- GM John v/d Wiel vs REBEL -

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From January 2-4 and January 9-11, 2001 REBEL will play a 6 game match against GM John van der Wiel.

The time control for the event is tournament time control 40 moves in 2 hours and thereafter 60 minutes for the rest of the game.

Location of the event: Centre Céramique, Avenue Céramique 50, Maastricht, The Netherlands. Games start at 13:00 local time. Entry is free.

  • GM John van der Wiel versus REBEL.
  • January 2-4, 2001 Round 1-3.
  • January 9-11, 2001 Round 4-6.
  • Time control: 40/120 + 60/all.
  • Location: Maastricht, the Netherlands.
  • Organization: Chess Events Maastricht Foundation.
  • Organization director: Maarten van Gils.
  • Tournament director: International arbiter Geurt Gijssen.
  • Game comments: Jan van Reek.
  • Live Internet support: Daan Brorens.

A new challenge for Rebel

After the matches against Arthur Yussupov and Vishy Anand which were mainly about short time control Rebel will have to face a new challenge. This time Rebel will have to compete against the world best computer fighter AND in the area the human still is superior that is tournament time control.

Download all the games GM John der der Wiel has played against computers and notices his tremendous score of 24½ - 3½ against the silicon losing only one game in 1990 but that was during a simultaneous play John gave in Brussels so actually John never lost one single serious game against a computer. Outstanding and unrivalled!

How well or bad will Rebel do against this computer killer? To win the match Rebel has to win at least one time and draw 5 times or beat John 2-3 times. Will it happen? Because we were curious to your opinion in the month before the match a little opinion poll was done. You predicted as follows:

Prediction Statistics
                            SCORE     VOTES   PERC
John v/d Wiel versus Rebel  0 - 6       6     1.1%
John v/d Wiel versus Rebel  ½ - 5½      2     0.4%
John v/d Wiel versus Rebel  1 - 5      15     2.7%
John v/d Wiel versus Rebel 1½ - 4½     21     3.8%
John v/d Wiel versus Rebel  2 - 4      63    11.5%
John v/d Wiel versus Rebel 2½ - 3½     76    13.8%
John v/d Wiel versus Rebel  3 - 3     102    18.5%
John v/d Wiel versus Rebel 3½ - 2½    128    23.3%
John v/d Wiel versus Rebel  4 - 2      74    13.5%
John v/d Wiel versus Rebel 4½ - 1½     35     6.4%
John v/d Wiel versus Rebel  5 - 1      14     2.5%
John v/d Wiel versus Rebel 5½ - ½       8     1.5%
John v/d Wiel versus Rebel  6 - 0       6     1.1%

Number of predictions        :  550

GM John v/d Wiel will win    :  48.2%
The match will end in a draw :  18.5%
Rebel will win the match     :  33.3%

After 3 rounds still 73 people predicted the correct match continuation.    
After 4 rounds only 5 people predicted the correct match continuation.
After 5 rounds the correct match continuation dropped to 1.
After 6 rounds NOBODY predicted the correct match continuation.

The prize goes to Georg Langrath from Sweden who predicted 5 rounds 
in the right continuation. Congrats Georg! Two other prizes go to "Rene 
Dorenbosch" and "Robert Shultz" which were chosen randomly from the 550 

  REBEL wins with 3½ - 2½  

  • Game 1    Draw

  • Game 2    Draw

  • Game 3    GM John v/d Wiel wins!

  • Game 4    REBEL wins!

  • Game 5    REBEL wins!

  • Game 6    Draw

  • Download games in bare PGN  
  • Download games in PGN and REBEL format including Rebel's analysis.  

  • Interview with GM John van der Wiel after the match  

    Questions are collected from people in the public CCC forum.

    [Q1] Realizing that it is position specific, do humans generally have an advantage in seeing drawn positions?

    [JvdW] Sometimes, yes, but computers will normally have a reasonable correct assessment too, so it is only a small advantage.

