Vachier-Lagrave To Play Komodo In Man-vs-Machine Odds Chess
The top chess player in France will battle the top chess lizard...ever.

Vachier-Lagrave To Play Komodo In Man-vs-Machine Odds Chess

pete
pete
Aug 28, 2018, 12:40 PM |
56 | Chess Event Coverage

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will be the next opponent for the Komodo Monte Carlo engine as France's top grandmaster will play the computer in an odds match on Sept. 5.

Watch the man-vs-machine event live on on Chess.com/TV and Twitch.tv/chess for full commentary by MVL and IM Daniel Rensch.

Komodo Monte Carlo chooses its moves by win probability and not traditional evaluation. Instead it uses a Monte Carlo tree search, a method similar to those used by the machine-learning chess engines AlphaZero and Lc0, which have remained in the computer chess news.

To learn more about Komodo Monte Carlo, read the Chess.com press release.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

MVL will need to focus to beat Komodo in this man-vs-machine event.

To begin the match, MVL will play the normal Komodo levels 16-20, the same engines available for all Chess.com users to play for free, before facing off with the probabilistic Komodo Monte Carlo in six odds matches.

Komodo previously played a similar odds match with Hikaru Nakamura, where the American grandmaster beat up on the weakened levels of the traditional engine before battling Komodo Monte Carlo to a level score in the odds positions. 

hikaru nakamura vs komodo

Nakamura battled Komodo Monte Carlo to an even score in the June match. 

The updated version of Komodo Monte Carlo that will face MVL is "much stronger than what we had for the match with Hikaru," said the Komodo programmer GM Larry Kaufman.

MVL will warm up with five blitz (5+5) games against levels 16-20 of the online version of Komodo on the Chess.com live server. MVL will play four weakened versions of the engine before a final showdown with the traditional version of Komodo online.

The French GM will play White in all five blitz games and Komodo will not be allowed to think on its opponent's time. The engine will also be limited to a single thread and have no access to endgame tablebases during this phase.

The match will then progress to what the fans are waiting for: man-vs-machine odds chess. MVL will play six rapid games (15+2) against Komodo Monte Carlo in positions designed by Kaufman to give the human fighting chances against the terrible lizard.

The last game of the match will be the always-entertaining knightmare, where the human gets a normal set of piece sets with no knights, while the computer plays with knights for every piece.

Komodo Monte Carlo

In the six odds games, Komodo Monte Carlo will run on a powerful, 16-core computer (i9-7960x, overclocked to 4.1 GHz, with 64 GB RAM and six-piece Syzygy endgame tablebases).

Match format:

  • Five games of blitz (5+5) against Komodo levels 16-20 online. MVL plays White all games.
  • Six games of rapid (15+2) odds chess against Komodo Monte Carlo.

Odds Game 1: f7 pawn removed and two moves for White to start the game. MVL plays White.

Odds Game 2: Queen for rook and knight. MVL plays Black.

Odds Game 3: f2 and g2 pawns removed. MVL plays Black.

Odds Game 4: Knight for f7 pawn. MVL plays Black.

Odds Game 5: Rook and a2 pawn for knight. MVL plays Black.

Odds Game 6: Knightmare! All pieces knights vs normal piece set with knights removed. MVL plays Black.

MVL and Rensch will provide live commentary throughout the event, and will conduct a post-match interview.

Watch the man-vs-machine event live on on Chess.com/TV and Twitch.tv/chess for full commentary by MVL and IM Daniel Rensch.

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

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