I first heard about Rybka back in 2006. I'm a casual computer chess player and had came across Shredder in 2005 and was really glad that I found the best (strongest) chess program in the world (or for desktop PC anyway). It was in 2006 when I first encountered Rybka and was dismayed of all the reports that Rybka was better than Shredder. I didn't want to make myself believe it, because I had so much emotionally invested in the Shredder name and brand that I abhorred the notion of this weird named chess engine being stronger than the German engineered Shredder. It took a long time for me to slowly convert to Rybka and come to an emotional terms with the new reality: that Rybka was the strongest chess engine in the world (at that time).
I've been busy with other things and haven't stayed in the loop in chess for a long time. Just recently, yesterday, I checked this website to see if Rybka 5 came out... and you can imagine the utter SHOCK I received:
*Rybka disqualified, stripped of all titles, banned for life, and forced to pay back all winnings?
*And what's with this "Houdini Chess Engine" that is stronger than even Rybka, now?
Is Houdini Chess Engine really open source and free? I'm read contradicting reports. On the Houdini Chess Engine website it gives away the .exe download for free, but some posts on here say that Houdini Chess Engine is about to go "commercial" (so as in they are beta testing and will start charging monies?) So Houdini has already taken the lead?
If that is true, I think I know what is going on here...
It appears to me, that as an uninvolved outsider, that this ICGA decree is a witch-hunt. Did Vas reverse engineer or otherwise copy Fruit/etc code? Probably yes. But any reasonable mind can clearly see this is a classical archetypal case of setting Rybka up for the fall... and then retroactively trying to find any justification for the sanctions. I get the feeling that the ICGA is just another rhetorically meaningless political organization now, but unfortunately it still welds much hegemony in the chess world at large. The last time I felt this way was when they gave the newly elected President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. This whole thing is a political assassination of Rybka and Vas. Anyone who can't see this has either blinders on or its like the "emperor has no clothes" type of thing.
Probably all the major chess engines have at least some code that copies from somewhere else. Are we talking degrees of guiltiness here? Are we sure that Shredder and all the other big names are 100% clean and original? Why has no other engine been so thoroughly investigated? Rybka and Fruit,etc have been in existence for a LONG TIME. If Rybka is indeed so very guilty of plagiarism, why was this not brought to attention until 2011? It just seems really odd and fishy... all of this...
Yes I believe Vas may have copied code. But probably so has everyone else at some point in time. To retroactively strip Rybka of ALL times and then proactively ban Rybka and Vas for life from all ICGA endorsed events is way to much punishment. It is asymmetrical and disproportionate.
I think it is all political. When Rybka was on top the ICGA turned a blind eye to any allegations of plagiarism and obviously wasn't that compelled to investigate. All the other many chess engine developers had a lot to gain by reporting Rybka much early on when Rybka was still undisputed #1 stop... If the similarity of Fruit/etc to Rybka was so "obvious" and "unequivocal", you can bet good money that someone would have found this out years ago.... I think the ICGA may have looked the other way when Rybka was undisputed #1 ... it used Rybka... and after Houdini and others came to the market and Rybka began to sunset and lose its moment in the spotlight, the ICGA then didn't need Rybka anymore and pounced on it like the way US gov sponsors Bin Laden, Saddam to fight pro-West when they need them and then get ride of them and cast them away as terrorists and tyrants when they are no longer needed... I'm not comparing Vas/Rybka to OBL/Saddam, but this is the best political analogy that I can find...
Bottom line is no one is "innocent" in any of this. This whole thing is a political power struggle type of event. Rybka used ICGA but so did ICGA use Rybka... and now ICGA wants to go the "righteous" path.. its almost as hypocritical as Google agreeing to Chinese government censorship for years to get a piece of the Chinese search pie, but when they failed to capture the search market they pulled-out ostensibly under the false-flag of human rights and anti-censorship. ICGA probably feels that Rybka is "aging" and now is "clearing house" to make room for new flesh blood.
Organizations are not infallible to the same flaws of basic individual human nature. Often times we make a decision based on emotional factors and then retroactively try to use logic and reasoning as tools to justify our actions. This was basically an Operation-Kill-Rybka plain and simple.
If Bobby Fisher was still alive I wonder what he would remark about all of this shenanigans. Frankly, in all honestly, I'm surprise that this "Bob" dude has the audacity to come on here (especially THIS forum) and continue the witch hunt and propaganda smear campaigns and throw insult on injury and act all elitists on the alleged accused forum platforms. What is this "Bob"s real motivation? (I'm just saying aloud what everybody probably thinks but don't ask openly) This is the kind of perfectly executed "inquisitions" that would have made the church itself proud. It reminds me why I'm not brainwashed by religion, politics, bureaucracies, etc. Who made the ICGA judge, jury and executioner? I think the ICGA has lost legitimacy after this hunt. I wonder who they have in their sights next. Now we know the highest bidders can hire the ICGA for covert blackops mission to get rid of their opponents, all in the name of justice, ethics and fairness.
> Still living in the DOS/command line world perhaps?
Nothing wrong with that !!
> *And what's with this "Houdini Chess Engine" that is stronger than even Rybka, now?
The history goes like this:
Someone reverse engineered Rybka 3, and released the program Ippolit as open source, then someone picked that program and improved it, and released it as Robbolito, then someone picked up the Robbolito code, improved it, and released it as IvanHoe (etc... etc...) and eventually Robert Houdart picked up one of these, improved it (he made the biggest improvement of them all) and released it as Houdini, closing the source (I guess that's why no program stronger than Houdini, based on these sources, has appeared).
Please note that the main reason Houdini is stronger then Rybka for games is that Rybka's time management is terrible, but for analysis of games, Rybka is still better than Houdini.
PS - What a relief! Previously mentioning all these clones names was banned on the forum...
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