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Engine Research Tool

The Engine Research Tool is a simple lightweight tool that is included in the ChessPartner package. This tool lets you play engine to engine matches between any ChessPartner supported engine (including winboard and UCI engines).

Features:

  • Play matches between any two supported engines
  • Supports winboard engines.
  • Safe and restore match parameters.
  • Extensive log file output.
  • Games are recorded in a PGN files.
  • Direct output of html pages for spectators.
  • Plays Nunn matches.
  • Can play start positions from a PGN or EPD file.
  • Pondering support on dual CPU's.
  • Unlimited number of rounds.
  • Many options to end games, by score threshold, max moves or on time.


Download the latest version from our downloads page.

Using ERT

ERT is installed as part of ChessPartner. To start the tool click on the Engine Research Link in the windows start menu or from within ChessPartner from the Extra menu. The main screen will show.

 

ERT main screen

The first step is to select the engines you want to test. From the Engine menu select Add Engine... or click the big + symbol from the toolbar. The following dialog will show up:

 

The actual engines displayed depends on what engines you have installed in ChessPartner. Select the engine of choice and click OK.

In this version you can insert two engines. The engines will show up in the top score list. To adjust the engine settings like hash table size, tablebase use and other engine specific options, right click one the engine in the list and select the Engine Properties... menu function. The dialog then shown is dependent on the selected engines.

Next step is to create a match. Two setting should be done, first select the Level... from the option menu, this will show the familiar ChessPartner level selection dialog. Choose the level of interest.

Then select Match Parameters... from the Options menu, the following page will be shown:

Many options can be set:

Start positions - Leave this field blank for playing normal games. You may select a PGN or EPD file to start each game with a position from these files. Each position/game from this file is played twice with alternating colors. Make sure the number of rounds is a exact multiple of two times the number of positions/games in this file.

Number of rounds - Number of games to play.

Max moves in game - A game is aborted when more moves are played then the value set here. If you fill in -1 then there is no limit.

Count as draw - When checked, a game aborted with max moves in game is scored as a draw instead of abort.

Game end threshold - If you fill in a value, then the game is ended when both engines agree and give a score that exceeds this value, in that case the result of the game is as is indicated by the score.

Game timeout - When there is no activity from an engine for this period of time, it is assumed the engine has a problem and the game is aborted. No result is recorded.

Autoflag game - When checked ERT keeps track of time and automatically ends the game when one of the engines forfeits on time.

Enable pondering - This option is only available when running on a dual CPU. Normally pondering is disabled as this could to easily falsify the results.

Abort duplicate games - Not available in this version.

Count duplicate games  - Not available in this version.

Log file - Select a file where all actions are logged in. Make sure you have plenty of disk space as the file can grow considerable.

PGN file - All games played are stored in this file.

Html dir - Here a directory can be specified where the match progress is automatically updated in the form of html files. By selecting a directory on a web server spectators can watch the match in their browser. To control the format of the output there are two template files, index.thtm controls the index page and games.thtm controls the appearance of the games. Leave this field blank for no html output.

Event - PGN tag as is stored in the PGN file.

Site - PGN tag as is stored in the PGN file.

Save score/depth - What it says.

Save mainline in PGN - What it says.

After clicking OK, you are ready to start the match. Before starting you may want to save the match parameters. this can be done from the File menu.

To start the match click on the GO button or on Go from the File menu. The Match field will show the progress, while the log window will show various messages. Now sit back and relax.

What is next ?

To configure winboard or UCI engines you may want to check the winboard / UCI support section. The engineext.ini can be edited from the Options menu.

Finally, ERT is constant under development, be sure to check back often for updates.