21 May: Robots in the streets of Moscow

As I wrote in an earlier post, “Super Saturday” was a very busy day for chess loving visitors and despite the free day in the match, it was a day full of chess in Moscow. The day kicked off with a very amusing event in a park on Strastnoy Boulevard. A match was organized for the title of Absolute World Robot Chess Champion. That is quite a mouthful. The contestants were Kuka Monstr from Germany and Chesska from Russia.

Here is some information about the robots from the official press release.

CHESSka

The Russian robot CHESSka, the first chess robot to beat grandmasters in blitz chess, was created by Konstantin Kosteniuk, Honored Coach of Russian Chess and an inventor with tens of registered patents. CHESSka is already well-known among Russian chess fans. This “chess terminator” has played against former world champions Vladimir Kramnik and Alexandra Kosteniuk, as well as Sergei Karyakin, one ofRussia’s leading players, and has beaten a number of well-known grandmasters.

 KUKA Monstr

Challenging our hardware heavyweight for the title will be KUKA Monstr, created by the German company KUKA Robotics, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial robots. Though it is younger than its Russian opponent, its creators favor it to win the match. They say that blitz chess is precisely where KUKA can fully manifest its intelligence, accuracy and speed. Other world-class robot makers showing interest in developing chess-playing robots include FANUC Corporation of Japan and ABB of Sweden.

Say hello to KUKA Monstr. Or “Guten Tag, since she/he is German.

If you want to see videos of the robot vs. robot match, you can go here: http://chess-king.com/konstantin-kosteniuks-chesska-is-2012-world-robot-champion.html. Absolutely fascinating. CHESSka won the match and is now the best chess robot in the world! After the machine had a quick rest and a snack (chips), it was time for the next event:

Match KUKA Monstr- Alexander Grishuk

Top Grandmaster Alexander Grishuk (ELO 2761) played six blitz games, time control 5+3 against the guest from Germany, playing with the latest Rybka version. Grishuk easily drew the games in which he played white, but he had no chance against the monster with the black pieces. The match ended in a 4,5-1,5 victory for KUKA Monstr. Here are some impressions from the match.

The stage is set for an unusual man vs.machine match, in the middle of the park. In the front you can spot Evgeny Sveshnikov.

Grishuk: “Hmm, how do I shake hands with a robot before the game?”

Actually the hands look pretty similar…the human hand and….

…the KUKA Monstr Arm!

A short flying lesson for the bishop.

Every time the robot had to make a move close to Grishuk, the grandmaster moved back. The sudden movements of the machine might have been a bit scary, when you sit opposite the robot. During the games there was commentary and loud music, which did not make things easier for Grishuk.

Spectators and side events

The show attracted many spectators, you can spot Australian GM Ian Rogers and GM Evgeny Sveshnikov in the audience.

Moscow is beautiful: Galiya Kamalova (left) and Valentina Gunina, who played in the “blondes against brunettes match” later that day.

Oxana Kosteniuk (the younger sister) and Mama Kosteniuk.

Lost of things to do for the spectators: this is an indefinable game on a chess board, possibly a variation of “musical chairs”. Very funny.

The game was hosted by Anna Sharevich (Belarus).

A simul with a  strong GM, Farrukh Amonatov from Tajikistan, ELO 2607.

“Mommy, can I take this robot home?

Chess all over the place. A very enjoyable event!

5 Responses to “21 May: Robots in the streets of Moscow”

  1. Thanks for your nice post and best wishes to all the readers of your blog about chess!

  2. […] Eric van Reem auf seinem Blog Mate in Moscow von 21 May: Robots in the streets of moscow und liefert dazu orginelle fotografische Schnappschüsse. Er darf durchaus auch nach […]

  3. When reading your Title of this post, remembered this sentence from 80s – `Every American believes that there are Bears in the streets of Moscow’🙂

  4. I was thinking about the song “Panic” by the Smiths. “Panic in the streets of London” etc.

  5. here is a video annotation for KUKA vs CHESSka Game 1
    youtube.com/watch?v=7UXd7FaALo­s&hd=1

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