22 August 2022

Interviews with Dragon's Developers

Of the many names involved in chess engine development, two of them have familiar faces: Larry Kaufman and Mark Lefler. After seeing both in a recent video, ICGA/AI4S ACG 2021 (March 2022), I was pleased to discover more of the same in a Chessbase article, The magicians of Komodo 3 - Larry Kaufman and Mark Lefler (chessbase.com; Arne Kaehler). Unfortunately, viewing the article's two embedded videos...

...left me scratching my head. The continuity didn't make sense and there were references to invisible actions happening off-stage. The description, which was the same for both videos, didn't clarify matters:-

Just a couple of days ago, Komodo 3 received the free "World Champion" update. We interviewed the creators of one of the most "human-like" chess engines - Larry Kaufman & Mark Lefler. They tell us, what the most significant differences from Komodo 2 to Komodo 3 are, and how a normal working day for an engine creator looks like.

After rereading the 'Magicians of Komodo 3' article, the pieces started to fall into place. The 'Interview' video was a piece of a much longer video from a few months ago; the original interview starts at around 3:52:35 into the following stream.

ChessBase Discount Day Show (25 % off) (5:58:35) • 'Streamed live on May 17, 2022'

The description of this video said,

In this livestream we feature authors of our products including: Elisabeth Paehtz, Robert Ris, Sipke Ernst, Daniel King, Nick Pert, Svitlana Demchenko, Larry Kaufman, Mark Lefler, Lawrence Trent, Karsten Mueller, Markus Ragger, Andrew Martin. They'll show content of their products and tell you some insights to get better at chess.

The Kaufman/Lefler interview was a botch. The interviewees weren't present at the appointed time, and when they did show up, they had only 15 minutes airtime. The 'Magicians of Komodo 3' video was a later attempt to make up for the poor scheduling.

Once I understood the relationship between them, watching the two videos from August made more sense and was more enjoyable. For more about the latest release of Komodo Dragon, see Dragon 3.1 Released at KomodoChess.com (talkchess.com); Mark Lefler: I am posting this for Larry Kaufman, who is traveling now'. The rest of the long 'Discount Day Show' video is also worth a watch.

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