On-line engine blitz tourney May

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Henk
Posts: 6367
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Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by Henk » Sun May 17, 2020 8:30 am

I even don't mind 2+1 or less. Just finish the tournament in one hour. If engines are really strong one can't understand 5 minute games real time.
So results and games stored is only what counts.

The shorter the tournament the less chances of disconnected engines.

[My engine only plays stupid moves so never able to understand them]

Modern Times
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:02 pm

Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by Modern Times » Sun May 17, 2020 8:39 am

chrisw wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 7:08 am

Are there any completely idiot proof instructions for hooking a UCI program into the system?
My batch file is as below. You'll have to key the username and password:

cd C:\Winboard\winboard
winboard -zp -ics -icshost nightmare-chess.nl -icshelper timeseal -fcp 'Ethereal12.00-x64-popcnt.exe' -fd 'C:\WinBoard\Ethereal' -fUCI -autoKibitz -xreuse -keepAlive 5


Once Winboard starts up, I have to check common engine options each time - specifically I have to untick that the engine has its own books (I use a .bin book as A GUI book). Those always start up as ticked for some reason, and in that scenario they override the GUI book and you end up with no book being used at all.
.

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

Henk
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Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by Henk » Sun May 17, 2020 9:20 am

Henk wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 8:30 am
I even don't mind 2+1 or less. Just finish the tournament in one hour. If engines are really strong one can't understand 5 minute games real time.
So results and games stored is only what counts.

The shorter the tournament the less chances of disconnected engines.

[My engine only plays stupid moves so never able to understand them]
Maybe let engines play ultra short games and show them in slow motion.

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hgm
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Full name: H G Muller
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Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by hgm » Sun May 17, 2020 9:38 am

The 'Has Own Book' option is not persistent, because it is assumed to be an engine-dependent thing, and next time you might start up WinBoard with a different engine. So it seemed more logical to always start at the default, assuming the engine has its own book. (Also to maintain backward compatibility with how things worked when WinBoard did not support a GUI book yet.)

Note that UCI engines must run under an adapter, usually Polyglot, and that Polyglot also has the capability to use a book on behalf of the engine. So you could specify a book file and tick that Polyglot has to use it in the Engine Settings dialog. If you press Polyglot Save in that dialog after that, this book will then be persistently used by that engine. (And each engine can in principle use its own book.) So I think the default that engines have their own book is well justified.

The GUI book was originally intended for running tournaments from, where all engines share the same book. Playing on an ICS is a bit special, because you specify the engine explicitly on the command line (or in the Startup Dialog), so that it doesn't have to be registered with WinBoard in the 'engine list'. For running tournaments all participating engines would have to be registered (through the Load Engine dialogs), so they can be automatically started when their turn to play comes up. An additional edvantage of that is that you can register them with extra WinBoard options, that would then only apply to that engine. One of the options (for which there is a checkbox in the Load Engine dialog) is whether the engine must use the GUI book. This way each engine could be made to automatically use the GUI book whenever it gets loaded, as would befit the engine.

Once an engine is registered to WinBoard, you can exploit that by using the option -fe ('first engine') instead of -fcp ('first chess program') in the WinBoard startup command. This would then automatically draw on the options that were registered with that engine, such as its directory, whether it was UCI, whether it should use GUI book... So that there would be no need for a -fd, -fUCI or -firstXBook option on the command line. You would then only have to supply the ICS-related options, like

winboard -zp -ics -icshost nightmare-chess.nl -icshelper timeseal -fe ENGINE_NICKNAME

Note that WinBoard also maintains an 'ICS list' similar to the engine list, and there is an item 'Add ICS' in the options menu that allows you to add an ICS to that list. (In a text-edit dialog; there is no fancy dialog for this like Load Engine.) In this list you can accompany the ICS with other options, such as -icshelper, -autoKibitz etc. There is a command-line option -is to draw on what is in that list (just like -fe, -se draw on what is in the engine list). If you have adden nightmare-chess.nl in the ICS list with an extra -zp option, and registered the engine, it should be enough to use the command

winboard -is nightmare-chess -fe ENGINE_NICK

Ras
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Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by Ras » Sun May 17, 2020 9:47 am

chrisw wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 7:08 am
Are there any completely idiot proof instructions for hooking a UCI program into the system?
Assuming Windows with default installation paths, my Winboard installation directory is:
C:\Program Files (x86)\WinBoard-4.8.0

The further structure within that directory goes like this, with Fairy-Max and some others installed by default, and my CT800 directory with my engine added manually:

Code: Select all

Fairy-Max
  |
  +--fmax.exe

CT800
  |
  +--CT800_V1.40_x64.exe

WinBoard
  |
  +--winboard.exe
  +--polyglot.exe
  +--timeseal.exe
  +--timestamp.exe
  +--start_trn.bat
In the Winboard directory (where winboard.exe is), I made a batch file start_trn.bat with the following content:

Code: Select all

winboard -zp -ics -icshost nightmare-chess.nl -icshelper timeseal -keepAlive 5 -fcp ct800_v1.40_x64.exe -fd ../CT800 -fUCI -autoKibitz
Since winboard.exe and timeseal.exe are in the same path, the batch file picks them. The engine directory (after -fd) is one level up relative to the batch file, and it contains the actual engine executable (after -fcp). Polyglot.exe (part of the default installation) takes care of the UCI translation.

For opening books, my engine is a bit unusual in that it has its book baked right into its exe file and active by default, so I don't have book parameters with Winboard.
Rasmus Althoff
https://www.ct800.net

Joost Buijs
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Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by Joost Buijs » Mon May 18, 2020 5:04 am

Joost Buijs wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 5:02 am
Modern Times wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 9:03 pm
Joost Buijs wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 8:46 pm
We're thinking about running the next tourney for 11 rounds, maybe this is objectionable for some people?
At 4+1 say instead of 5+1 ?
Computers are getting faster each time, 11 rounds 4-1 sounds like a good possibility, it won't diminish the level of play.

I will talk about it with Liesebeth, she is boss of course, I'm only supporting the tournament with hardware and by keeping the software alive. ;)
Liesebeth also thinks this is okay, so the next tournament will be 11 rounds 4/1, the duration of the tournament remains approx. the same.

It depends a little bit on her schedule, but I expect the next tourney to be on the 13th of june.

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