Monday, March 02, 2009

Adaptive tactics server

In comments on my previous post, bulldog points out the Adaptive Tactics Server. It looks extremely interesting. It is a tactics server that gathers statistics as you solve problems: it "remembers" which types of problems you tend to have problems solving. Then it increases the frequency of those problem areas.

Simple, smart, and probably useful. Does anyone have experience with it yet? Kudos to its designer, and I hope someone will give some comments on it. It seems to be connected with this blog.

Caveat emptor: I haven't tried the site, so you might want to read the comments on this post.

12 Comments:

Blogger likesforests said...

WARNING: *** The site may be phishing! Be wary of sharing your password. ***

When you login the site you're asked for your "Wordpress" user/pass. It's dubious to share your user/pass from one site with the owner of another site. Who knows what he'll do with it?

For the more technically inclined, yes the user/pass are being submitted to "Snufflenose" rather than "Wordpress".

Curiosity killed the cat, but I *did* login anyway to see what would happen. A "unknown username/password" message popped up--there was no content for me to see. I changed my password a half second later to re-secure my account.

Very suspicious! I advise caution.

3/02/2009 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Rocky said...

Never heard of it until you just mentioned it. I mosied over to the site and dipped my toes in it. The concept is interesting, but I didn't see anything I could not do at chesstempo. But what I thought was pretty neat at ATS was the de la Maza pre-circles stuff where you place the queen on each square pinning it to the king. I'll have to play with ATS a little more.

3/02/2009 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks LFs that does sound phishy. The blog seems legit, without a lot of stupid crap or ads or anything silly. Perhaps the owner will explain what's going on.

Rocky: if indeed it adapts the problem type to your errors, that is something the other sites don't do. They change the level of difficulty based on your error patterns, but not the specific type of problem (e.g., forks).

3/02/2009 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger bulldoggy said...

I'm the author of the snufflenose.com blog and the Adaptive Tactics Server. The ATS uses the wordpress authentication routines from the blog so that there is a "thing" to keep track of (your username). There is no phishing involved (um... unless someone else is doing the phishing, and if you know how that happens, please let me know, too.)

Not that I can prove this without you seeing the code in the ATS, and not that you would believe me even after I showed you the code. The whole site is hosted at its own (shared) hosting site, so except for the fact that I use wordpress software for authentication and occasional blogging, it doesn't talk to any other servers or software.

likeforests: I'm curious if you registered on the site before you tried to logged in. If you register first, with a username/password that is otherwise unique, you'll probably find out that the site is legit. Because of the way wordpress authenticates, you'll have to follow a link from the front page of the snufflenose.com domain after logging in.

3/03/2009 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger katar said...

Well, i did about 50 problems. ATS is not a blitz engine like CTS. The computer does not make a move first, which makes it more like a puzzle book. Indeed, many of the puzzles are from books like Sharpen Your Tactics. The problems are overall trickier than CTS-- i saw a couple problems in which you have to find the only move that maintains equality (rather than loses). There appears to be no way to locate individual problems, unlike CTS. (Unlike CTS you can't review a certain problem you missed.) The RD for each problem is VERY high, like 150 i believe, which indicates there are very few users at this point. Few users means the problem ratings and distribution are not as reliable as a place like CTS where each problem's RD is <10. I've also tried ChessTempo which in my opinion is the worst option due to the long and winding variations where you have to select the single winningest move out of several also-winning alternatives. This is too bad b/c ChessTempo is the bestlooking of the 3 and has drag-drop capability. At CTS the quality of problems is very high-- there is almost always one move that is clearly correct, and the variations are short (unlike the 8-10 move variations at ChTempo). Just my opinion, ymmv.

3/03/2009 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger likesforests said...

Disregard the phishing warning. Sorry about that. I err on the cautious side!

"We take advantage of Wordpress's user management functions so that we didn't have to write a bunch of code that everybody has already scoured for bugs. It saved a lot of time."

I thought this meant, you were using Wordpress usernames and passwords. Which is why it seemed very odd that (a) they were being submitted to your site and (b) my Wordpress user/pass was not working.

Now I see! I had to register a new user/pass for Snufflenose so there is no potential for phishing (unless someone is silly enough to re-use their user/pass from another site). And there actually is a bunch of chess content to check out there!

3/03/2009 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Rocky said...

True ... ATS will hand out problems that you need to work on ... chesstempo does not do that, but chesstempo does track your stats for each motif ... therefore you can easily find which motifs you need to work on. My weakest motif is the x-ray attack. Armed with this data, I can now filter and search for tactics with the x-ray motif and create a subset from that search and begin practicing that weak point.

Another downside of ATS (as of today) is the small number of problems at just over 1100. CT has 30,000+

But give it (ATS) some time and it might prove to be another valuable tactics server. But IMHO, you can get just as much and more from CT.

3/03/2009 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Many thanks for the helpful review, Katar.

It sounds like it has the potential to be a very good resource.

I agree with you Katar that Chesstempo is the prettiest, but CTS does seem more groomed.

When I'm done taking Portuguese I may start playing chess again, and doing these silly puzzles. :)

3/03/2009 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger bulldoggy said...

Thanks everyone for taking a look at my site. I'm relieved that the issue that likesforests had was just a misunderstanding.

Katar: I've added a list of the last 100 problems solved to the "user statistics page" so you can thumb through the problems you've already solved. And not all the problems have a high RD, although ones that have been added more recently will.

A word on the problem set: the vast majority of the problems come from my blitz games. Only a very few come from books. I feel kinda funny taking problems out of books. It is possible for users in general to add positions to the problem set, but the interface needs work, I think.

3/03/2009 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger chesstiger said...

I wonder how acurate the rating per category is since at some i have a 2000 rating at others only a 1400+ rating.

3/04/2009 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger bulldoggy said...

It takes some time to get an accurate rating in each category. As well, some categories may only have 20 or 30 problems in them (my games are not terribly interesting, usually). If you've only done 50 or 60 problems, category ratings are definitely not accurate. After a couple hundred, much betterer.

3/05/2009 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger wang said...

Sounds good, thanks for bringing this to the chessblogosphere's attention.

3/07/2009 03:04:00 PM  

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