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Check out Shako, our featured variant for April, 2023.

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H. G. Muller wrote on 2023-02-26 UTC

Zillions of Games should be considerably stronger than the Interactive Diagram, in most variants. Engines like Zillions or Fairy-Max typically search 7-8 ply, and examine 100K-500K positions per second, the ID only does about 1-5K positions/sec. More advanced engine typically reach 11-15 ply, Stockfish and the likes more like 20-30 ply.

Yet in some variants Zillions totally fails. There exists a Zillions implementation of Tenjiku Shogi, and it is not able to make a reasonable opening move no matter how long you allow it to think, while the ID is slow but plays sensible. I guess the algorithm for what to search in the ID is more stable.

The ID was not designed for strength, but as a nice sparring partner for a person that just learned the rules of the variant. But it would not play any moves that even a beginner would consider idiotic. (Like unforced sacrifices of a Rook for an obviously protected Pawn.) It will make tactical errors, but I tried to make those look human-like. By extending the depth for moves that a human would consider obvious (like capturing what attracts attention by moving, or playing a second move with a piece that you just moves, or which was discovered by that piece), but otherwise severely limit the depth to make it blind to what happens after 'non-obvious' moves.

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