Sunday, June 02, 2019

[roidrnbk] How many ways to win in chess?

An entertaining game has many ways to win.  This allows opponents to conceptually race two different ways to win to see who gets there first.

In chess, one can gain a material advantage, then exchange off pieces and win the endgame.  There are many types of endgames.  Or, one can checkmate in the middlegame or earlier, despite a material disadvantage.  One can even save a draw through stalemate despite material disadvantage.  Racing two different ways to win is often seen after opposite side castling, with players launching attacks from opposite wings, e.g., pawn storm, against the opponent's king.

At finer granularity, how many ways are there to win in chess?  One possible way to quantify it is to train a neural network as an evaluation function, then examine (somehow) the different ways it can light up to return a winning advantage.  Certainly things a passed pawn giving a winning advantage despite material disadvantage will show up in the evaluation function.

Then, design new games that have many ways to win.

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