How to win against (part4)

Today, it’s Nilatac turn.

Nilatac is a strong suicide chess engine, it’s the big brother of Catnail(cover in part 2).

I prefer to tell you right now:
« It’s very tough to beat him, you will need a lot of practice« .

Nilatac have a big opening book, that you can explore on his website. When I mean big, I mean more than 4 millions different lines. Just to compare Sjeng engine have only 25 lines in his default opening book.

In middle game, Nilatac use several algorithms mainly: Alpha-Beta , Proof-number and Pn^2.
In endgame, Nilatac have all 4 pieces tablebase.

So where can you take advantage on Nilatac?

Probably in middle game. To beat Nilatac, you’ll not just need to play good in middle game. First you’ll need to learn a lot of openings, because Nilatac use a lot of them. I think that Nilatac won most of his game in the opening. Nilatac is fair enough to tell you as soon as you are in a lost positions. So you’ll see a lot of « I got lucky« . If you survive after the opening, congrats! Now the important part of the game is coming. As soon the game « quit » the nilatac opening book, you must do the best move, but I know it’s hard to know which one is the best.

Some rules that you must follow:

  • Do not engage any Queen race. With the proof-number search algorithm, it’s sure that Nilatac will win.
  • Do not sacrifice your piece too quickly. This a general rule for any suicide game.
  • Push your pawn forward. Chess engine have bit difficulty to plan all promotion, but do it safely.
  • Take your time. You will probably loss in the next few move, so think carefully.
  • Avoid the endgame as long you can. I don’t know any human that remember all endgame positions with 4 pieces, but Nilatac does.
  • Even with those tips, you can’t manage to beat him? It’s normal, Nilatac have a higher ELO than any human on FICS. I suggest to play a lot against him in rated or unrated game, you’ll learn a lot. It may be take more than 250 games before a single win. To beat any high computer, I suggest longer time control, even if Nilatac propose only 3 0 games, you can challenge him with a longer time control, to give you time to think about your move.

    How to win against (part 3)

    Sjeng is probably the most popular suicide engine. Sjeng is available for Windows, and even Mac users. This engine have a small opening book, and 3 piece endgame tablebase.

    Many suicide computer account on FICS have use Sjeng engine. Sjeng play quite different from other engine. Sjeng is way more defensive, waiting that the other player make a blunder.

    Since he have 3 piece EGTB, it’s hard for a human to beat Sjeng in endgame. To beat Sjeng, you must do it before the endgame. The default opening book of Sjeng is quite small, so on some line when the game exit the opening book range, Sjeng make a blunder. You must take this opportunity. This happen sometimes , but not always.

    Good news, you still can beat him.

    In middle game, Sjeng often make some useless move, like moving his king back and forth between two square. You must put pressure on him, but without doing a blunder. At some point, when you will have put enough pressure, he’ll be in a hopeless position, where all his moves are lost.

    Don’t forget, each game are different, and Sjeng is still a good suicide engine. So you need a lot of practice, and knowing very well your opening book to beat him.

    How to win against ( part 2 )

    (La version francaise est en bas)

    Today, suicide chess engine is Catnail.

    Catnail is a weaker version of nilatac, but it play almost instantly. Catnail and Nilatac have been programmed by Catalin Francu.
    Since I begun to play suicide variant, Catnail was there. It’s probably the suicide chess engine who have played the most games on FICS.

    Like his finger’s note said, Catnail will play lost opening. So it’s a good opponent if you want to learn / practice your opening. If you know your opening quite good, you’ll be able to beat him about 7 or 8 times on 10 games. But beware, if you do a mistake in your opening, Catnail will use it. A another mistake that players do against him, it’s playing too fast, since Catnail play very fast, players are used to play fast too. But try to think to your move and take your time. It’s sure that you’ll never beat Catnail on time, so why playing fast in this case ?

    –Version Francaise–
    Aujourd’hui, étudions le moteur d’échecs suicide Catnail.

    Catnail est une version affaibli de Nilatac et il joue de facon quasi-instantanée. Catnail et Nilatac ont été programmé par Catalin Francu. Depuis que j’ai commencé à jouer au suicide, Catnail était là. Il est probablement celui qui a joué le plus de partie de suicide sur FICS.

    Comme mentionné dans ses notes, Catnail joue des ouvertures perdantes délibérément. Donc il est un bon adversaire si vous voulez appendre ou pratiquer vos ouvertures. Si vous connaissez bien vos ouvertures, vous pourrez le battre facilement 7 ou 8 fois sur 10 parties. Faites attention cependant de ne pas faire vous-meme une ouverture perdante, car Catnail va en profiter rapidement. Une autre erreur des joueurs contre Catnail est celle de jouer trop rapidement, dû probablement au fait que Catnail joue très rapidement, les joueurs ont tendance à jouer également rapidement. Prenez votre temps, et réfléchissez à votre coup. Puisse qu’il est sur que vous ne battrez jamais Catnail avec l’horloge, à quoi bon de jouer rapidement ?

    How to win against (part 1)

    Here the first part on how to win against a specific suicide chess engine.

    No I won’t give a winning path, that you can re-use to win, but I’ll give some tips.

    Today, suicide chess engine is nakshatra

    nakshatra is a new suicide chess engine on FICS. This engine have been created by gpbhat. nakshatra is doing good, currently his rating is 2020. According to his finger’s note, he have a small opening book and no EGTB.

    I played about 10 games against him, that’s not a lot but I already figure few tips to win. Even if his opening book is small, I didn’t saw any blunders in the opening. So first thing to do is avoid to play a lost opening. During middle game, try to keep your pieces, because since he didn’t have EGTB, he sacrifice his pieces too quickly. In most of my games against him lead to the endgame where nakshatra have only a pawn left, and I still have my king, a rook and some other pieces. In end game, it’s important to have more pieces than your opponent specially when he have only a pawn. During the time that he push his pawn forward, I have time to place my pieces / promote my pawns to be sure that any of his promotion will be lost. To be able to do that, you need to know well your endgame

    Keep in mind that nakshatra is still at version 0.0, so I hope, he’ll improve in near future. I don’t know in which language nakshatra is coded or when he’ll have EGTB