FrayerChess Blog

The World of Competitive Computer Chess

FrayerChess Metamorphoses

frayer-12-9-081Preview of FrayerChess 2009

www.frayerchess.com

Hello everyone; I would like to wish all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season. Thank you all for visiting the FrayerChess website over the past year.

Maintaining this website and its associated blogs has been a learning experiences for me as well as therapeutic one. Although I have been frustrated at times, an entertained thoughts of giving it up, a small but dedicated group of computer chess players have always been there to give me encouragement.

It has always been my intent to provide information and recourses for engine chess players. The promotion of engine chess as a true sport has also been a priority. To better accomplish these goals I encourage all visitors to offer suggestions of what they would like to see on the website in the coming year.

FrayerChess is getting ready to go through a metamorphoses. I have been looking closely at what other chess sites are providing and trying to judge what is needed. Engine players seem to want available downloads of opening books, game bases and end game table bases. Those new to engine vs. engine chess need advice on hardware, software configuration and opening book development. Although some of these areas are out of my range of expertise I may be able to enlist the help of more knowledgeable players to write articles and answer question in these areas.

In the coming year I intend to concentrated on opening book development, as well as playing in Freestyle chess events. As for the FrayerChess website you will be seeing a new look, more downloads, commentaries and articles by top computer chess enthusiasts.

As always, any comments, questions or suggestion may be sent to me at  Kevin@frayerchess.com

December 26, 2008 Posted by | Computer Chess | , , , | Leave a comment

InfinityChess Responds to Criticism

sign-logo

  InfinityChess General Manager:

  GM Arno Nickel

 

Dear Mr. Frayer:

Only now (Dec 8th) I saw your report about the InfinityChess Freestyle Tournament on your website (Nov 18th). Unfortunately your report is misleading in some points and drawing a more negative picture as would have been appropriate.

1) First, you should have mentioned that the application used for the tournament was a beta version, updated shortly before the tournament. All players knew about that, before the tournament got started. I as the TD, same as others, had no experience with this version. Of course, did I expect less problems with the software, otherwise I wouldn’t have agreed to perform this event.
All I could do after it turned out, that the software wasn’t ready for the tournament, was either canceling the tournament (that would have been the easiest choice for me) or trying to improvise to the benefit of the players and the server. I decided for the second option, and you should know that all players who stayed there till the end (14 of 16) proved very grateful for the way I did my job.

2) Taking into account the resulting difficulties, it was not possible and wouldn’t have been fair to decide on all conflicts as if we had a proper application and e.g. disconnected players (by fault of the server) losing their games, if these games could not be resumed automatically. Actually, in some cases we managed to find solutions and agreements for interrupted games, and also, if it turned out to be necessary to give the full point to one of the players, I was glad to see sensible insight from both of the players.

3) Regarding your interrupted game with Kevin Plant, you correctly describe that it was your decision to withdraw from the tournament, before a decision was taken. You did neither accept a) further tries to resume the game, nor b) getting the full point by approval of Kevin and me, nor the draw offer from Kevin’s side. You simply left the tournament without any attempt to solve the situation.In particular, I am very disappointed to read the following allegations:

4) “However, I did get the distinct impression the Arno Nickel was happy to see me go. His convenient lapse in understanding English as well as his not making a decision in a timely fashion convinced me of this.”

5) “Later, after I saw the tournaments final results I realized there were many irregularities in the way the points where awarded. Just to give one example The final tour results have (Yurisolo) playing me in the eighth round, he wins with the black peaces. lol Perhaps some one played for me the same way some one played for my second round opponent.”

The final table leaves no doubt about “forfeit” results which are quite normal in case of withdrawals, and the almost complete database, recovered in some hours of work (also provided by me) may also prove that we all just tried to do our best and be fair to everyone.

I hope, you will agree to publish this as my comments on your website.

