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Old April 8th 04, 10:16 PM
Robert Richter
 
Posts: n/a
Default Incomplete tablebases cause problems

The experts here probably already know this; it is likely nothing new.

I have been playing around with downloading engame tablebases lately.
I have downloaded all 4-man tablebases, but only a few of the five man
tablebases (huge--to say nothing of the 6 man). However, I didn't
download kqrkr because I though that this was an easy win anyway--if
you are too lazy to outright win the rook, just sac the queen and do a
krk win, so I didn't download it.

However, I did download krpkr. However, the database will not play
the Lucena win; it does everything right but it refuses to promote the
pawn and when I am losing against the Lucena win, I can easily draw
because it refuses pawn promotion. I assume if I downloaded kqrkr,
the computer would play this ending properly.

So, if I enable databases on my machine, it looks like a minimum will
be every one I have downloaded with a "p" in the filename, I will need
to get the corresponding one with a "q" in the name so that it will
handle promotion properly--is that correct?

If so, what ones are the most recommended that will fit on a 700MB CD
(EMD compressed format)--I figure krpkr is common, but obviously, I
can't use krpkr without the trivial kqrkr, and I don't like wasting CD
space with this one, but it looks like a necessity.

Question #2--do tablebases work well from a CD instead of the HD?
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Old April 9th 04, 01:56 AM
Robert Hyatt
 
Posts: n/a
Default Incomplete tablebases cause problems

Robert Richter wrote:
The experts here probably already know this; it is likely nothing new.


I have been playing around with downloading engame tablebases lately.
I have downloaded all 4-man tablebases, but only a few of the five man
tablebases (huge--to say nothing of the 6 man). However, I didn't
download kqrkr because I though that this was an easy win anyway--if
you are too lazy to outright win the rook, just sac the queen and do a
krk win, so I didn't download it.


However, I did download krpkr. However, the database will not play
the Lucena win; it does everything right but it refuses to promote the
pawn and when I am losing against the Lucena win, I can easily draw
because it refuses pawn promotion. I assume if I downloaded kqrkr,
the computer would play this ending properly.


This is a known problem for many programs. I fixed it in Crafty, but
not everyone chose to do the same. You can either find a program that
does handle this correctly, or else not use the tables unless you have
a complete set...


So, if I enable databases on my machine, it looks like a minimum will
be every one I have downloaded with a "p" in the filename, I will need
to get the corresponding one with a "q" in the name so that it will
handle promotion properly--is that correct?


If so, what ones are the most recommended that will fit on a 700MB CD
(EMD compressed format)--I figure krpkr is common, but obviously, I
can't use krpkr without the trivial kqrkr, and I don't like wasting CD
space with this one, but it looks like a necessity.


Question #2--do tablebases work well from a CD instead of the HD?


--
Robert M. Hyatt, Ph.D. Computer and Information Sciences
University of Alabama at Birmingham
(205) 934-2213 136A Campbell Hall
(205) 934-5473 FAX Birmingham, AL 35294-1170
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Old April 9th 04, 04:41 PM
Robert Richter
 
Posts: n/a
Default Incomplete tablebases cause problems

Robert Hyatt wrote in message ...
Robert Richter wrote:
The experts here probably already know this; it is likely nothing new.


I have been playing around with downloading engame tablebases lately.
I have downloaded all 4-man tablebases, but only a few of the five man
tablebases (huge--to say nothing of the 6 man). However, I didn't
download kqrkr because I though that this was an easy win anyway--if
you are too lazy to outright win the rook, just sac the queen and do a
krk win, so I didn't download it.


However, I did download krpkr. However, the database will not play
the Lucena win; it does everything right but it refuses to promote the
pawn and when I am losing against the Lucena win, I can easily draw
because it refuses pawn promotion. I assume if I downloaded kqrkr,
the computer would play this ending properly.


This is a known problem for many programs. I fixed it in Crafty, but
not everyone chose to do the same. You can either find a program that
does handle this correctly, or else not use the tables unless you have
a complete set...


So, if I enable databases on my machine, it looks like a minimum will
be every one I have downloaded with a "p" in the filename, I will need
to get the corresponding one with a "q" in the name so that it will
handle promotion properly--is that correct?


If so, what ones are the most recommended that will fit on a 700MB CD
(EMD compressed format)--I figure krpkr is common, but obviously, I
can't use krpkr without the trivial kqrkr, and I don't like wasting CD
space with this one, but it looks like a necessity.


Question #2--do tablebases work well from a CD instead of the HD?



I looked at Crafty from your site, but it appears to be command-line
driven and require a physical chess board on the table in order to
use. Is there a graphical interface available for it that makes it
user friendly.

About my other comment of modifying the format to include scores for
queening and putting that in the pawn file--that wouldn't fix the
problem--all it would do is queen the pawn and then refuse to use the
queen while she sat on her royal highness.
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Old April 9th 04, 05:13 PM
Robert Hyatt
 
Posts: n/a
Default Incomplete tablebases cause problems

Robert Richter wrote:
Robert Hyatt wrote in message ...
Robert Richter wrote:
The experts here probably already know this; it is likely nothing new.


