Man or Machine?

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bd7 6. Be2 Nh6 7. O-O cxd4 8. cxd4 Nf5 9. Nc3 a6 10. Be3 Be7 11. Bd3 Nxe3 12. fxe3 O-O 13. Rc1 Rc8 14. Bb1 f5 15. exf6 Bxf6 16. Qd2 Na5 17. b3 Be7 18. Ne2 Rxc1 19. Rxc1 Nc6 20. Nf4 Bd6 21. h4 g6 22. g3 Qf6 23. Rf1 Ne7 24. Rf2 Nf5 25. Bxf5 gxf5 26. Qa5 Rc8 27. Rg2 Be8 28. Qd2 h6 29. Kh2 Qe7 30. Kh3 Kh7 31. Rg1 Qg7 32. Kh2 Bf7 33. Rc1 Rg8 34. Qf2 Bb8 35. a4 Bd6 36. Ne1 Be8 37. Ned3 b6 38. Rg1 Qf6 39. Qb2 Rg7 40. Rc1 Rg8 41. Rc2 Qg7 42. Rg2 Qf6 43. Ne5 Rg7 44. Rc2 a5 45. Qa1 Rc7 46. Rxc7+ Bxc7 47. Qc3 Qe7 48. Kg2 Kg8 49. Qc2 Bxe5 50. dxe5 Qd7 51. Kf2 Kh8 52. Kf1 Kg8 53. Ke1 Kf8 54. Kd2 Kg8 55. Ne2 Qc6 56. Qd3 Qc7 57. Qd4 Bg6 58. Nc3 Qc6 59. Qf4 Kg7 60. Nb5 Qc5 61. Qd4 Qxd4+ 62. exd4 Kf7 63. Nd6+ Ke7 64. Kc3 Kd7 65. Nb5 Kc6 66. Kd2 Bh5 67. Nd6 Bg6 68. Kd1 Kc7 69. Ke1 Kd7 70. Ke2 Bh5+ 71. Kd2 Bg6 72. Nb5 Kc6 73. Nc3 Bh5 74. Na2 Bf3 75. b4 axb4 76. Nxb4+ Kb7 77. Nd3 Bh5 78. Nf4 Bf7 79. Kc3 Ka7 80. Kb4 Ka6 81. a5 bxa5+ 82. Kc5 a4 83. Kb4 a3 84. Kxa3 Kb5 85. Kb3 Bg8 86. Nh5 Bf7 87. Nf6 Ka5 88. Nd7 Kb5 89. Nc5 Ka5 90. Nb7+ Kb6 91. Nd6 Bg6 92. Kb4 Kc6 93. Nc8 Kb7 94. Ne7 Bf7 95. Kb5 Kc7 96. Kc5 h5 97. Nc6 Be8 98. Nb4 Bf7 99. Kb5 Be8+ 100. Ka6 Bg6 101. Nd3 Kc6 102. Ka5 Bf7 103. Nf4 Kc7 104. Kb5 Kb7 105. Nd3 Be8+ 106. Ka5 Bf7 107. Nc5+ Kc6 108. Ka6 Kc7 109. Nd3 Kc6 110. Nf4 Kc7 111. Nh3

It has been a long game. Yet you feel plugged in; wired. In other circumstances you would consider offering a draw, but in this tournament a draw offer is not allowed. After much deliberation you decide upon 111…Kc6 and the game continues… 112. Ng5 Bg8 113. Ka5 Kc7 114. Kb5 Kb7 115. Kc5 Kc7 116. Nh3 Kd7 117. Nf4 Bf7 118. Kb6 Be8 119. Kb7 Bf7 120. Nd3 Be8 121. Nc5+ Ke7 122. Kc7 Bb5 123. Nb7 Be2 124. Nd8 Bg4 125. Nc6+ Ke8 126. Kd6 Bh3 127. Na5 Bg4 128. Nb7 f4 129. gxf4 Bh3 1-0

It is not possible to wonder where you went wrong because you are not conscious, but a program in a machine. Other entities will determine where and why you went wrong. The name used to separate you from other programs is Critter 1.6a, and you are one of the elite 8 playing in stage 3 of the Thoresen Chess Engines Competition. Your opponent was a program named Houdini 4.

