- REBEL 9.0 at Aegon 1997 -

The Opening Ceremony

On wednesday April 16, 1997 the 12th AEGON tournament was opened by Mr. Kees J. Storm, chairman of the Executive Board of AEGON N.V. In his opening speech he said:

As you may know, we have one hundred participants competing for the highest honor this year. Fifty of them human and an equal number of computers. That makes the AEGON Computer Chess Tournament the biggest event of its kind in the whole world. I can assure you that we are genuinely proud of that, because that makes AEGON a market leader in yet one more field...

I have a feeling that you must all be very anxious by now to demonstrate to what accomplishments you can come. I wish you all good games, a lot of fun and much inspiration. I agree with you that it is about time to let the games begin... But not before giving a warm applause to the grandmasters Jan Timman and Vishy Anand, who will open this tournament in a fight with six of the world’s strongest computer chess programs.

The two games of REBEL

Time control for the clock simultan, 1½ hours for the whole game plus 30 seconds for each move (Fischer method).

[Event "AEGON Chess Tournament, clock simultan"]

[Site "The Hague NED, opening ceremony"]

[Date "1997.04.16"]

[White "Anand, V"]

[Black "Rebel 9.0"]

[Result "1-0"]

[WhiteTitle "GM"]

[WhiteElo "2725"]

[WhiteCountry "IND"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 d5 5. dxe5 Nc6 6. O-O Be7 7. Re1 O-O

8. Nc3 Nxc3 9. bxc3 Na5 10. Nd4 c5 11. Nf5 Bxf5 12. Bxf5 Kh8 13. Qd3 Bh4 14.

Bf4 Nc6 15. Rad1 f6 16. e6 Ne7 17. Qh3 g6 18. Be4 Bg5 19. Bxg5 fxg5 20. Bxd5

Nxd5 21. e7 Nxe7 22. Rxd8 Raxd8 23. Qe3 Nc6 24. Qxg5 Rf5 25. Qc1 Rfd5 26. h3

Kg8 27. Kh2 Kg7 28. Qa3 Rf5 29. Re2 h6 30. Qb3 Rf7 31. Qc4 b6 32. Re6 Ne7

33. Qe4 Rd7 34. f3 Kh7 35. a4 Nf5 36. Qe2 Ng7 37. Re5 Nf5 38. Re8 Ng7 39.

Ra8 Rfe7 40. Qc4 Ne6 41. h4 h5 42. Rc8 Rd6 43. Qe4 Rdd7 44. Qc6 Nd8 45. Qf6

Rf7 46. Qe5 Rfe7 47. Qb8 1-0

REBEL resigns, the position is hopeless.

A simple victory by world's second best

chess player Viswanathan Anand.

[Event "AEGON Chess Tournament, clock simultan"]

[Site "The Hague NED, opening ceremony"]

[Date "1997.04.16"]

[Round "1"]

[White "Rebel 9.0"]

[Black "Timman,J"]

[Result "1-0"]

[BlackTitle "GM"]

[BlackElo "2590"]

[BlackCountry "NED"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Bc5 6. c3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. d4

Bb6 9. dxe5 Nxe5 10. Nxe5 dxe5 11. Qxd8+ Kxd8 12. Bxf7 Ke7 13. Bb3 Bb7 14.

Bg5 Rhf8 15. Nd2 h6 16. Bh4 g5 17. Bg3 Rad8 18. Rad1 Rd7 19. Bxe5 Ng4 20.

Bg3 Ne3 21. fxe3 Bxe3+ 22. Bf2 1-0

GM Jan Timman resigns.

A very simple victory by REBEL.

We assume Jan Timman had a bad day

since we don't expect this to happen a

second time, winning in just 22 moves

from such a strong grandmaster!

The REAL tournament

This year the human field was stronger as ever. 12 grandmasters (GM) and 11 international masters (IM) were invited competing the computers on a 1½ hour game plus 30 seconds for every move (Fischer method) to ensure that humans couldn't lose on the clock.

The 12 Grandmasters

GM David Bronstein, GM Hans Ree, GM Larry Christiansen, GM Ye Rongguang, GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Roberto Cifuentes Parada, GM Jonathan Speelman, GM Yona Kosashvili, GM Gennadi Timoshchenko, GM Friso Nijboer, GM John van der Wiel, GM Lembitt Oll

The 11 International Masters

IM Gert Jan de Boer, IM Gert Ligterink, IM Paul Boersma, IM Stefan Löffler, IM Rob Hartoch, IM Johan van Mil, IM Sofia Polgar, IM Erik Hoeksema, IM Rini Kuijf, IM Dick van Geet, IM Peng Zhao Qin

The 6 games of REBEL

An early version of REBEL 9.0 in the six games was faced with the strongest opponents ever. Rebel had to play against 4 IM's and 2 GM's. Rebel did very well and scored 4½ points against IM Dick van Geet (won), IM Stefan Löffler (won), IM Sofia Polgar (draw), GM Gennadi Timoshchenko (won), GM Yona Kosashvili (lost), IM Rini Kuijf (won).

