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Subject: Re: Zappa-Isichess

Author: Robert Hyatt

Date: 18:29:27 08/19/05

Go up one level in this thread

On August 19, 2005 at 20:49:56, Arturo Ochoa wrote:

>On August 19, 2005 at 20:36:45, Uri Blass wrote:
>>On August 19, 2005 at 19:50:08, Richard Pijl wrote:
>>>On August 19, 2005 at 15:43:01, Thomas Lagershausen wrote:
>>>>On August 19, 2005 at 15:26:55, A. Cozzie wrote:
>>>>>Here I screwed my book creator, because the horrible, horrible Fritz interface
>>>>>resets the book options every time you touch the mouse, and played with
>>>>>incorrect options.  But somehow Zappa managed to slip into the win anyway;
>>>>>perhaps it was a bit lucky.
>>>>Never play with the cb-gui. It had cost a lot of programs points in the history
>>>>of wccc.
>>>>I hope Zappa 2.0 is still uci and can be used in Arena.
>>>Zappa's book requires the CB-GUI
>>I think that it is unfair to use books that require the CB-GUI
>>If I understand correctly it means that the GUI choose the book moves and not
>>the engine so the author is using something external program to help him to
>>select moves.
>>I think that the engine needs to choose all the moves(otherwise the playing
>>thing is not original work of the author and the authors of the chessbase gui
>>should be mentioned as part of the team).
>Uri Blass, the king of the absurd arguments.
>1) For CCT7 and the Elhvest Match, I used the native format for Zappa.
>2) For WCCC2005, there are several engines that has been using the ChessBase
>GUI. However, it doesn't mean that the Book was made by ChessBase. The Book
>Responsible for Zappa in the WCCC2005 has been Erdogan whose book is in the
>ChessBase format. It is his original work performed by several years.
>The engine is a complete original work of Anthony Cozzie.
>If you are going to begin your post-WCCC2005 nonsense before the Tournament is
>over, I suggest you find other hobby according to your absurd world, instead of
>writing craps every day of the year.

This argument comes up every year, and Uri has a valid point.

Although the ICGA doesn't seem to quite grasp the problem that many of us have
pointed out.  The opening book is a _significant_ part of a chess engine.  Which
means the code to select moves from that book based on some sort of algorithm is
going to possibly play a significant number of moves, if not the majority of the
moves in the game.  Allowing someone else to write this code and then share it
among multiple engines is simply wrong.  Writing custom books is fine, but the
chess engine author should be responsible for any code that makes chess playing

For example, we could have the following issues:

1.  If the GUI chooses book moves, and handles book learning, is it reasonable
that the _same_ code be used in multiple engines?  I tend to say "no".

2.  If the GUI does the time allocation, tells the engine how long to search,
when to search longer, when to search faster, handles multiple time controls,
and so forth, isn't that a major function that a chess engine has to manage?  If
so, is it fair that multiple programs share this code since they share a common
GUI?  Again, I would say "no".

3.  If the GUI handles endgame tables, should the GUI be able to either
instantly play a table move, or say "let's search, this is a draw, and we want
to give the opponent a chance to make an error."  I coded "swindle mode" into my
program, along with code to handle missing tables (you have kpk but not kqk so
your program might never promote without a fix.)  Is it reasonable for a single
author to write code to do all of that, and then have multiple programs share it
in a tournament?  Again, "no".

4.  Should a book author be able to write a book for multiple engines?  Can he
physically separate the two projects so there is _nothing_ in common?  Of course
he can't, and this is simply a bad idea.  This has come up multiple times, and
yet it never gets addressed properly, because it might "offend" a commercial
company that sells programs that could share the book.

I have no problem with a GUI doing "GUI tasks".  Recognizing moves, displaying
the board, displaying the clock, etc.  But the GUI has no place going farther
and actually influencing which moves are played in a game.  Because that crosses
over into what the engine is supposed to be doing.  GUI means "Graphical User
Interface".  Not "Graphical User Interface and front-end to make basic chess
move decisions before letting the engine do anything."

Otherwise we ought to all use the same GUI, which would, IMHO, be even worse.

I think this has gotten well beyond out of hand.

In the Zappa case, I don't have any problem with it using a "book" written by
anybody (so long as it is a one-user book and not shared.)  But the current GUI
is taking over too much of the game's complexity...  Winboard/Xboard is an
example of a reasonable "GUI".  Just does GUI tasks.  No book, no timing
decisions, no endgame table probes, no nothing but relaying information between
the user and the engine, exactly what a "user interface" should be doing...

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