Schredder beats Fritz at the IPCCC

2/22/2003 – Fritz was cruising along at the computer chess tournament in Paderborn. But then sibling Shredder produced a stumbling-block victory, the result of brilliant openings book preparation, with Fritz having essentially lost the game before Shredder had started to think. Now there are four programs in the lead. You will find an illustrated report and all the games here.

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The International Paderborn Computer Chess Championship (IPCCC) runs from February 19 to 23. The venue is the University of Paderborn and the chief organiser is Ulf Lorenz, one of the researcher at this institution.


The University of Paderborn

Last year Shredder finished first, ahead of Fritz and Comet, in 2001 it was victorious ahead of Fritz and Gandalf, and in the year before that it was Shredder adhead of Junior and Nimzo. So this year computer chess fans were mainly interested in who would be second and third after the permanent winner. Shredder is also the program that, in the last SSDF computer rating list, took a narrow lead over the permanent leader there, Fritz.

This year both Shredder and Fritz are running on the fastest and most reliable machines currently available. If you really want to know, the Transtec 2200 Xeon Chess Workstation contains two Intel Xeon 2.8 GHz processors, the Intel E7505 chipset, 2 GB of ECC DDRAM, 60 GB EIDE hard drives, an NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440SE 64 MB graphics card, a 64-bit 133 MHz PCI-X, 2 64-bit 100 MHz PCI-X, 2 USB 2.0 and 2 PS/2 connectors, onboard Sound (AC 97), an onboard Gigabit Ethernet, a Cherry keyboard, a transtec wheel Maus, all in a black tower housing with a 450 watt power supply and the Windows XP Professional operating system.

Another interesting program taking part in Paderborn is Brutus, an FPGA development by Dr Christian ("Chrilly") Donninger. Brutus runs on special hardware called Field Programmable Gate Arrays which make it much faster than a program running on a general-purpose computer. Brutus can also use the most sophisicated kind of chess knowledge, since adding information to its evaluation function does not slow down the search speed.


The current Brutus FPGA board, which can be shrunk to a small PCI card

Apart from the "big three" (all from the ChessBase stable) there are a number of talented amateurs participating. The most dangerous for the professionals are Gandalf of Danemark and SOS from Germany.

Standing after five rounds

Picture Gallery


Computer chess tournament at the University of Paderborn


Gummi bears and coke – the work place of a chess programmer


The typical work position of the chess programmer – here Frank Schneider, the author of Anaconda

Typical portraits of chess programmers

Stefan Meyer-Kahlen (Shredder)

Dan Wulf (Gandalf)

Uli Türke (Comet)

M. Kolss (Ikarus)

Kai Skibbe (Anaconda)

Roland Pfister (Patzer)

 


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