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Subject: Toasted by Wolve rss

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David Bush
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I recently got Benzene, which is a collection of library routines for writing a Hex program. It includes the world champion engines Wolve and MoHex. I first played MoHex, which was strong, but I could easily beat it on grid sizes 10x10 and larger.

Then I tried Wolve, which impressed me a lot, by which I mean I got my face impressed into the dirt rather often. Here are some examples of great moves it made against me on 11x11. In the first three, I gave it the advantage of the first move as black without swap.


Here the virtual beast demonstrates its annoying propensity to play just where I wanted to play. This is a great full board move, completely disrupting my plans. Now I can't win on the bottom and I can't win on the top.


Again Wolve demonstrates how to play the full board. Completely crushing.


I begin to feel outclassed tactically.

Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to get either engine to swap sides at the start, or to make a first move that isn't an obvious candidate for swap. I can sort of work around this by playing black and making a first move which seems balanced to me. I usually win when I do this, but if I am inattentive I get punished:


Keerunch.

The game records are available to anyone curious. Now, here's the kicker. MoHex is supposed to be stronger than Wolve. So why was its play weaker? Because it was using a much faster time control. On my amd dual core 64 bit machine, it would take no more than 15 seconds on nearly every move. Wolve, by comparison, would take about 30 minutes to an hour to make all its moves on an 11x11 grid. So, if I can figure out how to change the depth at which it plays, MoHex should be even stronger than this.
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John Farrell
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I wish I understood.
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Russ Williams
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Friendless wrote:
I wish I understood.

I grokked the first diagram quickly, but the 2nd one took some pondering to reach the point of "OK, I think I get the idea".
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Benedikt Rosenau
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twixter wrote:
In the first three, I gave it the advantage of the first move as black without swap.
..
I begin to feel outclassed tactically.

I see you as one of my teachers, for which I am thankful. But I am not convinced by this argument.


How would you rate the computer opponents after proper use of the pie rule?
 
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David Bush
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Zickzack wrote:
twixter wrote:
In the first three, I gave it the advantage of the first move as black without swap.
..
I begin to feel outclassed tactically.

I see you as one of my teachers, for which I am thankful. But I am not convinced by this argument.


How would you rate the computer opponents after proper use of the pie rule?

I wasn't trying to establish a rigorous argument, just expressing the way I felt when I saw that move. When I narrate a game, I tend to use present tense even though the game was in the past. I haven't yet played MoHex at a time control which would show its real abilities. So, ATM I can talk about Wolve only. The only way I could get a sense of how well Wolve would play under the pie rule is to make what I judge is an approximately balanced first move as black. With this method, on 11x11 I usually win. I just posted a session report, to be approved by a moderator, of an 11x11 game where I made such a "balanced" first move and yet lost. On 9x9 and smaller, Wolve seems to play almost perfectly. Its performance degrades as the grid size increases. I don't know how well Wolve would handle the swap rule. Perhaps an opening book, generated either by humans or the engine itself using a very long time control, could give it an edge in that respect. These engines might be available for the public to play against some day, on Little Golem and perhaps elsewhere. So, time and established ELO ratings will tell.

 
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David Bush
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Friendless wrote:
I wish I understood.

My apologies. Here are some possible continuations. as well as each game that produced these positions, in SGF format. A definition of this format is at

http://www.red-bean.com/sgf/hex.html

The only app I know as of this posting that can read this format is called HexGui and can be downloaded for free from

http://webdocs.cs.ualberta.ca/~broderic/hex/

It's source code for a Java app. You need Ant and Java to use it. If you save the SGF in a text file, HexGui should be able to read it.


;W[i4];B[c10];W[j3];B[g5];W[h4];B[g4];W[h3];B[e4];W[e3];B[f3];W[g1];
B[f2];W[f1];B[c3];W[d2];B[e2];W[e1];B[c2];W[d3];B[c4];W[d4];B[c5];W[d6]
;B[d5];W[f4];B[e5];W[f5];B[d7];W[e6];B[b7];W[c7];B[b8];W[c8];B[a10]


complete SGF file:

(;AP[HexGui:0.9.0]FF[4]GM[11]SZ[11];B[j4];W[f6];B[h6];W[g3];B[i3];W[h7];
B[g7];W[f9];B[g8];W[g9];B[i8](;W[h8];B[e8](;W[h2];B[j3])(;W[i4];B[c10];
W[j3];B[g5];W[h4];B[g4];W[h3];B[e4];W[e3];B[f3];W[g1];B[f2];W[f1];B[c3];
W[d2];B[e2];W[e1];B[c2];W[d3];B[c4];W[d4];B[c5];W[d6];B[d5];W[f4];B[e5];
W[f5];B[d7];W[e6];B[b7];W[c7];B[b8];W[c8];B[a10]))(;W[i4];B[j3];W[j5];
B[e8]))


;W[i5];B[f4];W[d5];B[d4];W[e4];B[d3]


Complete SGF file:

(;AP[HexGui:0.9.0]FF[4]GM[11]SZ[10];B[i4];W[f7];B[e7];W[f5];B[e5];W[e6];
B[b7];W[c7];B[i7];W[g5];B[a9];W[b9];B[a10];W[c6];B[b6];W[c4];B[a5];W[b3]
;B[c5];W[e3];B[h3];W[i5];B[f4];W[d5];B[d4];W[e4];B[d3])


;B[d7];W[g4];B[c8];W[f4]


complete file:

(;AP[HexGui:0.9.0]FF[4]GM[11]SZ[10];B[e2];W[d8];B[g6];W[g5];B[e6];W[e5];
B[f5];W[f7];B[g7];W[f6];B[i4];W[h5];B[c7];W[b9];B[c9];W[d6];B[d7];W[g4];
B[c8];W[f4])
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David Bush
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russ wrote:
Friendless wrote:
I wish I understood. :what:

I grokked the first diagram quickly, but the 2nd one took some pondering to reach the point of "OK, I think I get the idea". :)

That one is much more complicated than I thought. Also the SGF file was corrupted somehow. I will post about that later.
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