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The intention, or purpose of several types of books is different.

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The intention, or purpose of several types of books is different.

Post  Zenith on Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:29 am

The intention, or purpose of several types of books is different:

1. Test books: Books made for testing the strength of many different engines by big numbers of engine vs. engine games. These books must not favour a particular engine by specific preparation. Also, typically their depth is medium deep or is limited e.g. to 12 full moves, to have engines starting to calculate in early middle game. I think that reflects also in which types of positions an engine will be used for analysis, in a chess player's practice. The tester groups like CCRL and CEGT try to create standardized, more or less clearly defined conditions at a kind of "laboratory standard", to get reliable test results. Neutral test books are part of these configurations. Alternatively, also sets of predefined opening variations are in use.

2. Books for Playchess machine room: I call them "performance books." These books are intended to score as good as possible, typically combined with Houdini, Stockfish (but sometimes also with other top engines), in a kind of online engine sport competition which permanently happens there . It seems to be an endless battle between novelties and their refutations, often in sharp Sicilian Najdorf variations, which seems to require close observation of "daily"  developements and frequent adjustments. In contrast to the environment test groups provide, the situation at Playchess is chaotic (different hardware, different settings, different books...).

3. Opening References: Large books created from good collections of human master games, representing the opening practice of Grandmasters and other strong players. May be enhanced with "unplayed" theory from analyses, as published in opening theory sources.

The engine specific, large commercial books which are sold with, or for commercial engines need to contain elements of (2) and (3). I would say (3) is the much more important aspect for a software company, because customers dedicated to the engine sport as described in (2), certainly have only a very small share.

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