Reports | September 20, 2007 11:25

[lang_nl]Topcomputers gaan ook de strijd aan[/lang_nl][lang_en]Top computers will also meet[/lang_en]

[lang_nl]Net als bij het vorige WK zal er tijdens dit WK in Mexico City een computermatch gespeeld worden, die morgen begint. De sterkste engines van het moment treffen elkaar: Rybka (die deze zomer in Amsterdam wereldkampioen werd) en Zappa (wereldkampioen in 2005 en vicekampioen dit jaar). De match bestaat uit 10 partijen, met een speeltempo van 60 minuten plus 20 seconden per zet. We hebben de (vrij interessante) persconferentie al op film.[/lang_nl][lang_en]Just like the last Wch, during this Wch in Mexico City a computer match will be held, starting tomorrow. The strongest engines of the moment will meet: Rybka (who became computer world champion this summer) and Zappa (world champ in 2005 and vice champion in 2007). The match consists of 10 games, with a time control of 60 minutes plus 20 seconds per move. We have the (quite interesting) press conference already on video.[/lang_en]

[lang_nl]Het schema van de match:
20 september ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú partij 1
21 september ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú partij 2
22 september ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú partijen 3 and 4
23 september ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú partij 5
24 september ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú partij 6
25 september ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú partij 7
26 september ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú partijen 8 and 9
27 september ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú partij 10

Aangezien we al aardig wat artikelen over Rybka hebben gepubliceerd hier op ChessVibes, gaan we er op dit moment vanuit dat dit programma even geen introductie nodig heeft. Zappa staat vooral bekend om zijn goede parallel speedup, wat betekent dat het dramatisch in sterkte toeneemt op computers met dual core, 4- of 8-core (dat laatste wordt gebruikt tijdens deze match). Het beste resultaat was natuurlijk het winnen van het WK in Reykjavik in 2005, met een score van 10,5/11. De programmeur is Anthony Cozzie, een Amerikaanse aio informatica die overigens ook voor Google werkt.

Hier de persconferentie, waarin verschillende onderwerpen werden besproken, van de horizon van computers en het risico dat het schaakspel wordt 'opgelost' tot de Freestyle-toernooien en zelfs valsspelen bij computerschaak.

[/lang_nl][lang_en]The schedule of the match:
20 September ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Game 1
21 September ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Game 2
22 September ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Games 3 and 4
23 September ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Game 5
24 September ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Game 6
25 September ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Game 7
26 September ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Game 8 and 9
27 September ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Game 10

Since we've published quite some articles on Rybka already here on ChessVibes, at the moment we presume the program doesn't need an introduction. Zappa is best known for its good parallel speedup, which means it radically improves when used on a dual core, 4- or 8-core (which is used during this match). Its best result was of course winning the world championship in Reykjavik in 2005, scoring 10.5/11. The programmer is Anthony Cozzie, a PhD student in computer science from the USA who happens to work for Google as well.

Here's the press conference, where various topics were discussed; from the horizon in computer chess and the danger for chess being solved to the Freestyle tournaments and even cheating in computer chess.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Dennis's picture

Bert, you mention "If not both these requirements are met, not much value can be added to the outcome of the match." Why? Do you think the same about humans? Must Kramnik and Anand have the same opening books?

To me, the value of this match is which program is the strongest (in this match). And that includes all aspects (opening books, speed of computer, knowledge inside program, and even luck).

Bert de Bruut's picture

Will the machines this time use the same hardware (unlike the silly Deep Junior vs Deep Fritz match, in which the latter had been equipped with a severe handicap)? Will the opening books be the exact same?

If not both these requirements are met, not much value can be added to the outcome of the match.

Bert de Bruut's picture

(yes you're right, I am to lazy to watch the video or read the tourney regulations)

Anson Williams's picture

The current Freestyle Champion? Isn't that 99% Rybka anyway? :-)

Andre's picture

Rybka vs Hydra either in a free style tournament or pure computer match is the next step

Jeroen's picture

Hi Nelson,

Ha, the current Freestyle champion!? Now who could that be....

Best wishes, Jeroen

Nelson Hernandez's picture

Heh, I think Rybka vs. the current Freestyle Champion is the next step.

Felix's picture

Indeed, this match is not to figure out which engine is stronger (we have ratinglists like CEGT, CCRL etc. for that), it's clear that Rybka is stronger than Zap!Mexico. The question is which team, or we could say engine-book combination, is stronger in this tournament.
I guess Jeroen and Dagh will prove that Rybka's book is superior.
Anyway, this match is something very nice for the spectators, since we can look forward to even more top level chess in Mexico, so just enjoy the games :)

Christian's picture

Hi all,

I was very pleased to hear about the conditions in Rybka/Ehlvest the sequel where Rybka's book was cut down to 3 moves.

My question is what would happen if Rybka (and all computers) were disallowed the use of a book entirely. 0 moves if you will. Would they still cruise through the WCC undefeated as Zappa's programmer suggested.

Some may say that no book is unfair to the computer's but the way I look at it is that opening knowledge is really a human thing that we have spent many generations developing and giving it away to the computers for free is really unfair to us.

Consider the evolution of our opening knowledge from classical to modern and hypermodern. Nimzowitch to Botvinnik. From Fischer to Kasparov. Things that were considered most dangerous are now considered a mistake. Due to the work of humans. I mean opening theory is really the property and birthright of humans. Is it not??

I would really like to see a top level computer play a tourney against the top ten with no book. If it won that would really impress me and I think it would be very interesting the way computers and and top humans interacted. Perhaps we would all learn something new about chess itself. And if the humans exposed the computer in some fundamental way that would provide the computer's with a new set of challenges and also a new way forward for them to continue their development

P.S. what do you think Jeroen?

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