Me vs. Houdini 2.0 - Queen vs. Rook Endgame!!
Jan 8, 2012, 8:00 PM 9
I've been reading up a lot on endgames, and have found the fact that with best play, a king and a queen will always beat a king and a rook - this is a theoretical FACT. After about 6h of experimentation I have reached my own verdict - THIS IS DEFINATELY 100% TRUE!
I have read up about something called the 3rd rank defence, where the defending rook operates along the 3rd rank preventing the attacking king from delivering checkmate with the queen, so obviously decided to try this out. I also read that humans find the concept hard to grasp and computers will demolish a human player with ease, this is very true - I have looked at human vs. human games which although theoretically are forced wins, a suprisingly big percentage end in draws...
I am not sure of the total games I have played with Houdini tonight, maybe 15-20, but in every game where I had the rook, I lost, extremely quickly... and in every game where I had the queen, it was a draw at 50-moves because there had been no captures... BUT - in my final game with the queen I actually managed a WIN!! I made the vital check with the fork on move 49 and captured the rook on move 50!! Then checkmated on move 52...
I played against my Houdini on full strength (3200) with 15min on each clock, no increments, starting from a set position I found on the internet. It suprised me how long it actually thought to make certain moves, there was 1 move that it took almost a minute to make, then some that were made so quick, just as I dropped my piece, Houdini moved instantly it seemed without thought.
This first game you see is where I have the rook, you can witness the awesome power of Houdini and I'm checkmated in just 9 moves!!
The game below is the big one! I can happily say every single move was my own, that includes every mistake, I had a decisive positional advantage many times and through my own incompitence in playing the position - handed it back, but not a single blunder was made, although the countless mistakes and inaccuracies are obvious to anyone rated over 1500 and probably spottable to lower-rated players also. ENJOY!
Playing an endgame position at great length like this has made me realise that in order to improve and become a better player, I actually need to start studying up on lots of these theoretical endgames and nailing a technique for each one... as this will undoubtedly prove very helpful in my upcoming OTB games for my club and upcoming OTB tournaments also - but no more chess tonight I'm so tired!