Elista F01: Junior-Fritz drawn, Grischuk, Aronian, Leko win

6/6/2007 – President Ilyumzhinov's "Ultimate Computer Challenge" began with a grandmasterly draw between Deep Junior and Deep Fritz. In the afternoon the humans were fighting it out in the Candidates Finals, with Grischuk, Aronian and Leko winning their games, against Rublevsky, Shirov and Bareev respectively. Report with games, notes and pictures.

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The Finals of the Candidates Matches for the 2007 World Chess Championship Tournament are being held in Elista, Russia, from June 6th to June 14, 2007. Eight candidates advanced from the first stage and are now playing six-game matches to fill four places in the 2007 World Championship in Mexico City. The prize fund is US $40,000 per match, most of the money ($320,000) coming from a personal fund of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE ($160,000) and the general sponsor, Rosenergomash.

Finals: Round one report

Finals Round 1 results: Wednesday, June 6th 2007

Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Alexei Shirov
Peter Leko 
1-0
 Evgeny Bareev
Alexander Grischuk 
1-0
 Sergei Rublevsky
Gata Kamsky 
½-½
 Boris Gelfand

A rather animated start of the Candidates' finals, with three decisive games after aggressive and uncompromising play.

In a sharp line of the Queen's Gambit accepted, Shirov (with black) took advantage of Aronian's slightly careless 15.Ba3 to carry out a promissing exchange sacrifice. However, he soon pushed his d-pawn too far and suddenly found himself struggling. His last move before control (40...h5) was a blunder, leading to an immediate end of the game.

Leko-Bareev saw a complex strategic struggle, where the main discussion was held around the slightly awkwardly placed black queen's rook. On the 29th move Bareev rejected the exchange of queens, which would have allowed him return with the rook into the game, and played for an attack instead. His piece sacrifice on the 31st move was clearly based on a miscalculation, as he resigned just few moves later.



Grischuk managed to highlight the drawbacks of one of Rublevsky's pet lines by a rather unusual attacking action on the whole board. Soon he sacrificed a knight on d5 and... allowed the exchange of queens, when his advance in development became the telling factor. A new pseudo-sacrifice on f7 made his b-pawn unstoppable.

Kamsky played a rather unambitious line against Gelfand's Najdorf Sicilian and Black soon equalized. White's subtle manoeuvring in Karpov's style was not enough to outplay such a big specialist of the opening as Gelfand, and the game soon ended in a draw.


Boris Gelfand and Evgeny Bareev chatting before the game


An overview of the stage on which the matches are being played


Transmission of the games on a projection screen for the public

Commentary by GM Mihail Marin, photos by Casto Abundo (FIDE)

Current standings

 Player
Rating
1
2
3
4
5
6
TB
 Tot. 
 Perf. 
 Levon Aronian
2759
1
           
1.0
 
 Alexei Shirov
2699
0
           
0-0
 
 
 Peter Leko
2738
1
           
1.0
 
 Evgeny Bareev
2635
0
           
0-0
 
 
 Alexander Grischuk
2717
1
           
1.0
 
 Sergei Rublevsky
2680
0
           
0-0
 
 
 Gata Kamsky 
2705
½
           
0.5
 
 Boris Gelfand
2733
½
           
0.5
 


Fritz vs Junior

This event, which is sponsored by FIDE and Kalmyk President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, takes place from June 6th to June 12th in the venue of the Candidates Matches for the (human) World Championship. The computer games will be played on the same stage, starting at 10:00 a.m. during the final stage of the Candidates.

Deep Junior - Deep Fritz
Fritz vs Junior Match Elista, 2007
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.d4 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b5 10.Bd3 Bb7 11.e4 e5 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Bxe5 14.h3 Qe7 15.Be3 Rfe8 16.Ne2.

Fritz has survived the Semi-Slav opening without any undue problems, and now, like a pragmatic grandmaster, finds some tactics to clear the board of pieces.

16...Rad8 17.Bxa7 c5!? 18.Bxc5. Fritz is temporarily two pawns down, but knows it can get away with this. 18...Qc7 19.Be3 Qxc2 20.Bxc2 Bxe4 21.Bxe4 Nxe4. One pawn back, and the queens and two light pieces have disappeared from the board. 22.Rfd1 Bxb2. The second pawn, and a pair of rooks coming off. 23.Rxd8 Rxd8 24.Rb1 Be5 25.f4 Bc7 26.Rxb5 Rd3 27.Bd4 f6 28.h4 g6 29.a4 Ng3 30.Nxg3 Rxd4 31.Ne2 Rxa4 32.g3 and the symmetrical ending is dead drawn. ½-½. [Click to replay]

 Computer
1
2
3
4
5
6
TB
 Tot. 
 Perf. 
 Deep Junior  
½
               
 Deep Fritz  
½
               

The program Deep Fritz is running on a quad processor eight core system known as "Schwarzer Blitz" (Black Lightening, picture on the right). The computer was provided at the last minute by Steinwender EDV in Hamburg, after FIDE had decided that "anything goes" and that both teams could use the best hardware they could procure. Play is conducted using an Internet connection.

The processors on the Fritz computer is running at 2.66 GHz, and Fritz, we are told. There is no clear indication on the Deep Junior hardware, which is located in the Intel offices in London. It is probably an eight-processor system with 16 cores, running at 3.0+ GHz. We will fill out the details as they become available.

Links


Live coverage by Yasser Seirawan on Playchess


Playchess commentator GM Yasser Seirawan

The games of the Candidates Matches, which start at 15:00h local time (13:00h CEST), will be broadcast live on the official site and on Playchess.com server. On the latter there will be daily live audio commentary by GM Yasser Seirawan, with a minimum of three one hour lectures per round, beginning approximately thirty minutes after play has started. For a charge of ten Ducats (about one Euro) a visitor gets a twelve hour pass to listen to the live lectures. Furthermore, GM Seirawan will be awarding daily prizes of Gambit books to the person or persons who have been of the greatest assistance. "We are interested in verbal commentary about a given position (not computer generated analysis), as well as witty insights," he says. "Each and every one is welcome to join in the fun!”

Ducats are the currency used on Playchess.com. You can purchase Ducats here. The amount will be credited to your playchess.com account. You need to allow one working day for processing. If you want your Ducats immediately you can order them using our Click&Buy service. Ducats can also be used to buy ChessBase products.

Note that you can also purchase Ducats directly from Fritz or the Playchess client using the menu "Edit – Payments – Fill up account". This takes you to a special purchase page with your account name automatically passed on, to simplify the process.


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