Man or Machine?

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bd7 6. Be2 Nh6 7. O-O cxd4 8. cxd4 Nf5 9. Nc3 a6 10. Be3 Be7 11. Bd3 Nxe3 12. fxe3 O-O 13. Rc1 Rc8 14. Bb1 f5 15. exf6 Bxf6 16. Qd2 Na5 17. b3 Be7 18. Ne2 Rxc1 19. Rxc1 Nc6 20. Nf4 Bd6 21. h4 g6 22. g3 Qf6 23. Rf1 Ne7 24. Rf2 Nf5 25. Bxf5 gxf5 26. Qa5 Rc8 27. Rg2 Be8 28. Qd2 h6 29. Kh2 Qe7 30. Kh3 Kh7 31. Rg1 Qg7 32. Kh2 Bf7 33. Rc1 Rg8 34. Qf2 Bb8 35. a4 Bd6 36. Ne1 Be8 37. Ned3 b6 38. Rg1 Qf6 39. Qb2 Rg7 40. Rc1 Rg8 41. Rc2 Qg7 42. Rg2 Qf6 43. Ne5 Rg7 44. Rc2 a5 45. Qa1 Rc7 46. Rxc7+ Bxc7 47. Qc3 Qe7 48. Kg2 Kg8 49. Qc2 Bxe5 50. dxe5 Qd7 51. Kf2 Kh8 52. Kf1 Kg8 53. Ke1 Kf8 54. Kd2 Kg8 55. Ne2 Qc6 56. Qd3 Qc7 57. Qd4 Bg6 58. Nc3 Qc6 59. Qf4 Kg7 60. Nb5 Qc5 61. Qd4 Qxd4+ 62. exd4 Kf7 63. Nd6+ Ke7 64. Kc3 Kd7 65. Nb5 Kc6 66. Kd2 Bh5 67. Nd6 Bg6 68. Kd1 Kc7 69. Ke1 Kd7 70. Ke2 Bh5+ 71. Kd2 Bg6 72. Nb5 Kc6 73. Nc3 Bh5 74. Na2 Bf3 75. b4 axb4 76. Nxb4+ Kb7 77. Nd3 Bh5 78. Nf4 Bf7 79. Kc3 Ka7 80. Kb4 Ka6 81. a5 bxa5+ 82. Kc5 a4 83. Kb4 a3 84. Kxa3 Kb5 85. Kb3 Bg8 86. Nh5 Bf7 87. Nf6 Ka5 88. Nd7 Kb5 89. Nc5 Ka5 90. Nb7+ Kb6 91. Nd6 Bg6 92. Kb4 Kc6 93. Nc8 Kb7 94. Ne7 Bf7 95. Kb5 Kc7 96. Kc5 h5 97. Nc6 Be8 98. Nb4 Bf7 99. Kb5 Be8+ 100. Ka6 Bg6 101. Nd3 Kc6 102. Ka5 Bf7 103. Nf4 Kc7 104. Kb5 Kb7 105. Nd3 Be8+ 106. Ka5 Bf7 107. Nc5+ Kc6 108. Ka6 Kc7 109. Nd3 Kc6 110. Nf4 Kc7 111. Nh3

It has been a long game. Yet you feel plugged in; wired. In other circumstances you would consider offering a draw, but in this tournament a draw offer is not allowed. After much deliberation you decide upon 111…Kc6 and the game continues… 112. Ng5 Bg8 113. Ka5 Kc7 114. Kb5 Kb7 115. Kc5 Kc7 116. Nh3 Kd7 117. Nf4 Bf7 118. Kb6 Be8 119. Kb7 Bf7 120. Nd3 Be8 121. Nc5+ Ke7 122. Kc7 Bb5 123. Nb7 Be2 124. Nd8 Bg4 125. Nc6+ Ke8 126. Kd6 Bh3 127. Na5 Bg4 128. Nb7 f4 129. gxf4 Bh3 1-0

It is not possible to wonder where you went wrong because you are not conscious, but a program in a machine. Other entities will determine where and why you went wrong. The name used to separate you from other programs is Critter 1.6a, and you are one of the elite 8 playing in stage 3 of the Thoresen Chess Engines Competition. Your opponent was a program named Houdini 4.

