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- - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-09-24 07:42
22-9 + 23-9
Some months ago I booked a flight from London (instead of Amsterdam) to Japan, because I would travel together with Hiarcs operator Harvey Williamson. Sadly Hiarcs withdrew from the tournament, but Harvey offered to pick me up from London Stansted and bring me to Heathrow airport. I told him I would book an early flight to London, so I could offer him a lunch for his trouble. After I booked I told him the good news was that we could have lunch. The bad news was that we could have breakfast as well. I couldn't get a later flight and we had a lot of hours to kill. I then asked Harvey if he could arrange a meeting with Hiarcs programmer Mark Uniacke. I recently became the editor of "Computerschaak" and I thought it would be a good idea to interview him. That was no problem and Harvey drove me and Johan de Koning (the King), who also travelled with me, to a nice village close to London. During the ride I discovered the benefit of driving on the left side. It is great for turning left. Arriving at the house we were welcomed by Mark and one of his dogs. A strange creature though. I kicked the ball away and he brought it back to Johan. Mark also knows how to solve a cube, though not as fast. Which came to no surprise seeing the solvingsystem he used and the poor shape his cube was in. Still it made me wonder how much better my chessprogram would be if I had invested all the cubetime in my program. After the interview Harvey drove us to the airport and the real journey began. After a long wait for boarding, we finally entered the plane and passed Premium Class and Business Class, before we could jam our behinds in the "no legroom"-chairs of the Sardines Class. Less than 12 hours later we arrived in Tokyo and here we had to wait 3.5 boring hours. Only form of entertainment was one shop and a television showing sumo-wrestling. A lot of sweaty fat guys in an oversized diaper. I see enough of that when I look in the mirror. Except for the diaper of course. Another 75 minutes inland flight and a 40 minutes taxiride later, we finally arrived at the hotel. I wanted to internet right away to tell the homefront I arrived, but after a struggle of one hour with the helpdesk and the IT-bellboy (let's call him Manuel, because he was as useful as having an umbrella in the desert), we gave up. I will try again tomorrow at the venue with someone who does speak english.
Parent - By Fulcrum2000 (****) Date 2010-09-24 10:24
Nice read Hans (as always!), but next time please use some paragraphs, for easier reading.
Parent - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) Date 2010-09-24 17:49
Love your stream-of-consciousness remarks, Hans!  This is fantastic prose.  I can imagine a big thick novel filled with text in this frenetic no-paragraph style.  Next get rid of all punctuation and you could be the important author that brings everyone back to reading books!

Be sure to tell us about your competitors!  Let's hear you talk smack about them, criticize their hygiene, accuse them of spying.  And definitely show no mercy toward the Japanese.  What do they think they are doing hosting a chess tournament, anyway?  Don't overeat that sashimi, Hans, it could put you out of action and result in a disqualification.
Parent - - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-09-24 17:57
I slept a few hours after the internet struggle and tried some more things when I woke up.

At 4:00 o'clock I tried again to sleep, but I couldn't. So I did some puzzles till I got tired. 80 minutes later I finally fell asleep and within 1 minute woke up again. Harvey sent me an sms. I sent one back hoping he could help me with my connection problems. For some bizar reason he received my respons many hours later. I didn't wait that long. I called him after a 5 minute wait.

Being wide awake again after the call, I decided to have breakfast early, in the hope I would find someone who could help me afterwards. It was very quiet in the breakfastroom. They seated me next to a group of deaf people. One more person tried to help me with my internet after breakfast, but he didn't succeed. So I decided the venue was the place to be.

Wireless was still working, so I started to e-mail people and download the backupbook. Also there was the official opening. Two elderly women in traditional clothes gave a musical performance with flute, drum and vocals. It was absolutely awful, but somehow they were famous in Japan. The snacks however, from a restaurant from famous chef Bocuse, were very good.

Back to my internetproblems. Eventually the cause, a missing ethernetdriver, was found. I was able to download one, and it worked.

Then I had a long wait for the playermeeting and afterwards Johan and I found a nice japanese restaurant, with many pictures of food on the menu, describing also in english what it was. Getting the right drink was more difficult. I wanted sparkling water. Although she new the word water, the sparkling bit made her think I wanted white wine with bubbles. Then she came back with a bottle of plain water. I said water ok and mimed bubbles. Back again after 1 minute she asked me if I meant Coca Cola. I thought I better settle for the plain water and made it clear again I really wanted water. To my surprise she brought back exactly what I wanted, sparkling water. When I wanted some mayonaise on my fries, I remembered I had a dictionary on my iPhone. I typed in mayonaise,
hit translate and 5 japanese characters showed up. I let her read it and mayonaise I got. Hooray for modern technologie.

