Submission Text Full Submission Page
The priority of this run is to finish a game of chess against the default level opponent in the least number of moves possible.

Objectives

  • Emulator used: FCEUX 2.1.4a
  • Aims for fastest time to checkmate
  • Uses a suboptimal opening move to be made so that any opening books preprogrammed into Battle Chess will be obsolete.
  • Manipulates computer analysis through blunders
  • Minimizes piece exchanges as to cut out fight scenes
My first tactic was to open with a move to quickly render the engine's opening book void. There were several candidates for this including the moves 1. g3, 1. h3 etc. Using these lines I opted for quick advancement for one of my bishops and queen due to the large amount of board that they need to cover quickly.
During the first tryout of this game I was able to checkmate in less than 12 moves using Rybka 4 (the best chess engine software to date) and repeatedly trying to blunder the opponent until a quick checkmate.
One thing that limited and quickened a last exhaustive search for a win is that the opponents choice of a move never changes for a certain situation. I limited my search tree to 5 branches per move (choosen by Rybka) so 5 choices ^ 8 moves = 400000 possible lines.
I pruned out those moves that held many piece exchanges, those that did not advance either the queen or bishop, and those that led to useless moves like castling my king or advancing both knights, or advancing more than 3 pawns. This left me with about 13 hours of searching by hand with a little lua script help to take away action scenes.
When I was finished I had three possibilities for a mate in 8 moves. One consisted of 4 piece exchanges() and the other two had 3. Those two were
1. g3 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 Nxd4 4. Nxe5 Bc5 5. e3 Nf5 6. Bc4 f6 7. Qd5 fxe5 8. Qf7# in 15883 frames and 1. h3 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 Nxd4 4. Nxe5 Bc5 5. e3 Nf5 6. Bc4 f6 7. Qd5 fxe5 8. Qf7# in 15598 frames
Any room for improvement will be by increasing the number of choices per move and a lot of lua scripting.

TASVideoAgent
They/Them
Moderator
Joined: 8/3/2004
Posts: 15046
Location: 127.0.0.1
This topic is for the purpose of discussing #2768: Weirwindle's NES Battle Chess "Fastest Mate" in 04:19.54
Joined: 6/4/2009
Posts: 570
Location: 33°07'41"S, 160°42'04"W
I can't get this to sync, in FCEUX 2.1.4a Maybe I do something wrong?
Skilled player (1312)
Joined: 9/7/2007
Posts: 1354
Location: U.S.
Noob Irdoh wrote:
I can't get this to sync, in FCEUX 2.1.4a Maybe I do something wrong?
Use New PPU. Anyways, This was well TASed but VERY boring. No vote.
Joined: 6/4/2009
Posts: 570
Location: 33°07'41"S, 160°42'04"W
Thanks, Sonikkustar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEo-Wz4Mn1w I liked this, yes vote.
Player (216)
Joined: 2/12/2006
Posts: 373
Location: Oregon
Sounds like you put a lot of effort into making it technically competent, but the glacial pace makes it very boring. It doesn't help that there's no background music. Voting meh. If you're going to TAS a chess game,I think you should choose one that isn't so cosmetically lacking.
mklip2001
He/Him
Editor
Joined: 6/23/2009
Posts: 2226
Location: Georgia, USA
This is impressive scripting. It was nice to see a mate which wasn't one of the beginner traps, like the Scholar's Mate. However, everything about the game is slow, even for a chess game. I was amused by how the blue pawn captures the red knight, but that was really about it. I haven't decided on a vote yet, but it's going to be either No or Meh. EDIT: I voted No because of adelikat's improvement. This movie has a nice idea, trying to get the computer to throw out its opening plans, but adelikat showed you can fool the computer anyway even with a semi-standard opening.
