I am new to this forum, and have ordered Rybka 2.3.
I have Fritz 10 and Hiarcs 10. My interest in Rybka is its strength for analysis, and its positional playing style.
My question is: What is the experience playing Rybka at limited Elo, for example 1400?
I have played Fritz and Hiarcs in the Fritz GUI Friend Mode. Does anyone have experience playing Rybka in Friend Mode?
Would appreciate any comments on the best way to play Rybka for a not so strong player (maybe 1400 to 1500 on a good day).
Thanks for your help.
As you point out these programs are brutally strong. And the advantage of Rybka is analysis -- which is my primary reason for getting it.
But, I also enjoy being able to play a game, at my own pace (no time pressure), just to enjoy. And then let the program tell me where I might have done better (analysis).
So, the question, for me, becomes: what programs can best simulate a "real" chess game experience for me -- at my level -- without time constraints.
Chessmaster doesn't make it (it just gives away pieces), Fritz series does a real good job with Friend mode. So, I am wondering about Rybka.
The top programs have clearly mastered strength. In my opinion, the challenge, now, is to provide a challenging, "real game" experience for chess players at all levels. That will get mass appeal and further the game of chess. I realize that any weakening of a program's strength is essentially handicapping, but, how well they can hide that is the challenge. What we want is the player to come away from the game with the feeling that "I won, but it was a real hard fight" and not "I just waited for a stupid mistake".
Anyhow, thanks for your comments. I am sure I will enjoy Rybka. I am enjoying all the information in this forum.
Coming to Chessmaster, it plays stronger and less blunders as you win the games.
I don't think Rybka would work for this (unless you indeed try material odds), you may want to see 1 ply Rybka, it plays instantly yet incredibly powerful (Yet I can beat other engines at 5 ply, for example).
> Of course they are rather fast games (!).
"Rather"??? Now really ;)
If you can't play 100,000 games against a wide variety of opponents at long time controls, the bottom line is that you don't know if your change gained an Elo or lost an Elo. You have to rely on your intuition, use as many different feedback loops as possible, and hope that you go forward more often than you go backward.
We do confirm every one or two months that we do at least go forward.
Everything is relative. Computers can play a game of SCRABBLE(r) quite well [scoring about 40% against optimal play] in 0.1 seconds or less (static considerations dominate in almost all cases, so move generation is the bottleneck). Now that checkers has been solved, someone might try to measure how well perfect play can be emulated via simple heuristics [however, the current proof that checkers is a draw doesn't quite allow this to be done in a completely straightforward manner, as the proof prunes large subtrees for which only a bound on the game-theoretic value is known].
There could be some dependence on what Evaluate() does in a 5-piece endgame when the TB is not present. For instance, if there are KRP vs KR recognisers, or B+hP worries, etc. Some programmes might be just guessing about KP vs K (say), as they assume that a lookup will be available. I definitely agree that it would be interesting to see some more results here (they might not reveal the rating equivalent of tablebases, but, rather, might give us an idea of how tablebase-dependent various engines are).
> No, but I did play a thousand games at a reasonable fixed depth (anyone can do this themselves, if you do please report the results) and got zero benefit from 5 man tablebase.
That's probably flawed. I thought using tablebases (usually) resulted in higher depths?
> This test should be fine.
Suppose every extra ply adds 50 Elo. Further suppose we have a position where 5-man tablebases help so much that you get 3 extra plies.
Fixed depth cripples the tablebase-using version by 150 points in this hypothetical position. Ouch.
Even if we don't try to access tablebases until we're already in the 5 man endgame, Rybka should then play perfectly as opposed to the possibly poor play of a fixed depth search. Even though we're limiting the search to (for example) 5 plies, the tablebase will still report "mate in forty" if that is the case.
Seems like probing inside the tree actually hurts at fixed depth, or the TB-using version should've been stronger. Then again, 1000 games aren't really enough.
The only interesting effect is the higher evaluation quality. This might give 2 or 3 Elo. We know that it doesn't give more than 10 or so.
This seems very strange to me. Obviously there are some end games that Rybka can't play where having the 5-man TBs will give an extra 1/2 point or maybe even a full point. This means that in order to end up at zero benefit, there must be cases where the TBs are actually hurting performance. In a straight alpha-beta fixed depth search, this should never happen so there must be a bad interaction between the TBs and some other heuristic being used to reduce the size of the tree. This sounds like something Vas should check into since it may be costing 5-20 Elo (whatever the gain of the TBs ought to be).
Note that one other issue is resignation threshold. If Rybka can't mate with KR v K at low depths, this won't matter if such positions are resigned.
Anyway, I'm not sure why you say that TBs should gain 5-20 Elo. 5 is probably an upperbound.
And yes, always the stats ;)
This would not be a fair comparison unless the test were done with constant search depth.
I have no idea what the actual gain in Elo is but I think the argument is sound. There are certainly some cases where TBs will turn a loss into a draw or a draw into a win and maybe even rarely a loss into a win. Its possible, but probably much less likely, that in some cases the TB moves may end up swindling (as Hyatt put it) the opponent less often than Rybka's moves would. Normally, the TB access have a penalty, small or large, due to disk access time, but this should not be a factor for fixed depth games.
So if there is a known advantage with TBs in some games but the net result is 0 Elo, there must be a hidden disadvantage somewhere else to end up with this result. I can see only the following possibilities:
1) The swindle effect listed above (which I consider to be highly unlikely), or
2) The use of TBs can adversely affect the search for whatever reason, or
3) The advantage of using the TBs in the first place is so small that it isn't registering in Larry's test (< 1 Elo). This doesn't seem to be consistent with anecdotal evidence.
> The margin of error in a thousand games is far more than 1 Elo point.
Statistics to remember are very simple:
1000 games , with 1/3 being draws, give a standard deviation of 9 Elo points.
Thus, the 95% probability range is 18 Elo points (Gauss curve).
For n times 1000 games, that range is divided by the square root of n.
For 1000 games divided by n, that range is multiplied by the square root of n.
> half draws rather than 1/3
OK, with 1/2 draws, standard deviation is 8 Elo points and 95% probability range is 15 Elo points.
(the numbers are proportional to the square root of the non-draw ratio, so you multiply by sqrt(0.5/0.666) = 0.866)
#2 is hard to believe. The basic search mechanics are just not that complicated.
The main thing is #3, I'm quite sure about it. For me, it's not really inconsistent with anecdotal evidence - the anecdotes are all quite rare.
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