How to beat Computer4-Impossible, Part 2

How to beat Computer4-Impossible, Part 2

IM Spinaltap
Jun 23, 2014, 9:36 PM |

In my second article on how to beat Computer4-Impossible, we are going to get down and dirty. A little mud bath never hurt anyone. After all, some people will pay good money for such things. Although the first article gave some good general principles to work with when taking on Comp4, this article is going to focus on a very specific opening strategy more formally known as "The Hippo."

DISCLAIMER: The strategy presented here is really just a fun and practical way to beat an engine. It's use vs a human is not to be recommended! Despite that, I think there's some actual practical knowledge to be had here in the form of understanding pawn structures.

 The main idea behind the opening choice is essentially to "confuse" the computer. We are aiming to reach a favorable closed pawn structure without giving the computer any opportunities to generate active play. I'll show an example of our typical Hippo structure, and explain the reasoning behind it.

As you can see, we have become a thick skinned mammal devoid of any weaknesses, ready to jump out of the water and charge at any unsuspecting land computers. It happens on Animal Planet all the time. Because of an engines lack of strategy, when it doesn't have any clear targets to attack, sometimes it will end up doing something like this:

Despite our cramped apperance, our pieces aren't so badly placed. The really nice thing about the hippo setup is that it has a lot of flexibility with pawn mobility.We have all 8(!) pawns available for movement while allows us to create space at any moment.

The main focus vs the engine though, should be our 3rd rank center (e and d pawns) vs his 5th rank center. It's essential to understand this "duo vs duo" relationship, here's a good practical example from a real game:

And here's the Hippo in action! Actual results may vary...