20 April 2020

Smerdon - Komodo Odds Match

Everyone knows that people have no chance in a balanced game against a chess engine. Years ago, even Pawn odds given by the engines proved insufficient for an interesting game. Earlier this month, as an experiment in man-machine play, Chess.com held a match Man vs. Machine: Smerdon vs. Komodo (chess.com; Peter Doggers):-

This week Chess.com is hosting a match between Australian grandmaster David Smerdon and Komodo. The chess engine will be playing with Knight odds. The match, held in conjunction with a special anniversary issue of the "ICGA Journal" (International Computer Games Association), will consist of six games with a time control of 15 minutes and a 10-second increment per move. Smerdon plays black in every game; Komodo will be missing a Knight in the starting positions, alternating from removing it from b1 an g1.

Although some observers predicted that the machine would nevertheless prevail, the results showed that GMs know how to convert a substantial material advantage -- trade down to an endgame and convert -- Smerdon Beats Komodo 5-1 With Knight Odds (ditto):-

GM David Smerdon defeated chess engine Komodo, playing with knight odds, 5-1. The Man vs. Machine rapid match was played on Chess.com on April 10 and 11 and provided more insight into the effect of material imbalance in human vs engine play.

For more about the match from the human point of view, see Man vs Machine in the Time of COVID: Komodo vs Smerdon (davidsmerdon.com). For more about the match from the engine point of view, see Komodo vs GM Smerdon knight odds match (talkchess.comforum); started by Komodo's GM Larry Kaufman in mid-March, the discussion of the match starts realtime on page six.

At what rating level for the human would the machine start to compete with an equal chance of winning? Under-2200? Under-2000? Lower?

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