Houdini 4: the 800-pound gorilla

12/7/2013 – Houdini 4 has just been released and contains many improvements in all phases of the game making it about 50 Elo stronger than its predecessor. The improved strength means that Houdini 4 nearly doubles the chess performance of your PC for game analysis and match play. It also includes the expected perks: Cloud Engine, 3D board, Live Book and more. Here is a full description.

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Houdini 4: the 800-pound gorilla

The new Houdini 4 contains many evaluation and search improvements in all phases of the game and is about 50 Elo stronger than its predecessor. The improved strength means that Houdini 4 nearly doubles the chess performance of your PC for game analysis and match play.

A major feature is the support of the new 6-men Syzygy table bases. Houdini 4 has been extensively tuned for this state-of-the-art end game table base system and will provide optimum precision and strength in the late endgame at any time control and with any number of cores. While we strongly recommend using the 6-men Syzygy tables, Houdini 4 continues to support Nalimov and Gaviota table bases.

Houdini 4 uses calibrated evaluations in which engine scores correlate directly with the win expectancy in the position. A +1.00 pawn advantage gives a 80% chance of winning the game against an equal opponent at blitz time control. At +2.00 the engine will win 95% of the time, and at +3.00 about 99% of the time. If the advantage is +0.50, expect to win nearly 50% of the time.

A look at one of the many possible configurations, including a handwritten style game score

Accompanying the new engine is a giant hand-made opening book by openings expert and openings book designer: Alexander Kure, with over four million positions. This opening book is not a generic tree, and includes carefully thought out evaluations as well as original analysis.

Optimized for Windows 8.1: the 64-bit program interface of Houdini 4 runs faster and more fluidly on the latest versions of Windows. Naturally, the new version retains all of the well-known playing, training and analysis functions that have made it the most popular chess program in the world.

Premium Playchess

Houdini 4 Pro includes a free six-month Premium Membership to the Playchess.com server allowing you to tune in to exciting live commentary of world-class tournaments, or take part in training sessions with frontrunner coaches such as Grandmaster Daniel King, Klaus Bischoff, Maurice Ashley, Dr. Karsten Müller and many more.

Power Play Show by GM Daniel King on Playchess.com teaser. All shows are
live with questions and answers by users, but are stored on the server and
can be viewed at anytime.

Let’s Check

Houdini 4 also brings all the powerful new functions introduced and fine-tuned in the last couple of years. Only the best is good enough. Houdini 4 gives you access to “Let's Check”*, the world's largest database packed with high-quality analysis. Over 200 million positions annotated with deep engine calculations are saved on the Let's Check server, with more being added every day. If you want to know what to think of a particular opening position, take a look on Let's Check and find out in seconds what it would take your PC hours to uncover.

Example of Let's Check in action. The brown depths on the bottom right indicate an engine
that has analyzed the position for at least an hour continuously.

Cloud Engines

The cutting-edge interface also brings the latest Cloud Engine functions, allowing you to access your engines from a remote computer, lend it out, or even rent the use of powerful third-party computers in case you need more processor power than you have.

Cloud engines can be your own or those of others. Set up private remote connections
that only you can see.

3D board

Although most users are content to use the standard 2D board, it is never quite the same thing as playing on a live chessboard. If you miss that, or would like to play games in the full 3D experience (even on Playchess), Houdini 4 has a peerless 3D board to enjoy. Bear in mind performance may and will be limited to your computer’s graphic possibilities, though the requirements are fairly mainstream by today’s standards.

A look at the gorgeous 3D board. Please note it can be set to full screen as well.

Includes:

  • Houdini 4 - the strongest engine in the world
  • 64 Bit and 32 Bit program interface
  • Premium membership to Playchess.com (six months)
  • Access to the Let's Check* (with 200 million extensively analysed positions) and ChessBase engine cloud
  • Database with over 1.5 million games etc.

*Access to “Let’s Check” database till 31.12.2015

System requirements

Minimum: Pentium III 1 GHz, 2 GB RAM, Windows Vista, XP (Service Pack 3), 7/8, DirectX9, 256 MB graphics card, DVD-ROM drive, Windows Media Player 9 and Internet access for program activation, access to Playchess.com, Let’s Check and program updates. Recommended: PC Intel i5 (Quadcore), 4 GB RAM, Windows 8.1, DirectX10, 512 MB graphics card, 100% DirectX10-compatible sound card, Windows Media Player 11, DVD-ROM drive and Internet access for program activation, access to Playchess.com, Let's Check and program updates

Houdini 4 Pro is available at the ChessBase Shop


Topics houdini 4
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