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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Is FatFritz ethically doubtful? (Read 5050 times)
Seeley
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #40 - 03/01/21 at 13:02:17
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@ an ordinary chessplayer - You're absolutely right. I'm not defending or justifying it, simply explaining why, to my mind, so much chess journalism is toothless and anodyne.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #39 - 03/01/21 at 07:34:45
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Seeley wrote on 02/28/21 at 23:24:01:
I think the explanation for this gulf between true reality and the reality represented in British chess journalism was that, on the chess scene, where everyone knew everyone else, no writer wanted to upset anybody for fear of the consequences it might have for that writer personally or professionally down the line, or perhaps they didn't want to malign someone they already had a personal or professional connection with.

That strategy of not wanting to upset anybody will only work as long as all crimes are victimless.
  
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Seeley
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #38 - 02/28/21 at 23:24:01
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 02/28/21 at 21:49:58:
I assumed it was journalism, maybe they would disclaim that.

The chess world is a small one, and I think this has a considerable impact on what passes for journalism within it. As a child in the UK, I used to read the two British chess periodicals and marvel at what a friendly, harmonious and controversy-free environment the chess scene was. Of course, as I grew up I realised this wasn't entirely how things were. I think the explanation for this gulf between true reality and the reality represented in British chess journalism was that, on the chess scene, where everyone knew everyone else, no writer wanted to upset anybody for fear of the consequences it might have for that writer personally or professionally down the line, or perhaps they didn't want to malign someone they already had a personal or professional connection with. Although the global chess scene is obviously much larger than the British one, it is still small enough for the same principles to apply. There may be reasons why some people don't want to upset certain other people, and this will affect what they write about each other.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #37 - 02/28/21 at 21:49:58
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@Seeley - Good point. Perhaps not fair of me to duck the issue and then complain they did it. It depends on whether they are journalists or not. I assumed it was journalism, maybe they would disclaim that.
  
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Seeley
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #36 - 02/28/21 at 21:15:08
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 02/28/21 at 19:15:15:
ReneDescartes wrote on 02/28/21 at 17:26:51:
It's nakedly obvious what Silver is.

It's not nakedly obvious to chess.com.


I'm not convinced it's really possible to tell that from the article. I suspect that chess.com want to avoid provoking legal action just as much as you do, and if Chessbase were minded to go down that route, they'd be more likely to take aim at a widely read and influential voice in the chess world than at an anonymous individual on a small forum. The content of a piece like that will surely have needed approval from people higher up the tree at chess.com than the journalist himself - perhaps even from a lawyer - and what was originally written in the article might well have been carefully edited to sidestep any risk of committing a libel.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #35 - 02/28/21 at 19:15:15
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ReneDescartes wrote on 02/28/21 at 17:26:51:
It's nakedly obvious what Silver is.

It's not nakedly obvious to chess.com.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #34 - 02/28/21 at 18:48:47
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Basically I was trying to say the chess.com article is somewhat less than hard-hitting, without shouting to make the point.

Whether someone might sue me and whether they will sue me are of course two different questions. But it would be ironic for me to say something potentially libelous because I expect to get away with it, in a thread with "ethically" in the title. There's also the issue that calling the lawyers is a bit of a hurdle, but once they are activated it's not much work at all for them to rope in additional defendants on the paperwork.

A different point is: If it's a corporation or organization I have fewer qualms about stating some facts; whereas if it's a named individual I am much more cautious. This is probably inconsistent on my part because the corporation is more likely to sue me than the individual. But ethically it makes some sense, to the extent that lawful and ethical actions intersect.
  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #33 - 02/28/21 at 17:26:51
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It's totally reasonable to be restrained, especially since international libel laws are very different from the American laws, where the plaintiff has to prove ill intent. Pointing out something bad about Silver in this forum that was omitted in the chess.com article is hardly going to enlighten anyone. It's nakedly obvious what Silver is.
  
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Confused_by_Theory
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #32 - 02/28/21 at 13:47:52
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Hi.

I am somewhat intrigued what would lead to such reasoning; especially if it's related strictly to whatever information you don't want to put out there. Fair enough though.

It should be said that a lawsuit out of the blue against someone commenting without obvious ill intent on a relatively smallish internet site seems incredibly improbable and even after that some more very improbable things would have to happen before any legal process would even be possible; not to mention have a chance of success.

