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Subject: Zappa Report

Author: Zappa

Date: 09:03:57 12/30/05


Well, its been a while since I had to write a tournament report congratulating
someone else.  I hope this doesn't become a habit :)  Anyway, congrats to Vasik!
 Rybka simply played the best chess of the tournament and deserved to win.  As I
have said before, I am a big fan of Rybka, because whatever he is doing, its
fundamentally different than the history-pruning-mobility-based-fruitish engines
that everyone else seems to write (even Zappa is fundamentally a mobility based
engine).

To be honest, I was not real optimistic going into the tournament.  I have
changed a lot of things in the latest Zappa versions, and I feel that I haven't
managed to bugfix and tune all of them properly (example: the game against
Ikarus).  I feel most of the knowledge is correct, but its just a matter of
getting the values right.  People have wondered for months now why Fruit is so
strong.  My opinion is that he simply has so few parameters to tune that he can
get them exactly right :)  My main hope for the tournament was that the
supercomputer would save a few points for me, but that turned out to be a comedy
of errors.

I forked the code to work on it, and when I went to merge it in I apparently
screwed something up bigtime - I still don't know what.  At odd points it would
simply search 150KN/s for about 20 seconds rather than 20MLN :)  I didn't even
realize this until round 4, when Erdo switched off the supercomputer to the quad
after about 5 moves as it was searching about 500 KN/s on average.  I'm not sure
this was legal, but considering the result I doubt Vasik will complain :)  And
for some reason it didn't run at all vs Spike, and after staying up until 3:00
AM for 4 nights in a row I was just too disgusted to fix it.  Really the only
important game for which the supercomputer was working properly was vs Shredder,
when I just used the version I had forked before.  Sorry Sandro.

To compound Zappa's errors, Erdo's superman cape fell off a bit this tournament.
 Anyway, I would rather have everything go wrong all at once, and get it over
with.  Time to go play basketball :)

cheers,

anthony



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