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Some questions on Houdini 1.5 & Arena

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #1


    Ive got a couple questions on Houdini 1.5 and Arena. I think theyre pretty basic, but still I have a hard time getting them answered with the helpmenu.

    First off: when I hit analyze, it starts computing. You see the moves popping up with accordingly +/-x.xx ratings for the move. It also tells the 'depth' of the analysis.

    The higher the depth, the more it has analysed, right? And since that is done, the last displayed is the deepest and therefor the strongest move. Correct?

    Is it also possible to ask the machine to calculate again with the same depth, but to give another suggestion for the next move?

    And when I load houdini 1.5, it says it has a rating of 2000. I understood it is on of the strongest engines, so its rating must be way higher. Why does it diplay 2000? Is that temporarily?

    And last one: is it true that I cant set up an impossible position (with 9 pawns for instance)?

    Thanks in advance. Its amazing that such a program can run on nothing more than just a silly laptop :)

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #2


    1. the depth is the ply. The higher the ply, the further the engine is calculating. The line at the very top of the engine's analysis is the current strongest line, which is due to change as the ply goes deeper

    2. If it calculates again at  the same depth, it is likely to give you the same move as the best one. In some positions you can also look at the second of third moves, it depends on how far apart they are in the evaluation.

    3. That is just a provisional rating arena gives to all engines, Houdini's official rating is over 3200 I believe (which is it only playing other engines, so its inflated)

    4. You can not set up illegal positions as far as I know

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #3




    On 2: but what if I really want another move. Can I force the program to give another advice that differs from the first?

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #4


    Not that I know of (I use the Fritz GUI myself, but at one time isnt wasnt working so I switched to arena for a couple of weeks)

    You can always look at the second or third best move. What I do when he plays an opening I dont like is takeback the move and then make his move for him

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #5


    Doing your homework to beat me next time? Laughing I am sure I wouldn`t be able to beat you when you used Houdini in standard chess but there is a tiny chance I`ll find a way to keep up in Economy Chess if you two don`t crush me in first 15 moves. I think I will be beaten although I plan to use databases a lot but I am looking forward to this game. 

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #6


    On 2: Houdini supports Multi PV Mode. Seems like that's what you want. Just check the Arena help for the feature and how to activate it.

    On 3: As the other poster mentioned, the 2000 rating is the default rating given to all newly installed engines. You can change this default number to some other number of your choosing, and you can also change this number for any individual existing engine. This number has nothing to do with how strong it actually plays. It's just there to remind you how strong you think it is.

    I hope that helps a bit.

    P.S., you're going to love Multi PV Mode. Smile

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #7


    Boletus_CZ wrote:

    Doing your homework to beat me next time?  I am sure I wouldn`t be able to beat you when you used Houdini in standard chess but there is a tiny chance I`ll find a way to keep up in Economy Chess if you two don`t crush me in first 15 moves. I think I will be beaten although I plan to use databases a lot but I am looking forward to this game. 

    Hehe, yes :) Having such an engine is nice, but I tried letting it play himself and me choose what to do with the coins, or when to take another move that gives economical advantage. I cant really tell whether it was a good game. I could tell that one side lost due to my choices Sealed I do have a strategy to optimize my chances. But if I win this is only because of my big brother :)

    @EscherehcsE: ok, will check it out. I might come back for a question or two Smile.

    This is my favorite Escher btw:

    His impossible drawings and his transformations are amazing as well, but this one just feels so real. Simple but couldnt be any better. Btw: did you know he had failed his math in high school? And heres another cool thing. Escher always thought it would be impossible to fill up the center of this drawing:


     Later a university rpoved that it was possible to connect all sides and fill in the center. (they didnt 'show' the result though Undecided)

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #8


    Got another question: WHERE is the Multi VP mode in Arena?


    Ive searched everywhere, also on google and in the help but just cant find it.
    Tonight is the game so would be nice to use it :) 

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #9


    Nice Escher drawings!

    Sorry you couldn't find the Multi-PV mode. Once you have Houdini loaded into Arena and analysis turned off, just right-click your mouse in the engine analysis output window, click on "Multi-PV mode", then pick how many variations you want to see. If you see the Multi-PV choice grayed out, that means you have to start and stop analysis once to activate the engine.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #10


    I know this is an old thread, so I am sorry to revive it, but it pertains to my question quite nicely.

    I am using Houdini 2.0c and I have selected multi PV mode 3 (to see the 3 best moves) yet it still only shows the best move and line depth and everything, yet underneath there is 2 empty lines with nothing but "-"'s in each element. Can anyone help me get it to show all the lines? 

  • 20 months ago · Quote · #11


    hi friends im new chess player i love this game nd i also downloaded arena to learn some openings but i dont know how to learn openings from this software plz let me know if there is any way to learn openings nd i also downloaded houdini engine but i tried to run in arena but it didnt work may be i didnt do that correctly plz tell me proper way to activate houdini in arena coz i want strogest software

  • 20 months ago · Quote · #12


    Check the manual of Houdini:


    See 2.3 "Installation with Arena 3.0"

    There's some Houdini 3 specific stuff. Just ignore that, if you want to Install Houdini 1.5, Critter or Stockfish (in my personal tests both Critter and Stockfish were better than Houdini 1.5)

    All engines are installed in the same way.

    And about learning openings with the software... I guess you pretty much do the moves that you have troubles with and look how the engine replies.

    Did just that today, after a guy in the club always played the same opening against me as white and I always replied the same but think my reply was kinda meh. Engine told me a much better reply so he'll be up for a nasty surprise next time I play him.

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