Mes Machines 

Les origines de ma "collection"


Ma première machines fût en 1980 le Chess Champion MKI que mes parents m'avaient offert pour Noël. Très vite, je me suis rendu compte que le niveau de jeu était  insuffisant, et je me suis procuré une machine plus forte à Jeux Descartes le Chess Mate de toytronics. A l'époque je n 'avais pas les moyens pour autres chose. Je me souviens avoir joué de nombreux match contre cette machine, lors de mes temps de loisirs. Je regardais aussi avec envie la description des machines d'Echecs plus fortes dans la revue Jeux et Stratégie.

Puis, une fois mon Bac en poche, je me suis tourné vers d'autres passions ( le jeux de rôle en particulier) et j'ai laissé tomber les Echecs complètement. Vers la fin des années 90, j'ai reçu en cadeau un nouvel ordinateur d'Echecs qui m'a redonné le gout de jouer le Turbo Advanced Trainer, qui resta pendant longtemps ma seule machine d'un niveau acceptable ( et mon seul adversaire)

Ce n'est que récemment que j'ai commencé à acheter des machines pour me constituer un panel d'adversaires variées (en niveau et en style de jeu aussi). En achetant sur E-Bay ma première machine depuis longtemps le Novag Agate.  Bon, avec le recul, ce n'est pas un super achat, mais il a constitué le déclic pour commencer ma collection. 

Au début le But de ma collection est  plus de me constituer un pool d'adversaires variés que de collectionner des machines à proprement parler. Je peux ainsi jouer en créant des tournois où je m'inscris et où je joue dans les conditions de tournoi réel (même temps pour les machines que pour moi, pas de reprise de coups, je ne choisi ni mes adversaires ni les couleurs…).  j'essaye donc de variier au maximum mes machines , même si avec le temps j'ai acheté des machines par envie de les posseder , plus que pour jouer avec elles.

Les vrais clones de machine que j'ai déjà ne m'intéresse  pas, et il faut que des évolutions ou différences suffisantes existent. Je ne me considère donc pas à proprement parler un collectionneur, mais plutôt un joueur à la recherche d'adversaires.

Interéssé par les Echecs depuis la fin des années 1990, j'ai aussi fait une évaluation des vieux programmes tournant sous DOS ( que j'émule par Dosbox) que je fais aussi jouer avec les machines, et j'ai désormais quelques machines émulés.

Collection genesis

My first Computer Chess was a Novag Chess Champion MKI , offered by my parents as a christmas gift. I was quiclly deceipt by the playing level, and i bougth une stronger machine the Chess Mate from Toytronics. By this time , i have not the possibility to pay for another one. I plaid several matchs versus the Chess Mate, allowing it to have a long time to calculate (10 or 20 minutesi remember).
I was looking in the zine "jeux et stratégie" the stronger machines such as Sargon and Chess Challenger Sensory 9!

When i began university i stopped playing Chess, and i turned towards other obbies ( role playing mainly), and i come back in Chess during the end of 90's. I received asa gift the Turbo ADVANCED TRAINER form SAITEK, which were the only machine with a good level i had.

In 2003 i started playing Chess in a Chess Club, and stop in 2006.. Begining in 2006 i start to be very interest in computer Chess and Dos Oldies and since 2009 i started to collect Dedicated Computer Chess to be able to play my favorite game. My goal is to have a panel of opponent with varying level and style...  I remenber that my first machine that was buy in EBAY was the NOVAG AGATE. I am not really a collector , but rather a player who seek to have sparing partners!

Machines et Styles de Jeu / Machine and playing Style

J'ai essayé de faire une correspondance entre le style de jeu de nos machines, et ceux des Champions du passé.Bien sûr cette association ne  tient pas compte du niveau de jeu réel mais du style.