I bought a tin with a lemon on it and 9% alc. I thought it would make me sleep well. The lemon turned out to be a grapefruit, which I don't like. So after a few hours of sleep I was
up again. Nasty jetlag. Hope I don't fall asleep during round 1.
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2010-09-24 18:37
On the good side, you've discovered paragraphs!

On the bad side, no mention of any good looking women you've encountered. Maybe you are even more tired than you think...
Parent - - By Venator (Silver) Date 2010-09-24 19:06 Edited 2010-09-24 19:16
no mention of any good looking women you've encountered

Exactly the same I am missing :lol:. Besides, I gave Hans many tips where he could score best!

1. Pretend to be Holland's most famous sumo wrestler
2. Tell the girls you are a rich Toyota dealer from Amsterdam
3. Go to a disco and find a cute woman who likes western boy friends
4. Wear a t-shirt with the text 'I love K-1 fight in Tokyo'
Parent - - By Highendman (****) Date 2010-09-24 20:12
And most important: 5. Write about it here afterwards :)
Parent - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2010-09-24 22:44
Not as important as 6. Show us the pictures :D
Parent - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-09-25 14:14
I just had a nice 2 hour nap after round 2. Didn't bother to have dinner. Still had the sweet bread and croissant that I took from the breakfastroom. I took already a lot of pictures, but the beautiful women do not come inside. :sad: You cannot ask from me I stalk women outside and photograph them. I will try to do that on monday, during the excursion. Then it is considered normal to walk around with a camera. Could take some time to upload the pictures though. Forgot my cable. Have to borrow or buy one.
Parent - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-09-25 15:12
The breakfast in the hotel is really good. So good that there was a waitingline to get in this morning. I invited one of the other dutch participants to sit with me, so I wouldn't have a table for 2
just for myself. Tournament director Jaap van den Herik pulled up a chair and joined another table for 2 where two people were already sitting. The staff first wanted to take him to an empty table, but when Jaap insisted, they brought the empty table to him.

Since there was a shortage of drinks in the venue, I did some shoppings. A red bull, a coke, plain water and a can of pineapplejuice. Failed to see the "4% alc" sign. Luckily I had the redbull antidote, but I had a hard time staying awake during the second round.

Round 1 paired Rybka to Darmenios, the top Polish program. The bad news is that the point stayed in Poland. The good news is that Rybka programmer Vasik Rajlich also lives in Poland. Darmenios programmer Dariusz Czechowski just knows the rules, but with only a simple evaluationfunction, he created a very fast searcher on just one core. But not fast enough to Have Rybka worried.

I had lots of free time before round 2, which I spent on translating my diary to dutch for the computermagazine.

I thought game 2 would be easy as well, but Thinker (by Kerwin Medina) crushed Junior in the first round and proved to be a hard 4-core nut to crack. But crack it did. Thinker had some crashes in the first round, so I told Amir Ban (Junior) that he should have supported Jonny (you crash, you lose) during the playersmeeting.

For a while I thought Rybka would lead the field alone, but Rondo (Zappa) managed to win a drawish looking endgame against Jonny on 800-cores! Most of his cores seemed to be busy finding the small chessboard on the huge monitor.

At 18:00 the first round of the softwaretournament started. But since Rybka  regretfully isn't participating, I decided to go back to the hotel, take a 2 hour nap, eat the sweet breads and croissant that I took from the breakfastroom instead of having dinner and work some more on the computer.
Parent - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-09-26 16:49
Round 3 against Pandix Breakthrough. "Why the extension Breakthrough?", I ask Pandix programmer Gyula Horvath. "Bekos mai program plaiz much better". Yeah, yeah, show me. The draw against
Shredder must have been a fluke. But Pandix is playing such good moves, that Rybka predicts 85% of them. As a result Rybka has 50 minutes more time. Then the score dropped all of a sudden till
Rybka sees no more than a draw. Pandix however thinks he is up by 1.5 pawn. The score doesn't change till the end of the game, so Rybka was right.

I was a bit disappointed about the draw until I heard that Rybka was the only program to score at least something with black. A great achievement.

