Live from Graz: Computer Chess World Championship

11/22/2003 – The first day (and round) brought us a first shocker: titel holder Deep Junior lost to the amateur program Ruy Lopez. Fritz, Shredder and Brutus won their games. The event is being covered live, with audio commentary by Peter Wells, on the Playchess.com server. Here is an illustrated report .

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The World Computer Chess Championship is being conducted under the auspices of the ICGA. It is an eleven round Swiss tournament with most of the world best programs participating. Favourites are Junior, Shredder, Fritz and the "home team" Brutus, which is a parallel hardware-based FPGA program.

[Foto removed at the request of Lokasoft, Holland]

The tournament hall in Graz (Picture by Gian-Carlo Pascutto)

All games are being transmitted live on the Playchess.com server. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the action, or download a free trial client here.


Live tranmission with audio commentary by GM Peter Wells on Playchess.com

Results of round one

 Diep  Quark
1-0
 List  Shredder
0-1
 Chinito  Jonny
0-1
 Nexus  Parsos
draw
 Fritz  Falcon
1-0
 Deep Sjeng  Hossa
0-1
 Junior  Ruy Lopez
0-1
 Green Light  Brutus
0-1

One of the most interesting games was a dramatic attacking effort by Shredder, the first encounter to end in round one. The program List had tried to use an unorthodox opening and was, well, shredded by its German opponent. That's Shredder author Stefan Mayer-Kahlen in the picture on the right.

The second game to end was that of Fritz. Fresh from it's match against Garry Kasparov in New York the Dutch-German program played a great positional game, leaving opponent Falcon no chance. Peter Wells was very impressed by Fritz's exchange of the Bb2 for its counterpart on g7. "That shows great positional understanding," the English GM said.

The other games were harder-fought. The shocker was reigning world champion Junior's loss to amateur Ruy Lopez – in a Ruy Lopez opening. True to its reputation the Israeli program gave up a pawn for an attack against the enemy's castled king, but went astray in the followup.

Deep Junior - Ruy Lopez [C96]
WCCC 2003 Graz (1), 2003

Junior continued 38.Bxg7+ Ke7 39.Bxh6 Bc5+ 40.Kh1 Be3 41.Re1 Bxh6 42.Qxh6 Qg3 43.Qd2 Qxh4+ 44.Kg1 Ra2 45.Rc1 Qc4 and found itself still a pawn down and in the defensive. White resigned at move 62 to give the Spanish program a full point.


Prof Jaap van den Herik of the ICGA (standing with tie) watches the game between Junior (with Shay Bushinsky) and Ruy Lopez progress


Matthias Wüllenweber of ChessBase (left) looking after the Fritz Media Server coverage, while GM Peter Wells does live audio commentary – for the spectators in the hall and on the Playchess server.


Food for the participants – well for the human operators, anyway (Photo: Thomas Meyer)

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