The Week in Chess

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Owl Chess Engines Rating List Purpose

The Ivanhoe 1945a x64 gauntlet matches was released last July 28, 2013 and it generated some comments which questioned the credibility of the Owl Chess Engines Rating List.

For the record, the Owl Chess Engines Rating List was created to satisfy curiosity and for fun. It was never intended to be a clean and pure rating list site like CCRL, CEGT or IPON. The choice of chess engines, software tools and rating list conditions were driven by the purpose defined above. You will see that all engines available for testing includes the many "controversial" clones which were denied entry with the pure rating list sites. The choice of time control of 1 minute + 1 second was guided by what limited resources were available and the personal need to see quickly the results of the random things that needs volumes of data to see a good picture.

With the choice of fast time control of 1 minute + 1 second comes with it the inherent unreliability of data which includes the presence of losses due time forfeits. I can live with 5% losses by time forfeit because these are random occurrence that are generated by the combined interaction of the CPU, Operating System, Chess GUI Software (Arena), Chess Engine, very tight time control and other things such as BIOS, RAM, motherboard, etc. in which I have no control over. Excessive losses due to time forfeits above 5% of total games are already a chess engine time management algorithm problem and normally would not be included in the chess engines rating list when detected early. All the accompanying tournament games results are available for download without altering the losses by time forfeits which maybe useful for anybody who are interested in this statistical data. Creating a chess engines tournament is already very resource consuming, sanitizing time forfeits and the related tedious balancing of scores will be a nightmare.

For those that are looking for reliable chess engines rating list site with longer time control without seeing time forfeits, my personalized site may not be appropriate and I highly recommend CCRL, CEGT and IPON.

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