Enjoy the analysis and the juicy details!

[Event "AEGON Chess Tournament"]

[Site "The Hague NED"]

[Date "1997.04.16"]

[Round "1"]

[White "Rebel 9.0"]

[Black "Dick van Geet"]

[Result "1-0"]

[BlackTitle "IM"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nf3 d6 4. Nc3 e5 5. g3 Bg4 6. d5 Bxf3 7. exf3 Nd4 8.

Bh3 c5 9. O-O Be7 10. f4 exf4 11. Bxf4 O-O 12. Be3 Qb6 13. b3 Ne8 14. Re1

Bd8 15. Bxd4 cxd4 16. Na4 Qa5 17. Rb1 b5 18. cxb5 Bf6 19. Bd7 Nc7 20. b4 1-0

IM Dick van Geet resigns since his queen

is trapped.

Despite of the terrible 19... Nc7 his

position was already lost anyway.


[Event "AEGON Chess Tournament"]

[Site "The Hague NED"]

[Date "1997.04.17"]

[Round "2"]

[White "Stefan Loeffler"]

[Black "REBEL 9.0"]

[Result "0-1"]

[WhiteTitle "IM"]

[WhiteElo "2410"]

[WhiteCountry "GER"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 c6 3. e3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. b3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bb4 7. Bb2 O-O 8.

Be2 b6 9. g4 Nxg4 10. Rg1 Ngf6 11. O-O-O Bb7 12. Rg5 dxc4 13. Rdg1 g6 14.

Ne4 cxb3 15. axb3 c5 16. Nd6 Bd5 17. Nh4 Qe7 18. Nxf7 Kxf7 19. Nxg6 Qd6 20.

Ne5+ Ke8 21. Bb5 a6 22. Nxd7 Nxd7 23. Be5 Bxb3 24. Bxd6 Ba3+ 25. Qb2 axb5

26. Rg8 e5 27. R8g7 Rf7 28. Rg8+ Nf8 29. R1g7 Rxf2 30. Qxa3 Rxa3 31. Re7+

Kd8 32. Rgg7 Ra2 0-1

Situation after 23. Be5

The computer on his best?

No human chess player would ever consider

taking the pawn on g4 (9.. Nxg4?!)

Computers are stubborn, they take the pawn

as long as there is no direct danger.

For the human the job to be successful in

the attack. Fortunately the most powerful

strength todays chess programs have is that

they are grandmasters in defending and in

narrow escapes!

This game is no exception, REBEL never saw a loss against itself, not 

even a negative score! And then the hammer came with the beautiful move

23.. Bxb3!! and the game was over.

[Event "AEGON Chess Tournament"]

[Site "The Hague NED"]

[Date "1997.04.18"]

[Round "3"]

[White "Rebel 9.0"]

[Black "Sofia Polgar"]

[Result "1/2-1/2"]

[BlackTitle "IM"]

[BlackElo "2470"]

[BlackCountry "HUN"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Nxc6 Qf6 6. Qd2 dxc6 7. Nc3

Qg6 8. Qg5 Qxg5 9. Bxg5 Be6 10. Rd1 Ne7 11. Be2 a5 12. O-O Ng6 13. Na4 Ba7

14. b3 O-O 15. c4 Rab8 16. Rfe1 b5 17. cxb5 cxb5 18. Nc3 c6 19. Rd6 Rfc8 20.

