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Chessmaster (Computer) vs Larry Mark Christiansen
ICC 2 120 u (2002), Internet Chess Club, Sep-29
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation (A28)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-17-04  steven18: Who is this Larry Christiansen fella? Is he even a GM? Either way the Chessmaster programs have really increased in strength over the years. Still I don't think they're on the same level as Fritz, Shredder or Junior. None theless still a strong program.
Jul-17-04  weirdoid: Amazing game - so Chessmaster out-woodpush an ok player? incredible ... And it is a not particularly strong computer program at that.

<steven18> Are you kidding - who Larry is? Well, he is a way over-the-hill player, for sure, but yes, he is a GM, got his GM when there were only about 100 GM's in the world, and at a point in time (early 80's) was one of the world's top players. Among his games, my favourite was Christiansen vs Karpov, 1993 (just kidding - he was already rather over the hill then, but you may enjoy it anyway).

Jul-17-04  uzeromay: Larry Christiansen

He's a rather beloved American GM. Currently, he has a chess video lecture you might enjoy at called "The Pitfalls and Tribulations of the Two Knights' Defense." It is highly entertaining because the language he employs is colorful and the opening is full of surprising tactical fireworks. I have watched it a few times now. Larry, I believe, is someone who has made some unusually innovative contributions himself to opening theory.

Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Although others have answered, I guess I was flabbergasted that Larry Christiansen would be unknown. 3 time U.S. Champion including 2002. Winner of some of my brilliancy prizes at U.S. Championship. Wins over lots of great GMs including Spassky and Portisch, and top U.S. players like Seirawan, etc. Author of 2 relatively recent books on attacking play, Storming the Barricades and Rocking the Ramparts. As an older person myself, I guess I find the description "over-the-hill" a little disrespectful. Losing some practical strength with age happens to everyone, even the greatest of GMs, but Larry is still a formidable competitor against anyone. Paul Albert
Jul-18-04  Capafan9: In retrospect, would 53... h3 been any better? After gxh3 then Rh4 and Rgh5 seems to hold Christiansen's position together.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Anybody know what the time controls were for this game?
Jul-18-04  biglo: 2 minutes initially with a 2 minute increment each move. Four games were played over a Saturday and Sunday
Premium Chessgames Member
  InspiredByMorphy: Not an impressive win by Chessmaster. Chessmaster is weak in closed positions, and Christiansen was doing the attacking. Although it wasent sound I commend Christiansen for trying to attack with 53. ...Rg6 , instead of moving pieces back and forth and waiting for an overextension from the opponent.
Mar-04-05  Orbitkind: looks like Christiansen made a rook sacrifice and it didn't work.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: The Rook sacrifice was very close to being sound, he made it almost purely based on instinct, but his follow up wasn't the best, and 58...f2 was the final mistake, from there it became hopeless for Larry.

Some lines he gives in the CM10k Academy:

<He gives 53...Rg3 a !

If 55.Rf3 Rh5 56.Kg1 Rh2 57.Kf1 Qh5 58.Rd2 Rh1 59.Ke2 Rg1!

55...Rg4? - better is 55...Rh5 56.Kg1 Rh2 57.Qf3 Kg5! 58.Kf1 Nh4 58.Qb3 f3 59.gxf3 g2 60.Rxg2 Nxg2 "and White is in big trouble"

57...Qh1 58.Ke2 Qxg2 59.Ke1 Qh1 60.Kd2 g2 61.e5! Qxd1! 62.Qxd1 g1=Q "and Black has the upper hand"

58...f2?? - "this is not just a blunder, this is a crime" - better was 58...Rf4 59.Kd2 fxg2 60.Qe3 Kg7>

I think it's amazing that a GM has the guts to play such a move against a computer and judging by the lines he gives - I haven't checked them, because I believe him :-) - it was close to sound if not really sound. Larry also shows in how he was slowly but surely building his position, that the understanding of the game and planning of a human can more than outweigh the tactical "abilities" of a computer. In the first game of the match, Chessmaster vs Christiansen, 2002, Larry showed how to crush a computer positionally.

Jun-23-05  SnoopDogg: There were some winning lines for black posted on ICC by Fritz. Christiansen was just too confident after he won the first game with black easily.

Anyways during this game Tony "the patzer" Rook went wild when Larry C sacrificed a "rook". :))

Oct-23-06  vesivialvy93: 21...Bxb5 ?? Why giving chances to whites to defend a6 pawn ??? it was a good position to start an exchanging long-term plan for black even with passive play....L.C underestimate chessmaster tactical play !
Dec-01-09  bastiaan0740: Hello all.
The passive rook sac was sound and leads to a winning position. My compliments to Larry for not only spotting it, but also having the guts to play it against a computer who is supposed to be near flawless in endgames with less mathematical options. Sadly, as others pointed out, the follow-up was incorrect. At 57 ..QH1 would have lead to several checks, and a win.
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