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Evaluation discontinuity occurs when two positions are assessed as markedly different, even though one can be reached from the other by a short sequence of reasonable moves. This usually happens at the transition between different game phases, for example if the program uses a simple boolean switch to decide whether the position should be considered an endgame. This has a detrimental effect on program's playing strength, since at the transition points program begins to search for the ways of switching or not switching between game phases, and not for improving its position.

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