Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: Ruffian 0.76 is still playing incredible strong!

Author: pavel

Date: 06:22:18 09/19/02

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On September 19, 2002 at 08:58:52, Uri Blass wrote:

>I prefer to see it as commercial program.
>If it becomes freeware then it is possible that part of the programmers are
>going to stop working on their program.
>I think that it increases the chances that we will never see a new Gandalf or a
>new Hiarcs because if they are not better than a free program they cannot earn
>enough money from it so they may give up programming.
>I think that doing programs that are too strong freeware is not productive for
>computer chess.
>The users of chess programs are not poor people and they can buy it.
>If the author can earn significant money from ruffian then it is better if he
>sells it.
>I guess that he can sell few thousands of copies  as a winboard program with
>price of 50$ even without a special interface.

I agree with most of your reasoning.
I also think, this was one of the main reason why ferret was never released as
freeware engine, I understand (not sure) that Bruce was not interested to be
commercial with ferret.

However, I think strong free engines also give commercial programmers reasons to
make their program more stronger.
I don't think because of Ruffian (or similar strong free engines), commercial
programmers will be effected.

I mean if I were happy with a chess program that beats me, than I would be happy
with TSCP.
I would never use any other program at all.

But this is not the case.

Most of us hardcore CC hobbiest will buy any chess program that interest us,
regardless of their strength (ofcourse strength is an issue and it has to be
competetive with the better ones).

Main point being: Anyone who has plan to buy Fritz8 will still buy fritz8 even
if RuffianX is as strong as Fritz8 and comes as a free engine.

Also IMO if there are too many commercial chess programs, it will eventually
effect the sales of all the commercial programs.


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