This is a try  to compare the playing style of our beloved machine, to the playing style of player of the past. In my view here are my style association ( without taking into account the level of play)
Vous pouvez voir le résultat sur ce lien / You can see the result on this link

ShredderShredder

Chess engines' playing styles

Chess engines' playing styles

I'm talking about Junior, easily the most tactics-oriented of the four engines which ChessBase currently offers. The wild aggression of earlier chess programs has been replaced in Junior by speculation; Junior is an engine which has been known to sacrifice material speculatively rather than concretely. Almost any chess engine will sacrifice material for an immediate gain; for example, if a Queen sacrifice results in a forced mate-in-two, you'll see a chess engine sac the Queen with no problem. Junior, though, will sometimes sacrifice minor material to clear a line or to otherwise free its game, which is something almost unheard of among chessplaying programs (I can think of just two other commercial programs which were known to do this). This behavior isn't the result of poor programming or a flaw in the engine's algorithm -- it's a deliberate programming choice which allows Junior to see possibilities which other engines often miss. It can lead to some pretty wild unexpected play; when I think of Junior, the first word that comes to mind is "surprise". Of the four ChessBase engines, Junior's the most fun to play against in my opinion -- the program often surprises me and definitely keeps me on my toes. I don't use Junior for analysis very often, but it's a whale of a lot of fun as a sparring partner.

Next on our "sliding scale" (as we move from tactical toward positional) is Fritz, ChessBase's "flagship" playing program. Fritz has always been a tactical monster, even leading in past versions to some baroque play in which Fritz would offer as game analysis some ten-move material winning variation which no human could ever spot. Fritz has changed greatly over the last decade and a half. It began as a fairly simple little chess engine against which you could easily draw a game if you knew the trick. By its second version, it had mutated into a fearsome attacker (although a skilled player could take advantage of Fritz' blind aggression to turn the tables on the program). By the mid-1990's and its third version, Fritz' aggression had been curbed in favor of a more solid (but still tactical) style of play which took advantage of faster computer processor speeds. As we reached later versions of Fritz after the turn of the century, we saw more chess knowledge being built into the program's set of instructions to give it a better handle on positional play -- the program evaluated fewer positions per second than its predecessors, but "understood" more of what it saw.

The newest two versions of Fritz (10 & 11) have seen another change in its programming philosophy. Instead of being geared toward performing well against other computer chess engines (as has been the case with almost all chess programs since the early 1990's), Fritz' main focus these days is high performance against human opposition. Coupled with the newer training features which have been added to the program's GUI, Fritz' present goal is to be the best available training package for the improving human player. Consequently, while Fritz is still a pretty tactical program, the additional positional chess knowledge programmed into it has placed it close to the middle of the "tactical to positional scale" with a slight tilt toward the tactical.

One of the most talked-about chess programs on Internet message boards is Fritz' "mirror image" on the "tactical to positional scale", namely Hiarcs. The comment you hear most often about Hiarcs is how "human-like" it plays. I've been saying the same thing ever since Hiarcs2 was released back in the early 1990's. But what does "human-like" really mean? I had a hard time defining it, but having played many games against Hiarcs I certainly believed it and repeated that assertion. After considerable thought, I'll try to summarize its style of play. Hiarcs' style of play feels "natural" because it's not an overly-aggressive program. It doesn't play weird-looking moves which then actually lead to material gains (which was a trademark of Fritz' style through several of its past versions -- what I referred to above as "baroque variations"). While having great tactical insight, Hiarcs also knows the value of many basic positional motifs. Hiarcs is like the older master-level player down at the chess club, the guy you always think you're getting a decent game against until he drops the hammer at the end, crushes you, and leaves you shaking your head and wondering what just happened.

Easily the most positionally-oriented of the four engines is Shredder. If Junior is the Tal of ChessBase engines, Shredder is the Petrosian. Shredder never takes unneccesary risks and plays a rock-solid game which is very difficult to pick apart. One hallmark of a great chessplayer is the ability to cause one's opponents to make mistakes; I believe this is why top-level players have such a tough time with Shredder in competitive play -- it's very, very hard to trip up the program. Though I'm a far cry from anything other than "mediocre" as a player, this solid play is why I seldom play games against Shredder -- it's like beating your head against a three foot thick concrete wall. But Shredder is my most trusted analysis engine. If I'm using "Compare analysis" to analyze one of my own games, Shredder is invariably one of the engines I select to perform the analysis, and it's usually my first pick for the single "Blundercheck" engine. It's also my engine of choice when doing "on the fly" analysis within the ChessBase software. Why? As I said before, all chess engines are primarily tactics-based but Shredder seems to have the best positional knowledge of the four main ChessBase engines. If any of the four is going to point out a strategic/positional error I've made, Shredder is the most likely to do i

