Wisdom is knowing how

   little we know -- Socrates

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Started in 1980, retired in 2004 REBEL was baptized into ProDeo, latin for gratis according to Dutch tradition.

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   Rybka-ICGA fiasco








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Dear chess friend,

Recently Rybka author Vasik Rajlich asked the ICGA for an appeal of his case. It was denied to him as you can read from the email correspondenceI like to steal a little bit of your time and ask you to give your opinion on this matter.


The denial is odd because of a previous case. In the past (the WCCC in Graz 2003) the ICGA banned a suspect program (the LIST program of Fritz Reul) because Reul refused to cooperate in an investigation. Later Reul did cooperate and Reul was reinstated after he handed over his source code to (expert) Dr. Chrilly Donninger who inspected the LIST source code and found it original.


So if Reul was granted an appeal we think Rajlich deserves the same treatment especially now that a sea of contra evidence is available.


We will maintain a list on this page of your vote and / or comments. Your email address will be held strictly confidential and only used for verification purposes in case there is doubt on your identity.

Votes without full name, email address or are abusive in nature will not be taken into consideration.

Thanks so much in advance. 

Ed Schröder 
October, 2013


Poll closed on November 4, 2013


My vote

 I have read the documentation and I think Rajlich deserves an appeal.
 I have read the documentation and I don't think Rajlich deserves an appeal.
I have read the documentation and I am undecided on the issue.


Your name        

Your email        






     Name  Vote  Your comments
 1 Ed Schröder Yes If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? -- Albert Einstein
 2 Graham Banks Yes The right of appeal should be mandatory.
 3 Kevin D Plant Yes From what I have read the ICGA totally mishandled the entire process.
How much of the ICGA so called evidence can also be found in the other participants engines?
 4 Lukas Cimiotti Yes
 5 Nick Carlin Yes I think Vas deserves and appeal but I myself probably wouldn't bother.  Although Levy did what I consider to be an evil thing, appealing his "decision" gives him some kind of authority.  The only way to tackle people like that is in court, but as Levy doesn't really have an assets that is unlikely to be of much compensation to Vas.  I don't think Levy will ever admit to his mistake in a public forum, so the best thing to do is ignore him, in my opinion.
 6 Angelo Estebar Yes Rybka deserves second chance.. :) for me it's original. No one in computer chess world is totally honest so why Vasik Only ?
 7 Joerg Oster Yes The whole investigation and how it started, is at least suspect. Thus the appeal should be granted to Vas.
 8 Mike Kent Yes
 9 Ray Banks Yes
10 Adam Hair Yes I think that a sufficient amount of questions have been raised about the investigation to warrant an appeals process to take place at this time. It has been the motivation and mechanism of the ICGA investigation, as well as actions by certain people involved in the investigation, that has sowed ill will in the computer chess community. A proper appeals process could help mitigate the bad feelings.
11 Thomas Lagershausen Yes Die einzigartige Spielfähigkeit von Rybka beim Thema positionellem Qualitätsopfer sind für mich, als starker Vereinsspieler, evident das Rybka, in großen Teilen, Eigenarbeit ist.
12 Carl Bicknell Yes
13 Robert F. Kamerer Yes
14 Tim Frohlick Yes Long live computer chess!
15 Mohan Jayaraman No Let Vas come clean on the amount of copying done and then an appeal has merit.

Unlike Nelson hernandez I do not believe that Rybka sales has been impacted by the ICGA verdict - the world is hardly moral. Should Rybka 5 top the rating charts then we will see a surge in sales regardless of the controversy - I myself will buy it as a chess player

Also why not Ed ask Richard Vida if he would like to go through the source code and give his comments - i am sure that this will NOT be to anyone's liking in the VII camp.
16 Colm Ó Muireagáin Yes Of course the man deserves an appeal.
17 George Speight Yes
18 Piotr Kasinski Yes "Justice is incidental to law and order." - J. Edgar Hoover
19 Gino Figlio No Unless he provides source code
20 Greg Simpson No
21 Dr. Ron Norris Yes Ed, thank you for your tireless work and efforts to establish some form of justice for Mr. Rajlich.  As I often observe millions around the globe who claim to be Christians, but whose actions are in direct conflict with that ideology, I tend to counter such negative thoughts by remembering your actions and your exceptional helpful attitude toward others.

Kindest regards,  Ron Norris
22 B Culp Yes
23 Jim Massie Yes
24 Joshua Shriver Yes The ability to appeal should be part of the process. Commercial or hobbiest we all put a lot of time into our craft.
25 Axel Schumacher Undecided Vas AND the ICGA failed to handle the case properly, but IMO the main problem is the lack of cooperation by Vas. If he is proactive and open (i.e. provides the source), and only then, he should have the right to appeal. My advice: A third party (not the ICGA) should handle the whole issue. An appeal should logically go to a "higher" court. To go through the whole mess again with the ICGA as a "judge" seems counterproductive.
26 Majd Al Ansari Yes
27 Brian Smith Yes There is enough there to warrant an appeal. Simple. To deny it out of hand sounds suspicious.
28 Arifur Rahman Yes
29 Alfonso Turri Undecided I agree with Axel Schumacher's reasons.

But I think it would be still possible to ICGA to run the appeal, but agreeing with Vas to nominate 3 independent judges. Previous ICGA jugdes could nominate helpers to such new 3 independent ones, to explain their findings and reasons, and Vas (and Ed?) also could counter-explain his position.

But the best way for Vas is to avoid this appeal and just show the 2.2n source code. If the community looks at it, will know the true, and then it wouldn't mind ICGA previous wrong judgement, or Vas lies, or a mix of both.

The only reason I see for Vas to appeal is to avoid returning the trophies and the money prize he won.
30 Aloisio Ponti Lopes Yes Let Vas explain everything and show Rybka's source code to a qualified group of experts, Rybka deserves it.




Copyright ® 2013  Ed Schröder