Monday, November 06, 2006
Cake Manchester 1.09d - KingsRow 1.16: +20-17=251
The match between my "old" Cake Manchester 1.09d and KingsRow 1.16 finished with a narrow win for Cake - 20 wins vs 17 losses and 251 draws (naturally this is with books off - else it would be draws all around - or very nearly so). I also repeated the match with learning disabled in Cake, with the result that not much changed: +22-19=247. So to stay in line with my last post, that would mean that I could leave Cake alone somewhat longer - but the result is too close for comfort, and so I decided to start tuning Cake a bit. When I try to improve Cake, there are many different ways to do it. One of the things I sometimes try is to tune the evaluation function, i.e. to change weights of different terms in the evaluation (as opposed to adding new terms to the evaluation). When an engine has been a sitting duck for years, as Cake Manchester has, then it is quite well possible that the opponent (KingsRow in this case) is just well-tuned to beat Cake. Changing the playing style a bit might make quite a difference in such a case. So to start, I am trying to just tune Cake a bit to avoid Ed's last two years worth of tuning of KingsRow - of course, I don't just mindlessly change the evaluation weights; instead, I checked the games that Cake lost in this match. Then I also have some ideas left on how I might improve the evaluation function with new terms, and a new idea for the search which I already tested but which didn't work well in the first implementation. Nevertheless, it also didn't work too bad, and perhaps with some refinement it will work. If all runs smoothly, I will have a new version of Cake ready for Christmas!