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The Year 2005 in Review

Computer chess activity in 2005 was marked by a growing dominance of machines over humans. It is high time that the human players considered accepting odds from the machines.

In January, a match between four of Indonesia's best players and four chess programs was held in Jakarta. Each person played each machine once. The machines scored a resounding +13-0=3 victory, with no machine scoring less than 3.5 points.

In June, Michael Adams lost by a score of +0-5=1 to Hydra at the Wembley Centre in London. Adams was ranked world no.7 at the time of the match.

Around the same time, FIDE World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov drew a one game match with the Accoona Toolbar, featuring a Fritz 9 prototype running on a notebook computer. After Kasimdzhanov sacrificed a piece, most spectators thought the machine was lost, but the opponents soon repeated the position for the draw.

The 13th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was played in August at Reykjavik, Iceland. After four consecutive WCCCs, where the title had alternated between Shredder and Junior, newcomer Zappa finished two points (+10-0=1) ahead of runner-up Fruit. Shredder tied for 3rd/4th with Deep Sjeng, while Junior tied with Crafty for 5th/6th. Zappa was developed by Anthony Cozzie (USA).

Another man-machine event, the 2nd Festival Internacional de Ajedrez, was held at Bilbao, Spain, in November. Three former FIDE Knockout World Champions each played a total of four games against three strong chess programs. The machines won by a score of +5-1=6, with Ruslan Ponomariov scoring the only win for the humans.

Next : Passages 2005

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