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ThinkingALot, (V. Demichev)
a Russian chess programmer, and proponent of open source and not reinventing the wheel. He is author Grapefruit, which is based on Toga and Fruit [1] and therefore licensed under the GPL, and GullChess (Gull), which is in the public domain. He published his programs and source under the pseudonym ThinkingALot. In computer chess forums, he appears as competent and knowledgeable interlocutor, and courageously represents his opinion. His fair-minded and unselfish stance is appreciated, but there seems a dissent about the concepts of sharing ideas or algorithms with pseudo code, versus sharing concrete code - other than low level snippets like BitScan, Population Count or Magic Bitboards with a deterministic one to one input-output relationship, and about affecting competition and commercial interests in computer chess.

Ideas vs Code

ThinkingALot on sharing ideas and code [2]:

Someone came up with the idea of null move. Someone came up with the idea of lmr. Someone was first to implement razoring. Someone invented magic bitboards. Someone suggested using SEE for move ordering. Someone is the author of the killer heuristic. The list is huge... Every strong contemporary engine employs pretty much of other people's ideas. Some engines do not contain anything unique at all. It's perfectly normal and it's one of the points of open source. Sharing code allows better programs to appear. 

Public Domain

ThinkingALot on public domain [3]:

 ... Moreover, I believe that when someone releases an engine as a public domain project it's a kind of invitation "feel free to improve it and make it commercial"! Since nothing prevented the original authors to place a restriction on commercial use of their code. 


ThinkingALot on Houdini [4]

Looks like you are actually implying that Robbo authors are just idiots which didn't realize what they were doing when they released Robbo as a public domain engine. I don't think so. And I'm pretty sure they knew that a strong commercial engine based on Robbo was likely to appear. So there's nothing wrong with Houdini now. 

Forum Posts



Re: Improve IvanHoe? by ThinkingALot, OpenChess Forum, July 02, 2011
Re: Houdini 2 by ThinkingALot, OpenChess Forum, September 05, 2011
Re: Houdini 2 by ThinkingALot, OpenChess Forum, September 08, 2011
Re: Houdini 2 by ThinkingALot, OpenChess Forum, September 12, 2011

2012 ...

External Links


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