A thousand dollars to beat Rybka

The dice is cast! Grandmasters who think their brains are still better than computers’ microchips can now demonstrate their ability by challenging one of the strongest chess program in the world: Rybka. IM Larry Kaufman has publicly made the following offer on http://rybkaforum.net.
“I will donate $ 1,000 of my own money to any grandmaster who can win a six game match from Rybka (my choice of version and pc) under the following conditions:
[1] Opening book: Rybka is limited to a 3 move deep opening book I would prepare (to provide variety and avoid prepared games); [2] Tablebases: None; [3] Hash table size: 512 MB; [4] Color: Human gets White every game!; [5] Time limit: FIDE time control (90'+30" increment) for the grandmaster, 45'+15" for Rybka. External clock governs human, computer clock governs computer; [6] Breaks: five minute break twice each game on request by the grandmaster. Computer may reboot if frozen; [7] Schedule: two games per day for three days, intermediate break as requested by the grandmaster; [8] In the event of a drawn match, I will donate $500 to the grandmaster; [9] Playing location: my home in Potomac, MD (free accommodations to the grandmaster if desired)”.
Kaufman has already informed Gata Kamsky and Jaan Ehlvest and will probably increase the prize money thanks to some sponsors. “We’ll soon find out if any grandmaster thinks he can win a match with all of these advantages”, he wrote in his last message.
Just a couple of weeks ago (March 27) I spoke about a 5 million pound chess set, decorated with 73 rubies, 146 sapphires and 748 diamonds. Another precious chess set is now to be auctioned off at the upcoming International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) Congress in Dubai: it is crafted from over 1 kilogram of gold and set with 9,900 black and white diamonds, but it is worth no more than one million dollar :-) Tzoffey's 1818, a European based auction-house, will hold the auction on the final day of the congress. Hurry up if you want to buy the set!
14 years old IM Fabiano Caruana finally scored his second GM norm in a row in Budapest: he won the April First Saturday with 7 points out of 9 (no draws!) and will probably become the next #1 among the Italian players in the Fide rating list. Congratulations Fabiano! Official site: http://www.firstsaturday.hu.
Italian team championship will be held in Palermo (Sicily) Friday to Sunday. Ten teams, five rounds and one chess star, Spanish GM Francisco Vallejo Pons, who will be the special guest of a two days event before the start of the competition (he will also play a blindfold game against Italian master Riccardo Gueci). Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova, with GM Dervishi and IMs Bellini, D’Amore, Vocaturo and Arlandi is the last year winner. Official site: http://www.accademiascacchi.it/.
The game of the day is a tribute to European female champion Tatiana Kosintseva, who won her title with an astonishing 10/11 in Dresden just a couple of days ago.

Mamedjarova, Z (2354) – Kosintseva, T (2459) [D38], Dresden 7.4.2007
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bf4 O-O 6. Qb3 c5 7. dxc5 Nc6 8. e3 Ne4 9. a3 Qa5 10. Rc1 Bxc3+ 11. bxc3 Nxc5 12. Qb2 b6 13. Nd4 Bd7 14. cxd5 Nxd4 15. exd4 Na4 16. Qb3 exd5 17. Bd6?
A bad mistake. Now Black easily achieves a won position. After 17.Qb4 White would have had nothing to worry about.
17…Rfe8+ 18. Kd2 b5! 19. Qxd5 Rac8 20. Bb4 Qd8 21. Qh5 Qf6 22. Qf3 Qg5+ 23. Kc2 Bc6 24. Qg3 Qd5 25. Kd2
White king is too vulnerable.
25…Qa2+ 26. Rc2 Qb1 27. Rc1 Qb2+ 28. Rc2 Qa1
Black is only gaining some time on the clock. 28…Qb3 would have been better.
29. f3?! a5! 30. Bd6 Bd5 31. Bxb5 Qxh1 32. Rc1 Qxc1+ 33. Kxc1 Nxc3 34. Kd2?
The last mistake, but 34.Bxe8 Ne4+ was also hopeless.
34… Nb1+ 35. Kd1 Bb3# 0-1
A picturesque checkmate.


Tom Chivers said...

Yikes. Imagine being a GM and not winning a match with such conditions? The day of the machines is nearly at hand. Hopefully the small prize money (compare Kramnik-Fritz) will mean no-one will risk the humiliation of the humans.

Mida said...

Prize money is 6 thousand dollars at the moment (Kaufman has found some more sponsors). Still no answers from Kamsky and Ehlvest. I think you are right: prize fund is small and probably no top GM will risk the humiliation. But the offer is valid for the highest rated player to accept, so even a 2500- GM can take the challenge, with less risk of losing his reputation than Kamsky :-)

Anonymous said...

What's a reputation for?

Mida said...

"Reputation" is a very subjective concept... The higher you fly, the more you're afraid of falling down :-) The more a player is rated, the less he can stand a loss :-))) But this is just my own opinion.

Ryan Emmett said...

Personally, I hope that the fashion for human v machine matches will soon come to an end.

There seems little doubt that computer programmers have now designed chess engines that can play chess at a level beyond the strength of even the best GM's.

Surely it's time to turn the focus back to human v human matches which (I think) most chessplayers find much more interesting.

Anonymous said...

Well, i think the conditions can become quite interesting. (like they are now!) And so why not take up the challenge?!?

With only a 3 move opening book, they can be outplayed strategically!!!! Maybe not outcalculated, but humans have chances here! I hope someone really strong like Gata Kamsky picks up the challenge! :)

greets from Belgium,