Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: Win at Chess

Author: Robert Hyatt

Date: 15:29:35 01/17/98

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On January 17, 1998 at 12:25:05, Stuart Cracraft wrote:

>On January 16, 1998 at 17:42:01, Robert Hyatt wrote:
>>I can post 'em...  but I really think WAC has become an antique...  it
>>is too easy.  The only problem I don't see any way of solving without
>>full singular extension algorithm I used in Cray Blitz is wac230.
>>simply won't see this one.  The other 299 are not that difficult.  If we
>>set a 10 second limit and toss out the ones that can be found there, we
>>end up with maybe 15 or so...
>>I'm working on the ECM suite, which is way too big.  But I'm going to
>>up with a hard but not impossible suite of around 300 positions that
>>be a good suite for a while...
>I agree and disagree. For people who have been doing this for years
>with Win-at-Chess or already had strong programs when they started
>using it for testing, then I agree. WAC would be worn out.
>But for others, Win-at-Chess is challenging. For example, I took
>all this activity up about a month ago, testing against WAC.
>After about one month of very hard effort, my program is within
>20 problems or so of Crafty's result on the same hardware. Up from
>being about 50 problems below Crafty's result, on Win-at-Chess.
>This has been done without tuning individual WAC problems (which
>I will have to ultimately do), but rather in doing general improvements,
>retesting against WAC as well as Kaufman/Louguet and accepting only
>improvements that improve the assessed rating without dropping the
>score on WAC. For real game play, I don't think is is necessary a
>good way to proceed. I'd rather run against an endgame suite, a middle-
>game suite, a checkmate suite and at least two ratings test. So ideally,
>I'd like one test that combines all of these into one and isn't just
>solvable on fast Pentium's with great well-debugged software. I do all
>my development on a 486 25mhz on a program that is still undergoing lots
>of development and have no plans of getting faster hardware.
>But with this said, I'd like to encourage RH to put together a suite
>that doesn't favor one part of the game more than it should and that
>is comprehensive enough, but not too hard that it only challenges a
>well-debugged program like his. Most people out there have programs
>that probably score 10%-50% lower on WAC than RH's current program
>on the same hardware. Putting in a much harder test could be very
>discouraging unless it has some other value-added such as a) better
>balance of all phases of the game not just emphasizing combinations
>and checkmates and b) produces a ratings estimate.

remember that a test suite can test multiple features of your program.
WAC tests its tactical acuity.  I've always considered tactics the
part of chess.  What we don't have is a good suite that tests knowledge.

I'd love to have positions that have a right move that is right because
positional considerations.  But it must be created carefully so that a
super-deep tactical search won't find out that the weak backward pawn
actually be won...

Some of the Bratko-Kopec positions were like this, but there were a few
that I disagreed with, Kmoch be damned.  :)  But they were nice in that
deeper searches wouldn't help if you didn't understand the particular
pawn structure nuance they were targeting...

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