Homer Chessengine

...for the serious gambitplayer

Support

 

Copyright © 2004-2007 Daniel Mehrmann

E-Mail: support@homer-chess.com

Version: Homer 2.0

 

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Fantasy Art Design http://fantasyartdesign.com

 

Install instructions

Homer 2.0 is a UCI/WB2 chessengine. Homer  needs a chess graphical user interface in order to play  chess.  There are a lot of commercial and free chess GUI’s available. Homer should run on any Chess GUI anyway.

 

You should install Homer 2.0 always as UCI engine if possible. It gives you best support of Homer.

 

Homer 2.0 suggest to use the Shredder chess GUI by Stefan Meyer-Kahlen.  It gives you the best support  and performance for Homer 2.0 anyway.  You should install Homer 2.0 as UCI engine.

 

http://www.shredderchess.com

 

Shredder classic Installation

http://www.shredderchess.com

From the main menu select “Extras” and choose “Engines” and follow “Install Engine…”. A dialog box appears that prompts you to select the communication protocol. Select “UCI Engine” and click “ok”.

A new dialog box appears that prompts you to select  the engine executable. Browse to your installation folder of Homer 2.0, normally it’s “C:\Program files\Homer20”, and find “Homer20_<CPU>.exe” and click “open”. 

 

Arena Installation

http://www.playwitharena.com

From the main menu select “Engines” and choose “New engine”. A dialog box appears that prompts you to select the communication protocol. Homer 2.0 works  with both protocols, but I recommend to use the “UCI” protocol. Select “UCI” and click “ok”.

A new dialog box appears that prompts you to select  the engine executable. Browse to your installation folder of Homer 2.0, normally it’s “C:\Program files\Homer20”, and find “Homer20_<CPU>.exe” and click “open”. 

 

ChessPartner Installation

http://www.lokasoft.nl

From the main menu select “Extras” and choose “Import Engine Wizard”. A  dialog box appears. Please switch to Winboard/UCI engines and press the “Install” button.  A  dialog box appears again that prompts you to select  the engine executable.  Click the  “Browse” button and locate your installation folder of Homer 2.0, normally it’s “C:\Program files\Homer20”, and find “Homer20_<CPU>.exe” and choose it. Press “ok” and “ok”.

 

ChessBase Installation (aka Fritz, Shredder, Junior, etc)

http://www.chessbase.com

From the main menu select “Engine” and choose “Create UCI engine”. A  dialog box appears that prompts you to select  the engine executable.  Click the  “Browse” button and locate your installation folder of Homer 2.0, normally it’s “C:\Program files\Homer20”, find “Homer20_<CPU>.exe” and choose it. Press “ok”

 

Winboard Installation

Assuming that you have installed Homer 2.0 in the folder C:\Program Files\Homer20 you can run Homer 2.0  with a installed  Winboard on your system by either starting Winboard from a command box (A) or editing winboard.ini (B):

 

A. COMMAND LINE

Start Winboard with  Homer 2.0 by entering the following command in a command box::

 winboard -cp -fcp Homer20_<CPU>.exe -fd "c:\Program Files\Homer20"

 

B. EDIT WINBOARD.INI

You can edit the Winboard.ini located in your Winboard installation folder (normally C:\Program Files\Winboard) and add the Homer 2.0  to it’s engines list. You have to append the line:

Homer20_<CPU>.exe  -fd "C:\Program Files\Homer20"

after the /firstChessProgramNames statement and the line

Homer20_<CPU>.exe  -sd " C:\Program Files\Homer20"

after the /secondChessProgramNames statement.

Homer.ini

If you’re using Homer 2.0 with the Winboard protocol all settings will be done in the “homer.ini” file. You’ll find this file in the  Homer 2.0 installation folder. Homer.ini  offers the following options:

HT-Size = 64 MB

The hashtable size, which used by Homer during his searches, will be configured here.

Bigger hashtables  helps Homer 2.0, because he can store more information about the positions Homer 2.0 already analyzed.

 

Max QS Depth = 16  

Homer 2.0 tries always to find a quite position at the end of his analysis to be sure that no material can be lost.

 

16 ply’s is already the deepest possible value and you shouldn’t change it.

 

Pawn = 100

Knight = 420

Bishop = 430

Rook = 620

Queen = 1240

The piece values used by Homer 2.0 can be changed here. One Pawn is 100 points by default. A knight is 420 by default (4,2 pawns). A bishop is 430 points by default (4,3 pawns). A rook is 620 points by default (6,2 pawns) und a queen is 1240 points by default (12,4 pawns). The piece values can be changed by each piece by adding or removing up to 50 points from the default value. For example a pawn can get from 50 up to 150 points.

 

Ponder = off

The “Ponder” feature can be ignored anyway. The winboard protocol overwrites this setting. It’s might be interesting if you’re using a chess GUI which supports only WB1 protocol.

 

Logging = on

If this is enabled Homer logs each In- /Output by the engine. The homer.log file will be cleared each new start of Homer 2.0

Logging should be enabled always, because it helps the author if you getting problems with Homer 2.0 and you need support.

 

EGTB = off

If this is enabled Homer has access of endgame table bases (see EGTB path) and could solve endgames much faster as normal. Homer 2.0 supports up to 6-Stone databases. By default this feature is disabled to allow a first using of Homer 2.0 without problems. It should be enabled as soon as possible!

