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Subject: Re: Chess GPL projects establish cheating communities

Author: Stan Arts

Date: 07:59:10 06/19/05

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On June 18, 2005 at 14:23:42, Murano Lima wrote:

>Hello Reinhard,
>I dont love to do that, but your subject line and thesis
>are so incredible (and silly), that I think it is justified:
>Not everybody may be aware, that you are trying to establish
>a commercial project (-> the extremely innovative Smirf).
>The release of Fruit finally destroyed any hope to make any money
>with that, and this was also the case for one or two more projects,
>(there was indeed a clone, published by pure desperation, thats all).
>So the motivation to argue against GPL et simil. is so obvious
>that one really has to be surprised by the fact that you dont feel
>completely ridiculous to repeat your accusations of cheating and all the boring
>rest again and again.

Well, when you write a chessprogram from scratch, put a lot of work in,
develop own ideas, test them and test them and test them, it's your own work
and pride, it is frustrating if someone has "written" a chessengine, and it
turns out someone took crafty's movegenerator, or part of it's evaluation, or
part of it's search, or whatever, or spent more then his fair share reading
other people's sourcecode, and the new engine works exactly like the next.
(Lately there are a lot of new chessengines comming out of nothing, and are
superstrong.. well original do you think they are? )
Or someone takes a program like Fruit, thinks of an improvement, renames
it, and gets ALL the attention of a forum, etc. (to name an example. :) )
So, Reinhard voices a feeling many have. Because it seems dishonesty pays.

As for going commercial having any merrit,
A computerchessprogram should be more then "just" a strong chessengine.

Everybody seems to be concerned about having the strongest engines, but I
think that is very relative. Fruit might be very strong, but it has a single
style, and if you aren't a programmer, not much to "play" around with as a

To have a commercial package, you shouldn't/don't need a superstrong
chessengine, instead if you give the user a good package, with many styles,
slow-modes, entertaining things, a nice standalone Gui, in Reinhards case FRC
and non 8x8 board variants are innovative, suchs things, is enough.

If Shredder9 happens to be 60 Elo stronger then other program X, you'll only
ever notice that if you put them up against each other. There's nothing wrong
with that, but it's a different hobby then using chessprograms for
chessplaying purpouses. Playingstyle and such things are more important then a
program's Elo-number. As for me, top free engines are ProDeo, CraftySE, and
such programs. Maybe they aren't the absolute strongest (well..) but they form
a complete chess-package, (with attractive playingstyles.) and lots of fun
for the user.


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