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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The best analysis program? (Read 156525 times)
Vass
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #111 - 09/08/14 at 11:54:31
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bearheart wrote on 09/08/14 at 11:32:41:
Please, pardon  my total ignorance, but how does one run it?  I extracted it after downloading & unzipping, however, when I when to run as administrator I get a DOS window that appears to show only the coders name.  It has been too many decades since I have played with command lines prior to the creation of GUIs. 
Can anyone give me the directions?   
Too old to remember... Embarrassed

Well, bearheart, you need a GUI to run this engine in a proper mode.
If you don't have Chessbase, Fritz, ChessOK Aquarium or alike, you can download a free GUI (for example Arena at http://www.playwitharena.com/ , Scid Vs PC at http://scidvspc.sourceforge.net/ or even my favourite free GUI called ChessX at http://chessx.sourceforge.net/) and install the engine under one of these.  Wink

EDIT: Of course, Rybka Aquarium will do.
  
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bearheart
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #110 - 09/08/14 at 11:50:34
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Oh well, never mind.  I figured it out and can use it with my Rybka Aquarium program.   Roll Eyes
  
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bearheart
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #109 - 09/08/14 at 11:32:41
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Please, pardon  my total ignorance, but how does one run it?  I extracted it after downloading & unzipping, however, when I when to run as administrator I get a DOS window that appears to show only the coders name.  It has been too many decades since I have played with command lines prior to the creation of GUIs. 
Can anyone give me the directions?   
Too old to remember... Embarrassed
  
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Vladimir
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #108 - 09/08/14 at 01:41:07
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Vass wrote on 09/04/14 at 16:37:02:
A new candidate for best analysis program: Komodo 8 engine at http://komodochess.com/ is out now.
The developpers promised +50 ELO points for this new engine version. First tests started...
For now, some engine-testers confirm +17 ELO points, though more games are obviously necessary.  Wink


Concurrent with this, the previous versions Komodo 5.1 and Komodo CCT are also now released for free to download at the Komodo Chess website.

It's great having Stockfish available for free, and now a second opinion that's also free and comparable in strength.
  
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Vass
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #107 - 09/04/14 at 16:37:02
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A new candidate for best analysis program: Komodo 8 engine at http://komodochess.com/ is out now.
The developpers promised +50 ELO points for this new engine version. First tests started...
For now, some engine-testers confirm +17 ELO points, though more games are obviously necessary.  Wink
  
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Michael Ayton
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #106 - 06/23/14 at 09:53:26
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I think I’m nearly sorted! (I have the 3-piece Gaviota tablebase supplied with Arena, and just have to download the 4- and 5-piece bases.)

Yes, I remember playing blitz games against loads of engines years ago and as Black they all met 1 d4 stuff with …d5 and …Nc6 (but still usually whupped me!). But all depends on the position, doesn’t it? I’ve recently been looking at 1 e4 d6 2 d4 g6 3 Nc3 a6 4 f4 b5 5 Nf3 Bb7 6 Bd3 Nd7 7 e5 c5 8 Be4 Be4!? (N) 9 Ne4 cd – and here I’ve found engines have made useful suggestions. But in a position like this one – 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 d6 3 Nc3 Nbd7 4 e4 e5 5 Nf3 g6 6 Be2 Bg7 7 0-0 0-0 8 Be3 Qe7 9 d5 c5 – there’s surely just no point in turning the engine on!
Your help’s been invaluable, Vass – thanks a lot! I think you should write an online guide on the subject … Smiley
  
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Vass
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #105 - 06/21/14 at 19:49:49
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Configuring the number of cores, hash size, endgame tablebases support and...pondering on/off and setting the proper use of opening books (if you do match tests between engines) is enough for a start.
For infinite analysis you have to configure maximum hash (irrespective of the engine you use). It means that if your PC has 2048 MB RAM, then your maximum hash size is 1024 MB. For matches between engines it depends on what time control they play. If it's the classical 5' blitz control - 128MB for each engine is enough (reading a big-sized hash file while playing blitz is counter-productive). 256MB hash for each engine is good for matches on 60'+15" time control for example...and so on..
"Large pages" can improve the speed of analysis with 10 to 15 per cents, but not for long (and not every engine can handle them right, too). And besides, you have to be experienced in order to set properly the "large pages" parameters on your PC (if it supports them, of course).
Usually, engines are not good with openings or opening-related positions. That's why their developpers recommend using human-made small opening books (up to 8-15 moves only). Do not rely on proper evaluation of the openings by engines up to the 15th move!
If you let them play in matches on their own, they'll probably start with 1.d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6, or similar, all the time.  Grin
...And yes, analysing on one core for two hours is better than analysing on two cores for one hour only.
  
