$16,000 Freestyle tournament starts on March 2nd

2/23/2007 – The Fifth PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament begins on March 2nd on the Playchess server. The main tournament is an eight-round Swiss, with time controls of 60 min + 15 sec per game. You probably know that in Freestyle any kind of assistance is allowed: computers, friends, books, anything. The starting fee is 10 Euro. GMs and IMs are free. You can still join the fun!

A new Freestyle Series starts in March

By Berlin correspondence chess GM Arno Nickel

On March 2nd to 4th Freestyle Fans will meet on playchess.com for the 5th PAL/CSS Freestyle Tournament. They will be fighting for a prize fund of US $16,000. The main tournament is an eight-round Swiss. The final, three weeks later from March 23rd to 25th, is a nine-round round robin tournament. The time control is 60 minutes + 15 seconds per move. Anybody can take part in this online event, whether you are a rank amateur or a grandmaster. What is special: you can use any help available  computers, friends, books, just as you like. Freestyle is without limits.

The latest achievement for Freestyle Chess is to create its own ranking list, which has been worked out by initiative of the author and kind technical support of Timo Klaustermeyer from CSS-online. In the following we present the first provisional list (up to no. 50) with all players or teams that have already played at least 15 regular games (not counting wins by default or blitz tie-break games). This number is still very small. The ICCF requires 30 evaluated games for a fixed rating. Only 12 players in our list already have a fixed rating in this sense. They are marked in boldface. The evaluation is based on 1489 regular games of 258 players. Further information (download included) will be published after a test run on CSS-Online.

TOP 50 of Freestyle Chess, March 2007

Name (handle)

Elo

Games

Score

Av.Op.

