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Deen Hergott vs Junior (Computer)
Toronto exhibition (1997) (exhibition), CAN
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Mannheim Variation (D23)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-11-19  Sergash: This game was played at a time when chess computers and programs started to become strong by all standards. That was in 1996 that a supercomputer, namely Deep Blue, had won the first ever chess game at tournament time control against a reigning human champion of the World, namely Kasparov; that was only one win in a six game match, but it was historic. And we know what happened the next year, that same year 1997 the actual game was played: Deep(er) Blue won a six game rec rematch against Kasparov, by just one point but it was another historic moment!

Junior was one of the good chess programs for the PC at the time of this game (probably version 4.0, as version 5.0 was released in 1998), while Deen Hergott was an International Master since 1991. This seemed an interesting match at the time.

Hergott chose an quiet opening, as it was believed at the time that computers were strong at tactics, but week in strategy and positional play. Junior being a commercial program at the time, I am not sure if Hergott had gotten the chance to train against this version prior to this game?

Taken from, "Junior is a computer chess program written by the Israeli programmers Amir Ban and Shay Bushinsky. Grandmaster Boris Alterman assisted, in particular with the opening book. Junior can take advantage of multiple processors, taking the name Deep Junior when competing this way in tournaments.

According to Bushinsky, one of the innovations of Junior over other chess programs is the way it counts moves. Junior counts orthodox, ordinary moves as two moves, while it counts interesting moves as only one move, or even less. In this way interesting variations are analyzed more meticulously than less promising lines. This seems to be a generalization of search extensions already used by other programs.

Another approach its designers claim to use is 'opponent modeling'; Junior might play moves that are not objectively the strongest but that exploit the weaknesses of the opponent. According to Don Dailey ″It has some evaluation that can sting if it's in the right situation—that no other program has.″

Sep-13-19  Sergash: <4.Qd1-a4+!? c7-c6 5.Qa4xc4 Bc8-f5 6.Nb1-c3 e7-e6 7.g2-g3 Nb8-d7 8.Bf1-g2 Bf8-e7 9.0-0 0-0 => This position first occurred in a game Mikhail Levin vs. S Kwiatkowski, Ukraine Championship 1959 in Kiev, round 1, draw. It seems Hergott did not want to leave any tactics to the computer, or maybe he just wanted to try to get the computer out of its opening book as soon as possible, as the most common line here (and maybe the only way to secure some advantage for White?) is 4.e2-e3 e7-e6 5.Bf1xc4 c7-c5 6.0-0 a7-a6 ⩲ etc. as in Teichmann vs Blackburne, 1905, draw.

<10.Bc1-f4 Nf6-d5 => First seen in the game Jan Adamski (2435) vs. Andreas Bang (2315), Lyngby Open (Denmark) 1989, round 6, draw. Played to get the computer out of its opening book? As 10.Bc1-f4 appears somewhat questionnable. The most played line here is 10.Rf1-e1 Nf6-e4 (occupying the e4 square to prevent any white pawn from getting there!) 11.Qc4-b3 Qd8-b6! = Guenther Moehring vs. Werner Golz, 1st DSV in Zinnowitz (East-Germany) 1964, round 10, draw.

<11.Ra1-c1N?! Nd7-b6! 12.Qc4-b3 ▢ Nd5xf4! 13.g3xf4 ⩱> A novelty, but White has to retreat the bishop to maintain equality here, as shown by a former Champion of the World: 11.Bf4-d2! = Petrosian vs Bagirov, 1983, draw; if another novelty 11.e2-e4N?! Nd7-b6! 12.Qc4-d3 Nd5xf4 13.g3xf4 Bf5-g6 ⩱ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

Sep-14-19  Sergash: <13...Be7-d6?! 14.e2-e3 => The played move apparently gives up the advantage. Better is 13...Nb6-d5N! 14.e2-e3 (or 14.Nc3xd5 c6Xd5! ▢ 15.Qb3xb7 Ra8-b8 16.Qb7xa7 ▢ Rb8xb2 ⩱ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Qd8-b6! 15.Nf3-d2! ⩱ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT

<14...Ra8-b8 => This is maybe too passive a move. An interesting and more active alternative here is 14...a7-a5!? = Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT

<15.Rf1-d1 Nb6-d5 => 15.Nf3-e5!? f7-f6! 16.e3-e4! f6xe5! 17.d4xe5! Bf5-g4! 18.e5xd6 (or 18.h2-h3 Rf8xf4! 19.e5xd6 (also possible 19.h3xg4 Bd6-c7! = Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Qd8-g5! 20.h3xg4 ▢ Rf4xg4 ▢ 21.Qb3xe6+ ▢ Kg8-h8 ▢ 22.Qe6-f5! Rg4xg2+ 23.Kg1-h1 = Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Qd8xd6 19.f2-f3 (also 19.f4-f5 Rb8-e8 = Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Bg4-h5 = Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<16.Nf3-e5> Better is maybe 16.Nc3-a4! = Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<16...Qd8-e7 17.Nc3-e4 Bf5xe4 18.Bg2xe4 g7-g5 => Here Black had two other interesting moves: 16...f7-f6 17.Ne5-c4 Bd6-c7 18.e3-e4! Nd5xc3 19.Rc1xc3 Bf5-g4! 20.Bg2-f3 ▢ Bg4xf3! 21.Rc3xf3 = Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT; and 16...Nd5xc3 17.Qb3xc3 h7-h6 = Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<19.f4-f5?! ⩱> This is when the game started to drift in favor of the computer. Simply 19.Kg1-h1 = Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<19...Nd5-f6 20.Be4-b1 ⩱> Better is possibly 19...Kg8-h8!? 20.Kg1-h1! Qe7-f6 ⩱ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT

Sep-14-19  Sergash: <20...e6xf5?! 21.Ne5-c4! f5-f4 = / ⩲> This capture illustrates the materialistic side of the computers of the time. It looses all the advantage Black had gained. Again, the best move might be here 20...Kg8-h8 21.Ne5-c4! Bd6-c7 ⩱ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<22.Nc4xd6 Qe7xd6 23.e3-e4 Qd6-e6 = / ⩱> The immediate e3-e4 could be stronger: 22.e3-e4 Bd6-c7 ▢ 23.Qb3-d3! Nf6-e8! 24.d4-d5 (or 24.e4-e5 f7-f5! = Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Bc7-e5! = Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

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<24.d4-d5?? > This move loses the game! The only playable move here, controlling the white squares in the area near the white king, is 24.Qb3-f3 ▢ = Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<24...c6xd5 25.e4xd5 Qe6-g4+ ▢ 26.Kg1-h1 -+> An OK move, but stronger is immediately 24...Qe6-g4+! 25.Kg1-h1 (25.Kg1-f1? f4-f3! -+ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Qg4-h4! -+ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<26...Qg4-h4? 27.Bb1-f5! ∓> Materialism again... This superb bishop move controls c8 as well as g4 and h3! Winning is 26...Rb8-c8! -+ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<27...Qh4xf2 ⩱> 27...Rb8-e8! ∓ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<28.Rd1-g1?? h7-h6 ▢ -+> Just as White had recovered from the catastrophic 24th move, he blunders again! 28.Qb3-c3! Kg8-g7 29.Rc1-c2 ▢ Qf2-b6! 30.d5-d6! ⩱ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<29.Rc1-f1 Qf2-d4! -+> More precise seems 29.d5-d6 Rb8-e8! -+ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

Sep-14-19  Sergash: <30.Rg1-g2?!> Better is 30.h2-h4 f4-f3! 31.Rg1-g3 Qd4xh4+▢ 32.Rg3-h3 Qh4-d4! 33.Qb3xf3 Rb8-d8! -+ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<30...Qd4-e5 31.Qb3-h3 Kg8-g7▢ -+> Still winning, but better is to bring a new piece in play: 30...Rb8-d8! -+ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<32.Bf5-c2 Nf6xd5 33.Qh3-d3 f7-f5 34.h2-h4 Nd5-e3 -+> Better is 31.d5-d6 Qe5xd6 32.Qh3-f3 -+ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<35.h4xg5?!> 35.Rf1-e1 Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<35...Ne3xg2 -+> Materialism... 35...h6xg5! with the idea if 36.Rg2xg5+? Kg7-f6▢ and the white king is is too exposed and will quickly be surrounded. Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<36.Qd3-d7+> 36.Kh1xg2 h6xg5 -+ would survive a little longer.

<36...Rf8-f7 37.g5xh6+ Kg7-g6 38.Qd7-d2 Ng2-e3 39.Rf1-g1+ Kg6-h7 mate in 15 moves> Stronger is 36...Kg7-g6! 37.g5xh6 Kg6xh6 and mate in 16 moves according to Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<40.Bc2-b3> After this game move, Black mates in 12 moves.

<42.Bxf7 Qc6xh6+> After this capture, Black mates in 2 moves. The game would have ended with 43.Bf7-h5 Qh6xh5# It was mate in 10 moves with 42.Qd2xe3 f4xe3 43.Bb3xf7 Qc6xh6+ 44.Kh2-g3 Rb8-d8 and mate 7 moves later. Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

So, personal computers could now beat international masters...

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