Humans have come to think of chess playing programs as infallible, and any move provided by the highly rated engine is the best move in the position. Such is not the case. Every move played by an engine should be scrutinized just as all moves played by the best human players are questioned and examined. Was the above endgame lost or did Critter 1.6a lose a drawn game?

Chess programs use an opening “book” which consists of many games played by humans. Programs also incorporate endgame tablebases.

An idea to consider in any human versus chess engine battle would be to not allow the program to use either an opening book, or an endgame tablebase. This could possibly even the odds. If this is not enough, another idea to consider would be to cut the power a certain amount, say 10% per hour. As a last resort, the plug can be pulled.

Houdini 4 Passes Turing Test

Houdini 4 (3224) – Chiron 2 (3049)
TCEC Season 7 – Stage 2
Rd 2
Queen’s Pawn: 2.Nf3

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 a6 3. c4 e6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 Be7 6. Bxe7 Nxe7 7. e3 Bf5 8. Bd3 c6 9. Nc3 Nd7 10. O-O O-O 11. Qc2 Bxd3 12. Qxd3 Re8 13. Rad1 g6 14. Ne2 Nf5 15. Nf4 a5 16. Qb3 Nd6 17. a4 Kg7 18. Rfe1 Qf6 19. Rc1 Qe7 20. Nd3 Nf8 21. Rb1 Ne6 22. Nd2 Nc7 23. Red1 Red8 24. h3 Nce8 25. Rbc1 Nf6 26. Nc5 Re8 27. Re1 Qc7 28. Rc2 Re7 29. Rec1 Nd7 30. Qc3 Kg8 31. Nd3 Nf6 32. Qb3 Qd8 33. Nc5 Ra7 34. Rf1 Kg7 35. Rcc1 Ra8 36. Rc3 Rb8 37. Qc2 Rc8 38. Nd3 Qc7 39. Rb3 Ra8 40. Rc1 Rae8 41. Rc3 Nfe4 42. Nxe4 Nxe4 43. Rb3 Ra8 44. Nc5 Nd6 45. Qe2 Rae8 46. Rbc3 Qb6 47. Rd3 Qa7 48. Rb3 Ra8 49. Rbc3 Qb6 50. Qc2 Qd8 51. Rd1 Rc7 52. Rb3 Qh4 53. Rc1 Re7 54. Qd1 Rf8 55. Qd2 f5 56. Re1 Kg8 57. Nd3 Nc4 58. Qc2 g5 59. Kh2 g4 60. Nf4 gxh3 61. g3 Qg4 62. Qe2 Rf6 63. Rc3 Rh6 64. b3 Nd6 65. Rc5 Ne4 66. Rxa5 Re8 67. Ra7 Qg7 68. Rf1 Qe7 69. b4 Qc7 70. Qa6 Nd6 71. Qa5 Qb8 72. Rc1 Ne4 73. Rc2 Ng5 74. Kh1 Kh8 75. Nd3 Rg6 76. b5 Nf3 77. Nf4 Rg7 78. b6 Reg8 79. Rc1 h5 80. Rxb7 Qxb7 81. Qb4 h4 82. Qd6 Kh7 83. Nh5 hxg3 84. fxg3 Rg6 85. Qf4 Ng5 86. Qxf5 Qe7 87. Qe5 Qf8 88. Qf4 Ne4 89. Qxf8 Rxf8 0-1

Houdini 4 first went wrong with 76 b5. The program’s own analysis showed 76 Ne5, keeping the Black Knight out of f3, but for some yet as to be determined reason the program made the pawn move. Then on move 80, Houdini 4 melted down completely by trading a Rook for only pawn. Houdini’s analysis showed it was expecting 79…Ng5, but when Chiron 2 played 79…h5, Houdini 4 was obviously flummoxed. Chiron 2 showed 80 Nxh5 as best.

When asked what had gone wrong with Houdini 4 its handler said, “Today Houdini 4 passed the Turing test because it played like a human. As to why, we have just finished a psychiatric diagnostic of Houdini 4. The answer is on the screen.”


