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Robert Eugene Byrne vs Robert James Fischer
"The Brilliancy Prize" (game of the day Mar-09-2017)
US Championship (1963/64), New York, NY USA, rd 3, Dec-18
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Immediate Fianchetto (E60)  ·  0-1


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Given 136 times; par: 30 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Maybe the GOTD GOAT?
Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: After the suggested improvement 14.Rad1:

click for larger view

Komodo-10.1-64bit: <19 hours computer time>

<-0.22/44 14...Qc8 15.Bd6> Nd3 16.Nxd5 Nxd5 17.Bxd5 Rd8 18.Bxa8 Qxa8 19.Ba3 Bf6 20.e4 Qxe4 21.Qe3 Qc6 22.Be7 Re8 23.Rxd3 Bxe7 24.Nd4 Qd7 25.Re1 Bxd3 26.Qxd3 Rd8 27.Qc4 Bc5 28.Nf3 a5 29.Kg2 Kg7 30.Qe4 Bb4 31.Re2 f6 32.Qe6 Qxe6 33.Rxe6 Bc5 34.Re2 Kf7 35.Nd2 Bb4 36.Nc4 b5 37.Ne3 Bc5 38.Rc2 Bb6 39.Kf3 Rd6 40.Ke4 Ke6 41.f4 Kf7 42.Kf3 Re6

-0.21/44 14...Qd7 15.Qc2 Rac8 16.Qb1 Qf5 17.Qxf5 gxf5 18.Rd2 Ne4 19.Nxe4 dxe4 20.Rfd1 Bf8 21.Bxf8 Bxe2 22.Rxe2 Kxf8 23.Red2 Kg7 24.h4 Re6 25.Kh1 Rec6 26.Bh3 Kg6 27.Bf1 Rc2 28.Kg2 Kf6 29.Ba6 R8c3 30.Rd6+ Kg7 31.R6d5 Rc5 32.R1d2 Kf6 33.Be2 Rxd2 34.Rxd2 Rc3 35.Bb5 Rc1 36.b4 Ke6 37.a4 Nf3 38.Rd8 Rb1 39.Be2 Rg1+ 40.Kh3 Rh1+ 41.Kg2 Rh2+ 42.Kf1

0.00/44 14...Rc8 15.Nxd5 Nxd5 16.Bxd5 Qc7 17.Rc1 Qd7 18.Rxc8 Rxc8 19.Rd1 Rd8 20.Kg2 Bd3 21.Nc3 Bf5 22.f3 Rc8 23.Ne4 Bh3+ 24.Kf2 Nxf3 25.Kxf3 Qf5+ 26.Ke2 Bg4+ 27.Ke1 Bxd1 28.Qxd1 Bc3+ 29.Nxc3 Rxc3 30.Bf3 Rd3 31.Qc1 Qxf3 32.Qc8+ Kg7 33.Qf8+ Kf6 34.Qe7+ Kg7 35.Qf8+

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <RandomVisitor: After the suggested improvement 14.Rad1:>

What are you saying?

Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: Fisher seemed to think that after 14.Rad1 he still had an advantage. It seems that black might have a small advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Fischer's comment "...with mate to follow shortly" isn't perfectly accurate. Yes, Black has a forced win, gobbling up huge amounts of material, but White can hang around awhile after 22.Qf2 Qh3+ 23.Kg1 Re1+ 24.Rxe1 Bxd4 <25.Ne4>

click for larger view

With the h1-a8 diagonal blocked and White threatening 26.Qxd4, Black must exchange down starting with 25...Bxf2+ winning

A strikingly powerful and beautiful combination


Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <sudoplatov> I have missed your comment until now. I assume it is related to what <AylerKupp> and I were discussing back then. It is a good idea to cite some of the people in the discussion, to make the contribution easier to find, just as I have done with your name and AylerKupp's.

Would you care to explain a bit more to a layman what you mean by "The alpha-beta always returns the value of the game tree that a full search would (it's provable)."

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <sudoplatov> I also missed your comment until now which, depending on your perspective, it might be better if you <don't> mention other user names in your post (at least mine) since that makes it harder for me to respond and therefore it saves you the agony of possibly looking at my posts. :-)

But, since it's too late now, let me elaborate as to why I said that increasing search depth entails a narrowing of the search trees. A the search depth increases the width of the search tree also increases as more nodes are defined for the leaves of the previous ply. But the number of branches that are considered by the engine is roughly constant and limited by the engine according to what its search heuristics indicate are the most promising branches to expand. So the ratio of actual branches examined to the number of possible branches (which increases exponential) get smaller at each ply. That's what allows engines to search to deep plies in a reasonable amount of time.

And, since so far you haven't responded to <maxi>'s question about alpha-beta (pruning), allow me to try, although of course you can correct me if I'm wrong.

<maxi> Alpha-beta pruning is an improvement over the basic minimax evaluation used by, as far as I know, all the chess engines. Its advantage lies in ordering the search tree so that the most promising tree branches (the ones with the highest evaluation of their leaf node in the minimax sense) are searched first. This is called optimal ordering. If that is done then, if a branch of the tree results in a lower leaf node evaluation than one of the most promising branches, it does not need to be considered further. This results, on the average, in the reduction of about 1/2 of the calculations needed to reach a particular search depth, allowing either the reaching of that search depth in a smaller amount of time or the reaching of a greater search depth in the same amount of time.

What makes alpha-beta pruning particularly effective is that it can be shown (you can find many instances on the web) that the search of search tree with alpha-beta pruning will yield the same results (the Principal Variation and sub-variations) as the search of a search tree without alpha-beta pruning, provided that the move ordering is optimal. For that reason, FWIW, I consider alpha-beta pruning to be an algorithm rather than a heuristic.

