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Up Topic Rybka Support & Discussion / Aquarium / Chess Assistant
- - By cghori (**) Date 2017-12-03 23:54
It seems the only changes made to CA each year is the updating of Hugebase.  When was the last time there was an interface change or feature changes like Chessbase does every new edition?  Even the online Help is from CA6!  Why isn’t the program being constantly updated?  The interface looks so dated!
Parent - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2017-12-04 17:10
I use Chessbase, so I cannot answer why CA is the way it is.  But as a CB user, I can tell you -- there is something to be said for stability and familiarity.  Many times I have wished that CB was more like CA...
Parent - - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2017-12-06 12:45
there have been minor updates regarding UCI engines in the early days of Rybka, but I don't use CA that often and stick to Aquarium :-)
Parent - - By Carl Bicknell (*****) Date 2017-12-28 17:30

> but I don't use CA that often and stick to Aquarium :-)

Isn't Aquarium dead?
Parent - - By Dadi Jonsson (Silver) Date 2017-12-29 13:28 Edited 2017-12-29 13:32
Far from it! I have monitored a few aspects of Aquarium from version to version. One of those is the the disk of I/O when running IDeA (without minimaxing) with several engines over a period of 5 minutes. I added a few more IDeA engines in 2016 and in 2018 I added infinite analysis to the mix, which makes the numbers even more impressive.

I think this translates into better performance, increased stability and more responsive Aquarium.

I also did an additional test on Aquarium 2018 with several minimaxes during the 5 minutes. The majority of the additional I/O was due to the tree backup system (the IDeA tree is backed up up every time Aquarium minimaxes it).

This also means that Aquarium can now handle "faster" projects than before without problems. I tested a project with 3 seconds/move, which earlier versions of Aquarium couldn't handle due to excessive disk I/O. Now the SSD disk load is hardly noticeable as the figure below shows.

I predict that the developers will now turn their attention to other (more visible) improvements in the next version :cool:
Parent - By Carl Bicknell (*****) Date 2017-12-30 12:53
That's great news!

I just assumed that because there was nothing on the beta tester forum it must be over.
Parent - By Carl Bicknell (*****) Date 2017-12-31 12:18
Just while I think of it, has anything changed about the size a tree can be? Large trees before could be a bit slow, especially if there were lots of tasks in the queue.

This was one of the main reasons I separated opening research into lots of different projects. But if tree size & speed is better I'd love to start combining. Sure helps studying the King's Indian when you can safely see the fruits of looking at the Grunfeld etc.
Parent - - By ventura07 (***) Date 2017-12-06 22:24
Chess Assistant isn't being updated and that intention I believe was announced when Aquarium was launched and that any new features would be in Aquarium. I use Chess Assistant every day for my main chess program and use Aquarium and Chessbase 14 for some functions that are better done in those programs. I find that Chess Assistant has most of the features that I need and I know the program so I find it easier to use although that wouldn’t be the case for everyone. I think the last time Chess Assistant was updated was Chess Assistant 13 or 14 and the change related to having the program run better in Windows 7 and later. The only change each year is an updated Hugebase (which you can also get with an updated Aquarium) and the weekly updates to Hugebase and in some years it is sold with a new engine (last year Houdini 5 and Houdini 6 this year). As to why the program is not being developed, I would guess that that it is difficult to compete with Chessbase which is used by most players. I suspect that the chess software business is a small market and there are several free products with enough of the basic features that would satisfy most OTB players. In addition, prices have been falling for years.
Parent - - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2017-12-21 16:59
well, Chess Assistant is the alternative to Chessbase, but as you say, the market is small and something like Aquarium or Fritz is probably selling better than a pure database software like CA/CB.
From database features point of view, CA is great, but the interface looks oldish, that's all.

Note that Convekta also works on "Chess King" and stuff like Peshka. Not to mention 7-men endgame tablebases.
Parent - - By Ghengis-Kann (***) Date 2017-12-22 23:27
Indeed, it "looks old".
A simple update to include the board and piece sets that come with Aquarium would fix that.

I bought CA because it can remove duplicates from databases.
Is it possible to do that with Aquarium's tree utilities?

I am about to buy AQ2018 and update my databases.
Right now I use AQ2011 to sort and select games since the record numbers are missing from the databases in later versions of Aquarium (unless this was fixed in AQ2018).
Similar game sets from several databases are then merged and duplicates removed with Chess Assistant, and finally added to tree configurations in the latest version of Aquarium.

It would be nice to do all this with 1 program.
I have avoided Chessbase because it is so expensive and I haven't been able to figure out any way it is superior to Aquarium.

Hey Pawnslinger, why do you use Chessbase to view databases instead of Aquarium?
Parent - - By nebulus (****) Date 2017-12-22 23:37

> I bought CA because it can remove duplicates from databases.
> Is it possible to do that with Aquarium's tree utilities?

Trees contain positions, not games. So... no.
Parent - - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2017-12-23 03:37
Yes.  And duplicate games in a tree are no different than 1 game in a tree.... they both have the same moves/positions, hence the same nodes.  So in a way, duplicate games are eliminated by importing into a tree.
Parent - - By nebulus (****) Date 2017-12-23 03:53
Well, not quite. Number of games is going to be wrong if you have duplicates in the database. But you are right that position itself is going to be stored once.
Parent - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2017-12-23 19:44
Of course, but I do not use the Aquarium database.

I did try several versions ago, but I got hit with many bugs, so I gave up and purchased Chessbase  instead.  So now I have an investment in time and money with it.  As far as I know, CB eliminates duplicates without any problem.  And I really like its cloud features too.

I really wish that ChessOk would add something like the CB cloud to its software.  I especially like accessing the cloud during IA to see what other engines have figured out.
Parent - - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2017-12-23 19:39
It is intended that "advanced" database features are only available in Chess Assistant, just like it is with Fritz and Chessbase
Parent - By Ghengis-Kann (***) Date 2017-12-26 03:49
I suppose there would be no point to Chess Assistant at all if Aquarium had all it's features, but maybe that would be simpler for everyone.

Just to clarify the duplicates issue, my tree configurations contain columns that reference both .aqt and .cdp files.
Moves and evaluations are in .aqt trees, but the database information is in .cdp format, where any change to the header is a different game even if all the moves are identical.
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2017-12-27 02:07
It might be better if they had an added cost add-on package for aquarium that unlocked the additional features. It's always a pain to have two applications with different GUIs and databases which are both required to get things done...
Parent - - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2017-12-27 18:56
"If" they would have a lot of ressources, they would do that :-)
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2017-12-27 19:06
It's a chicken and egg problem. Sales of CA would certainly be higher if it were a convenient add on to the much better selling Aquarium (a classic up sale). The question is whether the increased sales of CA would pay for the added development...
Parent - - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2017-12-27 20:24
It probably wouldn't. Even if it is better than anything else on the market, most customers would stick to what they know.
Parent - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2017-12-28 16:48
For folks like me, 70+ years old and set in my ways... I am sure you are right.

The appeal has got to be to new players... players that are not already invested in other products.  At this point, that market belongs to the products with the largest ad budget.  Simple invisibility makes Aquarium and/or Chess Assistant a hard sell.  Personally, I found Aquarium by word of mouth (from a friend).  Tough to compete that way against companies with large ad budgets.
Up Topic Rybka Support & Discussion / Aquarium / Chess Assistant

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