Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: Ponder=off is in my opinion better on single system and about tb's!

Author: Robert Hyatt

Date: 06:31:28 07/30/01

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On July 29, 2001 at 10:50:47, Frank Quisinsky wrote:

>Hi Bob,
>the same discuss then for 2 years here :-)
>I, the ex non ponderer, will say the following:
>You have right if you say that with ponder = off engines have time manangment
>problems, not all and not in all games but it's an important point. I know that
>this is for statistics not sooo important (ELO statistic).
>Match without ponder on single system with Athlon 1Ghz:
>Engine A = 1Ghz
>Engine B = 1Ghz
>Match with ponder on a single system with Athlon 1Ghz:
>Engine A = ~ 497-500Mhz
>Engine B = ~ 497-500Mhz
>Now we have 25-40% ponder hits if the engines play on the same level (after my
>500Mhz + 25-40% ponder hits = ~700MHz.
>With ponder = on, the matches are running with 700Mhz on 1Ghz Athlon!
>With ponder = off, the matches are running with 1Ghz on 1Ghz Athlon!
>I believe better is to play with ponder = off on single system. OK, the time
>managment is a good point so say please with ponder but 300 MHz is a better
>point to say please without ponder.
>4-piece and 5-piece tablebases and engine-engine matches on a Dual system ...
>This is not very clear.
>We have engines witch used tablebases very aggressive or not very aggressive.
>Gromit - Patzer with 5-pieces ...
>Gromit played move 50 in 2:45 with ponder = on and 5-pieces.
>Only 20-30% processor time in this game if Gromit used 5-pieces.
>Patzer played move 50 in 1.25 with ponder = on and 5-pieces.
>Now the same positions with 4-pieces ...
>Gromit play move 50 in 1.58! with ponder = on and *4-pieces*.
>Patzer played move 50 in 1.13 with ponder = on and *4-pieces*.
>Without 4-piece tablesbases are the differents not very important.
>In my opinion it is better to play eng-eng matches with ponder on a dual system
>with 4-piece tablebases.

Your math is fine.  But your reasoning is wrong.  Which would you rather do:

(1) play a match between two programs, using their strongest settings, and using
two 700mhz processors;

(2) play a match between two programs, using weaker settings on at least one, if
not both, using two 1ghz processors?

I vote for (1) because of using the strongest settings.  You are voting for (2)
to avoid wasting compute cycles.  I think (1) is more important...

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