Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: WMCCC Hardware

Author: Chris Whittington

Date: 10:34:36 10/17/97

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On October 17, 1997 at 11:44:11, Robert Hyatt wrote:

>On October 17, 1997 at 09:54:08, Chris Whittington wrote:
>>So the argument boils down to:
>>Others do it, so its ok, more than ok, for me as well.
>>Just supposing we collectively created a new title: WMCC-PC-Champion. We
>>could do this. It could have cachet ....
>>Would you then be persuaded to run on one of the fast PC's instead ? So
>>we could make the tourney a 'fair' platform one as a result .... ?
>>Probably we'ld need to get Bob to agree as well ...
>First I don't think you need me to agree on anything.  I'm but one
>person.  I've been doing this longer than the rest of you by a wide
>margin, and since my first ACM event about 25 years ago, *nothing*
>has changed.  This has *always* been about both a good program *and*
>a hot machine to run it on.  Chess 4.x is a good example, always
>running on the fastest CDC machine around.  Cray Blitz is another
>good example, running on $60 million machines every year.  The only
>reason why I try to get the fastest machine I can is simple:  I don't
>want to go to Paris and repeatedly smash my face into a brick wall,
>just because it feels so damned good when I stop.  :)  To avoid the
>smashing, I want to be relatively "equal" in terms of hardware, to see
>how the program can play.  If everyone would cut the assembly bullshit
>out, as many of us have, a "uniform platform" event could be done, where
>*everyone* gets a quick platform to run on.  The new Mac machines are
>better than the pentium II's, and getting better all the time.
>However, if anyone organizes a "uniform platform" event, I'd go.  But
>the WMCCC has *never* been uniform.  Years ago the dedicated machines
>were running at clock rates way faster than anything that could be
>bought.  So long as anyone is playing in the horsepower race, I will do
>my best to play there as well.  I don't like it one bit, because it

Well the spirit of the WMCCC is uniform platform in so far as that is

As in W-Micro-Computer-CC. Certainly more so that in the totally open

Sure there's been a range of microprocessors around, and sure those
dreadful hardware manufacturers had the thing sewn up in more ways than
one in the past.

But now is now. PC's are standard and fast. alpha's are more like the
old idea of a mini-computer.

And, since some 'amateurs' now have the resources to spend or acquire
these ultra fast machines; while some 'professionals' can't or can
barely afford the $1000 - something seems wrong somewhere.

So, i'm not too worried about Dark Thought on an alpha. They are a
university research team, they don't 'compete' in the market. Crafty and
Ferret do. I'm crying foul and unfair.

The other thought is how much influence these 'amateurs' with resources
have on some of the commercials decisions to not attend. Probably quite
a bit to do with it would be my guess. Why bang your head against 750
Mhz when you can stay away ?

I plead with you both to run on fast K6's and not on alphas. Then the
event will be in the spirit of equal resources for all, and a better


>a lot of time to make these arrangements, test on the new hardware
>the event, figure out how to transfer gigabytes of endgame databases and
>opening books and stuff after arriving, and so forth.  I'd rather use
>time to run and analyze games on ICC for example.
>This event is only partially about the best program, it has a hardware
>factor tossed in.  I don't think that I'd even bet money that one of the
>766 alphas is going to win...  but I would be more on them than I would
>a K6/233, because of the speed factor.  It's important.  How important,
>don't know.  And I'd prefer *not* to find out by running on something
>is 2-3X slower than the fastest hardware there.
>You call this "self-serving"...  I tend to think of it as
>Believe me, My first 10 years of ACM events came on hardware way slower
>everyone elses.  I finally joined the arms race, and did much better.
>CB blew out the programs on slow machines.  But it also *competed* with
>programs on fast machines.  I would suppose that if everyone wanted to
>do so,
>the ICCA could be convinced to make this a uniform platform event.  I
>run on anything from a blender to a Cray T90.  I prefer the PC because I
>one in my office and one at home, where I can run Crafty whenever I want
>for however long I want.  Getting a T90 is a bit harder, although I
>try for next year's WCCC perhaps.  And perhaps I'll simply show up with
>P5/233 notebook and have fun.

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