Computer Championship: Shredder stops Brutus

11/25/2003 – In round five at the Computer Chess World Championship in Graz saw ex-world champion Shredder dominate Brutus, never really giving the hardware program from Austria a chance. Meanwhile the other favourites Fritz and Junior drew their game. Here's a full report and video clip.

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Round 1 – Nov 22, 2003
 Diep  Quark
1-0
 List  Shredder
0-1
 Chinito  Jonny
0-1
 Nexus  Parsos
draw
 Fritz  Falcon
1-0
 Hossa  Deep Sjeng
0-1
 Deep Junior  Ruy Lopez
0-1
 Green Light  Brutus
0-1
Replay and download games
Round 2 – Nov 23, 200
 Deep Sjeng  Fritz
0-1
 Jonny  Nexus
draw
 Quark  List
0-1
 Falcon  Hossa
1-0
 Parsos  Deep Junior
0-1
 Shredder  Diep
1-0
 Brutus  Ruy Lopez
1-0
 Green Light  Chinito
1-0
Replay and download games
Round 3 – Nov 23, 200
 Fritz  Shredder
1-0
 Jonny  Brutus
0-1
 Chinito  Parsos
1-0
 Diep  Falcon
draw
 Nexus  Deep Sjeng
0-1
 Ruy Lopez  Green Light
1-0
 Deep Junior  List
1-0
 Hossa  Quark
0-1
Replay and download games
Round 4 – Nov 24, 2003
 Quark  Chinito
0-1
 List  Nexus
1-0
 Falcon  Jonny
1-0
 Brutus  Fritz
1-0
 Parsos  Hossa
1-0
 Shredder  Green Light
1-0
 Deep Sjeng  Deep Junior
0-1
 Ruy Lopez  Diep
0-1
Replay and download games
Round 5 – Nov 25, 2003
 Nexus  Quark
0-1
 Deep Junior  Fritz
draw
 Shredder  Brutus
1-0
 Jonny  Parsos
1-0
 Hossa  Ruy Lopez
1-0
 Diep  Deep Sjeng
draw
 Green Light  Falcon
1-0
 Chinito  List
0-1
Replay and download games
 

Please note that in our previous reports one of the games from round one, Hossa vs Deep Sjeng, was given wrong. This has now been corrected (thanks to K. Utzinger for pointing it out).


Junior (with Armir Ban) vs Fritz (with Mathias Feist)

In round five Deep Junior, the reigning world computer chess champion, played a cautious and strategically somewhat unusual game against Fritz. One had the impression that the Israelis were content with a draw against the Dutch-German program. Fritz went on the attack, but it could not find a way to really gain the initiative, so that the game ended in a draw.


Stefan Meyer-Kahlen (Shredder) facing Ulf Lorenz and Chrilly Donninger (Brutus)

Brutus, which is the work of an Austrian, is the local hero. Until now the hardware program had was Russians we believe call a "dry score": four out of four. It looked quite unstoppable, even though a very strong player (with recent experience against computers) called its games "a bit strange". However, in round five it clashed with the many-time computer champion Shredder, whose games in Graz said player described as "probably the best of the lot" – even though Stefan Meyer-Kahlen's program had lost to Fritz two rounds earlier. This time Shredder came out of book with a small advantage and completely outplayed Brutus to join it in the lead. So now we have the strange situation: Fritz beats Shredder, Shredder beats Brutus and Brutus beats Fritz. You often see that in computer chess – and in human chess too, by the way.


Gian-Carlo Pascutto, the author and operator of Deep Sjeng

The hardware

A word about the hardware that is being used in this tournament.

  • Deep Sjeng is, as far as we know, the first program to run on the new 64-bit Opteron processor produced by AMD.

  • Fritz is running on the quad 2.8 GHz system that Intel put together for the match against Garry Kasparov. Not just the same kind of computer, it is exactly the same machine, which is standing in the offices of X3D Technologies in New York. In Graz the programmers are using a simple Dell notebook to remote control the Intel computer.

  • Shredder was supposed to run on a similar quad machine, but this was not delivered in time, so that Stefan Meyer Kahlen had to use a relatively modest 2 x 3,06 GHz system.

  • Brutus is running on a cluster of four dual processor servers, supplied by and maintained by the University of Paderborn, Germany. Each machine is equipped with two FPGA cards, which were supplied at a special price by Alpha Data Parallel Systems in Scottland. The authors of the program are Chrilly Donninger, who wrote most of the chess code; Alex Kure, who looks after the evaluation and the openings book; and Ulf Lorenz, who developed the parallel algorithms for the multi-processor version of Brutus. Ulf is also in charge of debugging and testing the program. He reports that Brutus in 70 games each against Fritz 8, Shredder 7.04 and Junior 8 on a single processor system was scoring 70%, giving it a theoretical Elo of over 2900. But these were test games with openings books not optimised for computer chess tournaments.

All games are being transmitted live on the Playchess.com server. This includes audio commentary by GM Peter Wells and video impressions from the tournament hall.

In order to follow the games you can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the action, or download a free trial client here.

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