Draws

1 Xakru

2792

17

67.6%

2664

41.2%

2 Rajlich

2770

37

70.3%

2621

54.1%

3 Nebula

2770

16

68.8%

2633

37.5%

4 Vvarkey

2763

15

70.0%

2616

33.3%

5 Frigderi

2734

16

59.4%

2668

56.2%

6 Jazzled

2721

38

63.2%

2627

68.4%

7 Zor_champ

2713

46

63.0%

2620

39.1%

8 EmilV

2697

25

62.0%

2612

68.0%

9 Icy45

2684

23

56.5%

2639

43.5%

10 Ibermax

2680

17

52.9%

2660

58.8%

11 Intagrand

2680

22

59.1%

2616

45.5%

12 Flying Saucers

2679

25

58.0%

2623

52.0%

13 Hedgehog

2674

22

61.4%

2594

68.2%

14 Eve.est

2664

23

58.7%

2603

65.2%

15 Poweronoff

2663

33

60.6%

2588

54.5%

16 Elissa

2662

20

52.5%

2644

55.0%

17 Tatar

2654

24

62.5%

2566

41.7%

18 King Crusher

2636

30

56.7%

2589

60.0%

19 Spaghetti Chess

2632

23

60.9%

2555

60.9%

20 Rentner2

2630

42

52.4%

2614

61.9%

21 EL-SHADDAI

2630

18

61.1%

2551

44.4%

22 Klosterfrau

2630

38

57.9%

2574

52.6%

23 Alansacount

2628

34

58.8%

2566

58.8%

24 Sergey_M

2626

15

56.7%

2580

46.7%

25 Dieb Fritz

2616

21

54.8%

2583

61.9%

26 ZackS

2613

41

59.8%

2544

36.6%

27 Relic

2607

29

56.9%

2559

58.6%

28 Campolungo

2605

15

53.3%

2581

40.0%

29 Equidistance

2603

30

51.7%

2591

36.7%

30 PAKman

2602

17

58.8%

2541

11.8%

31 Noritano

2599

16

59.4%

2534

43.8%

32 Ciron

2596

31

51.6%

2584

51.6%

33 Tony Kosten

2590

17

52.9%

2570

47.1%

34 Bychamp_II

2588

25

58.0%

2532

52.0%

35 Engineer

2586

17

55.9%

2545

52.9%

36 Abeljusto

2582

23

58.7%

2521

47.8%

37 Knilch hi

2581

15

60.0%

2511

53.3%

38 Walden

2567

15

53.3%

2544

40.0%

39 Alexisco

2563

15

56.7%

2516

46.7%

40 Katzenmaier

2562

16

56.2%

2518

50.0%

41 Goldbar

2545

27

55.6%

2507

51.9%

42 Sebi-chess

2544

15

56.7%

2498

33.3%

43 Heffalump

2539

16

56.2%

2496

62.5%

44 Auryn

2536

17

47.1%

2556

47.1%

45 Rainer Zufall

2535

30

48.3%

2546

56.7%

46 Fredi_z

2533

24

50.0%

2533

66.7%

47 Petr Haba

2519

20

60.0%

2449

50.0%

48 Souk

2512

15

46.7%

2535

80.0%

49 Hoshad

2511

24

50.0%

2511

50.0%

50 WoDra

2510

21

54.8%

2477

61.9%

Freestyle 2007

The 5th PAL/CSS Freestyle Tournament will be the first of at least three tournaments to be held in 2007. The exact dates in summer and autumn are still to be fixed. The time control is 60 min + 15 sec for the entire game, but we are also thinking about staging one tournament with longer time controls, i.e. two hours per player. This would be used to demonstrate the high quality of Freestyle games, and many players will be pleased by the fact that they have more time and less stress. In effect we will play only one classical game per day instead of two or three rapid games. The only disadvantage is that you will have to reserve more than a week, probably 9-10 days, if you want to participate. The games will take place in the afternoon (CET = Central European Time) and last until the early evening. The idea is to gain first experience with this new type of tournament in August 2007 and provide an attractive prize fund.

Over the months and years the Freestyle tournaments also mirrored the development of modern hard and software. In 2007, after completing the transition to dual-core systems, there might be an increasing number of quad systems involved. I personally suppose about 15 to 30 over the year. Also the use of a bigger number of six-men tablebases may play a role.

The favourite engines in the 5th Freestyle Tournament will probably be the latest multi-processor versions of Rybka (2.3), Fritz (10), Shredder (10), Junior (10.1) and Hiarcs 11. But there are sure to be players who will also use programs like Zap!, Chess Tiger, List, Gandalf, Loop, Fruit, Toga, Naum, Spike, Glaurung, Ktulu, and a bunch of others for consultation or for automatic play.

As we learned from previous events there is no universal solution for Freestyle play. It all depends on your personal possibilities and preferences, how you try to manage the various factors like opening choice, plan, engine use, hardware, time and teamwork, just to mention the six most important criteria. You will only know afterwards what leads to success or to misfortune, and even that may be unclear, as it is a matter of subjective interpretation. One thing is certain: there will be much room for experiments. And Freestyle chess is one of the most exciting applications of computer chess. Just give it a try and join the fun.

Links


Previous articles on Freestyle Chess

The Freestyle Champion is Xakru, dammit!
07.11.2006 That's what happens when you choose a flippant name on the chess server: you win a major event and wish you hadn't called yourself "Damn it" (in Czech). Jiri Dufek and Roman Chytilek won the first prize, $8,000, in the fourth computer assisted tournament on Playchess.com. Find out what transpired in the final of this Freestyle event in this report by Arno Nickel.

Fall of the Favourites in PAL/CSS Freestyle
19.10.2006 A "Freestyle tournament" is one in which computer assistance  or any other form of help  during the game is allowed and encouraged. The 4th PAL/CSS Freestyle tournament, which reaches its final this weekend on the the Playchess.com server, saw many of the favourites falter. Now the ten qualifiers will play a round robin for the US $16,000 prize money. Come and watch.

Rajlich Team won the third Freestyle tournament
31.08.2006 The third 3rd PAL/CSS Freestyle Tournament was held in the middle of July. With considerable delay we bring you a report by correspondence GM Arno Nickel on the results of this event, which had a prize fund of US $16,000 and was conducted on the Playchess.com server. Also a reminder that another $16,000 Freestyle tournament begins soon. Like to join the fun?

Freestyle Tournament final begins today
14.07.2006 Are you interested in seeing chess played at the very highest level? It involves grandmasters and experts selecting their moves with computer assistance. The final of the 3rd PAL/CSS Freestyle Tournament begins today at 17:00h CEST on the Playchess.com server, and ends on Sunday evening. The prize fund is $16,000. Come and watch the fun!

Who will be the next Freestyle Champion
05.07.2006 Neither the summer weather nor the Soccer World Cup stopped more than 100 players from all over the world from enter the 3rd PAL/CSS Freestyle Tournament, which ended last weekend with the tie-breaks for the Final in July 14-16. About 20 titleholders were attracted by the opportunity to win one of the money prizes: $8,000, $4,000 or $2,000 dollars. Report by Arno Nickel

Brilliancy in computer assisted chess
16.06.2006 The Third PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament starts today. In this form of chess, originally proposed by Garry Kasparov, the human players may use computers  or any other assistance they can muster. It is not OTB chess as we knew it, but it does produce a lot of very high-level games. Here, from the Second Freestyle Tournament, are the three most brilliant examples.

$16,000 Freestyle tournament begins on Friday
14.06.2006 The Third PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament begins on Friday, June 16, on the Playchess server. In the previous edition, won by Zor_Champ of the UAE, there were a number of grandmasters participating. One was Tony Kosten of England, assisted by the program Hiarcs 10, who gives us his assessment of such computer-assisted tournaments. You can still join!

