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

Author: Russell Reagan

Date: 06:27:10 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.

I think the opposite is true. You are thinking about this from a lazy mindset
(I'm not saying you are lazy, though). The authors of Gandalf and Hiarcs should
not think, "Ruffian is better than our engine, so we give up." They should
think, "A free engine is better than our engine. We need to work harder and get
better!"

Having a better free engine will force the top commercial authors to work
harder. I don't think Ruffian should be released commercially just because it's
better than some commercial engines. I think what most people like about
commercial products is that they are "nicer", and more user friendly. For
example, if I had a choice between Fritz run under Winboard, or Chessmaster with
it's nice GUI, I'd take Chessmaster any day. Plus Chessmaster has more extra
goodies besides just a good engine. In other words, there are a lot of extra
features that go into making a commercial chess program successful than just the
strength of it's engine.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think Chessmaster sells more than Fritz, even though
Fritz is stronger. There is a reason for that.

Russell



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