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Michael Ayton
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #104 - 06/21/14 at 10:45:05
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Great news that I don't have to change lots of things! But now I'm a bit confused! First I learn that GUIs like Arena are fine as long as you configure engines properly; next I learn that in most cases I should just leave the defaults as they are! So I'm left wondering what it is I should configure? Is it just cores and pondering, or if not, what else? (What about hash? According to the Houdini site my optimum hash is 1024 MB, but is this for all engines, and how would I change it anyway?)

Under 'Tournament Conditions" I have Hash 128MB, Tablebases On, Ponder On. On individual engines I see all sorts of other things, like pawn hash, PV hash, eval hash, SMP mode, large pages, LMR, null move pruning, and just hope and trust I can leave them all well alone!!

I know what you mean about personal experience in analysis. With opening or opening-related positions especially, mine tells me that intervening to explore a range of plausible moves using human knowledge of what kinds of moves are typically played in a given position is often much better than just switching on Infinite or Demo analysis and sitting back (though you have to be 'objective', which can be hard!). But in these latter cases, are you saying that even on a dual-core PC it's good to try a single-core analysis as well because it actually might be just as good? (I've noticed that on longer time limits, an engine in Demo mode analysing an opening-related position will sometimes play moves that look a lot less 'human' and may not be so good as the moves it plays on a shorter time limit!?)

  
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Vass
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #103 - 06/20/14 at 23:05:16
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From: http://www.cruxis.com/chess/manual/index.html?cores_and_threads_management.htm
"When using multiple threads, the Split Depth parameter defines the minimum depth at which work will be split between cores."
Imho, you have to "autotune" Houdini, but leave the other engines you have as they are. Nobody knows the settings of these engines (except their developpers, of course). One can expect that the default settings are best, except when told otherwise.
When using multiple threads, it is supposed, logically, the eficiency of the engines to be multiplied automatically by a per cent equal to 100 (i.e. one core = 100 per cent, two cores = 2x100 per cent). But no, it's not like that. Adding a second core doesn't mean you add another 100 per cent efficiency to your analysis power. It means you add efficiency of about 75 per cent to your previous 100. And these per cents diminish with every core you add to your PC configuration - all because of the fact that the cores work in parallel and can often try to work simultaneously on the analysis' lines. So, maybe for analysis it's better to have one powerful core than two weaker ones.
Well, the last is valid when trying infinite analysis. While if you use Aquarium IDeA's methods for analysis, you'll definitely need more cores even if they are weaker. But, that's another story..
As for "how long" when using 'infinite analysis' - mhmm, I think the answer is in the name of the subject.  Grin
Now seriously.. Theoretically, the infinite analysis is better when using one powerful core for two days (with maximum hash) than using two cores for one day only. And it depends on the position you analyse for how long you would allow your engine to dig in. There is a "horizon" that engines can't pass, because of the pruning. I.e. they tend to stay solid in their decisions and don't change their evaluations too easy, even they spot something 'interesting' on a very big distance from the root. The pruning at depth, say, 32 plys is enormous - so, it's not an easy decision to change the first move. A year ago, the developper of Houdini suggested (and even shared) the idea to write a special code in the engines which turn the engines to diminish the plys' depth when spotting a new opportunity and to continue from a firm ground.
Some say they never saw an engine to change its decision after 32 plys depth, but I've seen it.. So, as I already mentioned, it depends on the postion you analyse.
Besides, something you don't have to forget - engines are not designed to work in infinite mode. They are made to fight each other in a head to head matches on different time controls.. So, when you use them for infinite analysis, you definitely don't use them as expected. There are other methods that are more efficient, when trying to achieve a good analysis.
I can talk about engines all night long...so it's time to stop, I think. All the more, the self experience is better than reading someone's "how to" writings.  Wink
  
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Michael Ayton
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #102 - 06/20/14 at 16:42:20
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Thanks for all this info and the links Vass! Since I was last here I've had lots of fun, and also managed to answer most of my questions myself!  Wink Just one or two teasers below! ...

Split depth. The Houdini 4 website suggests using ‘autotune’ to determine whether a non-10 value is best for non-i5 and -i7 PCs. Houdini 1.5a also allows this test, according to which my SD is best set as 12. But is this true for all engines not just Houdini, or should I leave my existing defaults? At present I have these wildly divergent defaults: Black Mamba 10, Critter 1.6a 5(!), Hannibal 4(!), Robbolito 14, Stockfish 5 modern (and DD) 0(!!). Ivanhoe has three different types of SD! – CUT (16), ALL (14), and PV (14).

