Monday 24 September 2007

Boring Computer Chess?

This post was going to be all about how boring it is to watch two strong computer programs play each other (viz Rybka v Zappa) but when I went to check the games I see that Rybka is is being taught a lesson by Zappa. After the first games was drawn, Rybka won a long second game where it squeezed out a win in a double bishop ending. But Zappa has struck back winning the next 3 games in a row.
Nonetheless the games themselves have been pretty dry, and long winded.
Here is the conclusion to the round 2 which demonstrates what happens when one side has a clear advantage but the other side is determined to hang on. And unlike humans, neither side is going to get tired, confused or dispirited.

Rybka v Zappa
Mexico 2007
I won't bore you with what lead up to this position as the conclusion takes long enough. (D)
64.f4 Bd2 65.Bg6 Bb3 66.f5 Bb4 67.Bf7 Bc2 68.Bd4 Bd1 69.Bh5 Bb3 70.Ke5 Bc4 71.f6 Ba3 72.Bb6 Bb2+ 73.Kf5 Bd3+ 74.Ke6 Bc4+ 75.Ke7 Ba3+ 76.Kd7 Bb5+ 77.Ke6 Bc4+ 78.Kf5 Bd3+ 79.Ke5 Bb2+ 80.Bd4 Ba3 81.Kd5 Kh7 82.Be3 Bc2 83.Bxg5 Bb3+ 84.Ke5 Bd1 85.Ke6 Bb3+ 86.Kd7 Ba4+ 87.Kd8 Bb4 88.f7 Ba5+ 89.Ke7 Bb4+ 90.Ke6 Bb3+ 91.Kf6 Bc3+ 92.Kf5 Bc2+ 93.Ke6 Bb3+ 94.Kd7 Ba4+ 95.Kc8 Bb4 96.Bd2 Bc5 97.g5 Bc2 98.Kd7 Ba4+ 99.Kd8 Bc2 100.Bf4 Kg7 101.Be5+ Kh7 102.Bf6 Bg6 103.Be7 Bb6+ 104.Kd7 Bxf7 105.Bxf7 Kg7 106.Ke6 Bd4 107.Be8 Bb2 108.Bf6+ Kf8 109.Bxb2 Kxe8 110.g6 1-0

Game 5 had a similar style finish, although the middle game was interesting. The position went from 2 rooks and a queen each down to Q v 2R, down to QvR before finishing with QvK. But it still took 150 moves, which I am sure is more than most spectators could stand.

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