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Chess Classic Mainz 2009 (CCM9) 2009-07-27 - 2009-08-02

Chess Classic

Victor Bologan Chess960 Rapid World Championship
GM Victor Bologan – FiNet-Open-Sieger 2007
28.-30. Juli 2009, 18:30 Uhr, Rheingoldhalle Mainz

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July 27- Aug 2nd, 2009 Rheingoldhalle, Mainz
Chess Classic Mainz 2009 (CCM9)
4. Livingston Chess960 Computer World Championship
Rybka, Shredder und zwei Qualifikanten



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Chess Classic

Fishing for another title - Rybka makes its debut in Mainz
3. Livingston Chess960 Computer Chess World Championship

14.07.2007 - The measure of all things in computer chess at the moment is Vasik Rajlich with his stunning program Rybka. He demonstrated his strength once again during the 15. ICGA Computer Chess World Championship in Amsterdam in June, which he won unbeaten with an almost perfect score: 10/11 games. One of his most persistent rivals, Shredder, had to be satisfied with the fourth place. The current Chess960 world champion will get a chance to get even soon, because the program will meet Rybka again during the 3. Livingston Chess960 Computer Chess World Championship in Mainz on 15.-17. August. Stefan Meyer-Kahlen, the brilliant brain behind Shredder, will certainly try everything to defend his title. Rybka and Shredder will play a double round-robin with two other programs, Spike and Jonny during the Chess Classic Mainz in the lobby of the newly renovated Rheingoldhalle.

The third edition of the Livingston Chess960 Computer Chess World Championship will be a special treat for all lovers of "artificial chess". This year, the Chess Classic organizers chose a different formula: they invited three strong and experienced Chess960 programs to Mainz and gave a "wild card" to the current computer chess world champion Rybka. Chess960 world champion Shredder, first-ever Chess960 world champion Spike, last year´s runner-up Jonny and above mentioned Rybka will play the same formula with the same time control as their human colleagues Anand, Kasimdzhanov, Aronian and Bacrot in the human top event: a double round-robin, followed by a final on the last day. It is not enough to beat your strongest opponent only once, which is the case in a Swiss-style tournament, you have to survive the return fight and you must win the final as well to become world champion. Since all programs will play on identical computer hardware, which will be sponsored by Livingston Electronic Services GmbH from Darmstadt, the factor "luck" will be reduced to a minimum. For the third consecutive time Germany´s leading IT rental company will support the Chess Tigers and the Chess Classic Mainz with a voluminous IT hardware package.

Rybka - a modern success story

Rybka is the Czech word for "little fish", but it has become clear for all computer chess lovers that the high flier has developed itself into a fully grown predatory fish. When you take a closer look at its developers, it becomes clear how Rybka has come to fame and glory: its father is International Master Vasik Rajlich, which in itself it quite a good quality guarantee, but compared to other chess programs, Rybka has another, maybe decisive advantage: the chess program has a mother! The female Polish GM Iweta Rajlich (maiden name Radziewicz) plays an important role in Rybka´s development. In its short history, Rybka has been able to win some of the finest computer chess tournaments around, like the 15. IPCCC in Paderborn, Germany, the Internet tournaments CCT8 and CCT9 and the ICT 6 and 7 in Leiden, The Netherlands. The Rybka team won 2 PAL/CSS Freestyle tournaments in 2006 and 2007, but the most convincing result must have been the perfect 9/9 score in Leiden at the prestigious 26. Dutch Open.

Final standings 15. Computer-Wch

Rybka also has a fantastic and unbeaten score against human opponents. In January 2006 the program won a short match against GM Ivan Morovic Fernandez (ELO 2551) 1,5-0,5. In March 2006 Rybka was invited to play in an category IX tournament in Santiago de Chile and easily won with a convincing score: 9/10. In October and December Rybka won two Internet rapid chess matches against GM Larry Christiansen and in March 2007 Rybka won a spectacular handicap match against GM Jaan Ehlvest 5,5-2,5.

Now you know what WGM Iweta and IM Vasik Rajlich
are doing when Rybka is sleeping

One could get the impression that there are hardly any challenges left for Rybka, but there is one more title the Rajlichs want to win: the Chess960 world title! Therefore, the program has been made "Chess960-ready" by Vasik Rajlich and many computer chess fans will be burning to see if Rybka will become the first chess program with two world titles.

The most succesfull "artificial" chessplayer - Shredder

Without a doubt, Shredder is one of the leading chess programs in the world. Stefan Meyer-Kahlen, the developer from Düsseldorf has won numerous world titles with his program in different categories. He is a man of many talents, because he has also developed chess programs for mobile phones and PDA´s and his program runs under various operating systems. He has developed chess programs for Mac and Linux. Without further ado one can say that Meyer- Kahlen is the most succesfull "artificial" chessplayer in the world. Chess960 is one of Shredders specialities-the program convincingly won last year´s Chess960 world championship and Stefan Meyer-Kahlen will try everything to defend his title. In Amsterdam Shredder was beaten by Rybka-they played a long theoretical variation, very well prepared by Rybka book-cooker Jeroen Noomen, but that won´t happen in Mainz. Every Chess960 position has to be calculated from move one on by the engine itself, which could be an advantage for the more experienced Chess960 program Shredder. His experience as computer adviser in the Kramnik team in his match against computer program Fritz, will certainly have improved Shredder´s strategical play.

Stefan Meyer-Kahlen with his Shredder during the World Championship in Amsterdam

The dangerous outsiders: Jonny and Spike

At first sight you would say that Spike and Jonny are the clear outsiders in Mainz, but if you take a closer look at the results of the programs in the recent past, e.g. the world championship in Mainz 2005, it becomes clear that everything is possible in the world of computer chess. Spike, the program developed by local heroes Volker Böhm and Ralf Schäfer, surprisingly won the title in the first Chess960 Livingston Computer Chess Championship. And also the lesser known program Jonny played two very good Chess960 tournaments in 2005 and 2006. Its programmer Johannes Zwanzger, who is a strong chessplayer himself, will definitely try to annoy his opponents whenever possible. "No program is unbeatable", that´s what the alleged outsiders will like to prove in Mainz.

Spike - Volker Böhm (left) and Ralf Schäfer

Jonny - Johannes Zwanzger

Eric van Reem / Mike Rosa

Published by Mike Rosa

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