CHESS

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

THE SA Open at UWC ends to­day. As pre­dicted Ser­bian GM Alexa Strikova was in the lead go­ing into the fi­nal three rounds at the time of writ­ing. Only IM Watu Kobese has been able to match his score – seven out of eight. Daniel Cawdery is half-a-point be­hind.

There was a time when com­put­ers were al­lowed to play in South African tour­na­ments – with lim­ited suc­cess.

Com­puter en­gines now are far too pow­er­ful.

The 22nd World Com­puter Chess Cham­pi­onship started on June 27. Six pro­grams par­tic­i­pated in a dou­ble round robin tour­na­ment of 10 rounds.

The tour­na­ment took place at the Lei­den Univer­sity.

The reign­ing 21st World Com­puter Chess Cham­pion was the pro­gram Jonny, writ­ten and op­er­ated by Jo­hannes Zwanzger, Ger­many.

Jonny was run­ning on 2400 AMD x86 cores, its main chal­lengers Ko­modo and Shred­der ran on 48 and 32 In­tel cores re­spec­tively.

Ko­modo’s stiffest com­pe­ti­tion came from Jonny, run­ning on a gi­ant 2400-core ma­chine. With only 48 cores the US pro­gram Ko­modo fin­ished the tour­na­ment equal first with Jonny, then went on to win a hard-fought tiebreak, mak­ing it the 22nd World Com­puter Chess Cham­pion. The tour­na­ment ended in a tie for first, with both Ko­modo and Jonny scor­ing 7.5/10 points.

The rules re­quired a play-off to de­ter­mine the new cham­pion.

Two games were played, both end­ing in draws, in 53 and 65 moves.

The se­cond play-off saw play­ing times re­duced to five min­utes for the game, plus a five sec­onds in­cre­ment per move.

Again the out­come was 1-1 (two draws). Thus a third play-off had to be played.

The first game ended in a draw, and the se­cond game was a win for Ko­modo.

Ko­modo’s rat­ing? Well over 3 000.

Google Deep­Mind is a Bri­tish ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence com­pany founded in 2010. South African Elon Musk has in­vested in two ma­jor AI firms, Vi­car­i­ous and Deep­Mind Tech­nolo­gies, the lat­ter of which was ac­quired by Google.

“Dra­matic ad­vances in ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence are open­ing up a range of ex­cit­ing new ap­pli­ca­tions”, said Demis Hass­abis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Su­ley­man, co-founders of Deep­Mind Tech­nolo­gies.

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