Advice on how to use Arena GUI for engine-engine matches

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EN
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:21 am

Advice on how to use Arena GUI for engine-engine matches

Post by EN » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:00 pm

Just as the topic says.

Hello everyone, I'm new to using Arena GUI and considering on using it for the long haul, but I need to understand some operational basics. I installed Arena 3.5.1 and Sedat Canbaz's Perfect2017.abk book and followed book settings etc. Ditto for Arena's engine-settings window for engines, and have fiddled with Arena GUI menu in order to understand its functions and create engine-engine matches, but it seems I'm doing something incorrectly.

For example, when attempting a 5/0 match between, say, Rybka 3 versus Naum 4.6 (or ANY engines for that matter), I go the "Game" menu and select "Demo"; the engines move are extremely slow during the opening phase - even with the Perfect2017.abk book supplied. The "Sliding Pieces" sub-menu under the "Pieces" menu has been selected to "very fast" for both "Speed" and "During a match" options, with "Steps" still at 30. I think, with opening book supplied, engines should move faster till when out of the recommended book settings for Perect2017.abk:

BookOptions1: under "Data" menu - Use Arena main book, Use Arena engine books, Use transpositions - all checked, AND
BookOptions2: under "Move Selection" - Minimal number of games=0, Minimal won games=0, Win percentage white=0, Win percentage black=0, with Priority=2, Number of games=2, Win percentages=0. Moves with priority 0 are never played (checked), and Use book up to halfmove=26.

I should note that the same Perfecto2017.bin for Polyglot - used under Winboard GUI - has a Book Depth of 9. Not sure why Arena's .abk has 26 halfmoves (or 13, if divided in half?). Again, I want to learn about Arena - as I'm a newbie to it.

I know my description settings for matches between engines is vague.

1. How or where, in Arena's Menu, can I select or make the manual adjustments for solid games i.e., 3/0, 5/0, 7/0 etc. between engine matches?

2. How can I attain the proper book settings to make engines move fast during book-opening phases?

3. Do I always have to perform the "Load Engine" function, if for example the engines are not changed to another, every time I want to conduct matches between engines?

There are so many questions that I have (some menus/functions are intuitive), but for now, I would like guidance on using and understanding Arena GUI/menus. Thank you for any input and pointers.


EN.

EN
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:21 am

Re: Advice on how to use Arena GUI for engine-engine matches

Post by EN » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:42 pm

SzG wrote:
To begin with, experimenting is the best way to learn the functions of a GUI.
Thank you for your inputs, Gabor. This is the stage I am at now: fiddling and observing responses of options.
SzG wrote: Now some answers to your questions.

1. When you set up a tournament (which can be a match between two engines as well) under Engines/Tournament, you will find a Level button at the bottom left corner.
I did - as part of my tinkering with Arena [3.5.1] menu/options. When Engines/Tournament, and then "Level" is selected, I see under the salmon-coloured banner - with the word "Tournament" - for Time Control: Moves: All, Minutes: 5. But this is the confusing part, on the lower left, it has Blitz 2/6. Additionally, I don't know what to make of the "Levels" (from 1 to 8) - if this is intended for humans vs engines play or if it applies to engine to engine matches. In the case of engine vs. engine games, I just want to play engines vs. engines with their full power/ELO with no capitations of any type.
SzG wrote:2. When setting up an engine under Engines/Manage/Details, you will see a Book tab under which you can select your book options for that engine.
Yes, I already did this. This was one of the intuitive options.
SzG wrote:3. When you have set up your tournament, you will only have to invoke it (fastest way is pressing F9), and the tournament (re)starts and the engines are loaded automatically.
Okay, I'll have to fiddle with this to get it right.

Question; any idea why - after installing/setting up the Perfect2017.abk book - the engines move very, VERY slow in the opening phase? Personally, I think with [Perfect2017.abk] opening-book installed, engines-moves should be relatively fast in the opening phase, until when book-moves have been played-out, or book is exited, and engines begin to ponder next move. I can't help but think I may have neglected something somewhere.
SzG wrote:In my view Arena is rather intuitive and easy to use, so I am sure you'll get familiar with it very soon. Good luck!
Thank you! I think once I get around to acquainting myself with Arena's options, I have a feeling it will be second-nature then...


Regards,
EN

EN
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:21 am

Re: Advice on how to use Arena GUI for engine-engine matches

Post by EN » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:16 pm

EN wrote:
SzG wrote:
To begin with, experimenting is the best way to learn the functions of a GUI.
Thank you for your inputs, Gabor. This is the stage I am at now: fiddling and observing responses of options.
SzG wrote: Now some answers to your questions.

