Friday, 22 May 2015

Engines, who needs engines?

As someone who does a bit of chess magazine editing, engines are both a blessing and a curse.  On the one hand they do my my job easier, as I am not going to make too many huge mistakes when annotating a game, at least in the area of tactics. One the other hand, they do make games a little less interesting, especially Correspondence Chess games, where all the top players use engines in deciding their moves.
The other issue is that players seemed to be a little more adventurous, especially in there choice of openings. Opening secrets tended to stay secret for longer, and refutations were a little harder to come by. An example of this was a game I came across while reading about Akiba Rubinstein. Against the ever inventive Rudolf Spielmann, he played his own variation in the Four Knights Spanish variation. Spielmann counterd with a line of his own invention, playing the daring Kf2-g3, allowing Black all sorts of discovered checks. Although Black eventually won, a number of players have been willing to try this exact line, as recently as 2008 (according to my database). While the consensus is that Black is simply better in this line, a number of players including both Keres and Teichmann, burnt the midnight oil to show that this was so.

Spielmann,Rudolf - Rubinstein,Akiba [C48]
Baden-Baden Baden-Baden (4), 20.04.1925

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