Red1 h6 21. Bc1 Bc5 22. R6d2 a4 23. bxa4 b4 24. Nb1 Ra8 25. Rc2 Bf8 26. Nd2

Rd8 27. Nb3 Rxd1+ 28. Bxd1 Rxa4 29. f4 Ra8 30. g3 Rc8 31. Be3 Ne7 32. Nc5

Rd8 33. Be2 Bc8 34. Rb2 f5 35. Rxb4 fxe4 36. Rxe4 Nd5 37. Bc4 Kh7 38. Bf2

Nf6 39. Rd4 Re8 40. Bd3+ g6 41. Ra4 Bh3 42. Ra7+ Kh8 43. Bxg6 Re2 44. Nb3 c5

45. Bd3 Rb2 46. Be1 c4 47. Bxc4 Rb1 48. Rf7 Ne4 49. Rxf8+ Kg7 50. Rf7+ Kh8

51. Nd2 Nxd2 52. Rf8+ Kg7 53. Rg8+ Kf6 54. Bd3 Rxe1+ 55. Kf2 Ra1 56. Rg6+

Ke7 57. Rxh6 Be6 58. f5 Bd5 59. Ra6 Nf3 60. Ra5 Bc6 61. h4 Rc1 62. h5 Kf6

63. g4 Rc3 64. Ke2 Kg5 65. f6+ Kxf6 66. g5+ Nxg5 67. Rf5+ Kg7 68. Rxg5+ Kh6

69. Ra5 Be8 70. Kd2 Rc6 71. Be2 Re6 72. a3 Bd7 73. Rd5 Be8 74. Rf5 Bd7 75.

Ra5 Be8 76. Rd5 Bc6 77. Rd3 Rf6 78. Re3 Bd7 79. Kc3 Rb6 80. Re4 Rb8 81. Re7

Rc8+ 82. Kd4 Be8 83. Re5 Ra8 84. Kc4 Ra4+ 85. Kb3 Ra8 86. Re6+ Kg5 87. Re7

Rb8+ 88. Kc3 Ra8 89. Kb2 Rb8+ 90. Kc1 Ra8 91. Rg7+ Kh6 92. Rg8 Kh7 93. Rg3

Kh6 94. Rh3 Bd7 95. Rb3 Be8 96. Kd2 Rd8+ 97. Rd3 Ra8 98. Rh3 Bf7 99. Kc2 Be8

100. Kb2 Bf7 101. Rh4 Be8 102. Re4 Rb8+ 103. Rb4 Ra8 104. Rb3 Bf7 105. Rb7

Be8 106. Rb6+ Kg5 107. Rb3 Kh6 108. Bd1 Rd8 109. Bf3 Rd6 110. Rb8 Re6 111.

Bd1 Re4 112. Rb4 Re1 113. Rb6+ Kg5 114. Rd6 Re5 115. h6 Rb5+ 116. Kc1 Rc5+

117. Bc2 Ba4 118. Rg6+ Kh5 119. h7 Rxc2+ 120. Kb1 1/2-1/2

Here in this won position the REBEL operator 

made a terrible mistake by offering Sofia a


The REBEL operator after 5 hours at (00:15)

local time wasn't thinking clearly anymore 

and suspected that the game after the promoting

of the h-pawn could continue another 100 moves

by first pushing the a-pawn all the way to a8. 

After giving the black bishop for the a-pawn 

Rebel still had to win the KQ-KR ending after 

that. And playing on just an average 0:20 time 

level the Rebel operator lost confidence in a

positive outcome and offered Sofia a draw.

Sofia looked surprised, smiled accepted the draw and added: "I was just

planning to resign!" The nightmare for the Rebel operator still wasn't 

complete. When he looked at the screen (to save the game in the database)

he noticed that with white's last move 120. Kb1 the score of Rebel

suddenly was increased from +2.00 to +4.00 meaning Rebel had seen a

complete winning line!

Counting this game also as a win REBEL actually scored 5 out of 6 with an ELO of over 2700!

[Event "AEGON Chess Tournament"]

[Site "The Hague NED"]

[Date "1997.04.21"]

[Round "4"]

[White "Gennadi Timoshchenco"]

[Black "Rebel 9.0"]

[Result "0-1"]

[WhiteTitle "GM"]

[WhiteElo "2515"]

[WhiteCountry "SVK"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. dxc5 e6 4. e3 Bxc5 5. a3 Nf6 6. c4 O-O 7. b4 Bb6 8.

Bb2 a5 9. b5 Nbd7 10. Nbd2 Nc5 11. Qc2 Bd7 12. Be2 Rc8 13. O-O Ne8 14. a4

Nd6 15. Qc3 f6 16. Qa3 Qe7 17. cxd5 exd5 18. Bd4 Rc7 19. Rac1 Rfc8 20. Rc3

Nf5 21. Rfc1 Nxa4 22. Qxe7 Nxe7 23. Rxc7 Rxc7 24. Ra1 Bxd4 25. Nxd4 Nc3 26.

Bd3 b6 27. Kf1 g6 28. Ke1 Nf5 29. Bxf5 Bxf5 30. Nxf5 gxf5 31. Nf1 Nxb5 32.

