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Normal Topic Engines style of play: positional/tactical (Read 5608 times)
TonyRo
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Re: Engines style of play: positional/tactical
Reply #4 - 09/03/14 at 18:58:21
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I have found that for casual, quick analysis, Komodo is not where you want to be. I have no doubt that it's a very strong engine with some unique characteristics at long time controls, but for quick analysis of your games and for cursory analysis of opening variations, I'd prefer Stockfish or Houdini. I have used Komodo in the past for longer and deeper analyses on positions where I think it makes sense to use it and it's shown some reasonable insight and interesting ideas.

Just my two cents.
  
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Marc Benford
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Re: Engines style of play: positional/tactical
Reply #3 - 09/03/14 at 18:15:24
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I just saw that Komodo 8, a new version of Komodo, will be released in a few days. It will have approximately 40 more Elo points than Komodo 7, so it will be stronger than Stockfish 5.

I've read on different websites that Komodo is the most positional and strategic engine (for example on Wikipedia it says: "It heavily relies on evaluation rather than depth, and thus has a distinctive positional style. Its forte is to play when there is nothing to play."), which is exactly what I'm looking for, so I think I will buy it.
  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: Engines style of play: positional/tactical
Reply #2 - 08/16/14 at 17:53:51
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The best of these engines are better positionally and tatctically than the worst ones. The issue is a bit unclear, though, since there are many definitions of being "tactical." There is being sacrificial and there is being materialistic (=antipositional), two opposite ways of being tactical. There is going for messy unclear positions whose evaluations fluctuate over positions with a more stable evaluation. There is seeking open positions with free piece play over blocked positions.

Regarding the styles of the engines on your list, Stockfish is the best finding long, incredibly deep tactical points, and for calculating endgames. It can, however, miss some things at first because it can only investigate some lines very deeply at the expense of others. It is the current TCEC world champion. Houdini is best at figuring out surprising tactical points at blitz time controls and is, as its name implies, very good at twisting and turning in positions where it stands worse. Shredder (not on your list) is the stuffiest and most repressed. Its moves often make sense in purely positional terms. e.g. "now I see, it's just going for iron control of the c-file." Komodo, my favorite engine, spends the most time making detailed and subtle evaluations. It is classical in its thinking, very good at finding and setting up the correct pawn breaks. It is also last year's TCEC world champion and this year's runner-up. Rybka plays a bit like a supercharged Euwe--well-rounded, sharp but not insane, and maximalist. I haven't used the other engines on your list.
  
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scchess
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Re: Engines style of play: positional/tactical
Reply #1 - 08/16/14 at 05:10:36
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No. The depth is not directly related to the style. It has more to do with chess evaluation. https://chessprogramming.wikispaces.com/Evaluation
  
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Marc Benford
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Engines style of play: positional/tactical
08/15/14 at 21:54:43
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Hello.

I’ve heard that each engine has its own style of play. Some are more positional and strategic, while others are more sharp and tactical.

And so my question is: could you roughly sort the following engines from the most sharp and tactical to the most positional and strategic?:

- Critter 1.6a
- Deep Fritz 14
- Gull 3
- Hiarcs 14
- Houdini 4
- Komodo 7a
- Rybka 4
- Stockfish 5

And does the style of an engine depend on the time it takes to get to a high depth? I was thinking that maybe, for engines of roughly the same strength, engines that quickly get to a very high depth are more sharp and tactical, while engines that do not quickly get to a high depth have a richer and more complex evaluation function and therefore they are maybe more positional and strategic.

Thanks in advance for your answers.
  
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