When asked to elaborate, the plug was pulled.

An interesting checkmate: Computer chess engines

The Best Chess on the Internet

This game was played in Stage 1b of the TCEC tournament for chess “engines.”

Junior 13.3 (2921) v Nightmare 7.82a (2808)
TCEC Season 7 – Stage 1b
Rd 9

Queen’s Indian: Nimzowitsch, 5.b3 b5 6.cxb5

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 b5 6. cxb5 Bxb5 7. Nc3 Bb4 8. Bd2 Bc6 9. Bg2 Qc8 10. O-O O-O 11. d5 Bxc3 12. Bxc3 Nxd5 13. Bb2 Ne7 14. e4 d6 15. Qd4 f6 16. Qc4 Kh8 17. Nd4 e5 18. Nxc6 Nbxc6 19. b4 Rb8 20. Bc3 Nd8 21. Rac1 Qe6 22. Qa6 Ndc6 23. Rfd1 Rb6 24. Qe2 a6 25. a3 Qf7 26. Qd3 Nd8 27. Bd2 Ne6 28. Be3 Rb5 29. Rf1 c6 30. a4 Rxb4 31. Qxd6 Rxa4 32. Rb1 Nd4 33. Rb7 Re8 34. Rfb1 h6 35. Qd7 a5 36. Bh3 Qf8 37. Kg2 Ng8 38. Bxd4 Rxd4 39. Qxc6 a4 40. Ra7 Ne7 41. Qc7 Rxe4 42. Bd7 Rd8 43. Be6 Re8 44. Qc5 Rd4 45. Rc7 a3 46. Rbb7 Ng6 47. Qc2 Ne7 48. Qb3 Nc8 49. Bd7 Rxd7 50. Rxd7 Nd6 51. Ra7 Nf5 52. Qa4 a2 53. Qxa2 Qb4 54. Qe2 Rb8 55. h4 Qb1 56. h5 Rg8 57. Qf3 Nd4 58. Qb7 Qxb7+ 59. Raxb7 Ne6 60. Ra7 Nc5 61. Rdc7 Ne6 62. Re7 Nd4 63. Red7 Ne6 64. Kh3 f5 65. Kg2 Ng5 66. Re7 e4 67. Rec7 Nh7 68. Rc5 Rf8 69. Re5 Ng5 70. Rb7 Nh7 71. Ree7 Rg8 72. Kh3 Ng5+ 73. Kh2 Nf3+ 74. Kg2 Ng5 75. Kf1 Nh7 76. Re5 Rf8 77. Ke1 f4 78. gxf4 Nf6 79. Kf1 Ra8 80. Rbe7 Rb8 81. Ra7 Rb3 82. Kg2 Rf3 83. Ra8+ Kh7 84. Rf5 Rb3 85. Ra7 Rb6 86. Rc5 Rb2 87. Re7 Ra2 88. Rf5 Ra6 89. Rb7 Rc6 90. Re5 Rc3 91. Ra7 Rb3 92. Rc7 Rb2 93. Rf5 Kh8 94. Re7 Rb3 95. Re6 Rb7 96. Rc5 Kg8 97. Ra6 Kf7 98. Ra4 Ke7 99. Re5+ Kd6 100. Ra8 Rc7 101. Raa5 Rb7 102. Ra6+ Kd7 103. Ra8 Kc6 104. Ra2 Rd7 105. Raa5 Rb7 106. Re6+ Kd7 107. Rea6 Ke7 108. Rf5 Rd7 109. Re5+ Kf7 110. Rc6 Kg8 111. Rc8+ Kf7 112. Rc4 Kg8 113. Rcc5 Kh7 114. Rb5 Rd1 115. Re7 Rd3 116. Rc5 Rb3 117. Re6 Rb7 118. Rce5 Rb1 119. Ra5 Rc1 120. Re7 Rc3 121. Rf5 Rc6 122. Rfe5 Rc3 123. Rf7 Kg8 124. Ra7 Kh7 125. Raa5 Rd3 126. Re6 Rd4 127. f5 Rd7 128. Ree5 Nxh5 129. Rxe4 Nf6 130. Rc4 h5 131. Kg3 Rd3+ 132. Kf4 Rb3 133. Rd4 Rb8 134. Kg5 Rb3 135. Ra8 Rf3 136. Ra2 Rh3 137. Rda4 Rh1 138. f3 Rf1 139. R2a3 Rd1 140. Ra1 Rd2 141. R4a2 Rd3 142. Ra3 Rd2 143. Rg1 Rf2 144. Kf4 Nd5+ 145. Ke5 Ne7 146. Rg5 Re2+ 147. Kf4 Nd5+ 148. Kg3 h4+ 149. Kxh4 Re1 150. Rg3 Kh6 151. Rg6+ Kh7 152. Ra5 Rh1+ 153. Kg3 Nf6 154. Kf4 Nh5+ 155. Ke3 Re1+ 156. Kd2 Re7 157. Rg5 Nf6 158. Ra8 Ng8 159. Kd3 Rb7 160. Rf8 Nh6 161. Rg2 Rb5 162. Ke4 Rb4+ 163. Ke5 Rb5+ 164. Kf4 Rb4+ 165. Kg5 Rc4 166. Rb2 Rc7 167. Rbb8 Nf7+ 168. Kh5 Rd7 169. Rbc8 Rb7 170. Kg4 Rb4+ 171. Kh3 Rb7 172. Rce8 Kh6 173. Kg4 Kh7 174. Ra8 Nh6+ 175. Kg5 Nf7+ 176. Kf4 g5+ 177. Kg4 Rb4+ 178. Kg3 Rb7 179. Rg8 Rb6 180. Rgb8 Rxb8 181. Rxb8 Nh6 182. Rb7+ Kg8 183. f6 Kh8 184. f4 g4 185. Ra7 1-0

