Imagine! You can play chess with whatever help you want: any number of computers and engines, any GMs friends, hackers or voodoo magic will do. You can even order and enjoy greasy salami pizza during the game and do whatever else pleased you this is Freestyle Internet Chess Tournament I am writing about!
Report by WGM Iweta Radziewicz
2nd Freestyle Chess Main Tournament took place thanks to the sponsor PAL GROUP from United Arab Emirates and Chess Base server during the weekend 19 & 20 March 2006. Almost 150 chess players from around the world had fun and good chess training, but only eight luckiest participants qualified to the final, which took place on Internet April 8 & 9. It is worth noticing that prizes were amazing much better that in open tournament (!): 1.8000$ 2. 4000$ 3.2000$ 4-8 chess software of 1000$ value, and that the level of chess games was also much higher. Who are these luckiest teams?
It is interesting issue how much computers are improving human play and vice versa. The question - what and when is more important: human intuition or engine evaluation based mainly on calculation, is a question every Centaur Player (no matter what chess level he/she presents) has to answer during a game many times. If you want to see how difficult and complicated it may be take a look at comments by GM Krasenkow (2650 ELO) to the Zor_Champ Rajlich game. Are you curios about freestyle games?
It is worth mentioning that like last year Centaurs took the first two places, but there is also a difference from the Freestyle 2005 this year to the final qualified 3 unattended engines. Is it because a year difference made it possible to get very fast hardware which was not in the normal price range a year before, or it was just luck or perhaps it was because of the engine strength improvement I mean RYBKA 1.1 release J. Honestly I think it was a combination of these factors J. Ok! But who won tournament?
Except for buying great hardware and best engine or few best as you like, you can improve your chances to win games by choosing or making an opening book. Still engines are not great in openings humans can improve the game level here a lot. It will not be so much fun to play or watch only engine versus engine games, so Dear Centaurs get ready the 3rd Freestyle main tournament according to some unofficial information is coming up in June! Would like to read more about freestyle chess? Here is a very interesting report written by correspondence GM ARNO NICKEL www.chessbase.com/eventarticle.asp?newsid=2984.