What was the top Chess engine before it was Stockfish, Komodo or Houdini?

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Sergio Martinez
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Re: What was the top Chess engine before it was Stockfish, Komodo or Houdini?

Post by Sergio Martinez » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:39 am

I remember when Ruffian appeared in the Leo Dijksman tournaments.

For me (and I think for everyone in general) it was an "impact", he won his tournament very easily, something that had not happened before, at least that's how I experienced it. If I remember correctly, the version of Ruffian was 0.7.6 (or something like that), it was a private version that I think some beta testers had but it was not made public, which I regretted because I've always been a Ruffian fan. .

Until then most of the engines had a progression (no very strong engines appeared out of nowhere) and that's why, as I say, for me, it was a shocking appearance, since that first version that I saw in the Leo Dijksman tournament was very very strong.

Nowadays, with all the sources that are available to see, the strange thing is to see a new engine that does not have a very high level or that improves little by little, but at that time (before Rybka appeared) it was not normal to see this.
Member of the CCRL Group. Write me if you want I test your engine.

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Re: What was the top Chess engine before it was Stockfish, Komodo or Houdini?

Post by Vinvin » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:17 am

Eelco de Groot wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:29 pm
A nice list for sure, but where is Kaissa and where is Sargon from Dan and Kathe Spracklen (1978 Winner of the West Coast Computer Fair)?
Here a tournament on a Commodore 64 with old engines : http://talkchess.com/forum3/viewtopic.p ... 62#p517062
A rating list with a lot of old engines ("rating" tab) : https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... #gid=54716
Historical Information about a lot of engines here : https://www.chessprogramming.org/Engines

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Re: What was the top Chess engine before it was Stockfish, Komodo or Houdini?

Post by Colin-G » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:46 am

Spike 1.2 was top of my rating list in 2007

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Ozymandias
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Re: What was the top Chess engine before it was Stockfish, Komodo or Houdini?

Post by Ozymandias » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:51 pm

Uri Blass wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:14 am
yurikvelo wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:36 am
Eelco de Groot wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:29 pm
A nice list for sure, but where is Kaissa and where is Sargon
For full story, one must admit, that before ~2006 there were 2 chess engine universes:
1) supercomputers
2) home computers (before IBM PC - called "microcomputers")

Supercomputers were owned and operated by big companies, played a few games and were not available to public - neither software nor access to run hardware. And they dominated up to Hydra, up to 2006.

Advances both in software (Fruit, Junior, Shredder and Fritz) and hardware (dual-core Pentium arrived in May 2005, DDR2 memory arrived in 20003, 3 GHz broken late 2002 etc) enabled home computers to beat supercomputers.

In Feb 2005 Hydra humiliated any competitors (+7 =2 -0), including Shredder and easily won PAL/CSS both in June 2005 and April 2006.
Hydra still defeated Rybka in april 2006, but later in 2006 PC-rivals become stronger and stronger (mainly Rybka) so it was obvious that "supercomputer era is over". Playing strength of Rybka skyrocketed due to advances in algos.
Intel moved to 64 bit (2004), DDR3 (2007), Core 2 architecture (2006), first Quad-core for home (November 2006 - Kenstfield) - Rybka moved to x64 (2007) and to Deep (SMP).
Fast home computers enabled engine developers to run statistically meaningfull self-play for debug and fine tuning, which in turn sky-rocketed engine strength.
I think that super computers are not relevant for this discussion that is about engines and not about the best chess machine.
Even if it were relevant, the data about the PAL/CSS Freestyle Tournament, isn't correct; this is what actually happened in the first edition (6/19/2005):
The PAL/CSS Freestyle Tournament, which was held on the Playchess.com server, ended today with the finals and the match for third place. Three grandmasters, working very efficiently with support from computers and human colleagues, had eliminated all opponents of the predominantly computer kind. With one exception: dark horse ZackS with no GMs or even titled players, had made it all the way from the qualifier (required for non-titled players) all the way to the finals, leaving even the giant Hydra machines in its wake.

The result of the final was a real shocker: ZackS defeated 14-year-old Russian GM Vladimir Dobrov, working together with a 2600+ colleague (and of course computers) convincingly with a 2.5:1.5 score. A full report on both sides will follow. For now we just note that ZackS consisted of a team of two players from New Hampshire: Steven Cramton, 1685 USCF and Zackary Stephen, 1398 USCF. They used three computers for the event, an AMD 3200+, a 2.8 MHz and a 1.6 MHz Pentium. The ZackS team used the chess engines Fritz, Shredder, Junior and Chess Tiger – no GMs or IMs were involved.

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Re: What was the top Chess engine before it was Stockfish, Komodo or Houdini?

Post by Jouni » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:04 pm

My brave prediction: there will NEVER be stronger AB/cpu engine than Stockfish!
Jouni

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Re: What was the top Chess engine before it was Stockfish, Komodo or Houdini?

Post by Dann Corbit » Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:20 pm

Uri Blass wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:14 am
{snip}
I think that super computers are not relevant for this discussion that is about engines and not about the best chess machine.
On the other hand, supercomputers are now available for a reasonable price.

I bought a 64 core machine for about $700 and a 128 core (actually 4x32) for $1700.

And the 7 nano-meter AMD stuff will be out in early 2019. I think that for a hobbyist who is a little crazy, it might be possible to get deep blue numbers on a dual AMD 128 core device.