The Legendary Georgia Ironman commented, “That is some real grinding!”

The prospect of such a game has humans producing “efforts” like these “games.”

Kazhgaleyev, Murtas (2566) – Andriasian, Zaven (2622)
Chigorin Memorial 2014 St Petersburg RUS (7.4), 2014.10.24
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Ng4 7.Bc1 Nf6 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Bc1 Nf6 10.Be3 ½-½

Sjugirov 2664 v Yakovich 2523
Chigorin Memorial 2014 St Petersburg RUS (7.4), 2014.10.24
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Re8 10. d4 Bb7 11. Ng5 Rf8 12. Nf3 Re8 13. Ng5 Rf8 14. Nf3 Re8 1/2-1/2

From which game could a student learn most?

Houdini took the lead with these two games which were played back to back:

Nightmare 7.82a (2808)-Houdini 4 (3145)
TCEC Season 7 – Stage 1b
Rd 6
King’s Indian: Fianchetto, 6…c6 7.O-O

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. O-O d6 6. c4 c6 7. Nc3 Qb6 8. h3 Qa6 9. b3 b5 10. cxb5 cxb5 11. a4 b4 12. Nb5 Qb7 13. Bf4 Nc6 14. Rc1 Bd7 15. d5 Nd8 16. Ng5 Bxb5 17. axb5 Qxb5 18. Rc7 Re8 19. h4 a5 20. Qd2 a4 21. bxa4 Rxa4 22. Rb1 Nb7 23. e4 b3 24. Bf1 Qb6 25. Rc6 Qa7 26. Be3 Nc5 27. Bxc5 dxc5 28. Rxb3 Nxe4 29. Nxe4 Rxe4 30. Ra6 Qc7 31. Rc6 Qe5 32. Rxc5 Bf6 33. Kg2 Ra8 34. Bc4 Kg7 35. Rc6 Ra1 36. Re3 Rxe3 37. Qxe3 Qxe3 38. fxe3 Be5 39. h5 gxh5 40. Be2 Ra2 41. Kf3 Rd2 42. Bc4 Rd1 43. Kg2 Bd6 44. Kf3 Rh1 45. Kg2 Ra1 46. Bb5 Ra2+ 47. Kf3 Ra5 48. Bc4 Ra4 49. Rc8 Kf6 50. Kf2 h6 51. Kg2 Ke5 52. Kf3 Rb4 53. Rc6 Rb8 54. Ra6 Rg8 55. Ra2 Rg4 56. Bb3 Rb4 57. Bc2 h4 58. gxh4 Rxh4 59. Kg2 Bc5 60. e4 Rg4+ 61. Kh2 Rf4 62. Kg2 Rf2+ 63. Kg3 Re2 64. Kf3 Re1 65. d6 exd6 66. Kg4 Rh1 67. Ba4 h5+ 68. Kf3 Rf1+ 69. Kg2 Rg1+ 70. Kh2 Kxe4 71. Bc6+ Kf4 72. Be8 Rg7 73. Ra4+ Ke3 74. Kh3 f5 75. Bc6 Rc7 76. Bg2 Rf7 77. Bd5 Re7 78. Rc4 f4 79. Rc1 Re5 80. Bc6 Rf5 81. Rc3+ Kd2 82. Rb3 d5 83. Rb2+ Kc3 84. Rb1 Be3 85. Rb5 Kd4 86. Rb1 f3 87. Rd1+ Ke4 88. Bb5 Rg5 89. Rb1 f2 90. Rb4+ Kf3 91. Rb2 0-1

