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Houdini 3 Aquarium
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Aquarium Articles Reference Page - learn more about Aquarium’s functions and how to use them.
The Interactive Deep Analysis, or simply IDeA, is Aquarium’s trademark feature and what really sets it apart from similar programs. It has come a long way since its introduction in the fisrt release of Aquarium, and is still improving. Serious players will probably find it is an essential tool to stay competitive. But explaining what IDeA is and how it works will require more than a few bullet points in the product description. If you want to know, go ahead and read on.
IDeA is one of the most advanced chess analysis methods available. It will allow you to use your chess engine to its maximum. The purpose of IDeA is to analyze a position deeply and return as much information about it as possible to enable the user to get a better understanding of the nuances of any position.
IDeA keeps a permanent record of its analysis in a tree structure, which is unlimited in size. The user can browse the analysis tree at will, both while the analysis is in progress and after it has finished.
The user can direct the analysis into the positions that are of most interest to him by excluding or adding positions and variations to the analysis.
Some of IDeA’s advanced features include
Analyzing with many engines. The current version of IDeA can split the analysis between many engines. You can, for instance, use four instances of single core Houdini for the analysis on a quad computer, essentially reducing the multiprocessor overhead to zero. It’s like getting one extra core for free compared to running Houdini in 4-CPU mode.
Analyzing on a network of computers. This feature is a dream come true for power users, analysts, and serious players who want to take their analysis to a new level. If you own two computers, you can of course run Aquarium on one of them and use it for the analysis. In the current you can also add engines running on your other computer to the pool of IDeA analysis engines. You can use as many engines analyzing simultaneously as you need. The engines can be run on various computers, some on local networks and others in different countries - as long as they are all connected to your Aquarium Internet. IDeA takes care of splitting the analysis between the available engines.
Multiple IDeA projects analyzed in parallel. You can define many analysis projects, each with its own analysis and tree settings. IDeA can analyze any number of those projects in parallel. The status of each project is saved between sessions, so you can manage many different IDeA projects much easier than before.
Multiple analysis “roots” for a single project. The starting position for IDeA analysis is called a “root.” If you are analyzing a position in IDeA when another interesting position shows up in the tree, you can make it a new root, without even stopping the analysis. You can remove the original root or let IDeA analyze from both roots. You can use this feature to focus IDeA on selected positions without restarting it. IDeA can keep a list of all roots that have been used in a project.
Shaping the analysis tree. Aquarium has a number of settings that have a significant influence on the shape of the IDeA analysis tree.
All of these settings can be changed on the fly during the IDeA session, further emphasizing that IDeA is designed to be used as an interactive tool.
Move repetition detection. IDeA tasks do not consist of a single position, but a full line that leads from the root node to the position to be analyzed. This enables the engine to report 0.00 scores for twofold repetitions, and is generally more correct. This also leads to the fifty-move rule being observed.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the features and think that you will need years to learn how to use them, don’t worry, just take the first steps and you will find that IDeA can work more or less automatically. After seeing how it works in automatic mode, you may want more control over the analysis. At that point, just read the relevant article from the reference list and step-by-step you will master all the tools.
It has to be emphasized that every IDeA option is based on a practical need and many of them were pointed out by Aquarium users. The implementation of the analysis and the new features were carefully discussed and then tested by beta testers. Only the features that were shown to improve the analysis are included in Aquarium releases. Step-by-step you will find your favorite settings and greatly increase the efficiency of your analysis.
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