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What was the last good Stockfish?

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:28 pm
by Ovyron
When I say "good", I'm talking about the playing style. The great thing about a playing style is that you don't need to play hundreds of games, a few are enough to showcase the style. Traditionally, I play 10 games with minimal books.

See here for context.

The contenders for being the last good versions of Stockfish are Stockfish 14051722, the very last one that allowed tweaking of settings, and Stockfish 5, with settings by Dayffd, that not only improve the style, but the strength of the engine :shock:

I never got to name these settings, let's name them... Lunatic...

My settings:

Stockfish 14051722 Lunatic
Pawn Structure (Midgame)=0
Aggressiveness=200
Cowardice=0

Dayffd's settings:

Stockfish 5 Fury
Mobility (Midgame)=180
Mobility (Endgame)=160
Passed Pawns (Endgame)=175
Aggressiveness=200
Emergency Move Time=20

I ran a match of 10 games after calibrating their strength so they played at the same level and could showcase their styles. (PGN for collectors)

You don't actually need 10 games, you can do it in 2. The reason 10 are needed is so that you get the 2 you need played in there :mrgreen:

Because then, this happened:



Lunatic goes and plays the Blumenfeld Gambit by herself! But Fury doesn't care, she goes for the King and creates an attack Lunatic can't deal with!

But this seals it:



Wow! Did you see how Fury took Lunatic's King out in the open? Who cares if the attack didn't work in the end, this was some tasty style show off! That's why it's important to not let engines just go on depths they see the attack don't work and don't try to carry it over...

Stockfish 5 Fury might be the last good Stockfish, but if someone has an idea of another version that could play better than this I'm very interested :mrgreen:

Re: What was the last good Stockfish?

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:14 pm
by ChickenLogic
Perfection has no style :wink:

Re: What was the last good Stockfish?

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:21 am
by Eelco de Groot
Well, yes, but sometimes even the Stockfish can be beaten by something that has all its evaluation parameters out of whack. And sometimes that thing can even win a match that it should not win by any logical statistics. Like it did here:

Stockfish 2019-09-16 No Contempt - Bluefish 2019-09-25 No Contempt 4½ - 5½ (+2 =5 -3) 45%

Bluefish is Stockfish MOD, helped by the latest changes on the repo (between 16 an 26 september), but totally off with its King Safety, not to 200% like in the games of Stockfish Fury or Stockfish Lunatic but here about 128%, increased for both sides, so still symmetrical. But it still could win a few games.

Bluefish even won three games in a row, coming back from almost certain defeat! If there wasn't something wrong with the scheduling (no Fischer bonus so time does play a role), the conclusion has to be that even perfection sometimes loses 8-)

I don't know about the style though, haven't checked and the two lost games were also clearly out of the opening lost probably taking very big chances on the positional characteristics






Re: What was the last good Stockfish?

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:34 am
by carldaman
Were you able to download Bluefish anywhere? Is it available?

Re: What was the last good Stockfish?

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:59 am
by Eelco de Groot
carldaman wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:34 am
Were you able to download Bluefish anywhere? Is it available?
Sure, I can make it available, Carl :) See Bluefish BMI2 (Beta).
No guarantees it has "style" though. It's just a half hour work or so, not a real Stockfish variant or fork yet.

Re: What was the last good Stockfish?

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:31 am
by carldaman
OK, Eelco. I'll check it out. Thank you for sharing. :)

Re: What was the last good Stockfish?

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:35 pm
by Ovyron
Eelco de Groot wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:21 am
I don't know about the style though, haven't checked
Haha! This summarizes my entire problem with the current status of computer chess :mrgreen: People spend years producing chess games and nobody ever looks at them! They're just happy to process those games and get numbers, and then stare at the numbers... computer chess has become the numbers!

When I was an engine tester, I would watch all the games (hell, at the beginning I would spend hours and hours watching the games I ran live as they happened, only later figuring out replaying the PGNs was the way to go), so no single chess game I've produced has remained unseen. But it soon became clear that most of the games were a waste of time to watch, because those were such an uneventful bore.

Figures THAT's the reason nobody is looking at the thousands of games released by engine lists in a regular basis, those chess games can be so boring that staring at numbers can be more fun!

That's why I started my chase for engines with style, with great success, I'd say, as while old engines become obsolete because new versions are stronger and there's no reason to use old ones, engines of old great style never lose it! And there's always the best one in some family of engines, what I'd call "the last good one."

I think minimal books are a requirement to showcase the engines' style, the least possible moves required to get varied games, while still allowing the engines to show some amazing novelty in some gambit line they discovered by themselves (this was a flaw even in Brendan's videos done for this.)

Anyway, I'm looking forward to a release of Bluefish in an official fork to check it out :) perhaps Stockfish Fury can be dethroned.

Re: What was the last good Stockfish?

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:11 pm
by karger
Eelco de Groot wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:59 am
carldaman wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:34 am
Were you able to download Bluefish anywhere? Is it available?
Sure, I can make it available, Carl :) See Bluefish BMI2 (Beta).
No guarantees it has "style" though. It's just a half hour work or so, not a real Stockfish variant or fork yet.
Eelco , Your compile is no good. Closes as soon as the exe opens.

Re: What was the last good Stockfish?

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:38 am
by Ovyron
karger wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:11 pm
Eelco de Groot wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:59 am
carldaman wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:34 am
Were you able to download Bluefish anywhere? Is it available?
Sure, I can make it available, Carl :) See Bluefish BMI2 (Beta).
No guarantees it has "style" though. It's just a half hour work or so, not a real Stockfish variant or fork yet.
Eelco , Your compile is no good. Closes as soon as the exe opens.
Does your computer support BMI2 instructions? Otherwise, it'd not work, and you need a general compile.

Re: What was the last good Stockfish?

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:51 am
by MikeB
There was something certainly special with the early Stockfish, those were good days.