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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The best analysis program? (Read 154201 times)
Playslikefish
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #21 - 01/30/12 at 19:10:30
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Does any program here run on a MAC?
  
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GMTonyKosten
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #20 - 01/30/12 at 13:57:58
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I think I should make this thread 'sticky' so it always remains at the top of the first page, as the best analysis program will always be of interest. Anyone disagree?
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #19 - 01/27/12 at 06:49:20
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As a correspondence player, I too highly recommend critter 1.4, also Komodo 3 (4 is out, but it costs money and its extremely buggy while it only boats 10 pt higher elo than 3).
  
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Stefan Buecker
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #18 - 01/26/12 at 09:25:08
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Many thanks, Vass, Hacker and Vladimir. Now I've read about it, Houdini's Aquarium seems indeed promising, and as someone who spends lots of time with analyzing I should certainly try it. (I didn't try the first version of Aquarium, because in some blogs a bit too many flaws were discussed.)

In some cases (endings, KI positions and so on) Rybka had problems, e.g. in endings Deep Shredder was better. Other programs were useful, too, to get new ideas, so I'll gladly check your interesting suggestions, including Critter 1.4.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #17 - 01/25/12 at 22:51:17
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 01/25/12 at 19:19:33:
Maybe it is time to look for alternatives - thx Vass for your good overview. Presently I am still using Rybka. It doesn't have the highest rating, but what Rybka does well is "backwards analysis". Other programs which I had used were forgetting their results. At least that was my experience.

Is one of the recent top programs particularly good in "backwards analysis"?


The commercial 2.0 release of Houdini implemented a few analysis features along those lines with an option to save a persistent hash, and a rudimentary position learning.

The free Critter 1.4 also has similar analysis features with its session files and related options.

I'd say to get Critter and play around with it to see if it suits your needs. Turn on 'Use session file' and 'Resolve score drops,' and change 'SF strategy' to depth. One note, though, is that Critter's session files are apparently incompatible with Aquarium's IDeA if you happen to use that, so turn them off if you do.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #16 - 01/25/12 at 21:41:36
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@Vass - Thanks for your instructive overview!

Vass wrote on 01/25/12 at 20:25:18:
... What is more, it's (aquarium) an excellent GUI for all the correspondent chess players, though not intuitive at all. One has to read many help pages and experiment with before becoming good at operating with it. And costs much..  Wink


Have used Aquarium for more than 2 years and can really testify to both statements: A lot of work to utilize but great GUI and well worth the struggles to learn.
  

What kind of proof is that?
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Vass
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #15 - 01/25/12 at 20:25:18
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Thank you, Stefan! You're welcome!
I think the so-called "backwards analysis" depends more from the GUI you use than from the chess engine that makes it. Of course, Rybka 4 as balanced as it is, can be considered as one of the best chess engines to do that properly. Anyway, I'm not the only one that thinks the best GUI for making "backwards analysis" is Aquarium's IDEA. The previous version was Rybka's Aquarium and now Houdini's Aquarium is available. What is more, it's an excellent GUI for all the correspondent chess players, though not intuitive at all. One has to read many help pages and experiment with before becoming good at operating with it. And costs much..  Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #14 - 01/25/12 at 19:19:33
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Maybe it is time to look for alternatives - thx Vass for your good overview. Presently I am still using Rybka. It doesn't have the highest rating, but what Rybka does well is "backwards analysis". Other programs which I had used were forgetting their results. At least that was my experience.

Is one of the recent top programs particularly good in "backwards analysis"?
  