Actually, Bojun Guo already did that. But his budget is a lot bigger than most, I imagine.
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Re: What was the top Chess engine before it was Stockfish, Komodo or Houdini?

Post by S.Taylor » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:16 pm

JohnW wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:57 pm
Just curious if anyone happens to know..
Before the scandalous ones it was rybka. Nothing could approoach the versions.
Before that were fruit derivatives, before that was shredder, before that, hiarcs had a long rule.
Chessmaster 6 had a short reign, but genius 3 had a very long reign. It was the completion of richard langs and psion legacy.

Mephisto was very hyped, but I'm not sure it was what it was hyped to be.

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Re: What was the top Chess engine before it was Stockfish, Komodo or Houdini?

Post by MikeB » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:09 am

S.Taylor wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:16 pm
JohnW wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:57 pm
Just curious if anyone happens to know..
Before the scandalous ones it was rybka. Nothing could approoach the versions.
Before that were fruit derivatives, before that was shredder, before that, hiarcs had a long rule.
Chessmaster 6 had a short reign, but genius 3 had a very long reign. It was the completion of richard langs and psion legacy.

Mephisto was very hyped, but I'm not sure it was what it was hyped to be.
At one point, the dedicated machines ( and particularly many of the Mephisto units , with others, TASC etc)) were stronger than any engine on any consumer PC. That changed with the 100 Mhz Pentium CPUs and the release of Chess Genius for the PC.

Just to be clear , since the Intel brand "Pentium" is still used today, it was this CPU that allowed home computers to be stronger than dedicated machines with the PC release of Genius 2.
https://ark.intel.com/products/49954 Released March 7, 1994.

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Re: What was the top Chess engine before it was Stockfish, Komodo or Houdini?

Post by Milos » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:15 pm

MikeB wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:09 am
S.Taylor wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:16 pm
JohnW wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:57 pm
Just curious if anyone happens to know..
Before the scandalous ones it was rybka. Nothing could approoach the versions.
Before that were fruit derivatives, before that was shredder, before that, hiarcs had a long rule.
Chessmaster 6 had a short reign, but genius 3 had a very long reign. It was the completion of richard langs and psion legacy.

Mephisto was very hyped, but I'm not sure it was what it was hyped to be.
At one point, the dedicated machines ( and particularly many of the Mephisto units , with others, TASC etc)) were stronger than any engine on any consumer PC. That changed with the 100 Mhz Pentium CPUs and the release of Chess Genius for the PC.

Just to be clear , since the Intel brand "Pentium" is still used today, it was this CPU that allowed home computers to be stronger than dedicated machines with the PC release of Genius 2.
https://ark.intel.com/products/49954 Released March 7, 1994.
Yes Genius 2 on Pentium beat Kasparov in summer 1994, but even on 486 Genius 2 was stronger than any dedicated machine.

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Re: What was the top Chess engine before it was Stockfish, Komodo or Houdini?

Post by Henrik Dinesen » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:19 pm

yurikvelo wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:13 pm
1956-1958 MANIAC I - Tube supercomputer: Could play by rules, in rare ocassion could win newbie

1966 Mac Hack - "Multi-Level Access Computer" or "Machine-Aided Cognition" - transistor supercomputer PDP-6 by DEC company: participate in tournament against humans, won newbie, assigned Elo=1243

1966 Mac Hack VI: won human player with 1510 Elo in tournament

1976 Chess x.x - CPU IC supercomputer by Control Data Corporation CDC Cyber: won tournament, assigned elo=1722

1977 Chess 4.6: first win against 2000+, assigned elo = 2040
1981 Cray Blitz supercomputer, first win against master (elo=2262) in tournament. assigned elo=2258

1988 HiTech supercomputer: first win against IM (2845) in tournament. assigned elo=2300+

1989 Deep Thought, IBM supercomputer, first win against GM (Bent Larsen), in tournament. assigned elo=2745

1990 HiTech supercomputer. First time in a 5 years of tournament "Human vs machines" machine won a game

1994 Chess Genius, first win against wolrd champion (Kasparov) in a blitz, elo=2795. First serious success on a home computer (Intel Pentium)

1995 HIARCS, supercomputer. First time in a 10 years of tournament "Human vs machines" machine won a tournament

1996 Deep Blue, dedicated (FPGA) IBM supercomputer - first game win over world champion (Kasparov)

1997 Deep Blue, dedicated (FPGA) IBM supercomputer - defeated world champion (Kasparov) in 6 game match

1998 Rebel - win over vice-champion in a 6 game match (Anand) using Intel Pentium PC

2004 Fritz 8, and Deep Junior on dedicated chess processor Hydra - win tournament against team of FIDE former world champions

2006 Rebel - win over world champion (Kramnik) in a 6 game match using Intel Pentium PC

2009 - Hiarcs and Pocket Fritz win a tournament using single core ARM processor @ 500 MHz (20 000 nodes/second)

2000-2005: Shredder, Fritz era
December 2005 - February 2011 - Rybka total domination

2011-2018 - Houdini/Komodo/Stockfish era

1997-2013 - Junior domination in Special Olympics (ICGA WC)
People seem to forget how Fruit 2 and 2.1 impressed when being superior to Shredder 9 in 2005 up till the arrival Rybka in December the same year. Maybe it was a short period - app. 8 months, but this forum was all hot about Fruit then.
Henrik

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