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Subject: Re: What's the difference between Glaurung and Gothmog?

Author: Tord Romstad

Date: 07:26:35 03/02/05

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Hi Paul,

Gothmog is my old engine, which has been in development for several years.
It is big, horrendously complicated, and very buggy.  The source code is
ugly and almost completely unreadable.  During last year I finally resigned
myself to the fact that the program was far beyond salvation, and that to
continue working on it would be a waste of time.

Glaurung is a completely new project, started early in the autumn last year.
The current version is still a very basic and minimalistic chess program.
It is designed to be simple, clear, and compact.  I have made an effort to
keep the code and data size small, even when there is an expense in terms
of speed.  I also try to keep the code and data structures sufficiently
general to handle board shapes and sizes different from the rectangular 8x8
board.  There is a (not yet public) version of Glaurung which plays Glinski's
hexagonal chess.

Unlike Gothmog, Glaurung is an open source program.

On March 01, 2005 at 14:53:29, paul bedrey wrote:

>I know they are both UCI.

Yes.  Gothmog also supports xboard/Winboard, while Glaurung is UCI only.

>I assume Gothmog is stronger since it has been around longer although I've seen
>a list that reports Glaurung as about 2550 which is where Gothmog was.

At fast time controls, Glaurung is definitely stronger.  At slow time controls,
there is some evidence that Gothmog might still have an edge, although there is
not yet enough data to be entirely sure.  I hope the next Glaurung version will
be clearly stronger at all time controls.

The two programs have somewhat different strengths and weaknesses.  Glaurung
is tactically faster, but has much less chess knowledge (especially in the
endgame).

>My question concerns style. Does Glaurung play the same aggressive style as
>Gothmog?

I definitely want Glaurung to play the same aggressive style as Gothmog, but
the very low popularity of Glaurung compared to Gothmog indicates that I
have not quite reached this goal yet.  The reason is probably that Glaurung
still lacks too much chess knowledge.

To some extent, it is possible to tune Glaurung's aggressiveness by modifying
the "King safety weight" parameter.  Higher values should result in more
aggressive play.  By the way, I am not at all sure that the default value
of this parameter is the strongest.

Tord




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