$16,000 up for grabs in computer-assisted play
11.05.2006 The Third PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament on the Playchess server is coming up in June, once again with a substantial prize fund. This time the time controls for our Advanced Chess competition have been increased to 60 min. + 15 sec., in order to give the human component more opportunity for analysis. Like to play? It's lots of fun!

Zor-Champ wins Freestyle Tournament
16.04.2006 In a very exciting final the team of Zor-Champ, located in the United Arab Emirates, took first place and the $8,000 prize money in the Second PAL/CSS Freestyle Tournament. The team was driven by the program Hydra, which runs on multi-processor speical-purpose hardware. Second was IM Vasik Rajlich, assisted by his own program Rybka. Report and games.

Freestyle tournament: Finals this weekend
03.04.2006 After tiebreak matches the eight qualifiers of the Second PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament are ready to battle it out for the $16,000 prize fund. At the faster time controls this time four pure engines made it to the final round. You can come and watch the action at 14:00h CEST on Saturday and Sunday, when the tournament director says: Gentlemen, start your engines.

Freestyle tournament: Vvarkey wins with 7.5/8
24.03.2006 The first leg of the second PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament, which carries a prize fund of $16,000, was won by an unknown player with the Playchess handle Vvarkey. He scored 7.5 points from 8 games (before the last round his score was 7/7). Six other players qualified for the final behind him. For the final, eighth place there will be a tiebreak tournament tomorrow. Details.

Freestyle tournament: advice from an expert
16.03.2006 Are you one of the over 150 participants that have registered for the second $16,000 PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament, starting this weekend? Do you have your computer assistant or your GM advisor booted up and ready to play? For novices in computer assisted play we have some tips and tricks by correspondence chess GM Arno Nickel.

The $16,000 open-to-all chess tournament
28.02.2006 Would you like to play in a grandmaster tournament? From your home and for a substantial prize fund? With a guarantee that you will not disgrace yourself? Then think about joining the second PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament, where anything goes. Where computer assistance is not forbidden, but is positively encouraged. Full details.

Dark horse ZackS wins Freestyle Chess Tournament
19.06.2005 The computer-assisted PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament, staged on Playchess.com, ended with a shock win by two amateurs: Steven Cramton, 1685 USCF and Zackary Stephen, 1398 USCF, using three computers for analysis, defeated teams of strong grandmasters all the way to victory in the finals. We bring you a first flash report with games and results.

Scintillating chess in the PAL-CSS Freestyle tournament
15.06.2005 This unusual event, in which players may use computer assistance during the games, is turning into a milestone experiment. After the main event and the quarter-finals (and with four players left) we can draw first tentative conclusions. One is that the most powerful chess playing entity on the planet is a GM armed with a computer.

Hydra misses the quarter-finals of Freestyle tournament
11.06.2005 It was the shocker of the event: the massive Hydra machines, running on 16 and 32 processors and special FPGA chess hardware were both knocked out in the main section of the Freestyle chess tournament. On the other hand a dark horse named ZackS qualified with consummate ease. Today there will be tie-breaks, tomorrow the quarter-finals. Come and watch...

Eleven qualify for main Freestyle Tournament
31.05.2005 48 players from 20 different countries got together on the Playchess server last weekend to play in the PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament. Using computer assistance, which is not forbidden in Freestyle, eleven qualified for the main tournament starting on Friday. There they will have to battle it out with scores of computer-assisted GMs.

The $20,000 free-for-all chess tournament
24.05.2005 Like to play in a grandmaster tournament? From your home and for a substantial prize fund? With a guarantee that you will not disgrace yourself? Then think about joining the first PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament, where anything goes. Where computer assistance is not forbidden, it is positively encouraged. Here are all the details.

Freestyle tournament for $20,000
09.05.2005 It's a new kind of chess tournament, with a substantial prize fund. $20,000 in all, $10,000 for the winner. Top grandmaster conditions. But with a difference. In the PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament on the Playchess.com server anyone can play. Even you. And anything goes. Anything! (In fact computer assistance is encouraged). Here are the details.

Anyone  or anything  can play!
07.08.2004 Anything goes in our freestyle tournament on the Playchess.com server this Saturday, August 7th. Participants can use computers, visiting grandmasters, slime beings from other planets  whatever they want. The games start at 15:00h server time (GMT +2), time controls are 7 min + 2 sec/move. Watch the fun...

Freestyle Blitz Tournament August 7
25.07.2004 Winning Internet chess games with the assistance of computers is quite despicable. People who are caught get stripped of rights and privileges. Not so in the August 7th "Freestyle Tournament" on Playchess.com. There you can use anything you want to win your games. Details...


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