There are quite a few chess databases shells, and one of them is a well-known Chess-Assistant software. Unfortunately we do not have a possibility to test Chess Assistant in operations because of its absence (to write the article on results work with a demo-version would be improper in relation to developers - limitations of demo-version are resulted at the end of page) and that's why we publish the article "What is Chess Assistant" by Konstantin Kodinets (first published on Chess Assistant site).
If you are a happy possessor Chess Assistant - write about the impressions - we will publish opinion of "independent experts" with pleasure.
Notes of editor.
Konstantin Kodinets "What is
Development of Chess Assistant (SA) began at the end of 80th the group of programmers, graduating students of Moscow Gjverment Univercity. The first version went out in 1990 and included only 6 thousand parties, collected from chess bulletins, magazines and books. Directly a chess department in 90th was made by the graduating students of MIFI, sport masters.
The last is a version 7.1. It went out in February, 2003 (also there is an update is a version of SA 7.29 for the free getting the users of SA 7.1). Here its basic descriptions:
- informational and analytical searching system;
- base 2 240 000 parties on 1.01.2004;
- debut encyclopaedia;
- 7 built-in playing programs (Tiger 15.0 è Ruffian 1.0 - grand master force of game);
- interface for a game in the Internet on ICC;
- textbook on end-game
ÑÀ 7.1 - it is the multifunction system for work with chess parties, for an analysis and game. It is possible to take to its basic functions:
- Comfortable input, editing, analysis and commentation of parties in one mode.
- Rapid searches on heading of parties (to the names, years, indexes, etc.), on ELO, on position or its elements, on correlation of material, on comments, on a manoeuvre. Possibility to find any party on any criterion or aggregate of criteria.
- Opening of any amount of bases of parties, association and addition of parties.
- Game with the program of grand master level (Chess Tiger 15, rating 2720 on Athlon1200/RAM 256, included in four of the strongest playing programs in the world) on any controls of time. Valuable playing program with the automatic record of party in a base.
- Automatic analysis of positions, parties and great numbers of parties with the use of methods of interactive and intellectual analysis. Automatic commentation party is in all stages. Simultaneous analysis the different programs. Connecting of most known chess engines and strongest program Shredder 7.04 as a built-in module. Tournament of the built-in programs. Background analysis. Connecting of endshpil'nykh tables. Simultaneous analysis of position at once by a few programs.
- A chess tree is a strongful instrument for the prosecution of debut. Shows in any debut position statistics of met and success, expert and computer estimation. Allows during a few seconds to go out on interesting position, see its statistics and estimation, and also to pass to parties, which this position met in.
- Library of expert estimations: more than 130 000 appraised positions and 150 000 motions with estimations.
- Built-in debut encyclopaedia on the basis of expert estimations on all debuts and indexes.
- Comfortable interface for a game on the most known playing server ICC.
- Textbook on end-game on the basis of the known book of grand master A. Panchenko.
- Automatic construction and seal of encyclopaedic tables.
- Automatic preparation to the competitor with the construction of his debut repertoire.
- A search of novelty/novelties is in party/great number of parties.
- Automatic search of parties-"twinû" into one base and at comparison of two bases.
- Possibilities of sorting of base, archivings, dispatches to on e-mail.
- Automatic editing of libraries.
- Receipt of statistics on any criterion in the great number of parties.
- Seal of parties in the figured notation with diagrams on any printer or in files RTF (Word).
- Conclusion in dynamic HTML with possibility of the comfortable performing of parties and variants.
- Support of different formats (CA DOS, CA Windows, PGN, ChessBase, EPD).
- Automatic getting more than 1000 parties of the largest tournaments weekly for addition to the large base (for connected to the Internet).
In a complete set included: two CD in DVD to the box, two user's (in a sum an about 200 page) guides, electronic key of defence of HASP.
Any chess base is a great number of parties. Every party can be examined as a set of positions, bound by ways. Accordingly, the base of parties can be examined as a great number of positions, united in various ways.
Fully possibly, that some position meets in different parties, but ways, conducing to it - different. Naturally, there are a few different ways from any position (in other words, it is possible to do different motions in one position).
Thus, any base can be counted in a number of parties or by a tree, I.e. by the set of positions, linked, in various ways. In a tree in any position (since initial) it is possible to see all possible motions, and also useful information about motions: frequency of met, percent of success, in a debut are expert and computer estimations of motion. One of major indexes during work with a tree is transition speed from position to position. There are two basic types of trees in SA: tree on a current base and "rapid" tree. A tree on a current base contains ALL positions of this base, a "rapid" tree contains all positions which meet in a base no less than two times, and remaining positions join in variants-references.
A transition from position to position in a rapid tree is carried out INSTANTLY. Thus, for a few seconds it is possible to go out on interesting for you position, for example, in the district of 20th motion and to see necessary information on her, and also to get the list of parties in which this position was or to look separate parties, stay in a tree.
It is possible here to start on an analysis the connected(built-in) playing program and to look, that it considers the best, to enter the motions-ideas and estimate them. To get the list of parties which this position was in. To look, as events develop in middle game and etc In this case it is possible simply to press on the icons of List, Viewing, Analysis, etc. and all information instantly will appear before you.
