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Houdini 1.5 is widely considered to be the strongest chess engine on the planet. Houdini 1.5 is ranked #1 on the leading IPON computer chess rating list, 50 Elo ahead of Rybka 4 and 100 Elo ahead of Stockfish 1.9 and Critter 0.9.
Make sure you save both Houdini and Arena on the same hard drive (your primary one).
I struggled figuring out how to analyze my games with an engine.
You'll need a graphic user interface (GUI) such as Arena, Tarrach, Winboard, BabaChess or Chessbase Light. Those are all free. Install that on your computer. Most of them come with some sort of engine prepackaged.
Install Houdini or the engine of your choice in some directory (doesn't matter where) on your computer where you can find it.
Using the GUI of your choice, open the "engine" menu. Maybe under analysis or prefferences somewhere. You may have to look around a bit, but it shouldn't be too hard to select the engine by browsing to the directory where you saved Houdini and opening it. You can set parameters here too...chose how long you want it to think about things, how deep to look etc...
The hard part for me was, what now...? I'll use Arena in my example, but all of them are similar. When you open it up, nothing is loaded. You'll just have the board waiting for a game. Go to File>Open and browse to a .pgn file anywhere on your computer. You'll have to have a game to analyze obviously. There's tons of free databases you could use, or just play a quick game and use that. I usually save a .pgn from a recent chess.com game and look at that.
Once you have a game open and you see the move list, open up your engine. In Arena it's Engine>Install New Engine if you haven't already. Then Engine>Manage Engines and add Houdini to your list of available engines. Lastly (as far as getting your engine ready to work) go Engines>Load Engine and select Houdini to make it the active one. Arena will actually allow you to pick two if you want and have them play each other. Now we have an engine ready to go, and a game to evaluate. There's a couple routes you can go now.
BabaChess working with Crafty (comes with it) is the only program I know of that will analyze games and spit out annotations for you right into your .pgn file with no interaction. It just does it all alone and you just read your annotated game afterwords. Most programs work like Arena. You'll either anylize as you step through the moves one by one manually and evaluate each position's score, comparing the changes in score to the previous position (more on this later) OR, you'll have the engine analyze you're whole game and then go find the output logfile for review.
Either way takes more than a couple minutes, but you're probably not in a hurry anyway right? If you're doing the manual method, do this... Again, I'll use Arena for the example. Interfaces differ, but in general there will be a button to "start" your engine. In Arena it's a button that says "Analyze" right in the middle of the window under the move list. Careful not to hit the 'computer chip' button as this will just simply think for a while and make a move. You'll then be playing the computer from there on. The "analyze" button will start the engine thinking and you'll get suggested lines in the bottom of the window. Each line is a different possibilty. Each one will have a 'score' in front of it. The first number is number of moves...how deep it looked. The second number is the time. The third number is the score. This is important. It's ALWAYS from White's point of view. So a score of -0.30 means that black is ahead by .3 (about 1/3 of a pawn). Now this isn't strictly material. It's a value of the position AND material. So if White's ahead you'll have a +0.3 (just an example) so don't get confused. If you're looking at it as the Black player, then a negative score is good for you. Most programs work like this.
Then there's the auto-mode. In Arena go Engine>Automatic Analysis and configure it how you want. The most important thing is to look at the output tab. It says where your text file will be left when it's done. You can specify a location here too. The easiest way to view the file is from the config window you used to set up the output. There's a pair of glasses next to the file location, just hit that and it'll open up for viewing.
That's all I have to say about that.
is it the full version
norton anti virus determined it is not safe...?
Thanks for the help with how to install it with i.e. Arena in the early posts.
I installed it in Scid vs PC without any problems. And Houdini beats me everytime!
First time i feel sure getting the right results by analysing variations.
I have arena 3.0, not able to use it, it does not suggest me the move,
Here is how to install it in scid
how do i analyze games????
is it working?
Hey guys, I don't have any other programs. What should I have so I can make this engine runs?
I get the exact same thing you have. I am 32-bit windows vista and this still happens to me.
what about a 64bit pc?
it works for me now in Arena
can u just install and use
it if u have chessbase
25 hours ago
4 days ago
2 weeks ago
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