One of the most talked-about chess programs on Internet message boards is Fritz' "mirror image" on the "tactical to positional scale", namely Hiarcs. The comment you hear most often about Hiarcs is how "human-like" it plays. I've been saying the same thing ever since Hiarcs2 was released back in the early 1990's. But what does "human-like" really mean? I had a hard time defining it, but having played many games against Hiarcs I certainly believed it and repeated that assertion. After considerable thought, I'll try to summarize its style of play. Hiarcs' style of play feels "natural" because it's not an overly-aggressive program. It doesn't play weird-looking moves which then actually lead to material gains (which was a trademark of Fritz' style through several of its past versions -- what I referred to above as "baroque variations"). While having great tactical insight, Hiarcs also knows the value of many basic positional motifs. Hiarcs is like the older master-level player down at the chess club, the guy you always think you're getting a decent game against until he drops the hammer at the end, crushes you, and leaves you shaking your head and wondering what just happened.

Les Machines par Niveau  

Maitres  / Masters ( Rating above 2200)

MILLENNIUM CHESS GENIUS PRO
MILLENNIUM CHESS GENIUS

MEPHSITO RISC 2500
MEPHISTO ATLANTA

       

Fort Experts / Senior Experts  ( Rating above 2100)

SAITEK Master Chess
Mephisto VANCOUVER / Mephisto Berlin 68000

Novag Diamond II

Fidelity Master 2325

Experts / low Experts  ( Rating above 2100)


SAITEK Centurion

Mephisto Milano/Nigel Short

H&G Mephisto POLGAR
Mephisto Milano/Nigel Short


Novag DIABLO

NOVAG Super Forte C 6mhz

Novag Obsidian

Fidelity Master 2265

Joueurs de première catégorie ( Rating  1800-1999)


H&G Mephisto Modena
Mephisto Roma II
SAITEK Turbo Advanced TrainerRadio Shack Chess Master       
H&G Mephisto MMV
NOVAG Zircon 
H&G Mephisto MM IV
Krypton REGENCY
H&G Mephisto Rebel 5.0
EXCALIBUR Grand Master 
H&G Mephisto MM II
Fidelity Designer 2100
FIDELITY ELECTRONIC Excellence
Saitek Corona
Scysis Turbo King
 Tiger Grenadier

Joueurs de deuxième  catégorie ( Elo FICS Standard 1600-1799)

RADIOSCHACH CC 2150L
Scysis Turbo 16K       
H&G Mephisto B&P
Scysis TurboStar 432
NOVAG Super VIP
NOVAG Constellation 3.6
H&G Mephisto Europa
YENO 416 XL

Mephisto Mondial II
      

Joueurs de Troisième  catégorie ( Elo FICS Standard 1400-1599)

 EXCALIBUR Alexandra
FIDELITY ELECTRONIC CC Sensory 9
CXG SPHYNX TITAN
Tandy 1850
Scysis Express 16K
H&G Mephisto Mirage
Scysis Chess Champion Mark V
Applied Concept Prodigy
Chaffitz GGM Sargon 2.5
H&G Mephisto MMI
H&G Mephisto II
NOVAG Agate Plus

Joueur occasionnel et débutants (-1399)

NOVAG Chess Champion Super System III
 FIDELITY ELECTRONIC Chess Challenger Sensory Voice
 FIDELITY ELECTRONIC Chess Challenger 7
 FIDELITY SENSORY CHESS CHALLENGER 6
SCYSIS Chess Companion II
Scysis_Sensor Chess
Conic Master
 TOYTRONICS Chess Mate



Le classement des machines 


Mon classement des machines est basée sur plusieurs sources. Le résultat final  est en fait une moyenne pondérés des classements obtenus sur différentes listes. Toutes ces listes sont d'une manière ou d'une autre ajustées par rapport aux performances des machines faces aux humains.ces sources comprennent :



