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Walter Shawn Browne vs Belle (Computer)
"For Whom The BELLE Tolls" (game of the day Feb-23-2008)
Queen vs Rook exhibition (1978), New Jersey / Berkeley, Jan-01
Chess variants (000)  ·  1/2-1/2


find similar games 1 more Browne/Belle game
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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-23-08  hellopolgar: a 2600 player should be able to win this in under 50 moves.
Feb-23-08  cyruslaihy: i wasn't able to win with Q against R either, that makes me the equivalent of a 2600 GM
Feb-23-08  sallom89: its funny to be GOTD :P
Feb-23-08  somitra: GM Browne played two games against the Chess program Belle. In both the games, the human player had the Queen and the comp had a Rook. In the first game, the GM won by a whisker. Browne vs Belle, 1978

The GOTD is the second game, in which the GM failed to win. What it shows it how well the comp could defend even in 1978.

Feb-23-08  chessya11: According to the annotations, the GOTD is the first game, and the win is the second. Were the games played on the same day? If so, Browny sure learned fast!
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: The next time I see GM S. Browne, I'll be sure to ask him about the details on these games.
Feb-23-08  Samagonka: I admire all y'all's devotion to the game. I just don't have that much love and patience to analyse such mathematical tactics the way some people do.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I was a college student in Minnesota, and our calculus professor said that he was part of a group who set up the exhibition where Browne played these 50 movers against computer programs. The instructor spoke to the computer people and said "Which GM would we ask to do this? Well, we thought, Which GM likes to gamble? And we thought of Browne. According to the calculus guy, Browne was offered a sum of money if he could win in 50 moves or less. Although he didn't beat the 50 move limit, he was able to demonstrate a winning varation that would have won, a few moves later. So they gave him all of the prize money that had been wagered. I don't know if there was a seperate appearance fee of sorts just for showing up.

Browne is now a professional poker player, he lives at one casino, and chess is just a hobby.

Feb-23-08  Manequinho: Well, well... according to Shredder database, this starting position is a win in 35 moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It's funny that Mr.Brown couldn't win this game;it can be a hard ending for lower ranked players-but to an expert,it should be like picking up a ten pin. Another ending that is hard to win is Q vs N (put in a condition that the knight cannot be captured and the problem is close to impossible.)

A contrast is Q vs B-even a trained dog can win that

Is this a first for GOTD-an endgame study rather than a full game?

"One less BELL to answer".

Feb-23-08  RookFile: It's not an easy ending to win. Taking what Manequinho said - if you make a mistake, you jump from 35 moves to somewhere near 50 moves, which is all you have to work with.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sisyphus: <What it shows it how well the comp could defend even in 1978.>

Nonsense; Belle had been programmed with a tablebase for the Q v R ending. The purpose of the exhibition was to see if a GM could win in 50 moves against perfect play.

Feb-23-08  xrt999: wow Im speechless
Premium Chessgames Member
  sisyphus: Here's a more thorough description of how it happened, from Wikipedia's Computer Chess article.

<In 1977 Ken Thompson's Belle chess machine used the endgame tablebase for a king and rook against king and queen and was able to draw that theoretically lost ending against several masters. This was despite not following the usual strategy to delay defeat by keeping the defending king and rook close together for as long as possible. Asked to explain the reasons behind some of the program's moves, Thompson was unable to do so beyond saying the program's database simply evaluated its moves as best it could.

Most grandmasters declined to play against the computer in the queen versus rook endgame, but Walter Browne accepted the challenge. A queen versus rook position was set up in which the queen can win in thirty moves, with perfect play. Browne was allowed 2 hours to play fifty moves, otherwise a draw would be claimed under the fifty move rule. After forty-five moves, Browne agreed to a draw, being unable to force checkmate or win the rook within the next five moves. In the final position, Browne was still seventeen moves away from checkmate, but not quite that far away from winning the rook. Browne studied the endgame, and played the computer again a week later in a different position in which the queen can win in thirty moves. This time, he captured the rook on the fiftieth move, giving him a winning position.>

Feb-01-09  WhiteRook48: funny starting position
Feb-02-09  WhiteRook48: funniest game ever
Feb-05-09  WhiteRook48: well, maybe not for Browne
Dec-12-09  DCP23: Compare this to Morozevich vs D Jakovenko, 2006
Dec-12-09  Dredge Rivers: What's up with that starting position?

Was the TD drunk?

Oct-09-12  vinidivici: <rookfile>
<It's not an easy ending to win.>

Agreed. sometimes, with this kind of ending, 50 moves is too few.

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Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
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February 23: For Whom The BELLE Tolls
from Game of the Day 2008 by Phony Benoni
Game of the day
by vikinx

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