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Old June 29th 11, 11:08 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Rybka disqualified and banned from ICGA's World Computer Chess Championships

http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/ry...championships/

or

http://tinyurl.com/3wvmd5n
(if wrapping presents problems with the other link)
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Old July 13th 11, 08:49 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Rybka disqualified and banned from ICGA's World Computer ChessChampionships

On 29/06/2011 11:08 PM, Tony M wrote:
http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/ry...championships/

or

http://tinyurl.com/3wvmd5n
(if wrapping presents problems with the other link)


It's a sad comment on this group that the usual drivel continues, and
no-one seems able to comment on this very significant news for computer
chess enthusiasts.

OK - Rajlich should've credited his sources, but he has clearly added
something important, or Rybka would not have beaten the others. It
would have been better to find some other sanction. Disqualification is
unhelpful - the best chess engine should be able to win the WCCC, and
we'll probably end up with rival championships.
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Old July 14th 11, 11:59 AM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Rybka disqualified and banned from ICGA's World Computer ChessChampionships

On 13/07/11 20:49, John Appleyard wrote:
It's a sad comment on this group that the usual drivel continues, and
no-one seems able to comment on this very significant news for
computer chess enthusiasts.


For my part, this was because it seemed to me that there was
nothing to add. Perhaps I was wrong ....

OK - Rajlich should've credited his sources, but he has clearly added
something important, or Rybka would not have beaten the others.


You don't have to add something important to produce a program
that beats "the others". Running the same program on hardware that is
faster or more sympathetic is sufficient. Also, any chess program
includes hundreds of little design decisions and hundreds of tunable
parameters. Just exploring those decisions and tweaking things a
little may result in an improvement. Indeed, it's quite likely that
there are bugs -- typos in the piece-square tables, terms added with
the wrong sign and the like -- which a kind reader would pass back to
the originator and an unscrupulous one would use to create a "better"
program. Of course, it's also possible that something "important" has
been added.

It
would have been better to find some other sanction. Disqualification
is unhelpful - the best chess engine should be able to win the WCCC,
and we'll probably end up with rival championships.


Disagree. Disqualification is the only possible sanction in
such cases. It's not just a matter of "crediting" sources, as though
the author had a momentary lapse and forgot one of his references;
if the findings are correct, there was a deliberate attempt to deny
those sources. That's cheating. There's no discredit in using the
work of others; that's how we make progress. There's a degree of
human fallibility in forgetting how something happened or in having
honest disagreements in who deserves credit. But deliberately and
repeatedly passing off the work of others as your own is a serious
academic offence -- and ICGA is an academic organisation. It's not
possible for ICGA to operate with members who lie and cheat in order
to gain credit, including titles and prizes.

If other organisations don't apply the same standards, that
is sad, but so be it. It would just devalue their titles.

Whether there is ever to be a way back for Rybka is perhaps
another matter. Bit it's much easier to review a ban in the light
of further developments than to toughen up other sanctions which
[perhaps] suggest that the initial offence was not that serious.

--
Andy Walker,
Nottingham.
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Old July 15th 11, 09:02 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Rybka disqualified and banned from ICGA's World Computer Chess Championships

John Appleyard wrote:

snip

OK - Rajlich should've credited his sources, but he has clearly added
something important, or Rybka would not have beaten the others. It
would have been better to find some other sanction.


He cheated; period. Cheaters never win in the long run. It's the way
the universe works; it's like gravity. It needs no explanation or
comment.

His "alleged" advances remain supposition. He could have settled the
matter but choose not to step up. The charges were made and he choose
not to respond. Clearly the ball was and is in his court.

Disqualification is unhelpful - the best chess engine should be able
to win the WCCC, and we'll probably end up with rival championships.


Ethics and standards are always helpful (and usually difficult), the
converse is also true. Cheating's a difficult and unfortunate problem
for both computer and human chess. On the computer side, it seems
reasonable (to me) to require some kind of code inspection as an entry
requirement; as for humans well I don't really want to peer into the
minds of most people even if possible. Based on observed behavior, I'm
guessing it's not a pretty sight. In this case any meaningful
discussion is confounded by his behavior.

Cheating in general is a legit topic but intelligent discussion is not
likely to start with this case. It is telling that the history of
mechanized/computerized chess is basically a story of cheating
interspersed with a few honest ideas. The only reasonable position to
take is skeptical.

