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posted by Dopefish on Thursday February 27 2014, @06:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the bobby-fischer-lives-on dept.
andrew writes "Magnus Carlsen, arguably the best chess player ever, has made a new chess app available on iTunes. PlayMagnus claims to be able to mimic the play of Magnus at different ages from age 5 to his current world championship strength at 23 years old. This is made possible by use of a customized chess engine built on thousands of different positions from his games.

From Reuters article:

So what is it like for Carlsen to play against his younger self?

"He is really tricky," the champion said. "Even Magnus at 11 years old was a very gifted tactician. A while ago I played as a test Magnus (aged) 14. I outplayed him at some point positionally. And just boom, boom, he tricked me tactically.

"But he makes mistakes as well, so I just have to be patient."

Magnus also plans to eventually add the functionality of on-line chess games against other app users, a service as old as the Internet, putting his app in direct competition with long established chess servers like FICS and ICC."

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by dbe on Thursday February 27 2014, @06:41PM

    by dbe (1422) on Thursday February 27 2014, @06:41PM (#8077)

    Can anyone knowledgeable in Chess game engine explain how this app is different from other engines out there?
    I would expect that the branching research factor is proportional to the small cellphone CPU, so this won't compete against deep blue class setups.
    So how does it evaluate the best move? Correlation and statistics from all the games stored?
    Cheers

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by tbuddy on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:15PM

      by tbuddy (932) on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:15PM (#8091)

      iOS exclusive and via in-app purchases you can give 70% of the money you spend on it to arguably the best chess player are two reasons you should run, not walk to this app.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:34PM

      by frojack (1554) on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:34PM (#8094) Journal

      It seems to be based on HIS OWN game history, rather than actual logic.
      As best As I can figure it, it looks up boards with the identical deployment (or as close as he can come to it) from his history, and makes the move he made next.

      But precisely who is "that anal" that they recorded every board they played back to an age of 11? Or maybe he just has an eidetic memory.

      --
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      • (Score: 5, Informative) by andrew on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:45PM

        by andrew (755) on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:45PM (#8096)

        He does have an excellent memory. Every great chess player has a freakish ability to remember chess games, not only their own but ones that have studied of other players. If the game was played in a rated tournament, which Magnus has played a lot of, then it is required to keep a score sheet and write down all the moves. The exception to this is blitz and rapid games where there is not enough time to record the moves. Today modern master level tournament and match games are recorded electronically on digital boards [chesscentral.com]. There's also the thousands of games he's played on-line that are archived out there on places like ICC.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:03PM

          by frojack (1554) on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:03PM (#8100) Journal

          archived out there on places like ICC.

          Ok, so Bobby Fischer was something of a bad boy, but does that mean the International Criminal Court has to track all these buys? ;-)

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by thomasdotnet on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:03PM

        by thomasdotnet (1583) on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:03PM (#8099)

        There are 7^64 possible chess positions, with the number of possible moves increasing at a rapid rate from the first move on. While his professional games will have recorded thousands of common, perhaps hundreds of uncommon, and a small handful of unlikely positions and his subsequent reaction to them for each year of his career, you are still playing a deterministic chess algorithm and not a true representation of a game with the champion. You might be getting a move he made in frustration or when he had a cold, and you will most certainly not provoke a frustrated move.

        I can only consider this selling based on brand recognition rather than some novel new approach to a chess game.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by wonkey_monkey on Friday February 28 2014, @08:43AM

          by wonkey_monkey (279) on Friday February 28 2014, @08:43AM (#8378) Homepage

          There are 7^64 possible chess positions

          There aren't. For starters there are black and white pieces, which makes the naive figure 13^64. Then there can only ever be exactly one black king and one white king, a player's pawns can never be on his back row, and (pawns+promoted pieces)=8, and so on. A lot of double checkmates are ruled out, 10 bishops of one colour can never all be on the same colour square, etc, etc.

          Whether or not that works out to more than 7^64 is left as an exercise for the reader.

          --
          systemd is Roko's Basilisk
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by regift_of_the_gods on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:13PM

    by regift_of_the_gods (138) on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:13PM (#8090)

    ... of Carlsen game history by giving it the Danish Gambit, the Silician Wing Gambit, or I forget what Andrew's third one was.

    • (Score: 2) by andrew on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:38PM

      by andrew (755) on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:38PM (#8095)

      Play the Grob like Nakamura [chessgames.com] and maybe win in 255 moves!

      Unfortunately it's difficult to get a psychological advantage over an iPhone with an offbeat opening.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:32PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:32PM (#8108)

      > or I forget what Andrew's third one was.

      Getting involved in a land war in Asia?

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:28PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:28PM (#8106)

    If I can't run it in Star Wars animation mode, I don't want to play it.

  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by crutchy on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:51PM

    by crutchy (179) on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:51PM (#8116) Homepage Journal

    ...he got paid to endorse some second-rate shit developed by EA

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Lagg on Thursday February 27 2014, @09:50PM

    by Lagg (105) on Thursday February 27 2014, @09:50PM (#8131) Homepage Journal
    Did he write the game himself? It sure seems like it's trying to say he did. If not it may be more proper to say he endorsed it instead of released it. I have a feeling this'll be a program that actually ends up being worse than standard chess AI because it uses pre-recorded moves whereas other games try to figure out the best next move. So this is starting to seem like he's just being paid to endorse it and it's yet another chess video game. Someone in the comments said it was probably done by EA, I see no proof of this (though I didn't actually look at the app store page) but that would be hilarious. It wouldn't surprise me either. Here comes the "Magnus age 20" DLC.
    --
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