1. When you set up a tournament (which can be a match between two engines as well) under Engines/Tournament, you will find a Level button at the bottom left corner.
I did - as part of my tinkering with Arena [3.5.1] menu/options. When Engines/Tournament, and then "Level" is selected, I see under the salmon-coloured banner - with the word "Tournament" - for Time Control: Moves: All, Minutes: 5. But this is the confusing part, on the lower left, it has Blitz 2/6. Additionally, I don't know what to make of the "Levels" (from 1 to 8) - if this is intended for humans vs engines play or if it applies to engine to engine matches. In the case of engine vs. engine games, I just want to play engines vs. engines with their full power/ELO with no capitations of any type.
SzG wrote:2. When setting up an engine under Engines/Manage/Details, you will see a Book tab under which you can select your book options for that engine.
Yes, I already did this. This was one of the intuitive options.
SzG wrote:3. When you have set up your tournament, you will only have to invoke it (fastest way is pressing F9), and the tournament (re)starts and the engines are loaded automatically.
Okay, I'll have to fiddle with this to get it right.

Question; any idea why - after installing/setting up the Perfect2017.abk book - the engines move very, VERY slow in the opening phase? Personally, I think with [Perfect2017.abk] opening-book installed, engines-moves should be relatively fast in the opening phase, until when book-moves have been played-out, or book is exited, and engines begin to ponder next move. I can't help but think I may have neglected something somewhere.
SzG wrote:In my view Arena is rather intuitive and easy to use, so I am sure you'll get familiar with it very soon. Good luck!
Thank you! I think once I get around to acquainting myself with Arena's options, I have a feeling it will be second-nature then...


Regards,
EN
Addendum:
How do I set a general Hash option for both engines? Or is this done individually for each engines? Both engines display 135MB for 1st engine and 134MB for 2nd engine - of which I don't recall setting let alone this small amount for hash. Thanks.

Colin-G
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Location: England

Re: Advice on how to use Arena GUI for engine-engine matches

Post by Colin-G » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:34 pm

EN wrote: Addendum:
How do I set a general Hash option for both engines? Or is this done individually for each engines? Both engines display 135MB for 1st engine and 134MB for 2nd engine - of which I don't recall setting let alone this small amount for hash. Thanks.
Press the F11 key and then select the UCI tab in the Engine Management window that appears.
You can set common hashtable size there.

EN
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:21 am

Re: Advice on how to use Arena GUI for engine-engine matches

Post by EN » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:43 am

Colin-G wrote:
EN wrote: Addendum:
How do I set a general Hash option for both engines? Or is this done individually for each engines? Both engines display 135MB for 1st engine and 134MB for 2nd engine - of which I don't recall setting let alone this small amount for hash. Thanks.
Press the F11 key and then select the UCI tab in the Engine Management window that appears.
You can set common hashtable size there.
Thanks, Collin!

I'm getting acquainted with Arena. It is like a whole new world of GUI out there; many options to venture and test out, and engine installation is fast and easy! Plus, the GUI looks nice (I installed version 1.1, 1.99beta, and 3.5.1 - but actually using 3.5.1). I'm liking it! The only qualms about it (so far) is how Arena displays names of engines installed. It appears it doesn't go by internal engine-name(s) but rather, how the executable file is named etc. Additionally, visual spaces for names of engine installed is a bit narrow - because some of the engines I installed can't be fully displayed as a result.

I'm not exactly sure if this is one of the bugs in Arena 3.5.1 that I read in a recent thread here, but when conducting engine vs. engine games, I noticed that the losing engine resigns (or GUI?), and checkmate doesn't occur, even though "Adjudicate game - under Engines\Tournament\Options - is unchecked.


Best,
EN

carldaman
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Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Advice on how to use Arena GUI for engine-engine matches

Post by carldaman » Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:24 am

EN wrote:
Colin-G wrote:
EN wrote: Addendum:
How do I set a general Hash option for both engines? Or is this done individually for each engines? Both engines display 135MB for 1st engine and 134MB for 2nd engine - of which I don't recall setting let alone this small amount for hash. Thanks.
Press the F11 key and then select the UCI tab in the Engine Management window that appears.
You can set common hashtable size there.
Thanks, Collin!

I'm getting acquainted with Arena. It is like a whole new world of GUI out there; many options to venture and test out, and engine installation is fast and easy! Plus, the GUI looks nice (I installed version 1.1, 1.99beta, and 3.5.1 - but actually using 3.5.1). I'm liking it! The only qualms about it (so far) is how Arena displays names of engines installed. It appears it doesn't go by internal engine-name(s) but rather, how the executable file is named etc. Additionally, visual spaces for names of engine installed is a bit narrow - because some of the engines I installed can't be fully displayed as a result.

