Fairymax is using 25% of cpu

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loug
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Fairymax is using 25% of cpu

Post by loug » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:25 pm

I use Pychess on Ubuntu 18.04 and have been experiencing high cpu utilization when playing against Fairymax 5.0b (from the Ubuntu repos). After the 3rd move of a game Fairymax response slows down and task manager shows consistent cpu usage at 25%. Other chess engines (stockfish, crafty, toga) do not do this. I've posted on the Pychess github page with no joy and they say they are using Fairymax with no problem. Perhaps there is a Fairymax setting I could change to fix this but I've been unable to find much info.

I'm a very average player (1300-1400) and would enjoy playing against Fairymax if I could get it working properly. Can someone help?

Thank you in advance...

Dann Corbit
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Re: Fairymax is using 25% of cpu

Post by Dann Corbit » Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:32 pm

How many cores does your system have?

I guess that Fairymax is not SMP, so I would expect it to use 25% of the CPU on a 4 core system.
Now, if you have long time control and FairyMax is using CPU during the opponents turn, check to see if there is a UCI setting for Ponder and turn it off if there is.

If you are playing live against FairyMax as a human, then it does not matter if FairyMax ponders.
Taking ideas is not a vice, it is a virtue. We have another word for this. It is called learning.
But sharing ideas is an even greater virtue. We have another word for this. It is called teaching.

loug
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Re: Fairymax is using 25% of cpu

Post by loug » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:40 am

My machine has 2 cores and I do not have ponder enabled. Perhaps I will not be able to use Fairymax as an opponent as it really slows my system down. Thanks for your response.

If you know of another linux-compatible chess engine that has an elo in the 1200-1500 area perhaps you could suggest one.

tmokonen
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Re: Fairymax is using 25% of cpu

Post by tmokonen » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:53 am

FairyMax is a single core Xboard/Winboard engine, and does not support ponder, so if there is excessive CPU usage, it would be for a different reason than pondering. The code shows that FairyMax explicitly ignores both the easy and hard commands.

Dann Corbit
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Re: Fairymax is using 25% of cpu

Post by Dann Corbit » Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:40 am

loug wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:40 am
My machine has 2 cores and I do not have ponder enabled. Perhaps I will not be able to use Fairymax as an opponent as it really slows my system down. Thanks for your response.

If you know of another linux-compatible chess engine that has an elo in the 1200-1500 area perhaps you could suggest one.
Get Pierre 1.7:
http://alexboby.com/pierre/
Taking ideas is not a vice, it is a virtue. We have another word for this. It is called learning.
But sharing ideas is an even greater virtue. We have another word for this. It is called teaching.

loug
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Re: Fairymax is using 25% of cpu

Post by loug » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:18 pm

I tried Pierre - Pychess) doesn't like the executable for some reason. I get a message "something is wrong with the executable". Informative, isn't it :)

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hgm
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Re: Fairymax is using 25% of cpu

Post by hgm » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:59 pm

Now is your complaint that 25% is too high or too low?

25% seems normal usage, for a single-threaded engine running on a two-core (= 4 hyperthreads) system. Fairy-Max shouldn't use any CPU when not on move; it would just be waiting for input.

stevenaaus
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Re: Fairymax is using 25% of cpu

Post by stevenaaus » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:53 pm

> I will not be able to use Fairymax as an opponent as it really slows my system down

I would not think 25% cpu ultilisation should noticeably slow your system down.
Perhaps some unusual disk I/O, or some other related thing is the problem.

Ras
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Re: Fairymax is using 25% of cpu

Post by Ras » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:45 am

loug wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:18 pm
I tried Pierre - Pychess) doesn't like the executable for some reason.
No wonder in case you tried to download the binary. It's from 20 years ago, and Linux just doesn't offer such a long compatibility on binary level. You'll have to re-compile from source, and even that may not work.

If you are fine with running a build shell script under Linux, you could also take a look at my CT800 engine. You can throttle the strength down via a standard UCI command.
Rasmus Althoff
https://www.ct800.net

loug
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Re: Fairymax is using 25% of cpu

Post by loug » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:03 am

Thanks for all the useful input - I'm learning a lot that I didn't know (and why should I - I've never written a chess engine). I had some success today playing against Toga 2 with the strength setting at 5 out of 20 in Pychess. I'll just keep raising the strength until Toga starts kicking my butt and then I'll be able to learn how to improve my game.

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