Kind Regards

 A r n o N i c k e l

(General Manager)

www.infinitychess.com

December 24, 2008 Posted by | Commentary | , , , | Leave a comment

To Infinity and Beyond

frayer-4

Commentary: by Kevin Frayer

Originally published December 9, 2008

I normally do not post personal correspondences, however Kevin Plant’s letter to me was so well received and exemplifies his good sportsmanship that I thought it appropriate. It also elaborates on the difficulties I encountered in InfinityChess last Freestyle tournament. Kevin Plant was my opponent in the forth round after which I withdrew from the tournament for conscientious reasons. Kevin is one of the engine room moderators for InfinityChess.

After the writing of this blog post but before I could publish it, I received an official response from Infinity Chess General Manager Arno Nickel to my first commentary regarding InfinityChess. He has ask me to place his response on my website and blog. I will be happy to do this and it will be posted in its entirety in a few days.

_____________________________________________________________

Hi Kevin:

My Name is Kevin Plant and I have just read your article on your Blog today 08/12/2008. I thought I would explain what happened in our Round 4 game from my side. After my move 23…Qf6 about 5 minutes went by and no 24th move came from your side which in its self means nothing as some replies by players take longer than this but after 6 mins went by I was getting a bit worried, so I thought I would check by logging on the server on my other computer as a guest to see whether you had played a move and to my horror you had!, but this did not show up on the board I was playing on, I spoke to Arno via private chat that my board was not showing my opponents last move and he said this was maybe a bug and advised me to log off and back on again and resume game. As you well know this did not work.

As you will see from the tournament results page on Infinitychess.com I did not take the full point after you decided you could no longer play on under these circumstances, It was entered as a draw as I felt that this was the only way I could continue the tournament without feeling guilty about gaining a point that I did not win and also hoping you would come back the next round after cooling down so to speak.

As for the remaining rounds where you were included but did not play, These were given as forfeit wins to your opponent (they were hoping you may return) to keep the pairing and colors correct during the tournament as was used for other player/s that did not complete the tournament.

Yes the tournament did not run as it should have, but as you maybe aware or not, this was and still is a beta site and there will be issues where things do not work as they should. We need players like yourself that have the experience and knowledge to help us out with these difficult early stages to make this an excellent Server to play Freestyle tournaments and day to day things like chatting and playing, whether these are with engines or human to human Chess games.

I do hope you have a change of heart and play in our Christmas Freestyle tournament starting this Friday 12th December. I can not of course guarantee that it will go smoothly but we have tested and it appears we have ironed out these bugs.

Your Chess friend
Kevin

———————————————————————————-

Kevin:

Thank you very much for your nice email regarding the InfinityChess Freestyle tournament the week of November 14, 2008. As mentioned in my blog commentary your conduced was exemplary and I would consider it a pleasure to play chess with you anytime.

I went into this tournament knowing that the server was still being beta tested and was more than willing to help work out the bugs. However many of the problems seemed to be the result of mistakes made by an inexperienced tournament director.

I was not aware that the TD had ask you to log off. Mr. Nickel did not advise me of that fact in the chat we exchanged while you were offline. I even told him, the server had noted you had not disconnected but had logged off. He knew or should have known that given the servers current limitations that the game could not be continued.

Please don’t take this wrong. There are many reasons that the game could have locked up for you, that do not include problems with the server. These include problems with your operating system, software launching at the wrong time, virus protection programs running, or internet connection trouble. I believe that responsibility for maintaining hardware, software, and internet connection is all part of being a well prepared computer chess player.

I came into the tournament as well prepared as my 20 years of internet chess experience allowed. I was using three computers, one for opening book, one for positional analyses (a borrowed xeon 8 way), and one for internet connection to the server. The better prepared player must be allowed to reap the rewards of his labor. In the engine chess world, all players lose a few games do to unforeseen occurrences.

There were several ways Mr. Nickel could have resolved the situation that accrued during our game. I would have agreed to an adjournment until the technical difficulties of restarting the game could have been worked out. It also may have been acceptable to me to restart the game from the beginning, with the same colors and time controls. The only option I was given was to manually try to reconstruct the game ignoring the time advantage I had gained and opening the possibility of disputed positions. (As you know, in an earlier round of this tournament an attempted at this kind of reconstruction of a game led to a dispute).

