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Ferret (Computer)
Number of games in database: 39
Years covered: 1995 to 2001
Overall record: +21 -9 =9 (65.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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C45 Scotch Game (2 games)
B17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation (2 games)
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C07 French, Tarrasch (2 games)

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(born 1990)

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The chief programmer is Bruce Moreland. In 1996 and 1997, it won the World Computer Speed Chess Championship.

Last updated: 2018-12-03 07:48:54

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 39  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Fritz vs Ferret  1-03119958th World Computer Chess ChampionshipB01 Scandinavian
2. Gulko vs Ferret 0-129199601, m 30' ICCE97 King's Indian
3. K Burger vs Ferret  ½-½631996ICC 2 12 05/08/96 Internet Chess ClubB44 Sicilian
4. Crafty vs Ferret  ½-½64199614th World Microcomputer Chess ChampionshipC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
5. Ferret vs K Burger  ½-½761996BR 2 12 5/28C03 French, Tarrasch
6. Ferret vs Shredder  1-055199614th World Microcomputer Chess ChampionshipB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
7. Ferret vs Gulko  1-035199602, m 30' ICCB07 Pirc
8. Fritz vs Ferret  0-142199614th World Microcomputer Chess ChampionshipC54 Giuoco Piano
9. Kudrin vs Ferret 1-0711996GM vs ComputerC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
10. Ferret vs Crafty  1-0621997ICC 15 15C32 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
11. Doctor Who vs Ferret 0-1661997ICC 15 15C36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
12. Ferret vs Crafty  ½-½1131997ICC 10 10B40 Sicilian
13. Crafty vs Ferret  1-0551997ICC 15 15D10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
14. Ferret vs Crafty  1-01401997ICC 15 15B47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
15. Ferret vs Crafty  1-0851997ICC 15 15B83 Sicilian
16. Crafty vs Ferret  0-11121997ICC 15 15D44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
17. Crafty vs Ferret  0-1711997ICC 15 15B64 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack
18. Ferret vs Crafty 1-0481997ICC 15 15B46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
19. Ferret vs Crafty  ½-½1381997ICC 15 15C68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
20. Crafty vs Ferret 0-1631997ICC 15 15D18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
21. Junior vs Ferret  1-071199715th WMCCCA22 English
22. Ferret vs Blatny  1-0481999GM Blatny vs Ferret 30min/GB10 Caro-Kann
23. Blatny vs Ferret  0-1621999GM Blatny vs Ferret 30min/GA04 Reti Opening
24. Diep vs Ferret  0-1341999WCCC99C45 Scotch Game
25. HIARCS vs Ferret  1-0401999WCCC99E34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 39  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Ferret wins | Ferret loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-01-09  Dredge Rivers: Nice to see Frank Burns is still keeping busy!
Jun-06-09  myschkin: . . .

"Ferret dates from approximately 1990, although serious work didn't start until 1994.

The program is 100% original, although at the time I started I had access to the Gnuchess source code. That code was kind of messy and it was its messy state that inspired me to think that I could do better.

In 1994 I created something that could play a complete game of chess. The program entered Don Beal's uniform-platform tournament later that year (I emailed him a copy of the program), and it scored well. Surprisingly well, since the program had never played a game at tournament time controls before.

In late 1994 I discovered the ICC. Work immediately stopped on the program as I spent many hours using the program to play against other computers, and against strong humans including some grandmasters and other titled players.

During 1994 and 1995, I made the acquaintance of many other chess programmers, and I am indebted to these people, without whom Ferret would still be very weak. Included in this list are Bob Hyatt, Peter McKenzie, Dave Kittinger, John Stanback, Mark Lefler, Martin Zentner, Thorsten Greiner, and Stefan Meyer-Kahlen.

The program played in two ICCA events in 1995, which started a string that has remained unbroken except for the year 2000 event.

Ferret is a "normal" chess program. By that I mean that it uses alpha-beta full-width search, a quiescent search, a transposition hash table, an evaluation function that is called at the tips, and so forth.

It uses null-move forward pruning, and for that I am indebted to Chrilly Donninger, who did not invent this technique, but he made it accessible to the amateur community via an ICCA Journal article (Vol. 16 #3, September 1993).

The program uses numerous common extensions such as check extension, recapture extension, and single-response to check.

It also uses a sort of singular-extension that is loosely based upon the extension of this name that appears in Deep Thought and presumably Deep Blue.

The evaluation function is designed to catch common features without being slow, but it's slow enough that the program isn't particularly fast.

The program uses endgame databases of my own design and construction, but which aren't any better than the Nalimov, Edwards, or Thompson endgame databases. I wrote my own because I didn't want to take advantage of code written by others, since I felt that the program would be less mine if I did so.

The program has a series of special case low-material evaluation functions that it uses when endgame databases are not present, and in some cases when they are.

The program is written 100% in C, and is portable to any platform that runs any Windows-based operating system, including multiprocessor machines."

(by Bruce Moreland, chief programmer)

Jun-06-09  Dredge Rivers: <myschkin> Yawn! :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Ferret: it's such an uncool name. I mean, compared to names like Houdini and Crafty.
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