Amir Ban has a bad cold. He is sneezing all day. I suggest to draw straws. Whoever picks the shortest, has to sit next to Amir during tomorrow's excursion. And since it is my idea, I won't have to draw.

The next round we meet with coremonster Jonnie. It is running on a 800-cores Cluster from Johannes' university. Rybka is out of book about 4 moves earlier, but has a position where the opponent cannot play for a win. Things are looking good for white and then Rybka can't find a hole in Jonny's defense. A lot of strange moves follow without progression before Jonny goes very wrong. Score goes up from 1.1 to 39.8 in only 3 moves.

Pandix plays with black against the only program with a 100% score. Rondo plays till far in the endgame without getting a significant advantage. Finally it reaches a won position, but then the 50-move rule kicks in. Well done Pandix. Three programs go in the lead now as Shredder joined the top. Also my thanks goes out to two schoolclasses visiting the playing area. They were allowed to ask the programmers a lot of questions, and since the Rondo programmer was sitting the closest, they might just have disturbed him enough.

In the hotel I meet with Johan to have dinner and we team up with Amir Ban and David Levy who had the same idea. So quickly I get punished for my "drawing straws" joke. I am sitting next to Amir. I hope I will not be too sick for the next part of my diary.
Parent - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-09-27 17:06
Excursion day should have been one day earlier, because it was way too hot all of a sudden. We are divided into three groups.

The first sight to see is so nearby, that we can walk to it. It is the Kanazawa castle. A more than 400 year old building. Most parts looked brand new because it is in the proces of being renovated for an event they host in 2014. The guide apologized for it not being ready in time for our visit. Japanese are so friendly.

Right next to it is Kenroku-en park. It actually consists of 6 different parks. Very beautiful. Then it is back to the venue for lunch.

Two buses are waiting to bring us to the next sight. We are split up according to the country you are from. First the Germans are being called forward, and they are asked to move to bus 1. I couldn't resist yelling, "All other countries in bus 2". I hereby apologize to all Germans reading this. I would have said the same if they started with the Dutch.

Next stop a small museum with technology from 250 years ago. A doll bringing you tea and returning to the place they started after you put down the cup again. An acrobatdoll doing backflips going down stairs, wooden puzzles... Lots of things and time was way too short. We hadn't finished our wooden sudoku yet. I quickly made a picture to solve it later in the hotel. In my haste I think I forgot my lenscover there.

One more busride brings us to the Ninja temple. A little castle disguised as a temple, because for some strange reason only one castle was allowed back then. It has many passages looking like closetdoors, hidden stairs etc. to fight off the enemy. Five minutes from there is a shoppingstreet, trying not to look like one. No signs at all. Wooden bars in front of the window, making it hard to see what was sold inside. Sometimes it was still not clear when you stepped inside. They conveniently placed someone there, asking tourists to fill out a questionaire about the visit to Kanazawa. I gladly accepted to make time pass.

Last stop a big hotel where they arranged a buffet and some performers. They were little better than the ones from the opening. The buffet was a bit of a disappointment for me. Food that needed to be warm was not warm enough and most dishes contained stuff I don't like or it didn't say what was inside and I didn't want to risk me spitting the food back on my plate again. Since I ate too much in the breakfastroom, it was probably better this way. I walked back to the hotel early, after an exhausting, interesting day, hopefully not missing a grand finale, but I will hear all about that in the morning.
Parent - - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-09-28 16:37
Only one round for Rybka today, but an important one. Rondo on 132-cores at least (programmer said the exact amount was a secret), stays in book quite a few moves longer. In a sicilian with opposite castling, whites attack looks more dangerous and Rybka has no choice but to defend passively. The evaluation goes up to 0.28, but only 3 moves later (move 31) Rybka sees a position it cannot lose. All evaluations from that point are 0.00. Rondo takes about 30 moves more to agree with Rybka.

All other favorites also draw, so still a three way tie for first place. Junior could have joined, but Pandix once again proved to be difficult to beat.

I used the free afternoon to get a well deserved Thai massage and some extra sleep. So much extra sleep that I didn't bother going out for dinner. I will catch up tomorrow at breakfast.

