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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The best analysis program? (Read 139488 times)
IsaVulpes
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #154 - 11/30/18 at 11:50:55
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 11/30/18 at 08:12:32:
Now that Stockfish 10 has been released, maybe someone can update this thread - I assume SF 10 is clearly strongest?

It should be, but running Lc0 at the same time is probably still going to be worth it in some positions
  
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GMTonyKosten
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #153 - 11/30/18 at 08:12:32
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Now that Stockfish 10 has been released, maybe someone can update this thread - I assume SF 10 is clearly strongest?
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #152 - 03/30/18 at 22:05:01
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Quite agree that one do much better with only 1 good engine than a few years ago... even if I still think that "difference" always brings something in making an opinion (like in medicine Smiley)  If I had 2 computers available, I'd run 2 different engines at the same time anyway.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #151 - 02/28/18 at 17:11:35
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How much sense does it still have to use more than 1 engine today? I gave a short status of this in my just published article: https://chess-brabo.blogspot.be/2018/02/to-analyze-using-computer-part-3.html
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #150 - 10/30/17 at 17:04:54
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Me too - I make no claims about the accuracy!  Cool
  
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TD
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #149 - 10/30/17 at 14:41:43
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TonyRo wrote on 10/30/17 at 14:17:41:
Hell, nowadays with lichess.org "studies", you can essentially create multi-game PGNs, save them in the cloud, use an opening explorer/DB, Stockfish using your local CPUs, draw arrows and highlight squares, analyze with friends, etc. All for free, all in one place, saved automatically, with no installations needed. It's kind of insane. For most hobbyists that's an all in one deal. As an example, you can check out a study I made a while ago as a companion to a YouTube video: https://lichess.org/study/MgtQ3N9a

I have to check your study someday, because I like the Catalan for White!
  
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TD
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #148 - 10/30/17 at 14:39:48
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TonyRo wrote on 10/30/17 at 14:17:41:
Stockfish will always be open source and totally free, and most likely world class. Unless you have some really specific reason for paying for Houdini or Komodo, SF will always be sufficient for most hobbyists.

Thanks TonyRo, a friend of mine said just about the same.
« Last Edit: 10/30/17 at 18:02:50 by TD »  
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TonyRo
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #147 - 10/30/17 at 14:17:41
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Stockfish will always be open source and totally free, and most likely world class. Unless you have some really specific reason for paying for Houdini or Komodo, SF will always be sufficient for most hobbyists.

Hell, nowadays with lichess.org "studies", you can essentially create multi-game PGNs, save them in the cloud, use an opening explorer/DB, Stockfish using your local CPUs, draw arrows and highlight squares, analyze with friends, etc. All for free, all in one place, saved automatically, with no installations needed. It's kind of insane. For most hobbyists that's an all in one deal. As an example, you can check out a study I made a while ago as a companion to a YouTube video: https://lichess.org/study/MgtQ3N9a
  
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TD
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #146 - 10/29/17 at 14:30:23
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At the moment I am using Stockfish 6 for my game analysis, but I am thinking of bying a new program. That would be Houdini 6 or Komodo 11. Any comments, preferences, pluses & minuses?

Update: I suddenly got the briljant idea of updating Stockfish 6 to Stockfish 8...
  
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Re: Looking for Safe Chess Engine Download or Purchase
Reply #145 - 02/29/16 at 04:47:57
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Quote:
http://computerchess.org.uk/ccrl/4040/cgi/engine_details.cgi?print=Details&each_... 7 64-bit 4CPU#Stockfish_7_64-bit_4CPU

Stockfish 7 is beating Komodo 9.3 28-24 in a 40 40 time control.
Stockfish 7 also beats Komodo 9.2 76.5 - 59.5


You know, I had seen these results last night after I posted in this thread already. These do not surprise me. In blitz, Stockfish 290116 64 POPCNT is an absolute monster. It's beating Komodo 9.1 on my machine, using chessbase's live book, at a 4-1 clip. It's elo is so much higher that 9.3 is obviously rated lower than Stockfish 7/Dev at this point. They even have 9.3 performing "worse" than 9.2. Kind of makes it impossible for me to talk myself into buying 9.3 just to see. I know I wouldn't be happy with the results.

I've looked endlessly online and can't find the start date for TCEC 9. Should be extremely interesting.
  
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Re: Looking for Safe Chess Engine Download or Purchase
Reply #144 - 02/28/16 at 19:23:43
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http://computerchess.org.uk/ccrl/4040/cgi/engine_details.cgi?print=Details&each_...

Stockfish 7 is beating Komodo 9.3 28-24 in a 40 40 time control.
Stockfish 7 also beats Komodo 9.2 76.5 - 59.5
  
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Re: Looking for Safe Chess Engine Download or Purchase
Reply #143 - 02/28/16 at 00:00:37
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Stockfish 7 is outperforming it's own post release development versions and handling Komodo 9.1 quite nicely on my machine. Currently wondering whether dropping the $60 (for 9.3) or $100 (for the year) on Komodo 9.3. I am by no means a high rated player (I'm about a 1500 USCF skill level but have reached that rating in a short period after beginning to play chess as an adult). Software like Chessbase, Fritz 15, and engines are totally up my ally so I've been spending some time using them lately. I'm considering playing cpu vs cpu chess on PlayChess a little bit, too.

Anyone running K9.3 vs SF7? How's it usually play out? Is it worth it to upgrade from 9.1 to 9.3? Thanks.

  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #142 - 01/27/16 at 12:19:42
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BenkoFan wrote on 01/12/16 at 10:46:12:
Also seems to be up there with Houdini and Komodo on the computer rating lists.


Stockfish is very strong, I use it all the time. Smiley
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #141 - 01/12/16 at 10:46:12
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StockFish is open source software. Also seems to be up there with Houdini and Komodo on the computer rating lists.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #140 - 01/11/16 at 01:15:17
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Yes.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #139 - 01/11/16 at 00:29:08
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Stockfish 7? Is that free?
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #138 - 01/08/16 at 18:11:26
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After hearing so much of Komodo I got it and installed it. So far I am hugely dissapointed, I still trust far more the evaluations of Houdini 1.5
  
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GMTonyKosten
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #137 - 01/08/16 at 11:29:21
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I've started using Stockfish 7, and it seems pretty good.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #136 - 12/07/15 at 18:40:47
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I use Komodo 9.3 for analysis but I must say I love the new Fritz 15 engine/GUI combo for training.  Play a game in friend mode and after it presents training positions to review where you missed tactics or threats.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #135 - 12/07/15 at 16:37:32
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It's Rybka 4.1 + 40 elo points or so. Way stronger than Deep Fritz 14, but not in the same league as Komodo, Stockfish or even Houdini.

The GUI does have some nice new features. Most importantly, the database functions have been improved a bit, so while it's no replacement for ChessBase 13, it could work as a first database program for lower rated players.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #134 - 12/07/15 at 13:15:44
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Has anyone tried Fritz 15 yet?
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #133 - 05/01/15 at 18:52:07
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will give this Komodo 6 a go, I am still on Houdini 1.5, not sure if that is bad  Embarrassed
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #132 - 05/01/15 at 07:05:19
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DenVerdsligeRejsende wrote on 04/30/15 at 23:43:07:
I have Komodo 6 and Stockfisk 6 (64-bit). I am now analysing the Caro-Kann Advance for Black with 3...Lf5 as home analyses. I tried both left on overnight on a critical position past move 20 and it made my laptop slower, although my laptop is new and fast (HP brand). Is Komodo should be the main engine nowadays then? When I quit one engine from the two it makes my computer faster again.

Even more confusing to me is that when I have both on I get things like this:

Komodo +0,32 Stockfisk +0,07

Sometimes also it goes one negative one positive:

Komodo +0,23 Stockfisk -0,02

So is one seeing something than the other?


I always use 1 engine per computer. Today I am using 2 engines for analyzing positions so I have 2 computers. This avoids the loss of time for swapping between both engines. An extra benefit is that I have also an extra screen on which I can permanently monitor both engines in parallel. That is still one less than e.g. Shipov when doing his online commentary see http://www.chessintranslation.com/2012/05/two-cats-and-three-computers-sergey-sh...

If you use the last versions of Komodo and Stockfish then I don't think there is any substantial difference in strength overall. That was also proven in the previous TCEC final. However each engine will have specific positions which are played a bit better than the other. So it makes sense to do the analysis with both.