Used to be a frequent submissions commenter. My new computer has had some issues running emulators, so I've been here more sporadically. Still haven't gotten around to actually TASing yet... I was going to improve Kid Dracula for GB. It seems I was beaten to it, though, with a recent awesome run by Hetfield90 and StarvinStruthers. (http://tasvideos.org/2928M.html.) Thanks to goofydylan8 for running Gargoyle's Quest 2 because I mentioned the game! (http://tasvideos.org/2001M.html) Thanks to feos and MESHUGGAH for taking up runs of Duck Tales 2 because of my old signature! Thanks also to Samsara for finishing a Treasure Master run. From the submission comments:
Shoutouts and thanks to mklip2001 for arguably being the nicest and most supportive person on the forums.
Joined: 6/8/2010
Posts: 21
Nice job on the optimization and all, but I'm going with no. It's ridiculously slow-paced and has nothing that would make it more entertaining.
adelikat
He/Him
Emulator Coder, Site Developer, Site Owner, Expert player (3608)
Joined: 11/3/2004
Posts: 4739
Location: Tennessee
1 e4 e5 2 Qh5 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nh6 4 d4 exd4 5 Bxh6 gxh6 6 Qxf7# Half the moves of this TAS. However, I wouldn't be voting yes for a movie of that either. Like people have said, this is a snails pace. More boring than the usual chess TAS. Also this game can get pretty glitched out with the take back feature, that might be more useful for making an interesting TAS. The problem with these primitive AI's on easy difficulty is that they always fall for a quick kill like that; usually an aggressive queen opening.
It's hard to look this good. My TAS projects
Joined: 5/13/2009
Posts: 141
As much as it pains me I will have to vote No for poor game choice. Someone said "glacial" and that's really accurate.
Dwedit
He/Him
Joined: 3/24/2006
Posts: 692
Location: Chicago
How about just disabling the animations, and switching to 2D mode?
Editor, Skilled player (1410)
Joined: 3/31/2010
Posts: 2089
The run looked well done, but good lord, what's up with those animations. They take forever. I'll have to go with meh, sorry bro.
Banned User
Joined: 3/10/2004
Posts: 7698
Location: Finland
I have to agree that the run is technically commendable, but that the game choice is poor. In theory it would sound like battle chess would make for a more entertaining run because of all the animations and battles, but in practice the animation (especially moving the pieces) is so slow that it's painful to watch. Unless there's a way to significantly speed up the animations (I suppose there isn't an in-game setting for this) the end result is quite boring. At least to me it would be even more interesting to see a TAS of a plain regular chess game where the computer is allowed to think eg. something like 10 seconds per move. It would also be more admirable in that the computer is actually given a fair chance to defend itself, rather than the TASer relying on not letting the computer think at all...
Editor
Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 899
Location: Sweden
Completely boring. Would vote no again.
Experienced player (956)
Joined: 12/3/2008
Posts: 936
Location: Castle Keep
Ill agree with the majority, this was boring like hell, i want my 5mins back! PS. try the msdos version... it should not be that slow and it should allow to change the settings warp was asking about.
Player (144)
Joined: 7/16/2009
Posts: 686
As much as the actual chess playing and TASing may have been impressive, I'm going to vote no due to bad game choice. Every piece takes forever to move, which makes the knights (pieces stepping aside) incredibly painful to watch. Wonderful TASing, but bad game.
Joined: 12/30/2008
Posts: 45
Location: Bubbling nearby...
I am a big fan of chess, and I am very saddened to come to the same conclusion as everyone else. My sincere apologies. I voted meh, but it won't make a difference in the end.
I lurk, okay?
Joined: 8/23/2008
Posts: 417
I would never want anyone to not submit a run, so I'm glad you did, but this game just doesn't work. Good job on the technical side of things. No vote for the game, not for you.
I will not use self-reference in my signature.
Joined: 2/20/2010
Posts: 209
Location: I'm in space
I definitely agree with the crowd on this one - the technical quality is fine, but watching someone else play this game is like watching a very slow leak form drops of water, i.e. there's a ton of time between the moments when SOMEthing actually happens. Sorry, but I vote no.
Oh, play it cool. Play it cool. Here come the space cops.
Joined: 5/6/2005
Posts: 141
That game reminds me of all the chess games I'd play on my computer when I was a wee kid - except they're faster. Right now, I'm going to have to say no due to bad game choice. The video might be a bit more tolerable if you sped it up maybe by 2x or even 3x the normal speed. Of course you'd have to add an annotation stating that. Just an idea.
