Monte Carlo simulations are used to generate random numbers and MC methods have been useful in investigating probabilistic situations in nuclear physics, in traffic management solutions, in option pricing, and other such scenarios.
The Rybka Aquarium offers MC options. Chess is a deterministic game but in Rybka’s MC, two engines play a vast number of blitz games from the same position. Initial moves and responses change randomly. Some moves lead into absurdity but gradually the best moves and responses become clear from the statistical win-loss record. The technique could have the potential to be very powerful.
Go is considered the last strategic game where humans comfortably beat computers. Played on 19x19 boards with each player starting with at least 180 stones, it is more complex than chess, giving rise to a greater magnitude of possible games. MC methods are making an impact in Go with specialised MC-based programs now capable of playing at close to master strength.
Monte Carlo was the original venue for the Melody Amber blindfold-rapid event sponsored by Dutch millionaire and World Correspondence Champion, Joop Van Osterom. The tournament has moved to Nice but it continues to draw fantastic 12-man fields with a prize fund of Euro 250,000. After eight games, Kramnik leads with 5.5. Aronyan and Morozevich are on 5 and Carlsen, Radjabov, Topalov at 4.5. Anand is on 4.
While Anand meanders along in his second lacklustre performance after the title match, Koneru Humpy is in a three-way tie for first place with one round to go in the first Women’s Grand Prix in Istanbul. Humpy, Hou and Zhao are all on 7.5.
More than worries about Anand’s form or Humpy’s result, Indian chess fans have been discussing le affaire Gopal. According to a decision taken at an AICF central committee meeting in Chennai recently, GM Gopal of Kochi has been banned for a year from representing India at any official event (this includes Olympiads and the next World Junior) after he skipped playing the National A in December and played in a tournament in Mexico instead. The attitude of the Chess Players Association of India is sympathetic to Gopal. The details are not yet clear.
The diagram, WHITE TO PLAY, (Carlsen Vs Radjabov, Linares 2009) featured a great escape by the Azeri GM. Carlsen would have tied Grischuk for first with a round to play if he had wrapped this up.
Play went 47.Kf3?? Nb5! 48.Rb4. White can’t go 48.Ke3 b2 49.Rb4 Nc3 since 50.Kxd3 b1Q+ 51.Rxb1 Nxb1 (or 50.Rxb2 Nd1+ 51.Kxd3 Nxb2+) are draws. Radjabov continued 48 --Nc3 49.Rb7+ Kg8 50.Rb8+ Kh7 51.Ke3 b2 52.Rb7+ Kg8 53.Rb8+ Kh7 draw.
Instead 47.Kf1 would have won comfortably for Carlsen since after 47...Nb5 48.Rb4 Nc3 White has 49.Ke1 with no forks.