Friday, 27 August 2010

The Shootout

One of the topics that GM David Smerdon covered in his coaching seminar last week was using Chessbase/Fritz in opening prep. He discussed a number of approaches to use (choose something offbeat that has been played by a strong player etc) and demonstrated a number of analysis tools to use.
One tool that I knew of, but had never used, was the 'Shootout' option (available in Fritz). You start with a set position, and then get one or more engines to play against each other from the position, either with set times, or with increasing search depths.
I gave it a whirl during the week and noticed some interesting results. Firstly a lot of my opening chooses do badly. Secondly, they only do badly as the search depth increases. So they seem to work against shallow searchers, but fail against deep searches. One of the positions I tried was after White's 7th move in the game I gave in yesterdays post. At plys 3&5 is cleaned up for Black (0-4) but after that White got the upper hand (Plys 7,9&11 finish +3=3-0 for White).
On reflection this doesn't surprise me as a lot of my opening choices are based on early tactics/traps, in the hope of catching the unwary opponent. Against the more observant/prepared opponent I haven't always done so well, and Fritz just confirms this.

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