Houdini 4 (3145)-Exchess 7.31b (2670)
TCEC Season 7 – Stage 1b
Rd 7
French: Burn, 6.Bxf6 Bxf6

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Be7 6. Bxf6 Bxf6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. Qe2 O-O 9. g3 b6 10. Nxf6+ Nxf6 11. Bg2 Bb7 12. O-O a5 13. Rfd1 Qe8 14. Ne5 Bxg2 15. Kxg2 Rd8 16. Rd2 Nd5 17. Re1 b5 18. Kg1 a4 19. c4 bxc4 20. Qxc4 Rb8 21. Qe2 Qb5 22. Qf3 Ra8 23. Rc1 Qb4 24. Qd1 Qb7 25. a3 Ra5 26. Rc4 Qa6 27. Rdc2 Qa8 28. Rc1 Rb8 29. Qh5 Rf8 30. Qe2 Ra6 31. Qc2 Rc8 32. Nc6 h6 33. Ne5 Rd8 34. Qd1 Rb8 35. Qh5 Rf8 36. Qe2 Re8 37. Rc5 Rc8 38. R1c2 Rf8 39. Qd3 Ra5 40. Rc6 Qb7 41. R6c4 Qa6 42. Rc1 Qb7 43. Qe2 Qa6 44. Qe4 Qb7 45. R1c2 Qa8 46. Qe2 Rb5 47. h3 Rfb8 48. Qf3 Rf8 49. Qh5 Rb7 50. Rc5 Qa6 51. Rc6 Qb5 52. Kg2 Nf6 53. Qf3 Nd5 54. Qd1 Ra8 55. Qh5 Rf8 56. Kg1 Nf6 57. Qf3 Nd5 58. Qe4 Rd8 59. Qh4 Rf8 60. Qg4 Ra7 61. R6c5 Qa6 62. Nc6 Rb7 63. Ra5 Qd3 64. Qe2 Qxe2 65. Rxe2 Nb6 66. Rb5 Ra8 67. Re4 Kf8 68. Kg2 Ra6 69. h4 g6 70. h5 g5 71. f4 gxf4 72. gxf4 Ra8 73. Kf3 Rc8 74. f5 exf5 75. Rf4 Re8 76. Rbxf5 Nc8 77. Rxf7+ Kg8 78. Ne5 Nd6 79. Rg4+ Kh8 80. Rf6 Re7 81. Ng6+ Kg7 82. Rxd6 Rb3+ 83. Kf2 Rxb2+ 84. Kg3 Re3+ 85. Kf4 cxd6 86. Kxe3 Rb3+ 87. Ke4 Rxa3 88. Nh4+ Kf7 89. Nf5 Rh3 90. Nxh6+ Ke6 91. Rg6+ Kd7 92. Nf5 Kc7 93. h6 a3 94. Rxd6 Kb7 95. Rg6 a2 96. Rg1 Rh2 1-0

The stage ended with these two “engines” tied for first place, but with Komodo being the moral victor. When asked for comment, the Dragon was silent.

