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Subject: Re: Something new about Fritz? English

Author: Sven Reichard

Date: 03:54:09 06/23/02

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The FRITZ 7 ENGINE - A User's Experience

In November 2001, impatiently expected by the fans, the chess program Fritz 7
appeared on the market. A frequently asked question was: Which innovations would
the engine and the GUI implement? Matthias Wuellenweber (CEO and head programmer
at ChessBase) answered thus: "The difference between Fritz 7 and Fritz 6 will be
as big as the one between Fritz 6 and Fritz 5".

Well, the difference between F5 and F6 was indeed substantial, with regard to
both the engine and the GUI.

The GUI of F6 converged slowly but surely to Windows standards, i.e., you could
move windows almost arbitrarily. A similar observation held for the engine:

It was totally reworked w.r.t. F5.32. For example, in F6, as opposed to F5.32,
there was a hash learning function; moreover the hash tables weren't cleared
anymore after each move. In consequence, if there is a permanent brain hit in
F6, it uses the evaluation found in the hash table, which leads to a deeper
search. Moreover, if you move forward a couple of moves and then return to your
starting point the engine remembers its previous evaluation of this position. F5
isn't able to do this.

Where however is the huge difference between F6 and F7? The main difference is
that F7 offers each user free access to the new F7 chess server under the name
of playchess.com (english) and Schach.de (german). There you can play chess
against other players for free (except for your fees to connect to the 'net);
there is also the possibility to play engine-engine matches. In the meantime
many GM's and IM's have started playing there. E.g., I played with Dr. J. Nunn,
Shipov, Knaak, Schmaltz, and Borik, just to name a few.

On the other hand, the topic "F7 server" is so complex that one should write
another article to do it justice.

The GUI didn't change a much, however some functions (and their names) have been
made more compatible to ChessBase 8. Hence in the File menu there is an option
Send to ChessBase. In the meantime other innovations have been added: UCI
engines can be used under F7. However this requires a new update, for this
possibility didn't exist in the version included on the CD from 11/01. It can be
downloaded free of charge from the ChessBase home page, and it is also included
in recent issues of ChessBase Magazine. There are other functions that have been
added to F7, however I want to concentrate on the engine, so let's get started
(finally!).

After the installation of F7 I immediately looked at the new F7 engine. It was
substantially bigger than F6 (420 kB). My first thought was:
The bigger the engine (and hence the more chess knowledge is implemented), the
slower the calculations have to be. And indeed: After a test on my P600 the new
engine reached about 300 kn/s in the starting position, whereas F6 reached 400
kn/s here. Next I took my own test position suite and checked a couple of
zugzwang positions that I had come up with; on the Czech Fritz homepage these
positions are given as well, however without reference to the author - I
invented those!

--------------------- end of translation

After that lots of test positions follow, with some plain text comments; for now
I will leave it like this.

Hope that help the English speaking community,
Sven.
-------
Monolingualism can be cured. -- anon.



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