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Up Topic The Rybka Lounge / Test Positions / Searching for the best tactical engine...
- By dorszcz (**) Date 2021-01-14 21:48
About two weeks ago I decided to find a better tactical engine than Bluefish XI-LP FD with special settings (Tactical=2; Defensive=off). New things like NNUE appeared and I hoped there can be something interesting. I tried many combinations with different engines, nets and settings to find the best one.

The table shows the number of solved positions by engines in test suite TTT1 using 1 minute per position. The differences are really big. Interesting thing is that some older engines are noticeably tactically better than new engines. Blue color means that the engines were tested further with longer time in the next table.

I chose some of the most important in my opinion engines with settings and different nets for longer test: 15 minutes per unsolved position in the first 1 minute test.

Black Diamond XI-NN with setting Tactical=2 and Stockfish default net nn-62ef826d1a6d seems to be what I was looking for. It was the only engine that solved the whole set. Morover none of other engines could solve more positions in 15 minutes than Black Diamond in only 3 minutes.

There are some differences between nets. SV 1403, SV 1010 and SV 1520 are quite similar. They do not stand out with anything extraordinary. Stockfish default net is the strongest of them all and usually has good tactical results. Sometimes Night Nurse 0.3 is better at tactics but it depends on the engine. Experimental net SV 2115 can recognize some type of fortress very fast, but it also has some tactical holes. It needs much more time for some positions that are easy for other nets. I ran a tournament between the latest development version of Stockfish with default net against the same engine but with different nets to verify their strength. On the left side default net was used nn-62ef826d1a6d. I used DOTS1 test, Stockfish with default net won all matches.

If you are interested in Black Diamond XI-NN here is a link where you can download the engine:

Additionally I ran Black Diamond XI-NN (Tactical=2) using the net nn-62ef826d1a6d in test suite Hard-Talkchess-2020 using very similar conditions to Vincent's conditions: two cores clocked 2.1GHz instead of one 4GHz core. Its score was 196/213. From 17 unsolved positions the engine found alternative solutions in 2 positions, I posted them here:
Up Topic The Rybka Lounge / Test Positions / Searching for the best tactical engine...

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