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Creating Tree Configurations 23 October 2008

Rybka 3 Aquarium logotype Last month’s column was an introduction to tree configurations in Rybka Aquarium.

This month we’ll have a closer look at how tree configurations are created.

The image shows the Configuration group on the Tree tab. This gives you access to all functions related to selecting, creating, modifying and removing tree configurations.

The leftmost button shows the currently selected configuration – in this case “Annotations”, which is one of Aquarium’s standard configurations.
The Configuration group on the Tree tab.
Clicking the small, black triangle displays a list of available configurations as shown in the next image.

The currently selected configuration (“Annotations”) has a checkmark next to it. You can switch to any other configuration in the list by clicking on it. The selected configuration will be displayed in the tree window when you are viewing games.

The “Load CTG” button allows you to use opening books created in Fritz or ChessBase within Aquarium. You can, for instance, use them when playing engine matches and tournaments. The only restriction is that you can’t modify CTG books.

The “Options” button opens the “Tree configuration” dialog box. This allows you to select, modify, delete and create tree configurations.

This dialog box was described last month, and this month we are only interested in the top row.

The drop-down list allows you to select any of the available tree configurations, and the “Delete” button on the right deletes the selected configuration. Here we will have a closer look at how you create new tree configurations. Start by clicking the “New…” button. This displays the “New tree configuration” wizard.

The wizard allows you to create five different types of tree configurations:

  • New configuration with statistics data: this option creates a configuration with statistics from a tree that you specify. You can optionally include information from Aquarium’s standard trees (Eval, d2m and CAP) in the configuration.
The new tree configuration wizard.
  • New configuration with engine evaluations: the configuration will display engine evaluations from the tree you specify. You must make sure that the tree actually does contain engine evaluations. An example of such a tree is the infinite analysis history tree (infinite_analysis). You can optionally include information from Aquarium’s standard trees (Eval, d2m and CAP) in the configuration.
  • New empty configuration: this option creates an empty tree configuration. You will have to add the columns manually as was described in last month’s column. This option can be useful for experienced users who want to create special types of tree configurations. Since creating an empty configuration is very simple and only requires you to provide a name for the configuration we will not describe it further.
  • Copy current configuration: this method creates a copy of the currently selected configuration. You only have to give a name to the new configuration – everything else happens automatically. This is a very useful option. There is no easy way to take back changes you have made to a tree configuration, so you should never modify the standard Aquarium configurations. Instead use this option to create a copy and then modify the copy. You can also use this method if you want to create a new Aquarium opening book. In that case you should choose one of Aquarium’s standard opening books (NarrowBook, WideBook, HandicapBook, NoAnnotations) as a starting point. This option was described in last month’s column.
  • New CTG-based opening book: this option is equivalent to clicking the “Load CTG” button. This is described above and creates a new opening book based on a CTG book. Use this method if you want to use an opening book that was created in Fritz or Chessbase in Aquarium.

Since creating a “New empty configuration” is very simple, and “Copy current configuration” was described last month, we will focus on the other three methods here. It so happens that the process of creating those three types of configurations is almost identical, so if you understand how to create one of them, you can easily create the other two. Therefore, we take “New configuration with statistics data” as an example.

Comparison With Recent Games by Strong Players

Here we will go step by step through the creation of a new configuration with statistics. What we want to do is compare recent results of strong players with statistics based on all games in a database with millions of games (HugeBase).

The first step is to create a tree based on recent games in HugeBase by strong players. So we start by opening HugeBase (remember always to open HugeBase as a reference database) and use header search to find all games played since 2006 where both players were rated over 2500. Here is what the search conditions should look like.

Click OK to start the search. The resulting list should contain over 24,000 games. With the list open, select the Tree tab and click Build Tree. The “Tree build options” dialog box, shown in the next image, will be displayed.

The only field you need to change here is the “Result tree”, which gives a name to the resulting tree.

I have chosen a name that reminds me that it is based on games from 2006-2008 by players rated 2500 and higher: “2006-08_2500plus”.

Click the OK button and Aquarium will build the tree. When it is finished it asks you what you want to do with the tree.

Select “Create new configuration” as shown in the image and click the Finish button.

This will start the “New tree configuration” wizard, which we saw above.

Select “New configuration with statistics data” as shown here.

When you click the Next button you are asked to specify the tree containing the statistics you are interested in.
Creating a new tree configuration with statistics.

Clicking the ellipses button to the right of the “Tree path” field opens a standard Windows dialog that allows you to locate and select the tree.

There is no need to do that here though, as Aquarium will automatically suggest the tree you just created.

Aquarium will add statistics from that tree to the new tree configuration, but the next step allows you to select which data from the tree will be displayed in the tree window.

Here you can select four statistics columns from the tree.

The meaning of these columns was explained in last month’s column.

You can exclude any of these statistics by removing the checkmark from the columns you want to exclude. We will leave this window unchanged.

This step may raise some questions from new users. In the previous step we added columns from the tree we just created, but where do these columns come from? The answer is that they come from Aquarium’s standard trees as shown in the following table:

Column Tree Display Name
GM Evaluations (Eval) statistics\eval.hsh Eval
CAP cap.hsh CAP
Overall number of games statistics\d2m.hsh Total
Overall success statistics\d2m.hsh SUCC
Overall best Elo statistics\d2m.hsh ELO
Overall year statistics\d2m.hsh YEAR

The “Display Name” column in the table shows the default heading for the column when it is displayed in the tree window in Aquarium. As the description indicates eval.hsh contains human evaluations. CAP contains millions of positions evaluated by chess engines, and d2m.hsh is a tree based on all the games in HugeBase, which is a database of more than three million games.

There is one additional checkbox below the column list in the screenshot above: “Keep move colors and annotations.” If this option is selected, then the new tree configuration will use the Main tree and Discarded Moves tree from the configuration that was active when you started the wizard. Otherwise new trees will be created for the configuration. In our case they would be named 2006-08_2500plus_main and 2006-08_2500plus_discarded. If you select “Keep move colors and annotations,” you should make sure that the appropriate configuration was selected when you started the wizard.

Note that you will encounter this same “additional columns” step when creating “New configuration with engine evaluations” and “New CTGbased opening book”.

After selecting the additional columns you want to add to the configuration, click “Next” to take you to the final step.

Here you can assign a name to the new tree configuration or accept the name suggested by Aquarium, as I did here.

When you click the “Finish” button, the configuration will be created.

Now you can open a game and switch to the new configuration, as was explained at the beginning of this article.

Here you see what the new configuration looks like in the tree window. The two rightmost columns (N and Succ) come from the statistics tree we specified (2006-08_2500plus) when creating the configuration. The columns to the left of that are the “additional columns” we selected. We were interested in the results of recent games between players rated over 2500 (“Succ”) compared to the results from HugeBase, a database containing millions of games by players of widely varying abilities (“SUCC”).
The newly created tree configuration.

When we compare these two columns in the tree configuration, we see that having black is a bigger handicap for the higher rated players. We even see two examples, highlighted with yellow background, where the difference is five percent (Sicilian Defense) and ten percent (Scandinavian Defense), although in the second case we only have 146 games in the tree we created with the high rated players.

You can use Aquarium’s tree configurations to make many types of interesting comparisons. The possibilities are too numerous to enumerate, but basically any two lists of games can be compared in this way, similar to what we did above. You can even compare multiple categories or lists in the same configuration (see for instance the rating handicap trees). The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Dadi Jonsson.

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