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Subject: WCCC04 acknowledgements

Author: Gerd Isenberg

Date: 06:44:03 07/16/04


Congratulations and thanks to all participants, organizers and sponsors of the
12th World Computer Chess Championship at Bar-Ilan University in the city of
gardens, Ramat-Gan, Israel. Really a great, exciting event.

Congrats to Junior team, Amir Ban, Shay Bushinsky and Boris Alterman!
A very deserved champion!

May be you can disclose Junior's hardware secret now ;-)

Congrats to Stefan Meyer-Kahlen and Sandro Necchi for the second place and of
course for the Blitz-title. One draw too much this time.

Congrats to Vincent Diepeveen and Arturo Ochoa for the third place with Diep.
Diep suffered a lot from connection problems - otherwise ... who knows.
A program with very deep knowledge!

Crafty's performance was also fine, shared fourth with Fritz.
Congrats to Bob Hyatt and the very dedicated book author and operator Peter
Berger. Bob, i guess you can't find a better one. I was very impressed by
Peter's skills operating Crafty during the Blitz-tournament.

Fritz was a bit unlucky this time and may need more special preperation.
Anyway, congrats to Frans Morsch, Alex Cure and Jos Uiterwijk.

Congrats to Johannes Zwanzger and his Jonny for the best "Single processor"
performance. Congrats to Omid David Tabibi and the "cool" italian book author
Eros Riccio with their Falcon. Finally they decited the championship in the last
round with this very sharp and exciting najdorf line, drawing against Shredder.

Both, Johannes and Omid David, are rather young and they will have a great
future in computer chess!

ParSOS by Rudolf Huber was a bit unlucky with some opening lines and also not to
play FIBChess - as usual very impressed by the deep search.

May be a bit disappointed Gian-Carlo Pascutto's Deep Sjeng again. Anyway 50% is
not that bad in those strong field - the last two rounds...

Movei from Uri Blass did it fine for the first time. Three points and a lot of
tough games - not that bad, Uri.

Rather well did John Hamlen's Woodpusher 1997, an interesting attempt to play
with a seven year old program. Similar is true for Rémi Coulom's The Crazy
Bishop - even if Rémi worked a bit on the search during the last weeks.

Respect for the Fakultaet Informatika Barcelona and Guillermo Baches Garcia
participating with the too new and therefore too weak Java Chessprogram
FIBChess, operated by Allesandro (?), a nice guy from Mexico city, who studies
computer science in Barcelona.

Hopefully FIBChess will encourage other authors to share the community next time
- even if their engines are not so strong.

TD Jaap van den Herik did a very great and competent job!
IMHO the 11/14 swiss worked better than expected.
Thanks to the boring 10th round there were still exciting and decisive games in
the last round.

Many thanks again to Omid David Tabibi and Prof. Nathan Netanyahu as main
organizers. The fax was really helpfull. Thanks to take so much care about our
security. Thanks to the ICGA president David Levy and staff as well, to Joke,
Jos, Mark, Jeroen and all others.

Finally thanks to the sponsors, specially to the Golan Heights Winery.
The gift, a bottle of wine, gave the security guys at the airport some work.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

It took me about 28 hours to get home from Ramat-Gan ;-(

Leaving Optima tower hotel wednesday noon, taxi to airport.
After two hours check in, entering the gates, i just saw our swiss aircraft
landing very hard, swinging up and down and left and right, hmmm...

At announced boarding time, the supervisor told about a 30 minutes delay due to
some minor technical problems. After that, one more 30 minutes and calling some
passengers with connection flights from Zurich to London or elsewhere, to look
for alternate flights - there was a really great chaos.

At about 19:00 (three hours delay already) the flight to Zuerich was finally
canceled. All remaining passangers had to leave the airport going by bus to some
hotel in Tel-Aviv. Immediatly after passport control, already waiting for the
bus, a stewardess came, saying the aircraft was ok now. One more security and
passport check. Take off in the very last minute at 21:00 to arrive Zuerich at
midnight.

In Zuerich the handling was quite ok, they already booked new connection
flights. Check in in some airport hotel at 2:00 am. Only 2 hours sleep due to
landing or starting aircrafts in the very early morning time.

The final connection to Duesseldorf was delayed again too.
Furtunately only one hour, i love Swiss international airlines.
Better to arrive late but safe than never - at 16:00 i finally arrived home.

After 14 hours sleep i feel better now ;-)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

About IsiChess performance, hmmm, a lucky last day.
Considering 6 times black and an outdated book i'm quite happy with 6/11.
For sure seeded as 5th was much to high. Normally IsiChess isn't seeded so high,
like Paderborn this year as 16th ;-)

The current program is already for the waste bin.

Anyway the losses against Crafty, Jonny and Diep pointed out some very weak
play. In difficult or even strategical lost positions IsiChess tended to make it
even easier for the opponents.

The draw against Fritz as well against Junior seemed both rather lucky to me.
It survived both games "accidently".

Of course, i am very proud about the shortest win againts FIBChess in only 18
moves ;-)

In the game IsiChess-Movei, a Gruenfeld-Indian, IsiChess was clueless a long
time, shuffling pieces around. Score went from too high +0.5 something down to
almost zero. Movei took a long think at move 61, about 20 minutes, solving a
fail low after c3. IsiChess pondered wrong and replied in a too short time, but
was finally lucky to win the game, thanks to more time and probably better play
in the tactical ending.

In the final Deep Sjeng-IsiChess game it seemed that Deep Sjeng had some
problems to properly evaluate king safety and later the exchange for a dangerous
passer. IsiChess was lucky this time with fitting heuristics.

It was a great event, a great time in Israel - what a great country. Very nice
people, a lot of very nice girls, no resentments to me as a german, considering
that we killed over six millions jews during the holocaust!

Almost every evening most participants meet in a restaurant near by the hotel.
Steaks, Schaschlik and Pasta and dark Goldstar beer and coke for Vincent.

It was nice to meet the guys from the olympiad and the conference too. Johan de
Koning, the winner of the Amazons competition of course, as well as our ICGA
programmers representative Yngvi Björnsson, Mark Winands and others.

It was a great pleasure to hear and meet Jonathan Schaeffer.
Thanks for the personal note and the good wishes.

To read Jonathan's exciting book "One Jump Ahead" is very entertaining and
helped me a lot to shorten the boring waiting times at the airports.
I really recommend everyone to get this unique book. Very, very exciting
reading.

Finally thanks to Dan Andersson for the tip with the AMD64 Shuttle Box!
A very easy to apply carry-on baggage.

Cheers,
Gerd




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