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Play Deep

We’ve been getting quite a few e-mails asking about the difference between the regular version of a particular chessplaying program and the “Deep” version (for example, Rybka4 and Deep Rybka4).

The regular (non-Deep) version of a chess playing program will use just one processor, no more. No matter how many processors or cores your computer has, the chess engine will use only one of them. In contrast, the Deep version of a chess program will use multiple processors or cores, thereby dramatically increasing the speed at which it calculates. A “Deep” engine will be able to evaluate many, many more positions per second than its non-“Deep” counterpart and will thus be able to see “deeper” into a position (hence the names Deep Fritz and Deep Rybka).

How do you find out whether or not you have a multi-processor or multi-core computer? You’ll need to go to the “Control Panel” for whichever flavor of Windows you’re running. Click the “Start” button, then go to “Settings”, and then to “Control Panel” (or “Start” and then straight to “Control Panel” if it’s already visible, as is the case with Windows7). Click “System” (or “System and Security”), then the command for checking your computer’s RAM and processor speed. The dialogue will tell you (after “Processor:”) whether or not your computer has multiple processors or cores.

If you have just one processor, there is no advantage to owning the “Deep” version of a given chess engine. But if your computer does have multiple processors, you will enjoy significantly faster and deeper analysis from a chess program’s “Deep” version.

ChessCentral carries various versions of Rybka4 from both ChessBase and ChessOK.

Have fun! — Steve


2 Responses

  1. Of course, to “enjoy significantly faster and deeper analysis from a chess program’s “Deep” version” must be ‘better’, but why? and for whom? and how does one make them work to improve one’s understanding of chess and playing of chess.

    the most concrete evidence i have of ‘improvement’, of course, is that i will have spent more money – which is good for those higher on the food-chain – and, more generally for an economy driven by consumtion. there-by ‘trickling back’ to me.

    but, to echo a famous phrasiology, ‘is it good for the chess-player’? and more precisely, WHICH chess-player – me, who hovers around 1200? or will it help me reach my dreamed-of 2000+? or should i spend my time and money else-wise.

    [or, do questions such as i’m asking make a prima fascie[sp?] case that i have no business at all in this territory.

    [i have read somewhere that stuff like Rybka 3/4 and Chessbase 10, etc., only have concrete value AFTER a player has reached at least 2000+. true?, or ‘depends! – on what?]



  2. Well, those are certainly valid concerns. The easy question first: a Deep version takes advantage of multiple processors to provide deeper (e.g. better) analysis. By analyzing more positions faster, the variations/suggestions offered will be better than that provided by a non-Deep version given the same set amount of time. In other words, if you have each version analyze for, say, sixty seconds, the Deep version will have evaluated many, many more positions than its non-Deep counterpart, and will provide a better suggestion as to what should come next.

    The last question you asked requires the answer “It depends”. It depends on whether or not you use the software (it won’t help to sleep with the DVDs under your pillow, as osmosis won’t work), and how often and how well you use it. The latter (“how well”) is the reason I’ve been writing (and now making videos) about it for nearly 20 years — to help my fellow players use the software far more effectively than they might have done otherwise.

    The short answer is this: you’ll make far better use of your study time with ChessBase/Fritz than you will without it. In an hour, I might be able to play through a game or two with a standard board, pieces, and book. Using ChessBase I can play through five or more times that many games, and I don’t waste time digging through books looking for material.

    See the following blog post (“Pigs on the Seventh – Pt. 1”). I could have spent literally all day looking for the Hansen-Norgaard game I used as an example. Using ChessBase, I found it in just a few minutes (counting the two minutes or so I spent devising the search terms for games in which the Rook pair mates in precisely that pattern). It was only one of dozens of similar games which were in the database. So if I was, for example, studying back rank mates with the Rook pair, I could be content with the one example given in most books — or I can spend an hour or two playing through example after example after example, reinforcing the lesson (as well as pattern recognition).

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