The Japanese are in many ways superior to the west. Take the restrooms. The toilet has functions I have never seen before. Cold water flows into the pot when you sit down. Don't ask me why. When you are ready you can choose for water to be sprayed directly to your *******. Or for women it can spray a little bit more to the front. The seat and the cover go down slowly, so they hardly make a noise. The mirror is heated so you have a clear view of yourself after a shower. There are razors, shavinggel, toothbrushes, toothpaste etc. Now if only the toiletpaper wouldn't be so thin that holes appear if you only look at it, then I would give it 5 stars.

Outside you will not see any trashcans. But still the streets stay clean. Japanese people don't throw things on the street. The trafficlights for pedestrians play a birdsound whenever the light is green. Great if you are blind. In Japan they drive on the left side. Cyclists know, as in most parts of the world, that this is very dangerous, so they cycle on the pavement.

Busy day tomorrow, two rounds and the speedchess tournament.
Parent - By suj (***) Date 2010-09-28 17:37 Edited 2010-09-28 17:40
Rondo ranon 32core xeon vs your 200 core rybka cluster.Rondo did not run on a cluster.
Parent - - By ernest (****) Date 2010-09-28 18:34

> Cyclists know, as in most parts of the world, that this is very dangerous, so they cycle on the pavement.

Didn't get that one... (must be Dutch humor :wink:)

But I enjoy your report/diary a lot, Hans, I feel like I'm almost with you there!
Parent - - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2010-09-29 14:01
mmh, I guess I understand it :) it's some kind of irony, there's no real connection between both things and that's the joke :)
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2010-09-29 14:37
The really dangerous thing, at least for an American, is walking around in Amsterdam, until you learn to avoid the bicycle lane on the sidewalk. Over here, we put these lanes in the street, which results in more cyclists getting run down, but fewer pedestrians...
Parent - By NATIONAL12 (Gold) Date 2010-09-29 21:06
it's the same for me when i walk around in Amsterdam,i keep looking the wrong way and keep hearing those silly little bells that wouldn't frighten a the trams,thats another matter great cow catchers on the front which no doubt have saved many lives.:grin:
Parent - - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-09-29 17:29
It is not so much a joke. I just mentioned it because it is strange for me to see cyclists on the pavement, but meanwhile I make a bit of fun about driving on the left side.
Parent - By ernest (****) Date 2010-09-29 19:25

> It is not so much a joke

OkOk, I think I get it now... :cool:
Parent - - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2010-09-29 15:26
I just read Eric retired as editor of computerschaak and the thing with the hardware at the ICT seems to be the reason (according to the computerschaak website):

It is regarding the press release from Eric that he released on behalf of CSVN, in which he mentioned the results, but nothing about the used hardware. A cluster is superior compared to an ordinary personal computer, not mentioning it is an omission. The complainant was of course right and like the CSVN, Chessbase also immediatly corrected the press release. That does not detract from the promotion for the CSVN, and the words "unguided missile" and "nitwit" are certainly not applicable.

I already expressed my opinion in that case on the chessvibes website, but to repeat it again, that press release was excellent and good advertising for computer chess. Not mentioning hardware and opening books used and so on may be missing information for the computer chess enthusiasts, but nothing worth a "correction". those engines playing there are partly completely different to what you can purchase anyway, it's some state of the art computer chess what you see. And for me it's right that the engine authors who invest much time to tune their engines for clusters especially for those tournaments and the future (where clusters may be standard) get the fame. Arguing that this is misleading is misleading as any tournament result, as those tournaments are also won by the more lucky guys (luck is a big factor with so many games).

I would like to see the text Eric wrote in computerschaak. I think criticising him for that press release was a huge mistake, I was extremely happy to see computerchess in the news and it looks like he didn't get the deserved applause, but people started to say how they would make it better and so on. Needless to mention I never saw a report about a computer chess tournament from them.
Parent - - By Harvey Williamson (*****) Date 2010-09-29 16:18
The good news is that the new editor is Hans van der Zijden
Parent - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2010-09-29 16:37
I still would like to see what Eric wrote :)

Of course it's good that Hans is doing it now, but it's bad news that Eric quit
Parent - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-09-29 17:38
I don't think it is the main reason for him leaving. I am pretty sure he left on his own free will, because he was tired of filling the pages. He did a great job for many years, but he said already at one of the membermeetings, that he would quit if he wouldn't get more articles from the members. I can imagine how hard it must be after all those years to have to fill the magazine yourself for 60-70%.
Parent - - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-09-29 17:26
Took a shower and wanted to make a picture of the clean mirror I wrote about yesterday. When I saw my naked reflection through the camera I realised this was not going to be easy. I am not a shy person, but I am not in the habit of making people sick in the stomach. Eventually, with the aid of the flash, I found a reasonable solution.

