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Robert Houdart,
a Belgian computer scientist, professional software developer, amateur astronomer [1] , former chess player [2] , and author of the super strong computer chess engine Houdini, which appeared in 2010 as closed source engine, free for non-commercial use, and leading the IPON rating list by Ingo Bauer [3] (January, 2011) [4] . In October 2011 with the release of Houdini 2, Robert Houdart has become professional chess programmer [5] .
Robert Houdart [6]

Houdini's Origin


Robert Houdart on the origins of Houdini in CCC, June 08, 2010 [7]
From the start I have very clearly acknowledged the different sources of inspiration for Houdini (Ippo/Robbo, Stockfish and Crafty) and have shown every respect for the hard work of others, be it on my web site, in the readme file, or in this forum...

Houdini and the Ippo family have lots of high-level similarities, but zillions of low-level subtle differences.

Claims have been made that I "just changed a couple of resource strings", "made a cheap compile" or "grabbed some free code", but, in truth, none of you have any clue about the effort that was invested in Houdini.

It is funny that I would not be called a "real" chess engine author, when I am both a professional software developer and a reasonably strong chess player (peak 2280 rating), who has been writing chess engines for over 25 years now in a variety of programming languages.

It is sad that on the one hand you request that everybody demonstrates respect for the hard work of others, but on the other hand you seem to be unable to extend the same courtesy (or even the benefit of the doubt) to Houdini.

Strelka 5

Robert Houdart on Strelka 5 [8]
Strelka 5 is Houdini 1.5 RE, not Houdini 2. I share your fears, any #1 engine will be RE'd in a matter of months. For Houdini 1.5 it's taken about 6 months.

reply by Richard Vida [9]
You mean 6 months until Strelka has been released to public. You do not know how much time did Yuri Osipov spent on RE, neither when he did start his RE project. For me it took barely one week. As Milos S. pointed out [10] , you made RE very very easy because of starting your project from RobboLito codebase... Personally I see no problem with that (other than you not telling the truth).

Forum Posts

External Links


  1. ^ Design and Construction of the 110 cm Cruxis Telescope
  2. ^ Robert Houdart chess games - 365Chess.com
  3. ^ IPON-Rating-List by Ingo Bauer
  4. ^ Xadrez Gaúcho - 2011-ColunaNatan-Março
  5. ^ Houdini 2 is released by Robert Houdart, CCC, September 02, 2011
  6. ^ Houdini: Flickr Album by Jan Lagrain, Schaakfabriek.be
  7. ^ Re: Purpose of Chess Engine Origins forum is...? by Robert Houdart, CCC (Computer Chess Club: Engine Origins, requires registration), June 08, 2010 in a reply to Jeremy Bernstein
  8. ^ Re: Komodo 4 on long time control by Robert Houdart, CCC, December 04, 2011
  9. ^ Re: Komodo 4 on long time control by Richard Vida, CCC, December 04, 2011
  10. ^ Re: Lazy eval - test results by Milos Stanisavljevic, CCC, December 01, 2011
  11. ^ Houdini with 1:1 Robbolito-code? by Dr. Alexander Schmidt, CCC, October 12, 2011
  12. ^ Re: Houdini with 1:1 Robbolito-code? by Norman Schmidt, CCC, October 12, 2011
  13. ^ "Carlsen würde mit 2:8 verlieren", ChessBase.de, November 20, 2013 (German)
  14. ^ Magnus Carlsen from Wikipedia
  15. ^ World Chess Championship 2013 - Wikipedia

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