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I just pitted these two engines versus one another via using the the 1605 rated character from Chessmaster and the Chess.com's 1600 setting. I made Chessmaster play with black since it has a stronger rating, as far as I can tell. Who do you think won?
If you want to "pit" two engines against each other then you need to run them when they are not in dumbed down mode to play against humans. I.e. at their highest level in a game with equal built in time controls on both sides.
As it is you are just testing which of the dumbed down settings you selected for each engine happen to be more dumbed down (and it should be obvious that the "ratings" for the dumbed down modes are just estimates).
I wasn't trying to prove what one was better, as much as I was trying to see how consistent to the rating they say they are supposed to be playing at is. In my perception the Chess.com computer is ruthless compared to Chessmaster. Sadly, I can't run them both against each other full bore. It appears that the 2200+ rating of the Chess.com engine wouldn't hold a candle to the Chessmaster engine that is well over 2500.
BTW, Chess.com's computer, using the most even settings I could seem to muster, smoked Chessmaster. So I am guessing they have made it harder with the passage of time to attain the same elo, judging by this criteria. Makes me sigh, but gives me a new goal.
They probably put one tenth amount of the thought into those rating estimates compared to the amount of import you are giving them.
Chess Master at full strength is rated at 2900, I'm guessing it might depend on your processor power in determining how much resource is allocated to Chess Master.
There's also an option to allocate more resources to the engine in the options menu, kind of like injecting Chess Master with steroids, but it could use up too much of your computers resource.
I'm not sure if it matters about your hardware when using the Chess.com engine, as I would imagine it's purely browser based? If so, the test wouldn't be fair anyway..
You realize though that both use your computer's resources. So unless you have multiple processors and give each program an even number of processors it could be that one (in this case I guess chess.com's computer) eats up 99% of the power and so wins every time.
For engines that are close in strength, one game means nothing. You have to play a lot of games to get a result that's statistically significant. The big problem with a browser-based engine is that you can't set up automated testing, so running tests is a very labor intensive process.
I appreciate the comments guys. Yes this is labor intensive and may seem like a waste. The reason I am doing it is because, I not only want to know how accurate the rating systems of the chess engines are in general, but I am curious as to what my own is. It would be easy to just go by what bit of information I/we have to determine it, but I would prefer to know as accurately as possible to help me with determining who I should play or what level I should play at to increase my aptitude. I have taken some tests that suggest certain parts of my game, with certain openings are one thing and yet at other times I can clearly see where I fall short. I almost feel like I would have to go be a registered club player, for in person games, for a while to truly get an accurate assessment. Sometimes I feel like I am walking through the desert and I am trying to stay focused on the horizon, to avoid walking in circles. I feel like if I play too weak or too strong of players, it will be counter productive for me. Thats why I want to know my rating as accurately as possible.
BTW, I was using chessmaster on a ps2 and of course Chess.com's engine on a laptop. I gave them both infinite time to think. I have also felt that I would have to play a series of games between, while switching colors, to get an accurate assessment.
Well, there isn't a correct number for the computer under play -> Against the computer because it doesn't play like a person at all. It plays fairly poor moves mixed with suddenly very accurate moves/tactics... and then suddenly gives away a few pawns or a piece.
You're right in thinking the only way to assess yourself would be to play against people.
Your kidding? I wouldn't imagine that as a fair test, would it not be like pitting a cat against a pit bull?
The best thing to do is keep learning, I'm not sure if Chess Master on the ps2 has any of the academy lessons, but if it does, then go through them. If it doesn't then get a copy on your laptop and start studying the course.
Don't get too hung up on results, if we focus only on the goal it can be counter intuitive to the learning process. Investment in loss is very important in chess, we learn much more from studying games we lost than those we won.
Playing a lot of games against computers is good because on higher difficulty settings they move very accurately and don't give you a great deal of tactical options.
However playing people gives games the 'human factor': fear, anxiety, over confidence, comfort, impatience ect. These are all important factors we have to deal with over the board..
I'd think this would be a fairly reasonable test, as long as the Chessmaster personality moves quickly enough on infinite time control (which I guess is the case - BTW, which personality did you test? There are several around 1600.)
My main concern with this method is that you're testing two engines of unverified strengths, so the results will only give relative strength results. They won't tell you what the absolute strengths are of the two engines. To find the absolute strengths, ideally one of the engines should be entered in a large number of officially rated human tournaments. (This probably will never happen.) Next best is for one or more people with an official OTB rating to play one of the engines in many games. I guess least desirable would be to run these two engines against another engine that is on an accepted computer engine rating list.