I played against Hector for Chess (he probably als has Hector for draughts and Hector for Tic Tac Toe) in the morning and Fridolin in the afternoon. Both programs still had 0 points and this day didn't change that. I made an official protest against them. They are obviously clones of my 1700 elo program Gadget, that would also have scored 0 points. Main contender for the title Rondo, also won both games, and chances for a playoff are rising.

In between rounds we had more proof of the "driving on the left side is dangerous" argument. A little van rammed a bus. Just minor damage, but still.

All competitors signed up for the speedchess tournament, which meant we had to have the organizers permission to stay after closingtime, because of the many rounds. I practised a speedchessgame against Rondo (draw) and Fridolin (win), to see if the chosen timecontrol would work. I played without the Cluster, so that gave me great confidence.

I hoped we would start off with a weak opponent. Because of the lag, the timecontrol with the Cluster might not work very well. But we got Rondo right away. The timecontrol worked fine, the Cluster didn't. Late in the game in winning position the connection failed. We realised too late we should change to normal Rybka 4 on my laptop, and lost on time. In almost all other 8 games the Cluster connection stopped working. In 2 games I had to play with my laptop from the beginning (Junior and Hector). So it came as quite a surprise that Rybka won the speedchess tournament with 8 out of 9, 1.5 ahead of Jonny on second place. Tricky game was the one against Thinker. Connection failed soon after the opening, with a score of .30 in favour of Thinker.
Parent - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2010-09-30 17:48
Hans just sent me some pictures, I added some of them to the diary entries. Move the mouse over the pictures to see the description.
Parent - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-09-30 18:12
After eating eggs, sausages and bacon for 6 days, I finally decided to eat more healthy. Cerial with yoghurt, kiwi and a salad with sweetcorn, tomato, pasta and dressing. It was delicious.

Yesterday Harry Nefkens told his daughter I could solve the cube very fast. Finally a beautiful girl pretends to be really interested in what I can do, and I left the cube in my hotelroom. I promised to bring it with me the next day, but of course she doesn't show up. O well, there is always friday and saturday. She can't avoid me forever.

One very exciting round is coming up. Its Thinker - Rondo now and Rondo - Junior tomorrow. Rybka has black against Junior now and white against Shredder tomorrow. Rybka needs to win both, because Rondo could well win both its games too.

Thinker has a good opening and Rybka comes out of the opening even. Then Rondo get a little bit the upper hand. Rybka seems to get a little advantage as well, but scores keeps dropping back to zero. Rondo crashed. I have a look and Thinker is half a pawn better. Rybka outshuffles Junior and has an advantage of 0.40. But 19 moves long there is no progression. Then again Junior or Amir can't handle all that shuffling, and advantage rises again. Also Thinker seems to have a decisive advantage. Moments later Rondo admits defeat and Rybka starts to show matescores that are probably tablebase based (mate in 45). Fifteen moves later it is down to mate in 38? Either Junior is an incredible defender or Rybka also shuffles matescores. It is a clear bug in the Cluster version, which makes Rybka (and me) look silly. Vas doesn't give high priority to this, because Rybka wins anyway and there are more important things to be programmed.

I have the afternoon off, which I use for my interview with tournament director Jaap van den Herik. A wonderful man. I had difficulty coming up with some nice questions, but I am glad I had only 5. Ask Jaap one question and he talks for 10 minutes. At the end of the interview I had enough material to fill 2 issues of "Computerschaak".

Johan and I finished the day with some italian food.
Parent - - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-10-01 17:12
On the way to the venue I pass a schoolclass. One of the boys asked me if I am from Italy. Probably saw too many ganstermovies. Or I had pasta stains from the night before.

A draw against Shredder is enough for the title, so we chose an opening where it is difficult for black to win. If Shredder manages to win, it will tie with Rybka, and Rondo and Thinker could also tie for first. That would be one big play off.

The opening is very bad for Shredder. Black wins a pawn, but the position is not good and both programs favour white by 0.40. Very strange is that Shredder played Bf8-e7 and after Nb1-c3 it played Be7-d6. It just loses a move. Also Rybka had that line in book. Then a period of no progress followed, but as soon as it does, the score kept rising. Stephan played on till mate in hope of a crash, but it is not to be.

