The Israeli program Junior, developed by Shay Bushinsky and Amir Ban has won. Junior's score was 9 points out of 11 games (7 wins and 4 draws). This was the second time that Junior had won the World Championship. In second place, with 8.5 points was Shredder, another former world champion. This championship is an annual event organised by the International computer Games Association.
(No, I don't they cover video games, playstations).
Last night I saw the Da Vinci Code in Italian which made it even more mysterious. This afternoon I went to see a full feature film "Game Over Kasparov and the Machine". It was about the 1997 match K versus Deep Blue. A very well done documentary I thought, if slightly biased against IBM. Kasparov revisited the site of the match and had painful recollections, still insisting that in Game 2 Deep Blue had human assistance in the move that threw him off balance for the rest the match. The programmers on the other hand vowed that it was all their work. I think that later developments in computer play seem to vindicate the programmers.
A Lightning Competition is on at the moment in the large area adjoining Olympic Hall. There are 266 players--from 2500 plus down to unrated. The time limit is 10 minutes, instead of the 5 I usually associate with Lightning.
Campaigning for the FIDE Presidency is in full swing now. Fidelity Digest issued by the incumbant gives the impression it's all over bar the shouting. It seems thet Kirsan has a majority of Federations already commited to him. Today he is photographed with four FIDE Continental Presidents, also all on his side.
Garry Kasparov has also entered the election fray, with an Open Letter distributed today. He argues strongly in favour of Bessel Kok as being able to look after the professional chessplayers in a way that Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is not. Kasparov says that this forray of his in FIDE politics does not indicate any plan on his part to return to an active role in the world of chess.
Of course one also hears rumors against Kirsan, such stories if true would easily make him an honorary member of the Sicilian Mafia. Of course there is no hard proof. In public Kirsan looks rather benign, almost loving, but you wouldn't let him kiss you on the cheek!
I understand that Phil Viner has clear instructions on how to vote from the Australian Chess Federation. I'd love to be there for the election to watch the goings on. But perhaps it will be over very quickly.
By for now.
- Larry Ermacora
For the next couple of weeks, during the Olympiad, we will feature a guest blogger - Larry Ermacora. He will be providing reports all the way from Torino after having been officially accredited by Olympiad officials as a journo for this blog.
Larry is a well known personality in Australian chess circles. He was an administrator in both Western Australia and New South Wales. And, in 1990, he was awarded the highly coveted Koshnitsky medal.