Where's the joy in writing a chess engine?

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jdart
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Re: Where's the joy in writing a chess engine?

Post by jdart » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:18 am

I think it takes a certain mindset to do coding at all - you do have to like to solve difficult puzzles.

But at least for me, while I do apply some professional engineering techniques to my chess project, it is not very much like the work I did in my engineering day jobs (I am semi-retired now). For one thing, I don't have any deadlines when I do the chess stuff. But most software organizations have gone to Scrum (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrum_(so ... velopment) ) now, or something like it, and that is deadlines all the time.

--Jon

sedicla
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Re: Where's the joy in writing a chess engine?

Post by sedicla » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:19 pm

I think one reason is what many mentioned, it is a escape from work. I've done few programming currently, I am more on a system analyst role, so in chess programming I can do at my own pace, test ideas, learn, and take breaks.

But i think the main reason for me is the "wow" moment, when your "creation" do something amazing and unexpected. When watching games it can make a nice move, or when it looses frequent to certain engine, and you improve and then start winning easy.
Now I am happy with improvements I got from eval tuning (texel method). Before my engine made some moves I don't understand and lost the game. Now sometimes make moves I don't understand and wins the game :)

I can imagine for example, the texel author in TCEC when the game was going to a draw, the other engine made a move and then boom, winning score. Also andscacs Rd4 in the last game, rook sacrifice for attack. Stockfish game, where a pawn/piece was defended 3 times and it took anyway to open up the position. It is fun to see the chat going crazy...

By the way, engine authors, what is your "wow" moment?

Albert Silver
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Re: Where's the joy in writing a chess engine?

Post by Albert Silver » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:00 pm

Tony P. wrote:Thanks for the explanations, it's good to have you both as counterexamples ITT!

I wonder why those who enjoy their job, and would like to do it as a hobby too, don't simply take extra working hours.
It's not that simple.

I am paid as a writer, and write for ChessBase. I enjoy writing, and also do so in my free time. Why don't I just write more for CB, and thus get paid more, rather than free unpaid (mostly) writing? It has nothing to do with CB being particularly uncharitable, or whatever. It has to do with having an interest in writing about something else as well.

It's the difference between writing for someone else, and writing for myself. I don't see why this wouldn't be true of programmers as well.
"Tactics are the bricks and sticks that make up a game, but positional play is the architectural blueprint."

MikeB
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Re: Where's the joy in writing a chess engine?

Post by MikeB » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:34 am

Albert Silver wrote:
Tony P. wrote:Thanks for the explanations, it's good to have you both as counterexamples ITT!

I wonder why those who enjoy their job, and would like to do it as a hobby too, don't simply take extra working hours.
It's not that simple.

I am paid as a writer, and write for ChessBase. I enjoy writing, and also do so in my free time. Why don't I just write more for CB, and thus get paid more, rather than free unpaid (mostly) writing? It has nothing to do with CB being particularly uncharitable, or whatever. It has to do with having an interest in writing about something else as well.

It's the difference between writing for someone else, and writing for myself. I don't see why this wouldn't be true of programmers as well.
Albert,

You do a very nice job of writing, it is clearly one of your gifts.
Regards,

Michael

Albert Silver
Posts: 2867
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:57 pm
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Re: Where's the joy in writing a chess engine?

Post by Albert Silver » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:55 pm

MikeB wrote:
Albert Silver wrote:
Tony P. wrote:Thanks for the explanations, it's good to have you both as counterexamples ITT!

I wonder why those who enjoy their job, and would like to do it as a hobby too, don't simply take extra working hours.
It's not that simple.

I am paid as a writer, and write for ChessBase. I enjoy writing, and also do so in my free time. Why don't I just write more for CB, and thus get paid more, rather than free unpaid (mostly) writing? It has nothing to do with CB being particularly uncharitable, or whatever. It has to do with having an interest in writing about something else as well.

It's the difference between writing for someone else, and writing for myself. I don't see why this wouldn't be true of programmers as well.
Albert,

You do a very nice job of writing, it is clearly one of your gifts.
Regards,

Michael
Thanks!
"Tactics are the bricks and sticks that make up a game, but positional play is the architectural blueprint."

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