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  1. 08 Apr '10 07:43
    This might be a daft question but what actually does ply mean?
    Cheers
  2. 08 Apr '10 07:50
    Originally posted by gooses
    This might be a daft question but what actually does ply mean?
    Cheers
    Not sure, but I think it's a half-move. As in after 1. e4 e5 That's 2 ply.
  3. 08 Apr '10 07:51 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by gooses
    This might be a daft question but what actually does ply mean?
    Cheers
    Ply is the same as halfmove. One white or one black move. When your opponent is doing his move, that's also a ply.
    A game of 4 moves is actually 4 white moves and 3 (or 4 blacks) giving 7 (or 8) ply.

    It's used when discussing computer chess, programming, move horizon, alpha-beta search and such. It's not used in everyday chess discussions.
  4. 08 Apr '10 08:34
    Thank you.... i asked this question because i was reading about one of my chess computers on the net and it had the following spec:


    Tabletop - Touch Sensory

    Processor


    MOS 65C02 cpu 4 MHz 8 bit

    Memory


    32KB ROM + 8KB KSO ROM 4KB RAM

    Opening Book


    Standard - 8,000 ply
    KSO - 3,000+ lines 36,000 ply

    i assume the more the 'ply' the more scope or thinking space the computer
    has pre - programmed?
    Cheers.
  5. 08 Apr '10 08:43
    The ply aren't pre-programmed (*). The computer works out moves on the fly by building a tree of possible moves, where each level represents one ply. The faster the speed of the computer, the more moves it can analyse in the same time, and hence the better its play.

    (*) With the possible exceptions of openings and endgames, but the computer just uses a look-up table for these, albeit a very complicated one.
  6. 08 Apr '10 08:45
    Originally posted by gooses
    Thank you.... i asked this question because i was reading about one of my chess computers on the net and it had the following spec:


    Tabletop - Touch Sensory

    Processor


    MOS 65C02 cpu 4 MHz 8 bit

    Memory


    32KB ROM + 8KB KSO ROM 4KB RAM

    Opening Book


    Standard - 8,000 ply
    KSO - 3,000+ lines 36,000 ply

    i assume the more the 'ply' the more scope or thinking space the computer
    has pre - programmed?
    Cheers.
    I think the ply information has to do with how big the opening database is.
    Doesn't say much if you don't have the same information about other chess computers, and they're counting plys in the same manner.
  7. 08 Apr '10 08:55
    Ah - indeed. I didn't read up as far as the phrase 'Opening Book' 🙂
  8. Standard member afx
    08 Apr '10 21:31
    wikipedia is your friend:
    "Arthur Samuel coined the term as a back-formation based on the word reply in his paper on machine learning in 1959", see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ply_(game_theory)
  9. 08 Apr '10 23:02
    Interesting. I always assumed it meant a 'slice' of something, as in plywood - slices of wood stuck together, which I assumed came from the same root as the French 'plier', meaning 'to fold' .. but I have no basis for this, so it's probably wrong.
  10. Standard member Wulebgr
    Angler
    09 Apr '10 14:38 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by gooses
    Thank you.... i asked this question because i was reading about one of my chess computers on the net and it had the following spec:


    Tabletop - Touch Sensory

    Processor


    MOS 65C02 cpu 4 MHz 8 bit

    Memory


    32KB ROM + 8KB KSO ROM 4KB RAM

    Opening Book


    Standard - 8,000 ply
    KSO - 3,000+ lines 36,000 ply

    i assume the more the 'ply' the more scope or thinking space the computer
    has pre - programmed?
    Cheers.
    The usage here is uncommon, and perhaps lacking parallels in the industry. As it was written by a marketing person for a product that probably exhibits deficiencies, there's nothing surprising here. When you are selling junk, you need to make it seem impressive. It's like listing the horsepower on a vacuum--completely irrelevant information that makes the poorer suckers look as if they have an advantage over those that will actually clean your carpet.