Robots in a Moscow park... playing chess (VIDEO)

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

Two unique chess matches involving robots took place on Saturday, May 19th in Moscow, on Strastniy Boulevard. In a specially built pavilion made for this event two-time Olympic champion and former world champion Alexander Grischuk and two robots, KUKA Monstr (Germany) and CHESSka (Russia), faced off at the chessboard.

By Eldar Mukhametov | Photos by Julia Manakova, more here

The Russian robot CHESSka, the first chess robot to beat grandmasters in blitz chess, was created by Konstantin Kosteniuk, Honored Coach of Russian Chess and an inventor with tens of registered patents. CHESSka is already well-known among Russian chess fans. This “chess terminator” has played against former world champions Vladimir Kramnik and Alexandra Kosteniuk, as well as Sergey Karjakin, one of Russia’s leading players, and has beaten a number of well-known grandmasters.

KUKA Monstr
Challenging our hardware heavyweight for the title is KUKA Monstr, created by the German company KUKA Robotics, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial robots. Though it is younger than its Russian opponent, its creators favor it to win the match. They say that blitz chess is precisely where KUKA can fully manifest its intelligence, accuracy and speed. Other world-class robot makers showing interest in developing chess-playing robots include FANUC Corporation of Japan and ABB of Sweden.

KUKA Monstr (Germany)

First, to test himself in a fight with a robot, came Alexander Grischuk. The match consisted of six blitz games. In the first three the grandmaster was white [alternating colors after each game turned out to be technically impossible - at first the robot, having white, was waiting for his opponent to move! - CV], and at first he had the initiative, but he could not break the resistance of his opponent.

Grischuk: A decent score with White

When the score was 1.5-1.5 (three draws) KUKA got white in the next three games, and the preponderance of the "Metallic Mind" became apparent. As a result, the robot KUKA Monstr gained a victory with a score of 4.5-1.5.

Grischuk backing away when KUKA makes a move...

...and missing some tactics here and there

Lots of visitors around the special tent, GM Sergey Shipov providing commentary, Anna Sharevich as host

Then, after a short break, the match kicked off for the historic title for the absolute world champion in chess for robots. KUKA Monstr attempted to take away the title from the current  owner – the Russian robot CHESSka. However, perhaps the German robot was "exhausted" after its fight with Grischuk and a persistent struggle did not happen. CHESSka acted faster and more accurately than his opponent. In prolonged fights, KUKA simply could not fit into the allotted 5 minutes per batch. As a result, the speaker awarded a convincing victory under the Russian flag to the CHESSka robot with a score of 3.5-0.5, who managed to defend his world title in chess among robots.

CHESSka vs Kuka 

Note that the matches involving robots gathered a large number of viewers and became an outstanding event in the chess life in Moscow. More than a hundred chess players faced off on the same day and grandmaster Farrukh Amonatov took part in the next stage of the Moscow competition "Chess Boulevard". Throughout the day, along with the audience, the show saw the leading champion of Belarus, Anna Sharevich, and the well-known chess commentator Sergey Shipov in attendance.

A dance competition on a chess board

The winners of the tournaments, as well as the winners of the competition programs, were awarded T-shirts branded for the match with the title of absolute champion of chess robots.

The match was exciting, both for spectators and for the participants, and in the future we plan to hold similar meetings every year

said the inventor and inspiration behind robot players, the honored coach of Russia, Konstantin Kosteniuk, in an interview with reporters present at the event.

A popular pawn

The organizers of the event were: Summa Group, the Russian Chess Federation, the Center for Physical Culture and Sports of the Central Administrative District of Moscow, the Chess Club named T.V. Petrosian, as well as the participation of the Fund to support creative chess, the company ChessQueen.

Heavy knight development

Organizer and author of this report, Eldar Mukhametov

Video impressions


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