25 September 2020

A Cascade of Chess Variants

I ended last week's post, Nine Chess Variants, saying,

GM Kramnik's latest ideas might promise a wealth of new material related to AI/NN.

Before tackling that, I would like to finish reviewing a related video on Youtube's Chess.com channel.

DeepMind Roundtable with GM Vladimir Kramnik, IM Danny Rensch, and the DeepMind team (1:49:21) • 'Streamed live on Sep 18, 2020'

The description says,

Chess.com hosts a round-table discussion with GM Vladimir Kramnik, IM Danny Rensch and researchers of Deepmind discussing their latest paper in which AlphaZero explores chess variants.

During the past week, Chess.com also released software to play many of the variants: AlphaZero (And Other!) Chess Variants Now Available For Everyone.

Six new variants, including four from the recent AlphaZero paper, are now available for all Chess.com members to try.

The page includes brief explanations of the variants. Four endorsed by GM Kramnik -- No Castling, Capture Anything, Sideways Pawns, and Torpedo -- plus three others gives seven new variants, not six. Was 'No Castling' previously available? Kramnik introduced it in December 2019.

My priority objective would be to eliminate the usefulness of tablebases (TB). Some of the variants would require new TBs to be constructed, but I don't see any that would do away with TBs entirely -- maybe 'Fog of War'?

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