Both Rondo and Thinker draw their games and they finish tied on second place with 1.5 points less.

I went back to the hotel for a beautysleep, but Johan woke me up for dinner, before any changes in my face were visible.

We went to the same restaurant as a week ago, but I liked it less now. After waiting long for the waiter to return, Johan discovered a button to alert the staff that you are ready. They have 3 different flavoured fries. We tried number 2 already, so we order 1 and 3 now. Johan told me another thing that I didn't notice on the first visit. The fries come in bags and you are supposed to put the ordered flavour in the bag and shake it. This worked out very well and gave me the feeling I co-created the dinner.

I still had lots of Yen left, so I took another massage. Back in the hotel I needed a long nap before I was awake enough to finish this diary.
Parent - - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2010-10-02 11:52
looks like you weren't able to impress nefkens' daughter with your cube :)
Parent - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2010-10-02 14:48
Not when she is almost finished reading War and Peace!
Parent - - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-10-02 15:27
For the first time during my stay, one of the restaurantstaff sees me wrapping my lunch. There I stand with egg on my face. But that can also be because I forgot to wipe my mouth clean.

At the venue I found two Japanese guys willing to sort out all the coins that I gathered for my brother. Some coins have the years in western characters, but most have only japanese characters. To make it more difficult, the year starts again with 1 whenever they have a new emperor. After 30 minutes we went through all the coins and I let them have the doubles. Could still have been as much as 10 euro. Would have been around a 100 euro, had I not been taken out the doubles with the 100 Yen coins the night before. Those coins do have western numbers. Also the 500 Yen coins I did not give away.

In the afternoon we have the prize ceremony or should I say ceremoney. Because of sponsors for the first time they have a moneyprize for 1st place at the WCCC (1000 euro). So my expensebill to Vas will be considerably lower this time. Besides the wooden horse I also got 2 clay medals and 2 beautiful painted drinking glasses.

After a nice drink outside on the terras, where I finally can show off with the cube to Harry's daughter (and I got some pictures to prove it), we head off to the restaurant. We are a bit behind the group and hurry to cross the road before the lights turn red. Then Harry faints and falls to the ground in the middle of the road. His daughter seems not to panic at all. Apparently Harry gets dizzy from time to time. After 30 seconds he is conscious again and moments later he can walk to the other side. They decide it is better to go to the hotel, which luckily is just around the corner.

They didn't miss much. The food is typically japanese and lots of us have difficulty finding something they like. Some of them even decide to go to another restaurant after the dinner. Trying to spend some of my coins I buy a little bottle of champagne lookalike, to celebrate the victorie.

That's it for this year. I don't think I will bother you with details of the exhausting journey home. Hope you liked it. Till next year.
Parent - By NATIONAL12 (Gold) Date 2010-10-02 22:24
great reports,i thoroughly enjoyed them all.
Parent - By Fulcrum2000 (****) Date 2010-10-02 23:50
Always nice to read about the stuff happening behind the screen, thanks! :smile:

BTW Waiting for the pic of you, Harry's daughter and the cube :wink:
Parent - - By oudheusa (*****) Date 2010-10-03 11:24
thanks Hans for the entertaining reports!

can you perhaps clarify why Rybka skipped the software championship?
Parent - - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-10-04 11:30
Vas was not fond of his programme being on a computer belonging to the organisation. He was afraid it would make it too easy for people who wanted to steal the sourcecode. I wanted to play, but maybe it is better this was. I would have had much less time to make the diary and to do my other work as the editor of Computerschaak. Also, if Rybka would have won the software tournament as well, next year maybe less programmers would enter.
Parent - - By oudheusa (*****) Date 2010-10-04 11:41
Thanks for the response Hans, clear. Imo the regular Rybka4 version would have had excellent chances of winning, but we do not want to have missed your reports for it ;)

Anyway, good for Shredder that they can claim this win. It is well earned.

Will you/Rybka participate in Leiden later this year?
Parent - - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-10-05 17:23
I think we are. Haven't heard anything that made me think otherwise. Rybka can win the title five times in a row, so that might be an extra motivation to participate.
Parent - By Lukas Cimiotti (Bronze) Date 2010-10-06 13:21
I haven't talked to Vas about Leiden, but I'm in favor of participating.
And thank you for your great report :smile:
Btw. is there already a date and location for the next WCCC?