‘Max number of threads per split point.’ I have defaults of 4 for Hannibal, 5 for Sting SF3 and 5 for Stockfish DD (which also has ‘Idle threads sleep’, unticked). Should I leave all of these, because maximums is all they are?

Infinite analysis. After roughly how long, on a 2-core PC and on a 1-core PC, is it probably not worth continuing with it? (How long is a piece of string?!)
  
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Michael Ayton
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #101 - 06/17/14 at 15:41:53
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Thanks for both these Vass! I am currently seeing off that old toad work, grrr, but will get with all of this v. soon!
  
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Vass
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #100 - 06/17/14 at 11:12:43
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By the way, Robert Houdart, the author of Houdini has an excellent manual which can be find online at:
http://www.cruxis.com/chess/manual/index.html?cores_and_threads_management.htm
Under "3.Houdini Configuration", he explains about hash, cores, threads, split depth and other parameters of the engine. A must-read for everyone!  Wink
  
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Vass
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #99 - 06/17/14 at 10:53:54
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I had to run Arena 3.5 GUI in order to be able to answer your questions.  Smiley
Black screens, after double-clicking on the engine-exe file in your Windows Explorer, are only for receiving information about the engine - whether it is recognized by your PC and if this engine will run on your PC, who is the author, what does this engine recognize about your computer configuration and so on..
All your parameters' changing has to be done on the settings' menu of the GUI.
Under the Arena menu Engine/Manage/UCI there is an option "Common max. CPU Cores Setting" with value "1" (in my case). This way the GUI tells the engine (when installing) that this engine will use one processor core only (when running under this GUI). So you can install two engines (they'll use one core each) and run them one after another in the GUI to analyse a certain position. Still, you can click with your mouse and browse whatever you want on your PC - it won't freeze because every core has two threads and one of this threads will handle your new activity (for example, opening Internet Explorer and so on) for a moment, while the other thread will keep running the analysis of the engine. After stopping your activity, the thread you use for your browsing will return to its usual job - i.e. joining the other thread of the core to prolong the analysis. This feature distinguish the new "modern" processors from the old ones.
As for how to run two engines simultaneously in your Arena GUI: 1. Make sure they use one core each!; 2. Under Engine/Manage/Select there is a box called "loaded engines" - load two of your engines (from the right box with the installed engines -> to the left one) and press "Start" button on the down left side!
I'm sure there are other ways, too...but first start with this one!
Enjoy!  Wink
  
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Michael Ayton
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #98 - 06/17/14 at 09:00:21
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Hi Vass and thanks again!
I am a little worried we may be talking at 'cross purposes'!?  Embarrassed Sure, Arena can give troubles but the point is I am perverse! -- I actually enjoy the challenge of getting the best from engines in Arena and WinBoard and the 'learning' that goes with it! I am actually a good 'googler' (my work requires it!) but there's very little good online help with these things (and Arena's help file is useless!). So I may be slow but what I still don't get is how I can change an engine's 'thread' (or other) parameters except by doing it within the GUI. For example, I understand that when Robbolito's black screen says '4 CPUs found, using 4 threads' it means '4 threads found', but should I be changing this via the black screen (then saving that engine somehow)?? I can't find anything on this, nor on how to load two engines simultaneously in Arena to analyse the same position.

Thanks for the POPCYNT info! I couldn't find precisely that online either! How did you acquire your knowledge? Probably not chiefly by googling! I think you are a 'natural' ... (And I freely admit, I am a 'clot' ... Sad)
  
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Vass
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #97 - 06/16/14 at 20:06:56
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As for launching two times the GUIs, no - it's not serious. Every decent GUI (like Fritz) can run as many engines you want simultaneously to analyse one position, for example...supposedly the number of engines you run is not exceeding the number of the available processor cores.
I think you can run two engines (one core each) simultaneously under the Arena GUI, too..
"Ponder on" means the engine is pondering its next move while it is not its turn to move.
"Ponder off" means this engine is stop pondering (and not using the processor's core) while the other one is pondering its next move.
So, "ponder on" increases the performance of an engine while playing a game in a match between two engines. You can try to run a match between Houdini 4 (with ponder off) and say Gull (with ponder on) and you'll see that Gull will have better performance, though objectively is weaker than Houdini.  Wink
And yes, "popcnt" is the other name of the SSE... instruction.
  
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