As an aside, the need for optimal ordering to achieve best alpha-beta pruning results has a great significance in the non-determinism of multi-core chess engines (two analyses of the same position, on the same computer, by the same engine, conducted to the same depth, will yield different results). This is because the searches are performed by different threads executing in different cores and, as each of those threads are interrupted by higher priority systems processes), they complete their search at different time, the move ordering is modified, and this leads to different results from analysis to analysis.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: You know, speaking of Fred Reinfeld again, there's a position I saw in an old Reinfeld book years ago with a motif very similar to the Re1 line that wasn't played in this game. In both games, there's a Rook to the Back Rank motif intended to remove the protection from a checkmate on KN2. And the kicker is that THIS move wasn't actually played either.

Fred gave this position:

click for larger view

The winning line is 1. Bxf7+ Kxf7 2. Rf1+ Kg8 3. Rf8+ Rxf8 4. Qg7++.

According to Fred, this line wasn't played because White resigned over the fact that his Queen was pinned to his King and he didn't see how to get out of it.

The annoying part is that Fred would often use examples from real GM games in his books (I remember seeing a Rosanes-Anderssen game in one), WITHOUT telling you who the players were. So, although he tells you White resigned in a winning position here, he doesn't tell you who White was, when the game was played, or anything that might help you identify it. It could be two GM's, or it could be an offhand game he saw in a club. I'd love to see the entire score to this one.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <AylerKupp>, thanks for the explanation on alpha-beta pruning. I find your posts always very interesting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: You are right, <Petrosianic>. I remember having similar doubts. But my first two chess books were A Chess Course (or something like that) by Reinfeld and Capa's Chess Fundamentals! Sometimes Capablanca too would put a chess diagram and not quote the source game. I figured people just didn't write down what the original games were!

Later I realized Capa would do that with positions from his own games.

Mar-27-17  sudoplatov: A couple of points about alpha-beta. Given a minimax search tree to a fixed depth, alpha-beta will return the same value (not necessarily the same move) as a complete search. The algorithm works by noting that both sides are trying to minimax their play.

A couple of caveats are in order. The actual speedup depends on move ordering. Always choosing the best move first in a search (the so-called principal variation) helps. In real implementations, the hash table operates more or less independently of the search tree. So the evaluation of a position may not be exactly the same if positions are examined in a different order; mostly this doesn't matter. The alpha beta search is not usually either a depth-first nor a width-first tree search. One does a depth-first to depth 1; then depth-first to depth 2, etc. The early shallow searches help with ordering; filling the hash table, and may find a game-ending move early.

The point of alpha-beta is that nodes that are pruned cannot influence the final score of the root position (assuming that the evaluation function is accurate.) Thus deeper searches always give a better estimate of the actual position.

Another point is that only quiescent positions are considered leaf nodes. In a quiescent position, there are no captures, checks, or pawn promotions.

There are other algorithms (B* is popular) which do forward pruning. So far, in computer chess (as far as I have read) none of these are as effective as alpha-beta; the

May-01-17  Mithrain: 12 ... e5 shows how well Fischer understood the dynamics of the position (seriously weakening the d5-pawn but gaining a lot of play with his minor pieces).
Jul-06-17  The Kings Domain: Poor Byrne brothers, the whipping boys of ol' Bobby.

Fischer's smooth escalating type of victory is perhaps unmatched in the game. His brilliancies are usually simple but there's a magic to them that can be awe-inspiring.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <The Kings Domain: Poor Byrne brothers, the whipping boys of ol' Bobby.>

Actually, Robert was maybe Bobby's toughest US opponent after Reshevsky. You need to study more than just one game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game:
Premium Chessgames Member
  CheckMateEndsTheGame: On move 14. Why not just play f3?
Jan-14-18  GT3RS: Fischer was built in a lab.

A brilliant and underrated short game. Bryne made no obvious error leading up to the fatal queen move or should I say rook move.

From what I've read there was a lengthy analytic artillery exchange via articles in chess publications afterward as Soviet analysts sought to diminish the result by showing Bryne's win with the other move and Fischer responding with analysis to show a plausible draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <GT3RS: Fischer was built in a lab.

A brilliant and underrated short game.>

Underrated? You've got to be kidding me, Pyle. This is the one that everyone raves about.

Jan-22-18  scottpi: Why Didn't Byrne play 21. Nf3? What was Fischer's reply to that?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <scottpi: Why Didn't Byrne play 21. Nf3? What was Fischer's reply to that?>

Fischer was planning to take the cyanide pill in his signet ring if white played 21. Nf3.

Either that or Bxf3+ 22. Kxf3 Qf6+ followed by Qxc3. That only wins back the piece and leaves Fischer a pawn up, so there's probably better, but I don't see it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: <scottpi: Why Didn't Byrne play 21. Nf3? What was Fischer's reply to that?>

21..Qxd2+ 22 Rxd2 Bxc3 and black will be up the exchange and a pawn.

Jan-23-18  Granny O Doul: And winning more material still with ...Re3 coming up after gathering the exchange.
Jan-23-18  Howard: Yes, Fischer could hardly have overlooked 21.Nf3 in his calculations. You just "know" that that move would not have worked for White or even come close---otherwise, Fischer would have acknowledged the move in his book.
Jan-30-18  yurikvelo:


Feb-09-18  Artemio: It's a Gruenfeld similar to his game with the other Byrne (Donald)...
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