We can learn from chess programs!

7/18/2004 – Recently the Israeli program Junior won the world computer chess title for the fourth time, playing some extraordinary chess in the process. GM Boris Alterman, who was the official live commentator at the event, takes a look at two key games and the fantastic positional sacrifices Junior is able to play. Details...

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Boris Alterman writes: Junior, a program developed by Amir Ban and Shay Bushinsky of Israel, had already won the title in 1997, 2001 and 2002. In 2003 it was Shredder who won the title. Now, just seven months later, Junior has won back the title.

I'd like to sum up the Bar Ilan Tournament by showing you two brilliant examples from the World Computer Chess Championship. These two games prove the great ability of chess programs. Looking at fantastic positional sacrifice by Junior in his game against Diep and the thrillier game from the last round Falcon-Shredder I must say – chess programs have a lot to teach us about playing chess!

GM Boris Alterman's Radio ChessBase lectures begin at 21:00h CEST (European Central time = server time, which translates to 17:00h GMT, 3:00 p.m. New York, 05:00 a.m. Sydney (on Monday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of the page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

Boris Alterman is a consummate computer expert and an internationally feared computer killer. In 2000 he played a remarkable game against Deep Fritz in Holland, at one stage reaching the following historical position, which has come to be known as the "Alterman Wall":

Boris won the game against Fritz in 87 moves.

For those of you who have not been following our Chess Puzzle section for many years there's a charming little story involving Garry Kasparov and the young Boris Alterman. It was part of our Christmas Puzzle 1999.

Here are the world-wide starting times for Alterman's lectures.
Abu Dhabi Sun 23:00   Halifax * Sun 16:00   New Orleans * Sun 14:00
Addis Ababa Sun 22:00 Hanoi Mon 02:00 New York * Sun 15:00
Adelaide Mon 04:30 Harare Sun 21:00 Odesa * Sun 22:00
Aden Sun 22:00 Havana * Sun 15:00 Oslo * Sun 21:00
Aklavik * Sun 13:00 Helsinki * Sun 22:00 Ottawa * Sun 15:00
Algiers Sun 20:00 Hong Kong Mon 03:00 Paris * Sun 21:00
Amman * Sun 22:00 Honolulu Sun 09:00 Perth Mon 03:00
Amsterdam * Sun 21:00 Houston * Sun 14:00 Philadelphia * Sun 15:00
Anadyr * Mon 08:00 Indianapolis Sun 14:00 Phoenix Sun 12:00
Anchorage * Sun 11:00 Islamabad Mon 00:00 Prague * Sun 21:00
Ankara * Sun 22:00 Istanbul * Sun 22:00 Rangoon Mon 01:30
Antananarivo Sun 22:00 Jakarta Mon 02:00 Reykjavik Sun 19:00
Asuncion Sun 15:00 Jerusalem * Sun 22:00 Rio de Janeiro Sun 16:00
Athens * Sun 22:00 Johannesburg Sun 21:00 Riyadh Sun 22:00
Atlanta * Sun 15:00 Kabul Sun 23:30 Rome * Sun 21:00
Baghdad * Sun 23:00 Kamchatka * Mon 08:00 San Francisco * Sun 12:00
Bangkok Mon 02:00 Karachi Mon 00:00 San Juan Sun 15:00
Barcelona * Sun 21:00 Kathmandu Mon 00:45 San Salvador Sun 13:00
Beijing Mon 03:00 Khartoum Sun 22:00 Santiago Sun 15:00
Beirut * Sun 22:00 Kingston Sun 14:00 Santo Domingo Sun 15:00
Belgrade * Sun 21:00 Kiritimati Mon 09:00 Sao Paulo Sun 16:00
Berlin * Sun 21:00 Kolkata Mon 00:30 Seattle * Sun 12:00
Bogota Sun 14:00 Kuala Lumpur Mon 03:00 Seoul Mon 04:00
Boston * Sun 15:00 Kuwait City Sun 22:00 Shanghai Mon 03:00
Brasilia Sun 16:00 Kyiv * Sun 22:00 Singapore Mon 03:00
Brisbane Mon 05:00 La Paz Sun 15:00 Sofia * Sun 22:00
Brussels * Sun 21:00 Lagos Sun 20:00 St. John's * Sun 16:30
Bucharest * Sun 22:00 Lahore Mon 00:00 St. Paul * Sun 14:00
Budapest * Sun 21:00 Lima Sun 14:00 Stockholm * Sun 21:00
Buenos Aires Sun 16:00 Lisbon * Sun 20:00 Suva Mon 07:00
Cairo Sun 21:00 London * Sun 20:00 Sydney Mon 05:00
Canberra Mon 05:00 Los Angeles * Sun 12:00 Taipei Mon 03:00
Cape Town Sun 21:00 Madrid * Sun 21:00 Tallinn * Sun 22:00
Caracas Sun 15:00 Managua Sun 13:00 Tashkent Mon 00:00
Casablanca Sun 19:00 Manila Mon 03:00 Tegucigalpa Sun 13:00
Chatham Island Mon 07:45 Melbourne Mon 05:00 Tehran * Sun 23:30
Chicago * Sun 14:00 Mexico City * Sun 14:00 Tokyo Mon 04:00
Copenhagen * Sun 21:00 Minneapolis * Sun 14:00 Toronto * Sun 15:00
Darwin Mon 04:30 Minsk * Sun 22:00 Vancouver * Sun 12:00
Denver * Sun 13:00 Montevideo Sun 16:00 Vienna * Sun 21:00
Detroit * Sun 15:00 Montgomery * Sun 14:00 Vladivostok * Mon 06:00
Dhaka Mon 01:00 Montreal * Sun 15:00 Warsaw * Sun 21:00
Dublin * Sun 20:00 Moscow * Sun 23:00 Washington DC * Sun 15:00
Edmonton * Sun 13:00 Mumbai Mon 00:30 Wellington Mon 07:00
Frankfurt * Sun 21:00 Nairobi Sun 22:00 Winnipeg * Sun 14:00
Geneva * Sun 21:00 Nassau * Sun 15:00 Zagreb * Sun 21:00
Guatemala Sun 13:00 New Delhi Mon 00:30 Zürich * Sun 21:00

* indicates that the place is currently observing daylight saving time (DST)

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