Arno Nickel did not ask me if I would accept a draw, (I would not have) and if he had awarded us both a full point it would have still been a draw, (with the caveat of disadvantaging the other players in the tournament). Also please understand, when I told Mr. Nickel that if the game reconstruction option was the only one, I would retire from the tournament. He told me he understood and cut off communications with me. In fact, he did not acknowledge the email I sent him two hours later officially withdrawing from the tournament and did not communicate with me at all for three weeks. (Then only because he had become aware of possible negative publicity being generated by my commentary).

The commentary about the InfinityChess Freestyle Tournament posted on my Blog and website reflected the dissatisfaction I felt in not receiving an equal opportunity to compete for the prize money being offered by the sponsors.

Thank you for asking me to reconsider participating in the Freestyle events on InfinityChess. All it would probably take is an email from Arno Nickel asking the same.

All the best:
Your chess friend:
Kevin Frayer:
Vincennes IN USA

December 22, 2008 Posted by | Commentary | , , , | Leave a comment

An Infinitely Bad Experince

frayer-3

Commentary:  by Kevin Frayer

Originally Published November 18, 2008

After sitting out of computer chess for a few weeks I attempted to play in Infinity Chess’s Freestyle Tournament last weekend. I can not tell everyone how excited I was that a new chess server had come online, providing engine players an untainted place to play. (To be honest, I had become disillusioned with the wild west show being put on by Chessbase over at Playchess.) I had great hopes that Infinity Chess would be better.

The tournament started Friday November 14, the server had a dedicated room for Freestyle chess. By the time the tour was ready to start there were over 40 players in the room. (Or so we thought) The tournament director Arno Nickel (ciron) informed us that due to problems with the software, all parings would be done by hand. Finally the centaur only tournament was started.

My game came online and the time was set at one minute blitz, a cry arose from the chat window. (The time is wrong, the time is wrong) I did not play and lost on time. This game was rated and I lost Elo points from my centaur rating that were never restored. After a short intermission the TD advised us that he could not restart the tour with the correct times and that we should all go over to the engine room for further instructions.

After moving over to the engine room I noticed something strange. Only 17-18 players moved over to the new room. (Hmm) As it turned out at lest 20 Accounts seemed not to be real. I supposed that they must have been phantom accounts being projected by the server to make it appear the tournament was well attended. I hoped it was for appearances only and not for a more nefarious reason.

Arno Nickel now informed us he could not run the tournament in the traditional way. He would now give us the pairings over chat and we would need to challenge the player we were paired with. The games would have to be unrated so the server would allow the players to choose the colors the TD assigned. At this point I started getting a funny feeling about this tour.

I got white the first round and challenged my opponent at 45-10 and started my game. It was not long before there was trouble in the chat window. In the game (Hoshad) was playing there was a disconnect. I am not sure whether it was Hoshad or his opponent, however when both players were back on line it was not possible to continue the game. According to the TD a glitch in the software prevented the continuation of the game. (only about 9 moves had been made) Mr. Nickel advised the two players he had the game in front of him and he would walk them through the moves. He ask that the players challenge a new game with the same colors and he would read them the moves to the point the game had been disrupted. This was done, however after the final position was reached, Hoshad disputed the position. Claming a Bishop was on the wrong square. An accommodation could not be reached and Hoshad forfeited the game.

I was soundly defeated in my first game by a player who was unknown to me, but all went well. The parings for the second round were given out and I had black. My opponent however did not seem to be online. I was ask by the TD to please wait, to see if he would return. He did not, the TD rather than awarding me the game by forfeit, (as was the case in many matches in this tour) ask if I would play an alternate opponent. Not wishing to be disruptive and not wanting to claim a point I felt I did not earn, I agreed.

My second round game began, I was playing black. Well into the middle game my opponent fell behind in material and time. Apparently he just quit playing and allowed 10 min. to run off his clock. I won on time. I don’t know about everyone else but I consider it to be rude to just stop playing when you get behind in a game.

In the third round I came up against Alberto Gueci (Spaghettichess) one of the strongest engine chess players in the world. I should have known better than to get into a Sicilian Poison Pawn as black with him. However as always, it was a pleasure just be at the table with a player of Alberto’s caliber.

