How to Beat an 80s Chess Computer - Part 2

How to Beat an 80s Chess Computer - Part 2


After conceding a significant lead in the first quarter of the match, chess challenger fought back hard, catching me out tactically in two black openings. It was interesting to see that its opening book of just 12,000 positions featured the dashing 1.Nf3 f5 2.e4!? gambit line. One wouldn't associate the pawn grabbing materialistic number cruncher with such an energetic opening. We can only assume that it wasn't thinking for itself at this point and was blindly following the book installed.

In game 5, I found the biggest weakness of my opponent. It would play the same games again and again, irrespective of whether it won or lost its last game in that variation. Chess challenger, unlike some modern programs such as AlphaZero, is not capable of self learning, and if left to evaluate a position for the same length of time, it will always churn out the same response. I capitalized on this, by playing the same opening, and when we reached move 15, I even found an improvement to finish off the attack faster, that I remembered from the post game analysis of game 1.

If you are new to this series, you might want to check out part 1 here.

Below are the different options of play, of which I chose a1, which gives challenger 5 seconds for each move:

Without further ado, here are the games (again there are puzzles if you want to train tactics):

Game 4 - A Disasterous Dutch

Game 5 - Sicilian Steamroller 2.0

If you read the first installment in this series, then this first puzzle will be familiar... Here is the improvment on game 1, where I deviated:

Game 6 - A Pawn Down in a Quiet Position

After this comeback, the chess challenger managed to claw a point closer, and bring the score to:

Score after 6/12 rounds
Mark Waterfield - Chess Challenger
31/2 - 21/2

I hope you enjoyed these games, the next issue will be published sometime around Tuesday next week. Bye!