SlowChess Blitz Classic 2.0

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Modern Times
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Re: SlowChess Blitz Classic 2.0

Post by Modern Times » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:31 pm

Modern Times wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:45 pm

After the first 500 FRC games I've played it is +77 Elo (Ordo = +86 Elo)
Over 1,500 games now, and holding at +75 Elo (bayeselo). Final games coming in next few days.
.

Opinions expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of the CCRL Group.

jonkr
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Full name: Jonathan Kreuzer

Re: SlowChess Blitz Classic 2.0

Post by jonkr » Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:35 am

I updated the download page with a fix for the tablebase crash. I found a repro and it turned out I was sending an invalid enPassantSq and it was crashing in the ttprobe code. (Invalid because my sqs and bitboards are flipped from what syzyzy expects and forgot to flip that in one place.) Hopefully that was only issue.

Since everything else should be exactly the same except a fairly rare crash when using tablebases, I didn't rename the version, but the help.html in the zip will mention the fix if it's the new one.

jonkr
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Full name: Jonathan Kreuzer

Re: SlowChess Blitz Classic 2.0

Post by jonkr » Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:44 am

Slow Chess Blitz Classic version 2.3 for Windows can be downloaded from http://www.3dkingdoms.com/chess/slow.html

Even though the elo gain is small, since this version was stronger in all my tests I've decided to release it.
It scored +24 elo in standard self-play, +35 elo FRC self-play (8000 games each.) So I'd be happy with a modest +15 elo average on rating lists.

It also contains some bug-fixes and a contempt(mid/end) option. Setting a small contempt like 12 or 16 did reduce draws and improve score a bit against clearly weaker engines in my limited testing, but against stronger and sometimes equal engines results showed a clear elo loss, so I left default at 0

Opening/midgame NPS will show as about 25% slower because I used to count some pruned moves as nodes and no longer do.
I also updated the eval values for 2.3 at the bottom of the http://www.3dkingdoms.com/chess/learning.html. But very hard to say what changes are actually good.

I can't say for sure if there will be more versions of Slow Chess, but I do plan to keep experimenting with chess now and then.

At this current level trying to improve or know what eval terms or changes are better has become very unclear, sometimes the tuner shows a term important then later not, and sometimes a version scores clearly better in certain conditions against a certain opponent, then that gain doesn't show up against other engines or in other conditions. It's a little less interesting with slower progress, and instead of having a variety of engines of similar strength to compete against, there are only a few mostly vastly superior ones, which makes it harder to ignore how far behind the state of the art I am.

I'm planning on playing with the tuning process, probably starting from only material values and just running some experiments to see what learns the best. This version still had the lichess.epd suite of W/L/D scored positions included in tuning (I previously also used Zurichess.epd, but discarded that as it no longer helped.) So I think it would be a good test to try to remove lichess and tune from only my training positions and refine that process. I tried without lichess.epd once a couple months ago and got 50 elo weaker, so my own training set generation clearly has some weakness, beyond not having enough positions. Also the recent NNUE developments have made it obvious that learning process could be done better even with my limited computing resources. I also am thinking about trying to introduce more concepts inspired by neural nets, maybe try out a simpler net of my own design for pawn-structure & material counts eval and work from there. I still like being able to see in human-readable form what the engine is trying to do, part of the fun was in adding concepts like candidate passed pawns or connected pawns, or king safety stuff, and seeing in games the engine using those concepts to win.

Frank Quisinsky
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Re: SlowChess Blitz Classic 2.0

Post by Frank Quisinsky » Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:30 am

Hi Jonathan,

that's good news!

Thank you for SlowChess and the work you do for us.

Best
Frank
I like computer chess!

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Dr.Wael Deeb
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Location: Amman,Jordan

Re: SlowChess Blitz Classic 2.0

Post by Dr.Wael Deeb » Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:59 am

Thanks but the download link does not work ....
_No one can hit as hard as life.But it ain’t about how hard you can hit.It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.How much you can take and keep moving forward….

jonkr
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Full name: Jonathan Kreuzer

Re: SlowChess Blitz Classic 2.0

Post by jonkr » Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:07 am

oops I typed the link wrong here's the proper verison : https://www.3dkingdoms.com/chess/slow.htm
there is no "l" on the end of htm, I forgot how old the original web page was :D

Jamal Bubker
Posts: 313
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 2:32 pm

Re: SlowChess Blitz Classic 2.0

Post by Jamal Bubker » Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:37 pm

Thank you so much Jon !!

[quote=jonkr post_id=858814 time=1599026861 user_id=12168]
oops I typed the link wrong here's the proper verison : https://www.3dkingdoms.com/chess/slow.htm
there is no "l" on the end of htm, I forgot how old the original web page was :D
[/quote]

Alayan
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Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:48 pm
Full name: Alayan Feh

Re: SlowChess Blitz Classic 2.0

Post by Alayan » Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:08 am

That's still some nice progress, even if of course the progress rate had to slow down.

