Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

Chess TorinoOn May 25th the 14th Computer Worldchampionship starts in Torino. Shredder will also compete in the tournament trying to gain his eleventh Worldchampionship title in the following eleven rounds. Being Shredder's author and operator, I will exclusively report about the tournament's course as well as narrate some episodes from the happenings surrounding it. Comments, articles and photos from Italy. All to be found on this page! (Deutsche Version)

May 25th 2005, 9:30 a.m.

Actually I planned to be in Torino yet, but I´m still sitting in the transit hall of Munich Airport. What happened? Well, my flight from Dusseldorf to Torino this morning, for which I possess a genuine ticket, did not exist! And nobody could really explain why there isn´t any. Everyone referred to a system´s mistake. Great! I just hope that this will remain the only mistake in the system for this week. At least I get the chance to have a look at Munich. Well, the airport rather. Soon we will be off to Torino. Hopefully.

May 25th 2005, 10:30 a.m.

I just heard the message that the flight is overbooked and they are looking for volunteers willing to hand back their tickets. I´m very excited…

May 25th 2005, 3:00 p.m.

Got it! I´ve overcome the flight and the bus ride from the airport and just arrived in the tournament hall. Tournament hall isn´t really the correct name, however. We will play in the Oval Lingotto,

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

a tremendously big hall, where during the Olympic Games the speed-skating competitions had been held. The hall is divided in several parts. Yet, each sector is at least as big as a football pitch. In another part, the Chess Olympiad with players from all over the world takes place. Total chess, so to say.

The playing conditions are superb.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

Each spot has a fast internet access, which is important since nowadays most of the programmes do not run locally on a processor, but on quick computers spread all over the world, which have been provided by the participants especially for the tournament. Similar to the last years, I play with Shredder on a processor provided by transtec, this time – thanks to the support by Seagate – additionally supplied by a very fast hard disk system for the extensive endgame data base. Shredder runs on a 4-fold Opteron 885 Dualcore Server. Yet again the fastest server that Shredder has ever run on. As to the starting position, for instance, Shredder can investigate 4 million positions per second. I am playing with Deep Shredder 10 UCI, which was just recently released. The first round starts at 6 p.m., the tension grows.   

May 25th 2005, 9:00 p.m.

In the first round, Shredder had to play against IsiChess from Germany.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

Shredder chose a calm opening and extended his advantage continuously, winning very confidently in the end. The other favourites had more difficulties. Reigning champion Zappa, running on a super computer with 512 processors this time, had to fight hard against Jonny.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

For a long time, it looked like a draw. In the endgame, however, Jonny even got a winning position, but with only seconds on the clock, it wasn´t able to convert it. Therefore it ended in a draw.

May 25th 2005, 11:30 p.m.

All games are finished, the big problem at this time of the day being the hunt for something eatable. Thus, the first day in Torino ends without having had a taste of the excellent Italian cuisine. This must be better tomorrow.

May 26th 2006, 12:00 a.m.

In the second round starting at 1 p.m., Shredder already has to face Crafty from the U.S. Shredder needs to win, which is far from easy to be sure, since Crafty also runs on a very quick computer, and Shredder additionally has the black pieces. On my daily walk across the footbridge,

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

linking the OlympicVillage with the Oval, I can make up my mind about which opening Shredder will play today.

May 26th 2006, 5 p.m.

Shredder has won the very interesting game.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

So far, everything goes according to plan. After two rounds Shredder, Junior and Rybka are in the lead with 2 points from 2 games. In the third round, Shredder will face Rybka.

May 26th 2006, 10:00 p.m.

Shredder has won. That was definitely the first highlight of the competition.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

Rybka is a strong new engine coming from the States. Shredder managed to start a very nice attack against Rybkas king, when Rybka overlooked a variation, which would have allowed Shredder to sacrifice knight and rook in order to mate the enemy king. A very important victory. After three rounds, Junior and Shredder are heading the list with 3 out of 3. Thus, tomorrow 1 p.m. against Junior.

May 27th 2006, 11 a.m.

During my last tournament reports (from Tel Aviv, Abu Dhabi and Reykjavik) I started the tradition to present a view from my hotel room, and I´m not going to break it, of course. So here it is.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

My hotel is located in the south of Torino, directly at the Place Galimberti, which is a very nice green area in the middle of the town. However, I´m afraid that yet again I won´t have the time to see more from the town than hotel, tournament hall and the way to and fro.

May 27th 2006, 6:00 p.m.

As expected, the battle against Junior from Israel was a tough fight. For many years, they have been one of my hardest competitors for the title.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

The game turned out to be very complicated. Each side played very dynamically without regarding the material. In the end, however, the game winded up into a just draw. After 4 rounds, Junior and Shredder are still in the lead with 3,5 points each, because the other top match between Rybka and Zappa was also drawn. The fifth round will see Shredder playing against Zappa. This is without a doubt a stage in the tournament, where the course will be set for winning the title.

As mentioned before, the Human Chess Olympiad is being held parallelly to our Computer Chess World Championships.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

It is really impressive to watch this mass of chess players from all over the world, with most of the top players being amongst them.

May 27th 2006, 11.30 p.m.

Again only a draw against Zappa from the U.S.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

The sad thing about it is that Shredder had a very promising position and probably overlooked a winning manoeuvre. Zappa runs here on a super computer with 512 processors; in this respect the draw is ok, after all. On the other hand, I´m eager to win this tournament and therefore not in the mood to fear any competitor. The other top match between Junior and Diep also ended in a draw. After five rounds, Junior and Shredder are still on the top of the list, both having 4 points, followed by Rybka, Zappa, Jonny and Diep with 3,5 points. Tomorrow will see no games, and all participants are going on a trip together. So finally, we will see something of Torino and its surroundings.