Have a nice day.

  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #31 - 02/28/21 at 03:23:52
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I am purposely being non-specific because I predict at some point lawyers will be involved, and I would rather not need one myself. But you can start by looking for the places where Silver said honest/honestly.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #30 - 02/28/21 at 01:59:23
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Hi.

an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 02/27/21 at 23:56:29:
I expect most people have made up their minds already. ChessBase neither understands nor cares about the GPL and is not going to change, that was made clear. I didn't learn a shred of new information from the chess.com article, and there is some I knew before that's missing. Such missing information made me actively upset with some of chess.com's narrative descriptions in the article. As in, that's not the way it happened. Silver uses "honest" / "honestly" at the most inappropriate times. When journalists get unsatisfactory answers, they are supposed to ask ever tougher questions. But chess.com appears to want everybody to hug and say all is fine.

Would you mind being a little more specific? I don't find it easy to follow.

What would that missing information be? Where is chess.com's narrative wrong? At what point should Silver have been more thoroughly questioned?

Have a nice day.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #29 - 02/27/21 at 23:56:29
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I expect most people have made up their minds already. ChessBase neither understands nor cares about the GPL and is not going to change, that was made clear. I didn't learn a shred of new information from the chess.com article, and there is some I knew before that's missing. Such missing information made me actively upset with some of chess.com's narrative descriptions in the article. As in, that's not the way it happened. Silver uses "honest" / "honestly" at the most inappropriate times. When journalists get unsatisfactory answers, they are supposed to ask ever tougher questions. But chess.com appears to want everybody to hug and say all is fine.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #28 - 02/27/21 at 21:21:17
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Hi.

trw wrote on 02/27/21 at 17:01:45:

This article seems well written to me. It includes quite detailed account of where the differences in viewpoints lie. Well worth a read.

Have a nice day.

P.S. there is also a chessbase article from a week ago that I am quite surprised has not been linked here yet:
https://en.chessbase.com/post/how-a-neural-network-is-made
  
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trw
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #27 - 02/27/21 at 17:01:45
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #26 - 02/23/21 at 11:08:22
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trw wrote on 02/21/21 at 20:38:04:
Chessbase survives not because they GOOD at ANYTHING but because they're the only product on the market that meets the bare minimum. So they can continue to be assholes to everyone until someone wants to compete with them. The problem is chess has never really had enough money to interest competitors.


This will lead off-topic. Maybe you open a new one if you're interested in telling what your view of bare minimum is.

For me it is giving a database of master games, editing own dbs, making analysis possible.
  

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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #25 - 02/21/21 at 20:38:04
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I would say it is unethical given SF has a freaking blog post on it... https://blog.stockfishchess.org/post/643239805544792064/statement-on-fat-fritz-2...

Also, I saw three different chess related groups I am in raising money to sue Chessbase over this. I am not lawyer and have no idea if they have a case. However, I shared the threads with two chess lawyers I know who said that it had merit.

As for chessbase itself, I've always felt it was clunky, old, poor ui, overpriced, the world's worst customer service (on the level of comcast) and a website that makes a person wish for hell instead. But what are these competitors you speak of? Certainly not SCID? Chessbase survives not because they GOOD at ANYTHING but because they're the only product on the market that meets the bare minimum. So they can continue to be assholes to everyone until someone wants to compete with them. The problem is chess has never really had enough money to interest competitors.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #24 - 02/21/21 at 02:57:45
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Link for SF13 for you:
https://stockfishchess.org/download/

  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #23 - 02/21/21 at 02:47:27
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Good news -- Stockfish 13 is released, significantly stronger than Stockfish 12, rendering  FatFritz2 an outdated clone.
« Last Edit: 02/21/21 at 14:56:51 by ReneDescartes »  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #22 - 02/19/21 at 07:42:25
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This from lichess:

https://lichess.org/blog/YCvy7xMAACIA8007/fat-fritz-2-is-a-rip-off?fbclid=IwAR1i...

The suggestion there is that Albert Silver is knowingly entirely dishonest in his claims for Fat Fritz 2.

And has been systematically dishonest through the whole time of Fat Fritz and Fat Fritz 2.

And that Chessbase are too. That saddens me.

