Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: My thoughts on these positions for what it's worth.

Author: Peter Berger

Date: 04:56:49 12/23/05

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On December 22, 2005 at 22:54:42, Harry Schnapp wrote:

>On December 22, 2005 at 21:11:01, Graham Banks wrote:
>>Before you look at my brief assesment of each position, please be aware that I'm
>>not being critical of Harry here.
>>Every book, professional or amateur, has some dubious lines.
>    Shredder 9 gives FOR EACH LINE under +-1 !!!.
>    NOT ONE EXAMPLE is proper for imbalance!!!.
>    It's computerchess eng-eng not always Anand vs.Kramnik or
>    Leko vs. Adams.
>    More does not give to commentate it.
>      Harry.

I disagree: here is a point where a fruitful discussion could *start*.

You designed a method to create a set of starting positions for computerchess
matches and encourage people to use the result for their tests.

It is obvious that a lot of your time and effort went into creating this set of
positions ( which I think is also the reason why you feel so emotional about
your work). But it should still be possible to discuss the results in a rational

Actually the real problem and topic that should be discussed IMHO is not in the
resulting positions ( they can be evidence for some argument), but in the

I wonder why test design is not a major topic of serious CCC discussion anyway,
when it is about all the testing going on. People spend months if not years on
machine and spare time ( and discussion of the results), but only very rarely is
there a discussion of a concept before all this time is used ( and then, there
is often only very little feedback) .

Just an example: your design can be improved on *easily*. Instead of just asking
one engine, ask two and only accept a position where both agree on being in the
given eval range. This can be done automatically, so only takes some machine

This is accepting the basic assumption that the whole idea to start with some
engine eval is any good. I am sceptical if it is. There are counterexamples for
both variables, opening positions that say Shredder and Fritz will evaluate with
<+-x but will be nearly won for one side, and positions outside this range that
would result in a completely acceptable distribution of results ( especially
ones with unusual material imbalances).

I liked the Allgaeuer approach to being critical of one Nunn position mentioned
in this thread, that started with the results of the actual games played with it
to challenge its validity.

So maybe it could be an alternate design idea to start with a huge database of
computer(?)games and then look for opening positions that are frequent enough
and where the results are distributed similar to the overall results. Again,
this can be challenged easily ( and I can think of several problems with this
approach myself :) ), but the starting point feels more natural to me.

At least I think people should consider to spend more time on creating and
discussing designs in relation to production of data - a very general point I


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