Thursday, August 25, 2011

Opening Test Suites

To eliminate the effect of opening books, it is a common practice to test the strength of chess engines by letting them play from both sides of a pre-selected set of opening positions. Earlier versions of Chess for Android already supported the option to play engine tournaments from both sides of 50 positions of the built-in book (yielding 100 games total between each engine pair). The upcoming 3.0 release will add the option to play both sides of any external book in PGN format, such as the famous "Nunn Positions" (published by GM John Nunn) or the "Silver Opening Suite" (published by Albert Silver).

To use this feature, long press the notation window, and select "UCI Engine Support", followed by "Engine Tournament". Then select the "all games from both sides of external book".

This will open a file navigation window, starting at the root of the SD card. Navigate into the directory and file of the desired opening suite. This will prompt a confirmation window with the number of opening lines in the suite.

Finally, invite a number of UCI engines to the tournament, and the tournament will start automatically, where each engine will play each other engine from both sides of the given opening suite.