The real problem for me occurred in my fourth round game. I was paired with Cumnor Chess Club. (Kevin D. Plant) At move 24 Mr. Plant logged off. (The GUI said Logged Off) Unlike several other times over the past two days when I had seen players lose internet connection the GUI had always said Player has lost connection.

(4) Frayer – CumnorChessClub [C92]
4R freestyle, 15.11.2008
[Frayer,Kevin]
512MB, Heretic 2.2.ctg, Xeon 8way 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.c3 d6 9.h3 Bb7 10.d4 Re8 11.Nbd2 Bf8 12.a4 h6 13.Bc2 exd4 14.cxd4 Nb4 15.Bb1 c5 16.d5 Nd7 17.Ra3 f5 18.exf5 bxa4 19.Rxe8 Qxe8 20.Nh4 Bxd5 21.Rxa4 Ne5 22.Nf1 Qf7 23.Ra3 Qf6 24.Ne3 Line

The TD was immediately at my game, he had seen the same server notice of log off as I had. I was ask to wait for my opponent to come back on so the game could be continued. Within ten minutes Mr. Plant had indeed came back online. Under the supervision of the TD we tried several times to continue the game, but the server would not allow it.

At this point Mr. Nickel suggested that we start a new game at 35-10 time and he would walk us threw the moves to the point where the game was stopped. I said no. This looked to me as it was going much like the Hoshad game had ended up. The TD and I began discussing the problem in private chat. I explained to him I was reluctant to allow a reconstruction of the game because the possibility of a dispute arising over the game position. Also, I was several minutes ahead of my opponent in time on the clock when he left the game. Mr. Nickel then told me that he was having trouble understanding me because of the language barrier. I could see where this was going so I ask to be allowed to resign the game and the point be given to my opponent. Mr. Nickel said he would not allow this, so I withdrew from the Tournament.

This is the email I sent the tournament director before the start of the fifth round.

Mr. Nickel:
Please forgive me for retiring from your Freestyle Tournament today.
I believe you did everything possible to accommodate the situation that occurred. I no longer have an appetite for conflict in chess and did not wish to disrupt play for others.
I am also sorry, I was not able to articulate in chat what the problem was for me. I suppose I did not want to criticize you and felt I was being put in a position to have to claim a point I did not earn.
As you said “disconnects happen“. When they do the server and GUI should allow for continuing the game. If the game can not be continued or restarted with the exact time and board position, then the player who disconnected should be deemed the loser. This may seem harsh, however if disconnects are allowed and reconstruction of games disputed you will multiply your problems as a tour director. It will also be true that some disconnects will be intentional. When a player makes a blunder or a mouse slip he may just wish to disconnect and take his chances in disputing the board position.
I realize that this was just a test run for your Freestyle Tournaments and I am sure you will get the bugs worked out of the GUI. A big thanks to you and all of your team for providing a great new place to play chess.

Respectfully:

Kevin Frayer:
Vincennes IN USA

Now let me make this very clear, my opponent in this game Cumnor Chess Club (Kevin D. Plant) did nothing wrong and in fact acted very honorably. He told me that he saw my point and ask that the game be given to me.

However, I did get the distinct impression the Arno Nickel was happy to see me go. His convenient lapse in understanding English as well as his not making a decision in a timely fashion convinced me of this. Later, after I saw the tournaments final results I realized there were many irregularities in the way the points where awarded. Just to give one example The final tour results have (Yurisolo) playing me in the eighth round, he wins with the black peaces. lol Perhaps some one played for me the same way some one played for my second round opponent.

I spent two weeks preparing for this tournament and had high hopes that Infinity Chess would be a good place to play. I can honestly say that my overall experience was extremely negative. This weekends Freestyle tournament was plagued by server problems, bad decisions from the tournament director and a high probability of collusion between players using secret accounts. I will not be participating in any activities on the Infinity Chess server as long as these problems continue.

December 21, 2008 Posted by | Commentary | , , , | Leave a comment

The Neverending Book

heretic-26

 It will come to no surprise to those following this blog that continual updating of opening books is the linchpin of my book theories. It is pleasing to know that even in engine chess the player whom is able and willing to put in the time will reap the rewards.

