Stefan Pohl Computer Chess

private website for chessengine-tests


Armageddon Openings for Computerchess - the future of Computerchess (Part 2)

 

No longer any draws in computerchess !!! No boring draw-marathons, no draw-death of computerchess.

 

Download Armageddon Openings here

 

Base idea is from Larry Kaufman (Komodo-Team):

"I have wondered what would be the simplest rule change to chess that would make it a two-result game (win or loss) while still being roughly fair to both players. In the real chess world thisis sometimes done by giving White more time and Black draw odds, but with a few exceptions this has been done only at ten minute or faster time limits. Let's say we won't use time in the rules, equal time is assumed. Here is what I think might be an original, simple, and fair enough solution. White is not allowed to castle long, Black is not allowed to castle short, Black wins draws. That's it. It is a subset of normal chess; if you stipulate the starting sequence 1.Na3 Nh6 2.Rb1 Rg8 3.Ra1 Rh8 4.Nb1 Ng8 you get the above castling status. Since castling short is easier to accomplish than castling long and doesn't require an extra move to "finish" the castle (Kb8) White's advantage is obviously larger than normal, despite the symmetry of the rule, and the fact that same side castling never happens makes the draw odds less significant. But it's far from clear which side has the better chances or the theoretically won position.“

 

This is a very nice idea, and so I decided to build opening-sets with that starting sequence (1.Na3 Nh6 2.Rb1 Rg8 3.Ra1 Rh8 4.Nb1 Ng8) out of my 4-moves-openings (SuperGM_4moves and IM_4moves), FEOBOS openings and out of a 6 pawnplies-opening set.

The problem of Armageddon, used in computerchess is, that the faster your machine or the longer the thinking-time in your engine-games is, the higher gets the number of draws (a "law" of computerchess). In Armageddon, this means, the whitescore gets lower and the blackscore gets higher, because all draws are counted as a win for black.

Because of this, I decided to build 2 different Armageddon-lines, which give more advantage for white, for higher whitescores. So, depending on the thinking-time and/or the speed of the machine, a higher whitescore-level Armageddon can be chosen. The 3 levels are:

 

Level 1: Larry Kaufman's Armageddon idea of opposite castling (I call them SALC Armageddon): White can castle short, black can castle long. Line: 1. Na3 Nh6 2. Rb1 Rg8 3. Ra1 Rh8 4. Nb1 Ng8

 

Level 2: NBC (= No Black Castling): White can castle to both sides, black is not allowed to castle. Line: 1. Na3 Nh6 2. Nb1 Rg8 3. Na3 Rh8 4. Nb1 Ng8 5. Nc3 Na6 6. Nb1 Rb8 7. Na3 Ra8 8. Nb1 Nb8

 

Level 3: PawnPlus-Armageddon: White is one pawn ahead – black has no pawn on a7. All castlings are allowed for white and black. Line: 1. Na3 a6 2. Nb1 a5 3. Na3 a4 4. Nb1 a3 5. Nxa3 Na6 6. Nb1 Nb8

 

Each level contains 4 opening-sets: SuperGM_4moves, IM_4moves, FEOBOS, 6 pawnplies. As PGN- and EPD-file. I built opening-books out of the 2 bigger files (IM_4moves and FEOBOS) for Fritz, Arena and polyglot. IMPORTANT: The ShredderGUI has a serious bug, which leads to move-loops in the opening, because, the castling-flags are not set. So, after the moveline 1.Na3 Nh6 2.Rb1 Rg8 3.Ra1 Rh8 4.Nb1 Ng8, the castlings are still allowed and the book would play the same line again. I talked to the author of Shredder (S.Meyer-Kahlen), he confirmed that problem, but did not fix it. If this bug will be fixed in the future, I will release ShredderGUI-books, too.

 

The download contains a little tool, written by Thomas Zipproth, which can be used, to change all draws in a pgn-file of engine-games to a win for black. But you can use an editor („search & replace“) for that, too. Just replace the string „1/2-1/2“ by „0-1“.

 

I played 10000 test-games with the Armageddon openings. You find them in the download, too.

 

The 4 golden and IMPORTANT rules for using the Armageddon Openings:

 

1) Not made for playing no Armageddon - so it is absolutely necessary to set all 1/2-1/2 results (draw) of the played games to 0-1 (win for Black), when an engine-tournament or testrun is finished.

 

2) Not made for playing versus other books or opening-sets: In an engine-tournament or testrun ALL engines must use the same Armageddon openings-set (or book).

