It seems that the 8-core limit rule is generating a very violent and very unanimous opposition among programmers. I have read many reactions on the forums and in private e-mails, and I am not aware of a single programmer who is in favor of the limit. Many are in fact getting mad and completely upset.
I would like to be in contact with the programmers in favor of the limit. I would appreciate very much if you could forward this e-mail to them. I understand that they may not wish to express themselves in public, but I would like to know their point of view in private, at least.
Right now, after reading all the messages of the programmers against the limit, it seems completely obvious to me that it would be best for the WCCC to have no limit. I fear that with this rule, we may get, again, a ridiculous number of participants. It may be possible that programmers who were initially in favor of the limit could change their mind after taking these discussions into consideration.
You made it very clear that your decision is final. But I still believe it would be best if programmers could try to reach unanimity by discussing about this rule between programmers. If we can reach unanimity, then it would be best to reverse the decision.
I don't expect it has a chance to work, but I see no other possibility.
This is a letter I have just sent to programmers in favor of the hardware limit. Vas also sent a private e-mail to me saying that he wishes to be listed as openly against the hardware limit.
Dear chess programmers,
(for privacy reason, I am listing your e-mail addresses in bcc)
I am sending this letter to you because of all the controversy that was generated by David Levy's decision of limiting hardware to 8 cores for the upcoming WCCC. I told David that I would like to get in touch with programmers who support the new rule, and he gave me your [actual number removed] email addresses.
The method for making this decision and announcing it was a bit awkward, and, as you may have already read in CCC and the ICGA forum, it generated a lot of violent anger from some programmers. I am trying to make some diplomatic efforts in order to ease tension that this decision created.
My proposal, if you agree, would be to delay the decision of limiting hardware in the WCCC until the question has been properly debated between programmers. Right now, it seems that this decision is doing more harm than good to the programmer community. Some programmers had already invested time and money into building a cluster in prevision of the upcoming WCCC, and are very upset by this late change of rules.
David made it clear in his message that his decision of applying the hardware limit is final. I believe, however, that you may understand the reaction of the other programmers, and although you are in favor of the new rule, you may agree that it is better to properly discuss it before making this decision with precipitation. If you agree with this, and the rule is changed back, then I expect it will contribute to a better atmosphere in Pamplona.
So, I have been able to exchange a few e-mails with the programmers in favor of the limit. This helped me to have a clearer view of what is happening. It is clear now that there was no misunderstanding, and the rule will be applied.
It seems that the only way to apply the rule in practice is to allow remote play and trust participants. If you have a better idea, please say so.