So, no, contempt = 0 doesn't make the engine play better against
Note that the change is motivated by the fact that Stockfish
plays weaker against weaker opponents relatively to say Houdini. SF
DD was a stronger engine than Houdini, but Houdini leaded all
rating list because it played better against weaker engines. With
this change, SF 6 will further widen the rating gap and solidify
it's #1 status.
on 18 Jul, 2014 08:06 AM
Ok. So you're expecting someone to come and tell you: "Yes,
contempt=0 is a better setting for playing against itself. Lucas
has made a mistake with the commit so he's an idiot and he needs to
revert the change.".
To me "contempt" has an implication of the way human players
compete. If there's contempt for an opponent, one would rather lose
than to draw. Whereas if no contempt exists, one is more likely to
accept a draw. With Stockfish however, (and I'm probably wrong)
"contempt" means something different because at the minimum
setting, it becomes as if a search for a draw takes precedence over
a search for a win. In other words, it will forego a win if a draw
contempt means the software values it's own pieces more than it's opponents, making it less likely to exchange and simplify. 0 contempt is the only right setting to analyze a position, no matter the engine..