Each engine has its own evaluationmethod. A small difference of evaluation between engines doesn't necessarily mean that some engine sees anything extra just that it evaluates the position a bit different. It is up to the operator to detect if the difference in evaluation is a matter of pure evaluation or more important moves. Sometimes it is sufficient to look at the mainlines but often more analysis is needed to understand the difference in evaluation.
  
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DenVerdsligeRejsende
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #131 - 04/30/15 at 23:43:07
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I have Komodo 6 and Stockfisk 6 (64-bit). I am now analysing the Caro-Kann Advance for Black with 3...Lf5 as home analyses. I tried both left on overnight on a critical position past move 20 and it made my laptop slower, although my laptop is new and fast (HP brand). Is Komodo should be the main engine nowadays then? When I quit one engine from the two it makes my computer faster again.

Even more confusing to me is that when I have both on I get things like this:

Komodo +0,32 Stockfisk +0,07

Sometimes also it goes one negative one positive:

Komodo +0,23 Stockfisk -0,02

So is one seeing something than the other?
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #130 - 04/30/15 at 16:14:17
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Keano wrote on 04/30/15 at 13:45:42:
Vass wrote on 04/29/15 at 14:42:45:
A new candidate for best analysis engine: Komodo 9
http://komodochess.com/
Roll Eyes


Very interesting - is there a free version of this engine available to test?


Unfortunately no, there is not!
But, Komodo 6 is free already: http://komodochess.com/pub/Komodo-6.zip
Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #129 - 04/30/15 at 13:45:42
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Vass wrote on 04/29/15 at 14:42:45:
A new candidate for best analysis engine: Komodo 9
http://komodochess.com/
Roll Eyes


Very interesting - is there a free version of this engine available to test?
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #128 - 04/29/15 at 14:42:45
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A new candidate for best analysis engine: Komodo 9
http://komodochess.com/
Roll Eyes
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #127 - 03/03/15 at 03:18:46
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Vass wrote on 03/02/15 at 09:08:26:

I have one game in corr game with +1 but all engine is not able to see the victory. maybe becouse is not possible. ( the position is closed, is only one column free. ) Cry
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #126 - 03/02/15 at 10:14:46
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I suppose Stockfish 6 remain for while the best choice. For accuracy, you can use 2 engine to compare. And your method, to advance one more or two moves ahead look good but take times and patience.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #125 - 03/02/15 at 09:08:26
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #124 - 03/02/15 at 04:06:41
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Vass wrote on 03/01/15 at 21:34:39:
amza iulian wrote on 03/01/15 at 04:18:08:
Btw, after 32 or max 40 is very rare to see same change in first choice of program. For open positions is clear, Stockfish is good analyzer, but for closed position Komodo is the best? Maybe is better to use 3 core...one for K, one for S, one for H...What your opinion,Mr. Vass?


TalJechin said it already:

TalJechin wrote on 02/03/15 at 16:00:30:
One should use at least one engine from every one of the major 'families' as they all have different kinds of positions where one or two of them 'understand' the positions better than the rest.


And no, I never noticed Komodo to be especially good at analysis of closed position. It has other qualities though.

The question remain without answer. What engine is better in closed position?
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #123 - 03/01/15 at 21:34:39
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amza iulian wrote on 03/01/15 at 04:18:08:
Btw, after 32 or max 40 is very rare to see same change in first choice of program. For open positions is clear, Stockfish is good analyzer, but for closed position Komodo is the best? Maybe is better to use 3 core...one for K, one for S, one for H...What your opinion,Mr. Vass?


TalJechin said it already:

TalJechin wrote on 02/03/15 at 16:00:30:
One should use at least one engine from every one of the major 'families' as they all have different kinds of positions where one or two of them 'understand' the positions better than the rest.


And no, I never noticed Komodo to be especially good at analysis of closed position. It has other qualities though.
  
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amza iulian
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #122 - 03/01/15 at 04:18:08
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Btw, after 32 or max 40 is very rare to see same change in first choice of program. For open positions is clear, Stockfish is good analyzer, but for closed position Komodo is the best? Maybe is better to use 3 core...one for K, one for S, one for H...What your opinion,Mr. Vass?
  
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amza iulian
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #121 - 03/01/15 at 04:12:45
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I know your point. Still, if you buy a new processor 5960X I think, for your correspondence chess i can loose against me, if I use for exemple only i5 quad core, no matter is I will stay more time than you to analyze. Is not only speed, is also RAM, FSB..etc...
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #120 - 02/28/15 at 17:33:46
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amza iulian wrote on 02/28/15 at 10:38:10:
I am not sure about this. If I use octocore FX 8350 1 h sure is better than single core 8h.


Reading is always a good thing to do!
http://www.cruxis.com/chess/manual/index.html
And especially:
2.7 Some Frequently Asked Questions
3.4 Cores and Threads Management
Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #119 - 02/28/15 at 10:40:02
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TalJechin wrote on 02/03/15 at 16:00:30:
One should use at least one engine from every one of the major 'families' as they all have different kinds of positions where one or two of them 'understand' the positions better than the rest.

TalJechin wrote on 02/03/15 at 16:00:30:
One should use at least one engine from every one of the major 'families' as they all have different kinds of positions where one or two of them 'understand' the positions better than the rest.

TalJechin wrote on 02/03/15 at 16:00:30:
One should use at least one engine from every one of the major 'families' as they all have different kinds of positions where one or two of them 'understand' the positions better than the rest.

TalJechin wrote on 02/03/15 at 16:00:30:
One should use at least one engine from every one of the major 'families' as they all have different kinds of positions where one or two of them 'understand' the positions better than the rest.

TalJechin wrote on 02/03/15 at 16:00:30:
One should use at least one engine from every one of the major 'families' as they all have different kinds of positions where one or two of them 'understand' the positions better than the rest.

I think for closed position Komodo can be a solution. For sharp could be Stockfish.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #118 - 02/28/15 at 10:38:10
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I am not sure about this. If I use octocore FX 8350 1 h sure is better than single core 8h.
Vass wrote on 06/21/14 at 19:49:49:
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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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #117 - 02/03/15 at 16:00:30
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One should use at least one engine from every one of the major 'families' as they all have different kinds of positions where one or two of them 'understand' the positions better than the rest.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #116 - 02/03/15 at 11:29:51
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My humble opinion: very good for infinite analysis and not so good for the Aquarium's IDeA way of analysis.
Still, my preferred chess engine is Houdini 4.  Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #115 - 02/03/15 at 00:42:59
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Vass wrote on 02/02/15 at 17:45:26:
The new Stockfish 6 is available for download


Yes, and it's very good! Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #114 - 02/02/15 at 17:45:26
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The new Stockfish 6 is available for download at https://stockfishchess.org/ and at https://stockfishchess.org/download/

It may be a good try for analyzing with it!  Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #113 - 12/05/14 at 22:34:03
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A few years ago, I found I got a lot of value out of Junior 10. Typically, it provided inferior analysis to Rybka, Deep Shredder, and Deep Hiarcs, but it also offered the most radically different options. Pairing that more aggressive style with careful analysis of the ensuing positions yielded me a number of points in correspondence chess.
  

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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #112 - 11/08/14 at 04:40:21
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.
Vass wrote on 06/21/14 at 19:49:49:
Do not rely on proper evaluation of the openings by engines up to the 15th move!
If you let [chess engines] 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

Vass, Your 2.Bf4 reminds me of a new book that is coming out in a few months.
For Black, after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 (or 2.Nf3) it recommends 2...Bf5.

Book: The Liberated Bishop Defence, by Alexey Bezgodov, due 2015-January

http://www.amazon.com/Liberated-Bishop-Defence-Surprising-Repertoire/dp/90569154...
.
  

