Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Allowing Differently Strong Chess Players to Play at An Equal Level

Version 1 : Received: 25 April 2022 / Approved: 26 April 2022 / Online: 26 April 2022 (04:41:40 CEST)

How to cite: Hintze, A. Allowing Differently Strong Chess Players to Play at An Equal Level. Preprints 2022, 2022040227 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202204.0227.v1). Hintze, A. Allowing Differently Strong Chess Players to Play at An Equal Level. Preprints 2022, 2022040227 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202204.0227.v1).

Abstract

Chess is an interesting game for artificial intelligence research and an entertaining hobby and sport for a growing number of people. However, humans differ greatly in their ability to play. Typically, the Elo rating is used to determine a player's skill and to predict who will win. When differences in Elo are too great the weaker player is almost guaranteed to lose. While on one hand, the Elo rating allows players to be matched to equally well-playing opponents, it also to some degree restricts the games to be played between equally strong opponents since otherwise the result is known beforehand. Here a handicap system where stronger players remove pieces at the start of the game is evaluated. Specifically, the effect each removed piece or combination of pieces have on a player. Interestingly, pieces do not always reduce the Elo of a player by a predefined amount, but their effect depends strongly on the player's current Elo. The results presented here are from playing the computer engine Stockfish because data about humans playing this scheme is limited. However, the results make direct predictions about the effect of piece removal on Elo.

Keywords

chess; elo; evaluation; equal play; handicap

Subject

MATHEMATICS & COMPUTER SCIENCE, Other

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