Decade -> Rebel -> ProDeo

And so after the release of Rebel 12 (for Windows) in october 2003 I went into early retirement. The flame and passion for computer chess didn't die with it, computer chess remains fascinating, now as a hobby (again) and thus without the (indispensable) pressure to perform, finally the recreation and relaxed period.

In search for a new name somone (Dutch) suggested ProDeo. I liked the name for its double meaning. It's Latin and literally means "for God" (and as a Christian I like) but at the same time in the Netherlands through the centuries got a different meaning, namely for free which was exactly the intention, future work should be free. As far as I know only in the Netherlands we use the term a ProDeo lawyer, for the rest of the world the right latin term would be Pro Bono.

About one year later (august 2004) the first ProDeo was released followed by many others whenever I was in the mood. My interest wasn't always in playing strength but often on new features. Typical examples are:

ProDeo 1.3 - 2007 - This new version does not contain any new strength improvement so if you are only interested in strength keep the old 1.2 version and don't upgrade. Version 1.3 is about one new feature only, a tool for aspirant (and maybe even for experienced chess programmers) to improve their testing methods. It's a collection of old DOS analysis tools I ported to Windows and gathered them into 1 function called Analyze PGN.

ProDeo 1.4 - 2007 - YATS is a good way to test chess programs, more YATS is an excellent way to test changes programmers make to their chess engine.

ProDeo 1.84 - 2013 - Version 1.84 is not an engine update. The engine version used is 1.82. The elo improvement entirely comes from a new (sort of) extended opening book. After the regular opening book a huge database of 63 million positions (770 Mb currently) is consulted and moves are played from it when no opening moves are found in the regular opening book.

ProDeo 1.85 - 2013 - The chess engine has gained a little in strength but that's not the goal of this release. Version 1.85 is about recording chess and computer chess history and use it as an analysis (study) tool. If you set ProDeo 1.85 in analyse mode it will consult a database and communicate the search results for the current position in your browser and makes it an excellent tool for opening study, see example-1. Looking for a specific game? For instance the immortal Zurich (1953) Averbach-Kotov game? Copy the position into your favorite GUI and ProDeo will find the game instantly.

ProDeo 1.88 - 2014 - The chess engine has gained a little in strength but that's not the goal of this release. Version 1.88 is about a new feature, basically Fritz's let's check but faster, more options, more volume, more reliable analysis. More reliable because the database is made of the (annotated) games from the 2 main computer elo rating websites, CCRL and CEGT. An extra second database is provided from the games played in the ChessBase Playchess engine room during the 2009-2013 period.

Nevertheless over the years ProDeo (1.85) has gained 180 ELO points over

Rebel 12 according to the CCRL 40/4 rating list.

Ed Schröder

July 2015