Friday, 23 September 2011


No not HAL, although it does have something to do with chess. C.A.L. stands for Computer Assisted Learning, although the term seems somewhat dated these days. But back in 1988 it still carried some meaning. One arena for CAL was chess, and Saitek (chess computer manufacturers) produced a book that helped you improve your chess, with the assistance of their flagship Kasparov brand chess computers.
Basically you played through games in the book (which were also stored on the computer), and tried to choose the correct continuations. At the end of the game you were given a performance rating based on the number of correct answers. Fairly standard stuff these days, but pretty clever for 20 years ago.
The study games were all famous games (Opera Box, Larsen v Spassky, Torre v Adams etc) with one possible exception. For the game involving Kasparov, his games against Karpov, Polugaevsky etc were passed over in favour of the game shown below. Not one of Kasparov's strongest opponents, but a nice hack nonetheless.

Kasparov,Garry - Begun,Sergei M (2380) [D42]
Sokolsky mem Minsk, 1978

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e3 Nc6 7.Bd3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nxd5 Qxd5 10.e4 Qd8 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.e5 Be7 13.Qe2 Nb4 14.Bb1 Bd7 15.a3 Nd5 16.Qe4 g6 17.Bh6 Re8 18.h4 Qb6 19.h5 f5 20.exf6 Nxf6 21.Qe1 Nxh5 22.Ne5 Bb5 (D) 
23.Bxg6 Nf6 24.Bxh7+ 1-0

(PS I received a 'friend' request from Garry Ksparov on Facebook today. Turns out it isn't THE Kasparov, just A Kasparov)

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