Banned User
Joined: 3/10/2004
Posts: 7698
Location: Finland
What do people here think about my suggestion? To recapitulate: Take a "normal" chess program (rather than combat chess), perhaps for a faster console (eg. the snes or even the N64 or the PS1), set the computer difficulty to something which is bearable but still gives the computer a somewhat fair chance of defending itself (eg. something like 10-15 seconds per move), and then beat the computer in as few moves as possible. (If the chess game supports showing what the computer is "thinking", eg. as a list of moves, definitely turn that feature on. It makes the waiting a bit more interesting.) Of course the limit of how much the computer is allowed the think will necessarily be rather arbitrary. Perhaps if the game has some pre-defined setting (which ends up with the computer thinking about that 10-15 seconds per move), it would be an obvious choice.
mklip2001
He/Him
Editor
Joined: 6/23/2009
Posts: 2226
Location: Georgia, USA
Warp: I see where you're coming from. However, I don't think that this would produce any more entertaining chess runs. Honestly, in real life, chess is fairly boring to watch other people play unless you're actually mentally playing along with them, i.e. thinking about what you would do if you were in the game. In other words, the skill of the players involved is what's interesting. On the other hand, a TAS is not about the player's skill, per se; instead it's more about manipulation and optimization, neither of which is the focus of a normal chess game. Not only that, but a chess speedrun wouldn't really have replay value, because once you know the move sequence, there's no real entertainment from watching the moves. In contrast, I can watch the Super Mario Bros 3 TAS multiple times because even though I know the 1-up bouncing is coming up, it's still entertaining to watch it in progress. I don't have to be surprised with SMB to be entertained, but I do have to be surprised in chess to be entertained. That being said, I'm not ruling out completely the possibility of having an entertaining chess TAS. However, it would be very hard to do, and I don't think going for pure speed would produce something watchable.
Used to be a frequent submissions commenter. My new computer has had some issues running emulators, so I've been here more sporadically. Still haven't gotten around to actually TASing yet... I was going to improve Kid Dracula for GB. It seems I was beaten to it, though, with a recent awesome run by Hetfield90 and StarvinStruthers. (http://tasvideos.org/2928M.html.) Thanks to goofydylan8 for running Gargoyle's Quest 2 because I mentioned the game! (http://tasvideos.org/2001M.html) Thanks to feos and MESHUGGAH for taking up runs of Duck Tales 2 because of my old signature! Thanks also to Samsara for finishing a Treasure Master run. From the submission comments:
Shoutouts and thanks to mklip2001 for arguably being the nicest and most supportive person on the forums.
adelikat
He/Him
Emulator Coder, Site Developer, Site Owner, Expert player (3608)
Joined: 11/3/2004
Posts: 4739
Location: Tennessee
mklip2001 wrote:
Not only that, but a chess speedrun wouldn't really have replay value,
Even more to the point, it doesn't have any _play_ value. What is featured in a TAS that can't be featured in a move list? On the internet there's even programs where you can click through a move list and see the board configuration. Those are much better suited to show anything any kind of real game.
It's hard to look this good. My TAS projects
Banned User
Joined: 3/10/2004
Posts: 7698
Location: Finland
adelikat wrote:
Even more to the point, it doesn't have any _play_ value. What is featured in a TAS that can't be featured in a move list?
You are assuming that the computer always plays in a deterministic way, with the same answers to all your moves. While that might be the case with very primitive chess programs (probably many of the antiquated chess programs made for the consoles of the 80's), most of the competent chess programs do not answer all your moves deterministically. (In fact, computer chess programmers deliberately take measures to avoid the program always answering your moves in the same way for a rather obvious reason: It would make playing against the computer rather boring once you have beaten it once, as you could always beat it again with the same moves, which wouldn't make much sense and would greatly diminish the value of the program as a learning tool.)
TASVideosGrue
They/Them
Joined: 10/1/2008
Posts: 2745
Location: The dark corners of the TASVideos server
om, nom, nom... minty!