A black day for France

6/1/2002 – May 31st. With 500 million people watching France lost to Senegal in the soccer World Cup 2002. At the same time 22 players were gathered in Leiden, Holland, to play in the second CSVN computer chess tournament. There the very strong French program Chess Tiger seemed to be influenced by it football counterpart and displayed miserable form at the start. Read all about day one and two in Eric van Reem's reports.

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in Leiden

Second CSVN computer chess tournament

May 31 to June 2nd in the
Leids Denksportcentrum, Robijnstraat 4, in Leiden, Holland.

22 participants, nine rounds.

Kick Off in Leiden

Report on day one by Eric van Reem

500 Million people worldwide watched the game Senegal-France in Seoul, South Korea. The opener of the World Championship started on May 31, at 13.30. There are also 22 players, or to be more precise 22 developers and programmers playing with their chess programs in Leiden, The Netherlands. The 2nd International CSVN tournament kicked off exactly at the same time, at 13.30, as the football players did in Seoul. There are more similarities between the computer chess tournament and the World Championship: each player gets 90 minutes to finish the game! And some of the results of the first day in Leiden came just as unexpected as the result of that first match in Korea.

The Leids Denksportcentrum in Leiden

New faces

Could you imagine that an amateur player, just after learning the rules of chess, starts off his career by playing a world-class player like Anand in an official tournament? Impossible! It may sound crazy, but in computer chess this is a completely normal procedure. In this tournament, "The Baron", by Richard Pijl, "Shark" by Sander de Zoete and "Djenghis" by Jan Kaan play their first tournament.

Is is nice to see world champion Stefan Meyer-Kahlen for the first time in Leiden. He wanted to play last year as well, but his project "Pocket Fritz", the strong program for Pocket PC´s, needed all his concentration. But now, he is here in Leiden, burning to win another chess tournament. His last convincing victory was in Paderborn, Germany last february. He is one of the favourites for first place. "I have been working on my engine the past few months and this tournament is a good warm-up for the world championship next month in Maastricht", Meyer-Kahlen told me. "His engine played an impressive game against SOS, from Rudolf Huber.

SOS - Shredder, 2nd Intl.CSVN Leiden Ned (2), 31.05.2002: 1.e4 e5 2.Sf3 Sc6 3.Lb5 a6 4.Lxc6 dxc6 5.0-0 Dd6 6.Sa3 b5 7.d3 Sf6 8.Lg5 Le7 9.d4 Lg4 10.dxe5 Dxd1 11.Taxd1 Sxe4 12.Lxe7 Kxe7 13.c3 Sc5 14.b3 Lxf3 15.gxf3 Se6 16.Sc2 c5 17.Se3 Thd8 18.Sd5+ Ke8 19.c4 c6 20.Sc3 bxc4 21.bxc4 Sg5 22.Kg2 Td4 23.Sa4 Se6 24.Tb1 Tad8 25.Tb6 Txc4 26.Txa6 h5 27.a3 Sf4+ 28.Kg3 g5 29.Sb2 Tcd4 30.Sa4 T8d5 31.Tb1 Txe5 32.Tb7 Kf8 33.Tb1 h4+ 34.Kg4 Kg7 35.Ta8 Td6 36.Ta7 Kg6 37.Txf7 Kxf7 38.Sc3 Sd5 39.Sxd5 cxd5 0-1. [Replay game]

Bad day for France and Chess Tiger

Was it really an upset that Senegal won the opening match against France? It seemed that Chess Tiger, the spectacular playing program from Frenchman Christophe Théron was influenced by the miserable play of the French squad. Against "Insomniac", James Robertson's brainchild it was a lucky win for the French programm. Look at this:

Chess Tiger - Insomniac, 2nd Intl.CSVN Leiden Ned (1), 31.05.2002: 1.e4 c5 2.Sf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Sxd4 Sf6 5.Sc3 d6 6.Le2 Le7 7.0-0 0-0 8.f4 a6 9.Le3 Dc7 10.a4 Sc6 11.Kh1 Te8 12.Lf3 Tb8 13.Dd2 Ld7 14.Sb3 b6 15.g4 Lc8 16.g5 Sd7 17.Df2 Lf8 18.Lg2 Lb7 19.Tad1 g6 20.Kg1 Tbd8 21.Td2 Lg7 22.Tfd1 Lxc3 23.bxc3 Sc5 24.a5 Sxa5 25.e5 dxe5 26.Txd8 Txd8 27.Txd8+ Dxd8 28.Sxa5 Lxg2 29.Dxg2 exf4 30.Lxc5 bxc5.

