Introducing Elena: Kontra Chess's first Leela Chess Zero Network.
Today we are introducing to the site, Elena, an Lc0 network trained exclusively on human games in the King’s Gambit Accepted opening. Elena, a name serious fans of Futurama will know from being the daughter of Leela in the series, brings a very exciting non-materialistic style of play full of sacrifices, and unconventional opening play. In fact, we nearly decided to name her “Geela” because she almost always plays 1. g4 as both black and white. Playing Elena at the shorter time controls, feels very much like playing a human player, complete with aggressive tactical ideas, as well as blunders and mistakes -- however the one thing Elena doesn’t do is lose on time.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about Elena is, so far, she has only been given 12,000 games to learn from in her training. And she plays surprisingly strong for such a small training network! She’s incredibly tough to beat in bullet games, and can surprise you from seeming lost positions. We would currently estimate her elo around 1500 - 1600 in blitz, but it’s hard to say. In some positions she’s incredibly accurate, finding many of the moves Stockfish 9 recommends, and other times she can be erratic -- dropping or sacrificing pieces for what seems like no reason at all. It seems to boil down to the position on the board -- her understanding of middle game tactics and even some endgame theory is relatively strong, while her opening theory is pretty weak. Still, with only 12,000 games including in her training, Elena is a real testament to the power and potential of AI technology in chess.
Elena is our first experiment in creating our own specialized Leela networks. We will create others in the near future with different strengths and weaknesses, which we will offer on our site to serve as training tool, or simply to enjoy and try to beat. Having Leela learn from human games opens up some exciting possibilities to create AI opponents who feel and play in particular styles and above all make seemingly human moves. For example, we could “clone” Grand Masters, like Tal, or Fischer, by training Leela on all of their recorded games (followed by a complicated mix of parameter tweaking and reinforcement learning) to create an AI bot that plays very close to their strength and style. We will create Leela-based, human trained, AI’s that recreate the play of famous Grandmasters, and play in a variety of different strengths and styles.
We will keep you posted! In the meantime you can try Elena today by finding her in the player list and sending her a challenge! Good luck and have fun!