  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #21 - 02/18/21 at 21:03:22
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ReneDescartes wrote on 02/18/21 at 17:50:35:
IsaVulpes wrote on 02/17/21 at 02:56:38:
Everything about ChessBase is a joke. A company stuck in 1995, passed left and right by "upstarts", that now tries to save itself from the onslaught of modern chess tools by selling stolen content.

I like, and still sometimes buy, their flagship products Chessbase, Megabase with its annotated games, and the Fritz GUI and its graphics, playing, and training options. What upstart products take the place of these? Online-only subscription services? In the long run, those are more expensive.


If you don't need (additional) annotaded games the game service from ChessAssistan is much cheaper. 20€ iirc. In case you have chesspublishing this should be sufficient. A friend of mine, Elo 2100 comes along with TWIC.
  

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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #20 - 02/18/21 at 18:58:14
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IsaVulpes wrote on 02/17/21 at 02:56:38:
Everything about ChessBase is a joke. A company stuck in 1995, passed left and right by "upstarts", that now tries to save itself from the onslaught of modern chess tools by selling stolen content.


With my IT skills being pretty limited I have always found the Chessbase staff to be extremely patient and helpful so I'm a little bewildered by the "passed left and right by upstarts" comment. That has certainly not been my experience and lord knows I have hounded them enough for help over the years.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #19 - 02/18/21 at 17:50:35
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IsaVulpes wrote on 02/17/21 at 02:56:38:
Everything about ChessBase is a joke. A company stuck in 1995, passed left and right by "upstarts", that now tries to save itself from the onslaught of modern chess tools by selling stolen content.

I like, and still sometimes buy, their flagship products Chessbase, Megabase with its annotated games, and the Fritz GUI and its graphics, playing, and training options. What upstart products take the place of these? Online-only subscription services? In the long run, those are more expensive.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #18 - 02/17/21 at 16:27:48
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I have used Google a bit and read slightly odd thing that the version of the net that is on Github are weaker than the version of the net in the commercial product....
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #17 - 02/17/21 at 13:16:55
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Fat Fritz 2.0 box has written in very smal text on the back (with risk that I make som manual typos, missed some word or read som word wrong).

"Fat Fritz 2.0 is an original neural network that is powered by a modifed version of Stockfish. Stockfish is an open-source project licenced through the GPL v3 with all due rights. The source code of Stockfish and the modifications for Fat Fritz 2.0 can be found  on Github."
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #16 - 02/17/21 at 04:25:04
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I don't think "everything" about ChessBase is a joke. ChessBase is not only (Fat)Fritz. They do some things right, but also they are making some obvious and serious mistakes. Also, I am not a lawyer (standard disclaimer), but it's not clear to me the net has to be released at all. Something for knowledgeable people to explain. I have to wonder who is making the decisions about Fritz, and Houdini (news to me), but it's all the same "department". Maybe it's simple ignorance, maybe it's getting bad advice, maybe whatever. The somebody inside ChessBase with the final say should know better.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #15 - 02/17/21 at 03:32:02
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Hi.

Confused_by_Theory wrote on 02/15/21 at 16:18:11:
This should be in computer chess.
Jupp53 wrote on 02/16/21 at 12:21:39:
No. There's a topic about the technical details in the computer chess section. This is about the ethical behaviour of the chessbase managers. FatFritz is only an example.

That's fine. To my mind naming the tread something with Chessbase and having a clarification in the opening post about thread purpose would be good practice here though.

I.e. we have this other thread about the program Fat Fritz 2 (link) but here let's discuss Chessbase ethics and business practices because reasons why we need new thread.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #14 - 02/17/21 at 02:56:38
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proustiskeen wrote on 02/15/21 at 02:53:27:
The networks are completely different, and they have released the source and (soon, i think) the actual network on github. There's no violation of GPL and no ethical problem, in my view.

"Selling Stockfish derivatives is possible with the GPLv3 license we grant, but not without requirements. In particular, the license states that if one redistributes a program derived from our work, the corresponding modifications of our sources and all information needed to build that program must be made available. Only after explicitly informing Albert Silver (the author of the net in Fat Fritz 2) of a license violation have matching C++ sources, but not the net weights, been made available. "
- https://blog.stockfishchess.org/post/643239805544792064/statement-on-fat-fritz-2

Everything about FF2 is ethically garbage.
The jury is out whether it is legal at all, they are -as of now- effectively breaking the GPL licence, at the very least in spirit.