Black is clearly better in this position, but Insomniac cannot find the right plan. White's only hope, the c-pawn suddenly turned out to be the winner in the end. 31.Sc4 Dd1+ 32.Df1 Dg4+ 33.Dg2 Dh4 34.Da8+ Kg7 35.Dd8 h6 36.gxh6+ Dxh6 37.Se5 Dh3 38.Dd2 Df5 39.Dd6 Dxc2 40.Dc7 Df5 41.Dxc5 Dg5+ 42.Kf2 Dh5 43.Ke1 Dxh2 44.Dd4 Dh1+ 45.Kf2 Dh4+ 46.Ke2 Df6 47.c4 g5 48.c5 Df5 49.Kd2 Db1 50.c6 Da2+ 51.Kc1 Da3+ 52.Kc2 Da2+ 53.Db2 Da4+ 54.Kc1 De4 55.Sd7+ Kg6 56.Dc2 Dxc2+ 57.Kxc2 1-0. [Replay game]

But in round two against "Ant", the Belgian-Dutch co-production, Chess Tiger lost a long game that lasted almost three hours, and Tiger operator Hans van der Zijden had to move fast in time trouble. However, when operator Hans Secelle announced "Mate in 22", van der Zijden had to believe the tablebases and resigned. You have to play through the whole game to believe what happened. Tiger was clearly better after the opening, but forget to finish Ant off. White's rooks became very active and eventually decided the game.

Ant - Tiger, 2nd Intl.CSVN Leiden Ned (2), 31.05.2002: 1.e4 e5 2.Sf3 Sc6 3.c3 Sf6 4.d4 Sxe4 5.d5 Se7 6.Sxe5 Sg6 7.Sxg6 hxg6 8.De2 De7 9.Lf4 d6 10.Sa3 Lf5 11.f3 Sf6 12.Dxe7+ Lxe7 13.Lb5+ Sd7 14.g4 g5 15.Le3 Lg6 16.0-0 a6 17.Lxd7+ Kxd7 18.Tf2 Lf6 19.Td1 Tae8 20.Lc1 Th3 21.Sc4 Teh8 22.Se3 Le5 23.Sf1 f6 24.Le3 Te8 25.Kg2 Th7 26.c4 b5 27.c5 dxc5 28.Lxc5 Teh8 29.Kg1 Lf7 30.b3 Th3 31.Td3 T8h4 32.Td1 Lg8 33.Kh1 Th6 34.Td3 Lf7 35.a4 T6h4 36.axb5 axb5 37.Tg2 Lg6 38.Te3 Kc8 39.b4 Lf7 40.Td3 c6 41.Ta2 Lxd5 42.Ta8+ Kd7 43.Ta7+ Ke8 44.Te7+ Kd8 45.Kg2 Lb2 46.Txg7 Th6 47.Te3 Th8 48.Tee7 Lxf3+ 49.Kg1 Lxg4 50.Tb7 Le5 51.Ta7 Ld7 52.Taxd7+ Kc8 53.Ta7 Kb8 54.Tgb7+ Kc8 55.Tb6 T8h7 56.Txc6+ Kb8 57.Ta5 Kb7 58.Tb6+ Kc8 59.Kg2 Kd7 60.Ta7+ Kc8 61.Tc6+ Kb8 62.Ta5 Tb3 63.Txb5+ Tb7 64.Ld6+ Lxd6 65.Txb7+ Kxb7 66.Txd6 Tb2+ 67.Kf3 f5 68.Td5 Tb3+ 69.Ke2 Tb2+ 70.Sd2 Txb4 71.Txf5 g4 72.Ke3 Ta4 73.Se4 Kb6 74.Tf6+ Kc7 75.Sf2 Kd7 76.Tg6 Ta3+ 77.Ke4 Ta4+ 78.Kf5 Ta5+ 79.Kxg4 Ta2 80.Kf3 Ta3+ 81.Kf4 Ke7 82.h4 Ta5 83.Tg5 Ta4+ 84.Se4 Ta2 85.h5 Th2 86.Tg7+ Kf8 87.Th7 Kg8 88.Ta7 Th4+ 89.Kf5 Kf8 90.Kf6 Tf4+ 91.Kg6 Txe4 92.Ta8+ 1-0. [Replay game]

In the last round of the day, Chess Tiger escaped again with a draw against, what's in a name, Nightmare. A bad day for France foorball and the leading chess program!