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Vass
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #13 - 01/25/12 at 18:19:23
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Well, I am a member of a Russian computer chess forum. Many of its members do various tests on their monster machines - I7 x64 Win and alike.. But all these tests are on short time controls, i.e. irrelevant to the real power of the known chess engines. So to speak, not one of these members can state which engine is best for a long time analysis. They say that only a test in not less than a 1000 games can be real. What is more, such test has to go on a longer time control than just for 2 hours for 40 moves or so. And I think they're right.  Wink
The fact that Houdini 2.0c (the last version) is best on short time controls doesn't mean that this engine is best for analysis at all. And all the rating lists are based on games played on short time controls.
I think one has to analyse with more than one engine - for example: Houdini 2.0 and Rybka 4.1 because they seem to have different programming codes. What I mean is...if I analyse with Houdini 2.0 and Critter 1.4a (which seems to be a very good engine, too) both give me almost the same moves as best. While Ivanhoe, Komodo and Stockfish are different. Some say Rybka is a clone of Fruit 2.1 though improved.. Anyway, one has to find two engines that give different moves as best in a position in say 25 plys depth and experiment with the results. After all, the human knowledge will prevail in giving the best evaluation.  Wink
As for the openings all of these engines are of no help except in some specific cases when tactics prevail. And no engine can be useful for a good evaluation of an endgame if there are no endgame tablebases installed on your computer. One has to know that the endgame tablebases have to be activated in the middlegame analysis where the chess engines often count long lines till deep endgames. Some correspondent chess players forget it and often struggle for that.  Wink
What is known for now:
1. Houdini 2.0c is best on short time controls. It counts fast and gathers depth in plys very fast. It prunes lines recognized as bad better than others, i.e. its speed.
2. Houdini 1.5a (free engine) - almost as good as Houdini 2.0c. I think it's better for analyses because it doesn't prune so easy lines recognized as bad.
3. Critter 1.4a (free engine) - some say it's better in closed positions and good at endgames without tablebases. It counts very fast too, but not as fast as Houdini 2.0.
4. Rybka 4.1 is finishing the Big Four as the most balanced one in all kind of positions. Some say when it states depth 18 it means depth 21 on other chess engines (i.e. +3 plys real depth).
5. Komodo 4 (goin' commercial) is the newest version and some say it deserves attention because of Larry Kaufman's original dynamic evaluation of pieces' activity.
6. Strelka 5.1 (free engine) - Yuri Osipov's no multi-variations' engine. Very fast and somehow original but with wrong digit evaluations (for example +1.47 in a += position) which can be trusted only for a suggestion of the best move. Some say it's rewritten Rybka from inside out.  Smiley
7. Stockfish 2.2 or Ivanhoe 9.. - both good for a second analysing engine.
8. The new Robbolito 0.10 SMP - the last version of a legendary free engine - a programming (Ippolit) code which was a source for many of above-mentioned and alike. Now good as a second analysing engine, too. It doesn't use endgame tablebases though and the author says it is improved in endgames.  Huh
Anyway, my modest recommendation is to use Houdini 1.5a as a first analyzing engine (as I said it doesn't prune lines as easy as Houdini 2.0c) and Rybka 4.1 as a second analysing engine. And in some positions you can try a third (I can say - original) engine like Strelka 5.1 or Komodo 4 or Robbolito 0.10 just to look for a new idea or something..  Cheesy
  
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Göran
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #12 - 01/25/12 at 12:50:43
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Are there any engine that is betterhers in the endgame than the others or is Houdini "best" in all phases of the game?
  

What kind of proof is that?
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #11 - 01/24/12 at 22:00:38
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I couldn't resist one last post here for a site that appears to be very informative at a glance:

http://chessprogramming.wikispaces.com/Engine+Rating+Lists
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #10 - 01/24/12 at 21:44:07
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #9 - 01/24/12 at 21:38:43
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Going directly to the sites instead of indirectly via Wikipdedia:

CEGT    http://www.husvankempen.de/nunn/

SSDF    http://ssdf.bosjo.net/list.htm

WBEC   http://wbec-ridderkerk.nl/

SWCR   was very difficult for me to find
  
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trw
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #8 - 01/24/12 at 20:23:07
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Tanaha's link is the IPON rating list...

As for Tony's question, I suppose it needs some details... 'strongest' as in what? Pure rating? No question then... IPON answers that Houdini is the strongest. However, for evals, opening innovation, endgames etc.... Houdini is not so good for an analysis partner (ala correspondence).
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #7 - 01/24/12 at 19:44:19
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_engine_rating_lists#Ratings Click on the sources to attempt to get to the groups rating lists. In the first one I checked Deep Fritz 12 came 80th... I would ignore the link posted above mine as it seems amateurish, sorry Tanaha. edit: Actually the IPON one is in the wikipedia table. I hate when people flagrantly disregard the notability criteria for wikipedia, that is just one person doing it for his "privat enjoyment", and other times they insist on deleting very notable things that have been there for years.
  

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