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Subject: Re: Crafty CCT6 notes

Author: Chessfun

Date: 19:55:16 02/01/04

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On February 01, 2004 at 22:39:20, Robert Hyatt wrote:

>The main preparation items were the hardware (supplied by AMD in Austin, TX) a
>quad 848 box with 8 gigs of RAM.  I sent one of my 15K U320 SCSI drives out
>there with the 3-4-5 piece tables and the opening book stuff.
>
>The opening book prep was pretty minimal.  Gower and I (and a couple of chess
>players he brought with him) tested a couple of QG-type lines to be sure that we
>had reasonable choices for black's responses to d4/c4 openings.  As black we had
>elected to play the 2. ... e6 variation of the Sicilian that we used so many
>years with Cray Blitz.  It gives a reasonable position with a bit of asymmetry
>to produce a position that isn't "dead" right out of book.
>
>For round 9, since a win was critical, I chose to vary and not play 1. d4 since
>Crafty has been known for that forever.  I decided to go with 1. e4 and if black
>allowed it, I was going to play the Evan's gambit, an opening I like for
>computers as white.  But Hiarcs didn't cooperate and we ended up in a Guico that
>transposed to a Ruy.
>
>The book has two components.  The base book is my old stand-by enormous.pgn
>product made by "book create enormous.pgn 60 10".  I then had a bookc.bin with a
>few (and I do mean a few as in 6-7 lines for white, 2-3 for black) lines to
>guide the thing into reasonable positions.  I didn't try to win out of book, but
>I did try to avoid losing out of book.  :)
>
>Now on to the rounds.
>
>Round 1.  White vs messchess.  Normal 1. d4 opening and we dropped out of book
>on move 15 with an evaluation of +.67, totally acceptable.  :)  The score jumped
>by about .3 every move and by move 40 the opponent resigned at +17.4.  Good
>start.  NPS was ridiculous of course.  First search was to 17 plies deep.
>Seemed to hit 14+ the entire game.
>
>Round 2.  Black vs Pharaon.  A QGD (Lasker's) that popped out of book looking
>drawish as most Lasker's do.  However starting around move 30, black used some
>endgame/pawn structure knowledge to produce a significant "edge" that won a pawn
>by move 35 and the usual score jump after every move resulted in a resignation
>at move 47.  Typical depth here was 16-17 plies but queens were off.
>
>Round 3.  White vs Pepito.  Another 1. d4 opening and another +.7 out of book,
>but Crafty has always liked 1. d4 (+.7 is pure positional scores, not a pawn in
>material ahead).  This was pretty stable through move 40, but slowly Crafty
>improved and around move 40 things starting to get significantly better.  By
>move 44 we were at +2.5 and while the game went on for 30 more moves, it was
>over basically...
>
>Round 4.  Black vs Zappa.  First bad book line.  We had accidentally left a
>response to d4 for black that led to a position we didn't like.  Somehow I did
>not delete it when we were testing, or I deleted it locally and not on the
>Opteron.  In any case, we had no real winning chances in this game, and Crafty
>found a forced perpetual that ended the game at move 30.
>
>Round 5.  White vs Searcher.  We had a gross network problem and I could not
>connect to ICC or the opteron, fortunately the opteron and ICC were not affected
>and the game started without me.  Crafty simply played very well here in another
>1. d4 except this time we were about 0.0 out of book as black tried something
>different.  The evaluation steadily climbed, but slowly, until move 20 saw the
>first fail-high winning a pawn plus.  Things fell apart quickly and the game
>ended at move 32, at +8.20...
>
>End of day 1.  Four wins, one draw.  Some amazing search speeds.  Some decent
>luck with the book to avoid "book losses".  Not a bad day at all.
>
>Round 6.  White vs Yace.  Expected to be one of the strongest competitors as
>usual.  Out of book on move 7 and Crafty was happy.  So happy it offered the
>b-pawn as a gift, although Yace declined.  By move 12 this was +2.  By move 20,
>+3.5.  This is the _wrong_ kind of position to play into against a machine as
>fast as the quad 848 box.  Yace resigned at move 35 at +10.0.  An easy win
>thanks to a bad book line choice by Yace, that turned what promised to be a real
>struggle into a quick tactical bust.  It's happened to me before, so I know how
>it feels. :)
>
>Round 7.  Black vs ChessThinker.  Another QG by white but leading to a pretty
>good white position this time after we chose a bad reply.  By move 25 this was
>+.75 with us as black not liking that very much.  The score quickly reached +1
>and stuck around there until around move 40 where it had reached +1.5 and
>eventually +2.  But Crafty finally got a bit more consolidated and the score
>slowly started coming back down.  I thought we were going to lose this game when
> the score hit +2 around move 45.  By move 55 it was down to .75 and continued
>to drop until the game ended in a hard-fought draw.
>
>Round 8.  White vs Junior.  Obviously this would be a bear of an opponent, and
>the game did not disappoint.  Crafty worked up an edge after leaving the book at
