In round 11, Vortex scored an impressive win against Variant Pulverizer. Recall that Pulverizer was originally named "Variant Shredder", which was not a name that Stephan Meyer-Kahlen, author of the Shredder chess engine, was happy about. After a few emails back and forth between Stephan, myself, and the author of Pulverizer, an agreement was worked out.
But the strong performance of Pulverizer had many people wondering if it was not really based on the Shredder code? Apparently it is not, it is just a very strong first generation Gothic Chess program.
We welcome the competition, and eagerly await to see how it will do against H.G. Muller's new Joker80 Gothic Chess program.
The Round 12 Pulverizer vs. Vortex game took an ominous turn when I noticed a disturbing trend: Vortex would frequently need to extend the time searched near the end, going over on many moves, letting white get a big lead in time. Pulverizer pressed every advantage, and when Vortex finally thought it could equalize, this proved to be an illusion.
I must say the time management code of Pulverizer is very impressive. Once it had an edge, it moved faster. When Vortex counter-attacked, it start using its surplus time very wisely, taking longer when needed, and moving quickly when obvious recaptures were mandated. In the end, it mercilessly ran the clock out on Vortex in a position that was more than advantageous for it.
Pulverizer is a very strong program, and one to watch out for in the future!