May 28th 2006, 10:00 p.m.

Our trip into the mountain area around Torino had been a very pleasant change from the tournament´s routine. The monastery San Michele,

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

built right upon a mountain peak, offered an amazing view of both Torino from afar

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

and the Susa valley,

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

which we also visited. Tomorrow, computer chess is on the schedule again.

May 29th 2006, 12:00 a.m.

I´m sitting in the tournament hall preparing the next game against Jonny. The frontrunners are really tight together, so each game is vital. Thus, the match against Jonny is a must win for Shredder.

May 29th 2006, 6:00 p.m.

Unfortunately, Shredder missed his chance and only managed to draw against Jonny.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

It was a long and tough game where both side had its chances. At first, it seemed as if Shredder might gain an advantage, but the endgame apparently looked only promising for him. At the end, Jonny almost blundered, but the draw is a just result in any respect. The other top matches were also drawn, so Shredder and Junior are still in the lead with 4,5 points, being traced by a large group with 4 points including Zappa, Rybka, Jonny and Diep. 5 rounds are still to go, whoever loses the next game is off the race. In a few minutes, the Blitz tournament will start, which always means a lot of stress for the programmes´ operators. 

May 29th 2006, 11:30 p.m.

Very surprisingly, Ikarus has won the Blitz Championships followed by Rybka and Shredder.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

In Blitz chess, each side disposes of 5 minutes for the entire game. When the time is over you lose, no matter how good your position might be. Thus, everything must be done very quickly, the game lasting only 10 minutes instead of the usual 4-5 hours. Consequently, we could play a whole tournament with 13 rounds on one evening. That, of course, is rather taxing, so tonight I´m pretty well done for. Even more than on the other nights. Yet, tomorrow the main tournament will be continued with the 7th and 8th round. So not much time to gather strength again.

May 30th 2006, 11:30 a.m.

Fortunately enough, I have a bit of time over the morning, so I can calmly prepare for the next game against Diep from the Netherlands. More than once, Diep had managed to trip Shredder up. This must not happen this time.

May 30th 2006, 6:00 p.m.

The 7th round turned out to be perfect for Shredder. He won very convincingly against Diep

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

while all the other top matches ended in a draw. Shredder is now the sole leader having 5,5 points followed by Junior with 5 points. After these two, a large group with Zappa, Rybka, Jonny and Spike continue the list, all of them having 4 points. The next round will see us play against Spike with the strategy remaining the same as always: winning.

May 30th 2006, 11:30 p.m.

Just a draw against Spike from Germany. Right after the opening the whole scenery looked like a draw already. Nevertheless, Shredder tried his best but couldn´t achieve more than half a point.  

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

Junior won against Jonny, and with Zappa and Rybka also having been successful, the peak group has shrinked after 8 rounds, yet is now very much closer together. Shredder and Junior are heading the list with 6 points followed by Zappa and Rybka with 5,5 points.

May 31st 2006, 2:30 a.m.

Due to the very late schedule of the rounds, our daily rhythm is completely confused. An ample breakfast in the hotel from 10 to 11 a.m., small lunch in the tournament hall between 5 and 6 p.m., late dinner at midnight, bedtime around 3 in the morning. Hence, the most we see of Torino is in the dark, just like our bridge,

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

which we cross on our daily walk from the hotel to the Oval.

May 31st 2006, 12:30 a.m.

In the next round, Shredder will have the white pieces against Chiron from Italy.

May 31st 2006, 6:00 p.m.

Chiron acted like a good host, leaving Shredder no problems to win.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

But all the other favourites also won, so the situation at the top remains unchanged after 9 rounds. Shredder and Junior with 7 points leading Zappa and Rybka by half a point. Shredder´s next opponent will be ParSOS. The tension grows...

May 31st 2006, 9:30 p.m.

… and is over immediately. Shredder apparently hasn´t been in the mood for playing and allowed ParSOS a quick draw.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

Thus, the tournament is virtually over, too. Junior and Rybka also won, while Zappa spoilt its chances through a draw against Isichess. After 10 rounds, Junior is now the sole leader having 8 points with Shredder and Rybka following with 7,5 points. The last round tomorrow will see Junior holding all the aces.

Utterly frustrated, I´m  seeking for alternatives. Perhaps computer billiard is an option,

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

which is played right next to our place at the Computer Games Olympiad.

June 1st 2006, 12.00 a.m.

In the last round Shredder has to play against Chaturanga from Italy and Junior is playing Isichess. Both should normally win their games.

June 1st 2006, 3:00 p.m.

Shredder has won very quickly, fulfilling his job for today rather convincingly.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

However, Junior has a promising position, so there is not much hope left.

June 1st 2006, 3:45 p.m.

As I had expected, Junior didn´t miss the opportunity and won against Isichess.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino

Thus, Junior keeps ahead of Shredder by half point, gaining the title accordingly. My congratulations to the Junior Team. Shredder assumed the runner-up position, not bad actually, but with a little more luck the path to the top would have been open. For the time being, I´m pretty disappointed.

June 1st 2006, 10 p.m.

The Closing Ceremony. Shredder gets a nice trophy and my bad feelings are gone.

Computer Chess World Championship in Torino 

I am happy about the great event and the nice play of Deep Shredder 10 UCI which was released just before the tournament and that I have used to play here. It was very close at the top. Junior finished with 9.5 points out of 11 games, half a point in front of Shredder and Rybka. Zappa finished 4th with 8 points. I like that fact that Shredder wasn’t beaten here and the he was always in the top 3 at all world championships in the last 11 years. Next year I will definitely try again. Tomorrow there will be some time to take a look at Torino, in the afternoon I am finally flying home.

Here you can download all Shredder games including his evaluations and search depths during the game.

 
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