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30 Weird Chess Algorithms: Elo World (31 Jul at 18:26)
OK! I did manage to finish the video I described in the last few posts. It's this:

30 Weird Chess Algorithms: Elo World
30 Weird Chess Algorithms: Elo World


I felt pretty down on this video as I was finishing it, I think mostly in the same way that one does about their dissertation, just because of the slog. I started it just thinking, I'll make a quick fun video about all those chess topics, but then once I had set out to fill in the entire tournament table, this sort of dictated the flow of the video even if I wanted to just get it over with. So it was way longer than I was planning, at 42 minutes, and my stress about this just led to more tedium as I would micro-optimize in editing to shorten it. RIP some mediocre jokes. But it turns out there are plenty of people on the internet who enjoy long-form nerdy content like this, and it was well-received, which is encouraging. (But now I am perplexed that it seems to be more popular than NaN Gates and Flip-FLOPS, which IMO is far more intetersting/original. I guess the real lesson is just make what you feel like making, and post it!) The 50+ hours programming, drawing, recording and editing did have the desired effect of getting chess out of my system for now, at least.

Since last post I played Gato Roboto which is a straightforward and easy but still very charming "Metroidvania." Now I'm working my way through Deux Ex: Mankind Divided, which (aside from the crashing) is a a very solid sequel to Human Revolution. Although none of these games is likely to capture the magic of the original (one of my all-time faves), they do definitely have the property that you can play them in ways that the developer didn't explicitly set out for you, and as you know I get a big kick out of that.

Aside from the video games, I've picked back up a 10 year-old project that I never finished because it was a little bit outside my skillset. But having gotten significantly better at electronics and CNC, it is seeming pretty doable now. Stay tuned!
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jonas (176.63.24.164) – 08.01.19 15:20:44
I still wonder how hard it would be to make one of Óscar Toledo's chess programs "http://www.nanochess.org/chess.html" to play from any game state you choose.
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Mike Dat (189.68.238.79) – 08.04.19 23:17:59
I would agree that Nan Gates is more interesting but I understood it less, this one had more stuff I knew about, I was familiar with.
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Adhesion (73.238.153.49) – 08.06.19 20:58:06
I really dug the chess video despite knowing next to nothing about chess - always love some robot craftsmanship purely for the sake of a one-off joke. (NaN gates was great too, but a bit hard to follow in parts despite my CS background.)

I've also been playing Mankind Divided - just finished it over the weekend. There were some pacing issues and the story wasn't as meaty as I would've liked but I enjoyed it, it's probably a bit underrated. I didn't quite figure out any non-developer-intended ways to play, myself (aside from some very mild sequence breaking), but I tend to play full stealth/non-lethal in those games which actually ends up being fairly simple and straightforward. Was going for the no-alarms achievement but didn't get it for mysterious reasons which was super annoying. On to the DLC!
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Scott F (52.119.123.120) – 08.27.19 06:07:21
Tom, I want to be you when I grow up, unless that comes off as excessively flattering to the point of being obsequious and creepy, in which case I don't want that. Either way I enjoyed this video. The listing of reasons you couldn't find chess partners was hilarious, although it almost pushed into cringe territory with how convincingly more pathetic you looked after each item was read.

NaN Gates and Flip FLOPS was definitely *more* up my alley than this one; by now I've watched it at least twice, maybe thrice. "I think we can do better. I think we can do best." Maybe it's those two semesters of computational logic that unlocked my appreciation for that concept or maybe it's my erstwhile fascination with esoteric programming languages. It was total catnip for me. This one, to be honest, I avoided for several weeks like, "Oh, it's chess, this one's not for me. I don't know the first thing about chess." Little did I know, neither do your algorithms!
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calendar (176.63.25.10) – 08.30.19 18:53:50
You have less than half a day to post the next entry.
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calendar (176.63.25.10) – 08.30.19 18:54:18
Argh no! I'm not a good calendar, am I? You have less than two days.
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long time listener, first time caller (185.69.144.5) – 09.15.19 15:33:01
I really enjoyed this latest video. I was wondering how well you could do by "ensembling" different dumb chess players in some way. I guess the simplest way to do this would be similar to the stockfish-random dilution, but with a dilution of an arbitrary selection of different players.

In particular, I wonder if there's any ensemble that performs better than its constituent parts. I don't have a good enough intuition to work out how or why this might be the case (best I can come up with is some kind of hill-climbing analogy?), and well, you have the program to just run it and see so I'm throwing this up here rather than doing anything about it myself.
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Nelson H, aka Cato the Younger_TCEC (69.143.65.69) – 10.05.19 17:44:02
Quite by accident, I ran across your chess piece and video to TCEC's fanbase as a rollicking fun ride through bad chess. I was astonished by your dedication in downloading every LiChess file; I thought I must be one of the few lunatics on the planet to do that. Of course, I keep <0.5% of them for opening book purposes and even that many is dubious.
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Anonymous (69.143.65.69) – 10.05.19 17:45:03
* chess piece and video and recommended it to TCEC's fanbase...
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ice cream (47.187.227.154) – 10.14.19 19:02:30
how does your script thingy work? how do i run it?
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ice cream (47.187.227.154) – 11.20.19 21:00:56
oh sorry it's me again I figured out some of the errors
(gee you were right....)

The "SDL.h" and "SDL_main.h" don't seem to exist!
(About line 35 in the viewer.)




THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS COMMENT
_______________________________________
Where are they? Where are those files? Help!
_______________________________________
END OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS COMMENT





(If you want to load the code, get a compiler, and ALSO on the source code page, click "trunk", then "cc-lib", and *download that too!* Very mean.)

Also, can a commenter comment on the newest blog post to get your (tom7's) attention even though it's unrelated?

Arrgh, i'm so close to being halfway done to become kinda finished in loading your script! Almost! It's so amazing that I want to play with it on my computer... aw ugh.

I like how you put the 'ideas' file there. You read those YouTube comments, =)
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Tom 7 (74.109.249.95) – 11.30.19 21:31:53
Yes, it is possible to get my attention this way! :)

It should be possible to compile standalone stuff like the tournament, test programs, or use the chess players as libraries, without SDL.
If you're trying to compile the whole thing (like the viewer) you will need SDL, which is a common cross-platform graphics library mostly used for games. It should be available on every platform, but probably needs some fiddling. On linux, you can just install something like libsdl1.2-dev, but you probably need to modify the makefile in that case. On windows, I always struggle with libraries so I think the makefile is set up to just reference the object files directly from a a build the SDL source. Sorry that the build is not set up to be user-friendly!

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