Convekta Ltd announced the release of Lomonosov Tablebases – reportedly the first complete 7-piece endgame database that includes 100%-accurate predictions and optimal solutions to every single position possible within this limitation.
Experts didn’t expect 7-piece endgames to be solved until after year 2015, but ChessOK.com reportedly managed to solve the task much sooner, providing Lomonosov Tablebases reportedly consisting of more than 140.000 Gigabytes of data.
2 April 2013: 7-man TB
“Six months have passed away since 7-man endgame Lomonosov tables (named after the supercomputer that calculated them) were finished. Nowadays happy Aquarium users can access the tables from their programs online.
But does it mean that the developers of the endgame tables have finished their work? No, the research has been evolving. Laboratory of Quantum Informatics of Moscow State University took part in the development, and there are already some very interesting results.
We are happy to say that several Arab sheiks (they asked not to publish their names yet) are ready to sponsor a project that aims building the complete chess tables by 2263. The date of the complete solution has been calculated due to Moore law and is confirmed by dates of 3-4-5-6-7-man endgame solutions: one can say that the number of pieces in solved endgames grows by one every ten years. So in 250 years the whole game of chess will be considered, and the world will know at last whether White can win when both players are playing optimal moves. Some skeptics may say that the complete solution is impossible due to vast number of positions, but they do not take into account new technologies: probably soon we will use computers that operate at subatomic level. Some skeptics also predicted several times that the Moore law will die, but the law is still alive and true (and we are not sure about the skeptics).
Of course, traditional computers cannot handle such a large task. Currently the algorithm is adapted to a quantum computer. Quantum computers are much more powerful (although their results are mainly approximate, but the more calculations are performed – the higher the precision is). A quantum computer can easily solve a 8-man chess ending. So we took a 9-man KRRBN-KQBN ending as the first target as we believed it should provide us with new longest mate record.
It’s a pity that quantum storage is still too expensive (but it seems it will become cheaper) so we have to store the data using usual HDDs. Also, as we have no enough powerful quantum computer at our site, we emulate it using 65536 cores of Lomonosov supercomputer.
The quantum nature of the calculations makes it hard to predict the time when the results are to be obtained. Yesterday was a lucky day: we obtained a position with mate with more than 1000 moves with probability of 0.97:
7k/r6n/8/r7/2B5/6N1/2b3K1/7Q w – – 0 1
The exact distance to mate and optimal moves are yet to be found, and it’s impossible to say when (due to probabilistic nature of quantum computations), but both sponsors and developers are highly inspired by the results and hope to complete the project on time.”