I have been playing around with downloading engame tablebases lately.
I have downloaded all 4-man tablebases, but only a few of the five man
tablebases (huge--to say nothing of the 6 man). However, I didn't
download kqrkr because I though that this was an easy win anyway--if
you are too lazy to outright win the rook, just sac the queen and do a
krk win, so I didn't download it.


However, I did download krpkr. However, the database will not play
the Lucena win; it does everything right but it refuses to promote the
pawn and when I am losing against the Lucena win, I can easily draw
because it refuses pawn promotion. I assume if I downloaded kqrkr,
the computer would play this ending properly.


This is a known problem for many programs. I fixed it in Crafty, but
not everyone chose to do the same. You can either find a program that
does handle this correctly, or else not use the tables unless you have
a complete set...


So, if I enable databases on my machine, it looks like a minimum will
be every one I have downloaded with a "p" in the filename, I will need
to get the corresponding one with a "q" in the name so that it will
handle promotion properly--is that correct?


If so, what ones are the most recommended that will fit on a 700MB CD
(EMD compressed format)--I figure krpkr is common, but obviously, I
can't use krpkr without the trivial kqrkr, and I don't like wasting CD
space with this one, but it looks like a necessity.


Question #2--do tablebases work well from a CD instead of the HD?



I looked at Crafty from your site, but it appears to be command-line
driven and require a physical chess board on the table in order to
use. Is there a graphical interface available for it that makes it
user friendly.


Yes. "winboard"/"xboard", Not to mention "arena" and "scid"...


About my other comment of modifying the format to include scores for
queening and putting that in the pawn file--that wouldn't fix the
problem--all it would do is queen the pawn and then refuse to use the
queen while she sat on her royal highness.


However, once the pawn queens there is no pawn on the board so the krpkr database
isn't probed. And since kqrkr is not present, you have the problem...

--
Robert M. Hyatt, Ph.D. Computer and Information Sciences
University of Alabama at Birmingham
(205) 934-2213 136A Campbell Hall
(205) 934-5473 FAX Birmingham, AL 35294-1170
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Old April 10th 04, 12:35 AM
John Merlino
 
Posts: n/a
Default Incomplete tablebases cause problems

(Robert Richter) wrote in message . com...
The experts here probably already know this; it is likely nothing new.

I have been playing around with downloading engame tablebases lately.
I have downloaded all 4-man tablebases, but only a few of the five man
tablebases (huge--to say nothing of the 6 man). However, I didn't
download kqrkr because I though that this was an easy win anyway--if
you are too lazy to outright win the rook, just sac the queen and do a
krk win, so I didn't download it.

However, I did download krpkr. However, the database will not play
the Lucena win; it does everything right but it refuses to promote the
pawn and when I am losing against the Lucena win, I can easily draw
because it refuses pawn promotion. I assume if I downloaded kqrkr,
the computer would play this ending properly.

So, if I enable databases on my machine, it looks like a minimum will
be every one I have downloaded with a "p" in the filename, I will need
to get the corresponding one with a "q" in the name so that it will
handle promotion properly--is that correct?

If so, what ones are the most recommended that will fit on a 700MB CD
(EMD compressed format)--I figure krpkr is common, but obviously, I
can't use krpkr without the trivial kqrkr, and I don't like wasting CD
space with this one, but it looks like a necessity.

Question #2--do tablebases work well from a CD instead of the HD?


As Dr. Hyatt has mentioned this is a well-known problem. There are two
excellent FAQs available for EGTBs. One is this website:

http://www.aarontay.per.sg/Winboard/egtb.html

Another is the FAQ that comes with the EGTB generator for the
Chessmaster series. The generator is called FEG, and you can download
and even run it without actually owning any version of Chessmaster.
Here's the link for the download:

ftp://ftp.ubisoft.com/games/chessmaster/other/Feg.zip

Or you can just go to www.chessmaster.com and click on the link in the
"Headlines" section that says "Endgame Database Generator Updates".

jm


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Old April 10th 04, 06:36 PM
Robert Richter
 
Posts: n/a
Default Incomplete tablebases cause problems


As Dr. Hyatt has mentioned this is a well-known problem. There are two
excellent FAQs available for EGTBs. One is this website:

http://www.aarontay.per.sg/Winboard/egtb.html

Another is the FAQ that comes with the EGTB generator for the
Chessmaster series. The generator is called FEG, and you can download
and even run it without actually owning any version of Chessmaster.
Here's the link for the download:

ftp://ftp.ubisoft.com/games/chessmaster/other/Feg.zip

Or you can just go to www.chessmaster.com and click on the link in the
"Headlines" section that says "Endgame Database Generator Updates".

jm


I already read these. Keep in mind that feg.zip isn't compatible with
my chess engine (Arasan). I did find tbgen after much searching, but
Dr. Hyatt seems to have removed it from his site. It easily built the
complete set of 4 man tablebases, but my computer won't build the five
man set because of lack of memory. Why has it been removed? For
those with slow modems, the four set can easily be built on even old
machines.