 

3) Only the endpositions of the PawnPlus-Armageddon openings sets are checked by Komodo. But not the moves, leading to these endpositions. In that movelines, strange or bad positions can be found. So, never cut the openings or books before they are finished - that will make them useless and broken.

 

4) The faster your machine or the longer the thinking-time in your engine-games is, the higher gets the number of draws (a "law" of computerchess). In Armageddon, this means, the whitescore gets lower and the blackscore gets higher, because all draws are counted as a win for black. To avoid too low whitescores, use a higher Level (1-3) of my Armageddon openings: The higher the level, the higher the advantage for white in the endpositions of the openings -> the higher the whitescore.

 

 

Here the results of my testings:

 

Test-environment:

 

Quadcore (Stockfish around 1.8 MN/s (singlethread)), 256 MB Hash, no bases, no ponder, 3 games running simultaneously.

Stockfish 190728 (Contempt= +25) vs Komodo 13.01 (Contempt= +20).

Because Stockfish is so much stronger than Komodo, Stockfish gets only 50% of the thinking-time of Komodo:

Stockfish 60''+500ms, Komodo 120''+1000ms (= 2'+1''). Average game-duration: 5 minutes

Each testrun: 500 games (16 testruns = 8000 games), cutechess-cli, Errorbar of each run around +/-11 Elo

 

Standard openings, for comparsion:

IM_4moves:

White Wins: 143 (28.6 %), Black Wins: 85 (17.0 %), Draws: 272 (54.4 %), White Score: 55.8 %, Black Score: 44.2 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3448 500 (+148,=272,- 80), 56.8 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+ 80,=272,-148), 43.2 % (Elo-spreading: 48 Elo)

 

SuperGM_4moves:

White Wins: 152 (30.4 %), Black Wins: 72 (14.4 %), Draws: 276 (55.2 %), White Score: 58.0 %, Black Score: 42.0 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3454 500 (+150,=276,- 74), 57.6 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+ 74,=276,-150), 42.4 % (Elo-spreading: 54 Elo)

 

FEOBOS (final 20.1-Version, contempt 3):

White Wins: 139 (27.8 %), Black Wins: 85 (17.0 %), Draws: 276 (55.2 %), White Score: 55.4 %, Black Score: 44.6 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3461 500 (+155,=276,- 69), 58.6 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+ 69,=276,-155), 41.4 % (Elo-spreading: 61 Elo)

 

6 PawnPlies:

White Wins: 146 (29.2 %), Black Wins: 103 (20.6 %), Draws: 251 (50.2 %), White Score: 54.3 %, Black Score: 45.7 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3470 500 (+174,=251,- 75), 59.9 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+ 75,=251,-174), 40.1 % (Elo-spreading: 70 Elo)

 

 

Armageddon openings

Level 1 (SALC)

 

SALC_Armageddon_IM_4moves:

White Wins: 294 (58.8 %), Black Wins: 206 (41.2 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %), White Score: 58.8 %, Black Score: 41.2 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3504 500 (+322,= 0,-178), 64.4 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+178,= 0,-322), 35.6 % (Elo-spreading: 104 Elo)

 

SALC_Armageddon_SuperGM_4moves:

White Wins: 285 (57.0 %), Black Wins: 215 (43.0 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %), White Score: 57.0 %, Black Score: 43.0 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3527 500 (+337,= 0,-163), 67.4 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+163,= 0,-337), 32.6 % (Elo-spreading: 127 Elo)

 

SALC_Armageddon_FEOBOS:

White Wins: 263 (52.6 %), Black Wins: 237 (47.4 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %), White Score: 52.6 %, Black Score: 47.4 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3481 500 (+307,= 0,-193), 61.4 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+193,= 0,-307), 38.6 % (Elo-spreading: 81 Elo)

 

SALC_Armageddon_6pawnplies:

White Wins: 221 (44.2 %), Black Wins: 279 (55.8 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %), White Score: 44.2 %, Black Score: 55.8 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3515 500 (+329,= 0,-171), 65.8 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+171,= 0,-329), 34.2 % (Elo-spreading: 115 Elo)

 

Level 2 (NBC)

 

NBC_Armageddon_IM_4moves:

White Wins: 296 (59.2 %), Black Wins: 204 (40.8 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %) White Score: 59.2 %, Black Score: 40.8 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3477 500 (+304,= 0,-196), 60.8 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+196,= 0,-304), 39.2 % (Elo-spreading: 77 Elo)

 

NBC_Armageddon_SuperGM_4moves:

White Wins: 284 (56.8 %), Black Wins: 216 (43.2 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %), White Score: 56.8 %, Black Score: 43.2 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3451 500 (+286,= 0,-214), 57.2 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+214,= 0,-286), 42.8 % (Elo-spreading: 51 Elo)

 

NBC_Armageddon_FEOBOS:

White Wins: 287 (57.4 %), Black Wins: 213 (42.6 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %)m, White Score: 57.4 %, Black Score: 42.6 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3490 500 (+313,= 0,-187), 62.6 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+187,= 0,-313), 37.4 % (Elo-spreading: 90 Elo)

 

NBC_Armageddon_6pawnplies:

White Wins: 277 (55.4 %), Black Wins: 223 (44.6 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %), White Score: 55.4 %, Black Score: 44.6 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3473 500 (+301,= 0,-199), 60.2 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+199,= 0,-301), 39.8 % (Elo-spreading: 73 Elo)

 

Level 3 (PawnPlus)

 

PawnPlus_Armageddon_IM_4moves:

White Wins: 300 (60.0 %), Black Wins: 200 (40.0 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %), White Score: 60.0 %, Black Score: 40.0 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3454 500 (+288,= 0,-212), 57.6 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+212,= 0,-288), 42.4 % (Elo-spreading: 54 Elo)

 

PawnPlus_Armageddon_SuperGM_4moves:

White Wins: 292 (58.4 %), Black Wins: 208 (41.6 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %), White Score: 58.4 %, Black Score: 41.6 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3483 500 (+308,= 0,-192), 61.6 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+192,= 0,-308), 38.4 % (Elo-spreading: 83 Elo)

 

PawnPlus_Armageddon_FEOBOS:

White Wins: 301 (60.2 %), Black Wins: 199 (39.8 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %), White Score: 60.2 %, Black Score: 39.8 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3478 500 (+305,= 0,-195), 61.0 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+195,= 0,-305), 39.0 % (Elo-spreading: 78 Elo)

 

PawnPlus_Armageddon_6pawnplies:

White Wins: 296 (59.2 %), Black Wins: 204 (40.8 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %), White Score: 59.2 %, Black Score: 40.8 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3492 500 (+314,= 0,-186), 62.8 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+186,= 0,-314), 37.2 % (Elo-spreading: 92 Elo)

 

*************************************************************

 

Test-environment for 4 long thinking-time testruns with the IM_4moves-sets, 7x more time, than the testruns above:

Stockfish 420''+3500ms (= 7'+3.5''), Komodo 840''+7000ms (= 14'+7''). Average game-duration: 35 minutes

Each testrun: 500 games (4 testruns = 2000 games), cutechess-cli, Errorbar of each run around +/-11 Elo

 

IM_4moves (default, for comparsion):

White Wins: 119 (23.8 %), Black Wins: 57 (11.4 %), Draws: 324 (64.8 %), White Score: 56.2 %, Black Score: 43.8 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3483 500 (+146,=324,- 30), 61.6 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+ 30,=324,-146), 38.4 % (Elo-spreading: 83 Elo)

 

SALC_Armageddon_IM_4moves (Level 1):

White Wins: 274 (54.8 %), Black Wins: 226 (45.2 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %), White Score: 54.8 %, Black Score: 45.2 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3526 500 (+336,= 0,-164), 67.2 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+164,= 0,-336), 32.8 % (Elo-spreading: 126 Elo)

 

NBC_Armageddon_IM_4moves (Level 2):

White Wins: 295 (59.0 %), Black Wins: 205 (41.0 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %), White Score: 59.0 %, Black Score: 41.0 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3502 500 (+321,= 0,-179), 64.2 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+179,= 0,-321), 35.8 % (Elo-spreading: 102 Elo)

 

PawnPlus_Armageddon_IM_4moves (Level 3):

White Wins: 310 (62.0 %), Black Wins: 190 (38.0 %), Draws: 0 (0.0 %), White Score: 62.0 %, Black Score: 38.0 %

1 SF 190728 (half time) : 3519 500 (+332,= 0,-168), 66.4 %

2 Komodo 13.01 : 3400 500 (+168,= 0,-332), 33.6 % (Elo-spreading: 119 Elo)

 

 

 

Base idea of Armageddon openings: Larry Kaufman (Komodo-Team)

Developed and constructed by Stefan Pohl (SPCC), except analyzing FEOBOS-endpositons: by Hauke Lutz

 

(C) FEOBOS openings: Frank Quisinsky and Klaus Wlotzka

(C) 6-pawn-plies openings: Hauke Lutz

 

(C) Armageddon Openings: Stefan Pohl (SPCC) 2019