AlphaZero lost only 6 games to Stockfish in a 1000-game series, winning 155 games and drawing the rest. The crushing win sharpens the challenge of neural networks to traditional chess engines.
What can computer chess fans conclude after reading these results? AlphaZero has solidfied its status as one of the elite chess players in the world. But the results are even more intriguing if you're following the ability of artificial intelligence to master general gameplay. According to the journal article, the updated AlphaZero algorithm is identical in three challenging games: chess, shogi, and go. This version of AlphaZero was able to beat the top computer players of all three games after just a few hours of self-training, starting from just the basic rules of the games.
Another neural net-powered chess AI independently learned one of AlphaZero's distinctive strategies--advancing lone pawns to vulnerable but irritating positions in the endgame--suggesting that it might be "a critical winning strategy" for human players to emulate. Read the rest
Imad Khachan is proprietor of Chess Forum, the last chess shop in New York City.
“When no other place will welcome you, you have a seat [here],” Khachan says.
Khachan is the subject of King of the Night, a short documentary above by Molly Brass and Anne Hollowday.
Read the rest
This relaxing video shows a miniature chess set being made with rotary tools, lathes, saws and other equipment. It's not quite a DIY guide, unless you already have a fabulous shop, but it definitely makes me want a nice chess set. Read the rest
Ambakisye Osayaba is known to his students as TC ("Teaches Chess"), He can be found sitting at his folding table in New York's Union Square every day, even in bad weather. He charges $3 a game. If you think you can beat him, the wager is $5. He charges $20 for a 30 minute lesson. His students love him.
From NY Post:
“People walk by all the time wanting to learn,” said Osayaba. “I tell them, ‘Take a seat’ and before they know it, they’re coming back every day.”
Victor Raso, 28, has been taking lessons from Osayaba five days a week for two years.
“When I first came out I knew the rules but nothing about strategy,” said Raso, a facilities coordinator at the clothing store Express who spends his lunch hour in the park. “I stuck with T.C. because he taught me rather than hustled me.”
The only way to get an appointment with T.C. is to show up at his table. “I threw my phone off the Brooklyn Bridge,” Osayaba said. “You need to give the game your full attention.”
Luiz Hanfilaque Read the rest
Skyline Chess is taking pre-orders for a set based on New York's most iconic buildings.
The concept was first conceived when we shared a flat together and would play chess in the evenings. The idea grew out of a conversation about whether we could replace the classic pieces with our favourite buildings. This led us to design and develop our first set, based on the skyline of our hometown, London.
King - One World Trade Tower
Queen - Empire State Building
Bishop - Chrysler Building
Knight - Flatiron Building
Rook - Guggenheim Museum
Pawn - Brownstone House
I'm a Londoner, and have to admit the New York City one is much more attractive.
New York's skyline is a wonder of the world. London's is black comedy: a gigantic sinister science fiction pyramid, a child's drawing of an obelisk, and two dildos flanked by clown car wheels and refugee game pieces from Steampunk Monopoly. Read the rest
It started when an anonymous Imgur user found an "old Integra cylinder head laying around the shop, collecting dust," which they "dis-assembled and decided to put it to use again." Read the rest
If you thought soccer's world cup being awarded to baking-hot Qatar marked the zenith of sporting corruption, give FIDE a chance: the international chess federation's forthcoming world championship is headed to Iran, and women players must wear the hijab to compete. UK tabloids quote leading women chess players as threatening to quit the tournament rather than obey.
US women's champion Nazi Paikidze said: ‘It is absolutely unacceptable to host one of the most important women's tournaments in a venue where, to this day, women are forced to cover up with a hijab.
‘I understand and respect cultural differences. But, failing to comply can lead to imprisonment and women's rights are being severely restricted in general. It does not feel safe for women from around the world to play here.’
She added: ‘If the situation remains unchanged, I will most certainly not participate in this event.’
It's insane, but entirely in keeping with FIDE's brainier-than-thou shiftiness, to think that Tehran is a good place to host the key event on their highly-politicized mind game's calendar. For starters, there's a current U.S. government travel warning telling citizens not to go there at all.
(I would go, but wear a Burka) Read the rest
The most entertaining chess match you'll watch all year: Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, with the black pieces, takes on a trash-talking, fast-fingered hustler. [via] Read the rest
What if you could learn how to play chess simply by looking at the pieces? Read the rest
Arcangelo Ricciardi was booted from the International Chess Festival of Imperia for cheating using a camera pendant to transmit video of the board to an accomplice and some kind of wireless device in his armpit to receive signals of suggested moves. According to The Telegraph, Ricciardi claimed the devices "were good luck charms." Read the rest
After this Bauhaus-inspired pattern from XYZ Workshop is downloaded and printed, each chess piece is designed as a mini-planter. Read the rest
Nothing makes me happier than friends coming over to sit on the deck and play chess.
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In this splendid game, chess grandmaster Max Dlugy (Rating: 3130) is surprised—and intrigued—by the wily play of the ominously and accurately-named player "TrickyMate" (Rating: 1400).
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Irish Gardaí charged an Italian man with murder after a dispute over a chess move ended in his opponent's death—and with his heart being EATEN.
Saverio Bellante, 34, of Castlenock, was accused of murdering Thomas O'Gorman, 39, with whom he shared an address, reports Sunday World.
According to police, details of O'Gorman's death are "too horrific to release", but they said he was beaten and stabbed—and that Bellante told them he was guilty.
The Guardian's Ireland correspondent, however, reports that the killing had a "ritualistic" aspect, but gives no details beyond that his throat was cut and that "other parts of his body were attacked."
The Irish Independent claims that after killing Gorman, Ballente ate his victim's heart -- and that police are unable to locate one of the victim's lungs.
Judge David McHugh ordered a medical assessment of Bellante, who will remain in custody until a Jan. 17 hearing. The stabbing occurred just before 2 a.m. in the west Dublin neighborhood; gardaí say that alcohol was not a factor in the incident. Read the rest
Is it possible for someone's chess ability to leap, suddenly, from mundane mastership to world-beating? Many are convinced that Bulgarian player Ivanov Borislav is cheating—but they cannot figure out how. They can, however, figure out which computer program makes the same moves. Read the rest
The hardest-fought battles in modern chess are between computers, but angry fights over who authored these cutting-edge number crunchers come a close second. Rob Beschizza reports on a disgraced chess AI champion's last stand