How to Beat an 80s Chess Computer - Part 3

How to Beat an 80s Chess Computer - Part 3



By now a certain trend began to form... In my first 3 white games I had almost managed a perfect score, with just 1 draw (even that one should have been a win). And in my first 3 black games, I had almost managed a zero score, with just one win (and even that one should have been a loss). 

This is probably owing to the fact that my opening repertoire for black was full of holes. For example against the flexible 1.Nf3 If I try and get a Dutch with 1...f5 There is 2.e4!? the computer can steer the game into a sharp position, where calculation will decide matters. Alternatively, if I rule this out with the flexible 1.Nf3 Nf6 then white can choose from a number of systems such as 2.g3 g6 3.b3!? Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 or 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.c4 c5 or 2.d4 d5 3.c4 e6 and the list goes on, and I can't prepare for all of these. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

On the other hand, when I play 1.e4 as white, this ancient machine opts exclusively for only 2 systems. These are the Moscow Sicilian with ...e5 closing the centre (such as in games 1 and 5) and for the Scotch with ...Bc5 (as in game 3). This narrowness of repertoire makes my life very easy, and allows me to prepare the opening some 10-20 moves deep. From this, we can learn that in tournament play it is important not to have a too narrow repertoire, as it is then very easy to land is someone's home preparation. You have to be a moving target, so to speak.

Game 7 - A Simple Scotch

Game 8 - A Frenetic French

Game 9 - Sicilian Steamroller 2.0

Score after 9/12 rounds
Mark Waterfield - Chess Challenger

51/2 - 31/2

In the final post in this series, I will publish the last 3 games, and as promised, I will attempt to distill some practical pieces of advice that are specific only to playing against 80s computers, and specifically the chess challenger.