21 May 2020

Breaking the 3100 Barrier

I thought I was done with the 'Breaking the Barrier' posts, last seen in Breaking the 3000 Barrier (September 2019). Then this remarkable Chess.com video surfaced this week.

The Strongest Computer Chess Engines Over Time (2:15) • '[Published on] May 20, 2020'

It appeared a few days after post no.3100 on this blog -- Businessman vs. Mother Nature -- and gave me the opportunity to doublecheck the info from Breaking the 2900 Barrier (April 2019):-

I've marked the 2900 crossover point with a red star. The engine under the star is Shredder 8.0 and the year was 2003 or thereabouts. As for 'Breaking the 3000 Barrier', the same chart points to Rybka 1.2 a few years later.

Back to the video : after IBM's Deep Blue pops to the top of the chart at 2712 in 1996, it hits 2853 in 1997. It stays at the top until Hiarcs overtakes it end-2003. Hiarcs rises to 2896 -- now don't blink or you'll miss it -- where it is immediately overtaken by Rybka at 3003 in mid-2004. Rybka breaks 3100 end-2005.

The more than 500 comments against the video (NB: right-click the embedded video for its original address) are probably worth a browse, but I'll look at those another time. As for the source of the data, a note says,

The primary data source is the SSDF list as collected from online sources and publications in the ICCA Journals (later named ICGA).

This is followed by rating derivations for Deep Blue, AlphaZero, and Leela. I'm sure the methodology is controversial, which makes it even more interesting.

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