Komodo 8 (3151)-Houdini 4 (3145)
TCEC Season 7 – Stage 1b
Pirc: Classical, 5.Be3

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Be3 O-O 6. Qd2 c6 7. Bh6 Bg4 8. Bxg7 Kxg7 9. Ng1 e5 10. f3 Be6 11. O-O-O Qa5 12. a3 b5 13. g4 b4 14. Nb1 c5 15. d5 Bc8 16. Ne2 Ba6 17. Ng3 Bxf1 18. Rdxf1 Nbd7 19. h4 Rab8 20. h5 Qb6 21. axb4 Qxb4 22. Qxb4 cxb4 23. g5 Ne8 24. Nd2 Nc7 25. Rf2 Nb5 26. Nb3 Rfc8 27. Rfh2 Nf8 28. Ne2 Rb7 29. Na5 Rbc7 30. Nc6 Rxc6 31. dxc6 Rxc6 32. h6+ Kg8 33. Kd2 Ne6 34. Rg2 Kf8 35. Ra1 Ned4 36. Nxd4 Nxd4 37. Rf2 Rc7 38. Ra4 Ke7 39. Kd3 Rb7 40. Rf1 Nc6 41. Rd1 Kd7 42. Ke3 a5 43. Kf2 Rc7 44. c3 bxc3 45. bxc3 Rb7 46. Raa1 Ke7 47. Kg3 Ra7 48. Rd5 Ke6 49. c4 Rb7 50. Rb5 Rc7 51. c5 d5 52. Rb6 dxe4 53. fxe4 Ke7 54. Kg4 Rc8 55. Ra6 Rc7 56. Ra8 Rd7 57. Rc8 Na7 58. Rh8 Rd4 59. Kf3 Rd3+ 60. Kf2 Nc6 61. Rxh7 Rd2+ 62. Ke3 Rh2 63. Rg7 1-0

Komodo Dragon’s Kill

“The integrity of the game is shattered”

The big chess news today is the chess program known as Houdini, rated 3134, lost to the much lower rated Jonny 6, rated ‘only’ 2799. To make things worse, Houdini had the White pieces. The Legendary Georgia Ironman said Houdini lost because it had “…shown human like qualities by making bad moves.” Ouch! The man from the High Plains, former Georgia and Ga. Senior, champion, David Vest, said the machines were showing Tron like tendencies with the possibility of becoming sentient entities. He added, “We may just think they are off, but in reality they continue to compute chess variations even after the plug is pulled!” I got in on the conversation by adding, “And in the future, when humans are battling the machines, as in the Terminator movies, future humans will look back and blame it on those humans who started it all by programming machines to play chess.” Quiet reigned for a few moments while everyone contemplated the prospect…
Life is change and chess is a part of life, at least for now. How long chess will remain relevant is an open question. I lost interest in the computer tournament after learning humans force the machines to play openings played by other humans at the recent Tata Steel chess tournaments, in lieu of allowing them to play the move the program considered best. I have no interest in the USCL because teams are forced to play an inferior player rather than someone much stronger. The same thing happens in Little League baseball when the rules require a team to stick some obviously under qualified child in right field for a certain number of innings, possibly costing his team a win. Many years ago Maddog Gordon and I, watched an episode of the cartoon series, King of the Hill, in which the poor young son of the King was the unfortunate one placed out in right field, against his wishes, I might add. We laughed uproariously as the poor kid tried, and failed, to catch a fly ball. Although the adults meant well when they forced the poor boy to play, they did not take into consideration what it would do to him to be put into a position to fail. This is often the position some, lower rated player finds himself in when the score of the top three boards, often manned by GM’s, is tied, and the outcome of the match is riding on their small shoulders. What is the point? If a team cannot play their four best players, that means some worthy player is forced to sit while a player of much lesser quality plays in his stead. Imagine the outrage if college maimball teams were forced to play the third stringers in the fourth quarter. How much interest would there be in college maimball?
I sent this chess game to a few friends recently:
[Event “Oslo Chess International – Håvard Vederh”]
[Site “Ullevaal Stadion”]
[Date “2013.09.29”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Johannessen, Leif E”]
[Black “Istratescu, Andrei”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteElo “2519”]
[BlackElo “2646”]
[EventDate “2013”]