Now, are tablebases worth it for learning the endgame? I got the
impression that computers are clueless in the end-game; for example,
the tricky case of kqkr cannot be handled by most chess engines
without a egtb. This is probably beyond my reach at this point
anyway. Arasan plays the monkey on kbnk, although I have now mastered
this tricky mate. With egtb's, it has no trouble, however. But, are
chess engines intelligent enough that I don't need a 5 man tablebase
to play against in learning the end-game?
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Old April 10th 04, 11:52 PM
John Merlino
 
Posts: n/a
Default Incomplete tablebases cause problems

(Robert Richter) wrote in message . com...

As Dr. Hyatt has mentioned this is a well-known problem. There are two
excellent FAQs available for EGTBs. One is this website:

http://www.aarontay.per.sg/Winboard/egtb.html

Another is the FAQ that comes with the EGTB generator for the
Chessmaster series. The generator is called FEG, and you can download
and even run it without actually owning any version of Chessmaster.
Here's the link for the download:

ftp://ftp.ubisoft.com/games/chessmaster/other/Feg.zip

Or you can just go to www.chessmaster.com and click on the link in the
"Headlines" section that says "Endgame Database Generator Updates".

jm


I already read these. Keep in mind that feg.zip isn't compatible with
my chess engine (Arasan). I did find tbgen after much searching, but
Dr. Hyatt seems to have removed it from his site. It easily built the
complete set of 4 man tablebases, but my computer won't build the five
man set because of lack of memory. Why has it been removed? For
those with slow modems, the four set can easily be built on even old
machines.

Now, are tablebases worth it for learning the endgame? I got the
impression that computers are clueless in the end-game; for example,
the tricky case of kqkr cannot be handled by most chess engines
without a egtb. This is probably beyond my reach at this point
anyway. Arasan plays the monkey on kbnk, although I have now mastered
this tricky mate. With egtb's, it has no trouble, however. But, are
chess engines intelligent enough that I don't need a 5 man tablebase
to play against in learning the end-game?


FEG will allow you to build all 5-man files, and most 6-man files, on
machines with very little RAM. Of course, they are useless without the
Chessmaster program. Building all of the 5-man files takes about 5
days on a P4-2.4GHz machine.

When you say "learning the endgame", I assume you are talking about
YOU learning the endgame. Well, then certainly they are, as you can
look up any position with about 7 men on it (and a few with as many as
10 men, if captures are forced), and with the help of the tablebases
(and an engine that can access them during analysis), see what best
play would be practically instantly.

As for computers being "clueless in the end-game", this is not
entirely true. Thanks to EGTBs now being found everywhere, a few
engine writers are leaning on them for instant answers, rather than
programming in more knowledge (which could slow the search down).
Other amateur engines are known for their excellent handling of the
endgame: Yace and Crafty play particularly well even without EGTBs.
Even some of the professionals can show weaknesses in their endgame
knowledge, although in many cases these problems are eliminated by the
availability of EGTBs.

But, I think it's safe to say that, unless you are a very strong
player (approaching International Master), then it is likely that any
strong engine you play against will play better endgames than you
will, whether they have access to EGTBs or not.

jm
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Old April 13th 04, 04:45 PM
Robert Richter
 
Posts: n/a
Default Incomplete tablebases cause problems

(Robert Richter) wrote in message . com...
The experts here probably already know this; it is likely nothing new.

I have been playing around with downloading engame tablebases lately.
I have downloaded all 4-man tablebases, but only a few of the five man
tablebases (huge--to say nothing of the 6 man). However, I didn't
download kqrkr because I though that this was an easy win anyway--if
you are too lazy to outright win the rook, just sac the queen and do a
krk win, so I didn't download it.

However, I did download krpkr. However, the database will not play
the Lucena win; it does everything right but it refuses to promote the
pawn and when I am losing against the Lucena win, I can easily draw
because it refuses pawn promotion. I assume if I downloaded kqrkr,
the computer would play this ending properly.

So, if I enable databases on my machine, it looks like a minimum will
be every one I have downloaded with a "p" in the filename, I will need
to get the corresponding one with a "q" in the name so that it will
handle promotion properly--is that correct?

If so, what ones are the most recommended that will fit on a 700MB CD
(EMD compressed format)--I figure krpkr is common, but obviously, I
can't use krpkr without the trivial kqrkr, and I don't like wasting CD
space with this one, but it looks like a necessity.

Question #2--do tablebases work well from a CD instead of the HD?




Wouldn't it be a very simple fix for any chess engine to say "when I
no longer gain ground, I quit using the tablebases until I start
gaining ground again"?
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