Sunday, February 13, 2005

CCT7 Day 1

More like night 1 :)
5 games ... all tough :( - won 2 , lost 2 , drew 1.
My machine is a modest 2400 athlon xp clocked at 2Gig - using about 300 Mb for various hashes , caches , etc.
Since I programmed the engine in last two weekends ... it is pretty weak in features.
Hence it does not have an opening book (so cant play known theoretical lines in the beginning) , no EGTB support (so cannot use the exact endgame play offered by those tables) , endgame evaluation was very weak (this is too complicated a subject ! will take solid 3 months of programming to get some basic degree of proficiency for the engine) , and other more minor "deficiencies".

The first game against Jonny - it stood 6th in last World computer chess champs ...
This engine was running on Pentium 4 3GHz, 1GB RAM - so clearly outclocking me.
A very tough game , it became drawish and then Jonny got a bit "greedy".
Overextended itself to win and then ultimately lost - it pretty much an exact game by CEng (what I call my engine ;) ) - like what Vincent Diepeveen(FM) said "It is playing like god in this position".
Victory against Jonny was a shot in the arm for me :)
The game exposed some small flaws in the eval , but nothing unfixable ...
A small touch here , a small tweak there and it was ready for round 2.

Next game was against Amateur , which was running on AMD FX55 2.6Ghz.
That hardware is awesome ! Last time I checked , my engine would run something like 60% faster on it as compared to my machine ... I think it can run even faster ... but forget that for time being. (I think Rajesh got that machine - lucky dog !)
It was a very tough game ... and I unearthed a bug in my program in middle game.
My engine forced a minor for major exchange and was sitting very pretty when the bug hit ... it underevaluated the threat in the position and with help of some really nice moves from Amateur - but mostly stupidity of my engine , it lost ...
It was a battle well fought , and miserably lost :)

Third game was against Xinix - it is running on a slightly inferior hardware as compared to me .. Athlon 2000+ 512mb (one of the very very few engines to do so in the tourney !)
This was a nice game ... xini had a bad opening , but it was not as terrible as it initially looked or maybe CEng did not convert its advantage to something substantial.
Middle game was a sword fight that Pirates would be proud of , and it went on for long until we reached a crucial moment where the lack of proper eval of passed pawns - especially connected passed pawns , by xini made it lose the game ...
Interestingly , my program was saying it was 4 pawns or so up for almost like 8 moves before xini's score slowly started showing it. (Note : even yace does not evaluate this position properly !)
Tough begining ... but ultimately a very easy ending - though it had to fight to get there.

Fourth was a very sad game - sad for me , and not the game quality :)
It was against Ikarus which is a very strong amateur - it was 4th in last IPCCC
(Hardware either A2800+ or PM-2.0 - not sure which)
This was an extremely tough game with a solid fight from opening to middle game to late endgame.
It was a dead draw position when finally Ceng's lack of endgame knowledge kicked in sadly ... it lost a patzer King + Bishop + Pawns ending !
Two days with Reuben Fine's endgame book would have ensured a draw at the minimum , and possibly something better maybe ... my earlier programs would not have fallen for this one ... *sigh* (crying miserably over slipt milk :( )
A very regretable ending to a very tough match !

Fifth was a against Butcher running on Athlon64 3200+
This was a very drawish game from the begining - the opening , middlegame and the endgame was tense , but drawish ...
There was a slight calculation mistake by CEng towards the end (need to hunt this one down - too tired to do that now !) , which made its eval drop to a about half a pawn in favour of the opponent ... but it quickly recovered and forced the opponent to scuttle for a draw (draw or loss) by a massive attack on its king and passed pawn promotion threat.
Very small small amount of heartattacks in this game ... except when my interface program (xboard) konked off in between :)

All in all , very very exhausting ... and as of now , not a very bad tournament considering the little effort I put into it , and its h/w, s/w condition :)

Next 4 matches will be held tommorrow ...
Signing off at 6 am , WISH ME LUCK :)

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