 
I realize that not every player has the time or inclination to spend more time on analyzing games and updating books than they do on actually playing. This is however the road to good results and honest Elo. Setting aside some time everyday to go over your played games and using infinite analyses mode to find alternate lines in places you seemed to come out of book ineffectively, is a good start.

 
The book updates that I make available have 20-30 hours of work invested in them. They are based on hundreds of rated games played by fast Quad machines and are *book specific. It is my hope that they will give the serious engine player that does not have the time to do the book work a competitive advantage.

 
Thank you all for the support and encouragement that I have received in this project, it will continue as long as downloads remain steady. I think you will find this latest update Heretic 2.6 the strongest thus far. Heretic 2.6 may be download at:  www.frayerchess.com

 
*Book Specific
Only games that were played by the book are being used to update the book.

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Opening Book Development | , , , | Leave a comment

Standing on the Shoulders Geniuses

2008-frayerIt was recently suggested to me that modern chess programs are nothing more than calculators that use mathematical equations in a brut force attack on chess positions. I began to speculate that this may be a common belief among engine chess players. Of course we all know that calculators do not play chess. Modern chess programs use a variety of sub-routines that prune or limit the number of moves that are considered. Many sophisticated heuristically based techniques have been used to impart a limited but quite effective knowledge of chess to these programs. While far from being sentient, a modern chess engine is much more than a mere calculator.

It seems to me that there is a vast difference between scientific development and practical application of principal. To be sure both are important to the fledgling sport of engine chess.

The computer programs we enjoy today are a direct result of 50 years of scientific research in the field of Artificial Intelligence (Specifically that of Expert Systems, a sub-field therein.) Hundreds of unnamed contributors from many diverse disciplines came together to infuse that first spark of intelligence into a mass of inert circuitry. So slowly did it come about that we don’t clearly see its improbable wonder.

Most of these brilliant men are computer scientists and mathematicians and world class *Nerds. Not the kind of people capable of commercially profiting from the practical application of their work.

 A two hour video on the history of computer chess:

The fact that there are industries businessmen that are willing to stand upon the shoulders of these geniuses in order to grab the brass ring of profit, is the way of the world. However as Henry Ford had little to do with the invention of the automobile, so to do the commercial chess programmers of today have little to do with the underlying heuristics of the programs they produce. Ford help put autos into the hands of millions, by doing this made them a practical and useful tool for the average user.

What I am saying is give credit where credit is due and seek the next quantum leap in chess programming from the unknown men and women working in the field of artificial intelligences. Locked away form the world, hidden behind secrecy contracts, in places like Bell Labs and Los Alamos where they continue the advancement to this day.

*Nerd:
single-minded enthusiast: an enthusiast whose interest is regarded as too technical or scientific and who seems obsessively wrapped up in it (often used in combination; offensive in some contexts)

December 19, 2008 Posted by | Computer Chess | , , , | 1 Comment

All Things Engine Chess

img_00451 In the last few months a new website has made it appearance upon the net. One that’s mission statement and execution is so aligned with my viewpoint of what is best for the advancement of computer chess that I must shout its praises.
Norm Pruitt’s: www.enginechess.com
The mission statement of Norm’s site is to attempt to bring the computer chess player the tools needed to be competitive in a computer vs. computer environment. In this he is succeeding superbly, where others have fallen short. His site is clear, easy to navigate and very comprehensive.
Here you will find opening books by some of the top engine players (many found nowhere else). Articles about and interviews with Freestyle players. Links to all the right websites to get the information that is needed to increase your Elo in engine play. A new forum has just been established there and I will be closely monitoring it and adding to the discussions.
If you need to down load EGTB this is the place to go.
Norm is an acknowledged expert on the use of end game table bases and the hardware require to run them as well as a innovative book maker. He has held the top ranking in engine play, both in Blitz and longer time controls many times over the years. He resides in North Carolina with his wife Joyce and Sissy the chess cat.

