07 February 2022

'Reasonable Support' Required?

Back in July 2020, the TCEC !next command announced,

Now Top Of The Top - top4 bonus 7x DRR including 1 'bookless' DRR and SF NNUE gauntlet vs top4 !topofthetop . Then Cup6 testing. Then Cup6 !cup. Then S19 starts with special Bonus and special Bonuses between leagues. Then FRC. Then S20 (current plan, can change, also !4k bonus might be inserted somewhere)

A month later that last sentence, '!4k bonus might be inserted somewhere', was expanded:-

Now [S19] QL+L3 testing. [...] Then QL, L3, L2, L1, DivP, Sufi, Cup7 and FRC2. Then S20 (current plan, can change, also !4k bonus and/or !r-mobility bonus might be inserted somewhere)

My fortnightly report at that time was Alliestein Wins TCEC Cup 6; CCC Tests 'Stockfish NNUE' (August 2020). What are those two 'bonus' events? The first...

!4k • Engine maximum size is 4kB (4096 bytes)

...is explained in TCEC 4k Rules (wiki.chessdom.org; 'This is a temporary version!! The page below is not yet final'). The second...

!r-mobility • Goal of reset-mobility is to restrict your opponent mobility in legal moves as much as possible. Only positions after last pawn/capture are included, while not being in check is counted as an additional 0.5 moves.

...is explained in R-Mobility (wiki.chessdom.org). The page starts,

R-Mobility (aka reset-mobility) is a generalization of mate and stalemate: force opponent to have as few legal moves as possible. R-Mobility allows to convert advantage in drawn games into favorable tiebreaks. Only last record since previous pawn and/or capture move counts.

The idea expands on checkmate / stalemate into positions like K+P:K and K+B:K where one side has a material advantage, but the result is a draw. For some time now, I've been looking for ideas that alter scoring (W-L-D) to allow a richer set of values, thereby reversing the draw boredom that chess has experienced when powerful engines are used.

The idea behind r-mobility is a step in that direction, although it is too uncertain to start development. The TCEC !next command currently says,

!4k bonus and/or !r-mobility (armageddon) demo or bonus might be inserted somewhere (one engine minimum with reasonable support needed)

Why wait for 'one engine with reasonable support'? The idea can be back-tested on hundreds of engine vs. engine tournaments to determine if it has any validity. It could even be back-tested on human tournaments. No 'reasonable support' required.

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