HOW ABOUT A NICE GAME OF
By Larry Atkin
A very Special Program with Unique Features Designed to Teach CHESS to a Beginner & Help Any Player Play Better CHESS.
This is not a selectable feature, but it is a feature of the CHESS program, nonetheless.
The “opening library” refers to the storage of a series of moves and counter moves that are known to provide strong play during the “opening” moves of the game.
* The CHESS program has about 7,000 of these moves stored in the program. This forms a solid core of the most frequently encountered moves and counter moves (as well as many that are “unusual”). Because of the rapid increase in different move possibilities with each play, an opening library with ten times this number of moves would effectively add an advantage of only a couple of more moves. At least one large “main frame” computer program has on file over 250,000 of these moves, which must be updated and corrected on a constant basis as new and “better” moves are discovered.
When playing a game of skill level 0 or 1 the opening library is not used, and the opening moves are weaker. Because of the inability to search for and find a good move this early in the game, the program will usually move out the two Knights first when not using the library. All of the other levels make use of the library.
When you make your first move the program will scan the “library” to see if your move is in it. If it is, then the program selects from one or more different responses to the move. This process usually takes about one second (or up to 10 seconds).
If the move you make is not in the library, the program will have to ponder your move in the usual manner and will take considerably longer in selecting a move.
* There are some lines of opening play where the program may draw from the library as many as 16 moves before having to evaluate the position.
- Level 0 - 1 sec. Average Time Per Move - 0 Average Search Depth
- Level 1 - 5 sec. Average Time Per Move - 0-1 Average Search Depth
- Level 2 - 5 sec. Average Time Per Move - 0-1 Average Search Depth
INTERMEDIATE LEVELS (Opening Library)
- Level 3 - 10 sec. Average Time Per Move - 0-1 Average Search Depth
- Level 4 - 10-20 sec. Average Time Per Move - 0-2 Average Search Depth
- Level 5 - 20-40 sec. Average Time Per Move - 1-3 Average Search Depth
- Level 6 - 40-60 sec. Average Time Per Move - 2-4 Average Search Depth
- Level 7 - 1-2 min. Average Time Per Move - 2-4 Average Search Depth
- Level 8 - 1-3 min. Average Time Per Move - 2-5 Average Search Depth
- Level 9 - 2-6 min. Average Time Per Move - 3-6 Average Search Depth
The times listed for each level are only very general approximations, and can vary widely from move to move and from game to game.
This is the basic introductory level. It performs an “instantaneous” evaluation of the position of the CHESS program’s playing pieces, and makes a move. It can teach the beginner about “blunders”, and not much else. It is particularly weak in the endgame (when there are few chess pieces left on the board). The program may have a problem figuring out how to checkmate you.
Has very little more time that level 0. In the opening part of the game it will probably play similarly to level 0. As the game progresses and there are fewer playing pieces left on the board, the program’s game will become a little stronger. It is still too weak to play a good endgame.
Is identical with level 1, except that the OPENING LIBRARY has been added, giving the player access to well known styles of opening moves while still at an otherwise weak playing level.
Is still weak in the middle part of the game, but gains much strength in the endgame.
LEVELS 4, 5, & 6
Become increasingly stronger as the program gains more time to consider a wider range of move possibilities. Beginning especially at level 6, the program is much more capable of foreseeing some of your tricky combinations that can catch lower levels off guard. By the same token, watch out for traps set for you by the program!
LEVELS 7, 8, & 9
Show the real strength of the CHESS program. Not only can it play good defense, but it can also be a true terror on the attack. The play of the endgame is good enough to sometimes make up for losses in an earlier part of the game, so be prepared to fight it out to the end. Level 9 can be considered very roughly to fall within the time regulations of official tournament play. One common tournament guideline is that each player may take no more than two and a half hours to think and make 40 moves. In regulations play, you and your opponent each has a time clock that measures the duration of each move. After you make a move, your turn off your clock and turn on the opponents. The times on each clock then represent the time used by each player for their moves. This is the only reliable way to determine the total amount of time used by the individual players.
Excerpts taken from “How About a Nice Game of CHESS” User Manual