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We did it!!!
Our world record attempt has been successful.

The following was posted on the ChessBrain Community Forum the day after the World Record attempt.

ChessBrain has become the first Distributed Computing network to play an actual game against a single human opponent. Over two thousand computers (2070) participated during the game! Our prior record involved only 846 machines.

We encountered many challenges before and during the event. The actual game resulted in a draw which means that despite the numerous physical and technical challenges; ChessBrain managed to pull through and hold its own against one of the strongest players in the world.

I’ve stated earlier that Win, Lose or Draw… our goals were to see ChessBrain successfully complete an actual game under official tournament conditions against a strong player. This has been one of the criteria’s set forth by the Guinness World Record office.

I intended to post stats and a full report yesterday. However, I decided on taking a small rest and didn’t actually wake up until the evening on the following day! I’ve finally posted stats: and I apologize to all for the delay!!

Here’s a quick summary:

  • Thousands of people from over 56 countries participated

  • The top countries were the US, Denmark, UK, Switzerland, and Germany all of whom have been strong supporters during the past year.

  • The top teams were US-Distributed, Free-DC,, and SwissTeam.NET. Interestingly, the number of people who were not part of a team processed enough work to rank third as a team!

  • Lund University/LTH was the top University, and El Granada Elementary was the top elementary school, followed by Hatch Elementary

Because of the technical difficulties we experienced there is no doubt in our minds that more people attempted to participate than actually managed to get through. We understand that several universities contributed clusters of computers during the event which played a role in limiting the number of people who could participate worldwide. At least one university in Denmark used a 250 processor cluster! I suspect, but have not yet confirmed, that a university in German may have used a large cluster of machines as well.

Here is the actual game score:

White: GM Peter Heine Nielsen
Black: ChessBrain

1. d4 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. e4 d6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Nf3 o-o 6. Be2 e5 7. o-o a5 8. Re1 exd4 9. Nxd4 Bd7 10. Bg5 Nc6 11. Nxc6 Bxc6 12. f3 Qd7 13. Qd2 Rfe8 14. Rac1 h5 15. Kh1 Nh7 16. Bh6 Bxh6 17. Qxh6 Re5 18. Nd5 Rae8 19. Qd2 b6 20. Bd3 Qd8 21. Rf1 Nf6 22. b3 Bb7 23. Qc2 Nd7 24. f4 R5e6 25. e5 c6 26. f5 gxf5 27. Bxf5 c6xd5 28. Bxe6 e8xe6 29. Rxf7 Kxf7 30. Qh7+ Ke8 31. Qxh5+ Ke7 32. Qg5+ Ke8 33. Qh5+ Ke7 34. Qh7+ 1/2-1/2

The game lasted several hours before resulting in a draw. Chess Grandmaster Peter Nielsen commented that he had set several traps for ChessBrain which computers normally fall for… but was surprised when ChessBrain refused them!

Present here in Denmark is Colin Frayn, who is ChessBrain’s co-developer and engine author, and Peter Wilson who is the former Chair for the Computer Chess and Internet Committee at (FIDE) the World Chess Federation. I’ve finally had an opportunity to meet both in person. I flew to Denmark with Cedric Griss, the founder of the Distributed Computing Foundation. Cedric has been instrumental in helping the team get to Denmark, and supporting the actual event. Cedric is an old friend and colleague and one of our strongest supporters.

Colin and I have worked very hard during the past year and we’re delighted with ChessBrain’s success! Prior to the event, I had never met Colin and it has been absolutely fantastic to work with him here in Denmark. During the actual game, I watched Colin agonize over ChessBrain’s calculation. I couldn’t help but think that he looked just like a proud father watching his child take its first steps!

Peter Wilson has supported us in many ways. He agreed to join the team when many were unimpressed with ChessBrain. Peter brought considerable credibility to our efforts and was instrumental in interfacing with the Guinness world record office in London. Peter Wilson had the pleasure to sit across from ChesBrain’s opponent, Chess Grandmaster Peter Nielsen, and physically playing ChessBrain’s moves.

Kenneth Geisshirt, one of DKUUG’s members and program Chair for the event, has been absolutely instrumental in creating an opportunity for ChessBrain to actually play in Denmark!! Kenneth has tried to make this happen for two years!

The Danish DKUUG group hosted the event and provided first class support! I’m happy to say that DKUUG members were virtually indistinguishable from the ChessBrain team as we all worked together during the event! We have new friends in Denmark and we’re pleased that a new historical event took place in such a wonderful country. Denmark has Kenneth and the DKUUG to thank for bringing this historical event to Denmark!

Martin Gorm Pedersen, a contact of Cedric Griss, helped us resolve a number of problems while here in Denmark. Our equipment from the United States had trouble getting through Air-France, and Martin immediately swung into action to secure backup equipment for our use during the event. Speaking of Air-France, Cedric spent a small fortune tracking our luggage and arranging for our items to be rushed from the airport to our hotel. Martin and his contacts also made arrangements to complement the Internet access we had during the event. Martin is one of those rare individuals who is successful (CEO of his own company) yet doesn't mind rolling up his sleeves and doing whatever is needed. He actually drove around town getting us food one night when we were too busy working to leave our hotel!

FIDE Master and author, Eric Schiller, built ChessBrain’s secret weapon (its opening book library) and supported us by providing valuable advice and helping to generate interest in the event. Eric, a Chess master himself, will prepare a game commentary for our ChessBrain site.

Gavin Roy and EHPG have helped to make ChessBrain a reality over the past two years. EHPG provides the hosting for ChessBrain’s SuperNode server and for ChessBrain’s primary website.

Long time ChessBrain members, Oliver Otte, Sven Herrmann, Carlos Lora provided critical support during the preparation for the event. Oliver wrote the member registration system and created the initial database schema for ChessBrain’s statistics database. Sven Herrmann, provided 3D visualization programs which were used during the event. The 3D images of the game were broadcasted live to an auditorium of people and broadcasted on the Internet. We’ll have the broadcast available directly on the ChessBrain website as soon as possible! Carlos Lora provided support in website development, graphics and marketing. We’ll see more of Carlos Lora’s work during the next generations of ChessBrain applications!

Many other people who I’ve not listed have provided support over the past few years. It has been a long journey indeed. Well... we did it! Congratulations to all !!!

- CJ

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ChessBrain is co-developed by Carlos Justiniano (USA) and Colin Frayn (UK) with the support of thousands of individuals throughout the world. If you need to contact the authors directly you may use the contact information below. All other questions and comments should be directed to:

Carlos Justiniano
Colin Frayn

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