Rb1 Rc5 33. Ng3 f4 34. Nh5 fxe3 35. fxe3 Kf7 36. Nf4 a4 37. Nd3 Rc3 38. Rxb5

Rxd3 39. Rxb6 Rxe3+ 40. Kf2 Rd3 41. Rb7+ Kg6 42. Ke2 Rb3 43. Rd7 Rb2+ 44.

Kf3 Rb5 45. Ra7 Rb3+ 46. Kf4 a3 47. Ra5 d4 48. Ra4 d3 49. Ke3 h5 50. g3 Kf5

51. Ra6 Kg5 52. Ra4 f5 53. h4+ Kf6 54. Ra6+ Ke5 55. Ra5+ Ke6 56. Kd2 Kf6 57.

Ke3 d2+ 58. Kxd2 Rxg3 59. Ra6+ Ke5 60. Ra5+ Ke4 61. Ra4+ Kd5 62. Ra5+ Kc4

63. Kc2 Rf3 64. Ra8 Rc3+ 65. Kb1 f4 66. Rh8 f3 67. Rxh5 Kd3 68. Rf5 Ke2 69.

h5 f2 0-1

Situation after 21. Rfc1?


A tactical error by the grandmaster.

He is overlooking 21... Nax4!

Simple for computers, difficult for

humans. REBEL only needed 1 second

to see that 21.. Nxa4 would win a


From this stage the grandmaster has

to defend the remaining game.

Without success since REBEL played the ending very well.

Situation after 62. Ra5+

The Rebel operator was nervous at this

stage of the game, being 2 pawns up as

in the previous game. 

Lots of spectators were already joking

when the Rebel operator would offer a

draw. Fortunately this time the Rebel 

operator stayed cool.


After 62.. Kc4! he realized

that Rebel would win.

Next moves:  63. Kc2 Rf3 64. Ra8 Rc3+ 65. Kb1 f4

Situation after 66. Rh8

66.. f3! the final knock.

GM Timoshchenco resigned a few

moves later.

Next moves

67. Rxh5 Kd3 68. Rf5 Ke2 69. h5 f2 0-1

A very good game by Rebel without any


[Event "AEGON Chess Tournament"]

[Site "The Hague NED"]

[Date "1997.04.22"]

[Round "5"]

[White "Yona Kosashvili"]

[Black "Rebel 9.0"]

[Result "1-0"]

[WhiteTitle "GM"]

[WhiteElo "2560"]

[WhiteCountry "ISR"]

1. c4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. e3 Nf6 4. b3 Bf5 5. Bb2 e6 6. Be2 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. d3

Nbd7 9. Nh4 Bg6 10. Nxg6 fxg6 11. Nd2 Qc7 12. g3 e5 13. cxd5 cxd5 14. e4

Rac8 15. exd5 Qc2 16. Rb1 Qxd1 17. Rfxd1 Rc2 18. Bf3 Bc5 19. a3 Ne8 20. b4

Bb6 21. Kg2 Nd6 22. a4 a6 23. a5 Ba7 24. Ba1 b5 25. Rb2 Rfc8 26. Nb3 Bxf2

27. Rxc2 Rxc2 28. Rd2 Rxd2 29. Nxd2 Be1 30. Bc3 Nf5 31. Kf1 Bxd2 32. Bxd2

Kf7 33. Bg5 h6 34. Bd8 Ne3+ 35. Ke2 Nc2 36. Kd2 Nxb4 37. Kc3 Na2+ 38. Kb3

Nc1+ 39. Kc2 Na2 40. Kb2 Nb4 41. Kc3 Na2+ 42. Kb3 Nc1+ 43. Kc2 Na2 44. Bc7

Ke7 45. d6+ Ke8 46. Bb6 Nb4+ 47. Kc3 Na2+ 48. Kb3 Nc1+ 49. Kc2 Na2 50. Be3

b4 51. Kb3 Nc3 52. Bc6 Kd8 53. Kxb4 Nb8 54. Bb6+ Kc8 55. d7+ Nxd7 56. Bxd7+

Kxd7 1-0 


Situation after 15. exd5

15.. Qc2!! is an astonishing move. Instead 

of the logical recapture of 15.. Nxd5 REBEL

prefers to leave the pawn and take the 

initiative, a 100% pawn sacrifice. 

This is the world up side down since it always 

happens the other way around! Grandmasters are 

supposed to sacrifice pawns and not computers...

But GM Yona Kosashvili defended very well and 

with 26. Nb3! he gave back the pawn also 

eliminating all black's active pieces. 