"soon, I think" is obviously too late.
If someone is telling you 'You can sell this, but only if you tell everyone you got it from me', you can't start selling it and wait a month (or however long) with telling people. That was the precondition.
If the net has to be released to the public before you start selling (that is how I understand it), then every cent that they made from Fat Fritz up until actually releasing the net is grounds for calling a lawyer.

Not that this type of behavior by ChessBase should surprise anyone -
June last year, they published a long sales pitch for the entire Houdini series https://en.chessbase.com/post/10-years-houdini ; this is 2 months after https://chess.stackexchange.com/questions/29181/is-houdini-6-a-stockfish-clone this thread clarified that the entire engine is stolen (on talkchess, the discussion had been running for a while prior).
It is still for sale at full price in their shop https://shop.chessbase.com/en/products/houdini_6_pro_multiprocessor_version .

Everything about ChessBase is a joke. A company stuck in 1995, passed left and right by "upstarts", that now tries to save itself from the onslaught of modern chess tools by selling stolen content.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #13 - 02/16/21 at 12:21:39
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Confused_by_Theory wrote on 02/15/21 at 16:18:11:
Hi.

This should be in computer chess.


No. There's a topic about the technical details in the computer chess section. This is about the ethical behaviour of the chessbase managers. FatFritz is only an example.
  

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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #12 - 02/16/21 at 00:32:29
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ReneDescartes wrote on 02/16/21 at 00:01:52:
I will not buy Fat Fritz 2 but will download and use in my existing Fritz GUI the neural net from the link Proustiskeen kindly provided.

You might have to build "FatFritz2" from source. They changed the net size from 256 to 512, so I think the net is now incompatible with the Stockfish build. Okay I don't know for sure, but I think that might be the case.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #11 - 02/16/21 at 00:24:37
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I used Apple translation and it captured that flavor perfectly. I agree it is legal conduct. On the face of it ChessBase is trying to mislead by the mispelling stocksh. It's remotely possible someone mistakenly added stocksh to a spell-check dictionary, in which case it would have passed an infinite number of times. (Not that I think that's what actually happened.) Their article on en.chessbase.com spells Stockfish correctly, but there they say it is "based on" Stockfish, which I would say is an inaccurate description.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #10 - 02/16/21 at 00:01:52
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The Google translation fails to capture the flavor of the original article when the latter cites the repetition of the misspelling "Stocksh" in the documentation as evidence of Chessbase's dishonest intent:
____________________________________________
Das es sich hierbei um einen unabsichtlichen Schreibfehler handelt, kann ausgeschlossen werden. Er kommt in der Produktbeschreibung einfach zu oft vor.
„Täter: Nein Herr Staatsanwalt, er ist mir ins Messer gelaufen! – Staatsanwalt: Aber doch nicht 23 mal!“

____________________________________________
It can be ruled out that we are dealing with an inadvertent typo. It simply occurs too often in the product description.
"Perpetrator: No, Mr. Prosecutor, he ran into my knife! --Prosecutor: But definitely not 23 times!"
____________________________________________


--This case appears to be the inverse of the Shereshevsky case: Chessbase's conduct is deliberately misleading about their content's origin ("Stocksh"), and therefore intellectually dishonest; but it is probably not illegal. And here no one is implying you ought not to buy Fat Fritz 2. It's just that out of self-interest, you might not want to buy it once you are no longer mislead. I, for example, already own the Fritz GUI. I easily might have been tricked into giving Chessbase money for something that I already had together with something free and easily installed. Now that I am disabused, I will not buy Fat Fritz 2 but will download, and use in my existing Fritz GUI, the neural net from the link Proustiskeen kindly provided.

I am disgusted, but what of that? Caveat emptor!
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #9 - 02/15/21 at 21:13:38
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Fritz has always been a combination of a GUI and an engine. I think at first it was just a cut-down version of ChessBase, rather like ChessBase Lite but with an emphasis on playing. At some point they changed the GUI so one could add any UCI engine. FatFritz is NNUE enabled, and the first version is GUI + lc0 + net. FatFritz2 does not use the gpu but uses only the cpu, and is GUI + stockfish + net. So the answer to your question is:

ThinFritz
  • GUI = ChessBase
  • engine = licensed from third party author

FatFritz
  • GUI = ChessBase
  • engine = copied (legally) from lc0 (v1) or stockfish (v2)
  • net = by Albert Silver, either owned or licensed by ChessBase, that's between them
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #8 - 02/15/21 at 16:18:11
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Hi.

