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Re: Will TCEC need to rewrite their rules?

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:56 am
by xr_a_y
gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:30 pm
Not interested in using this thread to defend Allie, but want to point out that any future rules you might come up with should account for the fact that Ethereal, Arasan, and Lc0 (probably a lot more?) are all using mostly the exact same (very important) code that was originally ported from Stockfish for tablebase support.
Nowadays, given the Fathom code, TB probing part in all engines can more or less be the same, and is very short. I nearly copy/paste Arasan one in Minic (and report a little issue in Jon's code at the same time). There is no "cloning" action in this, it is the community sharing ideas and tools. When a technology is good, everyone is using the same (if it is open ...). We could say the exact same thing for TT code, lazy SMP code, bitboard code, xboard or UCI protocol code, ...

Re: Will TCEC need to rewrite their rules?

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:44 pm
by jp
MikeB wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:33 am
syzygy wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:06 pm
gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:30 pm
Not interested in using this thread to defend Allie, but want to point out that any future rules you might come up with should account for the fact that Ethereal, Arasan, and Lc0 (probably a lot more?) are all using mostly the exact same (very important) code that was originally ported from Stockfish for tablebase support.
That code is not coming originally from Stockfish.
+1 ... how quickly people forget ...
If that's code just for TB support, the easy way out is to ban TB use for all engines.

Re: Will TCEC need to rewrite their rules?

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:47 pm
by Gian-Carlo Pascutto
Tablebases (and the associated access code) are considered an exception for very practical reasons. If using the third-party access code wasn't allowed, then every author who wanted to use EGTB would have to invent their own format (as Syzygy for example has no formal specification that you could program to) and the entities organizing the tournaments would somehow have to obtain the full set of tablebases in dozens of formats and a bag of HDD/SSD to store them on.

Despite this, barring bugs, the information contained and resulting play would be (largely) identical.

Unless you somehow manage to significantly improve over the Syzygy format, there is an extremely strong negative incentive to do all that. Practically, the result can be seen in TCEC16: the only engine who only supports an original EGTB format is running without EGTB because the TCEC machines don't have a copy of them. But it is true for end users as well: they're more likely to have a set of Syzygy.

Thus, trying to make an argument about clones/originality based on Syzygy access code can at best only be done in total ignorance of practical considerations, and at worst is just sheer intellectual dishonesty.

Disallowing all engines to use the Syzygy tables also works, but runs into the same practical objection: end users who care about strength are likely to at least have some of them, and nobody wants to watch engines play out an endgame that is solved. CCC makes the latter mistake and it's outright boring!

Re: Will TCEC need to rewrite their rules?

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:32 am
by Guenther
gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:30 pm
Not interested in using this thread to defend Allie, but want to point out that any future rules you might come up with should account for the fact that Ethereal, Arasan, and Lc0 (probably a lot more?) are all using mostly the exact same (very important) code that was originally ported from Stockfish for tablebase support.

...
Not sure if I regret it, but for once it needs to be spoken out:

1. Tablebase support (Syzygy - Scorpio - Gaviota - Nalimov too, if Eugene was contacted) was written for being used by all
2. It is not an important part (not even 15 rating points over a lot of games)
and it is easy for all TDs in the world to just let programs play w/o TBS

It seems pointing the finger at using the Syzygy implemenation of SF is nowadays just an excuse by some people to hide
some real 'stealing'... (not that I mean exactly you here Adam, but I am fed up reading this stupid argument)