30 November 2011

19th World Computer Championship

Today, just like a few months ago in Ladies First, I had the choice between two recent world championship events : a computer championship and a Women's championship. This time I let the women wait and added the 19th WCCC - 2011 Tilburg to my page on the World Championship : Computer Chess. The official site at Grappa.univ-lille3.fr (Groupe de Recherche en Apprentissage Automatique at Université Lille 3) hadn't been updated yet, so I relied on the DGT site (DigitalGameTechnology.com) at World Championship Computer Chess 2011 for the PGN game scores and crosstable. Thanks to DGT for the timely information.

Last year I declined (or perhaps neglected) to include the 18th World Computer Chess Championship (Software), which was held for the first time. What's the difference between the two events?

The World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) for the Shannon Trophy will be contested by teams who have no restriction placed on them as to their choice of hardware.

The World Chess Software Championship (WCSC) tournament will be held at the same location, after the WCCC. This will be a uniform platform event using computers loaned by the host organisation. In each game played in this tournament the two computers will be, so far as is possible, identical with respect to their hardware capabilities: number of cores, processor speed, memory size.

This year's WCCC was the first since The Rybka Affair hit top-level computer chess like a sledge hammer. Was the shunning of Rybka a wise move or a witch hunt? The debate continues on forums wherever computer chess is dicussed; see, for example, World Computer Chess Championship (2011) on Chessgames.com.

23 November 2011

Missing Zonal Clippings

After adding the clippings for the current cycle -- see Zonals for the Current Cycle (C25) and TWIC Clippings for the Current Cycle (C25) -- to my pages on the zonals, the next step is to identify which events have no clipping. For each cycle, the table on the left shows how many events have no related clippings.

It should be relatively easy to find crosstables for many of the events in recent cycles. The high number of missing clippings for C18 & C19 is most likely due to events listed on my index page, World Chess Championship Zonals, as zonals, when in fact they aren't. I'll work through the table as time permits.

16 November 2011

Kramnik on Kramnik

In the first decade of the new millenium, three world class chess players -- Kasparov, Kramnik, and Anand -- in that order, ruled the roost. Kasparov was the dominant split-title World Champion going into the decade, Kramnik was his hand-picked heir apparent, and Anand flew FIDE's flag at the beginning of the decade gaining the unified title near the end.

Over the past few months, we've been treated to a steady stream of Kramnik interviews, most of them posted on the relatively new site Whychess.org. In No Nose for Navigation on my main blog, I criticized the site for technical reasons, but there's no question that content is its strong point.

After the 2011 Candidates Event, we listened to the top players sound off in Interviews Past and Present, where Kramnik was eliminated in the semifinal round. A little later he won the annual Dortmund tournament, and has been holding forth ever since. Here he talks mainly about Dortmund and a little about Kazan (links to Whychess.org unless otherwise noted).

He was less successful in the Russian Championship Superfinal, finishing in a tie for 3rd-5th.

Then, in the longest interview I can remember him giving, he touched on many subjects, including three important title matches: 2000 vs. Kasparov, 2006 vs. Topalov (unification), and 2008 vs. Anand. His comments on the Topalov match brought responses from both Azmaiparashvili and Makropoulos, central figures in FIDE's bungled handling of the cheating accusations.

Later he had much more to say on the 2000 Kasparov match.

He then won the Univé tournament in Hoogeveen, and came back to the subject of the current World Championship cycle.

That's a good show for a man who has often been indifferent in his attitude toward the chess public. It's clear from the comments to many of those intervews that he remains enormously popular with chess fans.

09 November 2011

ICCF World Championships (2011 Status)

Once again, here's my annual look at what's happening at the top of correspondence chess. The current status is shown in the following table, which is based on last year's post, ICCF World Championships (2010 Status) As before, the asterisk ('*') means the winner is known and the PGN game scores are available.

20 * (PGN?) 2004-11 Lehikoinen, Pertti (FIN)
21 * 2005-08 Oosterom, Joop J. van (NED)
22 * 2007-10 Dronov, Aleksandr (RUS)
23   2007- Started 2007-12-31
24   2009- Started 2009-06-10
25   2009- Started 2009-12-10
26   2010- Started 2010-06-10
27   2011- Started 2011-06-10

What's changed? The 20th championship has finished (see 20th World Champion on ICCF.com for an announcement) and the 27th has started. That makes three crosstables to be added to my page World Chess Championship : Correspondence Chess. In other news, the ICCF forum closed near the end of last year -- Forum, 'As decided at the 2010 ICCF Congress the ICCF Forums are now closed' -- but lives on at Archive.org : iccf.com/forum/*.

02 November 2011

More Feedback on Zonals

Returning to A Feedback Loop for Zonals, ebutaljib responded with a number of additional points which I've added to the appropriate zonal clippings (all marked '[Ref. BI220357]').

In Svidler, Grischuk and Ivanchuk qualified for... what exactly? [Chessvibes.com], where he copied my post on FIDE's Got a Secret, ebutaljib stirred the pot some more and revealed that FIDE had indeed changed its mind on the format of next year's Candidates event (see also RIP Candidates Matches? on Whychess.org). It appears from the comments on Chessvibes that the events behind the unification process in 2002-2006 have faded into the haze of history. Is there a good summary somewhere on the Web?