what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

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Graham Banks
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Re: what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

Post by Graham Banks »

I always used the Fritz GUI with Stockfish loaded.
gbanksnz at gmail.com
BrendanJNorman
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Re: what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

Post by BrendanJNorman »

Dave Gomboc wrote: Fri May 17, 2024 2:25 am
Dann Corbit wrote: Fri May 10, 2024 12:32 pm I use Arena a lot just because of familiarity and what I use it for (Epd analysis and game contests)
Hmm. www.playwitharena.de has a download for Arena 3.5.1 for Windows (released on 2015-12-20) and Arena 3.10beta for Linux (released 2020-01-19). However, I don't see any source code at that site. It seems like the author of the program, apparently named Martin Blume, has been inactive for quite some time. Is there any chance that the author might consider open-sourcing the code so that it can be updated further by others?
Imagine if we had an open source GUI with a team working to optimize it like Stockfish.

Would be pretty cool.
Werewolf
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Re: what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

Post by Werewolf »

BrendanJNorman wrote: Fri May 17, 2024 4:08 am
Dave Gomboc wrote: Fri May 17, 2024 2:25 am
Dann Corbit wrote: Fri May 10, 2024 12:32 pm I use Arena a lot just because of familiarity and what I use it for (Epd analysis and game contests)
Hmm. www.playwitharena.de has a download for Arena 3.5.1 for Windows (released on 2015-12-20) and Arena 3.10beta for Linux (released 2020-01-19). However, I don't see any source code at that site. It seems like the author of the program, apparently named Martin Blume, has been inactive for quite some time. Is there any chance that the author might consider open-sourcing the code so that it can be updated further by others?
Imagine if we had an open source GUI with a team working to optimize it like Stockfish.

Would be pretty cool.
That would be amazing. If it was for something to replace Aquarium (something heavy-duty for analysis) I would genuinely donate hardware, time, money...
BrendanJNorman
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Re: what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

Post by BrendanJNorman »

Werewolf wrote: Fri May 17, 2024 3:32 pm
BrendanJNorman wrote: Fri May 17, 2024 4:08 am
Dave Gomboc wrote: Fri May 17, 2024 2:25 am
Dann Corbit wrote: Fri May 10, 2024 12:32 pm I use Arena a lot just because of familiarity and what I use it for (Epd analysis and game contests)
Hmm. www.playwitharena.de has a download for Arena 3.5.1 for Windows (released on 2015-12-20) and Arena 3.10beta for Linux (released 2020-01-19). However, I don't see any source code at that site. It seems like the author of the program, apparently named Martin Blume, has been inactive for quite some time. Is there any chance that the author might consider open-sourcing the code so that it can be updated further by others?
Imagine if we had an open source GUI with a team working to optimize it like Stockfish.

Would be pretty cool.
That would be amazing. If it was for something to replace Aquarium (something heavy-duty for analysis) I would genuinely donate hardware, time, money...
Me too mate.

Maybe we should find some interested programmers and then setup a GoFundMe to help with whatever they need?

I'll throw some money at such a great idea without hesitation.
Werewolf
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Re: what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

Post by Werewolf »

BrendanJNorman wrote: Fri May 17, 2024 4:24 pm
Werewolf wrote: Fri May 17, 2024 3:32 pm
BrendanJNorman wrote: Fri May 17, 2024 4:08 am
Dave Gomboc wrote: Fri May 17, 2024 2:25 am
Dann Corbit wrote: Fri May 10, 2024 12:32 pm I use Arena a lot just because of familiarity and what I use it for (Epd analysis and game contests)
Hmm. www.playwitharena.de has a download for Arena 3.5.1 for Windows (released on 2015-12-20) and Arena 3.10beta for Linux (released 2020-01-19). However, I don't see any source code at that site. It seems like the author of the program, apparently named Martin Blume, has been inactive for quite some time. Is there any chance that the author might consider open-sourcing the code so that it can be updated further by others?
Imagine if we had an open source GUI with a team working to optimize it like Stockfish.

Would be pretty cool.
That would be amazing. If it was for something to replace Aquarium (something heavy-duty for analysis) I would genuinely donate hardware, time, money...
Me too mate.

Maybe we should find some interested programmers and then setup a GoFundMe to help with whatever they need?

I'll throw some money at such a great idea without hesitation.
Great idea.
scchess
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Re: what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

Post by scchess »

The primary reason for the lack of investment is that the product is too niche. Only very serious players would run heavy chess analysis, and they typically expect free, open-source software. Consequently, no programmer would invest their time on something clearly without a market.

Chess is special in the sense that the niche market expects cheap, free, open source solutions. This doesn't apply to other hobbies. In chess, the programmers are expected to pay a premium for developing a niche software, not the users! Developing a GUI for serious use will involve a programmer's self-sacrifice. That's the reason why most chess GUI softwares are dead or poorly done. Open source - no money - no talent - no software.
BrendanJNorman
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Re: what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

Post by BrendanJNorman »

scchess wrote: Sat May 18, 2024 5:15 am The primary reason for the lack of investment is that the product is too niche. Only very serious players would run heavy chess analysis, and they typically expect free, open-source software. Consequently, no programmer would invest their time on something clearly without a market.