"Chess base of parties and its update"
About 90% parties get from the Internet. Other (mainly the Russian tournaments and tournaments of the CIS of different level), get in weekly subscription directly from organizers, either at once in an electronic kind or in printing (then we lead parties). In CA is a hard standard of headings which "write" up party. The name of player corresponds rating list FIDE (if he gets there), the proper country costs next to the last name. Every player has the unique identifier, therefore easily to find parties of concrete chess-player. For every party the place of game (city, country), class of tournament (for example, Ch World FIDE (final), etc.), conducting date, is specified.
The large base of CA is filled up every week approximately per 2-2.5 mils of fresh parties, accordingly on 120 000 new parties in a year. On the project of automatic intellectual analysis and commentation of new parties a debut is commented, there are novelties, and the interactive analysis of Chess Tiger and Shredder allows to find and comment on all key moments. The ot 10 to 20 personal computers are constantly involved in this project, that allows to achieve the good value of analysis. Thus, analysed and commented to 1000 parties of grand masters in a month.
In SA stopped up stand and comfortable mode of the automatic getting of fresh parties. There is both requiring payment service (about 2500 thousand parties in a week, from them about 200 kommentirovannykh) and free of charge are about 1000 new parties without comments. Also, party can get on e-mail.
In all in the large base of SA 156 000 names of chess-players, from them 39 000 included in rating-sheet of FIDE.
SA can use all basic formats of chess parties: CDP, CBF, CBH, PGN and EPD.
"End game tables"
Possibility of comfortable interface with end game tables allows with a 100% authenticity to estimate practically all educational end-game to 5 figures and in any position to see the best variant (for example, Rook with Pawn against Rook, King with two pawns against King with a pawn, etc.). Tot Chess Tiger can use these information in a game and analysis.
End game table of Nalimova is a database (7500Mb), including a few honeycombs of files, containing complete information (exact estimation and strongest variants) about ALL possible completions with the number of figures to 5. I.e., an estimation is known with a 100% exactness any such end-game, for example King+Rook+Pawn against King and Rook, etc. Thus, the practically all theoretical end-game are shortchanged. During connecting of ET to SA to the built-in playing program, to meeting such position even in the variants of calculation, it is needed nothing to analyse - she simply gives out an exact estimation (+-, = or -+) and strongest motion (variant).
Mode of Test: party (or specially neat position with a decision) is opened, notations are not visible. The program suggests to find motions for one or another side (or for both), gives prompts at errors, time of decision takes into account, etc.
On a base CA from 1994 a magazine is published the "Chess sheet" (goes out 6 times per a year, 64 pages) . With every year quality of materials in him is improved above all things due to possibilities and new functions of CA. It belongs and to possibilities of autocommentation, and to the publishing functions of CA, allows easily and comfortably print parties with variants and diagrams. The review of modern theory, combinations, reviews of the largest tournaments, is given in a magazine, and also 100-200 select parties over are brought from tournaments, making off in a current period.
"Versions of updates"
The update version of Chess Tiger is included in every update version, which increases constantly, and also other analytical programs (in CA 7.1 - Ruffian 1.0, playing in foece of grand master on the good personal COMPUTER). New functions which can useful all are entered, to both the amateurs and professionals, tem, who publishes books or engaged in the Internet. A debut encyclopaedia brushes up every year, added and corrected both expert estimations and computer.
"Requirements to the personal COMPUTER"
Many office hours with the large base of parties (more 300Mb), such as a construction of tree (256Mb), rapid tree (385Mb), search of copies, etc., require considerable resources. Besides, it is always needed to take into account that than more powerful computer, the program will work quick, analysis will have higher quality and stronger game. Thus, a greater value, what speed of processor, has a size of main memory.
Minimum requirements to the personal COMPUTER: Main MEMORY of 64Mb, 2 Gb of available space on a hard disk, Windows 98.
Recommended: processor of AMD Athlon 2200MHz, main MEMORY of 256/512Mb, Windows XP.
- Casual delays are from time to time at opening of windows (0.5 - 3.0 sec)
- Casual losses of memory. It will slow CA after the hour of work. At the volume of virtual memory more than 64 MB report that in CALight of version there is the special code which takes away virtual storage of the system casual appearance and it is recommended to restart the program every hour or even more frequent during intensive work.
- No Tiger, can not be added.
- UCI and MCS are not supported.
- Winboard and Dragon is plugged in composition. Crafty is the program by default.
- Analysis in the mode “Monitor” does not work after 41th motion.
- Databases are limited 15000 parties.
- Parties are limited 255 motions (including motions in variants).
- More than 5 bases can not be opened at the same time.
- A tree is represented only, when all castling is possible.
- Only one ICC cantilever.
- No more than two parties can be opened for a game and review.
- There is not autosaving of parties. CALight asks confirmation on every saveable party.
- There is not an option of AutoSend line at a review or game.
- There is not on-line commentation.
- Analysis in the mode "Monitor" is disconnected after 30 motions (at the review of party).
- Classifiers only on reading.
- A conclusion is possible in HTML only to one party. Fixed running headlines for a page.
:: Added 01.09.2004