 9 in January 2016, will have the chance to take his revenge against the machine in a match format that should let humanity score some wins.

All Chess.com users can play the 20 levels of Komodo on Chess.com/live, and that's exactly what Nakamura will do to kick off the match. While the American grandmaster is expected to make short work of the weaker Komodo levels, it will be interesting to see if he can keep up with the great lizard all the way to level 20.

The 20 Komodo levels games will be played with no odds at a blitz time control of five minutes plus five seconds increment. Nakamura will play the white pieces in all 20 games. 

Komodo Monte Carlo

The real fun begins next as Nakamura is then slated to face the newest version of the engine, Komodo Monte Carlo, in three different positions designed to level the chessboard for the human. In these three games, Komodo Monte Carlo will run on a powerful, 16-core computer (i9-7960x, overclocked to 4.1 GHz, 64 GB RAM, 5-piece Syzygy endgame tablebases).

Komodo Monte Carlo chooses its moves by win probability and not traditional evaluation. The approach is similar to the probabilistic methods of the machine-learning chess projects AlphaZero and LeelaChess, which have fascinated chess players with their intuitive styles and fantastic success.

Nakamura will play the dice-wielding lizard in three different odds positions, all at a rapid time control of 10 minutes plus five seconds increment:

Game 1: Pawn and two moves. Komodo is Black, missing its f7 pawn, and the white pawn starts on e4. White to move.

Game 2: Knight for pawn. Komodo is White and Black starts with a knight instead of a pawn on f7.

Game 3: The Knightmare. Komodo is White and all of its pieces are replaced with knights, while Black's knights are removed.

No public odds chess match has ever been held between a human grandmaster and a chess engine using a non-traditional, probability-based evaluation. To learn more about Komodo Monte Carlo, read the Chess.com press release.

"I look forward to competing with this new kind of chess AI in a match that will be interesting for chess fans of every level," said Nakamura. It's exciting to be the first human grandmaster to play Komodo Monte Carlo."

Be sure to tune in on Sunday, June 17 at 10 a.m. Pacific on Chess.com/TV to watch Nakamura battle Komodo while streaming his own commentary in what could be the biggest man-vs-machine computer chess event ever.

Who do you think will win the Nakamura-vs-Komodo match? Let us know in the comments.

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