Parent - - By Harvey Williamson (*****) Date 2010-10-03 20:27 Edited 2010-10-03 22:16
Hans was going to end his diary but there is an interesting final Chapter. I arrived back from Israel at about 3 Sunday morning.

I had arranged to pick up Hans and Johan at Heathrow and drive them to Stanstead. Hans's plane was due to land at 1545 and Johan's 15 minutes later. In fact Johan arrived 1st more or less on time and Hans half an hour late. He then could not get off the plane because there was another plane in its parking space. it is 60 miles from Heathrow to Stanstead and the last flight was at 1835.

Johan and I decided to abandon Hans and rush to Stanstead. I texted Hans how to get to my house on the Tube. Johan and I raced to Stanstead and got there 20 minutes before his plane was due to leave. I decided to drive around for 20 minutes in case they would not let him board. I did not see him again so I presume he is now home in Holland.

Meanwhile Hans had enquired about flying from Heathrow to Amsterdam but British Airways wanted almost 500 pounds. It must have been flying via Sydney. He then managed to get on a tube train from Heathrow at about 1815. This was critical as the train drivers were all going on strike at 1900. I wondered if at 7 they would just stop the train and kick him off. However 29 stops later he arrived just as I got back from Stanstead in my car.

Hans gave me a bottle of Japanese Whisky Smile We then ordered Chinese food. He is now booked on a very early flight to Amsterdam in the morning. The traffic will be really bad because of the strike.

Hans and I are sorting out the rest of his pictures and will post them soon.

Edit: Johan just phoned to say he made it home. They reopened the checkin just for him!
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2010-10-03 20:42
Why didn't they fly to/from Japan from Amesterdam? Is it that much cheaper through London?
Parent - - By Harvey Williamson (*****) Date 2010-10-03 20:44 Edited 2010-10-03 20:48
Yes was cheaper we looked at flights from Amsterdam and London when I thought I was going as well. It takes less than an hour to fly to Amsterdam from here. I will be sending Vas a bill for bed and breakfast for Hans ;-)
Parent - By NATIONAL12 (Gold) Date 2010-10-04 00:28
like it,hope whisky was Yamazaki single malt,i know that is good.
Parent - - By Hans van der Zijden (*) Date 2010-10-05 17:27
What breakfast? Was I supposed to eat the spider in the bathtub? And you hardly can call a few pillows on the floor a bed. Bills for the chiropractor and airport sandwiches are on their way.
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2010-10-05 17:35
I was going to suggest that Harvey use the Heathrow Hilton as a comparable, but it sounds like your accommodations were a little more basic! :lol:
Parent - - By Harvey Williamson (*****) Date 2010-10-05 17:57
It did include free pick up and delivery to the airport. Although Johan and I abandoned Hans at Heathrow! He could have eaten the Spider am sure it would be full of protein.
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2010-10-05 19:48
Very disappointing! I was sure your bathtub would be full of Rybkas, ready to be cooked up at a moment's notice!

As far as Hans is concerned, he should have been honored to sleep close to the HIARCS machine that Anand credited with helping win the World Championship over some other cluster that I can't remember the name of! :twisted:
Parent - By Harvey Williamson (*****) Date 2010-10-05 19:51
Yes he slept right next to the machine that helped the Human Cluster :) I was on holiday in Israel until Sunday so the live Rybkas were all moved from the bath and placed in the Freezer. I did offer Hans a Rybka dish but instead he wanted to order Chinese :-)
Parent - - By Harvey Williamson (*****) Date 2010-10-04 05:36
Hans is finally on the way home I just dropped him at the airport. There should be lots more photo's soon I just emailed 280 to Felix. here are a few

Remind you of anyone?

Harry's daughter again

All the competitors

Hans gets his prize

The entertainment

A visit to the robotics museum - some are 250 years old.
Parent - - By Felix Kling (Gold) Date 2010-10-06 14:33 Edited 2010-10-06 15:44
Thanks for your email :)

Unfortunately I'm a little bit low on time this week, so the big photo report may be something for the weekend.
Parent - - By Harvey Williamson (*****) Date 2010-10-06 14:52
Here are a few more in the meantime.

The playing hall

Hans takes his yearly shower

Jaap the TD

SMK won the World Chess Software Championship
Up Topic The Rybka Lounge / Computer Chess / Kanazawa Diary (Rybka operator in Japan)
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