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Up Topic Rybka Support & Discussion / Rybka Discussion / Would like to see Rybka for Nintendo DSi (download)
- - By JonP01 Date 2009-11-05 08:49

I would very much like to see a version of Rybka in the future designed for the Nintendo DSi console. Now that the DSi version of the console has access to a proper download store - just like Apple, etc - I think this is the perfect opportunity for engine developers to finally produce a strong chess playing game for this console.

Currently, the strongest commercial chess program for the DS /DSi console is Fritz, however after extensive testing of mine - including 40 slow tournament games (40 in 2) against three different dedicated programs, it only emerged with a rating of around 2018 ELo (that is based on the current SSDF listing and does not include any contractions. Were I to contract it's performance rating by 25% then it is in the high 1900s).

Although that rating still puts it ahead of many well regarded dedicated programs and stronger than the vast majority of humans, the fact is that 2018 ELO is not very strong these days. And because we are all improving from playing powerful programs, I find a 2000 rated computer opponent to be weaker to play against than I did 20 years ago. I am sure nearly all of us can relate to this phenomenon.

The problem with Fritz is that it does not utilise the faster 133 Mhz ARM processor in the DSi console, but instead runs at 66 Mhz. Secondly, for some reason, it does not use hash tables and is therefore relatively weak in the endgame. Thirdly, it thinks too fast. Even at the slowest possible thinking times, it averages out just over a minute to 2 minutes per move. Finally, there seems to be some sort of huge overhead in the GUI processing, making it less useful for rapid chess and quite hurtful in absolute terms given it's fast move rate (it seems that about 4 - 6 seconds per move is just spent by the GUI processing - passing the move to the engine and getting the engine response back). The program could almost certainly crack 2250 or even 2300 if all these things were attended to and would thus be a decent strength opponent. But not as it is now :(

According to Mark Uniake, his program running on the DSi hardware ought to hit 2500 ELO, and I am sure Rykba ought to be able to play in that same sort of strength range too.

So please, PLEASE give consideration to producing Rybka for Nintendo DSi. I want to play against an opponent that can beat me 100% of the time no matter how hard I try. I am sick of playing these weak, sub-master strength toys. I am sick of playing programs that can't see 25 ply ahead in an endgame and therefore lose badly in positions which are obviously winning to even weak humans. But then again I don't want to have to sit at a PC or even a laptop to play chess when I already have a superbly designed, super-lightweight, noiseless, pocket-sized console that can fit in the palm of my hand. As I say, the programs can be downloaded directly into the console from the Nintendo DSi store these days, so developers no longer have the hassles of publishing hardware versions of their engines.

Sure, I know a lot of people have iPhones or i-this and i-that. But on the other side of the coin, devices like pocket PCs are becoming all but obsolete whereas Nintendo consoles are sold in the millions upon millions.
Parent - By yanquis1972 (****) Date 2009-11-05 13:55
fwiw, hiarcs scales better on these pocket processors. it might require a lot of work from vas to get rybka playing satisfactorily on these machines at the moment so im not sure i would hold out hope.
Parent - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) Date 2009-11-07 08:26
This is certainly something we'll consider. The entire business model is going to change a bit and I'll put more attention to ports.

Up Topic Rybka Support & Discussion / Rybka Discussion / Would like to see Rybka for Nintendo DSi (download)

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