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Get on Swimmingly 12 August 2008
Rybka 3 now has an estimated rating of 3150. All that Rybka lacked was an interface to call its own, but now a graphical user interface (GUI) has been designed for Rybka by developers Victor Zakharov and Pete Lupherenko. Rybka Aquarium is designed to take advantage of the full power of Rybka 3.
The interface is based on the Fluent design, which was first introduced by Microsoft in Office 2007. The first thing you will notice is that all menus and toolbars have been replaced with a single container that organizes Aquarium’s full feature set into a series of tabs. This container is known as the “Ribbon”.
The Aquarium interface consists of the following major parts:
The purpose of IDeA is to dig deeply into a position and return as much information about it as possible. IDeA keeps its analysis in a tree structure that is unlimited in size and which the user can browse at will, even while the analysis is in progress. The tree is used for storing and reviewing analysis and for opening preparation.
If you annotate a position in the tree pane, the annotations will be available in each game where the same position occurs, regardless of the move sequence used to reach the position. Rybka also uses persistent hash, which is essentially permanent program memory. This allows the engine to remember its previous analysis.
There is also a very interesting feature that is specific to Rybka called the Randomizer. The idea is to allow a user to play many games from a single starting position in order to collect statistics about that position. A randomized Rybka will then keep track of the previous games, so that a match between two randomized Rybkas will systematically explore different variations from the specified starting position.
The left pane displays controls for some of the main functions; when the mouse pointer hovers over a control in the left pane, it automatically opens and displays the menu items in the right pane.
Additionally, Rybka 3 Aquarium comes bundled with a database of 3,300,000 games, an opening book that can be used within the Fritz-family of applications, online access to the Nalimov endgame tablebases (3-6 pieces), and versions for 32 and 64 bit processors.
Rybka’s opening book features grandmaster evaluations of more than 100,000 positions, as well as two analysis trees (CAP) containing previously analyzed positions. The Rybka CAP Data contains 20 million positions, while the CAP Data offers 45 million positions analyzed by Rybka and other engines.
Thus, Rybka 3 Aquarium offers many powerful tools for game analysis that will benefit serious competitors and many fun features for chess play that will please recreational users. The developers are also very adroit when it comes to adding features that are in demand and it pays to visit the Rybka forum and let them know what features you would like to see in future versions.
Furthermore, don’t forget to check out Dadi Jonsson’s ChessOK Cafe columns about Rybka Aquarium in the ChessCafe.com Archives.
System requirements: IBM-compatible PC, 256 MB Ram, Hard Disk (4Gb of free disk space), CGA graphics, Windows 2000/XP/Vista, DVD-ROM.
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