The first ever chess match in history between super-computer and students ended with result 2.5 – 0.5 points for the machine

The first ever chess match in history between super-computer and students ended with result 2.5-0.5 points for the machine.  The match was held on 22.06.2010 at 11.00 am at the office of IBM Bulgaria under the patronage of the Bulgarian super grandmaster Veselin Topalov, who arrived from Spain especially for the event.   

The student’s team that plucked up courage to challenge the processing power of one of the fastest computers in the world Blue Gene/P of IBM (with 8192 processors !) was: Stephanie Kovacheva, Todor Kossev and Kalin Zlatanski – students in the first Bulgarian college for English secondary education – Darbi College. For comparison, the supercomputer of IBM – Deep Blue (a predecessor of Blue Gene / P), against which played the former world chess champion Garry Kasparov years ago, is four (4) times slower than Blue Gene/P.

Тhe young students played three games rapid chess (5 minutes per game for each color) with white pieces against Blue Gene/P. They lost the first and the third game. During the second game, the best Bulgarian chess player of all times Veselin Topalov decided to give practical lessons to the young players and with his help, they reached a threefold repetition of moves and a draw.

The chess match is the final part of the initiative “Smart planet”, conducted by IBM Bulgaria and Veselin Topalov which main goal is to raise the interest among young people in high technologies and artificial intelligence.

“I personally consider today’s event as a logical continuation of the successful cooperation, which arose during the match for the World Chess Championship, held recently in Sofia, between two true giants in their fields- the Bulgarian super grandmaster Veselin Topalov and IBM”, said before the game Mr. Alexander Rakov, General Manager of IBM Bulgaria. 

As you know, after the end of the match for the World Chess Championship, it became clear that grandmaster Veselin Topalov has used for his preparation the supercomputer of IBM-Blue Gene / P. This helped to the Bulgarian chess player to achieve dominance over his opponent in all openings in which he played with the white pieces. This was particularly well demonstrated in the first game of the match, in which Veselin Topalov won quickly with a decisive advantage. That piece of news about Veselin Topalov and Blue Gene / P was broadcasted rapidly around the world and was recorded even in Wikipedia. 


 “The chess game and the high technologies go hand in hand and the future of the ancient game is necessarily related to them”, said Mr. Silvio Danailov, who besides being one of the most successful chess managers in the world is also a candidate for Presidency of the European Chess Union.

Special congratulations addressed to the students were made by Mr. Alexander Rakov, General Manager of IBM Bulgaria, grandmaster Veselin Topalov and his manager Silvio Danailov. Special guests of the event were the President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation, Dr. Stefan Sergiev and its Executive Director Mr. Nikolay Velchev.

After the event gm Veselin Topalov commented the match between the high school’s team and Blue Gene/P. IBM Bulgaria will arrange for the students meetings with its leading experts to get them acquainted with the vast world of high technologies. 

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