I'm not exactly sure if this is one of the bugs in Arena 3.5.1 that I read in a recent thread here, but when conducting engine vs. engine games, I noticed that the losing engine resigns (or GUI?), and checkmate doesn't occur, even though "Adjudicate game - under Engines\Tournament\Options - is unchecked.


Best,
EN
UCI engines' resign threshold can be set under the Engine Management | UCI tab. It is separate from the tournament adjudication settings.

Afaik, it appears that resign scores for WB engines can only be set individually, and only for engines that support this setting, usually using config files (.ini, .cfg, etc) or maybe command line switches.

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hgm
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Re: Advice on how to use Arena GUI for engine-engine matches

Post by hgm » Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:46 am

Note that UCI does not offer any method for engines to resign, so that to make UCI engines resign at all GUI interference is required. So I guess this indeed is a sort of one-sided adjudication, the decision not to continue the game purely taken by the GUI. This is different for WB engines, which can notify the GUI that they want to resign, and thus can be assumed to want to continue the game when they don't do that.

Note that more modern WB engines tend to display the resign threshold with the engine-defined options.

Colin-G
Posts: 145
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Location: England

Re: Advice on how to use Arena GUI for engine-engine matches

Post by Colin-G » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:44 pm

EN wrote: The only qualms about it (so far) is how Arena displays names of engines installed. It appears it doesn't go by internal engine-name(s) but rather, how the executable file is named etc. Additionally, visual spaces for names of engine installed is a bit narrow - because some of the engines I installed can't be fully displayed as a result.
If you want to use the engines "internal name", press the F11 key.
In the "Engine Management" window select the "Options" tab and then tick the "Use internal name" box.
Alternatively, you don't have to stick with the name it gives you when you install an engine executable.
Just select the "Details" tab in the "Engine Management" window and type a new name for the engine in the "Name" box.

EN
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:21 am

Re: Advice on how to use Arena GUI for engine-engine matches

Post by EN » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:54 am

carldaman wrote:
EN wrote:
Colin-G wrote:
EN wrote: Addendum:
How do I set a general Hash option for both engines? Or is this done individually for each engines? Both engines display 135MB for 1st engine and 134MB for 2nd engine - of which I don't recall setting let alone this small amount for hash. Thanks.
Press the F11 key and then select the UCI tab in the Engine Management window that appears.
You can set common hashtable size there.
Thanks, Collin!

I'm getting acquainted with Arena. It is like a whole new world of GUI out there; many options to venture and test out, and engine installation is fast and easy! Plus, the GUI looks nice (I installed version 1.1, 1.99beta, and 3.5.1 - but actually using 3.5.1). I'm liking it! The only qualms about it (so far) is how Arena displays names of engines installed. It appears it doesn't go by internal engine-name(s) but rather, how the executable file is named etc. Additionally, visual spaces for names of engine installed is a bit narrow - because some of the engines I installed can't be fully displayed as a result.

I'm not exactly sure if this is one of the bugs in Arena 3.5.1 that I read in a recent thread here, but when conducting engine vs. engine games, I noticed that the losing engine resigns (or GUI?), and checkmate doesn't occur, even though "Adjudicate game - under Engines\Tournament\Options - is unchecked.


Best,
EN
UCI engines' resign threshold can be set under the Engine Management | UCI tab. It is separate from the tournament adjudication settings.

Afaik, it appears that resign scores for WB engines can only be set individually, and only for engines that support this setting, usually using config files (.ini, .cfg, etc) or maybe command line switches.
Thank you, Carl. Actually, I unchecked this very option (so that the numerical value-settings for the threshold is dimmed-out), rather than set the resign threshold for UCI engines. This works. Again; your useful tips are much appreciated.


Regards,
EN.

EN
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:21 am

Re: Advice on how to use Arena GUI for engine-engine matches

Post by EN » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:05 am

Colin-G wrote:
EN wrote: The only qualms about it (so far) is how Arena displays names of engines installed. It appears it doesn't go by internal engine-name(s) but rather, how the executable file is named etc. Additionally, visual spaces for names of engine installed is a bit narrow - because some of the engines I installed can't be fully displayed as a result.
If you want to use the engines "internal name", press the F11 key.
In the "Engine Management" window select the "Options" tab and then tick the "Use internal name" box.
Alternatively, you don't have to stick with the name it gives you when you install an engine executable.
Just select the "Details" tab in the "Engine Management" window and type a new name for the engine in the "Name" box.
Thank you, Colin! I did come across that option "Use internal name" and had it checked. This didn't seem to change how Arena displayed engine names - both in the "Select" and/or "Details" options - under Engine Management. So it looks to be your other suggestion (manual name editing in the "Name" box will fix it.

I'm learning a lot about Arena, both by venturing and mainly from tips given by you, Carl, and Gabor. Thanks!


Best,
EN

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