GeneM , CastleLong.com , FRC-chess960
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #96 - 06/16/14 at 19:45:27
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Well, well, well - too many questions, indeed!  Cheesy
Michael, most of the questions can be answered by Uncle Google. For example, look at the processor you have: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU 540 @ 3.07GHz
http://ark.intel.com/products/46473/Intel-Core-i3-540-Processor-4M-Cache-3_06-GH...
Pointng your mouse on "# of Cores" or "# of Threads" and so on...there and clicking on them you can see the definitions, such as: "A Thread, or thread of execution, is a software term for the basic ordered sequence of instructions that can be passed through or processed by a single CPU core."
Althouh the language is somewhat technical, you have to browse through most of these categories in order to be able to explain for yourself all unclear points you have up to now.
I see you have black screens when you click on Strelka 6 x32 and Protector x64 only.
I never used Protector, so I can tell you nothing about it.. As for Strelka 6, I'm sure this engine doesn't have parameters (it's a raw version of Houdini, after all), so it cannot return you even a single piece of information. (Suppose, the case with Protector is the same.)
Anyway, it seems your processor is a "modern" one and supports all SSE.., AVX and so on versions of the engines. From the abovementioned site when clicking on "Instruction Set Extensions" for your processor (SSE4.2): "Instruction Set Extensions are additional instructions which can increase performance when the same operations are performed on multiple data objects. These can include SSE (Streaming SIMD Extensions) and AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions)."
Some engines (when you click on their exe files in your Windows Explorer) read your PC configuration and return pieces of information, which can be very different at first sight. Well, don't worry - they cannot read different things on your PC! You know you have one processor with two cores (which have two threads each - summing up to 4 thread in common). As for how each engine will return information to you (2 processores, 4 threads or two cores...) is another story. When you know what you have you'll understand what they mean..
I definitely don't use Arena although I have it on my PC. I recommend you to buy (at a discount) an old version of Fritz (say 11, 12 or 13 version - the last version is 14 and has some new features which are not important for you in connection with installing engines and so on) and to forget all your troubles with Arena.
As for Arena 3.5 - it's a free GUI which can do many things but is somehow poor in details when you have to do something different than just "kick and rush". My major tip here can be: First see how the engine-exe returns information about your PC when clicking on it! Then go to the major Settings menu (right-clicking cannot be a serious attempt to fix something Smiley ) and try to "untick" all the common settings. Install engines one by one (after knowing how the given engine reads the configuration of your PC) and configure every engine for itself cosidering its specific features (some of them "say" cores, some "say" threads...but you'll know what they really mean), configure the number of cores and threads they should use as you want.
Let me say one important thing here: Your processor has 2 cores, which have 4 threads in common. Most of the chess engines are designed to use real cores in the manner [one core (two threads) - one engine]. Don't try to fix and change parameters in order to use 4 engines on all 4 threads simoultaneously. It will definitely freeze your computer...and the engines won't run. Every engine, when started, is trying to use one core (and not one thread out of this core). Threads can help for other tasks, such as....when you run a chess engine on two cores simultaneously and trying at the same time to open a program or browse the Internet, one of these 4 threads will fulfil the task preventing the freezing of your PC (and then will return to fulfil the tasks of the chess engine). So, the maximum of your processor is to run an engine on 2 cores (say, for faster analysis), or to run two engines simultaneously on one core each. Every try to run two engines that are set to use two cores each will bring the performance of your PC to a freezing. And that's because they both try to use two cores (2 x 2 = 4 cores), but you have only two, so they'll try to use two threads each instead of two cores each (because there are no others available) and therefore all your 4 threads will be taken by the two engines (and not a single thread will be left untaken) - therefore even a click with your mouse will struggle for the resources of your PC...and the engines are usually very hungry for resources, especially Houdini....  Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #95 - 06/16/14 at 15:54:13
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Hi Vass and many thanks, incl. for the test suites!

I am learning, but I have lots of questions! – so please only respond to any of this if you have time …

I’ve listed my ‘black screens’ below. I am perplexed as to why some engines say ‘4 CPUs found’, when (so I believe) I have 1 CPU, 2 cores, and 4 threads. Also, as you can see, only two engines give me a totally blank screen, but these engines seem to run fine – in what way does my CPU not support them? (And what is POPCNT – is it also an instruction?)

My next issue is changing engine parameters! In Arena, I can see only two ways of doing this. With the engine open in the GUI you can right-click on the engine analysis, but although this brings up a screen showing a lot of parameters, cores (‘threads’) is not among them (except with Stockfish DD)! The other way is via the pulldown menu Engines—Manage—Uci, and this (which I presume applies to all engines*) shows ‘Common max CPU cores setting’ at the bottom. At present this shows ‘1’ and is ticked (so I guess I have only ever been using 1 core per engine!). So if I change it to ‘2’, does that mean that while it is changed, all my engines that can use 2 cores will do so, while those that can't will continue to use 1 without problems? The screen also says ‘For values not set as “common” here, the engine-specific values are in effect (Ctrl +1/Ctrl +2/Ctrl +3)’, so presumably if I untick it (whatever number it says), most of my engines will use both of my cores? So to sum up: is this pulldown menu a perfectly satisfactory/the best/the only way of changing the ‘core’ parameters of UCI engines installed in Arena, or is there a better way?

It seems to be similar in WinBoard. ‘Engine—Engine #1 Settings’ brings up an engine-specific list of parameters which does not include cores (threads), but ‘Options—Common Engine Settings’ brings up a ‘common’ menu which does. Except that it says ‘Max nr of CPUs’ (set to ‘1’) – so does ‘CPUs’ here mean ‘threads’, parallel perhaps with what those ‘black screens’ mean when they say ‘CPUs’?

Finally: when you speak of running two engines, each having a 1-core parameter, ‘simultaneously’, do you mean I can do this without problems just by launching the GUI (Arena or WinBoard) twice? Also, presumably, if I am conducting a match between two engines each using 1 core, I should put Ponder On for maximum strength? And similarly, if I am analysing using ‘Demo’ mode (where the engine actually plays itself), presumably I can do this in two ways: 2 core + Ponder Off or 1 core + Ponder On – but if I am right, which would be stronger/best?

* Strangely(?), Arena 3.5 has (I notice) introduced 'Common max. CPU cores setting for UCI engines', whereas in Arena 3.0 it was possible to alter the thread settings of far more engines individually by right-clicking on the analysis pane!

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Stockfish_14053109_x64_modern --- 5 64 SSE4.2
Stockfish_14053109_x64 --- 5 64
Stockfish dd_x64_modern --- DD 64 SSE4.2
Houdini_15a_x64 --- Info string POPCNT enabled; info string 128 MB hash
Gull 3 x64 --- Gull 3 x64
Strelka6 --- [Completely blank]
Komodo-5-64bit --- Using hardware POPCNT
Critter_1.6a_64bit --- Hardware POPCNT enabled
PanChess 00.537.x64 --- HardPOPCNT : Yes
Fire_3.0_SSE42 --- Fire 3.0 x64
Bouquet 1.8 x64 --- 4 CPUs found, using 1 CPU; POPCNT
Ivanhoe999946h Mode_Analysis --- 4 CPUs detected; Prefetch + PopCnt + multicore + hyper hash enabled
Ivanhoe999946h Mode_Game_Play ---4 CPUs detected; Prefetch + PopCnt + multicore enabled
Robbolito 0.21Q x64 --- 4 CPUs found, using 4 threads
Black Mamba_MP_x64 --- 4 CPUs found, using 1 thread; POPCNT supported
DeepSaros_416_popcnt_w64 --- Compiled with POPCNT, compiled with Prefetch
DeepSaros_416_w64 --- Compiled with Prefetch      
Sting SF 3 VE_pop64 --- SF 3 VE_pop64; CPU has hardware POPCNT
Sting SF 3 VEx64 --- SF 3 VEx64
Protector_Win64 --- [Completely blank]
Hannibal1.4bx64 --- Hannibal1.4bx64
« Last Edit: 06/16/14 at 17:16:34 by Michael Ayton »  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #94 - 06/14/14 at 18:19:20
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Well, I'm not an expert, but I'll try to give you some tips.
As long as I know all Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU-s have 2 cores, which means you can use both for analysis simultaneously or separately. You can play matches between engines with "ponder-on"giving one core to each engine...and so on.
When you install an engine on your PC, you'll have to go to the parameters of the engine and give it the number of cores you wish to use. Most of them automatically read your PC and take all the cores of your PC, but not all of them. The number of cores is under the parameter "threads". Don't try to give all your 4 threads on an engine, because your computer can become irresponsible to commands and even if it doesn't happen, it is counter-productive for the analysis. So, under parameters' "threads" you always have to understand real CPU-cores.
For example, you can install an engine twice - the first time on 2 cores, while changing the threads' parameter to 2 and use this engine for analysis on two cores....and the second time to install it on one core (changing the name of the engine like this: Stockfish 5_1core) to use it for games between engines or for analysis on one core. And if you have two engines installed on one core you can easily run them both simultaneously to analyse a position and see the differences they show.
As for how to determine which version of the engine you can install on your PC, say Stockfish, you can easily see if your CPU supports the instructions that are put into the engine from the CPU-Z screen. And even if you are not sure about it, you can double-click on any engine exe in your Windows Explorer - if you see a black screen only, with no information, then your CPU doesn't support this version of the engine, while if you see the same black screen, but with the information for your PC about cores, threads and so on, then your CPU supports this version of the engine.
Of course, if you can use the modern versions of an engine it will be better, because you will gain speed - the specific SSE.., AVX and other CPU instructions help the modern engines to perform faster.
And yes, running analysis on Multi PV is slightly weakening the performance of the engine, because the engines are created for being "warriors" - to fight and win against alikes.. No one created an engine to be good for analysis.
Here I uploaded some tests in pgn, cbv and epd format that some friends of mine gave to me:
http://www19.zippyshare.com/v/89246204/file.html - tactical positions tests
http://www19.zippyshare.com/v/97036595/file.html - endgame tests
Feel free to use them! My friends tell me that a standart test for an engine is to give it a set of 100 tactical positions, giving the engine 2 minutes on each position on one CPU core. Therefore the performance of every engine is counted in per cents automatically - say, Stockfish's performance is 35 out of 100 (35%), Houdini's one 38 out of 100 (38%) and so on..
I myself, never ran a test on my own..  Roll Eyes
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #93 - 06/14/14 at 12:10:00
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Hi Vass and thank you for a very helpful reply, as ever!