1. d4 e6 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. e4 d5 6. e5 Ne4 7. Bd3 c5 8. Nf3
Nc6 9. O-O Bxc3 10. bxc3 cxd4 11. Bxe4 dxe4 12. Qxe4 dxc3 13. Ng5 g6 14. Qh4 h5
15. Ba3 Nxe5 16. Rad1 Bd7 17. Bxf8 Qxf8 18. Qd4 f6 19. f4 Ba4 20. fxe5 Bxd1 21.
exf6 c2 22. f7+ 1-0
The Discman sent this reply, “I read your blog. (Concerning cheating in chess-AW) I am sure some with their heads in the sand will say we’re being paranoid and this type of thing would never happen at your normal weekend tourney but I would be willing to bet does in fact happen. Even if it’s only a small percentage of people who are cheating that’s too much – the integrity of the game is shattered.
Looking at the game below – wow what a hay-maker!” The Legendary Georgia Ironman sent this pithy comment, “I wonder if Leif was “hooked up”?” This is my point, exactly. Now that the genie is out of the bottle, it can never be put back, unfortunately. There will always be a question about any outstanding move played by a human. Was it from the mind of man, or was it from the innards of a machine?

nTCEC: The Future of Chess?

The second season, stage one, of the nTCEC tournament has begun. I was amused when the Legendary Georgia Ironman told me he was following the first season of the computer tournament. The games are being displayed on the Chess Bomb website (, and Chessdom ( has been covering the tournament with regular articles. The Bomb is one of the websites the Ironman is able to access on his gizmo. His browser will not allow some websites, but the Bomb is one of the websites that can be accessed on his gizmo. Tim said he liked the fact that there is always a game ongoing. Upon completion of one game, another immediately pops up. Dennis Monokroussos has also provided coverage on his blog, The Chess Mind ( I thought of the Ironman upon reading his post of August 29, 2013, TCEC SEASON 2 UNDERWAY ( Dennis writes: “There’s always a live game going there, and will be for about three months’ time for anyone truly desperate for a chess fix.”
It was Tim’s time for amusement when learning I am now hooked on the nTCEC tournament. Could I possibly be a neophiliac. The first thing I do in the morning after firing-up the ‘puter is surf over to the Bomb in order to ascertain the result of the game from the previous night, and check out the current game. Because I am such a neophyte fan of the tournament between programs I was unaware the openings are chosen for the programs. This is what happened with the game of checkers when some variations had been played out to the point every one lead to a draw with best play. This happened before Chinook, and other programs sucked the life out of the game of checkers. I do not like the fact that the openings are prearranged. I do not like the fact that the programs are allowed an opening book. Back when playing against the ‘engines’ I would turn off the opening book. It seemed only fair, unless I could do the same and utilize my opening book(s). I would like to see what openings the programs would play, left to their own devices.
Firefly is the lowest rated program, by far, of the 36 participating in the tournament, with a rating of only 2208. Nebula, rated 2421, is closest to Firefly. Houdini, rated 3156, is the top-seed, with Stockfish next at 3102. Firefly won last night when Bugchess2 “bugged-out.” Buggy was not able to respond to Firefly’s 10th move, and lost. There must have been a bug in the system…
I am not only “pulling” for Firefly because it is the lowest rated ‘engine’ but because some years ago my friend NM Neal Harris, upon learning I enjoyed watching Sci-Fi shows, but had no knowledge of the TV phenomenon Firefly (I was completely away from the tube that year), loaned me a box-set of all the episodes broadcast, plus several others that had not been broadcast. As with several of my all-time favorite shows, it only lasted one season. The IMDB website shows a rating of 9.1 out of 10, which is exceptional. Shows rated far lower last for years. Firefly was obviously too good for its own good.
My other ‘favorite’ is Toga II. Anyone who has ever watched the movie Animal House will understand! “TOGA, TOGA, TOGA, TOGA II!” (