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Representation Matters: The Game of Chess Poses a Challenge to Vision Transformers

Johannes Czech; Jannis Blüml; Kristian Kersting
In: Computing Research Repository eprint Journal (CoRR), Vol. abs/2304.14918, Pages 0-10, arXiv, 2023.


While transformers have gained the reputation as the "Swiss army knife of AI", no one has challenged them to master the game of chess, one of the classical AI benchmarks. Simply using vision transformers (ViTs) within AlphaZero does not master the game of chess, mainly because ViTs are too slow. Even making them more efficient using a combination of MobileNet and NextViT does not beat what actually matters: a simple change of the input representation and value loss, resulting in a greater boost of up to 180 Elo points over AlphaZero.

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