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Boris Valeryevich Alterman vs Deep Fritz (Computer)
"The Alterman Wall" (game of the day Mar-28-2008)
KC Human-Machine (2000), KasparovChess INT, rd 9
Bird Opening: Dutch Variation (A03)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-05-04  Bobsterman3000: Nice dominating win. Now I see why Kasparov once hired Alterman as an advisor/trainer...
May-05-04  TrueFiendish: 6...Bf5 and 7...e6 are "gumby" moves. It's a mess already.
May-05-04  radu stancu: Detailed analysis can be found on Alterman's site:
May-05-04  Elrathia Kingi: Interesting that Bird's opening was used in this game. An opening somewhat on the fritz, no?
May-05-04  Abecedarian: <True Fiendish> What's a "gumby move"?
May-05-04  Badmojo: Look at the 8 pawns lined up on the 4th rank, after move 26. I've never seen that before.

On the bottom I see it's called "Alterman's Wall."


May-05-04  ruylopez900: <12...Na6> The machine's evaluation at this point was only +0.31 in White's favor. Why this assessment? First, he is motivated to deprive his opponent from castling; second, White's bishop looked extremely poor in this structure; third, his assessment assumed that he might open up the position quickly, by attacking White’s center. But this evaluation is mistaken because White's pawn formation is immune, and the king finds a satisfactory shelter in the center. <13.b4!> Closing the queenside and preventing 13...c5. Furthermore, this limits the scope of Na6. <13...c6> More chances are offered by 13...b6, in order to play 14...c5. <17.Qb3> Fritz’s evaluation is +0.50, but Black has no compensation whatsoever. <17...Qh4?> Facing the plan g4-g5, followed by h4-h5, Fritz does everything to prevent it, but his queen is ensnared into a trap. <18.Rh1!> A surprise, Fritz expected 18.Nf2. 18...Rfe8 19.Rag1 With the threat of 20.g5, followed by 21.Rg4 and 22.Ng3. 19...f6? [19...Qe7 was forced. Now the Black queen finds herself in real trouble.] <22.h4> White is winning. Not only does he have an extra pawn, the black queen is completely paralyzed. 22...Rf8 23.Bc1 In order to enable e4, with f5 to follow. <24.a4>My main idea was 24.e4 f5 25.g5 Qh5 26.e5, but then Black could play 26...b5 and he would have an active knight on d5. My intention was to avoid even the slightest counter-chance. <26.e4> A picturesque and unprecedented position where all the pawns are on the fourth rank! This illustrates White's complete domination. Interestingly, I didn't notice this curiosity during the game! <28.e5> The black queen is completely offside. There is no need even to try winning her. Amazingly, Fritz’s evaluation is a mere +0.56 despite his catastrophic position. But in a few moves he is going to feel all his problems. <32.b5> With the absence of the black queen, White starts activities on the queenside. The idea is to create weaknesses there, most likely on c6. <33...Be7> After [33...Nc7 34.bxc6 bxc6 35.Qa4 Black loses another pawn.] <34.b6> Now the knight is also out of play. <34...axb6> [The try to close the game doesn't work either: 34...a6 35.d5 cxd5 36.cxd5 Rxd5 37.Rxd5 Rxd5 38.Rd1] <36.c5> Fritz evaluation: -2.34. 3<38.Qc4> [38.Nd2 followed by Nc4-d6, would seal the game at once. But, convinced that the game is over, I started to play recklessly.] <39.Nd2?!> I shouldn't allow the following sacrifice, but of course the endgame is also totally winning. <46.hxg6> [The simplest was 46.h6+ Kf7 47.Rha1 and the weakness on h7 will eventually tell.] <51.Ra1> The idea is to put my knight on d6, but I completely overlooked his reply. Fortunately, the damage is not irreversible. <52.Kf3> [52.Bxf4 Rxd4 53.Ra7+ followed by 54.Nd6 was also winning.] <53.Bc1> I wanted to keep my bishop, in order to defend my pawns and to preserve attacking chances. <62...Ng2> An interesting defensive resource! <63.Bc1!> The winning move. [Bad was 63.Nxg6? Kf7] 63...Kf8 [After 63...Nh4 64.Kf2 Kf8 65.Kg3 Kg7 66.Kxh4 Kxh8 White wins by 67.Ba3 Kg7 68.Bd6 Kf7 69.Bc7 b5 70.Bd6 and the white king penetrates through the queenside.] <1–0>
May-05-04  ruylopez900: Alterman,B (2564) - DEEP FRITZ [A03] ----Alterman's Annotations----