This should be in computer chess.
What is Fat Fritz, Is it a combination of a brute force engine and neural net engine? If so what is potentially copied: One part, two parts or nothing? Is there another way of looking at it?

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #7 - 02/15/21 at 12:03:39
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Well the compensation is that, when they copy Komodo Dragon for Fat Fritz 3, Kaufman will sue because it is copyrighted.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #6 - 02/15/21 at 06:57:20
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Thanks for the link, I wouldn't have found it quickly. I wanted to see if ChessBase had made any contributions to Stockfish. But nope. The only minimal commits they made were to customize it for their own use.

proustiskeen wrote on 02/15/21 at 02:53:27:
The networks are completely different, and they have released the source and (soon, i think) the actual network on github. There's no violation of GPL and no ethical problem, in my view.

Yes, the network is original, and they are justified in selling that. But as for the engine itself .... Well, it's one of the drawbacks of truly free software. You can't stop anyone from forking it. Similarly, if you are giving away bottles of water, you can't stop me from taking a bottle from you and then turning around and selling it. Although I guess if my customers find out they could have had the water for free, not all of them will understand the distinction between free speech and free beer.

I'm not super upset about it, and I will still sometimes give ChessBase my coin in the future. But obviously I won't be buying any version of Fritz ever, nor recommending it, because Stockfish is still free! But before this episode I had a somewhat higher opinion of the ChessBase team.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #5 - 02/15/21 at 04:02:19
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #4 - 02/15/21 at 03:08:11
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Quote:
We couldn’t find any repositories matching 'fatfritz'

Do you have a link to the source repository on github?
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #3 - 02/15/21 at 02:53:27
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The networks are completely different, and they have released the source and (soon, i think) the actual network on github. There's no violation of GPL and no ethical problem, in my view.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #2 - 02/14/21 at 11:06:50
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Fat Fritz not only is like Lc0, but is Lc0, only with a different learning history? I had no idea. I thought someone had actually written code exclusively available through Chessbase

Maybe I can make a mashup of recent Springsteen footage and call it Fat ReneDescartes.
  
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Re: Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
Reply #1 - 02/14/21 at 05:30:38
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Thanks for the link. My German comprehension is not great if the subject is not chess moves, but the Apple translation worked fine for me.

My reaction when I saw the product announcements on en.chessbase.com was they are actually selling the customized neural net by Albert Silver. Therefore I didn't think it was _so_ bad. But this article throws a different light on it. I think the mispelling Stocksh shows an ill intent of ChessBase towards their customers. And looking at the (I think second) article again
https://en.chessbase.com/post/fat-fritz-2-best-of-both-worlds
it now seems to me that it's couched in a way to minimize the dependence on Stockfish 12. But I missed that at first reading because I'm familiar with the story, so I sort of filled in some of the blanks myself as I was reading.

Of course there is a long tradition of slick commercial chess programs having somebody else's engine under the hood. But those would have been commercial arrangements, and the consumer was not only paying for the strength of the engine, but also the useful packaging. I have in mind the Chessmaster series, and another example for me was something called Sierra Chess Complete. No doubt there were other cases.

This is different, because they didn't pay the engine author(s), and more importantly they are directly marketing the strength of the engine itself, even saying it is stronger than Stockfish 12. For a long time I didn't realize the ChessBase part of Fritz is just the GUI, and the engine has always been by someone else. When Rybka became Fritz is when I finally figured it out. I guess from ChessBase's point of view there's really not that much difference between a commercial arrangement where they are obligated by the author to pay, and a similar commercial (sic) arrangement where they are not obligated to pay and therefore they don't. But from an outside viewpoint I think it's a good illustration of Sorite's paradox, aka the fallacy of the beard, which I like to restate as "a difference of degree becomes a difference in kind".
  
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Is FatFritz ethically doubtful?
02/13/21 at 20:20:29
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Is there a corresponding article in english? https://schach.computer/fat-fritz-2-ein-unmoralisches-angebot/

The authors say FatFritz1 is Lc0 and FatFritz2 is Stockfish12Nnue. Does CB try to twit the customers by asking much money for a free program? Legal behavior, but all right?
  

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