Rang Nom/Name Classement/Rating Titre/Title
(USCF RULES)
Meilleure Norme/ Best Norm
(USCF Rules)
1 MEPHISTO ATLANTA 2334 Cat 4 Expert
2 MILLENIUM CHESS GENIUS PRO 2282   Expert
3 MEPHISTO RISC 2500 2267 Cat 4 Expert
4 MILLENIUM CHESS GENIUS 2180 Cat 4 Expert
5 MEPHISTO London 6800 2174 Cat 4 Expert
6 NOVAG DIAMOND II 2144 Cat 4 Expert
7 MEPHISTO MASTER CHESS 2127 Cat 4 Expert
8 Fidelity Designer Mach IV 2118    
9 MEPHISTO VANCOUVER 16 Bits 2108 Cat 4 Expert
10 NOVAG SCORPIO 2087 Cat 4 Cat 1
11 MEPHISTO NIGEL SHORT 2076 Cat2 Expert
12 CENTURION 2054 Cat2 Expert
13 Fidelity Designer Mach III 2046 Cat 4 Expert
14 MEPHISTO POLGAR 2027 Cat 4 Cat 1
15 NOVAG OBSIDIAN 2001 Cat2 Expert
16 NOVAG SUPER FORTE C 5 Mhz 2000 Cat2 Cat 1
17 RS CHESS MASTER 1970    
18 Mephisto Mondial 68000 XL 1969    
19 MEPHISTO ROMA II 1951 Cat2 Cat 1
20 MEPHISTO MM IV 1948 Cat2 Cat 1
21 MEPHISTO MM V 1944 Cat2 Cat 1
22 TURBO ADVANCED TRAINER 1934 Cat2 Cat 1
23 MEPHISTO MODENA 1919 Cat2 Cat 1
24 Novag Constellation Forte B 1891    
25 MEPHISTO REBELL 5 1887 Cat2 Cat 1
26 ZIRCON 1882 Cat 3 Cat2
27 Fidelity Designer 2100 Display 1871    
28 Fidelity Excel 68000 1864    
29 SCISYS TURBO KING 1851    
30 Saitek Corona 1847 Cat 4 Cat2
31 MEPHISTO MM II 1846 Cat2 Cat2
32 Excalibur GrandMaster 1829 Cat 4 Cat 1
33 CC 2150L 1819 Cat 4 Cat2
34 KRYPTON REGENCY 1817 Cat 4 Cat 1
35 TurboStar 432 1803    
36 EXCELLENCE 1800 Cat 4 Cat 1
37 MEPHISTO B&P 1788 Cat2 Cat2
38 SUPER VIP 1747 Cat2 Cat 1
39 CONSTELLATION 3.6 1738 Cat 4 Cat 3
40 NOVAG SUPER CONSTELLATION 1731    
41 MEPHISTO Mondial II 1706    
42 MEPHISTO EUROPA 1694 Cat 3 Cat 3
43 YENO 416 XL 1682 Cat 3 Cat2
44 SCYSIS TURBO 16K 1677 Cat2 Cat2
45 MEPHISTO MM I 1640    
46 ALEXANDRA 1637 Cat 4 Cat2
47 MEPHISTO MIRAGE 1607 Cat 4 Cat 4
48 FIDELITY CC Sensory Champion 1572 0 0
49 CXG SPHYNX TITAN 1569 0 0
50 CC SENSORY 9 1565 Cat 4 Cat2
51 Tandy 1850 1534    
52 Scysis Express 16K 1511    
53 Scysis Chess Champion MK V 1466    
54 MEPHISTO II 1444 Cat 4 Cat 4
55 GGM SARGON 2.5 CHAFFIZ 1438 Cat 4 Cat 4
56 AGATE PLUS 1322    
57 Elektronica IM-01T 1311 0 0
58 CC SENSORY VOICE 1222 Cat 4 Cat 4
59 SCYSIS CHESS COMPANION II 1169    
60 CHESS CHALLENGER 7 1168    
61 NOVAG SUPER SYSTEM III 1111    
62 Novag OCTO 964    
63 CHESS MATE 957