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9.6.3 Shape Factor

In the value field of a pattern (see section 12.3 Pattern Attributes) one may specify a shape value.

This is used to compute the shape factor, which multiplies the score of a move. We take the largest positive contribution to shape and add 1 for each additional positive contribution found. Then we take the largest negative contribution to shape, and add 1 for each additional negative contribution. The resulting number is raised to the power 1.05 to obtain the shape factor.

The rationale behind this complicated scheme is that every shape point is very significant. If two shape contributions with values (say) 5 and 3 are found, the second contribution should be devalued to 1. Otherwise the engine is too difficult to tune since finding multiple contributions to shape can cause significant overvaluing of a move.

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