Chrilly Donninger

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Chrilly Donninger [1]

Christian (Chrilly) Donninger,
an Austrian computer scientist, statistician and professional computer chess, games and trading optimization programmer. He holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Statistics from Vienna University of Technology [2] [3] and worked at Institute of Advanced Studies, Vienna and Siemens, until he became freelance chess programmer in 1993. Chrilly is author and co-author of various chess programs, most notably Nimzo and the FPGA chess entity Hydra under the patronage of the Pal Group of Companies [4] and Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan [5] [6] of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, discontinued in 2006 [7], while Chrilly continued programming on the game theory related topic of bank trading optimization software for stock-markets [8]. Since 2007 he is chief scientist for the Sibyl financial project of PAL group, and maintains the Sibyl Godot Finance Server along with Steffen Jakob [9]. Besides, since 2010, Chrilly is lecturer in Quantitative Finance at the University of Jena [10].

Chrilly's Programs

Null Move

In 1993 Chrilly Donninger published the famous Null Move paper in the ICCA Journal [12] and made Null Move popular to a great audience of computer chess researchers and programmers. Since then, also due to the concrete implementation in pseudo C, Null Move became standard in modern chess programs.


Donninger developed the Auto232 protocol [13] [14] not only to interface with the external Chess 232 Board to make playing PC programs a dedicated experience, but to play automatic matches between different computers via the serial RS-232 communication ports. The Interface software was able to "hook" the input and output of various commercial PC chess programs. With the advent and wider distribution of the standardized computer chess protocols such as the Chess Engine Communication Protocol and the Universal Chess Interface, supported by graphical user interfaces as well as chess programs, Auto232 became more and more obsolete.


Chrilly introduced a Graphical Language for Expressing Chess Knowledge in Nimzo, CHE [15] [16], which was apparently used as a root-preprocessor [17]. Time Management issues were also on Chrilly's track [18] [19] .


Nimzo Guernica [20] was Donninger's first program, a manifest of Chrilly's Anti-war engagement.


Chrilly Donninger had strong objections and repugnance against the Iraq War, which began on March 20, 2003 with the United States-led invasion. His pacifism in conjunction with counter Americanism was justified by the traumatic experience of his father during World War II in Austria. Chrilly, at the same time somehow related with hosting of the upcoming Graz WCCC 2003 event, emotionally overacted and sent hatred e-mails to American computer chess programmers, which led to a boycott of the WCCC by those programmers and others, most notably by Bruce Moreland [21] . Chrilly later apologized, but the hurt was already too big.


Chrilly is regularly column writer in the German chess magazines KARL [22] and Kaissiber [23] . He also wrote for Modul, PC Schach, Computerschach und Spiele [24] and the ICGA Journal.

Selected Publications

1987 ...

1990 ...

2000 ...

2020 ...

Forum Posts

Re: I know something of Dr.Donninger by Chrilly Donninger, Hiarcs Forum, October 11, 2007 » CHE
Re: I know something of Dr.Donninger by Harvey Williamson, Hiarcs Forum, October 16, 2007 » Hydra, Rybka [26]

External Links

Sibyl Godot: Finance Server - Chrilly Donninger


  1. from the Photo Composition of the Participants, DOCCC 1999, Dutch Open Computer Chess Championship 1999 old CSVN site
  2. Chrilly Donninger (1987). Mathematische, statistische und computergestützte Methoden der Netzwerkanalyse. (Mathematical, statistical and programming methods for the Analysis of networks), Ph.D. thesis, Vienna University of Technology
  3. TU Vienna mentioned in Curriculum Vitae - Christian "Chrilly" Donninger (pdf)
  4. Pal Group of Companies
  5. Al Nahyan family from Wikipedia
  6. First Gulf Bank - Key people - Vice-Chairman - Wikipedia
  7. Hydra (chess) from Wikipedia
  8. Das Programm der Langen Nacht der Wissenschaft - STERNSTUNDEN. Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften Jena 25.11.2011 (German)
  9. Sibyl Godot Finance Server by Chrilly Donninger and Steffen Jakob
  10. Curriculum Vitae - Christian "Chrilly" Donninger (pdf)
  11. Re: Another qBASIC Chess program -Dieter Steinwender (in english+comment by Tony Worsman, CCC, February 24, 2003
  12. Chrilly Donninger (1993). Null Move and Deep Search: Selective-Search Heuristics for Obtuse Chess Programs. ICCA Journal, Vol. 16, No. 3
  13. AUTO232.TXT - Technische Spezifikation des 232-Protokolls (German) by Harald Faber, rgcc, January 08, 1997
  14. Auto232 player - Auto232 and Winboard by Aaron Tay, hosted by Ron Murawski
  15. Chrilly Donninger (1996). CHE: A Graphical Language for Expressing Chess Knowledge. ICCA Journal, Vol. 19, No. 4
  16. CHE docs in English / Nimzo 3 version by Mike S., CCC, November 22, 2001
  17. Re: I know something of Dr.Donninger by Chrilly Donninger, Hiarcs Forum, October 11, 2007
  18. Chrilly Donninger (1994). A la Recherche du Temps Perdu: 'That was easy' . ICCA Journal, Vol. 17, No. 1
  19. Ingo Althöfer, Chrilly Donninger, Ulf Lorenz, Valentin Rottmann (1994). On Timing, Permanent Brain and Human Intervention. Advances in Computer Chess 7
  20. Guernica from Wikipedia
  21. Why I am not going to the Graz WCCC by Bruce Moreland, CCC, April 01, 2003
  22. KARL das kulturelle Schachmagazin (German)
  23. Kaissiber Info in English
  24. Dr. Christian Donninger - Computerschach und Spiele Author profile
  25. Dr. Christian Donninger "vulgo Chrilly"s Rezension von Web Data Mining: Exploring Hyperlinks, Contents, and Usage Data
  26. quoted with the kind permission of Chrilly and Enir » Hydra, Rybka

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