Football Match

ESSLLI Students vs. Lecturers Football Match
The van Benthem Cup

Date: Monday 16th August 2004
Time: 18.30
Venue: Complex Sportif des Aiguilletes (corner of the rue du Jardin Botanique and the Boulevard des Aiguilletes, 200 meters from the ESSLLI site)

History of the van Benthem Cup

There can be little doubt that the van Benthem cup, the trophy awarded to the winners of the annual ESSLLI students versus lecturers football match, is one of the world's most remarkable sporting fixtures. Why? Because it is one of the few sporting events known where with monotonous regularity, age triumphs (spectacularly) over youth.

Founded in the dim and distant mists of ESSLLI's uncharted past, as the years have rolled by the event has assumed mythic status. Year after year the students rally their best players, and pit themselves against the lecturers. And year after year they are routed.

Who can forget the match in Helsinki (ESSLLI 2001) when, under the captaincy of Johan "Holes" Bos, the lecturers forged to a 40-0 (some say 50-0) victory over the hapless students? As Johan lightly quipped after the match: "Some people doubt the power of underspecification methods in computational semantics. I think today's result puts the record straight".
[Johan Bos]
"Holes" Bos just before scoring the 40th (some say 50th) goal.
[Uli Sattler]
Uli is here shooting a pennalty. During this short pause in the game Ian proved that the description logic IQFR(X) is undecidable for X greater than 11 players.
And who can forget the epic battle in Vienna (ESSLLI 2003) which was not merely lecturers versus students, but lecturers in description logic versus students! The mighty Ulrike Sattler and Ian Horrocks were pitted single-handed against a team of 40 students! Realizing instantly how unfair these odds were, the doughty description duo sportingly offered to design, implement, and test a novel optimization method for the FACT theorem proving system while playing! But (predictably) even this magnanimous offer was not enough, and (yet again) the student's team plunged to defeat.

Now, ESSLLI 2004 in Nancy is the 16th ESSLLI. And we must admit, that after 15 straight losses by the student team, doubts were expressed as to whether it was worthwhile holding the match this year. But then (as the lecturers pointed out) even if the outcome cannot be in doubt, it seems unfair to rob the students of the opportunity to confront true football greatness.

So there you have it. You're a student? You're here at ESSLLI? You want to learn what football is really about? Now's your chance. You can sign up for the match at the ESSLLI desk.

Panoramic view of the Complex Sportif des Aiguilletes with the local organization team training for the match of Monday 16th of August

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