Grandmaster fails to slay the Hydra

In the latest man vs machine clash, the UK's top chess player came a distant second

UK chess grandmaster Michael Adams has been soundly beaten in his titanic struggle last week against Hydra, a supercomputer.

Adams, the UK's top chess player, lost five out of six games, and only managed a single draw at London's Wembley Centre.

The battle had been hyped as a clash between man and machine, yet during the games Hydra only used 32 out of the 64 PCs in its cluster. Based in Abu Dhabi, Hydra's PCs are each powered by a 3.06GHz Intel Xeon processor.

Whereas ten years ago Gary Kasparov only narrowly lost to IBM's Deeper Blue, advances in technology and programming have made the aptly named Hydra a beast to be reckoned with.

According to the team that developed Hydra, it can calculate 200 million moves per second, and look up to 40 moves ahead. Adams was at a disadvantage, as he was estimate to only be able to calculate 1.4 moves per second, and look up to seven or eight moves in advance.

However, when asked in a Chessbase interview whether Adams thought his battle was conclusive proof of where the power now lies, he responded, "Well, I don't think you can get a conclusive proof after one match. My own impression of Hydra was that it played well, but I am sure we will see more of Hydra's games against other top players."