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Chessmaster 9000 Defeated US Chess Champion

by Thomas on Oct. 3, 2002 @ 6:57 p.m. PDT

Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, and The Internet Chess Club (Chessclub.com), the world's premiere online chess destination, today announced that Chessmaster 9000 defeated reigning US Chess Champion, Grandmaster Larry Christiansen, two and a half games to one and a half games, in a four game match played over two days, Saturday and Sunday, September 28-29.

"The Christiansen vs. Chessmaster 9000 results prove that Chessmaster's world class chess engine offers a serious challenge to even the world's chess playing elite," said Karen "KC" Conroe, group brand manager for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "We sincerely thank reigning U.S. Chess Champion Larry Christiansen, one of the world's finest chess players, for his exciting play in this hard fought exhibition match and wish Larry the best of luck as he defends his title next January in Seattle."

The four game match was broadcast live on Chessclub.com's website, with audio commentary provided by Chess.fm featuring live, expert commentary during each of the games from some of the chess world's most celebrated players. Reigning Women's US Chess Champion and International Master Jennifer Shahade, Grandmaster Joel Benjamin, International Master and Chessmaster celebrity Josh Waitzkin, and Woman's Grandmaster Susan Polgar all provided commentary during the match. Yasser Seirawan, Grandmaster and co-founder of America's Foundation for Chess, will provide post-event written analysis in the coming weeks.

Mr. Christiansen, rated 2559, took on four different Grandmaster-level personalities from the Chessmaster 9000 retail product, finally facing The Chessmaster personality on Sunday at 6 p.m. In the first match on Saturday morning at 10am, Christiansen played as black, facing down Chessmaster 9000's Alexander Alekhine personality, known for its trap-setting style, and jumped to an early lead in the match. "Christiansen fought hard in all four games and was obviously ready to play," said Terry Coleman, producer of Chessmaster 9000 for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "He saw right through the traps the Alekhine personality set and just crushed Chessmaster in game one."

Game two pitted Christiansen against Chessmaster 9000's Bobby Fischer personality, a hard-fighting controlled aggression style. This tense positional struggle resulted in Chessmaster 9000 evening the match at a game apiece. Game three was the pivotal point in the match, with the score all even and Christiansen facing Chessmaster 9000's Botvinnik personality, which offered a balanced, counterattacking style. "Christiansen launched a ferocious attack true to his style, but Chessmaster 9000 successfully defended and eventually won the game in over four hours of intense play," continued Coleman.

Sunday's final pitted Christiansen against The Chessmaster, a personality rated at 2767, and featuring Chessmaster 9000's strongest, most comprehensive style of play. "After five moves, both Christiansen and The Chessmaster were out of opening theory," said Coleman. "The fourth game was played for over 40 moves to a classic draw, completing this very exciting match."

About US Chess Champion and Grandmaster Larry Christiansen
Born June 27, 1956 in Riverside, California, Larry Christiansen first started playing chess when he was nine years old. In the following years, Larry developed a love for the game as he regularly played and honed his skills. At the age of 21, in 1977, Larry found greatness, becoming a Grandmaster by winning the Malaga Tournament in Spain. He is a three time US Chess Champion having won in 1980, 1983 and 2002, and an eight time veteran of the chess Olympiads.

About Chessmaster 9000
Chessmaster is a teacher, mentor and ultimate opponent that provides countless hours of interactive competition and fun for anyone interested in chess. Since the first version appeared for the PC in 1986, Chessmaster has been the dominant chess franchise in the world, selling more than 5 million units and winning numerous awards. Chessmaster 9000 builds on the strong foundation of its predecessors by adding many new tools and a complete curriculum to help players discover the fun of chess, while mastering the game. A 2 CD set, Chessmaster 9000 has over 150 opponents, 800 classic games, a free online matchmaking service and rated games online via Ubi.com, offering a challenge to players of all skill levels from beginners to Grandmasters. Chessmaster 9000 has an MSRP of $39.99. Owners of previous Chessmaster PC versions are eligible for a $10 rebate when they upgrade to Chessmaster 9000. Additional details on the rebate can be found at Ubi.com or at your favorite videogame retailer.

About The Internet Chess Club
With over 25,000 paying members from all over the world, The Internet Chess Club (Chessclub.com) is the longest running and most vibrant chess community on the internet. Chessclub.com is the only internet site with a substantial presence of titled players, and is the undisputed leader in online chess. On the site you can play games and get a rating, watch Grandmasters play, take lessons, play in tournaments, play in simultaneous exhibitions, try chess variants like bughouse, crazyhouse and atomic, play chess programs of all levels, and much more. To learn more visit www.chessclub.com.

About America's Foundation for Chess
America's Foundation for Chess is a 501(c)3 public charity. Founded in Seattle, Wash., the Foundation's mission is to strengthen the minds and character of young people, by advancing chess in American schools and culture. More information can be found at www.af4c.org.

About Ubi Soft Entertainment
Ubi Soft Entertainment is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified line-up has grown considerably, as has Ubi Soft itself. As well as steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubi Soft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubi Soft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 22 different countries including the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers around the world. To learn more, visit www.ubi.com/uk

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