Overtom's weblog

PRETTY CHESS?  (6 october 2004)

For non-chessplayers it may be hard to understand that a chess game can be a thing of beauty.

Yesterday, the postman brought me a second-hand chess computer. The name Tandy 1750L is not very sexy. But the machine looked pretty enough - if there is such a thing as a pretty machine:

But did this machine play beautiful chess? The best way to find this out was by organizing a few games.

Those who read this weblog regularly will know that one of my favorite test opponents is the combination of Tiger Chess and the Zire palmtop.

How would the new acquisition behave against this tiny predator? 

In the first game, Tandy plays an 'ugly' move by bringing out his queen too early. Tandy's opponent seems to create a weak king side position. But if we look hard we'll see that this awkward position enables the white bishops to penetrate into black's king side, whereas black has very little chance to profit from white's seemingly exposed king side.

Chess Tiger - Tandy 1750L

In the second game, I gave the Tandy computer three times as much thinking time as Tiger:

Again, Tandy's tactical skills are not sufficient to bring him any profit. Again, Tiger has enough s insight into the game to yield him a favourable end game.

Tandy 1750L - Chess Tiger

Seeing games like these, one may wonder if a computer that plays a positionally sound game (without looking many moves ahead) should not always win from a positionally blundering player like this Tandy computer.

In later weblogs, I'll try to elaborate further on this interesting theme.

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