Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: not using nullmove?

Author: Christophe Theron

Date: 14:35:35 02/14/04

Go up one level in this thread

On February 14, 2004 at 14:03:10, Uri Blass wrote:

>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.

Of course you can... try. And then you will see what I mean.


>>* 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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