Friday, July 06, 2007

Found opponent. Two new games. And who's Babylon?

I've found a chess engine under current development that is of similar strength as mine (two games, both draw, will follow below), and that has been developed during the same period. That's pretty cool, as I need competitors of similar strength. And maybe they will progress together.

Meet Vicki. There is also a related blog, but it is not updated frequently.

Vicki has some fancy stuff not yet implemented in my program, like SEE (a function to improve the move order of captures, which prunes the search tree, which improves search speed) and principal variation with iterative deepening (also a way to prune the tree, but not just for captures). I did try to implement this last thing, but it went wrong and I moved on to something else. But I'll be back on that. But first I'm going to implement my own SEE-function, since it is of great help to the quiescence function (which is a real bottleneck right now).

I downloaded Arena yesterday to be able to play with chess engines. But since my program isn't connectible to it yet, I have to be the "operator" (moving the pieces manually using two boards) when competing with my program, so I can't test the relative strengths with many games (becomes too boring). But I did play through two games (and more will come, especially after new stuff has been implemented in either engine), and both became draw. The first game I decided to stop, since nothing was happening. Vicki was pawn up, but never did anything. Both just made meaningless moves, so at move 100 I decided upon draw, but Vicki had for the most part the better position. In game #2 there was a real draw by three-fold repetition.

Vicki is probably slightly better, but they are pretty equal.

Oh and btw, I've decided to call my chess program Babylon, influenced by my recent and valuable discovery of Babylon 5.

And now (drum roll), the games. (For the record, the time format was 3 6, but both used much less time that that.)

Round 1:

(There is some deep stuff going on in the game above. First, at move 36, Vicki sacrifices the exchange, and then just a couple of moves later Babylon also sacrifices the exchange. Both sacs seem unforced, but I may be wrong on that.)

Round 2:


Temposchlucker said...

Are there many blogs that write about chessengine development? Have you any idea?

XY said...

I don't know, but a very good one is this. Those two are the only ones I know of at the moment.

Sparky said...

hi xy
awesome blog!
keep up the good stuff and good luck with your engine. It is a frustrating, but wonderful journey!

XY said...

Nice to see you here sparky. I will follow the development of Vicki and I wish you good luck.

It's great fun working on a chess program, and a great learning experience as well. And it also gives one something interesting to blog about, and receive comments on. :)

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