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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

Category 29: The strongest chess tournament…ever!
Livingston Chess960 computer chess world championship

18.07.2008 - For the fourth time during the Chess Classic in Mainz, the Livingston Chess960 computer chess world championship will be held. Last, year we saw a four-program round robin with the strong participants Rybka, Shredder, Jonny and Spike. Rybka, developed by Vasik Rajlich won the final against the German top program Shredder to clinch home the title. Both programs will play in Mainz again this year and from 31.07-02.08 they will be challenged by two top chess programs, the qualifiers from the ICC online tournament: Naum, made by Alexander Naumov and Deep Sjeng, the brainchild of Belgian programmer Gian-Carlo Pascutto. The engines that will battle it out in Mainz are the numbers 1-4 on the Chess960 computer rating list. Arbiter Hans Secelle calculated that the average rating of Rybka, Shredder, Naum and Deep Sjeng adds up to (3052 + 2970 + 2956 + 2947) = 2981. This means that we'll have a Fide-category 29 (!) tournament or, in other words, the strongest tournament in the history of chess.... (Eric van Reem)

The participants

The defending champion: Rybka

Vasik Rajlich

The defending Chess960 champion is Rybka. The program, developed by Vasik Rajlich did not only win the Chess960 world title in Mainz last year, but also won the ICGA world championship in Amsterdam. The American will try to win both titles again this year: after the tournament in Mainz, Rybka will play the ICGA world championship in Beijing, China to confirm her (Rybka is a she!) exceptional position in the computer chess world. After traveling around the world as a software developer, Rajlich now resides in Budapest, Hungary to work full-time on his chess program. His wife Iweta, who is the main Rybka tester, will come to Mainz as well not only to support her husband during his tournament, but she will play the FiNet Chess960 open as well. The new Rybka 3 will be published this month and this time, the little fish will swim in her own Aquarium. Check the website www.rybkachess.com for more details.

 

Stefan Meyer-Kahlen

The veteran: Shredder

Shredder Chess is run by Stefan Meyer-Kahlen who works on Shredder since 1993. The Shredder chess programs are commercially available since 1997 and have been sold in many different versions in more than 100 countries over the years. Today Shredder is one of the most famous names in computer chess and is used by chess players from beginners to world champions all over the world. The Shredder chess programs by Stefan Meyer-Kahlen provide a game playing and analysis tool for everybody and are accepted as one of the best chess programs of the world. Since 1996 Shredder has won twelve titles as World Computer Chess Champion which makes Shredder the most successful chess program ever. Stefan has played many times in Mainz and has played with innovative programs like Pocket Fritz against grandmasters like Leko, Adams and Radjabov. He has also developed a chess program for your iPhone! Shredder won the Chess960 world title in 2006 and will certainly try to win the Chess960 crown back! Check the website www.shredderchess.com for more information.

 

The ICC qualifiers: Naum and Deep Sjeng

Gian-Carlo Pascutto

In June, the Internet Chess Club, in conjunction with the Chess Tigers organized the 2nd Chess 960 Internet Championship. After the big success of last years tourney, there was a human section (won by Hikaru Nakamura) and for the first time a separate computer section. In the finals, two programs made it to Mainz: the Canadian Program "Naum", by Alexander Naumov and Deep Sjeng, by Gian-Carlo Pascutto from Belgium. Both programmers played in Mainz before and they recently published new heavily improved versions of their programs.

Deep Sjeng played some very strong tournaments lately: at the prestigious ICT in Leiden, The Netherlands the program scored a fabulous 8/9 points, only Rybka scored 0, 5 points more. A few weeks later Sjeng won the "programmers tournament" in Belgium. Pascutto has not only developed a formidable chess program, but the multi-talent has also written some programs for music lovers and a strong Go program (Leela). Check the website www.sjeng.org for information and downloads.

 

Alexander Naumov

Alexander Naumov does not often play chess tournaments, but for the Chess Classic he makes an exception and will fly in from Canada. Naumov was born in Serbia (1969) and studied computer science at Belgrade University. In 1994 he moved to Toronto, Canada where he works as C++ and Java developer mostly for the financial industry. He wrote his first logical game as a teenager for Commodore64, and the first game featuring a computer chess like search algorithm (alpha-beta) in 1992. He started working on Naum in 2003 and the first version was developed for Palm handheld computers only. Soon Naumov switched to the PC once he discovered the fiercely competitive engine development community for it. Naumov is working on improving Naum constantly, since he has two dedicated computers working 24 hours each day testing the latest ideas. Naum has a positional playing style. It's strongest in the middle game, but more endgame knowledge is planned for the next version. Check the site www.geocities.com/naum_chess, where you can download his program. The free Palm version is also still available.

The ratinglist

On www.computerchess.org.uk/ccrl/404FRC you can check the actual position of the best Chess960 engines. Sponsor Livingston and the Chess Tigers are happy and proud to welcome the four top Chess960 computer programmers to Mainz!

 

 

 

Eric van Reem

Published by Thilo Gubler

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