Some of you may already know that the final round of the Computer Chess Championship is going on right now.
As might be expected of computer players and unlike human tournaments, the event has been played practically non-stop 24hrs a day, 7 days a week for several months now, and probably still has about a week or two more to go.
Stockfish, which is available in our openSUSE repos as a free download is the reigning champion and is currently leading the field, in fact was on something like a 140 game undefeated streak going into this final round and has been crushing foes one after another. Then, the unexpected. The engine who was faring last in this final round suddenly took Stockfish’s scalp in a very unexpected win. Then, a few games later and only a couple hours ago, lc0 which is the actual subject of this post also beat Stockfish.
This new engine, lc0 (Leela) is a new engine which in its current incarnation has been competing only very recently, and it grabbed my attention for a couple reasons… It doesn’t work very much like any previous chess engine, and if one looks at its games, you’d be struck by how differently it values initiative and seems to evaluate positional sacrifices, one of the most difficult things to master where you give away material and arrive at an objective position that cannot be measured by traditional piece values… That’s the magic of chess, that wooden pieces which are normally assigned static values can be imbued with extraordinary powers when conditions are right… And, most players computer and human don’t or can’t recognize those situations.
The other unique thing about lc0 which I still want to investigate is that supposedly this new incarnation doesn’t require instruction how to play the game. Supposedly you just feed it thousands of games, and it teaches itself the rules of the game, and because of this the program doesn’t just play world class chess. It also plays world class go and shojei without modifying the program. Wow. That’s some kind of machine learning.
Any of you interested in trying out this lc0 chess engine on openSUSE?
I’ve just created a Pull request for the lc0 project containing instructions for installing on openSUSE.
Don’t know how long it will take for approval, but anyone running openSUSE is welcome to install by accessing the guide from my github site
The main project site
For any of you who also are interested in writing BASH install scripts, you might find the included lc0 install script interesting…
It detects Tumbleweed vs LEAP and modifies the “Add Repo” install accordingly, installs a C++ build enviornment and executes the build that’s already on the site.
If anyone runs into problems or questions, the usual place to post would be in the Applications Technical Help forum…