Thanks for sharing your ideas. I didn't know some of those things you mentioned and you gave me a few ideas to try sometimes, if I feel so inclined.
I wanted to tell you that I have gone through the 3 part course on chessmaster for the most part. I feel like the one thing it lacks that it could possibly teach me in a course mode (though I think the info is in there) is opening variations and traps in more detail. The other think it lacks that plagues my game is it's inability to help me deal with my impatience and anxiety. I welcome any thoughts.
We share the same problems... I am in some kind of beginners Zugzwang after every piece was developed or while performing an opening.. because I don't know what to do and everything seems wrong... and I'm too materialistic (with no goal)...
I don't feel like I necessarily develop every piece properly. However, I have came to terms with the idea that when you play a really good player, their strategy and tactics will force you into some sort of compromise from the hope you had when you started in terms of piece development.
Where I run into trouble is, I often don't look/see well enough to know when to make an attacking move or a defending move. This is tough for me because, I have tried to make it a point to learn the ability to calculate instead of memorize book opening moves. This is somewhat due to the fact that once book is out the window, you are back to studying variations again. Also if you use book, it is almost like letting a chess engine play the begining of your game for you.
In all of my ability and attempts to calculate the best moves, I run into trouble against opponents who are sound positionally, are adept at calculating, and who never put themselves into a bad position ,that allows me to look far enough ahead, to use good forcing moves, superior tactics, or to take advantage of time or position that can't be overcame , because the sacrifce would be to great
As far as sense of direction, I try to first take what I can take from my opponent by what I have already described and hope atleast they are forced into giving me something. All the while, I try to be conscious of their threat ( I grossly mess this up often, being so enamored with offense).
A lot of players get frustrated or start feeling impatient when those situations arise. Sometimes the best move in those situations is a quiet, patient developing move, or a prophylactic move to stop our opponents plan.
It's usually the player that violates the harmony of the position that will end up in a worse off position. Try to have a plan and allow for flexibility in that plan, we have to think about how they can stop a potential attack, so we need to plan around our opponents ideas.
We can't ignore our opponents plan, but it's often a weakness to react to their every move, so play with prophylaxis and both develop your pieces/attack while stopping as much counter play as possible.
A lot of people get nervous and think I must attack, I must check, I must 'do' something or else he's going to steamroll me! Then they make inaccurate moves which actually weaken their position, which were made out of fear or impatience.
If there are tactics in the position, and your opponent has no reasonable defences against them, then great, go for it! Don't be materialistic when you have a strong attack against his king. Plan it out, take five minutes, 10 minutes to calculate your most forcing move while taking into consideration your opponents best defensive tries.
However against a strong opponent or chess engine, we will not be offered these positions on a silver plate. We will need to gradually improve our position while stopping our opponents plans until the pressure builds to breaking point and the game opens up.
Don't move until you see it!
Excactly! You are describing my "beginners Zugzwang"-feeling when I have to make a move. It even seems fine everything and then I make a weak move which looks like "taking action" at first... but it doesn't make sense.
"Don't move until you see it!" You are right! It's sometimes hard to spot the next move without a plan. Will have to fix this issue.
I will admit that I have a tendency against really aggressive players, usually when they are white and I am black. The tendency is to try to force equal trades so that the fight takes place in the center of the board or on my opponents side, instead of on mine. The reason is, when I try to be prophylactic in this situation, I find that my opponents knights in particular, end up wrecking shop on me. This however, might take me out position to mount a fight, that has a chance of winning, instead of ending up with, more realistically drawing or losing if I make any error once the position is more cut and dried. I welcome any feed back.
I was recently using Chessmaster's chess school. I was using a section called match the masters. It puts you in the midst of a game between two masters. You then are expected to study the opening position, and as the middle game is starting, where you could realistically have as many as 8 different moves that seem like a worthy choice, choose the right one. So as far as fixing the issue goes....I feel somewhat lost. Any thoughts?
I'm not familiar with that chess school, but it sounds pretty interesting though.
Just get Chess Master Grandmaster Edition and go through the entire thing, then play through some of Chess Mentors strategy courses. If you do this you will find some of the answers to your questions, and grow in confidence and skill.
Everything I've learnt so far has come from Chess Master, in only 8 weeks I've grown at a silly rate.
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