Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: Is pondering unfair in engine matches on a PC?

Author: Robert Hyatt

Date: 15:31:42 02/19/01

Go up one level in this thread

On February 19, 2001 at 14:13:21, Eran wrote:

>On February 19, 2001 at 12:54:00, Robert Hyatt wrote:
>>On February 19, 2001 at 11:32:43, Leen Ammeraal wrote:
>>>I am puzzled about pondering when
>>>playing matches with two chess engines
>>>on a single PC, using WinBoard (under Windows 98).
>>>While one side is 'thinking' about the next move,
>>>should it not get all the computer time
>>>available? Then, at the same time, how can
>>>the opponent get computer time to ponder?
>>>Does it steal it?
>>Both will get 1/2 of the total time.  ponder=on is the best way to run
>>an engine vs engine game on a single computer, in my opinion.  But you can't
>>do time-handicapping games (giving one side more time per move) as this doesn't
>>quite work out fairly with ponder=on.
>Is permanent brain feature turned on the best way to run an engine vs engine
>games on Fritz6e? If yes, please explain how they benefit from it? I am
>wondering why you said that ponder=on is the best way to run it.

Mainly because this is the way engines are tested.  IE my time allocation code
makes the assumption that I will, on occasion, predict what my opponent plays
and make a move very quickly.  Since I anticipate that time savings, I take a
chance and use more time early before I save it, rather than wait until I have
it saved up but it is too late to help...

I like the old expression "You dance with the one that brung ya."  Since we all
use pondering as a normal mode, that is the best way to play matches.

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