I ran CPU-Z and it tells me 'Cores 2, Threads 4', and under 'Instructions' it gives MMX; SSE, plus SSE2, 3, 4.1, 4.2; SSSE3; EM64T; VT-x. What is it here that tells me (or doesn't) that I can use Stockfish 'Modern'? (I never knew I had a dual-core machine!)

Re engine tests, it sounds as if my small tournaments are virtually useless, even if they are good fun! (In short blitz matches between SF5 and SF5 Modern I got the weird results of 3-1(!), 1.5-2.5, 2-2, 2-2!) Yes, if you could post a test suite or two that would be great -- I imagine other people might be interested too.

I have never played with parameters and almost do not dare! But tell me if there is anything simple (with any engine) I should try changing/tweaking. When I look at my own games I put on Multi PV (to see if that brilliant sacrifice had one refutation, two refutations or no refutation! Cheesy), but otherwise I believe this weakens an engine slightly -- is that true?

  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #92 - 06/13/14 at 13:57:12
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Hi, Michael!
As Jury Osipov himself said, Strelka 6 x32 is a decompiled one-core x32 only engine by reversed engineering from Houdini 4 with some minor changes that he mentioned, too. Here comes the question: why use an x32 version of Houdini 4 on one core, when you can use Houdini 4 on four cores, for example?
The GUI you use doesn't count in testing/analysing if you properly put the parameters of your engines.
Hardware is an important factor, yes, because the best engines are usually made for high-end hardware.
Well, your Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU 540 @ 3.07GHz is not a high-end processor, but is still "modern" and you don't have to have big deviations in your engine tests.
The "professional testers" say that if you want to make a valuable test you have to make a big match between two engines in order to see which one is better. They say, that even 5000 games on a fixed time control are not enough and give some high-sophisticated mathematical values which show that even a match from 10000 games can be only 95% reliable.
Anyway, there are several test matches between Strelka 6 x32 and Stockfish 5 that show that Strelka 6 is designed for blitz time control and can hold against Stockfish for 200-300 games, but when you prolong the test you'll see that Stockfish 5 will win convincingly after all. As for the long time controls, Strelka 6 will not perform well against Stockfish 5 if you let the last to use more than one processor's core.
There are several suites of tactical (and other) positions which are used by the testers to test the engines. And I've never been interested in, but if you want, I'll try to supply you with some of them.
I think you can use Stockfish 5 modern version - you can see what kind of instructions (SSE.. AVX and so on..) supports your Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU 540 @ 3.07GHz by downloading a nice tiny program CPU-Z, completely free from the Internet (I think it's a little exe-program that doesn't install on your computer). Of course, if your processor supports these instructions, then the "modern" engines can perform far better on your PC than the "old" ones.
That's it!  Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #91 - 06/13/14 at 12:13:37
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Interesting thread. I was meaning to write a post here a few weeks ago when … Strelka 6 came out! And then, blow me down, before I’d got round to it Stockfish 5 appeared!

I'm a bit confused, because I understood that an engine’s relative strength might be influenced by (1) the GUI you use it in and (2) the specific characteristics of your PC, but even so, the results of at least one of the engine matches I’ve conducted on my PC seem a bit radical! (I use Arena 3.5 because I have only an older version of ChessBase.) I got these results:

Strelka 6, 4; Houdini 1.5a, nil!! (5 min. games)

Stockfish 5, 2; Strelka 6, 2 (5 min. games)

Stockfish 5, 2.5; Strelka 6, 1.5 (10 min. games; also, same result at 15-min. time limit)

Strelka 6, 4.5
Stockfish 5, 4
Gull 3.0, 3.5
Houdini 1.5a, nil!! (12 x 5 min. games)

The first result seems appreciable since Strelka 6 is after all essentially a 32-bit version of Houdini 4, and maybe one would not expect Stockfish to beat Strelka by a wider margin than it did, but what of the final engine match? What accounts for Houdini flopping as it did? (For info, I’ve included my PC spec and ArenaMark, etc. below.)

On the subject of different engines’ differential analysis and evaluation of the same position, maybe someone expert should devise a test suite of positions geared to allowing ‘style’ (and not just ‘strength’) conclusions to be drawn from this. Anyone know of such a suite? Anyway, in the opening stages of a game at least, rightly or wrongly I tend to trust engines’ actual move suggestions rather more than I do their numerical evaluations, which as we all know often get revised after some subsequent moves are inputted …

PS. Is it best to use Stockfish 5 x64, or Stockfish 5 x64 modern? What is the difference? And what about engines like Sting or DeepSaros that also have a 'pop(cnt)' version, or Fire, that has an 'AVX' and a 'SSE' version, both with or without 'FRC'? -- how is it possible to know which version is best?

*********

Hardware: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU 540 @ 3.07GHz with 2.7 GB Memory.
Operating system: Windows 7 Home Premium Home Edition (Build 7600) 64 bit.
CPU speed: 3149.69 MHz
ArenaMark: 26.59
CPUEfficiency: 1.27
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #90 - 06/11/14 at 16:24:31
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 06/11/14 at 15:47:43:
I'm gonna take a guess about post #83. Regardless of the numeric evaluation, I'm gonna guess that the different engines all agree on the top three candidate moves from that position. Is that true?

I agree with that.
IMO a centipawn is a different "currency" depending on the engine. 
Stockfish may show -1 ; Critter may show -1.5.  Despite the different numbers, I don't think we can say that Critter necessarily gives a greater advantage to Black in that case.  Certain engines may not even be based on the 1.00 = 1 pawn standard.  And that is not even considering the variable relative strength of pawns (e.g., a protected passed pawn on e6 could be worth a rook).

We need a conversion table in order to compare a debt of one Euro (currency) to a debt of two US dollars.  Same with evaluations of two chess engines IMO.

Different engines may also have different thresholds for what is considered a "clear advantage" versus a "decisive advantage."

Of course the real answer to the OP query is, "unless you are a  professional, it doesn't matter, just use one of the top engines," but that sounds cynical.
  

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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #89 - 06/11/14 at 15:47:43
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I'm gonna take a guess about post #83. Regardless of the numeric evaluation, I'm gonna guess that the different engines all agree on the top three candidate moves from that position. Is that true?

The advice that the seasoned correspondence players give makes great sense. Since you seem to have access to multiple engines, you don't have to choose just one. Use them all and use your judgement to decide which lines and which evaluations you prefer.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #88 - 06/11/14 at 05:35:25
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As a chess book reader, I sometimes feel that the authors could have suggested moves/plans in positions with unbalanced material. I recall the queen sac line in the Safest sicilian. Playing such positions can be tricky since one does not practise them often.

I've also played CC. (I have 2370 on ICCF I think.) It's of course true that even after much analysis, the lines can be difficult to evaluate, but trying them is of course better than just stopping at the said position. If all positions could be easily evaluated after some computer analysis, we wouldn't have CC.
  

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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #87 - 06/10/14 at 22:14:55
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Well, as a correspondence chess player I think I know a thing or two about engines.
And I can speak for hours, but I don't think it's necessary.
Just some hints:
There is no engine which can give you "most accurate evaluations" in infinite analysis mode. You can analyse a position for days reaching 44 plys depth and even more...and still don't have a clue about the real evaluation of the position you analyse. It's all because the so-called "horizon" of the engines. The lines they give may be 'true' up to the 8th-10th ply or so (out of these 44 plys), so leaving them counting for hours is counter-productive. (As for the best engine in the background while browsing through your repertoire, just use Houdini! It's more reliable than Stockfish and doesn't scale too fast while heavy pruning as Stockfish does.. While Komodo is too slow to be reliable for being in the background.)
So, if a long (infinite) analysis doesn't help - then what?
I would suggest two methods: the first one callled Aquarium IDeA and the second one - starting matches (at least 300 games on 5min time control) between engines from the given position.
Aah, and the third one is analysing with a GM behind your left shoulder..  Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #86 - 06/10/14 at 21:35:29
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TheDragon wrote on 06/10/14 at 15:39:51:
So much for Larry Kaufman and Komdo's "the other engines overvalue the queen...".

