How to beat Computer4-Impossible
Many of you who play on the live chess server will be familiar with the metal monstrosity known as Computer4-Impossible. You may have witnessed the destruction first hand, or have watched titled players like myself falter game after game to our number crunching antagonist.
But now... It's time to make a stand for us human brethren everywhere. We shall not put up with a post-apocalyptic world in which humans are enslaved by computers. Actually, lets just beat Computer4-Impossible in chess...
Some quick pointers/info:
1. Use Increment.
It took me about 100 games vs this thing to realize that you can manually challenge it instead of accept a 5 0 seek. Once I began challenging it 5 2 my results improved dramatically, which brings us to #2
2. You will NEVER win on time.
On the server it takes a human a minimum of .1 seconds to make a (pre) move. Somehow Comp 4 didn't get the message, and can play several moves in a row without losing any time on the clock, which translates to it being impossible to flag. This is why having increment is so important to avoid just getting flagged in completely won or drawn positions.
3. KISH! (Keep It Simple Human)
The simpler the position, the better. Any position devoid of tactics is where the computer is weakest, and we are strongest. Endgames are our friend. Closed positions are great as well, as the computer is not the brightest in the way of strategy. In a wide open crazy position it's not a question of if, but when, you get hit with a game winning shot.
4. Avoid "intensive" theory.
That new 30 move deep forced draw you learned in the Najdorf? probably not a good idea here. This kind of goes along with #3 closed openings, and simple openings are the way to go. Also I've noticed the quicker you get the engine out of book, it's more likely to play some strange non sensical moves out of the opening.
5. Be Vigilant!
The computer will try every tactical trick in the book to win a game. Try to focus on what the computer is threatening after it moves, and it's often not going to be obvious.
6. Attack the poopy out of it.
Well this sort of goes against keeping it simple so I kind of lied, but hey, nobody's perfect. When given the opportunity, attacking can certainly do the trick! Engines sometimes lack the horizon to understand that a direct attack on an opponents king can often prove to be fatal. Kings-Indian like pawn structures are great as the computer won't understand what's going on until it's too late. Yes it's going to play near perfect defense, but with an overwhelming attack, that often won't be enough.
7. It's actually not "that strong."
That's right I said it. In today's topsy-turvy world of chess and/or rock and roll, engines are immortal beasts. Houdini on a premium processor, or any other top engine would destroy any human on the planet with ease no matter what the time control is. Knowing this thing is in-fact beatable, is a solid confidence booster if nothing else. It's probably not running on all cylinders, and probably using an outdated engine like Crafty.
8. Don't be this guy:
You may lose 100 games straight, but don't ragequit just yet. That one game you win or draw out of 100 makes it all worth it. My current record vs Comp4: 18 Wins / 120 Loses / 10 draws. As you can see, it's not really something to be proud of, but strangely satisfying none-the-less.