    [Q2] Does the computer's clear vision of short to moderate range tactics become an advantage in the sense of freeing up your thinking so as not to examine such variations? That is, do variations and plans arise that you might consider given a human opponent that you would otherwise avoid when playing a computer?

    [JvdW] Yes and yes to both questions in general, but often sharp calculation is also necessary for the human player and sometimes you spurn the best variation (as I did in game 4: Qb7xa7! instead of Qb7-e4) because it looks too complicated against a computer, and then it may become a disadvantage!

    [Q3] Do you think it important do prepare for a specific computer opponent or is it enough to be familiar with computer play in general?

    [JvdW] For me: enough to be familiar, unless you have access to the computer's opening book, then it becomes interesting to do specific preparation.

    [Q4] Do you believe a computer opponent can be pushed into a certain mode of play by strong players or is your frame of mind more, "I will play good moves and react appropriately as the computer opponent mis-reads the position"?

    [JvdW] The former. I always try to push the computer into a position it doesn't understand, but don't always succeed.

    [Q5] Do you prepare specific openings against a computer or enter the contest with more of a general plan?

    [JvdW] More of a general plan. Opening 'philosophy' is important, though.

    [Q6] Is it more advantageous for a human to play a computer in a match setup like this one vs Rebel when compared to facing a computer in a tournament? Or no difference?

    [JvdW] In a match it is easier to focus on typical computer play, but I am experienced in doing this, so for me it is not a great difference.

    [Q7] What other players do you believe would perform well against computers?

    [JvdW] Karpov, Kramnik, Seirawan, Spassky for instance if they want to make an effort. Their styles are already suitable by nature.

    [Q8] Ever consider writing a book about how computers play by annotating games and pointing out their shortcomings?

    [JvdW] Not really yet, but maybe in the future?

    [Q9] What is your most satisfying victory vs a computer and why?

    [JvdW] Against HIARCS, AEGON 1995, because it was leading the tournament with 5 out of 5 and I had to win in order to claim the tournament victory and also because my 'Winawer' strategy as Black became a complete success. Second favorite is the win over FRITZ in the Dutch championship because of all the fuss about FRITZ and it saved an otherwise dreadful tournament for me in a nice 'anti-computer' type of game.

    [Q10] What can you say about Rebel's play during the match?

    [JvdW] It avoided 'anti-computer' type of positions more often than other programs so far. Still it made quite a few mistakes (I have to add that I certainly made more!) and in the middle-game treatment there is a lot to be improved. I was impressed by REBEL's endgame technique, though. Looking back at the match I am convinced that a Van der Wiel "in form" should definitely come out victorious.

    In the Press
    • Dagblad de Limburger (dutch)
      SCHAKEN Een computer hoeft niet naar de wc, kent geen honger of dorst, is nooit moe, raakt niet afgeleid en heeft een oneindig' geheugen en dito rekencapaciteit. Als de mens daartegen probeert op te boksen, is het bij voorbaat een verloren strijd. Behalve dezer dagen in Maastricht. Daar speelt een computer met knikkende knieën' tegen een gewone sterveling'.

    • Limburgs Dagblad (dutch)
      Maastricht - Kolkende hersens contra moordende rekenkracht. Warmbloedige intuïtie versus ijzige techniek. Schaken tegen computers is een slijtageslag voor het menselijke brein. Grootmeester John van der Wiel, dé specialist in het kraken van digitale monsters, probeert in een match van zes partijen in Maastricht het nieuwste fenomeen te slopen: Rebel 11.0. Nu kan ’t nog, voorspellen de computer-adepten, over tien jaar niet meer. ,,Zelfs de wereldkampioen zal dan ademloos toekijken.”

    • Centre Céramique Maastricht
    • Hotel Mabi, Maastricht
    • Paradigt Computers BV, Maastricht
    • ABN-AMRO Maastricht
    • Schröder BV, Deventer

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