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Up Topic The Rybka Lounge / Computer Chess / “Thief, thief, thief! Houdini!"
- - By Eelco de Groot (***) Date 2020-04-10 19:33
“We hates it, we hates it, we hates it forever!” Freely after Gollum in 'The Hobbit' by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Just a warning to computer chess fans here that are buying commercial chess programs, what you buy may be reverse engineered and then sold as copyrighted, independent work by escape artists. Interesting discussion on Talkchess Origins forum.

Quoting a post from Mark Lefler:

The hashes of the files on (from Fishcooking) match up with the H6 files I have locally. Seems like the DMCA-able code was stripped (yay?) so I expect the repository to be able to stay up. Should be trivial to get it to build. Nobody has an excuse to push reasonless doubts anymore.

So that's that. The code is as open as it can get. All evidence that could be released has been released, and if you are not satisfied with that, there is nothing that I am comfortable doing that can change that. I am incapable of adding anything else to the conversation.

Ovyron and other doubters, go wild. Everyone else who is still arguing over legal issues, you can go home.

I started to write this but it vanished somehow so I will start again.

I looked over the code in the github, and I see a lot of Stockfish there, and also, to my surprise, Komodo. I can give examples. One surprise was a big table that has been in Komodo since I started working on it. The possibility that someone else would come up with the exact same numbers is quite close to 0.  That table was created with a formula Don and Larry came up with, but the thief must not have been able to figure it out. They must have want to more finely tune the use of that table, so in the code they just copied the table to a larger array and interpolated numbers in between, using crude straight line interpolation. About a year or so ago I had the same idea, so was able to use the formula to generate new values. The thief did not have the formula so he had to do as best he could.

Other stolen ideas indicate the theft occured on Komodo 10.4 or later. I know because we changed how that code works by the Komodo 11 release.

I know of no Komodo code breaches, so I assume Komodo was reverse engineered. Taking a table is easy and it would not have been that hard to figure out how it was used (but not how it was created). As are the other things I see from Komodo. I do not remember Houdart ever crediting Komodo for his program. He certainly never asked me or Larry if he could use Komodo in his program.

I would be happy to share the evidence with big computer chess tournament like WCCC, should Houdini be entered. I can also share it with the big online tournaments, should they doubt me.

Parent - - By Labyrinth (*****) Date 2020-04-10 23:09
Link to the talkchess thread?
Parent - - By Eelco de Groot (***) Date 2020-04-10 23:37
Hi Labyrinth, it is here: 'Houdini is a Stockfish Derivative (and started life as a Robbolito derivative)'.
But you have to be logged in first, just like with 'The Edge' in the Rybka Forum here.
Parent - - By Labyrinth (*****) Date 2020-04-11 15:01 Upvotes 1
Meh, has Houdart said anything so far?
Parent - By Eelco de Groot (***) Date 2020-04-18 05:12 Upvotes 1
Those who want to know will just have to become a member there or read the other threads in the General Forum there. I just wanted to warn the people here. I would agree that the 'Engine origins' forum is not high on my reading list either, so I can't say anything about who has been or has not been saying anything there, sorry.
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) Date 2020-05-01 08:10 Edited 2020-05-01 08:15

> Meh, has Houdart said anything so far?

No. But Houdini 6 being a Stockfish fork (violating the GPL) with a few original ideas has been proven beyond reasonable doubt (so when you compile the code you get Houdini 6 and the code is mostly Stockfish 8.5.) If you're to believe the Komodo team, it also has a lot of code stolen from reverse engineered Komodo.

I've now reached page 28 of the thread, where people are discussing how Houdini divides its node count by 7 and multiplies it by 8, people are discussing what can we do to stop something like this from happening again in the future, and Chris Whittington (Chess System Tal's programmer) being in denial (claiming that no evidence has been presented... (???)), oh dear.

Personally, I'm a big fan of the engine. People talk about licences, and crimes, and credits, and about Houdart being a crook, but the engine itself is fantastic, if the next engine of its kind comes from someone that steals code from many engines and breaks laws and scams people out of their money for something that should be open source, I'd rather live in that world than in one where the engine never got to exist at all.

(I'm Ovyron at Talkchess, heh, I actually made it as the incredulous one)
Parent - By Gaмßito (****) Date 2020-05-01 18:04
Indeed, Houdini 6 was a great engine, and this also goes for all previous versions.

The ONLY problem was the license method Houdart used. I absolutely HATE even imagine ''buy'' a program to only being able to use it on a limited number of computers! I never did, and it doesn't make any sense at all! Which means that if years later Houdart abandon computer chess, stops responding, or whatever else, we left with a totally unusable program if our machine breaks down. No thanks, no program with such characteristics worth buying, and the SAME goes for any other program! Yes, I'm a bit radical here.

On the other side, I'm really glad that ''Houdidit'' NO longer needs any license method anymore! I want to clarify that I am NOT totally happy with what has happen to Houdart; after all, I deeply appreciate all his hard work (no doubt Houdini had unique ideas too!) and the way he vastly improved Houdini over the years, when he took the big crown from it predecessor Rybka! I wanted to see him longer on the battle for computer chess!

