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Infinite Analysis with Chess Assistant 10 12 August 2008
Some of these same options were discussed last month; here we’ll take a closer look at the “Infinite analysis…” option. It displays the “Start analysis” dialog box:
The second panel is used for advanced analysis with more than one chess engine analyzing the position. It can be turned on manually by selecting “Panel 2 is on for analysis”.
The “Type of analysis” radio buttons in “Panel 1” offer normal infinite analysis (“Chronological”), two types of multi-variation analysis ( “Multivariation (1 panel)” and “Multivariation (2 panels)” ) and finally allows analysis using any number of chess engines simultaneously (“Several engines”). Note that this allows you to analyze with more than two engines at the same time.
The “Ignore moves” radio buttons allows you to let the chess engine examine all possible moves (“Consider all moves”) or select moves based on their existence in an opening database or “tree” (“Ignore moves in tree panel” and “Consider moves only in tree panel”). This can be useful, for instance, when you are analyzing a well-known opening, but you want to analyze unexplored moves for a novelty to spring on your opponent.
The “Engine” parameter in the “Parameter” box allows you to select one of the installed chess engines for analysis. Note that Chess Assistant supports many types of chess engines (UCI, WinBoard etc.), so there are literally hundreds of chess engines to choose from. Of course, Rybka can be used, but it must be purchased separately. Here, I have selected Shredder 9.11, an excellent engine that is included with Chess Assistant 10.
Only Analyze Interesting Moves
It is White’s move, as indicated by the white triangle below the diagram, and the 53 legal moves in this position are listed to the right of the diagram. However, I’m only interested in two of them: either the straightforward Bxf8 or the more daring Rxh7. The ability to analyze just two moves, instead of all 53, will clearly save plenty of time. In order to select the two moves I wish to analyze, I first clicked “Exclude all moves” and then I clicked the two moves in the list. The analysis starts when the OK button is pressed.
When you choose a scheme the options for “Panel 1” and “Panel 2” are set automatically. In this case Panel 1 would not change from what you see above, but the options on Panel 2 are automatically set as follows.
It is White’s move. Black has just moved his knight from f6 to d7. Analyzing this position in a normal way with infinite analysis would show you a variation that may not be of much help in understanding the position. Let’s start the analysis and see what the scheme, “Invert side (2 engines),” tells us about the position. Here we see the two analysis panels that were defined on the “Start analysis” screen. The upper panel contains analysis by Shredder 9.11 (in “Chronological” mode) and the lower panel shows Crafty’s analysis of Black’s threats. Last month we had a close look at how to read the analysis output.
Here we see the two analysis panels that were defined on the “Start analysis” screen. The upper panel contains analysis by Shredder 9.11 (in “Chronological” mode) and the lower panel shows Crafty’s analysis of Black’s threats. Last month we had a close look at how to read the analysis output.
This mode is especially helpful when watching games on the Internet or when studying a new opening. Next month, I plan to discuss multi-variation mode and multi-program analysis (two or more chess engines analyzing the position at the same time). I will also show how you can insert this analysis into a game.
Last month I discussed using infinite analysis with Chess Assistant and this month I will discuss multi-variation mode and multi-program analysis (two or more chess engines analyzing the position at the same time). I will also show how you can insert this analysis into a game. Most players do not utilize the assistance of a coach and for these players in particular, a judicious use of chess engines can deepen their understanding of the game.
A thorough analysis of a complicated position can be difficult, and selecting reasonable candidate moves requires imagination and understanding of the game. Many improving players will have difficulty with such analysis and that’s where a few good chess engines can come to the rescue.
However, the exact evaluations are not important at this point. The key result is that by using multi-program analysis, we succeeded in finding three different moves that warrant a closer look. For the record, White actually played 18 b4!?, a move that Dvoretsky called “an outstanding counterstroke.” The other two engine moves are not analyzed by Dvoretsky, but this is a complicated position and analyzing these alternatives would be an instructive task for improving players.
The quickest way to stop the analysis is to hit the ESC button on the keyboard.
Each engine has its own strengths and weaknesses and no single engine is best for analyzing every position. Therefore, multi-program analysis can be very useful as a first step in analyzing an important position, so long as you remember that there is little benefit to letting the engines do all the analysis if you want to improve. You must first analyze the position and make your own list of candidate moves and variations. Then compare your variations with those of the chess engines and analyze the differences.
Here I have selected Rybka as the analysis engine and I set “Variations” to four in the “Parameters” pane.
All the moves that were suggested in our multi-program analysis are among Rybka’s top four choices, with the addition of 18 Bd6.
The leftmost button on the “Engines” toolbar tab serves the same function as the ESC key on the keyboard. The second button (with the green arrow pointing up) saves the analysis in the game and stops the analysis.
The above image shows that the variation suggested by the chess engine is formatted differently from the actual game score. The engine evaluates White’s position as preferable (+0.30), it analyzed to a depth of 24 plies (d24), and it was analyzed by Rybka 2.3.1, the 64 bit version.
Advanced Example of Infinite Analysis
These two columns on infinite analysis have covered some of the most common analysis schemes, but there are many other possibilities. A good example of advanced application of infinite analysis can be found in Robert Pawlak’s article “Comparative Analysis.” It discusses a very interesting method for comparing the strength of the moves played in a game and the moves suggested by the analysis engines.
Chess Assistant offers more methods for analyzing chess games and positions than any other software. In these two columns we have limited our discussion to infinite analysis, but in the future we will discuss full game analysis and other options that are available in Chess Assistant.
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