Back in the Engine Room

Sherwood, Russell  Thursday, December 13, 2018

It’s been an interesting couple of months in terms of engine development. Probably the two biggest news items are Stockfish 10’s release and the advance of LCZero.


Recently SF10 was released, with a significant ELO gain over SF9. One thing to watch for CC players is that the contempt value has changed and the setting of this should be considered prior to use.


LCZero has been gaining strength in self-play recently but it remains to be seen if this will pass through into useful improvements. The significant news of recent days is that another AlphaZero paper has been released with a significant amount of actionable information. This is being put into practice by the Alpha Zero team at the moment. Unless you have suitable hardware LCZero remains interesting rather than competitive for CC players but this situation requires keeping close attention on.


Development of a CC-specific variation of Sugar has commenced. This is a very interesting project and one which could prove significant benefits.


Players’ favourite Raubfisch continues to develop incremental improvements coming on a regular basis.


Sting, whilst not a frontline engine, continues to develop and is of use in cracking difficult positions.


Komodo has released a new version of the MCTS equipped version with around a 100 elo gain being observed, coming close to the standard Komodo version.


CFish and CiFish continue to keep pace with new development versions of Stockfish, however, AsmFish has fallen significantly behind the pace. A spin-off version AsmFishCP has been developed. This has a number of Stockfish improvements implemented but is still significantly behind the pace.

Finally, for now, SHashChess has been updated. Whilst still only "interesting" in terms of output, it is still a useful addition to any stable.


Updated Thursday, December 13, 2018 by Russell Sherwood

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