Parent - - By MrKris (***) Date 2020-05-01 19:03
Any actual legal action by the Komodo team?

Anything from one or more of these?
# Stockfish, a UCI chess playing engine derived from Glaurung 2.1
# Copyright (C) 2004-2008 Tord Romstad (Glaurung author)
# Copyright (C) 2008-2015 Marco Costalba, Joona Kiiski, Tord Romstad
# Copyright (C) 2015-2019 Marco Costalba, Joona Kiiski, Gary Linscott, Tord Romstad
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) Date 2020-05-02 01:41
From the Stockfish team there's no basis. The licence that was broken allows everything that Houdart did, except for hiding of the credit of original authors and withholding the source code. After the code was released by the hacker then the publicly available part would be covered, and everyone knows who are the original authors.

It'd be different if it was known that Houdart did this and the source remained closed, so the GPL violation would stand. But now it's open source so at least this part has been amended.

It's hard to sue for "damages" because if this was never known about it'd have made no difference for the authors. Mainly because Stockfish is free, so any sum covering the missing sales wouldn't be an option.

The case with Kodomo is more tricky, Mark Lefter looked at the code and obviously knew things were stolen from Komodo, but we don't have Komodo's sources so we only have his word for it. I believe him but the problem is Houdart didn't steal Komodo source and copied parts of it. He reverse engineered it to see what it was doing, and copied that. In one of the parts Komodo had a function that produced some numbers, Houdart couldn't get the code that produced the function but could see the output, so he just approximated those numbers in the table.

Mark looked at the table and instantly knew it had to come from Komodo's function, but then it's a case of an implementation of an idea witnessed in reverse-engineered code. We don't know how much of Komodo is in Houdini, but the Similarity Report had a bigger similarity between Houdini and Komodo than between Houdini and Stockfish, so it could be a lot. Basically Stockfish's search with Komodo's eval or something like that.

It doesn't seem anybody is doing anything, what is worrying is people that continue to buy Houdini 6 (I still see ads for Houdini on the main section of this forum) without knowing it's now a free open source engine, so the injustice continues...
Parent - - By MrKris (***) Date 2020-05-02 04:25

> From the Stockfish team there's no basis. The licence that was broken allows

GPL, though widely used, is just one type of EULA that copyright holders can use: US/international copyright "exclusive rights" for the authors laws.

No government, local through international treaties, explicitly support GPL, and it can not supersede any laws.

Only a judge can decide the remedy if found guilty of EULA contract breach and/or copyright infringement. Only the copyright holder(s) can assert either.

> without knowing it's now a free open source engine,

It is innocent, lawfully copyright protected, until legally proven otherwise.
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) Date 2020-05-03 02:42
So I guess I can kill somebody and if I'm never caught I'm innocent until legally proven otherwise? That's an efficient way to see things if someone has committed crimes and was never prosecuted.

To me, someone is guilty at the moment they make the crime regardless of if it can be proven or not. And in this case, it was proven (lest, nothing ever happens if a judge isn't involved).
Parent - - By MrKris (***) Date 2020-05-03 04:26 Upvotes 1

> So I guess I can kill somebody and if I'm never caught I'm innocent until legally proven otherwise?

Welcome to reality.
Parent - By Uly (Gold) Date 2020-05-03 05:49
Is this some amoral "do everything you want, hurt everyone you can, just don't be caught" mentality? I can figure why some people are just evil.
Parent - - By sovi (**) Date 2020-04-11 07:13 Edited 2020-04-11 07:23 Upvotes 1
similarity report 2019
Parent - - By sovi (**) Date 2020-05-01 11:26 Edited 2020-05-01 12:22 Upvotes 1
Computerschach: Testaufgaben für Programme (ERET)

Houdini 6 (IPON)

   # PLAYER              : RATING  ERROR     (%)    D(%)  OppAvg   CFS(next)    POINTS       W       D       L  PLAYED
   1 Houdini 6            :   3354     11       82.4%    31.1    3060     100           2719.0    2206    1026      68    3300
   2 Komodo 11.2.2    :   3315     10       78.9%    34.5    3063      99            2604.0    2035    1138     127    3300
   3 Stockfish 8         :   3299     10       77.3%    39.5    3064     100           2551.5    1899    1305      96    3300
   4 Shredder 13        :   3120      8       56.3%    51.1    3076     100           1859.0    1016    1686     598    3300
   5 Fizbo 1.9            :   3070      8       49.6%    42.6    3079      91            1635.5     933    1405     962    3300
   6 Ginkgo 2.0          :   3062      8       48.5%    50.3    3080      83            1599.5     770    1659     871    3300
   7 Gull 3                 :   3056      8       47.7%    47.6    3080     100           1574.0     789    1570     941    3300

Stockfish 9 (IPON)

