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  1. Standard member jockmcgee
    Ganbei!
    30 Nov '07 12:07
    I'm writing a chess engine as part of my course and on Monday my supervisor is supposed to play it. Since it's not due in until May he let me know that he'd play 1. e4 so I can write a small opening book for it (since I'd planned to leave the opening book to later in the project). I was wondering what defence everyone would recommend, bearing in mind that I don't have a great deal of time to cover a vast number of variations just yet. I was thinking either the French or the Caro-Kann since the second move for white is quite predictable, but I'd appreciate any input.
  2. Standard member Dragon Fire
    Lord of all beasts
    30 Nov '07 12:29
    Originally posted by jockmcgee
    I'm writing a chess engine as part of my course and on Monday my supervisor is supposed to play it. Since it's not due in until May he let me know that he'd play 1. e4 so I can write a small opening book for it (since I'd planned to leave the opening book to later in the project). I was wondering what defence everyone would recommend, bearing in mind tha ...[text shortened]... o-Kann since the second move for white is quite predictable, but I'd appreciate any input.
    The more obscure the better as there is less to write, so how about 1. ... g5.

    If you feel less adventurous you could always reply 1. ... g6 or 1. ... b6.
  3. 30 Nov '07 12:33
    I would say there is more to write if you make it play obscure games - it is far harder to predict what moves your opponent will play against it.

    Better would be to make it play some sort of main line system - c6 is not a bad choice actually.
  4. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    30 Nov '07 13:54
    write a loader for the opening book, and use an existing one.
  5. 30 Nov '07 14:14 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by jockmcgee
    How good is the engine tactically? Strategically? End games ability? etc.

    You should be aiming for middlegames which suit the engine's strengths. Choosing an opening based on the range of variations is a poor choice.

    If the engine's relative strength is tactics, aim for some open and sharp play. Don't allow a closed position with longer term strategy becoming more dominant. I'd guess that 1... e5 or 1... c5 will suit the engine better than the French/Caro-Kann. Ok, I agree that it may drop out of its book sooner, but it will play the resulting positions better.
  6. Standard member jockmcgee
    Ganbei!
    30 Nov '07 15:02
    Hey guys, thanks for your input. I've been looking at more obscure openings as an option for the finished program, but I couldn't find any useful resources on the Borg Defence, I'm afraid.

    I was tempted to use an existing database but in the end I told my supervisor that I'd make everything myself, otherwise that'd be a good option and save a lot of time.

    I'd say it's more of a tactical engine so I should favour Sicilians, only it'd be easy enough to turn it into a closed positional game, wouldn't it?
  7. 30 Nov '07 15:21
    Originally posted by jockmcgee
    I'd say it's more of a tactical engine so I should favour Sicilians, only it'd be easy enough to turn it into a closed positional game, wouldn't it?
    Maybe, but your engine should try to resist getting into a closed positional game rather than assist this. The French makes the opponent's task easier in this respect. Maybe some Sicilians offer the longer term plan of opposite castling followed by attacking the opposing king (pawn storm or otherwise). What is your engine's play like in such positions? If it fiddles around while the opponent builds up his attack, you may want avoid such a middlegame. Maybe 1... e5 is safer in this respect, although as you mention, your opponent may attempt anti-computer play from almost any opening.
  8. Standard member jockmcgee
    Ganbei!
    30 Nov '07 15:37
    Originally posted by Varenka
    Maybe, but your engine should try to resist getting into a closed positional game rather than assist this. The French makes the opponent's task easier in this respect. Maybe some Sicilians offer the longer term plan of opposite castling followed by attacking the opposing king (pawn storm or otherwise). What is your engine's play like in such positions? I ...[text shortened]... although as you mention, your opponent may attempt anti-computer play from almost any opening.
    Good point, thanks for your suggestions. I'll have a play around in different positions and see where it does best.