Chess is special in the sense that the niche market expects cheap, free, open source solutions. This doesn't apply to other hobbies. In chess, the programmers are expected to pay a premium for developing a niche software, not the users! Developing a GUI for serious use will involve a programmer's self-sacrifice. That's the reason why most chess GUI softwares are dead or poorly done. Open source - no money - no talent - no software.
Doesn't this entire argument also apply to engines themselves?

Small market, people expect free, etc?

Yet there are thousands of people who program simply for the hobby of programming.

Anyway, our suggestion was a way to incentivize GUI development by crowd-funding the development.

Maybe make it open source with some way to financially reward each code contribution, once approved like a Stockfish update.

There is certainly tech out there to automate such things now.

It is easy to reason why something that has never been done, would *not* work.

But I think we get ahead more if we ask "under what circumstance *could* this idea work?".

Because the CC community has suffered for years from buggy GUIs with lack of features.
jefk
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Full name: Jef Kaan

Re: what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

Post by jefk »

the CC community has suffered for years from buggy GUIs with lack of features.
it's not so simple, besides the commercial ones (mainly Fritz/Chessbase and Chess assistant
and the 'lighter' but also good Shredderchess) there are some good GUI's, such as ScidforPC,
Scid;for engine running (not so much database) there's Cutechess, Banksia etc. The latter still
having Winboard/xboard support (useful for certain non-Uci engines). And yeah Arena
should be opensource imo. And there are others, sometimes still being developed/maintained,
sometimes not, eg. ChessX still seems to be a decent project, apparently
https://chessx.sourceforge.io/

Sometimes certain projects have some special features making them interesting,
eg. Chess Position Trainer, ChessOpeningWizard, etc., this Chessquid (which has good
and apparently unique trap finder). For opening names (eg gambits or UCO my project
Bookbuilder was the best (also in fast minimax) but lacked many other features.
In my experience instead of extending such special programs, special features themselves
can better be takenover by the main projects (Scid, or commercially, Chessbase, the
latter could pay for them, like Chessable/Carlsen took over New in Chess and Chess.com;
but (Chessbase) never seems to do this is my impression, rather then just using stuff as
SF for Fatfritz etc lol). Aquarium was good for deepanalysis but with faster comps
and the Nnue engines there's not much added value for that anymore is my impression.
Finally there are some special endgame programs, besides the egtb eg. Finalgen.

Concluding it's a bit of an anarchy but with re-inventing the wheel the (fragmented)
opensource community imo also won't get to a better GUI. Note that in addition to
databases, engine playing there also are various training tools, and it's (very) hard to
combine all features effectively without the whole system becoming an unclear mess.
Higher ranked (and professional) chess players mostly -only use the Fritz (GUI) and
Chessbase programs, for good reason, with only a few looking at other stuff i think.

PS sure, i can think of more interesting features besides some mentioned above,
e.g. a user book, polyglot style but with sharpness/complexity and statistics added as
third and fourth item (besides plynr and score) and minimax based on combination
of the three, vertical bar besides board showing w/d/l in green/white/red.
etc etc. But besides brain storming about such stuff there's not much
else we can do; unless you're a multimillionair or so.
Werewolf
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Re: what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

Post by Werewolf »

scchess wrote: Sat May 18, 2024 5:15 am The primary reason for the lack of investment is that the product is too niche. Only very serious players would run heavy chess analysis, and they typically expect free, open-source software. Consequently, no programmer would invest their time on something clearly without a market.

Chess is special in the sense that the niche market expects cheap, free, open source solutions. This doesn't apply to other hobbies. In chess, the programmers are expected to pay a premium for developing a niche software, not the users! Developing a GUI for serious use will involve a programmer's self-sacrifice. That's the reason why most chess GUI softwares are dead or poorly done. Open source - no money - no talent - no software.
I don't agree.

For years I spoke with the Aquarium developers and suggested features. Very clever men saw something that no one else had seen and made it happen: IDeA (Interactive Deep Engine Analysis). I was amazed at how clearly they thought it all through.

At that time I was also communicating with GMs, IMs and correspondence players who all wanted deep analysis on their openings. Every time I suggested the product I was met with the same response: they hadn't heard of it, were computer illiterate themselves, and found Aquarium to be un-user friendly. This latter criticism is fair.
Soon it became apparent that the genius of the programmers to code was not equaled in their ability to explain their concepts to the masses. So Aquarium became a very niche product with a small user base. I made a series of videos on YouTube (still available, just google "Carl Bicknell Aquarium Chess" or something) but it was too little too late. Once the Rybka forum closed and Aquarium development ended, it was the death knell.

HOWEVER, the mistake is to assume that therefore there is no market for this.
As with the iPhone, the market is very poor at asking for what they want until something is given to them which is user-friendly.
As soon as they receive something which is accessible, suddenly it takes off.

In my opinion a new version of IDeA with proper support and a more user-friendly way in, with proper advertising, could be a game changer.
Werewolf
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Re: what is the best interface for chess analysis of games

Post by Werewolf »

BrendanJNorman wrote: Sat May 18, 2024 7:38 am

Doesn't this entire argument also apply to engines themselves?

Small market, people expect free, etc?

Yet there are thousands of people who program simply for the hobby of programming.
Yes exactly.

It seems to me Chess Engines are about 20 years ahead of Chess GUIs.