16 February 2018

Another AI Engine

This edition of Video Friday ties together two recent posts: The Lineage of AlphaZero (January 2018) and AlphaGo Netflix (ditto).


Interview with Rhys Rustad-Elliott, creator of the chess engine "Shallow Blue" (9:21) • 'Published on Feb 7, 2018'

The clip's description explains,

On February 2nd, Hart House Chess Club hosted a very interesting event on Chess, Computers and AI, featuring the screening of the award-winning documentary "AlphaGo", followed by an elite lecture by our guest speaker, Rhys Rustad-Elliott (sophomore at [University of Toronto] in Computer Science). Rhys, originally from Vancouver, had an interest in Computer Science and Software Engineering since elementary school, when he started toying around with simple programs in Python. Nowadays, he’s interested in a wide variety of Computer Science related topics and recently finished work on his chess engine, Shallow Blue (a play on words of Deep Blue).

For more about the lecture, see Rhys Rustad-Elliot introduces “Shallow Blue” and reflects on “Alpha Go”, Computers and AI (harthousechess.com).

15 February 2018

Bobby Speaks from the Grave

During the recent Carlsen - Nakamura match, Fischer Random 2018 (frchess.com), the setting received considerable attention.


Fischer: 'The *Old* Chess Is Dead'
(chess960frc.blogspot.com; February 2010)

The photo is a screen capture from the start of the live commentary for the match, where we learned,

IM Anna Rudolf: 'The two players are part of an art performance, an exhibition of fine art photography by Dag Alveng, Norwegian photographer. The photos are representing the tombs of former World Chess Champions.' • GM Yasser Seirawan: 'We say standing on the shoulders of giants. Here they'll be crossing their graveyards. There you see the two players, the black and white chairs, how appropriate.' • IM Rudolf: 'In front of the tomb of Bobby Fischer. [...] If you look at the table, this beautiful white table, it is exactly the same marble as the tomb of Bobby Fischer.'

Standing behind Magnus Carlsen is Erna Solberg, the Prime Minister of Norway, who made the ceremonial first move for GM Carlsen. For the rest of the commentary, see Nakamura-Carlsen 960 Fischer Random Match, Day 1 | Part 1 (twitch.tv/chess).

13 February 2018

Chess Mardi Gras

Today being Mardi Gras, and me having no concrete ideas and little time for a more profound post, let's just celebrate the day. Seen on eBay: 'Chess sports carnival parade car in France original 1950s photo postcard'.

The description added only,

Size: approx. 3.5" x 5.5" ( 9 x 14 cm).

The back of the card said,

Carnaval de Nice
Le Nain Jaune
Const: J-B. Pissarello

That's Nice, France, where Le Nain Jaune means 'The Yellow Dwarf'. As for 'Const', I'm not sure what it means -- maybe 'constructeur' of the float? For another take on the same topic, see Chess Carnaval (March 2012).

12 February 2018

Interview Videos : Grischuk

Starting with Interview Videos : Aronian, where...

I calculated that, at the rate of one player per week, I have just enough time to review the eight players who will be starting the 2018 Berlin Candidates Tournament in March.

...and last seen in Interview Videos : Ding Liren; continuing alphabetically, next up is GM Grischuk. The popular Russian grandmaster qualified via the FIDE Grand Prix (not to be confused with the non-FIDE Grand Tour).


Paris Grand Chess Tour: Alexander Grischuk On Blitz Time Controls (4:32) • 'Published on Jun 23, 2017'

The description said,

An interview with Alexander Grischuk, who is only a point behind Magnus Carlsen going into the blitz segment at the Paris Grand Chess Tour.

For more about the tournament, see Paris GCT | Grand Chess Tour (grandchesstour.org).

11 February 2018

'She Is Very Serious'

As far as I can tell, this is the first daguerreotype seen on Top eBay Chess Items by Price. One eBay post last year, Morphy CDV (September 2016), as well as its follow-up Brady CDVs (ditto), touched the subject, but took it no further.

The item pictured below (which I've brightened considerably) was titled 'Rare Victorian Framed Daguerreotype - Named Man & Woman Playing Chess - 1840s'. It sold for GBP 495.00 ('approximately US $683.45' according to eBay) 'Buy It Now'.