December 19, 2008 Posted by | Computer Chess | , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Making Q & A

cooltext93690977

I have been receiving a considerable amount of correspondence relating to my book making theories. The overwhelming majority of it positive in nature. Thank you all for your kind words. I have started posting on my website some of the more representative comments and questions. Look here  Book Making Q & A  Please do not hesitate to email me with your inquires, I will try to respond to all. Kevin@frayerchess.com

The most ask question is; can I have the Password to download the books for book testers. (the most current updates) The answer unfortunately is no. These are the books that the book testing team that works with me are currently engaged in playing online. It is from these games played under rated conditions that the updates are derived. In order to give the dedicated testing team a competitive advantage I do not release an update to the public until I am sure that it has been superseded by the latest update available to the team.

Never the less I feel that the public updates are very strong and used correctly by the serious player will provide a clear advantage, especially in blitz play.

One more quick word about this new chess blog. The article you just read was originally posted on my blogspot.com Blog, February 21,2008. I am transferring all my older post from blogspot.com over to WorldPress.com. I will soon be caught up and hope to maintain both blogs. I have been advised that this new format on WorldPress is easer to read and will reach a more diverse audience.

December 19, 2008 Posted by | Opening Book Development | , , , | Leave a comment

Opening Book Hand Tuning

frayer-12-9-08  Ok, you have a tournament book that is focused and plays a narrow variety of opening moves to a good depth. Now you need to hand tune it and keep it current. But what exactly are you tuning it to? The answer is; primarily your entire playing system. Which includes your hardware and its capabilities, your engine and its configuration settings, as well as the ever changing lines being played by your opponents.

There is no such thing as a perfect book that has all the answers to all the lines. A good opening book is a thing that is in constant flux. While in the human chess world an opening repertoire may serve a player for many years with only minor changes, it is not so in engine chess. Computers have a way of finding their way around seemingly impassable winning lines with frightening elegances and speed.

To get started; go on line and play 50-60 games at your desired time control. A hand tuned book is most certainly sensitive to time control changes. (by that I mean use one book for 3-0 play one for 16-0 and another for 60-0 + times) You may use the same book but with different tuning. Do not fiddle around with your engine configuration settings to much. (If you are using Rybka 2.3.2a the default settings are the strongest)

Now take the games that you have just played and go off line and into the engine GUI. Open up the My Internet Machine Games database file and do a bit of weeding. At first just go ahead and delete all the draws and games that go fewer than 35-40 moves. Now physically look at the games that you won. Games that you won from opponents that had inferior hardware to yours can be deleted. This should leave you with the games that you lost and a few that you won.

Take these games and get to work, the idea is to alter the opening book manually not only to avoid the loses but to find a winning line form before the point your evaluation number went negative. Make sure that you have the opening book that you wish to alter loaded and go to the book display. Right click the mouse on the book display window and activate allow move adding. Now any moves that you make manually while the engine is in infinite analysis mode will be added to the book. (as green play in tour moves)

If the book line went wrong before the engine engaged it may be necessary to mark some book moves red and try a deferent way. (book moves are turn red by right clicking on the moves and choosing the do not play in tournament option)

When the engine analysis mode is used (in most engines) it reverts to a brute force search. Where as in normal play all kinds of pruning tricks are used to reduce the number of moves the engine must look at. My point is that when going over played games in analyses mode you can often find strong moves that Rybka discarded in early pruning as being unproductive. It take some time and patients to get the search depth to an effective level. (time dependent on your hardware of course) When you are analyzing a game that you have lost, that had an average search depth of 16 ply you will probably need to go 19-20 ply in a brute force search starting several moves before the detectable swing in positional value to find a good refuting line.(more incomprehensible explanations on the dark art of book tuning early in the next week)

 Continued:

Although the opening book only has control of the first 50 moves. (100 half moves) they are most important of the game. There is no reason why (given a bit of practice) that you can not prevent your engine from losing in the first half of the game. No mater what hardware you have it is not difficult to duplicate the depth of the fastest CPUs in offline analyses. (it just takes a bit more time)

When reviewing your games played online give the most attention of course to the games that you lost, but do not forget to look at the draws and wins as well. Many times using infinite analyses it is possible to find a line that breaks the draw. In games that you have won against strong opponents lengthen the book lines. To do this use the manual add move function in the book window of the GUI. This method of adding moves to the book gives the best control but do not forget that it adds all moves as green play moves. So be sure to go back and remove the green of the move in the losing side of the line. (this is done by right clicking on the move and hitting main move a second time)

Spend more time on finding winning lines as white, as black you may have to be satisfied with getting the draw in some lines. Here are the facts about the percentages of White vs. Black wins.