From the brief analysis I have conducted it seems to me more that it is Komodo which undervalues the queen.

Can anyone confirm?

I think it really depends on the position, sometimes all engines overvalue the side with the queen, sometimes they all undervalue the side with the queen
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #85 - 06/10/14 at 15:39:51
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So much for Larry Kaufman and Komdo's "the other engines overvalue the queen...".

From the brief analysis I have conducted it seems to me more that it is Komodo which undervalues the queen.

Can anyone confirm?
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #84 - 06/10/14 at 14:34:51
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Check the ideas/moves of the different programs. It should become clear after a while which program has evaluated the position correctly.

Never stop at a position! Always check the lines that the programs suggest are the best.
  

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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #83 - 06/10/14 at 13:56:33
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* * * * * * * *
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Hi. Now this is the kind of position which really confuses me. I came across it during my work on the 3.f3 Grunfeld with 3...d5.

Komodo says: Clear Advantage to White.
Houdini says: Very slight Advantage to Black/Equal.
Stockfish says: Very slight Advantage to White/Equal
Larry Kaufman says: White is much better (agrees with Komodo).
Svetushkin says: White has nothing here.
I say: The position looks better and easier to play for white.

The question is: which to believe? Smiley

Regards,
TheDragon
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #82 - 06/10/14 at 13:24:30
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I think only correspondence chess players would care about the differences because they are so minute.

Both engines are excellent and tend to agree with each other in most positions. The answer you are seeking really depends on the positions. Take a look at the games the two engines played and see if you can come up with patterns that demonstrate strengths or weaknesses in the two programs.

One trait of Stockfish is that it tends to prefer having the Q over various piece combinations more than other engines. In some cases that is a strength, in others that's a weakness.

Analyse the games played between Stockfish and Komodo and see if you can come to conclusions about the types of positions each engine won.

  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #81 - 06/10/14 at 13:04:15
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Vass wrote on 06/09/14 at 22:18:26:
Well, responding to your first question:
Yes, 1.Stockfish; 2-3 Komodo/Houdini (or Houdini/Komodo depending on the time control).
For 5-10 minutes on the key positions and 30sec-1min for the rest...you can use Houdini. I think Stockfish & Komodo are better than Houdini when using more than 30sec-1min for a position. (Stockfish is better than Houdini even on blitz time controls, but this is all because of its fast scaling and pruning.)


Thanks for the reply. The program I am using allows me to do multiple analysis (so I am going to go into 5-10 minutes for leafnodes and + - a minute for the rest).

If you had to choose, which one is it for the long analysis? I am looking for the most accurate evaluations. Komodo or Stockfish? Tongue Cheesy

Sorry, I know I am pushing quite a bit but anyway.

P.S. If I am going through my repertoire/game with an engine in the background, would you suggest Stockfish?


Thanks and Regards,
TheDragon
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #80 - 06/09/14 at 22:18:26
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Well, responding to your first question:
Yes, 1.Stockfish; 2-3 Komodo/Houdini (or Houdini/Komodo depending on the time control).
For 5-10 minutes on the key positions and 30sec-1min for the rest...you can use Houdini. I think Stockfish & Komodo are better than Houdini when using more than 30sec-1min for a position. (Stockfish is better than Houdini even on blitz time controls, but this is all because of its fast scaling and pruning.)
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #79 - 06/09/14 at 12:12:58
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Hi there.

So it seems that Stockfish 5 is the strongest playing engine. Followed by Houdini and then Komodo. Am I right?

The question is which to use for analysis and to analyse my repertoire. Larry Kaufman (Komodo developer) says that Komodo is best for long-term analysis and more positionally focused (with more time spent on evaluations). Houdini is apparently better when it comes to blitz and quick tactics. And Stockfish, well, I don't know.

Basically I don't know which one to use to analyse my repertoire. The engine will spend around 5-10 minutes on the key positions each and maybe 30 seconds - 1 minute for the rest (I am using Chess Position Trainer 5, CPT, by the way).

So basically, I don't know which to use. Should I use a combination, and if so, which one should take preference?

Regards,
TheDragon
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #78 - 06/04/14 at 13:57:06
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A couple of days ago Stockfish 5 was released.
A free chess engine which is definitely better than the last versions of Houdini, Komodo and alike.. Several independent tests at different time controls prove it. And what is more, this engine won the last TCEC - the unofficial world chess engines' championship on 190' + 30" time control.
http://stockfishchess.org/
As for the best analysis program, well...I don't know.  Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #77 - 12/14/13 at 20:24:15
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tony37 wrote on 12/14/13 at 18:40:16:
I think the real curse is that there will be even more draws at the top level and that just isn't very interesting

I'm not sure about it.
Three different almost equal in strength engines can mess things up.
Besides, draws at the top correspondence chess level happen because top players do not want to take a big risk. They usually play some checked lines in the well known openings - such as Sicilian Najdorf, Ruy Lopez or Semi-Slav, Catalan and alike. In fact, no one wants to play King's Indian, for example, when meeting another top player.  Roll Eyes
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #76 - 12/14/13 at 18:40:16
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I think the real curse is that there will be even more draws at the top level and that just isn't very interesting
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #75 - 12/12/13 at 19:33:24
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brabo wrote on 12/12/13 at 19:26:08:
Vass wrote on 12/12/13 at 13:57:36:
Several tests recently show that Houdini 4 has some big competitors for the title "Best Analysis Program" in the face of its rivals: last versions of Komodo and Stockfish. While at short time control matches Houdini 4 keeps scaling better and wins over the last mentioned, they seem to prevail in long time control matches.
A true heaven for correspondence chess players! They can use several engines depending on the position they analyse and can choose between three different evaluations in order to choose the best move.  Wink

At the same time it is also a curse. Now you have to make a choice which is for the operator (in most cases 1000 or more points weaker than the engines) often just guessing.

??
it is still allowed to actually analyse these moves
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #74 - 12/12/13 at 19:26:08
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Vass wrote on 12/12/13 at 13:57:36:
Several tests recently show that Houdini 4 has some big competitors for the title "Best Analysis Program" in the face of its rivals: last versions of Komodo and Stockfish. While at short time control matches Houdini 4 keeps scaling better and wins over the last mentioned, they seem to prevail in long time control matches.
A true heaven for correspondence chess players! They can use several engines depending on the position they analyse and can choose between three different evaluations in order to choose the best move.  Wink

At the same time it is also a curse. Now you have to make a choice which is for the operator (in most cases 1000 or more points weaker than the engines) often just guessing.

Just one other remark about to choose between the different evaluations. It is well possible that the 3 engines show different evaluations but still show the same move and even recommended first line (at least a number of moves). I want to say that different evaluations don't always mean different moves.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #73 - 12/12/13 at 15:19:12
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Vass wrote on 12/12/13 at 13:57:36:
Several tests recently show that Houdini 4 has some big competitors for the title "Best Analysis Program" in the face of its rivals: last versions of Komodo and Stockfish. While at short time control matches Houdini 4 keeps scaling better and wins over the last mentioned, they seem to prevail in long time control matches.
A true heaven for correspondence chess players! They can use several engines depending on the position they analyse and can choose between three different evaluations in order to choose the best move.  Wink

Playing correspondence myself I still have fun using my own engine (in ancient times called "brain"), too.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #72 - 12/12/13 at 13:57:36
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Several tests recently show that Houdini 4 has some big competitors for the title "Best Analysis Program" in the face of its rivals: last versions of Komodo and Stockfish. While at short time control matches Houdini 4 keeps scaling better and wins over the last mentioned, they seem to prevail in long time control matches.
A true heaven for correspondence chess players! They can use several engines depending on the position they analyse and can choose between three different evaluations in order to choose the best move.  Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #71 - 09/01/13 at 14:39:38
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Sandman wrote on 09/01/13 at 13:25:54:
It seems to me chess engines spit out the same moves as all the others. ...


Well, it depends on the position you analyse.  Roll Eyes

Sandman wrote on 09/01/13 at 13:25:54:
... Are there any good engines that give different analysis possibilities or standout by giving unique choices?