The description said,

This is a very rare genuine framed daguerreotype of an elderly couple playing chess at a table, dating from the 1840's. The daguerreotype is in its original gilt edged frame and appears to have been a gift from a Miss Anson to a friend of her Uncle Henry and Mrs P[...?] Ward with the additional comment "She is very serious".

The frame has obviously not been opened up at the back for many years but must have been re-papered at a later date and it is in good condition. There is some oxidisation around the edge of the image and a few specks that are under the glass as well as a few light scratches in the top right hand corner which aren't visible unless caught in the correct light. The image measures 9 cm x 6 cm in a 15 cm x 12.5 cm frame. A wonderful antique daguerreotype that would grace any collection.

The comment written on the back of the item is given in the description as 'She is very serious'. The last word looks to me to be something else, starting 'sel...', but I can't guess what word. She certainly looks very serious.

09 February 2018

Likable, Likeable Chess Players

This photo looked vaguely familiar, but where? After searching this blog for 'statue' and 'sculpture', I found the post Distant Cousins? (September 2011); same statue, completely different angle.


Chess Players © Flickr user F Delventhal under Creative Commons.

There was no further description on the photo and it wasn't immediately clear how to untangle the associated tags:-

Cartagena, CartagenadeIndias, Edgardo, Carmona, statue, estatua, San, Pedro, Claver, Square, Plaza

The 'Cousins' post locates the artwork in Cartagena, Colombia and other versions of the photo inform that it is in the square next to the 'Cathedral de San Pedro Claver'. As for Edgardo Carmona, in Iron Sculptures in Downtown Fort Myers (March 2016), the blog 'My Fort Myers Beach, My Florida' informs,

In his sculptures, Colombian artist Edgardo Carmona showcases "likable characters that make Cartagena, Colombia, what it is." The sculptures, all carved from rustic iron, depict characters and scenes from Mr. Carmona’s hometown, where he was born in 1950.

The sculpture even includes a rustic iron chess clock. These are serious players.

08 February 2018

Kasparov vs. Hsu

In last week's Video Friday post, GK's Four Most Memorable Games, one of the four games was 'Deep Blue (Computer) vs Garry Kasparov; IBM Man-Machine (1997), New York, NY USA, rd 6'. By coincidence, I've been reading Kasparov's recent book, Deep Thinking, where he spends several chapters discussing that fateful match. Besides the 1997 match, the former World Champion also discusses earlier encounters with the Deep Thought / Deep Blue team.

When it comes to his own activities, Kasparov is never an impartial witness and is sometimes misleading. In search of objectivity, we can compare Feng-hsiung Hsu's account of the same meetings in his own book, 'Behind Deep Blue'. I featured the book last year in Deep Blue 'On the Cover' (June 2017).

In preparation for a future post or two, I created a cross reference covering the two books. The references for Kasparov's book use the Kindle's location ('loc') attribute.

Hsu: Kasparov:
1989-10 Deep Thought, New York p.130 (PDF) loc.1634
1996-02 Deep Blue, Philadelphia p.188 loc.2063
1997-05 Deep Blue, New York p.235 loc.2424 (A)
1991-03 Hanover p.? loc.1794 (B)
1993-02 Copenhagen p.155 loc.1966 (C)
1995-05 Hong Kong p.171 loc.2051 (D)


Notes:
(A) The reference here is to when discussions began. See also loc.2595 (Ch.9 'The Board Is in Flames!'); loc.3124 (Ch.10 'The Holy Grail'); and loc.3381 (game 6).

(B) Hsu doesn't mention this event. Kasparov says that the event had 6 GMs and an IM, and that Deep Thought finished with 2.5 points out of seven games. A previous post on this blog, Deep Thought/Blue in the Early 1990s (July 2015), says, '1991-03-19: DT2 in Hannover (w/ link), "Deep Thought 2 vs. 7 German GMs" at Cebit in Hannover'; also GK simul.

(C) Organized by IBM Denmark.

(D) See World Computer Chess Championship : 8th WCCC - 1995 Hong Kong.

Kasparov's book also gives details about his games/matches against other chess computers. I should compare this to my page Garry Kasparov's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record (1973-; 'Last updated 2014-08-11').