     PLAYER               :   RATING  ERROR %)       D(%)    OppAvg   CFS(next)  POINTS       W       D       L  PLAYED
   1 Stockfish 9         :   3379     11   83.2%      29.9      3073     100            2744.0    2251     986      63    3300
   2 Houdini 6.02        :   3350     10   80.7%      31.8      3074     100            2663.0    2138    1050     112    3300
   3 Komodo 11.2.2     :   3322     10   78.1%      34.0      3076     100           2577.0    2016    1122     162    3300
   ( Stockfish 8          :   3308      8   77.8%      39.0      3064      86             5821.5    4362    2919     199    7480)
   4 Shredder 13        :   3125      8   55.3%      50.2       3090     100            1823.5     996    1655     649    3300
   5 Fizbo 2               :   3097      8   51.5%      40.9      3091     100            1701.0    1026    1350     924    3300
   6 Ginkgo 2.0          :   3069      8   47.8%       49.9      3093      90             1577.0     754    1646     900    3300
   7 Gull 3                 :   3061      8   46.7%       46.1      3094      96             1542.5     782    1521     997    3300
Parent - By MrKris (***) Date 2020-05-02 05:46
Stockfish DD  ----    Stockfish 9
29 Nov 2013  50 mos.  4 Feb 2018
3235          +197    3432

Komodo TCEC   ----    Komodo 11.3.1
4 Dec 2013   51 mos.  6 Mar 2018
3220          +180    3400 *!?

Houdini 4     ----    Houdini 6
25 Nov 2013  46 mos.  15 Sep 2017
3242          +138    3400 *!?

CCRL 40/15
dates web-search: ' "program version" released ' ;
                Ko 11.3 6mar2018
                3400 (+45 from Ko 10.2, days from Sf 8)  <<
Sf 9 4feb2018
3432 (+52 from Sf 8)  <<

           Ho 6 15sep2017 3400 (+28 from Ho 5, days from Sf 8)  <<

                Ko 11.2 17jul2017 3393
                Ko 11.01 23may2017 3384
                Ko 10.4 14mar2017 3374
                Ko 10.3 20dec2016 3368

           Ho 5 7nov2016  3372      <
Sf 8 1nov2016   Ko 10.2 29oct2016   <
3379            3355                <
                Ko 10 23may2016 3347
                Ko 9.42 21mar2016
Sf 7 2jan2016 
                Ko 9.3 27nov2015 3323 
                Ko 9.2  3326 
                Ko 9.1  3310

                Ko 9 15apr2015
Sf 6 28jan2015
                Ko 8 5sep2014 
Sf 5 31may2014
                Ko 7a 21may2014
                Ko TCEC 4dec2013
Sf DD 29nov2013

           Ho 4 25nov2013 3242
Parent - - By MrKris (***) Date 2020-05-02 07:06

> similarity report 2019

From there:
Parent - - By Peter Grayson (****) Date 2020-04-12 22:59
It may be a big blunder by "MikeB" who has posted this on Github quote,
"In addition, you will find some custom compiled versions of the engine available to all ( allowed under Stockfish's GPL license). "

The engine cannot be made available under the Stockfish GPL because Houdini contains Nalimov code that is Copyright of Nalimov and cannot be released as free to use code under GPL. That is why Stockfish and any other GPL engine cannot use Nalimov code.

Parent - - By MrKris (***) Date 2020-04-16 18:20 Edited 2020-04-16 19:23
Yes, Stockfish has never had Nalimov (I checked Sf 8).

Yet the following:
Project ID: 17720419
The version of Stockfish used by Robert Houdart in Houdini"

has several Nalimov folders, the egtb_nalimov.cpp has lines 60-70:
/* -------------------------------------------------------------------- */
/*                                                                      */
/*              Probe chess endgame database ("tablebase")              */
/*                                                                      */
/*               Copyright (c) 1998--2001 Eugene Nalimov                */
/*                                                                      */
/* The code listed below should not be used in any product (software or */
/* hardware,  commercial or not,  and so on) without written permission */
/* from the author.                                                     */
/*                                                                      */
/* -------------------------------------------------------------------- */ ...


> It may be a big blunder by "MikeB" who has posted this on Github quote,

I am not entirely sure what you meant, but if it is what I was looking at yesterday that is gone today:

Now there is this on TalkChess :
    Posts: 3872 
    Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 
    Location: Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania

Re: Houdini for Android

Post by MikeB » Thu Apr 16, 2020

    daniel71 wrote: ↑
    Thu Apr 16, 2020
    Looks like all the files have been pulled, too bad I didn't download anything in time...

There was an element of risk, and the quickest and easiest way for me to mitigate my risk was to take it down.

It will not be going back up and I will not be responding to any requests.
Parent - By Peter Grayson (****) Date 2020-04-17 10:53 Upvotes 1
There was also copyright compression code in the Nalimov code as well as the Nalimov copyright.

If there is a breach of copyright there is due legal process for the copyright owner(s) that is better than people self appointing themselves as judge and jury.

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