INTERNATIONAL COMPUTER GAMES ASSOCIATION
9, Springfield Avenue,
London N10 3SU,
Telephone: +44 (0) 208 883 5180
David Levy - President
November 27th 2003
Disqualification of the program “List” and its author Fritz Reul
The tournament committee of the 2003 World Computer Chess Championship received
a complaint on November 23rd from one of the participants concerning his suspicion
that the program LIST, entered by Fritz Reul, is based on the program CRAFTY.
The complaint is supported by circumstantial evidence given to the Tournament
Committee by the complainant. This evidence relates to two older versions of
LIST, namely 4.60 and 5.04 which are publicly available. The question to be
asked therefore was whether LIST Graz contains substantial parts of CRAFTY.
The Tournament Committee consists of four persons: Professor H. Jaap van den
Herik (Tournament Director), Dr. Ernst A. Heinz (Assistant Tournament Director),
Mr. David N.L. Levy (President of ICGA and Chairman of the Committee of Appeal),
and Professor Jonathan Schaeffer (Member of the Committee of Appeal).
Plagiarism of another program’s code is a very serious offence. The Tournament
Committee has an obligation to investigate any such complaint in a fair and
CRAFTY source is open source code and may be used under certain conditions
for well-prescribed purposes. We refer to the CRAFTY copyright notice as formulated
by Professor Robert Hyatt, University of Alabama at Birmingham, who is the
author of CRAFTY.
We have not seen any mention from Mr Reul, either on his entry form for this
World Championship or elsewhere, stating that there is some connection between
the program code in LIST and that in CRAFTY. When the Tournament Committee
first asked Mr Reul about this matter by electronic communication on November
24th, Mr Reul stated that there was no connection whatsoever between the two
In order to investigate this matter in a proper manner and to provide the
complainant with an answer, the members of the Tournament Committee needed
to convince themselves of the precise relation between the two programs, if
any. The rules of the World Championship clearly stipulate exactly what should
happen in such cases. We refer to article 2 of the rules as published in the
ICGA Journal Vol. 26, No 1, p. 63:
“Each program must be the original work of the entering developers.
Programming teams whose code is derived from or including game-playing code
written by others must name all other authors, or the source of such code,
in their application details. Programs which are discovered to be close derivatives
of others (e.g., by playing nearly all moves the same), may be declared invalid
by the Tournament Director after seeking expert advice. For this purpose
a listing of all game-related code running on the system must be available
on demand to the Tournament Director.”
On November 24th the Tournament Committee therefore officially requested Mr
Reul to allow them to inspect his source code. Throughout the tournament Mr
Reul had been in Germany where he was due to take an examination in mathematics
during the tournament. The Tournament Committee understood any concerns Mr
Reul might have about revealing his source code and therefore pointed out to
Mr Reul that all of its members are neutral and would treat Mr Reul’s
source code as strictly confidential. The Tournament Committee also emphasized
to Mr Reul that his source code would be used only for inspection purposes.
On November 24th Mr Reul was invited to come to Graz in person together with
his source code and was requested, if he was unable to come in person, to send
the code to the Tournament Committee either via his program operator in Graz
or via his beta tester in Vienna. As an alternative Mr Reul was offered the
opportunity to send the code directly to Professor van den Herik’s e-mail
On November 24th Mr Reul refused these requests and was therefore sent an
e-mail on November 25th in which he was given a deadline of 14:00 today, November
27th, to send an e-mail in response to this request. He was at the same time
offered the opportunity, in view of his mathematics examination this week,
to agree to a meeting next week with either Dr. Heinz (in Frankfurt/Main, Germany)
or with Professor van den Herik (in Maastricht, the Netherlands), in order
to allow a safe inspection of his code under circumstances where he himself
would be present throughout.
With this deadline message Mr Reul was told that if he failed to co-operate
with the inspection as suggested above, the Tournament Committee would request
the ICGA to take appropriate action.
Yesterday evening the Tournament Committee was still awaiting a reply from
Mr Reul and therefore Professor van den Herik telephoned Mr Reul’s home.
Mr Reul’s mother said that he was out and a message was left with her
asking Mr Reul to reply to the deadline e-mail.
By 14:00 today no reply had been received from Mr Reul and the Tournament
Committee therefore met to decide what action to recommend to the ICGA. It
was decided that the program LIST should be disqualified and that Mr Reul should
be banned from participation in any event organised or sanctioned by the ICGA
until June 1st 2006. These recommendations are in line with previous ICCA rulings.
At the time this decision was taken the program LIST had played three of the
four leading programs in the tournament and was paired to play the fourth in
that group at 16:00 today. Had LIST been disqualified before the 8th round
today the very act of disqualification could have an impact on the final result
of the tournament and the destiny of the World Championship title, partly because
of the effect it would have on any tie-break. It was therefore recommended
to the ICGA that the disqualification should take place immediately after the
conclusion of round 8.
The ICGA agreed with these recommendations. As a result the program LIST is
hereby disqualified from the tournament with immediate effect and Mr Reul is
banned from participating in any events organised or sanctioned by the ICGA
until June 1st 2006.