The problem is that they all are calculators. We don't have to forget that. And the main things that usually differ in chess engines are the speed and the evaluation function. The faster the better...as we all know, while the evaluation function makes the big difference between them. So among the best ones, Houdini, Stockfish, Komodo and Rybka have completely different evaluation algorithms. Well enough...to not complain, I think.  Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #70 - 09/01/13 at 13:25:54
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It seems to me chess engines spit out the same moves as all the others. Are there any good engines that give different analysis possibilities or standout by giving unique choices?
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #69 - 08/09/13 at 08:26:20
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On the mobile platform, I think SmallFish (Stockfish) is your best friend.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #68 - 06/26/13 at 02:55:23
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Still Komodo CCT is strongest and better than Komodo 5.1 at single core. It is too poor at tactics. hence cannot be recommended as a general Analysis tool. Still Houdini 3 Tactical is best. But as 3rd opinion is still good.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #67 - 06/17/13 at 21:22:24
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A brand new candidate for the best analysis engine:

Komodo 5.1 multi-processor (commercial) - at last  Grin
Released 17 of June, 2013
http://komodochess.com/komodo51mp-32a

Roll Eyes
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #66 - 05/10/13 at 11:13:25
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Stockfish 3: http://stockfishchess.org/download/ (free) and
Komodo CCT: http://komodochess.com/komodoCCT-31a (commercial)
are the new candidates for the title: "The Best Analysis Program".  Wink

IPON Rating list (ponder on):
http://www.inwoba.de/index.html (Latest update: 2013.05.05)
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #65 - 02/09/13 at 18:25:33
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Houdini would be most peeps top vote
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #64 - 01/09/13 at 11:50:53
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Thanks Vass! I have the free ones, I guess since I want to try Aquarium, I'll go for it with Houdini 3. As for the rest of the commercial ones, I think I have enough anyway!  Cheesy
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #63 - 01/09/13 at 10:26:29
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Markovich wrote on 01/09/13 at 03:04:31:
Well maybe someone will correct me, but White's win in #54 looks to me like something that most strong players would consider.

Maybe, you would have to see a3 (threatening to trap the queen) to force the queen back, and then Qe1, and then evaluate the position correctly.
However, like most tactical positions it is a lot easier to see when you know there is a tactic to be found!
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #62 - 01/09/13 at 10:08:21
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Markovich wrote on 01/09/13 at 03:04:31:
Well maybe someone will correct me, but White's win in #54 looks to me like something that most strong players would consider. Not having Houdini 3.0 turned on is hardly an excuse for not spotting that particular sequence, I opine.


I agree. It is a natural sacrifice, and while I think few players would be able to determine it was winning OTB, I think many strong players would seriously consider it.

Also, checking my Rybka 4, after 13.Rxe7 c6 it needs about 3 seconds to put 14.Rxg7+ as its first choice. Although it initially evaluates it as equal, just seeing that move on top of the list would have made me nervous if I was intending to recommend this for Black.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #61 - 01/09/13 at 09:01:11
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Quote:
Michael Ayton wrote on 20. Dec 2012 at 14:30:
That's impressive! My humble Houdini 1a takes fully 5.75 seconds!

Why don't you download the free 1.5a, it's pretty good?


Sorry Tony, that's the one I meant! My PC is pretty fast, so I guess we can conclude H3 is significantly better ...

  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #60 - 01/09/13 at 03:04:31
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Well maybe someone will correct me, but White's win in #54 looks to me like something that most strong players would consider. Not having Houdini 3.0 turned on is hardly an excuse for not spotting that particular sequence, I opine.
  

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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #59 - 01/08/13 at 23:30:37
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fling wrote on 01/08/13 at 22:20:24:
So, if I were to choose only one engine, I take it that you would recommend Houdini 3. And if I have a choice of a second one, which would it be, Rybka 4? Something else? Deep Hiarcs?


Well, let's see!

One engine? - Houdini 3 (commercial).
Two engines? - ... + Stockfish 2.3.1 (free) - sometimes better in closed positions..
Three engines? - ... + Houdini 1.5a (free) - more reliable for an analysis in depth.
Four engines? - ... + Critter 1.6a (free) - sometimes better in endgames' analysis and the second best after Houdini, in fact.
Five engines? - ... + Komodo 5 (commercial) - sometimes giving some good analysis lines (ideas), different from others, because of its unique method of evaluation.
Six engines? - ... + Ivanhoe B46 (free) - just like Komodo 5.
Seven engines? - ... + Deep Rybka 4.1 (commercial) - because of pure nostalgia, maybe.. Or, just because it's good.
Eight engines? - ... + Zappa Mexico II (commercial) - because of its unique "dissident aggressor" options for solving tactical positions that Houdini 3 "tactical mode" won't solve.
Nine engines? - ... + Critter 0.90 (free) - good for some endgame analysis and closed position analysis, too.
Ten engines? - ... + Deep Fritz 10 (commercial) - once it was a great program, you know. And the most "human" engine I have ever seen..  Smiley

But, let me stop here! Otherwise I would be tempted to mention Deep Hiarcs 14, Vitruvius, Fire 2.2 xTreme and so on...but for no reason.  Undecided
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #58 - 01/08/13 at 22:20:24
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So, if I were to choose only one engine, I take it that you would recommend Houdini 3. And if I have a choice of a second one, which would it be, Rybka 4? Something else? Deep Hiarcs?
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #57 - 12/21/12 at 15:40:23
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By the way, one big improvement in Houdini 3 is the so-called "tactical mode".
What it means?
It means that one can prepare Houdini 3 for highly tactical positions just by checking the option "tactical mode" in the engine parameters menu before doing an analysis.
According to some testers, it solves tactical studies up to 30 per cents better (and faster) than the Houdini 3 in classical mode. These results rank the engine among the best ones in tactics.
I often try this option in my correspondence chess tries. And I can say I'm very impressed by the results, too..  Wink
Meanwhile, some testers ran matches between Houdini 3 and Houdini 3 "tactical mode". What is amazing is that Houdini 3 "tactical mode" is just a bit weaker in playing strength. Usually, engines don't play very well in tactical mode, because they're somehow "twisted" in parameters. Not Houdini 3 "tactical mode" though. Still it can win a match against any of the best engines available.  Cheesy
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #56 - 12/21/12 at 12:47:53
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Michael Ayton wrote on 12/20/12 at 14:30:31:
That's impressive! My humble Houdini 1a takes fully 5.75 seconds!

Why don't you download the free 1.5a, it's pretty good?
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #55 - 12/20/12 at 14:30:31
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That's impressive! My humble Houdini 1a takes fully 5.75 seconds!
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #54 - 12/20/12 at 13:26:48
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In Glenn's December update (on the Dutch) he originally said that 12...d5 might be a good solution to Black's problems in the 7...Qe8 8 Re1 Leningrad:

* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
*
Apparently he was using Rybka4, which likes Black's position. However, a subscriber pointed out that White has almost a forced win so Glenn had to quickly change his analysis!
Indeed, when I checked with Houdini3 it gives 13 Rxe7 c6 14 Rxg7+ as winning in less than a second!
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #53 - 12/17/12 at 22:21:52
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 12/17/12 at 21:20:34:
I just looked at a position I had already analysed in my new book (DW-Spanish) with Houdini 3, and to my surprise it didn't find the draw that Houdini 1.5 had discovered! Roll Eyes


I'm not surprised at all..
Maybe, as a correspondence chess player, I'm addicted too much to my beloved engine ...but, if Houdini 1.5a is as faster as Houdini 3 and can reach the same ply's depth for the same amount of time...I would never even try to use the new toy called Houdini 3.  Wink
The problem is that a good analysis is taking time, too much time.. One too many sleepless nights..
And I have my own conclusions I can share. For example, I never believe Houdini 3's evaluation in a complex position if not reached at least 27-28th ply's depth.. While 1.5a version's evaluation on 26th ply's depth is almost definitive. The only problem I find in Houdini 1.5a is that its style of play is not as dynamic as Houdini 3's one. Hence the difference in ELO points..  Roll Eyes
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #52 - 12/17/12 at 21:20:34
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I just looked at a position I had already analysed in my new book (DW-Spanish) with Houdini 3, and to my surprise it didn't find the draw that Houdini 1.5 had discovered! Roll Eyes
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #51 - 12/05/12 at 03:07:14
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 12/01/12 at 14:09:29:
Vass wrote on 12/01/12 at 14:06:31:
H3 is better, faster...and so on..

OK, thanks. Smiley



Houdini is not better always.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #50 - 12/01/12 at 14:09:29
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Vass wrote on 12/01/12 at 14:06:31:
H3 is better, faster...and so on..

