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Chess Rebellion of the Machines: How Russian Robot Defeated Grandmasters
July 29, 2017 18:36


Why a robot chess player defeats a human opponent on the board, but loses him/her in intelligence.
The International Chess Day has been celebrated on July 20 for more than half a century already. Russia has traditionally been one of the recognized leaders in this sport: more than half of the world chess champions are Soviet or Russian grandmasters.
However, not only human chess players from this country take over their foreign rivals. In Russia there is a unique mechanical chess player named Chesska, which moves chess figures fast and bright enough to defeat grandmasters and robots alike.
Its creator, the Honored Coach of the Russian Chess Federation, Konstantin Kostenyuk, explains why Chesska cannot be called an artificial intelligence and how to use the robot for training grandmasters.
Faster Than the Human Hand
"The idea of ​​creating a robot that can play chess only seemed banal," - Konstantin Kosteniuk begins his story. Therefore, a mechanism was designed, which would be able to win in a blitz, a chess game lasting for five minutes.
The inventor recalls that Vladimir Kramnik, the 14th world chess champion, doubted the success of this idea. After all, the robot would have to not only quickly analyze the moves, but also move the figures, whereas industrial manipulators - the mechanical "hands" used in production - significantly lagged behind the speed of the human hand.
The Victory Dance
Chesska weighs 50 kilograms. It is able to play on three chess boards simultaneously. And this is just a little part of its functionality: it also knows how to arrange figures and play with itself. However, this program has been temporarily deleted. "At night it plays chess on its own and thus freightens the security in the building," - Konstantin Kosteniuk explains with a smile.

The robot is activated from the console. From the console you can set up the duration of each game and even run the "victory dance". After the victory, Chesska begins to move, raising its mechanical arm and "bowing" to the opponent.
Chesska played versus Alexander Grischuk, Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karyakin and, of course, Alexandra Kosteniuk (ex-world champion among women and the daughter of the robot’s inventor). FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is fond of competing with Chesska, and informally calls it “robot Vasya”. However, the current world champion, Magnus Carlsen refused to fight against the mechanical chess player. "He understood that he would lose," Konstantin Kosteniuk explains with a sneer.
What Chesska Consists of
Chesska has no cameras that would recognize chess figures and board cells. Instead, it has a system that translates chess competitions into the Internet: "Each figure has a chip, a reading system under the blackboard, with a clock connected to it - and all of that data is transmitted straight to the computer through the cable – thus it knows what is happening on the board. This method is much more reliable than all the optical recognition methods”, Konstantin Kosteniuk says.
Battle of Robots
May 19, 2012 saw an unusual show in on Strastnoy Boulevard in Moscow. Two chess robots - Russian Chesska and German Kuka Monster - competed with grandmasters. The apotheosis of this action was the battle of the robots with each other. Russian mechanical chess player won every game. The inventor of the robot explains the advantage of his brainchild as follows: "In fact, the whole point is in the weight of the robot." 50 kilo Chesska is much lighter than Kuka, and so it moves faster.



Sources: Http://tass.ru 

Author: Vera Ivanova

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