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Subject: King safety evaluation

Author: Roberto Waldteufel

Date: 15:42:10 05/28/98



My chess program currently has only a crude understanding of king
safety, but I would like to try to improve this. It is quite good at
finding a forced mate, especially if all of the moves by the mating side
are checks, but seems to lack the skill to build up sufficiently
aggressive positions to make full use of this ability. I know that most
programs measure king safety in some more or less complex way, but I am
not sure what is the best thing to measure in terms of information
usefulness per time spent. Maybe a very complex king safety function
with a hash table to cut down the overhead is the way to go, or pehaps a
fairly crude but fast scheme without hashing might be efective. At
present my program uses a count of attackers and defenders to guage king
safety, where I define (somewhat inaccurately) an attacker/defender to
be any piece or pawn that attacks a square adjacent to the king. Does
anyone have any better suggestions as to how to build into the
evaluation function the tendancy to move its pieces to the most
aggressive squares possible?

Roberto



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