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Engine tournament III

Feb 7, 2012, 4:01 PM 18

I've been running this for a few weeks now, after acquiring a batch of new engines.

The tournament started out with 54 engines, around a dozen have tested elo ratings of >2900! There are many others above 2700 and there are also a few others in that ball park for which i haven't been able to acquire tested ratings. My original intention was to have each engine to play against each other 6 times, with a time control of 2 minute + 2 seconds per move. Websites dedicated to engine testing tend to play time controls of only 3 minutes per game, which i personally don't believe is a sufficient test of strength, especially in longer games (engine v engine games can often go well over 100 moves). This is to separate the wheat from the chaff. After this i will reset all their grades based on this competition, and enter the good engines into round 2 where they will play a longer time control to find out which engine runes best on my computer.

I have also discovered that the engine testing people only test engines running on a single core, which is not how i would use it. They seem to believe that an engine shouldn't have an advantage over another just because it can use better technology. I don't follow that line of thinking, i think it's right that Deep Rybka 4 should be better than Rybka 4.

Talking of Rybka, it's been recognised as the best engine around for a few years now, but common belief among those who know is that Houdini 2.0 is now the best around. We'll see..

Now that i'm well into the tournament, i can see that it's far bigger and more complicated than i thought it would be at the outset. I realise that i better start keeping some notes on it, before it gets out of hand (so it might as well be here!) After around 2,000 games played in the tournament, Brutus has failed to load after playing 75 of its allotted games. Restarting the program didn't cure the problem, neither did rebooting the computer. Brutus has now been disqualified and it's games removed. I have also quickened the games, time control has been reduced to just 5 minutes. The previous time control allowed a game of 150 moves (and there were quite a few!) to last 32 minutes per side.

The conditions for the tournament are:-

Engines can use however many cores they want or need, but i only have 2;

All engines have access to the latest version of the "Strong" Fritz Powerbook (more to add on openings books later), and Nalimov Endgame Tablebases.

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