OK, thanks. Smiley
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #49 - 12/01/12 at 14:06:31
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 12/01/12 at 12:14:50:
How does Deep Hiarcs 14 rate against Houdini 3?

You can see the rating lists from the most respectable testing groups here:
http://www.computerchess.org.uk/ccrl/
http://www.husvankempen.de/nunn/
http://inwoba.de/index.html

...and a little private blitz test under the following (hardware/software/settings) conditions:

Intel Core i7-3930K 3.20Ghz @ 4.77 GHz 16.0 GB RAM
Windows 7 Professional SP 1
Fritz Benchmark:
Speed: 42.96
KNS: 20619
GUI: CB-Fritz 13
Book: Perfect 2012 - 7 moves
Hash:128
GRT-RB-TB: ON
Ponder: OFF
Blitz 5m 0

...finished as listed here:
1   Houdini 3 Pro x64    +308  +75/=21/-4 85.50%   85.5/100
2   Deep HIARCS 14      -308  +4/=21/-75 14.50%   14.5/100

...and the games can be downloaded from:
http://www.mediafire.com/?b9nimawf8nigrgz

The results speak for themselves.. H3 is better, faster...and so on.. As for the analysis purpose (and here we go again) I think the margin is not such wide.. Almost every high level engine can do a proper analysis with a little help of the device that is controlling the mouse buttons..  Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #48 - 12/01/12 at 12:14:50
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How does Deep Hiarcs 14 rate against Houdini 3?
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #47 - 09/28/12 at 06:43:13
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Robert Houdart:
"The 3 matches have now finished.

Houdini 3 - Komodo 5 match: +43 -19 =58
72-48 (+68 Elo ± 42 Elo).

Houdini 3 - Stockfish 2.3.1 match: +44 -16 =60
74-46 (+82 Elo ± 42 Elo).

Houdini 3 - Houdini 2.0c match: +48 -15 =57
76.5-43.5 (+94 Elo ± 42 Elo).

Download All the Games (single zip containing the 3 matches) at: http://www.cruxis.com/download/Houdini3_LongTC_Matches.zip

Over-all result: Houdini 3 scored 61.8% (+81 Elo ± 24 Elo) against the average of Houdini 2.0c, Komodo 5 and Stockfish 2.3.1.
The individual match results have very large confidence intervals, please consider these when discussing results."

Lips Sealed
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #46 - 09/27/12 at 20:34:21
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Another pre-release test at 90mins time control of Houdini 3, made by the author, Robert Houdart:
"The second match just finished.
Final result of the Houdini 3 - Stockfish 2.3.1 match: +44 -16 =60
74-46 (+82 Elo ± 42 Elo).
Download Games at http://www.cruxis.com/download/Houdini3_Stockfish231_90min.zip "
Cheesy
More info at: http://rybkaforum.net/cgi-bin/rybkaforum/topic_show.pl?tid=25731;pg=3

That's it!  Cool
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #45 - 09/26/12 at 13:46:40
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tony37 wrote on 09/26/12 at 13:08:45:
Vass wrote on 09/26/12 at 08:53:59:
Houdini 3
Robert Houdart:
"The engine development is completely finished, but there's still a lot of work in packaging and documentation (e.g. write the User's Guide). Hopefully around October 10.
Some info about it: http://talkchess.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=45303&start=10

Mr Houdart ran some tests on long time controls (90 min+30 sec/move starting from 60 Noomen suite positions, one core each)
http://rybkaforum.net/cgi-bin/rybkaforum/topic_show.pl?tid=25731
Very impressive results:
Final result of the Houdini 3 - Houdini 2.0c match: +48 -15 =57
You can download all of the games from http://www.cruxis.com/download/Houdini3_Houdini20c_90min.zip

Well, obviously that's the engine for my future analysis!  Wink
I'll post some of these games here - hope you don't mind!

I wonder if they've fixed the queen vs. minor pieces problem where Houdini typically overrates the side with the queen (I have version 1.5 so I don't know if this was fixed in version 2 already)

It was fixed in 2.0 version.  Smiley
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #44 - 09/26/12 at 13:08:45
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Vass wrote on 09/26/12 at 08:53:59:
Houdini 3
Robert Houdart:
"The engine development is completely finished, but there's still a lot of work in packaging and documentation (e.g. write the User's Guide). Hopefully around October 10.
Some info about it: http://talkchess.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=45303&start=10

Mr Houdart ran some tests on long time controls (90 min+30 sec/move starting from 60 Noomen suite positions, one core each)
http://rybkaforum.net/cgi-bin/rybkaforum/topic_show.pl?tid=25731
Very impressive results:
Final result of the Houdini 3 - Houdini 2.0c match: +48 -15 =57
You can download all of the games from http://www.cruxis.com/download/Houdini3_Houdini20c_90min.zip

Well, obviously that's the engine for my future analysis!  Wink
I'll post some of these games here - hope you don't mind!

I wonder if they've fixed the queen vs. minor pieces problem where Houdini typically overrates the side with the queen (I have version 1.5 so I don't know if this was fixed in version 2 already)
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #43 - 09/26/12 at 09:45:00
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Enough with it!

I just don't know what to say..

I've seen many computer games, but never seen such a complete control all over the board. Running on one core each and achieving 19-24 plys depth is obviously not enough for general conclusions, but still..
H3 lost some games, too.. But most of them because of some inferior book moves that were given to it. Of course, H2.0c played under the same conditions and was fed by some inferior book moves, too..
But, the results are very, very impressive!  Shocked
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #42 - 09/26/12 at 09:35:18
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And now Queen's Indian...with both colours:



  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #41 - 09/26/12 at 09:31:00
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How to play Nimzo indian?
Let's see:



  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #40 - 09/26/12 at 09:16:43
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IsaVulpes wrote on 09/26/12 at 09:11:09:
Mildly related, is there a commonly seen as "best" GUI? So far I've always just loaded engines in whatever Fritz version I happened to own, but I always thought of getting a dedicated, better GUI that comes without an Engine on its own.
Are you guys using anything specific?

E: Is this even halfway the right place or should I open a new thread for this or something

It depends on what you particularly want from the GUI.
Yes, you have to open a new thread here...and tell us what you want.  Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #39 - 09/26/12 at 09:13:11
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Some say Gruenfeld is one of the best openings for black..
Mhmm, maybe...but not for H3!



Total control everywhere!  Roll Eyes
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #38 - 09/26/12 at 09:11:09
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Mildly related, is there a commonly seen as "best" GUI? So far I've always just loaded engines in whatever Fritz version I happened to own, but I always thought of getting a dedicated, better GUI that comes without an Engine on its own.
Are you guys using anything specific?

E: Is this even halfway the right place or should I open a new thread for this or something
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #37 - 09/26/12 at 09:10:00
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Let's go to the classic!
Even Breyer is not safe anymore..  Cry

  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #36 - 09/26/12 at 09:07:47
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #35 - 09/26/12 at 09:05:20
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Let's start with the mighty Najdorf:

  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #34 - 09/26/12 at 08:53:59
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Some hot news:

Stockfish 2.3.1 is available
http://stockfishchess.org/download/
Changes:
"ELO increase is very limited, it is mainly a minor release to flush the accumulated work. From the user point of view the biggest thing is that SF should not crash anymore even with many threads because a nasty SMP bug causing a rare but repetitive crash has been fixed."

Marco.

A good engine for analysis, but compared to this one:
Houdini 3
Robert Houdart:
"The engine development is completely finished, but there's still a lot of work in packaging and documentation (e.g. write the User's Guide). Hopefully around October 10.
Some info about it: http://talkchess.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=45303&start=10

Mr Houdart ran some tests on long time controls (90 min+30 sec/move starting from 60 Noomen suite positions, one core each)
http://rybkaforum.net/cgi-bin/rybkaforum/topic_show.pl?tid=25731
Very impressive results:
Final result of the Houdini 3 - Houdini 2.0c match: +48 -15 =57
You can download all of the games from http://www.cruxis.com/download/Houdini3_Houdini20c_90min.zip

Well, obviously that's the engine for my future analysis!  Wink
I'll post some of these games here - hope you don't mind!
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #33 - 09/18/12 at 20:46:33
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Master Om wrote on 09/18/12 at 16:43:32:
The best Analysis program is the Human Brain aided by engines. Wink

We just discovered a new continent..  Shocked
Let's call it America!  Grin
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #32 - 09/18/12 at 16:43:32
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Vass wrote on 06/18/12 at 15:52:10:
Great analysis tool, but only for those who can work with it. (A little reading is needed and a lot of hard work to become good at it.)
As for the prices (special offers, discounts and alike), look at: http://chessok.com/shop/
Cool



The best Analysis program is the Human Brain aided by engines. Wink
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #31 - 06/18/12 at 15:52:10
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Great analysis tool, but only for those who can work with it. (A little reading is needed and a lot of hard work to become good at it.)
As for the prices (special offers, discounts and alike), look at: http://chessok.com/shop/
Cool
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #30 - 06/15/12 at 20:44:49
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Aquarium seems to get some good comments here as an analysis tool.  Is this a competitor to Chessbase or in the Chessbase family?  Also, how much does it cost?
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #29 - 06/15/12 at 11:27:31
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A candidate to be the best analysis program: the new version of Critter uci chess engine (created by Richard Vida) - 1.6
Completely free, yet powerful - maybe best for endgame analysis. Download versions are at:
http://www.vlasak.biz/critter/

New improvements:

"Richard Vida
Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:54 am Post subject: Re: Critter 1.6 released!

