Thursday, June 30

Rybka Cheats!?

World Champion Chess Program Banned For Cheating (tech web blog) republished from
June 30, 2011

The engine which emerged victorious from the past four World Computer Chess Championships, called Rybka ("little fish"), has been banned for cheating. But, uh, how can a computer cheat unless it's programmed to?

The answer lies not in its programming, but in its construction. The International Computer Games Association, which has both an awesome name and which runs the computer chess championships, has found that Rybka's creator, Vasik Rajlich, essentially plagiarised the work of other existing chess engines in creating his software, and has been stripped of all his titles and ordered to return all his prize money. (Which engines? Crafty and Fruit.)

Funnily enough, the ICGA didn't take the action because Rybka had stolen code. They took it because Rybka had used other people's code and not given credit.

Do you think this story the truth or a fish tale? Perhaps people chose to slander Mr. Rajlich because of his success as an independent programmer!? I expect to hear more about this story in the coming weeks or months. I have not made up my mind yet.

For you kids out there, this article does contain one moral to learn and follow: Always cite your sources and give credit where it is due. If this news holds true, then the new program Houdini will be the undisputed leader in the world computer rankings. Coincidentally, Houdini openly borrows from other engines under an open source license.

Download the UCI engine for Houdini 1.5 (find the button about 1/4 down page) and run it in Chessbase, Fritz, Aquarium, Arena or Winboard. Here's the best part: Houdini is FREE!

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