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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Komodo 9.1


 When I broke down and purchased Komodo 8 awhile back and began testing it on LSS my results initially improved a tad, but not enough that I felt the $60 spent on K8 was really worth it. 
     Now, in recent Rapid Events (10 Basic plus one day per move; no vacation days allowed) my results have been falling off. I don't just play the engine's top choice, but experiment with different moves, let the engine think for anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours and use both Stockfish 6 and Komodo 8 to arrive at a move. The result has been a +4 -6 =16 record in recent games. 
     The main thing I have noticed is that opponent's moves have often been “surprise” moves...one's that haven't been SF6 or K8's top choices. Also, many of my opponent's are repeats against whom I have a plus score but I notice their ratings are a little higher and they are beginning to even the score, so what's happening?! I suspect my engines are out of date. BTW, I am currently experimenting with the King's Indian and Modern Defense as black and fianchetto openings with white because I want to see if engines are still having trouble correctly evaluating those types of openings. 
     What's been happening is K8 and SF6 are showing evaluations indicating the positions are almost equal, plus or minus a quarter of a Pawn, but the evaluations slowly drift to my opponent's favor and I have ended up losing or drawing with some difficulty. In any case, the cause of my results falling off is, I think, most likely due to outdated engines. 
     Purchasing Komodo 9.1 may be the solution. Komodo 9.1 is about 15 Elo stronger than Komodo 9 according to the computer engine rating lists on IPON, CCRL & CEGT. The Komodo site says Komodo 9.1 is a substantial improvement over my Komodo 8 by about 65 points on a single core and 70 points on 4 cores. What does 70 Elo points mean? According to the site Winning Probabilities from ELO Ratings a 70 point advantage gives you about a 58-59 percent chance of winning. Another big advantage is that it has 'Persistent Hash' that allows you to save its analysis so you can come back later and resume analysis...like Aquarium's IdeA analysis. 
     Komodo 9.1 can be purchased with a one year subscription for $99.97. That gives you Komodo 9.1 plus all versions published within one year of your order. Also, you get all previous versions. Not sure why you would want old versions, but that's what they give you. You can get 9.1 by itself for $59.98 and just take your chances on new, improved versions coming out. Komodo 8 and Komodo 9 owners get a 20 percent discount on Komodo 9.1 if purchased from komodochess.com
     The thing is, I am not not willing to pay $60-100 just to win meaningless games on an obscure chess site and gain worthless rating points. We all know how meaningless CC ratings and titles are thanks to Komodo, Stockfish and Houdini. 
     That's not surprising though because when I first started playing CC over 50 years ago, CC ratings were meaningless then, too. So, even though it's an uphill struggle on LSS, I'll probably keep playing there just because it is enjoyable analyzing the positions and trying out some bizarre or obscure openings to see if they are better than their reputations. 
     I know my fate though. I've played a lot of old-timers who have had real ICCF titles before engines came along, but now they are rated 1900 because they don't have a $5000 dedicated chess computer with Komodo 9.1 running for days at a time on 64 cores.

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