Humans have come to think of chess playing programs as infallible, and any move provided by the highly rated engine is the best move in the position. Such is not the case. Every move played by an engine should be scrutinized just as all moves played by the best human players are questioned and examined. Was the above endgame lost or did Critter 1.6a lose a drawn game?

Chess programs use an opening “book” which consists of many games played by humans. Programs also incorporate endgame tablebases.

An idea to consider in any human versus chess engine battle would be to not allow the program to use either an opening book, or an endgame tablebase. This could possibly even the odds. If this is not enough, another idea to consider would be to cut the power a certain amount, say 10% per hour. As a last resort, the plug can be pulled.

Houdini 4 Passes Turing Test

Houdini 4 (3224) – Chiron 2 (3049)
TCEC Season 7 – Stage 2
Rd 2
2014.10.25
D02
Queen’s Pawn: 2.Nf3

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 a6 3. c4 e6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 Be7 6. Bxe7 Nxe7 7. e3 Bf5 8. Bd3 c6 9. Nc3 Nd7 10. O-O O-O 11. Qc2 Bxd3 12. Qxd3 Re8 13. Rad1 g6 14. Ne2 Nf5 15. Nf4 a5 16. Qb3 Nd6 17. a4 Kg7 18. Rfe1 Qf6 19. Rc1 Qe7 20. Nd3 Nf8 21. Rb1 Ne6 22. Nd2 Nc7 23. Red1 Red8 24. h3 Nce8 25. Rbc1 Nf6 26. Nc5 Re8 27. Re1 Qc7 28. Rc2 Re7 29. Rec1 Nd7 30. Qc3 Kg8 31. Nd3 Nf6 32. Qb3 Qd8 33. Nc5 Ra7 34. Rf1 Kg7 35. Rcc1 Ra8 36. Rc3 Rb8 37. Qc2 Rc8 38. Nd3 Qc7 39. Rb3 Ra8 40. Rc1 Rae8 41. Rc3 Nfe4 42. Nxe4 Nxe4 43. Rb3 Ra8 44. Nc5 Nd6 45. Qe2 Rae8 46. Rbc3 Qb6 47. Rd3 Qa7 48. Rb3 Ra8 49. Rbc3 Qb6 50. Qc2 Qd8 51. Rd1 Rc7 52. Rb3 Qh4 53. Rc1 Re7 54. Qd1 Rf8 55. Qd2 f5 56. Re1 Kg8 57. Nd3 Nc4 58. Qc2 g5 59. Kh2 g4 60. Nf4 gxh3 61. g3 Qg4 62. Qe2 Rf6 63. Rc3 Rh6 64. b3 Nd6 65. Rc5 Ne4 66. Rxa5 Re8 67. Ra7 Qg7 68. Rf1 Qe7 69. b4 Qc7 70. Qa6 Nd6 71. Qa5 Qb8 72. Rc1 Ne4 73. Rc2 Ng5 74. Kh1 Kh8 75. Nd3 Rg6 76. b5 Nf3 77. Nf4 Rg7 78. b6 Reg8 79. Rc1 h5 80. Rxb7 Qxb7 81. Qb4 h4 82. Qd6 Kh7 83. Nh5 hxg3 84. fxg3 Rg6 85. Qf4 Ng5 86. Qxf5 Qe7 87. Qe5 Qf8 88. Qf4 Ne4 89. Qxf8 Rxf8 0-1

Houdini 4 first went wrong with 76 b5. The program’s own analysis showed 76 Ne5, keeping the Black Knight out of f3, but for some yet as to be determined reason the program made the pawn move. Then on move 80, Houdini 4 melted down completely by trading a Rook for only pawn. Houdini’s analysis showed it was expecting 79…Ng5, but when Chiron 2 played 79…h5, Houdini 4 was obviously flummoxed. Chiron 2 showed 80 Nxh5 as best.

When asked what had gone wrong with Houdini 4 its handler said, “Today Houdini 4 passed the Turing test because it played like a human. As to why, we have just finished a psychiatric diagnostic of Houdini 4. The answer is on the screen.”

“HOUDINI 4 HAS CHIP ISSUES.”

When asked to elaborate, the plug was pulled.

An interesting checkmate: Computer chess engines