22 February 2021

The Transformation of Fat Fritz

For the past few years, whenever there was a controversy in the world of chess engines, Fat Fritz was somewhere nearby. Last year I posted Fat Fritz Followup (June 2020; 'For some reason, Fat Fritz doesn't compete in the TCEC or CCC competitions.'), and this year we have a couple of marketing articles on Chessbase.com:-

  • 2021-02-09: Fat Fritz 2.0 - The new number one • 'Fat Fritz 2.0 is the successor to the revolutionary Fat Fritz, which was based on the famous AlphaZero algorithms. Using a new Japanese AI technology that achieves optimal performance on regular computer processors (CPUs – no expensive graphic card required) it combines the best of both worlds: a massive new neural network, trained by Albert Silver with the original Fat Fritz, while learning from the surgical precision of Stockfish’s legendary search.'

  • 2021-02-11: Fat Fritz 2: The Best of Both Worlds (by Albert Silver) • 'In a field that many thought had seen its final major upheaval with AlphaZero, Japanese programmers have now introduced a new neural network technology that reaches peak performance on just a regular CPU. First implemented in chess in Stockfish 12, now it powers the new Fat Fritz 2, a neural network twice its size, which takes it to the next level – vast chess knowledge paired with lightning speed. This is arguably the strongest entity that has ever played chess'

The new Japanese AI/NN technology is, of course, NNUE, already the subject of many posts on this blog. Here is a related video from ChessBase India.

Fat Fritz 2 - is it the strongest chess engine in the world? | ft. Albert Silver + Frederic Friedel (1:38:46) • 'Streamed live on Feb 15, 2021'

The description of the video says,

Fat Fritz is one of the strongest chess engines in the world. What are its features, why is it better than the rest of the engines? IM Sagar Shah speaks with Albert Silver, the founder of the engine and tries to understand its features.

For another, earlier video from the Chessbase mother ship -- but with only 10% of the views garnered by the CB India video -- see Interview with Albert Silver : His journey to Fat Fritz 2.0. So where's the controversy? Let's start with the word 'founder' in that video description, then I'll carry it further in another post.

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