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Subject: Side-to-move bonus in static eval.

Author: David Blackman

Date: 01:30:31 12/05/99

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>I have never been asymmetric, unless you count a small bonus for the side to
>move.
>

>cheers,
>Peter

A bonus for side to move has the advantage that it should reduce the node count
if you don't do null-move pruning. But it gets more complicated if you do
null-move pruning. Some tests i did a long time ago suggest it might actually
increase the node count.

One trick is to do the bonus for side to move, but also give a bonus every time
you do a null move. That cuts the node count, but might cause loss of positional
understanding. Also can cause obscure bugs. I'm not sure i ever debugged it
properly.

Has anyone else looked at this bonus with the intent of reducing the size of the
tree search?

Of course in Peter's case i think he uses the side to move bonus just because he
wants good positional understanding. In most chess positions, being the side to
move is a plus factor, so it should be included in the eval if you want to get
it right.



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