President's Cup computer vs computer match

6/5/2007 – It starts tomorrow, together with the finals of the Candidates Matches in Elista. The "Ultimate Computer Challenge", sponsored by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, pits the reigning computer world champion Deep Junior against Deep Fritz, which beat world champion Vladimir Kramnik in 2006. To get in the mood for the machine match here is an article in the Washington Post.

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We've Made Our Match

Washington Post article by William Saletan

"Ten years ago this week, a computer beat the world chess champion in a six-game match," writes William Saletan. "Since then, human champs have played three more matches against machines, scoring two draws and a loss. Grandmasters are being crushed. The era of human dominance is over."

But wasn't chess supposed to be a bastion of human ingenuity, an art machines would never conquer? Now they're conquering it. And the smarter they get, the more threatened we feel. But we don't need to be afraid, the author fells. "We, too, are getting smarter, and computers are a big reason why. They're not our enemies. They're our offspring – our creations, helpers and challengers."

The article goes on to discuss how computers keep winning while humans keep whining. Humans thought they were smarter than computers because they could choose a goal and figure out how to get there, and because computers had to think through every possible move, whereas humans could recognize crucial patterns and focus on the moves that mattered. This, it turns out, is not enough to maintain supremacy in chess.

Human players tried to ward off the inevitable by developing special techniques or anti-computer chess, hunkering down in impregnable defenses, plotting long-term attacks, leaving irrelevant pieces in danger to absorb the machines' attention. But programmers added a third layer: anti-anti-computer chess. They taught machines to force the wide-open bloodbaths at which computers excel. In 2003, Deep Junior flummoxed Kasparov with a kamikaze attack unprecedented in computer annals. Last year, when Kramnik forced Deep Fritz off its opening script, the program invented a new variation and went on to win the game.

"The remarkable thing about us isn't our supremacy over computers," the author says, "It's our interaction with them. Yes, chess programs have been getting smarter. But they didn't do that on their own. Humans design the hardware and write the code. Grandmasters test and refine it. The machines get smarter because the code gets subtler because the programmers get wiser."


The President's Cup Ultimate Computer Chess Challenge

The event, which is sponsored by FIDE and Kalmyk President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, takes place from June 6th to June 12th in the Goverment House, Elista, Republic of Kalmykia. This is 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. local time during the final stages of the Candidates.

May 2007   June 2007
S M T W T F S S M T W T F S
    1 2 3 4 5           1 2
6 7 8 9 10 11 12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
27 28 29 30 31     24 25 26 27 28 29 30
   May 26 – June 14  FIDE Candidates Tournaments 2007, Elista, Kalmykia
   June 6 – June 12  President’s Cup Computer vs. Computer

The opponents are the reigning computer chess world champion Deep Junior and the winner of the 2006 match against the human world champion Vladimir Kramnik, Deep Fritz. The rate of play for the computer match is Rapid Chess 75 min for the game + 10 sec per move. Arbiter is IM David Levy, President of the ICGA (International Computer Games Association). The prize fund is US $100,000 ($60,000 to the winner, $40,000 to the loser).

Schedule

Wednesday   June 6th Game 1 10:00 a.m
Thursday June 7th Game 2 10:00 a.m
Friday June 8th Game 3 10:00 a.m
Saturday June 9th Game 4 10:00 a.m
Sunday June 10th Game 5 10:00 a.m
Monday June 11th   Game 6 10:00 a.m
Tuesday June 12th Tiebreak (if required)   10:00 a.m
Note that 10:00 a.m. local time is 8 a.m. Central European time and 2 a.m. New York

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