After the game Yona Kosashvili said that 15.. Qc2 was a very good 

move (and only good move!) and that the computer got the most out of the 

pawn sacrifice.

Situation after 33. Bg5!

Here due to the time pressure on the clock REBEL 

made a mistake since 33.. h6? finally is a 

losing move according to Yona Kosashvili after 

the game.

The tragedy was that REBEL at the last moment 

changed his mind from the good move 33.. Nf6 

to the bad move 33.. h6?

At this stage in the game REBEL was thinking on

an average level of 1 minute per move due to 

the decreasing time. Analysing the position on

normal tournament time control REBEL's score drops from +0.50 to 0.00 

immediately followed by the good move 33.. Nf6  with a score of +0.43

Opinions were divided if REBEL could have win the game after 33.. Nf6

with a pawn up after Ke7 and Kd6. Most probably the pawn up is not enough

since white's compensation of the 2 strong white bishops for the pawn.

REBEL resigns, after 57. Kxc3 the remaining 

ending is hopeless.

No shame to lose from GM Kosashvili who finally 

would win the 12th AEGON tournament with a 

perfect score of 100%

[Event "AEGON Chess Tournament"]

[Site "The Hague NED"]

[Date "1997.04.23"]

[Round "6"]

[White "Rebel 9.0"]

[Black "Rini Kuijf"]

[Result "1-0"]

[BlackTitle "IM"]

[BlackElo "2475"]

[BlackCountry "NED"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Be7 4. Ngf3 Nf6 5. e5 Nfd7 6. Bd3 c5 7. c3 b6 8.

Qe2 a5 9. O-O Ba6 10. c4 O-O 11. b3 Nc6 12. Bb2 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Nxd4 14. Bxd4

Bc5 15. Bc3 Bb7 16. cxd5 Bxd5 17. Rad1 Qe7 18. Ne4 Rfc8 19. Qg4 Bxe4 20.

Bxe4 Ra7 21. Rd3 Nf8 22. Qh5 g6 23. Qh6 Rd7 24. Bb2 Rxd3 25. Bxd3 Ba3 26.

Bxa3 Qxa3 27. Qd2 Rc5 28. f4 Rd5 29. Qe2 Nd7 30. Bc4 Rd4 31. g3 Nc5 32. Qf2

Rd8 33. Qc2 Kg7 34. Kg2 Qb4 35. Rd1 Rxd1 36. Qxd1 Ne4 37. Qd4 Nc5 38. Qd8 a4

39. Kh3 Ne4 40. Qd4 Nc5 41. Qd6 a3 42. Qe7 Kg8 43. f5 gxf5 44. Be2 Qd2 45.

Bh5 Qh6 46. Qxf7+ Kh8 47. Qe8+ Kg7 48. Kh4 Ne4 49. Qd8 Nd2 50. Qe7+ Kg8 51.

Qd8+ Kg7 52. Qd7+ Kh8 53. Qc8+ Kg7 54. Qb7+ Kh8 55. g4 fxg4 56. Qc8+ Kg7 57.

Kxg4 b5 58. Qd7+ Kh8 59. Qe8+ Kg7 60. Bf7 1-0


  Situation after 42... Kg8

  43. f5!! is a total unexpected surprise for 

  black, so very typical for computers.

  The IM thinking he is safe counting at least

  on a draw suddenly is faced with a dangerous

  attack on his king.

  Next moves

  43. f5 gxf5 44. Be2 Qd2 45. Bh5 Qh6 46. Qxf7+

  Kh8 47. Qe8+ Kg7 48. Kh4 Ne4 49. Qd8 Nd2 50.

  Qe7+ Kg8 51. Qd8+ Kg7 52. Qd7+ Kh8 53. Qc8+ 

  Kg7 54. Qb7+ Kh8


  Situation after 54... Kh8

  After lots of checking moves the white 

  queen is on the right square (preventing

  Nf3+) ready for the final knock. 55. g4!!

  is another beautiful pawn breakthrough

  which finally will release the white bishop 

  from the pin. The white bishop then will 

  decide the game.

  Next moves

  55. g4 fxg4 56. Qc8+ Kg7 57. Kxg4 b5 

  58. Qd7+ Kh8 59. Qe8+ Kg7

  Situation after 59... Kg7


  60. Bf7! The released bishop decides

  the game. IM Rini Kuijf resigns since

  there is no defense against Qg8+

  Final score of REBEL 4½ points.

  And a well deserved super TPR of 2619

  We like to say thanks to AEGON who makes

  this exciting tournament possible every


Visit the official AEGON site
for all details.