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The Year 2004 in Review

Computer chess activity took a breather in 2004. No event attracted the same worldwide media attention as had the Kramnik man-machine match in 2002, or the two Kasparov matches in 2003.

In January, computers from all over the world joined forces to take on GM Peter Heine Nielsen in an online chess game. The ChessBrain project 'became the first distributed network to play a game against a single human opponent and earned an official 2005 Guinness World Record for "The largest networked chess computer".' The game ended in a draw.

The 12th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was held in July at Ramat-Gan, Israel. The program Junior, developed by Amir Ban and Shay Bushinsky (both of Israel), won the event. Repeating its 2002 victory in the 10th WCCC, Junior finished ahead of Shredder, developed by Stefan Meyer-Kahlen (Germany), which had won the 9th and 11th WCCC.

The dominance of Junior and Shredder was challenged in August. Hydra, developed by Chrilly Donninger (Austria) and running on 16 processors, beat Shredder +3-0=5 at the 14th Abu Dhabi Chess Festival. After the unofficial match between the two machines, Hydra beat GM Evgeny Vladimirov, a 2600-rated player from Kazakhstan, by the score +3-0=1.

Next : Passages 2004

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