FWIW, it's very possible that had he gone another way this whole
matter would not exist. As a hypothetical, claiming that I took
several named (open and available) programs and details about what
parts were reused I could pretty easily satisfy the WCCC. There are NO
totally original (excluding Shannon and Turing) programs and no
acceptable program claims such. Instead, he didn't really give them much
choice.

Bottom line:
Time alone will tell how this all works out.
When you choose a difficult pathway, and then act
surprised at the difficulty you get an appropriate response.

Shrug

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Old July 17th 11, 12:38 AM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Rybka disqualified and banned from ICGA's World Computer ChessChampionships

On 15/07/2011 9:02 PM, stan wrote:
John Appleyard wrote:

snip

OK - Rajlich should've credited his sources, but he has clearly added
something important, or Rybka would not have beaten the others. It
would have been better to find some other sanction.


He cheated; period. Cheaters never win in the long run. It's the way
the universe works; it's like gravity. It needs no explanation or
comment.


As Keynes said, noone wins in the long run. In the long run we are all
dead.

His "alleged" advances remain supposition.


Actually, it appears that noone is denying that Rybka was the best chess
engine. The problem is that Rajlich used the work of other people
without crediting them. The same could be said about Crick & Watson's
discovery of the structure of DNA, but we don't deny that discovery.

In sport, disqualification is the right sanction for drug cheats. It
would be right for Rajlich if he used some subterfuge to make Rybka
appear better than it really was - for example, a human assistant, or
undeclared computing power. The hidden agenda is that chess wants to be
treated as a sport, so, whether it makes sense or not, it has to behave
like one when cheating is discovered.

The downside of disqualification from future competitions is that the
question will always remain - "was the winner really the best?" We'd
probably end with rival versions of the world championship - something
chess knows all about. I think that it's fine to revoke all Rybka's
previous results, and even to ban Rajlich himself, but I'd allow Rybka
to compete in future competitions - possibly operated by a nominee of
the organisers.


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Old July 18th 11, 12:31 AM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Rybka disqualified and banned from ICGA's World Computer Chess Championships

John Appleyard wrote:
On 15/07/2011 9:02 PM, stan wrote:
John Appleyard wrote:


snip

His "alleged" advances remain supposition.


Actually, it appears that noone is denying that Rybka was the best chess
engine. The problem is that Rajlich used the work of other people
without crediting them. The same could be said about Crick & Watson's
discovery of the structure of DNA, but we don't deny that discovery.


You are discussing the word "advances" the issue is the word
"his". The program is good but when charges were presented that the
program was not his work he choose to not respond. His suspension
reflects his behavior, not the performance of the program. the
advances may be real, but the credit is not clearly his; the evidence
is pretty damming.

In sport, disqualification is the right sanction for drug cheats. It
would be right for Rajlich if he used some subterfuge to make Rybka
appear better than it really was - for example, a human assistant, or
undeclared computing power. The hidden agenda is that chess wants to be
treated as a sport, so, whether it makes sense or not, it has to behave
like one when cheating is discovered.


He is suspended because he showed up at an event with a program he
claimed he wrote, and participated under that pretense. After
examination it turns out his bat was corked with the work of
others. We're not talking about copying ideas like min-max, we're
talking about a large body of very specific sections of code.

The downside of disqualification from future competitions is that the
question will always remain - "was the winner really the best?" We'd
probably end with rival versions of the world championship - something
chess knows all about. I think that it's fine to revoke all Rybka's
previous results, and even to ban Rajlich himself, but I'd allow Rybka
to compete in future competitions - possibly operated by a nominee of
the organisers.


If the code is properly credited that may be possible, but again the
ball is squarely in his court. I can't see any possible WCC future for
Rybka without a direct code examination by WCC and clarification /
credit of sources. I can't imagine an outcome where he would be
allowed to return and I don't see any incentive for him to clear
things up now; he wasn't motivated before.

The hypothetical alternate championship would have to be basically a
no questions asked and no holds barred affair. In other words inviting
cheaters to compete in a no rules event; that can't end well.

On the one hand you claim chess needs to behave like a sport to be
accepted as a sport but then you seem to be saying the opposite. From
a sporting POV letting Rybka compete or setting up an alternate
championship would be like holding track event for the steroid crowd
because we want to find the fastest runner period. To be a credible
sport the only choice is to draw lines and color only inside.

If chess can't drum up enthusiasm and support WITH ethical standards,
how much would things improve without them?

The real downside would be letting things like Rybka prove a
disincentive to legitimate developers who are actually responsible for
the advances being stolen. Time alone will tell the future of
tournaments and the art itself.
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