W 50% – B 50% In human club play:
W 52% – B 48% In master play:
W 56% – B 44% In GM play
W 62% – B 38% In engine play

I think this data says something about the relative strength of computers over humans. But my point is that in engine chess, the opening impetus is more pronounced for white. As black you should not expect to come out of opening book with a positional advantage very often. -.30 -.50 going into the middle game as Black will still give you a fighting chance.

Trying to tell someone how to update and tune books is some what a like trying to tell someone how to type on a keyboard. You can tell them where to put the fingers and what some of the edit keys do, but the only way one learns is by doing. Along the way many mistakes will be made. (always keep a archived copy of the books that you are tuning, so if something goes very wrong you can start over) And believe me when I say that the book learning function will not produce the same result as the basic methods that I have talked about, nor will it give the same satisfaction and connection to engine chess. Roll up your sleeves and get in the opening book trenches and remember in engine chess the book is the key…

In the next few days I am going to go over my method of developing original books from databases. But I have a lot of time on my hands and if any one has a specific question about tuning please feel free to send it to me in an email and I will try to answer it.  Kevin@frayerchess.com

December 18, 2008 Posted by | Opening Book Development | , , | Leave a comment

Opening Book Development II

frayer-12-9-08Before I go any farther let me address this issue of stealing lines. (I used this term in the last post) It is a fact that some players out there seem to think that if they personally worked out a line or a refutation of one; that they somehow own this series of moves. I find this thinking hilariously funny. It brings to my mind Bobby Fischer jumping up from the table and saying you can’t play that move it is mine, you stole it from my game in the interzonals last year… I call this concept of stealing lines. Fischer thinking. “Look Bobby, once you play the line in open play it belongs to all of us.” This is how, in esoteric disciplines, we collectively learn and advance human knowledge. It is by the possess of peer review that the lines you submit in open play are accepted or rejected. So there is no real stealing of anything only finding and using good ideas. We are all standing on the shoulders of geniuses to be where we are.

Now that you have made your seed book and played some games with it, you are ready to start its development by adding games. Adding games to a book (both your own and kibitz ones) is much different than hand tuning. I think it would be accurate to say that adding games increases the width of the book where as, tuning deals with depth and direction.

It is always best to add games to the book that are played by the book that you are adding them to. This technique has a tendency to reinforce and expand winning lines. However if you find good opening lines while kibitzing do not hesitate to include them into your book.

 Lets look at the method of adding the games. First never add games directly to an existing book. Add the games to the database that the book was made from and then make a fresh book from the updated game bases. Importing games into an existing book is probably the most conmen mistake that is made in book making.

 Make sure that if you add a game to the learn game base you also add it the main game base.

 I recommend that you add all games that you won in online play to the main game base and a selected few that beat you solidly within the first 50 moves. Be more selective as to the games you add to the learn base. Look carefully at your played games; making sure that advantage in the game came from the opening or early in the middle game. (Never add draws, only wins and losses)

Continue to add the games that you play with the seed book back into the book using this technique. Every day review your games, update the game bases (both main base and learn) and remake the book for the next time at online play. This process will slowly but surly expand the books practical repertoire and adjust it to your particular system engine combination. You will begin to notice games that your engine struggled to win now being won easily and good winning lines that were used against you now being played by your book.

 At least 2000 games or so should be added to the seed book before you start the hand tuning process. Once you start hand tuning you can no longer add games as red-green marks would be lost.

 As always; I am sure that there are many impotent details I have inadvertently forgot to mention. If you get stuck or have a problem please do not hesitate to ask me specific question via email.    Kevin@frayerchess.com

December 18, 2008 Posted by | Opening Book Development | , , , | Leave a comment