Turing’s Machine Support
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Help! I’m finding it too difficult. How do I beat it?
A. Frustrating, isn’t it? You can take heart in the fact that TuroChamp plays at the level of a strong beginner (somewhere from 1200 to 1400 Elo), so with a bit of time and experience, you’ll definitely get there.
Also, the current “state of the art” in chess engines is so far beyond even the best human players that, if you have beaten a modern chess engine since about 2005 - whoever you are - you only won because it let you win. This means that you, Magnus Carlsen and Garry Kasparov are all in the same boat - the machines can beat us all these days.
This somewhat depressing thought makes TuroChamp all the more precious - if you beat it, you beat it playing at its very best. TuroChamp was defined in 1947 and it hasn’t learnt a thing since - it has a fixed mathematical structure and will always play at the same level. No matter how fast computers get, it will remain fixed, so that when you finally beat it, the achievement will stand. There’s no “Version 2.0” coming in six months to taint your victory.
TuroChamp plays at somewhere around difficulty level 6, so if you need to practice, you could warm up by first beating levels 1-5. Once you’ve done that, here are a few practical tips that might help:
Q. Why don’t you allow takebacks and hints in some games?
A. We don’t allow takebacks or hints when you’re playing TuroChamp as a mark of respect for Turing and Champernowne. They created their machine almost 70 years ago, before computers existed, using pencil and paper to calculate each move in excruciating, painful and tedious detail. TuroChamp doesn’t get to take back moves, so neither should you. :o)
We don’t allow takebacks and hints when you’re playing a tournament (or another human), to simulate the over-the-board tournament experience. In a tournament, you’re playing without a safety net. If you mess up, you just have to deal with it and either recover or try harder in the next game.
When you’re playing the modified, variable-level engine, you can opt to use hints and takebacks if you like - but we encourage you to learn to live with your mistakes...!
Q. If I beat it once, will those moves always win?
If you do find a sequence like that, please let us know!
If you have other support issues or queries - or if you just want to say hi - please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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