Developing the 4th strongest original classical engine (behind Stockfish, Komodo and not far from Ethereal) in less than a year is no small feat, it's actually very impressive. Catching up to Komodo 14 is a very realistic goal at this point in my opinion.
jonkr wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:44 am
At this current level trying to improve or know what eval terms or changes are better has become very unclear, sometimes the tuner shows a term important then later not, and sometimes a version scores clearly better in certain conditions against a certain opponent, then that gain doesn't show up against other engines or in other conditions. It's a little less interesting with slower progress, and instead of having a variety of engines of similar strength to compete against, there are only a few mostly vastly superior ones, which makes it harder to ignore how far behind the state of the art I am.

I'm planning on playing with the tuning process, probably starting from only material values and just running some experiments to see what learns the best. This version still had the lichess.epd suite of W/L/D scored positions included in tuning (I previously also used Zurichess.epd, but discarded that as it no longer helped.) So I think it would be a good test to try to remove lichess and tune from only my training positions and refine that process. I tried without lichess.epd once a couple months ago and got 50 elo weaker, so my own training set generation clearly has some weakness, beyond not having enough positions. Also the recent NNUE developments have made it obvious that learning process could be done better even with my limited computing resources. I also am thinking about trying to introduce more concepts inspired by neural nets, maybe try out a simpler net of my own design for pawn-structure & material counts eval and work from there. I still like being able to see in human-readable form what the engine is trying to do, part of the fun was in adding concepts like candidate passed pawns or connected pawns, or king safety stuff, and seeing in games the engine using those concepts to win.
You could probably get significant gains by adopting Ethereal's new method for tuning and dataset generation. The big breakthrough regarding dataset generation is that it was not needed to play very-hardware-intensive games to rate the positions.

And maybe some focus on better search could yield significant gains.

Also, as hardware resources for engine testing can be a limitation to verify quickly and accurately enough if a change gains elo or not, you could consider joining OpenBench.

AndrewGrant
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Re: SlowChess Blitz Classic 2.0

Post by AndrewGrant » Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:32 am

Alayan wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:08 am
That's still some nice progress, even if of course the progress rate had to slow down.

Developing the 4th strongest original classical engine (behind Stockfish, Komodo and not far from Ethereal) in less than a year is no small feat, it's actually very impressive. Catching up to Komodo 14 is a very realistic goal at this point in my opinion.
jonkr wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:44 am
At this current level trying to improve or know what eval terms or changes are better has become very unclear, sometimes the tuner shows a term important then later not, and sometimes a version scores clearly better in certain conditions against a certain opponent, then that gain doesn't show up against other engines or in other conditions. It's a little less interesting with slower progress, and instead of having a variety of engines of similar strength to compete against, there are only a few mostly vastly superior ones, which makes it harder to ignore how far behind the state of the art I am.

I'm planning on playing with the tuning process, probably starting from only material values and just running some experiments to see what learns the best. This version still had the lichess.epd suite of W/L/D scored positions included in tuning (I previously also used Zurichess.epd, but discarded that as it no longer helped.) So I think it would be a good test to try to remove lichess and tune from only my training positions and refine that process. I tried without lichess.epd once a couple months ago and got 50 elo weaker, so my own training set generation clearly has some weakness, beyond not having enough positions. Also the recent NNUE developments have made it obvious that learning process could be done better even with my limited computing resources. I also am thinking about trying to introduce more concepts inspired by neural nets, maybe try out a simpler net of my own design for pawn-structure & material counts eval and work from there. I still like being able to see in human-readable form what the engine is trying to do, part of the fun was in adding concepts like candidate passed pawns or connected pawns, or king safety stuff, and seeing in games the engine using those concepts to win.
You could probably get significant gains by adopting Ethereal's new method for tuning and dataset generation. The big breakthrough regarding dataset generation is that it was not needed to play very-hardware-intensive games to rate the positions.

And maybe some focus on better search could yield significant gains.

Also, as hardware resources for engine testing can be a limitation to verify quickly and accurately enough if a change gains elo or not, you could consider joining OpenBench.
Please, please, continue to work on Slowchess. There are very few entities near the top that are truly special and unique. It won't be long until everything is Stockfish. Houdini is only the start. I believe you have some very unique knowledge in Slowchess's eval. Things that are not common practice anywhere. Explore that.

Frank Quisinsky
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Re: SlowChess Blitz Classic 2.0

Post by Frank Quisinsky » Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:21 am

Hi Andrew,

yes, SlowChess is really a great engine.
Thinking on an interview I made with Jonathan in Arena times (15 years ago I believe).
Most of the older programmers are thinking: A new young talent was born!
I got a lot of mails after the interview because different of my questions are bad but Jonathan made the best of it!

We can happy that Jonathan started the work on "StrongChess", sorry means SlowChess after a long time again!

Best
Frank

PS: Much other "talents" are in sleep mode, better ... have no time for chess.
I like computer chess!

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