Johan de Koning had mixed feelings when he had to play "Sjeng" in the first and "Isichess" in round 2. His program "The King", a.k.a. ChessMaster, lost against these opponents in the Dutch Open last year. Johan had a good start on Friday, winning those games, and this good start with good chess made him a clear favourite.

Vincent Diepeveen faces off against Frans Morsch in Diep vs Fritz

Finally, Fritz is doing well in Leiden. That means, in the first two rounds…"Angstgegner" Tao played the Albin Counter Gambit with the black pieces, a sharp opening. Fritz managed to change queens and the interesting endgame that arose was easily won for white. And in round three Fritz almost managed to score his third point of the day against Diep. Almost…Fritz had a very good position but even came into trouble in the endgame and operator Frans Morsch was happy to score half a point in the end.

Shredder is the only program with a perfect score after winning against The King. The last time these two programmes played against each other in a tournament was in Paderborn 1995. Runners up after three rounds are Comet, Fritz, XiniX and Ant with 2,5 points.

Lottery in Leiden-Amateurs annoy professionals

Report on day two by Eric van Reem

The CSVN (Computer Schaak Vereniging Nederland, Computer Chess Association Netherlands) wanted to do "something" for their about 800 members last year and the idea came up to organise an international tournament. The Dutch Open, which is being played in October is open for international members of the organisation as well, but the fact that the games are being played in two weekends is a bit annoying for the international guests.

Theo van der Storm, one of the organizers: "Between the IPCCC tournament in Paderborn in February and the World Championship, which takes place in the summer, there was some space on the calendar to organize another tournament. We also wanted to organize a tournament for programmers who are not a member of our club. And finally we want to give new programmes the opportunity to test their programmes". As you could read yesterday, three new programmes came to Leiden to play in a man-to-man or machine-to-machine tournament. Richard Pijl, who started programming "The Baron" in August of last year, told me that he plays a lot on the Internet, but personal contacts and exchanging ideas during the games is very helpful for the development of the engine. Good news for everybody who wants to play with the engines present in Leiden: a lot of those engines is freeware. On Saturday another tournament started in Leiden: "Het Gebruikerstoernooi", where owners of dedicated computers play their tournament. They play seven rounds this weekend. Some of the participants are Mephisto Miami, Tasc R30 and Mephisto Magellan, which has a Frans Morsch engine in it: this man wants to win the double!

Comet crashes Shredder in round 4

Shredder does not lose too often, but in round four, he was crashed by Comet. A romantic Kings Gambit proved to be the right recipe to win against the world champion. "I played a wrong bookmove", Stefan Meyer-Kahlen said, "but I am happy that it happens here in Leiden, and not in Maastricht during the world championship. Comet played a very good game, though."

Comet - Shredder, 2nd Intl.CSVN Leiden Ned (4), 01.06.2002: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.d3 Sf6 5.dxe4 Sxe4 6.Sf3 Lc5 7.De2 f5. This was the bad bookmove. 7... Bf5 is much better. 8.Le3 Lxe3 9.Dxe3 0-0 10.Lc4 Sd6 11.Lb3 Te8 12.Se5 a5 13.Sc3 b5 14.a4 b4 15.Sb5 Sd7 16.0-0-0 Sxe5 17.fxe5 Sxb5 18.axb5 a4 19.Lc4 a3 20.bxa3 Txa3 21.Dd4 Kh8 22.Kb1 Dg5 23.e6 Lb7 24.h4 De7 25.Tdf1 Tf8 26.Tf4 Ta4 27.Thf1 b3 28.cxb3 Taa8 29.b6 Da3 30.bxc7 La6 31.Lxa6 Dxa6 32.Txf5 Txf5 33.Txf5 Da2+ 34.Kc1 Da5 35.Kd1 Dxc7 36.d6 Db8 37.b4 1-0. [Replay game]

Isichess made a lot of progress last year. Gerd Isenberg played a draw against Fritz, but it could even have been a "big point". Look at the game:

Fritz - IsiChess X, 2nd Intl.CSVN Leiden Ned (4), 01.06.2002: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Sc3 Sf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Lg5 Le7 6.e3 c6 7.Ld3 Sbd7 8.Sge2 0-0 9.Dc2 Te8 10.0-0 Sf8 11.f3 Le6 12.Lh4 Dd7 13.Sf4 Sg6 14.Lg3 Sxf4 15.Lxf4 g6 16.Lg5 Sh5 17.Lxe7 Dxe7 18.Df2 f5 19.a4 a5 20.Tfe1 Dd6 21.Lf1 Te7 22.Se2 Tae8 23.Sc1 Lc8 24.Sd3 f4 25.Se5 fxe3 26.Dxe3 Sg7 27.Dc3 Db4 28.Tad1 Sf5 29.Dxb4 axb4 30.f4 g5 31.fxg5 b3 32.a5 Kg7 33.Kf2 Sxd4 34.Sf3 Txe1 35.Txe1 Txe1 36.Kxe1 Sf5 37.Kd2 c5 38.g4 Sd6 39.h3 Le6 40.Se5 Se4+ 41.Kc1 Sxg5 42.Lg2 Se4 43.Sd3 c4 44.Lxe4 dxe4 45.Sf4 Kf6 46.Kd2 e3+ 47.Kxe3 c3 48.Sd3 c2 49.Kf4 Lc4 50.Sc1 Ke6 51.Ke4 Kd6 52.h4 Ld5+ 53.Kd4 h6 54.g5 hxg5 55.hxg5 Lg8 56.g6 Ke7 57.Kc5 Kf6 58.Kb6 Ld5 59.Kc5 Le4 60.g7 Kxg7 61.Kd4 Lg6 62.Sxb3 Kf6 63.Sc1 Ke6 64.b4 Kd6 65.b5 Lf5 66.Sb3 Le6 67.Sc1 Ld7 68.Kc3 ½-½. [Replay game]

ChessBase clash: Fritz wins against Shredder.

Shredder-Fritz in round 4: is this the top game of this round? No! Comet and Xinix have more pionts than the two professional ChessBase programmes. A grandmaster draw between these amateurs kept them on top. Fritz won the internal ChessBase clash against Shredder. However, Frans Morsch could not tell why his engine won the game and where Shredder made the mistake: "I always leave the board as soon as Fritz has a plus score. It is far more interesting for me to watch a game when Fritz is in trouble. I can learn a lot about the mistakes. These tournaments are very important for me and for the engine. I was lucky to escape against Diep yesterday and the game against Isichess was very critical as well."

Talking about Diep: Vincent Diepeveens programme won against The King and is one of the four programmes leading with four points. Last year, Fritz and Gambit Tiger dominated the field, but this year it is a different story. Frans Morsch again: "We have to keep an eye on those amateurs" And with a smile he added: " I hope they will not get too strong".

"This position is a work of art", Bas Hamstra, TAO, really liked the final position of his game against "The Baron": What do you think?!

And this is how they reached the position:

The Baron - Tao, 2nd Intl.CSVN Leiden Ned (5), 01.06.2002: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Lf5 3.Db3 e5 4.Dxb7 Sd7 5.Sc3 exd4 6.Sb5 Lb4+ 7.Kd1 Tb8 8.Dxc7 dxc4 9.Dxc4 Da5 10.Sxd4 Se5 11.Db3 Sf6 12.f3 0-0 13.e3 Tfd8 14.a3 Le6 15.Dc2 Tbc8 16.Db1 Da4+ 17.b3 Lxb3+ 18.Ke2 Ld1+ 19.Kf2 Sfg4+ 20.Kg3 Le1+ 21.Kh3 Sf2+ 22.Kh4 Txd4+ 0-1. [Replay game]


Never before in a tournament amateurs won so many games against the favourites as they do in Leiden: the tourney in Leiden turns out to be a lottery. After round 5 four programmes had four points, followed by no less than 8 programmes with three points. The amateurs show how difficult it has become to beat them. And in the sixth round Nightmare showed another example: The King was beaten with black. Ok, that can happen, but the fact that The King had no chance in this game was really remarkable. Fritz had a lot of difficulties with XiniX, and could only draw against the sensational Dutch programme. Diep is the surprising leader after the second day with 5 points, followed by Fritz and Xinix with 4,5. Nightmare, SOS and Chess Tiger still have good changes with four points. Shredder could not win against Insomniac and only scored half a point on Saturday! Let´s see what will happen on the final day, in this tournament anything can happen.

Take a look on the official website to download all the games and check the results of the lottery in Leiden.

Final standing:

Click to enlarge

All games in PGN (zipped)

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