<1.f4>My idea was to get the Stonewall set-up, with all the pawns remaining on the board. Another way to achieve the same formation would have been with 1.d4 d5 2.e3, but then 2...Bf5 gives Black a comfortable game, without the need to build a kingside fianchetto. After 1.f4, White's biggest danger is 1...e5. In that case I intended to play 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4. Nf3 g5 5.d4 g4 6.Ne5, offering Black the ending ensuing after 6...Bxe5. In other words, to give back the pawn in order to swap queens. <6.c3> This is not a new formation. I've played a lot of lightning games with the same set-up, and the location of the bishop on e2 (instead of d3) is of no significance. White's main objective is to keep all the pieces on the board, since the more pieces remaining on the board, the more calculations are required for the computer after each move, decreasing its ability to focus on the crucial lines. The calculations become very complicated for the computer under such conditions. <7.Nbd2> In order to eliminate any possibility of capturing on b1. <7...e6?!> The first evidence that it is playing without a plan. Natural was 7...c5. After the text move the possibilities of Bf5 are limited. 8.h3 Ne4? A mistake. He should have kept this square for his bishop. Fritz's colleague, Deep Junior, tends to play 8...h5? in such positions. However, this also would have been a serious mistake, as it desperately weakens the kingside. <9...Ng3?> Losing a pawn. After the alternative, 9...Nxd2 10.Nxd2 Be4 11.Nxe4 dxe4 12.h4, White has a clear positional advantage thanks to the pair of bishops, the strong center, and the excellent attacking possibilities on the kingside. All these factors caused Fritz to evaluate this position as bad for Black. But I'm sure this was the least of evils, since at least the material is balanced. Still, his main problem was that he erroneously considered the pawn sac as satisfactory.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: eight pawns on fourth rank!! As Chucky used to say:"Amazing,isn't it?"
Premium Chessgames Member
  jaime gallegos: this game was commented when it was played on ( unfortunately it doesnt exist anymore ... ) and the famous alterman wall was called there ...
May-05-04  Vischer: was 26.e4 played just to get the cool looking pawn wall, or did it have a real purpose?
May-05-04  Benjamin Lau: A game for shropshire's bird collection. I guess he could label the game "The stoned bird."
May-05-04  TrueFiendish: Abecedarian: "Gumby" was/is an animated children's character made of plasticene. Let's just say he was a little wide-eyed and slow moving.
May-05-04  ajile: Sneaky. White gets a delayed stonewall formation which is good because Black doesn't get the normal early c5 in. After the kingside gets locked up and the queen trapped the computer runs out of ideas and sacks the piece for 2 pawns. Game over. Nice sneaky move order to get into a favorable stonewall setup. Computers are generally weaker in these closed type positions. The From Gambit is what I would be worrying about too after F4 E5 but if White is carefull he can build a good center and stay the pawn up.
May-05-04  Marnoff Mirlony: I saw the wins.
May-06-04  Lawrence: Holy smokes Marnoff where ya been?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Was Fritz on the fritz?
May-07-04  Abecedarian: <truefiendish> Good one with the Gumby stuff! I grok it now...sorry, was a little wide-eyed and slow moving myself! LOL
May-08-04  PinkPanther: I think it goes without saying that this game belongs in BL's picturesque position collection.
May-08-04  Benjamin Lau: Already is PP. ;-)
Sep-24-04  Rowson: White seems to play a reverced Dutch stone wall variation and uses his "wall of pawns to squeeze the comp out of the match.
Jan-09-06  prinsallan: I made a wall myself today, got the idea from this game. My wall was on the third rank though, and I won the game after Sigma Chess (Mac) Blundered bad in the endgame (as usual LOL). After 8 moves, I have pushed the entire front row 1 rank and the comp still dont dare to break through, here it is:

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2006.01.09"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Jonas Astrand"]
[Black "Sigma Chess 6"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A00"]

1. a3 d5 2. c3 e5 3. d3 Bc5 4. e3 Bf5 5. f3 Nc6 6. g3 Nf6 7. h3 O-O 8. b3 a5 9. d4 Bd6 10. Bb5 exd4 11. Bxc6 dxc3 12. Nxc3 Bxg3+ 13. Kf1 bxc6 14. Nge2 Qd6 15. Kg2 Be5 16. f4 Bxc3 17. Nxc3 c5 18. Bb2 d4 19. Nb5 dxe3 20. Qxd6 cxd6 21. Nxd6 Be4+ 22. Nxe4 Nxe4 23. Kf3 Nf2 24. Rh2 Nd3 25. Be5 Nxe5+ 26. fxe5 Rfb8 27. Kxe3 Rxb3+ 28. Kf4 Rd8 29. a4 Rd7 30. Rc1 Rd5 31. Rhc2 Rxh3 32. Rxc5 Rxc5 33. Rxc5 h6 34. Rxa5 Kh7 35. Ke4 Rc3 36. Kd4 Rc2 37. Rc5 Rd2+ 38. Kc3 Rd1 39. Kb2 Kg6 40. a5 Rd2+ 41. Rc2 Rd3 42. a6 Kf5 43. Rc3 Rd7 44. Ra3 Kxe5 45. a7 Rd2+ 46. Kc3 Rd8 47. Rb3 Rc8+ 48. Kd2 Ra8 49. Rb7 Rd8+ 50. Kc3 Ke6 51. Rb8 Rc8+ 52. Rxc8 f5 53. a8=Q f4 54. Qe4+ Kd6 55. Rd8+ Kc7 56. Qe7+ Kc6 57. Kc4 g5 58. Rd5 g4 59. Qe6+ Kc7 60. Rd7+ Kc8 61. Qe8# 1-0
Ps. Silly Comp ^^ Ds

Mar-01-07  SirBruce: The Fritz of today is much better and doesn't make the same mistakes it did in this game. First of all, the opening book no longer plays 4...Be2, preferring b4, b3, d4, or d3 in the book, or even c4 by evaluation. Secondly, 7...e6, which Alterman said was the first sign of Fritz struggling with the position, won't get played at all; Alterman's comments say black should play c5, and that's the move Fritz will try to play in one of the following lines:

7...Qd8-d6 8.0-0 Nb8-d7 9.Nf3-h4 Bf5-e4 10.Nh4-f3 c7-c5 7...c7-c5 8.0-0 Nb8-d7 9.Nf3-e5 Nf6-e4
7...Nb8-d7 8.0-0 c7-c5 9.Nf3-e5 Nf6-e4

May-24-07  Ranjan: For the first time I saw eight pawns of a side in the 4th row in a first class game after white's 26th Move!!!
Aug-04-07  Waitaka: What surprise me is a computer to resign.
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