Computer Chess Club Archives




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

Author: Robert Hyatt

Date: 15:33:11 02/19/01

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On February 19, 2001 at 13:07:27, Leen Ammeraal 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.
>Does that mean that, with pondering on, my program, which currently does not
>implement pondering, get less computer time than its opponent if the
>latter implements pondering?

If one ponders and the other doesn't, then the one that does will get about
3/4 of the total cycles on that machine.  It will get 100% of the processor
when it is thinking (its opponent is going to be idle) and it will get 50%
of the time while the opponent is thinking and it is pondering.

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