Sunday, February 20, 2005

Exaggerations, part 2

Today's pick in the exaggeration category is Wincheck 3D by Jean-Bernard Alemanni. Wincheck is shareware and costs something like 50$ to register. There are two different versions you can register, but you can also play against the free version. Wincheck has neither an opening book nor an endgame database. It plays a decent game, but is chanceless against a strong program like Cake Manchester (I played two games between the two, and Manchester easily won both). The author uses a trick to make his program look better than it is: He groups all programs he found according to playing strength, leaving the "Top" category for Chinook, and including all decent programs in the "Strong" category. That means that Wincheck, Sage, Cake, Colossus, Damas 99, KingsRow, Nemesis, Nexus, Plus700, Wyllie and WCC all end up in the same category.
Wincheck is a nice program, I particularly like the graphics. But it is far from being in the same league as Nemesis, KingsRow or Cake (no wonder, without endgame database and opening book!). Jean-Bernard wins the runner-up prize in the category "Serious program marketed with unserious means".

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