Report from the 5th Chess960 Computer World Championship in Mainz
Photos by Eric van Reem
Besides Rybka (defending the title) and Shredder (runner-up 2008), Deep Sjeng and Ikarus were participating, since they qualified via a tournament on ICC (which Deep Sjeng won). In Mainz the programmers are operating, which makes it a special event - the atmosphere is friendly, there's some exchange of experiences between the programmers. Also during the games the authors learn about their and other programs, since they usually don't watch their program playing that intensively.
The hardware is provided by a sponsor and in general everything is organized very well by a quite professionally working group around Hans-Walter Schmitt, so being in Mainz is a real pleasure.
Vasik Rajlich (Rybka)
Stefan Meyer-Kahlen (Shredder)
Gian-Carlo Pascutto (Deep Sjeng)
Muntsin Kolss (Ikarus)
The drawing of lots was done with T-shirts before the tournament:
First surprise - Ikarus is the number one :)
Hans Secelle (the arbiter, doing a good job as always)
For every round a new position had to be diced, usually strong players were doing it (you can e.g. blame Levon Aronian for the positions we had in the final games :) ).
GM Sebastian Siebrecht tries hard to get a really random position
Quite many spectators were watching the games, since the chess960 rapid tournament was taking place simultaneously
A photo from the second day at the start of a game against Deep Sjeng. You can see the Aquarium GUI Vas switched to (from the Shredder GUI we also used), but he forgot to install tablebases there, which cost half a point in the last game of the preliminaries against Shredder.
Stefan Meyer-Kahlen was in a good mood. Shredder won the blitz (5+3) tournament on the second day, so Mainz was also successful for him.
Concentration in the final between Rybka and Shredder
Vas looking on Shredder's screen to enter the move faster. In the preliminaries he sometimes didn't realize that Rybka had already moved and wasted some time there.
Here you can see me, Felix Kling, (the guy in the blue shirt next to Vas) watching the first game of the final. As you can see, Vas took a turned rook instead of the queen to confuse the broadcast system ;)
The third game - rook and two pawns vs. knight and two pawns - is it really won?
It is. My face indicates a rising score, Stefan's a score drop :)
So the score was 2.5-0.5 and Rybka won the world championship again!
Having some fun after the games
Concentrated in a blitz game, note that the flags should be the other way around :)
The award ceremony, Deep Sjeng finished 3rd, so the programmers stand in the right order :) .
The current chess960 world champions, Nakamura won against Aronian in the human match. Vas gave the nice glass trophy (it's quite havy) after the tournament to me, it has a special place at my home now.
I hope you enjoyed the report!
All photos (plus some extra ones) as gallery in high quality
Short report by Vas with some selected positions from the games
Games in .pgn format
Tournament website with results and articles