Terra Help and Information

bullet1 Help!

bullet2 Pondering and Analyzing

Pondering and analyzing aren't the same thing but they uses the same modules in the program.

bullet3 What is Pondering

After Terra has delivered a move, it's the opponents time to think. If ponder is on then Terra starts thinking on opponents time. It goes like this:

  1. Make the Terra move from the PV-line. Let's say the PV line is 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 ... etc. Terra will make e4 and is predicting 1. ... e5 as opponents answer.
  2. If, for some reason, the PV line is missing or the opponent move is incorrect Terra runs a short search in order to get  a predicted opponent move.
  3. Make the predicted opponent move internally in Terra.
  4. Start a search with this new position. The search will continue until opponent makes his move.
  5. When opponent makes his move, compare it with the predicted one. If it's the same just continue the search as long as time permits. if the predicted was wrong, immediately stop the search and unmake the predicted move internally. Now make the right move and start an ordinary search again.

Each time Terra predicts the right move all the searching time was for 'free'. Even if the predicted move was incorrect, the hash tables are filled with stuff that can be reused. There will still be a lot of transpositions in the search.

Terra will predict a lot of moves correctly, depending on the strength of the opponent so this is a really time saving feature.

bullet3 Turning Pondering on/off

Ponder=1 or 0 in Terra.ini

Ponder on/off as command

ponder on will make Terra to ponder after his next move.


bullet3 How to stop pondering

If Terra is pondering on a move it is possible to stop the pondering with the command stop.

Terra will continue with pondering after next move again unless the ponder off command is given.

bullet3 Starting an analyzing session

Start the analyzing session with the command Analyze.

By this you tell Terra to constantly think on the current position but never make a move. When you move or unmove, Terra will start thinking on this new position. think Constantly thinking on the current board position but never move, that's the idea.

The commands stop, new, setboard and quit will immediately stop the analyzing.

When running under WinBoard , Arena or other GUI's there is often a menu choice for analyzing and moving around pieces. Another possibility is to load a game rd and let the GUI automatically step each move with x seconds delay, while Terra is analyzing the game, move after move.


Please give your comments in WinBoard Forum or email me. This document was updated 2004-08-02.