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Subject: Re: not using nullmove?

Author: Uri Blass

Date: 11:03:10 02/14/04

Go up one level in this thread

On February 14, 2004 at 13:16:15, Christophe Theron wrote:

>On February 14, 2004 at 08:57:14, Tord Romstad wrote:
>>On February 14, 2004 at 00:38:58, Christophe Theron wrote:
>>>On February 13, 2004 at 12:41:41, Tord Romstad wrote:
>>>>I guess all strong programs use what Cristophe once called "the null move
>>>Mmh... This post was a long time ago. So you were reading at that time? :)
>>Yes, I was.  At that time, my own knowledge and experience was so limited
>>that I couldn't make any interesting contributions myself (some people
>>would claim that this is the case even today, but I know that there is
>>at least a small handful of amateurs who occasionally find something of
>>interest in my posts), but I was reading attentively.
>>I have learnt a lot from you during the years I have been reading this
>>message board, and it is not without reason that you are among the people
>>I thank on my home page.  Even when you are very vague about what you do,
>>like in the current thread, it is often sufficient to give me some new
>>and interesting ideas to try out.  In 99% of the cases, my ideas are
>>probably entirely different from what you do, but occasionally they
>>still happen to work.  :-)
>What I have always tried to do is to hide the details of what's inside Chess
>Tiger (in order to protect my work a little bit) but still explain what my
>methodology (or work philosophy) was (in order to somehow give back to the
>I think it's important to have strong guidelines in your work. Some of them come
>from your knowledge of information processing in general (be careful not to
>create bugs, don't waste resources, never trust Microsoft...), and some of them
>are specific to the domain of chess programming and took me years to figure out.
>For example:
>* don't compute something in advance if you are not sure you will use it,
>because chances are that you will get a cutoff before you need it (remember it's
>just a guideline - sometimes you can break this rule).
>* you need a very accurate way of measuring progress, or you will not make
>progress at all.

I do not think that the last claim is correct.
very accurate way of measuring progress can help you to get progress faster but
it does not mean that without it you cannot make progress.

>* Any change can make your program significantly weaker. You need to test your
>changes (with the method you have built) very often.

I agree that every change can make the program significantly weaker but testing
that you did not make your program significantly weaker by a single change based
on games is easier than testing that you made a progress.

>* People believe that chess is about evaluation, but actually it's all about
>search (I'm trying very hard to break this rule, because it must be wrong from a
>mathematical point of view, but it's really difficult).

chess is about both.
people tend to underestimate search but it does not mean that chess is not also
about evaluation.


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