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Stockfish rating in relation to ply

  • #1


    Does anyone know what the rating of Stockfish is at various search depths (from 1 to 20 ply). I'm interesting in the ratings on a "human scale", not compared to other engines. 


  • #2

    I can't give a specific answer for Stockfish but in a quick Google search this older article came up. For the older engines mentioned they mention 150-200 rating points per ply. Not sure how accurate that really is but it is a very interesting question.

  • #3

    Thanks. Yes, I've read that article too. But I'm guessing it's different today. 

    Another question I find interesting, related to this is: would it be possible to write a chess engine with a search depth of only 6 ply, but still being able to play at master level. I've read that most of the time even GM don't look move than 3 moves (6 ply) ahead. Still, they play at a rather high level. I expect this to be thanks to their positional understanding. Maybe an engine could be written to "think" in this "more human kind of way"?

  • #4

    It would probably be pretty easy to do a repeat of some of the types of experiments listed in the article. Using something like this (depending on how accurate that table is) and maybe Arena on a decent machine. Just would take a bit of time and a little number crunching :D

    I don't know on the second question. I'm not very knowledgeable about engines (haven't done a lot of research). A quick search turns up that Rebel claims to have a "deep positional understanding". Maybe some others have a similar set of programming and could play strongly at a low ply. Don't know for sure.

    It seems that a hard ply depth limitation would be a handicap. While GMs may only look ahead 6 ply in most positions, there are some where the look farther ahead, and it is possible that there are some positions where at 6 ply the move is great but at 8 it is bad.

  • #5

    Interesting table. Didn't know these numbers. Thanks. 

    It would take a lot of time. We are talking about thousands of games, if we want our results to be statistically significant. 

    I'm sure a search depth limitation would be a handicap, but it would be interesting to see how strong an engine could become, with a search depth limitation of e.g. 6 ply. Then, when it doesn't get any stronger, the search depth could be increased. Wink


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