FrayerChess Blog

The World of Competitive Computer Chess

Opening Book Development I

 

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All right then, so you want to make a opening book from scratch. A one of a kind book that is your own. A book that in fact can be proprietary. Let me see if I can start you on the right track.
Although there are many ways to go about this let me describe the method that I have found to be the most successful. It Involves a process of development over time.

The first thing you will need is a few comprehensive databases of engine games played under rated conditions and times. (it is generally accepted that we do not use human games in engine books) I recommend using the available game bases from PlayChess server. They can be found in several places on the internet. Try to get the most current ones (all 2007 games and all Jan, 2008) are available. These are quite large databases; but can just be manipulated by the Fritz 9, 10, 11 GUIs.

It will probably be to your advantage to look around on the net for the most current game bases.

I have all PlayChess engine room games from 2006, 2007 and 2008; however at this time I do not have the space on my web site to make them directly available. With out question the most comprehensive engine game bases can be acquired from Richard Stickles. (the playchess engine room Sysop) Richard seem to make the games available for download on an irregular schedule. So the best place to start may be Spaghetti Chess it appears that most of the 2007 games and Jan, 2008 games can be downloaded here…    spaghettichess.com

Also I like to add the last two PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournaments to the mix as new and innovative lines are often introduced here…   Freestyle Chess Games

Ok, you now have large game bases of current engine games. Tens of thousands of them. All mixed together; good games, bad games, winning lines and losing ones. After combining all bases into one master base the first thing you will need to do is a bit of filtering.
Bring your master base up on the Fritz GUI and go to filter games. Lets get rid of all games with less than 35 moves. Set filter for 1-35 moves, select all, delete, remove deleted games from base. Do the same with the draws, set filter to bring up all draws then select all, delete, remove deleted games.

Now open up an empty data base and name it New Book Main Base (or something like Blitz Book Games) This will be one of two game bases that you will continue to add games to over a period of time.

Go back to the master game base and this time we will do something radical. We are going to take only the games played by the top rated players. Set filter to 2700 to 3100 Elo and check both and engage. This will return 40,000 to 45,000 games from the highest rated players. (for a smaller, but more directed base try 2750-3100 Elo) Hit select all and copy. Go to your newly created game base and paste these games there.

The next thing you will need is a date base of game to be learned. These games should come from the main game base that you just created. My method for choosing the games to be learned by the book is less than scientific but extremely practical. Pick 4 or 5 of the top players of your choice, maybe.

1. Big Mc
2. Big Rabbit
3, Takker
4. Wallybal

Make an empty game base and name it New book Learn (or Blitz book learn, whatever you decide to name your book) Filter the main book base for Big Mc wins as white; copy and paste to the new learn book base. Do the same for Big Mc wins as black, and so on down the list. What you are doing is taking only these top players winning games and adding the to your book learn file. This will give your fledgling book the playing characteristics of these players. (basically stealing their best lines)

You are now ready to turn these new game bases into what I call a seed book. This book will be the starting point for your personal book to be developed from. In the Fritz GUI open a new empty book and name it. Import all games from the main book base that you have created. (to the maximum depth 100 moves) Now go to Learn from Database and click learn white and black wins (do not choose learn loses) and select your new learn file. (made from the top players wins)
You now have a seed book.

Go on line and play the book using these book settings.

Book settings: (Seed Book)
Use Book: on
Tournament Book: on
Varity of Play: max – (all the way to left)
Influence of learn Value: max + (all the way to right)
Learning Strength: max – (all the way to left)
Minimum games: 0
Up to move: 100

Save all games that you play with the new book as these are the games that, played with your own hardware will be instrumental in its development.

In the next post I will talk about how to add the games you play with the book in a regular way as to improve and expand its capabilities.

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December 17, 2008 - Posted by | Opening Book Development | , , ,

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