best server for computers to play variants currently?

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Nordlandia
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Re: best server for computers to play variants currently?

Post by Nordlandia » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:25 am

Lichess has been very relucdant the last few years to add more variants, arguing so few play them. The statistics suggest merely ~5% of all games is variants. Crazyhouse is on par 960 and those are the most popular variants. 960 has growed considerable the last half a year because of recent events.

This server is good for human vs human and against stockfish. https://pychess-variants.herokuapp.com/

Alayan
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Re: best server for computers to play variants currently?

Post by Alayan » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:38 am

Many variants at lichess are gimmicks (horde ? racing kings ? atomic ?), and for those that are not so, players are forced to go through creating/searching a custom game to play them. It makes it harder to quickly find someone of a similar level, especially at a desired TC. Of course most don't bother with it.

If the lichess team decided putting two or three 960 quick pairing buttons, they'd suddenly have much more people playing that.

So, variants are niche at lichess and they actively chose to keep it so.

Most bots accounts are not set up to be able to play any variant at all, so while bot games are ok there for standard chess, there is not a decent field of opponent for variants (or variant choice really).

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Ovyron
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Re: best server for computers to play variants currently?

Post by Ovyron » Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:00 am

Alayan wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:38 am
Many variants at lichess are gimmicks (horde ? racing kings ? atomic ?)
What? Atomic is a great variant that is very deep and that has a very high skill ceiling so that you can reach a winning position against very strong opponents and defeat them if you know the right principles. It is very unique and it's another one that hasn't been given a chance because of fast time controls.

I agree most variants on there are gimmicks, but Atomic doesn't fit in that bag.

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Nordlandia
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Re: best server for computers to play variants currently?

Post by Nordlandia » Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:50 pm

Racing Kings is arguable the most bizzare variant available.

I don't understand why they didn't implement S-Chess instead (Sharper-Chess) as it is 8x8 based.

One guy said to me that it will be hyped at first then die off. But that is just speculation. We don't know how S-Chess will fare on a popular chess server. I think with some time it can compete with crazyhouse.

Fabian Fichter
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Re: best server for computers to play variants currently?

Post by Fabian Fichter » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:38 pm

The problem with S-Chess for lichess is not the lack of popularity, but that it uses fairy pieces and gating of pieces which both do not exist on lichess yet, so it would perhaps require more work than other lichess variants. I think in hindsight they would not add racing kings again, but it can not really be removed without an outcry of the racing kings fans.

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Nordlandia
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Re: best server for computers to play variants currently?

Post by Nordlandia » Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:57 am

Fabian Fichter wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:38 pm
The problem with S-Chess for lichess is not the lack of popularity, but that it uses fairy pieces and gating of pieces which both do not exist on lichess yet, so it would perhaps require more work than other lichess variants. I think in hindsight they would not add racing kings again, but it can not really be removed without an outcry of the racing kings fans.
In retroperspective it's safe to say that racing kings was a failure. There is many variants that could have been added instead of that one. Also Chess.com is not particularly eager to add more variants. Chess24 don't suppor any, not even 960.

So, variants are niche at lichess and other popular servers and they actively chose to keep it so.

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Ovyron
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Re: best server for computers to play variants currently?

Post by Ovyron » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:56 am

Well, Chess.com successfully implemented a 4-Player chess variant. If they didn't implement more perhaps it's the fault of people for not playing more the ones they have implemented.

Angrim
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Re: best server for computers to play variants currently?

Post by Angrim » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:16 am

lichess has a decent amount of variant games, I see 4 atomic games at the moment, 9 crazyhouse, and 3 suicide(antichess) games... but 0 bot games. They just don't seem to want to encourage anything other than stockfish :/ So repeating my question in hopes that the answer somehow changes, is there anywhere that computers can play variants and expect to get a game currently?

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Re: best server for computers to play variants currently?

Post by Ferdy » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:23 am

Angrim wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:16 am
lichess has a decent amount of variant games, I see 4 atomic games at the moment, 9 crazyhouse, and 3 suicide(antichess) games... but 0 bot games. They just don't seem to want to encourage anything other than stockfish :/ So repeating my question in hopes that the answer somehow changes, is there anywhere that computers can play variants and expect to get a game currently?
One way to check how your program plays atomic is to download stockfish variant that can play atomic, then do a match against your engine. You can use winboard gui for this, given of course if your engine supports cecp (xboard/winboard) protocol.

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MikeB
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Re: best server for computers to play variants currently?

Post by MikeB » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:58 am

Angrim wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:16 am
lichess has a decent amount of variant games, I see 4 atomic games at the moment, 9 crazyhouse, and 3 suicide(antichess) games... but 0 bot games. They just don't seem to want to encourage anything other than stockfish :/ So repeating my question in hopes that the answer somehow changes, is there anywhere that computers can play variants and expect to get a game currently?
I can re-introduce a play by Elo function in Daniel Dugovic's SF variant - not that it would be a real Elo, but at directionally and the strength improvement as the Elo is increased would be a resemblance of how it would work on a server.
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