Need some GUI suggestions for running Tournaments

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Paul Bedrey
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Need some GUI suggestions for running Tournaments

Post by Paul Bedrey » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:21 pm

I have always used Arena. Lately though I've noticed some oddities when running Tournaments. It seems that whatever UCI option you choose the size of the hash gets changed when the engine restarts in tournament mode. The other thing I suspect is that the parmeters might be reset too.

Anyone have any suggestions as to alternative GUI or possible suggestions to correct Arena? I notice that some are using ChessGUI but I can't seem to find a download.
Thanks

carldaman
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Re: Need some GUI suggestions for running Tournaments

Post by carldaman » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:43 pm

Paul Bedrey wrote:I have always used Arena. Lately though I've noticed some oddities when running Tournaments. It seems that whatever UCI option you choose the size of the hash gets changed when the engine restarts in tournament mode. The other thing I suspect is that the parmeters might be reset too.

Anyone have any suggestions as to alternative GUI or possible suggestions to correct Arena? I notice that some are using ChessGUI but I can't seem to find a download.
Thanks
You didn't mention what version of Arena you were using. Version 3.0 has a bug where globally set hash tends to change for UCI engines, so it is better to just uncheck this option (under the Engine Management tab) and just assign the amount of hash individually for each UCI engine before each tournament begins.

You also have to check all the UCI parameters before each tourney to make sure they haven't changed. The GUI will remember them for the duration of the tourney, but beyond that this is not guaranteed.

All this applies to Arena v3.0, which has these known bugs, but Arena 2.01 is said to be better in this regard. You may want to experiment with this older version of Arena.

Overall, I really like Arena, as it's visually pleasing for those of us that like to watch the games/tourneys as they happen, but you need to know how to navigate around these bugs in v3.0. The Fritz GUI looks nice, too, but you have to create individual wb2uci files for each engine, and these vary in their contents. The adapter will slow down the WB engines somewhat, and I don't like that.

ChessGUI is supposed to have the best features and the least bugs, but it is not easy on the eyes. There were newer versions with better graphics, but last I heard, these introduced some bugs. [If I'm wrong, someone please indicate which bug-free ChessGUI version w/ improved graphics I can download.]

You could also try Winboard, but following the ongoing tournaments is poor compared to Arena (last I checked, but may have been improved in the latest WB release).

Regards,
CL

Paul Bedrey
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Re: Need some GUI suggestions for running Tournaments

Post by Paul Bedrey » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:57 pm

Thanks Carl. I'm using Arena 3 build 2542 dated 12/24/2010.
I initially had the hash uci unchecked when I noticed it resetting hash. I've tried checking "just for tournaments" and "all the time option". Both keep resetting too.
How do I set hash for each engine? And I share your opinion about Arena. I prefer it too. I have not run tournaments for a while but I'm sure Arena 2.0 never had this problem.
I have Fritz 8 and its Gui but I always heard there was a ponder problem with non Fritz engines.

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velmarin
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Re: Need some GUI suggestions for running Tournaments

Post by velmarin » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:05 pm

Paul Bedrey wrote: I notice that some are using ChessGUI but I can't seem to find a download.
Thanks

Maybe you did not see an option in the forum.
"search."

http://www.talkchess.com/forum/viewtopi ... t=chessgui

There has authored last ChessGUI message.
It is probably the best choice, if you want to do something "serious".

carldaman
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Re: Need some GUI suggestions for running Tournaments

Post by carldaman » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:35 pm

Paul Bedrey wrote:Thanks Carl. I'm using Arena 3 build 2542 dated 12/24/2010.
I initially had the hash uci unchecked when I noticed it resetting hash. I've tried checking "just for tournaments" and "all the time option". Both keep resetting too.
How do I set hash for each engine? And I share your opinion about Arena. I prefer it too. I have not run tournaments for a while but I'm sure Arena 2.0 never had this problem.
I have Fritz 8 and its Gui but I always heard there was a ponder problem with non Fritz engines.
Before you set up the tourney, you have to load each participating UCI engine separately and right-click on the engine's name below the board and select Configure. This will allow you to set the hash size, number of threads, etc. These will be remembered for the duration of the tournament, and sometimes longer, although you should check again before every tournament. (Again, this applies to v3.0 of Arena).

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hgm
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Re: Need some GUI suggestions for running Tournaments

Post by hgm » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:37 pm

I suggest WinBoard, of course! Would also allow you to use concurrency when running the tournament. In fact I am using it to run a tournament now. (A round-robin with 4 engines, 2 games/pairing, 84 cycles, (so 1008 games in total), from a file of pre-scribed opening lines, running 3 non-ponder games concurrently on my quad, to leave some CPU power for posting this message.)

I always use hgtable.exe to follow the tourney directly from the PGN file, (using WinBoard's -afterGame option), but it seems I forgot to include that in the latest WinBoard install. There are plenty of other PGN-to-crosstable utilities around that you could use, though.

Paul Bedrey
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Re: Need some GUI suggestions for running Tournaments

Post by Paul Bedrey » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:28 pm

Thanks Jose. I missed that. I've downloaded it and went back to Arena 2.01 too.
So far it looks like 2.01 is correctly sharing hash for the. tournament.

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Matthias Gemuh
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Re: Need some GUI suggestions for running Tournaments

Post by Matthias Gemuh » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:35 pm

hgm wrote:I suggest WinBoard, of course! ...
I would use WinBoard too, if ChessGUI were not available. :D :) :P :wink: :!:

Great piece of Art you've manufactured there. !
My engine was quite strong till I added knowledge to it.
http://www.chess.hylogic.de

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hgm
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Re: Need some GUI suggestions for running Tournaments

Post by hgm » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:42 pm

Well, ChessGUI is not available for me. The tourney I was talking about is a mini-Shogi tourney! :wink:

Still, something is not going as it should. I set adjudication to 4-fold repeats, as is the Shogi rule, but one of the engines claims a draw on the third repeat (while in fact on the 4th repeat it would be a loss). And WinBoard accepts this! :shock:
Last edited by hgm on Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Matthias Gemuh
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Re: Need some GUI suggestions for running Tournaments

Post by Matthias Gemuh » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:43 pm

carldaman wrote:
ChessGUI is supposed to have the best features and the least bugs, but it is not easy on the eyes. There were newer versions with better graphics, but last I heard, these introduced some bugs. [If I'm wrong, someone please indicate which bug-free ChessGUI version w/ improved graphics I can download.]

...

Regards,
CL
The "bugs" were incompatibilities with TCEC.
I am waiting for people to discover true bugs (other than the ones mentioned on ChessGUI website).

Matthias.
My engine was quite strong till I added knowledge to it.
http://www.chess.hylogic.de

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