If this feature is enabled, but no table bases will be found in the EGTB path, Homer will shutdown immediately !

 

EGTB path = e:\chess\tb\3_4;e:\chess\tb\5

Path to the files for EGTB access. Multi directories supported by default. The table bases can be downloaded here:

 ftp://ftp.cis.uab.edu/pub/hyatt/TB/3-4-5

 

 

EGTB cache = 4 MB

The endgame table bases must be loaded from your harddisk. This is very slow for Homer 2.0. Already loaded table bases will be stored in a cache area of your memory. The size of this cache can be configured here.

A bigger cache size makes Homer 2.0 faster.

 

Resign = off

Homer 2.0 can resign a game if his position looks lost. By defaults it’s disabled.

 

Resign score = -600

If the “Resign feature” is enabled Homer is looking how often he reached his resign limit in points. If it happens without a break, he will resign this match.

Remember, a rook is 620 points. In the default case Homer would resign if he thinks he is a rook down without any chances.

 

Learning = on

Homer 2.0 tries to learn each position he has ever played in his games. If Homer lost a match he knows it already next time and would try another way of variant. It’s enabled by default.

Homer doesn’t learn on very fast blitz games and  no moves besides of 30 played moves.

 

PlayStyle = default.sty

The current used style file. You can create own files or switched to another style file. See more under the “Style-File” topic below.

 

UCI Optionen

Homer 2.0 presents the following UCI options (and more to follows):

Screenshot Shredder classic GUI

 

Piece values Pawn, Knight, Bishop, Rook and Queen

The piece values used by Homer 2.0 can be changed here. One Pawn is 100 points by default. A knight is 420 by default (4,2 pawns). A bishop is 430 points by default (4,3 pawns). A rook is 620 points by default (6,2 pawns) und a queen is 1240 points by default (12,4 pawns). The piece values can be changed by each piece by adding or removing up to 50 points from the default value. For example a pawn can get from 50 up to 150 points.

 

NoiseReduction

Some chess GUI’s getting trouble if to much information comes from Homer 2.0 in a short time. This feature blocked, at the start of each search, the information traffic of Homer for the first seconds and only send every second a information to the GUI what Homer 2.0 is currently doing.

 

If you are using the suggest GUI for Homer 2.0, the Shredder classic, by Stefan Meyer-Kahlen, you can disable this feature to enjoy the full information power of Homer 2.0.

 

Learning

Homer tries to learn each position he has ever played in his games. If Homer lost a match he knows it already next time and would try another way of variant. It’s enabled by default.

 

Homer doesn’t learn on very fast blitz games and  no moves besides of 30 played moves.

 

EGTB

If this feature is enabled Homer will use Endgame table bases (EGTB). So, you should be sure that your chess GUI knows where are the tablebases located.

 

Clear_Hash

Reset all hashtables used by Homer 2.0. Basicly Homer 2.0 decides himself if it necessary to reset his hashtables or not.  But if you whish Homer 2.0 should forget everything he learned in the current game, use can this feature.

 

Clear_Learning

Reset the learn file and current learn hashtable. See Learning

 

Search

Basicly homer tries his own search strategies to find the best moves. However, sometimes it’s might be interesting looking for more “positional”  or “tactical” moves. With this feature you can force Homer 2.0 looking for such moves deeper than usualy. The search will be going deeper as usual and gets maybe better results.

 

KingSafty [80-120%]

The default value of KingSafty is 100%. If you set a higher value, up to 120%, Homer 2.0 evaluates king attacks und king security higher. Homer’s style will be more aggressive and he might giving more material for attack chances.

 

Mobility [80-120%]

The default value of Mobility is 100%. If you set a higher value , up to 120%, Homer 2.0 evaluates the mobility of all his pieces higher and might giving a pawn more often to get a better mobility. Basicly Homer 2.0 is already a  very aggressive engine looking for much mobility. Maybe you’ll get better results if you reduce, up to 80%, this value.

 

 

PawnStructure [80-120%]

The default value of PawnStructure is 100%. If you set a higher value, up to 120%,  Homer 2.0 evaluates the PawnStructure higher as usual. Homer 2.0 tries getting a better structure and opponent damage of his structure will be evaluates higher.

 

Style

Homer 2.0 offers different possibilities of styles. See “Style” handling.

 

Styles

 

 

What is most creative thing in chess ? Right, the playstyle ! The different styles of chessplayers around  the world makes chess really interesting.

The playstyle of Homer 2.0 can be changed on impressive ways. You could change Homer’s style into a beancounter which loves pieces and pawns or an attacking dragon which has only one target: Your king.

Predefined styles like “Kasparov, Karpow or Tal” are already available in Homer 2.0. You have a lot of options to create your own style. Basicly the styles based on the options descripted above (UCI) like “KingSafty, PawnStructure or Mobility” in combination with the search settings “Tactical, Positional or Intelligent”. All these options gives you a powerfull possibility to create own styles.

If you’re using Homer 2.0 with the Winboard protocol, these settings will be done in own files like “Kasparov.sty” They include the same options and feature like you know now under UCI.

 

Winboard protocol:

 

You only need to create your own file via the skeleton file “Skeleton.sty” and just call it “MyStyle.sty” and add this file in Homer’s central configuration file homer.ini.

 

UCI protocol:

Change the settings coming with Homer’s UCI option or follow the instructions of your chess GUI to create a new engine with these settings.

 

 

If you want support Homer