[FOM] Checkers is a draw

Vladimir Sazonov V.Sazonov at csc.liv.ac.uk
Sat Jul 28 12:59:52 EDT 2007

Quoting Randall R Schulz <rschulz at sonic.net> Fri, 27 Jul 2007:

> On Thursday 26 July 2007 08:30, joeshipman at aol.com wrote:
>> I have a master's rating, and I own several Grandmaster-level chess
>> engines. I rarely beat them when playing "straight", but I find it
>> quite easy to beat any of them when I am allowed to use the "move
>> takeback" option repeatedly.
> Well, that's not chess as its rules define it, is it? It's chess with
> time-travel into one's own past (while carrying back information from
> the future, of course). It really tells us nothing about you or
> these "engines," does it?

If the engine (computer program) is a really perfect player (proved 
mathematically) then nothing would help if starting in an engine's 
winning position.

Also ignore any moves taken back, and you will have a normal game.

If your moves were done randomly or even by a prompt "obtained from 
God", the perfect engine will win anyway.

Thus, what Shipman suggested is a really good witness (even a formal 
proof) that EITHER the engine he has is not perfect OR the starting 
position is not a winning one for the engine. But because it was EASY 
to win in this way, this is rather a good witness (but not a formal 
proof) that the engine is not perfect.

Vladimir Sazonov

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