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Old October 22nd 08, 10:19 AM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Weak engine?

Tony M wrote:
On 21 Oct 2008 15:11:36 +0100 (BST), David Richerby
wrote:

Martin Brown wrote:
most of the strong programs can be toned down to about 1000 ELO
points below their nominal rating wth varying degrees of success.


Problem is that a lot of them seem to do this by playing like a
grandmaster who keeps saying, `Oh, damn, sorry. You were paying me
to lose and here was I beating you. Here, have another piece.'


I agree that is a serious problem. The strength of the top engines is
now so great that they really struggle to play down to club level.
Although of the engines I have Shredder manages the most convincing
sparring partner at about ELO 2200. Fritz is a bit uninsprired and
Rybka
is just too hard to beat even when hobbled to nominal 2200.

You need vintage engines of the Fritz8, Junior7 era to get a half
decent
simulation of ELO 1600-1800 level play. Fritz 5.32, Crafty 19.19 and
Comet B68 aren't bad at mid level either. Trouble is that strength
sells
and very little effort has been put into human like simulation of
play.
Shredder10 comes closest but even that engine has its quirks.

Chessmaster seems to do variable personalities a lot better than any
CB
engine. It is a great pity that they don't offer then engine in stand
alone form. (and their copy protection is extremely annoying)

I find that playing a weak engine gives a much more realistic game
than a dumbed down version of a strong engine. They don't exhibit
that "play for a GM like 10 moves then drop a piece" mentality,
instead they miss complicated tactics and make strategically poor
moves, like a weaker human player would.


If you can survive into the endgame then even the top engines can
struggle
against human intuition without help from tablebases.

Regards,
Martin Brown


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