Overtom's weblog

VERY FUNNY!  (3 april 2008)

You may sometimes have heard people say that computers play a boring type of chess.

Whatever may be true of this statement, the spectacle that I saw today in a game between Fritz-one-ply against Senator Chess was far from boring:

Scisys Senator chess

One interesting detail about Fritz-one-ply is that it allows us to see the part of Fritz that could be called its subconscious . When Fritz is allowed to think through several ply, it evaluates thousands of positions to find the best response. But at one ply it responds straight from the basic instincts that Frans Morsch has built into this great program.

Today I was allowed a glimpse into these instincts after Senator (with black) had played: 13... Nc6xd4 ...

Senator plays 13... Nc6xd4

Although white's position is already far from enviable, Fritz now resorts to the adage that Frans Morsch has instilled into the depths of its soul: if you are attacked, attack back as hard as you can.

However successful this policy may sometimes be, In this case it led to disaster. The game continued with 14. Nd5xf6+ Qd8xf6 15. Nd2-e4 Qf6-e5 16. Ne4-f6+ Qe5xf6 17. Bc1-b2 Ra8-e8 18. b3-b4 .., and white was hopelessly lost. From this moment on, Fritz kept repeating every few moves or so that it was prepared to resign.

after 18.b3-b4 ...

At this point, a mate-in-thirteen would have been possible starting with 18...Nd4-c2+ Ke1-d1 19.Qf6xb2  Qe2-e5 20.Re8xe5 ...

And did the Senator find this mate-in-thirteen?

Well, after eighteen moves, Fritz has been robbed of all but one of his troops:

after 38...Nd3xe5

Now white has only two legal moves left and can move his king to f1 or h1. Fritz chooses 39.Kf1 and black could have checkmated with:

    39... Qg6-d3+ 40.Kf1-g1 Qd3-b1+ checkmate

It might even be argued that it is hard for black to avoid checkmating or stalemating his opponent in the moves to come. After all, he had six pawns left and the game could have ended with seven queens on the board!

And how many moves did it take the Senator to finish it off? Well ... 46 moves later the game ended ... in a draw because of threefold repetition! It looks as if the Scisys guys forgot to teach Senator how to checkmate.

If you have Java installed on your computer, you can see an animation of this comedy of errors:

White: Fritz 8 (1 ply)

Black: Scisys Senator Chess (± 10 seconds / move)

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 Bb4+ 4.c3 Bd6 5.Bg5 f6 6.Be3 exd4 7.Nxd4 Nxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Nc3 d5 10.Qa4+ Bd7 11.Qxb4 dxe4 12.Nxe4 f5 13.Nc3 Bc6 14.O-O-O Qf6 15.d5 a5 16.Qc5 f4 17.dxc6 fxe3 18.Qxe3+ Qe7 19.Qxe7+ Nxe7 20.cxb7 Rb8 21.Bb5+ Kf8 22.Ba6 Kg8 23.Rd7 Nc6 24.Rhd1 Nb4 25.Bc4+ Kf8 26.Rxc7 Re8 27.Rf7+ Kg8 28.Rf5+ Nd5 29.Bxd5+ Re6 30.b8=Q#[SciSen:Fritz 8 (1 ply)] 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 Nc6 4.c4 Ndb4 5.Nc3 d6 6.a3 Na6 7.exd6 exd6 8.Nd5 Bf5 9.b3 g5 10.Qe2+ Kd7 11.Nf3 f6 12.h4 g4 13.Nd2 Nxd4 14.Nxf6+ Qxf6 15.Ne4 Qe5 16.Nf6+ Qxf6 17.Bb2 Re8 18.b4 Rxe2+ 19.Bxe2 Nc2+ 20.Kf1 Qxb2 21.Rd1 Nxa3 22.b5 Nc5 23.h5 Be6 24.b6 axb6 25.h6 Nxc4 26.Rh5 Qf6 27.Kg1 Bxh6 28.Bxc4 Bxc4 29.Re1 Kc8 30.Rd1 Ne4 31.Kh2 Nxf2 32.Re1 Bd2 33.Rb1 Qg6 34.Rbb5 g3+ 35.Kg1 Bxb5 36.Rxb5 Nd3 37.Rd5 Re8 38.Re5 Nxe5 39.Kf1 Kd7 40.Ke2 Nc4+ 41.Kf3 Qf5+ 42.Kxg3 Bf4+ 43.Kh4 Bg5+ 44.Kg3 Qd3+ 45.Kg4 Qg6 46.g3 Ne5+ 47.Kh3 Nf3 48.Kg2 Ne1+ 49.Kg1 Re4 50.Kh1 Nd3 51.Kg1 Nc5 52.Kf1 Rd4 53.Kf2 Bf6 54.Kg2 Ne4 55.g4 Nc3 56.Kf2 Nb5 57.g5 Be7 58.Ke1 Rc4 59.Kf2 d5 60.Ke2 Qxg5 61.Kd1 Rf4 62.Kc2 Qe5 63.Kb1 c5 64.Kc1 c4 65.Kb1 c3 66.Kc1 c2 67.Kxc2 Bc5 68.Kc1 Ke6 69.Kb1 Nc3+ 70.Kc2 Ne2 71.Kd1 Nc3+ 72.Kc2 Ne4 73.Kb1 Rf3 74.Kc1 Ng5 75.Kb1 b5 76.Kc1 Rf4 77.Kb1 h5 78.Kc1 h4 79.Kd1 Ne4 80.Ke2 Nf6+ 81.Kd1 Qc3 82.Ke2 Qe5+ 83.Kd1 Ne4 84.Ke2 Nf6+ 85.Kd1=

An animation of the game can be seen if you have Java installed.

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