Recent changes/additions:

- Automatic detection of SEE4.1 capable CPU. Both SSE4/non-SSE4 codepaths are now compiled in a single executable and chosen dynamically at runtime.

- Large pages suppport. This requires sufficient user privileges and right OS settings.

- Own book is automatically turned off when analysing.

- Engine now honors multi-pv even when the root position is a tablebase hit

- Session file now supports IDEA. SF writes are disabled at root when any moves were excluded.

- Session file writes are now protected by OS IPC mechanisms (semaphores/mutexes). Same session file can be accessed concurrenlty by multiple engine isntances without risking corruption (useful when running IDEA)

- Removed UCI option "SF strategy", now its value is hardwired to "depth"

- New UCI option "SF move limit" which disables learning after game has reached given number of moves. When set to 0 this option is ignored.

- New UCI option "SF material limit" (0..32). Disables learning when total amount of material is less than the given amount [Q=6, R=3, B&N=1]. When set to 0 this option is ignored.

- Gameplay related changes:
* Tweaked blocked-pawn recognizer
* Skewer detection in eval
* King safety tweaks
* Pseudo-contempt: slightly increased preference of moves increasing pressure on the opponents king
* slightly increased preference of pawn pushes in semi-blocked positions
* Recognizing more types of drawish endgames

- new console mode commands "sf probe", "sf delete", "sf store" for mainpulating session file entries

Richard"

Smiley
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #28 - 04/07/12 at 20:22:05
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TN wrote on 04/07/12 at 13:08:33:
Uninstall and reinstall the engine, then when you add the UCI engine, tick the box 'below priority'

Thanks! Smiley
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #27 - 04/07/12 at 13:08:33
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 04/07/12 at 12:48:57:
The free Houdini 1.5a that I have seems to gradually bring my computer to a near standstill when analysing on ChessBase 10 - is this normal?


Uninstall and reinstall the engine, then when you add the UCI engine, tick the box 'below priority', if I recall correctly. Reducing the number of megabytes on the hashtable can also help.
  

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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #26 - 04/07/12 at 12:48:57
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The free Houdini 1.5a that I have seems to gradually bring my computer to a near standstill when analysing on ChessBase 10 - is this normal?
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #25 - 02/29/12 at 11:41:22
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Not a bug but maybe something to know. Komodo has a drawscore=-5 as default (in analyse mode too). It is maybe better to set this to 0 when you use it for analysis. And it is even more important to do this if you use Aquariums IDEA analysis, else you would probably get too much of something that looks like a odd/even scoring.
For IDEA use (or while excluding moves in normal analysis) I wouldn't thrust to enable positional learning, it could give some unpredictable results. (This latest is for other engines than Komodo.)
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #24 - 02/01/12 at 11:42:14
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trw wrote on 01/27/12 at 06:49:20:
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).


On the rybka forums Komodo 4 gets high praise as an analysis engine. The main reason given is that it's got better positional understanding than the other engines.

I haven't seen any mention of bugs in Komodo 4 - and, as the webmaster of http://komodochess.com, I'm always on the look out for people mentioning bugs.
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #23 - 02/01/12 at 06:51:21
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 01/26/12 at 09:25:08:
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.


Hi Stefan,
             How are you?. Replying you after a long time. Read all the comments here.
Let me tell you few things. The topic is "Analysis programs" and not Analysis tools, let me first elaborate on the engines first.
The top 5 engines are good in analysing positions you want. All have their strength and weaknesses. Namely - Houdini 2.0c , Critter 1.4 , Stockfish 2.2.2 , Depp Rybka 4.1 and Komodo 4 MP(Yet to be released, now SP only)

Regarding feature rich it is Rybka 4.1. It supports Large pages, Preserve Analysis , Randomizer, Monte Carlo , Multipv_cp and 2048 cores in cpu.

Houdini too supports Large pages, Save Hash , Multipv_cp and 32 cores support with learning feature and Nalimov + Gaviota TBs support. But i find the learning feature a bit faulty in it.
The best learning feature is in Critter 1.4a which implements a session file. Very good for Deep Position Analysis and Backward Analysis in Fritz GUI if you know the right configuration settings.
Here is the link to Unofficial one -http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?w4x1kctds4oa9og

Unofficial, unsupported, and only 64bit Sse4 build:

- tweaked SMP implementation
- sligthly decreased Queen value
- time management: try avoiding blunders in sudden death games when in time trouble
- time management: fixed losing on time whith "ponder on" games on opponent's instant reply
- improved pawn blockage detection (3B4/1r2p3/r2p1p2/bkp1P1p1/1p1P1PPp/p1P4P/PP1K4/3B4 w - - 0 1)

The Stockfish 2.2.2 is good for analysis in IA but not feature rich. So you need a feature rich stockfish which is good for analysis.  Here is an Unofficial one.
Stockfish 2.1.1 PA GTB Gran2c - download http://www.open-chess.org/download/file.php?id=356]

The changes from Stockfish 2.1.1 include:

Preserve Analysis: Stockfish keeps in mind what you have analyzed and doesn't research it until you unload the engine. Perfect for backward propagation of scores and saving time for transpositions.

GTB: Allows the user to use Gaviota Tablebases in Stockfish.

Granularity=2: Allows Stockfish to have more precision on move scores, so that instead of 0.00 -> 0.04 -> 0.08 it goes 0.00 -> 0.01 -> 0.02.
Mac, Win32, Win64 & source included. Source maintained at: https://github.com/jeremybernstein/Stockfish_PA_GTB


The best GUI for Rybka is Aquarium because it uses its feature to the fullest.
Randomizer is good feature which I always use to get a General Idea of a position. Shared Analysis is another feature which is great with Deep Rybka 4.1 . If you haven't read then read here - http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=5074]

You can do it manualy
Created a txt file  Deep Rybka 4 SSE42 x64.uci_b or Deep Rybka 4 x64.uci_b and type the following lines.

[ENGINE]
Parameter=%PID %CPUS
[OPTIONSA]
Preserve Analysis=true

And save the file with extension .uci_b in the same folder where the chessabase saves the uci file in appadata/roaming/chessbase/Engines UCI.
While analysing Just right click in engine window and Shared Analysis.

Another feature you can use in Aquarium is the Delta which uses MultiPV_cp for this (UCI3 support).
MultiPV_cp option is to limit multi-PV analysis to moves within a range of the best move.

I use 'delta' in infinite analysis.  Like set delta to 25 and variations to 200.  Then when you run the engine it shows the top move and all other moves that are up to 0.25 pawn worse.  In some positions it will show only one move but in other positions it may show many.  I spend a lot of time running analysis and setting variations to 5 (without delta) wastes a lot of time if there is only one good move.  On the other hand in some positions there may be 10 moves that are all good and I would only see 5 of them.  That's why you will  find delta a great feature.

Note on using Critter in Backward Analysis and in DPA
In IA use Always Resolve Scores and Depth Strategy (say =10) and this seems to be the preferred settings.

With a fast machine and Critter's new session file,  you can run with depth 25, with +1 at the root, with a branching factor of 4, 4, 3, 2, an analysis length of 7, and a window of 30, cutting bad moves.

Hope this helps you and all. After trying please answer me if its helpful to you.

Regards
Om
  
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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #22 - 01/31/12 at 08:24:35
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 01/30/12 at 13:57:58:
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?



Done.

My main problem with sticky topics is that they too get ignored. Let's see what happens to this one.
  
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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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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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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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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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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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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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Re: The best analysis program?
Reply #8 - 01/24/12 at 20:23:07