Adams vs Hydra: the execution continues

by ChessBase
6/27/2005 – Britain's top grandmaster and the world's number seven player Michael Adams is being devastated by Hydra. After playing for a draw and losing in game four, today Adams was slowly strangled by the 32-processor chess machine, located in Abu Dhabi. The score in the six-game match is now 4.5:0.5 for the computer.

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The chess machine Hydra, which runs on 32 processors, each enhanced by special FPGA chess hardware, can calculate 200 million moves per second. The match between this monster machine and British GM Michael Adams is taking place at the Wembley Centre in London from 21-27 June. The purse is $150,000, paid out on a per-game basis: the winner of each game gets $25,000, in case of a draw both opponents get $10,000 each, and whenever Adams loses a game he gets nothing. The current score of 4.5:0.5 means that Adams has earned a total of $10,000 so far, while his opponent gets $110,000.

Game four under way in the Wembley Centre, London

Game four was another bitter pill for the human player. Adams, who had the white pieces, did everything he could to draw: exchange pieces to reduce material, simplifying in every way he could. By move 19 he had traded down to rooks and a bishop on either side; by move 27 each side had two rooks and five pawns; and at move 33 it was rook plus three pawns each. This one had to be a draw, but unfortunately the giant machine would have none of it and ground him down for a third victory in this match.

Trading down to an endgame loss in game four: Michael Adams

In the press conference after the match Adams said: “I came in today feeling far more confident than in the previous games. But I wasn't happy with my opening moves. Whilst I think the end game should have been a draw, I have seen that Hydra is far more skillful than I initially thought."

Before the game German GM Christopher Lutz of the Hydra team explained the success of the machine in the first half of the event: "When playing with White in games one and three Hydra was able to quickly develop an initiative and put Adams under pressure. This lead to two clear victories. In game two Adams reached a slight advantage out of the opening, but Hydra defended patiently and managed to get a counter-play. In the end, the game was drawn, as neither side could make any progress. For the second half I expect that Adams has learned from his mistakes and will offer more resistance. I think a score of 4.0:2.0 or 4.5:1.5 in Hydra’s favour might be the final result.”

The audience at the Wembley Centre venue

Game five continued in the same vein. In three hours and 41 minutes, after 41 moves, Adams resigned for a fourth time in this match. Once again one had the feeling that the British GM never had a chance, although he did put on a brave face after the game. "I’m not upset with how I’ve played," said Adams. "I don’t think I’ve played too badly. Obviously this is an incredibly strong opponent so to win would be an incredible achievement. But let’s see how I go tomorrow.”

Adams before the start of game five

Hydra's chief programmer Chrilly Donninger said: “In our quest to prove the power of Hydra we could not have hoped for a better outcome. This is a far more difficult opponent than Kasparov, and Adams has played extremely well. So we are very pleased with the performance of our machine"


Game 1 Tues. 21 June 2005, 3 PM Hydra-Adams
Game 2 Wed. 22 June 2005, 3 PM Adams-Hydra
Game 3 Thurs. 23 June 2005, 3 PM Hydra-Adams
Game 4 Sat. 25 June 2005, 3 PM Adams-Hydra
Game 5 Sun. 26 June 2005, 3 PM Hydra-Adams
Game 6 Mon. 27 June 2005, 3 PM Adams-Hydra
Score Michael Adams – Hydra: 0.5:4.5

The games are being covered live on in a special broadcast room:


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