Chris Whittington:

If you're a slow (knowledge) program, you can beat a fast one by having essential chess knowledge. You maybe find some theme or weakness or king attack or whatever, go for it, sit on it, exploit it and maybe get a win from it. Also, you can find this stuff, but not be able to convert it.

If you're a slow program, and you get into a game where these exploitation possibilities don't exist for some reason, then, effectively, the game turns into slow bean-counter against fast bean-counter, with the inevitable conclusion.

We all see these games. In fact you don't need my program to show them , because they happen all the time in comp-comp. These game types are the norm for bean vs bean.

Take a scenario. Your program now, Ferret, against your program 4 years ago. Or even your program now against your own program on slow hardware. Result inevitable ? Probably. Game style and type ? Probably predictable like so:

Ferret(fast) will have 1,2,3,4 nominal plies on Ferret(slow). Game style and type will be strongly dependant on the nominal ply gap.

a) High gap. Ferret(slow) will likely go down into rapid material collapse. Ferret(fast) may even have some flashy pyrotechnics to demonstrate it. A naive reviewer could call ferret(fast) a spectacular attacking program. He could call ferret(slow) a stupid bean-counter, typical computer.

b) Medium gap. Ferret(fast) will slowly grind ferret(slow) down. Ferret slow will keep finding at its higher iterations, possible loss of material. It
will go panic time, find a way to avoid material loss by giving double pawns instead, or whatever. A naive reviewer will call Ferret(fast) a great
positional player. He'll call Ferret(slow) dumb, accuse it of not having simple knowledge like double pawns, or whatever.

c) Small gap. Probably you'll get reasonable games. The reviewer can't tell much, so, if he'll likely start making things up. Human style, or plays more interesting, or some other nonsense that says nothing.

What I'm trying to say to you, is that Ferret is none of these things. It has none of these 'naive reviewer properties'. The properties are all emergent from the search gap, and therefore depend on the opponent. It knows everything and nothing, all at the same time.

Which is why Genius was thought to be the greatest thing, and now you all think it is boring. It isn't either, or its both. Schrodinger's cat.

Which is why programs seem to keep making progress on the SSDF list. And why reviewers, either dumb, or with axes to grind, wax lyrical about the latest programs.

It's the search gap. Gettit ? Out of this search gap comes all the naive speculation and nonsense that gets written. The program has every style and no style, it has no consistency to play against, only materialism, you can't learn from it, tomorrow it will be different (found another mine in the search gap), only the difference is just a relection of - whoops, trod on another mine. What can you do with such a program ? Use the take-back key and try again ? - and imagine this helps you improve or learn ?

Now, I claim this search gap has no meaning or understanding possibilities for a human. That a human can't relate his heuristics to it. That you can't extract the knowledge out of it and represent it to a human. That you can't even extract the knowledge out of it and represent it to yourself. You can't get heuristics from it. So I call it counting beans - useless for us humans.

Now, take a knowledge program, you can play it and see the play style. You can try and work out what it does and why. There'll be a reason, based on human chess heuristics. The game has plan, and flow, and doesn't consist of hidden minefields. It won't grind you down by search, it will try speculative ideas which it might, or might not, be able to get to work. You can see the speculative ideas, and try them yourself. I think you can, as a human, relate to this type of program. If you know the programmer, maybe you can see patterns into the program that come from him, and so on. I think these types of programs are infused with some force, in so far as any chunk of silicon can be.

I hate materialists.

Chris Whittington