>+.17 (nearly equal) to +.6 by move 16 (book ended at move 7 as Junior chose to
>not repeat the previously tried responses to d4 others played, and apparently
>listened to a comment by IM Schroer to play something different.  Junior let
>things get a bit wild, and starting around move 20 we were hitting 16 plies
>every time and our score was up to +1.0 with some wild tactics.  We ended up
>winning a piece for three pawns and then a very sharp tactical struggle followed
>where either side might have won.  A well-deserved by both players result of
>draw was reached (perpetual by Junior) at move 64.
>
>Round 9.  White vs Hiarcs.  Another difficult opponent.  Before starting this
>round, I chose to do something different with the book for two reasons.  First,
>our 1. d4 had become pretty predictable and I didn't want to repeat the Junior
>game and possibly draw again..  I was concerned that had Ruffian won, a draw by
>Crafty would have given the title to Ruffian and I chose to try something a bit
>more dangerous and go with 1. e4.  In fact, this was the game where I had set up
>for the Evan's Gambit but Hiarcs didn't play 3. Bc5 but went to the two knights.
> Had I prepared a bit more, I might have gone for something wild there as well,
>but I had not prepared any other 1. e4 openings.   The Guico line ended at move
>15 with a perfectly balanced position, both programs showing almost exactly 0.0
>for the evaluation.  By move 25 the evaluation was up to +.75 as Crafty is not
>prone to "sit" on a position having been brought up in the GM quagmire of ICC.
> It continued to press this positional advantage into winning a pawn, but it
>reached a difficult to win (if it was winnable) ending with an extra pawn, with
>one rook left on the board.  After a long struggle, this ended in a draw.
>However, I like games where Crafty is playing for the win and the opponent is
>struggling for the draw, rather than the opposite (which happened to us twice as
>black as previously mentioned.)
>
>Final result was 5 wins, 4 draws, 7.0/9.0 for the final result.  Hiarcs and
>Crafty were tied, and Zappa put Ruffian down for the count to join the group
>with 7.0.
>
>The playoff was not something I particularly like, as the main event was 45 10
>while the playoff was double RR 5 3 blitz event.  I played Zappa first and Zappa
>played a couple of dubious book lines and Crafty won both games (not easily, but
>it had enough horsepower that you give it a pawn, you can expect problems if you
>don't have some significant compensation.  In the other two blitz games Crafty
>played, it drew hiarcs in both.  The first was a bit of a struggle as Crafty
>chose a dubious book line but it was fast enough to hold on anyway.  The second
>was also a rather bad Sicilian line and again Crafty struggled for the draw, but
>a draw was all it needed to win the playoff.
>
>Final impressions were many.
>
>1.  Competition is tough.  Everyone is getting stronger.  You can't take a
>single game for granted any longer, in general.
>
>2.  The AMD box is simply amazing.  8M-11M nodes per second.  Most games
>averaged 8M or so throughout, after both sides have castled, 7M or so before
>both sides castle.  Search depths were typically 12-16 plies, depending on the
>position.  Open kings and lots of checks dropped the depth to 11-12 a very few
>times, forcing lines in the Junior game let Crafty actually search as deeply
>(reported ply depth) as Junior even though Junior counts plies differently.
>
>3.  Luck still plays a part.  whether it be luck that avoids a bad book line for
>you, or produces a bad book line for your opponent, or just searching deep
>enough in a critical position to see a win or avoid a loss, etc.
>
>4.  Debugging is critical.  No point in losing games due to bugs, screwed up
>time management, etc.  Lots of games on a chess server can weed those things out
>nicely.
>
>5.  A book is important, but not as important as "some" claim.  My normal big
>book did just fine, with about 100 moves total in my "start" book to select
>particular openings and avoid others.
>
>6.  Perhaps that "if they thought they had a chance, they would have come"
>nonsense can now be put to rest for all time.  I ran on a machine that might
>have been about 1/4 the speed of the machine I could have used in Graz.  Anybody
>that thinks that would not have been "competitive" is out of their mind.
>
>I've been doing these competitions since 1976.  They are _still_ fun.  :)
>
>
>And for Vincent, let me add the following to avoid all the discussions he will
>start:
>
>1.  My evaluation sucks.
>2.  My parallel search sucks.
>3.  My book sucks.
>4.  My simple q-search sucks.
>5.  My wife is ugly.
>6.  I'm too old and stubborn to have a chance.
>7.  My kids are stupid.
>8.  My mother used to wear army shoes.
>9.  My truck is 9 years old.
>10. I don't know squat about NUMA.
>
>I think that about covers it.
>
>:)
>
>Now he doesn't have to add his two cents' worth, assuming he has two cents'
>worth to add. :)


Great, thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts.
Congratulations to you and to Crafty.

Sarah.





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