Man vs Analysis

Man vs Analysis

Aug 8, 2016, 1:15 PM |

Allow me to take you way back to last Thursday, a slow balmy evening here in rural France. The cows in the field next door were fanning away flies with a consistent - if lazy - tail swipe, and my baby daughter had for once quietened her angry demands for attention and was taking a welcome nap on the sofa.

All was well with the world, but a nagging urge for excitement had slowly made its way to my frontal lobe, and in this zen-like but upbeat mood I hankered after a quick game of blitz. No more than 6 seconds later I was logged into the live server and ready to hit play.

"Who will be the poor victim this time?", I told myself, with the kind of smug self-satisfied confidence that only comes to a player with such a heady rating as mine (1055 and rising!) after a string of recent victories. Ah, DRB1213, let battle be joined.

It was a cagey and circumspect opening befitting my opponent's enigmatic username - the first non-pawn he moved was at move 6!
After 10. Bxb5, it was time to liven things up: Qf6.
What I was thinking: "Large amounts of space due to my opponent's cagey start, and a skirmish down my right flank gives me the perfect opportunity to sneak the queen out and have a look-see for potential progress in the centre.
What the analysis said: "Mistake (+1.51)..."
...well we're all entitled to our opinions I suppose. Still I thought you'd have been more supportive of my attempt to seize the game by the scruff of its neck.
DRB1213 was obviously now in a similar frame of mind as me. Unwilling to capitalise on my clear error, s/he decided instead to decimate the defence of the king with the wholly ill-advised f4. The analysis, to be fair to it, did indeed pick this one up as a blunder -  maybe it's not so bad after all.
The next move is obvious, push the e pawn up to expose the enemy rook to my rampant queen.
What I was thinking: "A canny move here Andy - an advanced pawn is never a bad thing and, you never know, DRB1213 might not realise the rook is exposed. Sneaky" - I was beginning to enjoy myself.
What the analysis said: "Blunder (+1.68)"
Are you insane?! This cannot be. Who even programmed this? I'm filing a bug report...

It was a good thing I couldn't see the analysis during game time, otherwise I'd have been too incensed to carry on. And carry on we did.

12. Ne2 - ha! My boldness and canny pawn manoeuvring has paid off. A rook! A rook I tell you!

At least the analysis couldn't wield its anti-Andy bias on this one - "Excellent" was the call. Smugly smile, I did.

13. Nec3 didn't see that one did you analysis!! I think it was Piotr, must get onto him about these bugs.


Well, now I was in the fight of my life, battling to save my beleaguered queen. Every move got me deeper into the mire, until eventually I was forced to give her up. A sad moment, but I'll get over it. All I could do now was to continue the fight.

DRB1213 attacked, I parried. He attacked some more - I countered. The game was beautiful, almost balletic in the interplay. Each piece was connected by an invisible thread, marshalled by the most artistic choreographers to have graced the finest theatres the world over.

Unfortunately, someone had to win this masterpiece, and after 52. ..Re3+, my superb opponent graciously resigned.

What we thought: "Beautiful. Outstanding. Great game."

What the analysis said: "16 inaccuracies, 14 mistakes, and 16 blunders".

Well, technology can't always be right.