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  1. 04 Jul '08 14:55
    Ed Schroder recently released the free Pro Deo 1.6 chess engine (maybe as long ago as last October, but I just became aware of this version). It's not the strongest engine in the world (2700+), but it supposedly has a human playing style. You can also give it various personalities, and it has a few weaker settings (club players, absolute novice, etc.)

    The personality files look like they could be edited, and I guess you could even create new personalities if you knew what you were doing. One funny thing I noticed was that the "Average Club Player" personality is around 2000 elo! (2200 for the strong club player.) Maybe in the Netherlands where Ed lives, but certainly not here in the USA!

    It's a Winboard engine, so if you want to run it under a Chessbase interface, you have to use the supplied winboard-to-UCI adapter.

    Also, it looks like you have to edit a config file to change the hashtable size. (I recommend that you read all the Readme files.)

    I'm currently running Pro Deo on its weaker settings in Arena against the Ufim engine set at 1200 elo. (Ufim can be set to as low as 700 elo.) Maybe I'll be able to tell if Pro Deo really makes more natural patzer moves than Ufim.

    Here's the Pro Deo link (upper right-hand corner of page):
    http://www.top-5000.nl/
  2. 05 Jul '08 02:30
    Thanks for the link. I will download this bad boy to give Rival some competition
  3. 06 Jul '08 20:52
    This engine beat the crap out of Rival. The only engine I have that can beat this is Fruit. Fruit is my main engine, and is now freeware. Type in Fruitchess and you can find it.
  4. 06 Jul '08 21:42 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by IndianaSwift
    This engine beat the crap out of Rival. The only engine I have that can beat this is Fruit. Fruit is my main engine, and is now freeware. Type in Fruitchess and you can find it.
    Yep, Fruit is one of the best free engines. I prefer Toga, though. Most versions of Toga are rated slightly higher than Fruit. (My biggest problem with Toga, though, is that there are now so many versions that I can't keep track of them.) Actually, much of Toga's design is based on the Fruit code.

    The first time I went to install Fruit, there was something that I didn't like about the installation, so I just never installed it. (Although I can't even remember what it was about Fruit that I didn't like.) Maybe I'll try installing it again.

    Concerning Pro Deo, I found that you can indeed edit the existing personalities or even create new ones. I'm currently testing some personalities that I made to lower the strength closer to my patzer rating. (All of the standard Pro Deo personalities are either way over my head or way too weak.)

    Here's some links in case you don't already know about them:

    CCRL rating list:
    http://ccrlchess.org.uk/ccrl/4040/

    CEGT rating list:
    http://husvankempen.de/nunn/

    Sources for engines:
    http://www.superchessengine.com/
    http://wbec-ridderkerk.nl/index.html

    Edit - I think I remember what I didn't like about Fruit - no tablebase support. Most versions of Toga support either Nalimov tablebases or Scorpio bitbases. Ah, I might install Fruit anyway.
  5. 07 Jul '08 00:38
    Cool I will have to download Toga and give it a shot.
  6. 12 Jul '08 19:54
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    Edit - I think I remember what I didn't like about Fruit - no tablebase support. Most versions of Toga support either Nalimov tablebases or Scorpio bitbases. Ah, I might install Fruit anyway.
    Oops, I was wrong. It's a good thing I decided to install Fruit anyway. Fruit 2.3.1 DOES allow the use of either Nalimov tablebases or Scorpio bitbases. (Although I'm not convinced that either one is necessarily an advantage in game playing, it's nice to have the capability for studying.)

    I think the older versions didn't allow tablebases, but that's clearly changed with 2.3.1.

    Another advantage is that the logo is nice and fruity.
  7. 12 Jul '08 20:27
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    Oops, I was wrong. It's a good thing I decided to install Fruit anyway. Fruit 2.3.1 DOES allow the use of either Nalimov tablebases or Scorpio bitbases. (Although I'm not convinced that either one is necessarily an advantage in game playing, it's nice to have the capability for studying.)

    I think the older versions didn't allow tablebases, but that's clearly changed with 2.3.1.

    Another advantage is that the logo is nice and fruity.
    mad rook, I can see you're into engines as well. If you like variety and a very interesting and strong attacking style, I'd like to suggest you to check out the "thinker".

    http://rybkaforum.net/cgi-bin/rybkaforum/topic_show.pl?tid=4008
  8. 12 Jul '08 20:35
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    The personality files look like they could be edited, and I guess you could even create new personalities if you knew what you were doing. One funny thing I noticed was that the "Average Club Player" personality is around 2000 elo! (2200 for the strong club player.) Maybe in the Netherlands where Ed lives, but certainly not here in the USA!
    lol, I've seen those tables.
    1400-1800 weak club player
    1800-2200 average club player
    2200+ strong club player
  9. 12 Jul '08 21:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by diskamyl
    mad rook, I can see you're into engines as well. If you like variety and a very interesting and strong attacking style, I'd like to suggest you to check out the "thinker".

    http://rybkaforum.net/cgi-bin/rybkaforum/topic_show.pl?tid=4008
    Thanks, I'll take a look at it, assuming I can get it to work for me. (Some people apparently had trouble getting it to work.)

    Edit - It seems to be working so far (only on the first game so far). A bit of a turnoff that it doesn't display any evaluation, PV, etc. And what's with the King logo? (I'll substitute a Thinker logo from another source.)