Wednesday 23 July 2008

Computer generated annotations

When chess programs became stronger, and "cleverer", there was a mania for Computer Generated Annotations (CGA). Using the "Annotate Game" feature of Fritz, Hiarcs etc, you could get the program to annotate a game, using such cheerful expressions as "this doesn't get the bull off the ice". I haven't heard about it so much in recent years, although there was a session devoted to CGA at the 2006 Computer Chess conference held alongside the Turin Olympiad. Talking to David Levy at the tournament he said the real problem was deciding when to say something, and when to say nothing.
One early example of CGA was the "Fritzification" of Fischer's 60 Memorable Games. I found a copy of it on the net, and as it doesn't contain any of Fischer's notes, I would be surprised if anyone tried to assert copyright over it. This version was done with Fritz 5 (thinking time of 90s per move) and is probably an example of why the fad died out. Here is the famous Byrne-Fischer game from the 1963 US Championship, with all the brilliance and elan sucked right out of it.

Byrne,R - Fischer,R
ch-USA, 1963
[Fritz 5.00 (90s)]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 c6 4.Bg2 d5 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Nc3 out of book 6...Bg7 7.e3 0-0 8.Nge2 Nc6 9.0-0 b6 10.b3 Ba6 11.Ba3 Re8 12.Qd2 e5 13.dxe5 d5 draws heavy fire 13...Nxe5 14.Rfd1 Increasing the pressure on the isolated pawn on d5 14...Nd3 15.Qc2 -/+ [ 15.Nd4!?= should be investigated more closely] 15...Nxf2! retaining the advantage 16.Kxf2 Ng4+ 17.Kg1 Nxe3 18.Qd2 Nxg2 19.Kxg2 d4 20.Nxd4 Bb7+ 21.Kf1 Qd7 Threatening mate: Qh3[ 21...Qd7 22.Kg1 Bxd4+ 23.Qxd4 Re1+ 24.Kf2 Qxd4+ 25.Rxd4 Rxa1-+] 0-1

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