Page 1 of 1

Need work-around to get engine to custom settings

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:18 pm
by Jesse Gersenson
I am running a tournament in arena 3.5. Arena is changing engine settings by itself and this is a known issue. http://talkchess.com/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=49287

What are some work arounds?

The aim is to send each engine:
setoption name Threads value 8
setoption name Hash value 128

And for arena to treat the solution as a regular engine.

InBetween is not a usable solution -- have tried it but it was crashing on this particular machine.

Re: Need work-around to get engine to custom settings

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:36 pm
by chessdev
As a followup, this is for the CCC. (www.chess.com/ccc). I'd be happy to pay for someone's time who knows how to get this addressed. PM me!

Re: Need work-around to get engine to custom settings

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:03 pm
by pferd
Is using cutechess gui an option? It still has some limitations, e.g. no support for stopping and continuing tournaments, but otherwise it is awesome for running engine tournaments

Re: Need work-around to get engine to custom settings

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:49 pm
by hgm
Best work-around is to use a less-buggy GUI.

Re: Need work-around to get engine to custom settings

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:29 pm
by fastgm
Maybe you can write-protect the configuration file ArenaENG.cfg?

Re: Need work-around to get engine to custom settings

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:50 am
by Jesse Gersenson
All good suggestions.

Writing protecting the file failed. Didn't try write protecting the entire folder.

My temporary fix is to monitor changes to the file, and revert them.

@pferd yes, cutechess-cli is an option. My thought is the 'tournament' should be run by SOMETHING, which uses a proper database, and the games should be run by something like cutechess or anything capable of pitting the engines against one another and capturing their output.

Re: Need work-around to get engine to custom settings

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:58 am
by Joerg Oster
Jesse Gersenson wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:18 pm
I am running a tournament in arena 3.5. Arena is changing engine settings by itself and this is a known issue. http://talkchess.com/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=49287

What are some work arounds?

The aim is to send each engine:
setoption name Threads value 8
setoption name Hash value 128

And for arena to treat the solution as a regular engine.

InBetween is not a usable solution -- have tried it but it was crashing on this particular machine.
What exactly is the problem?
I never ever had any problems in configuring any engine to my needs.
Of course, you have to uncheck all check boxes in the 'UCI' tab in the main engine management dialog.
The reason is there is no standard for the various settings.
For example, some engines call the option for setting the number of threads to use 'Threads', some 'Number of processors', 'cpus' or whatever.

Select your engine to load in the main engine management dialog and close the dialog.
Now right-click in the engine output box and choose the top entry, configure <engine name>.
Make your settings, close and let the engine analyze a few seconds to check whether it is working correctly.
You may want to test this on several test positions.
Repeat for each single engine you wish to configure.

When you create a new tournament, all engines should now play with your desired settings.

Note: I don't recommend Arena for playing ultrashort time controls. Just in case ...

Re: Need work-around to get engine to custom settings

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:53 am
by Guenther
Jesse Gersenson wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:50 am

@pferd yes, cutechess-cli is an option. My thought is the 'tournament' should be run by SOMETHING, which uses a proper database, and the games should be run by something like cutechess or anything capable of pitting the engines against one another and capturing their output.
Note that he explicitely mentioned cutechess-gui not cutechess-cli for your needs...
Actually 'your needs' are not very well described at all so far. It is very vague what you want to do so far.

BTW what is the meaning of this: 'which uses a proper database'?

(Anyhow, I would never use Arena for some serious computerchess things - YMMV)