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Stockfish (Computer) vs AlphaZero (Computer)
AlphaZero - Stockfish Match (2018), London ENG, Jan-18
Queen's Gambit Declined: Chigorin Defense. Main Line (D07)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-09-19  siggemannen: Not even AlphaZero can make the Chigorin work for black
Jan-09-19  john barleycorn: <siggemannen: Not even AlphaZero can make the Chigorin work for black>

why is A0 playing it then? maybe the learning process stopped somewhere. I just take it as another instance where the hype about A0 is going nowhere.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < john barleycorn: <siggemannen: Not even AlphaZero can make the Chigorin work for black> why is A0 playing it then? maybe the learning process stopped somewhere. I just take it as another instance where the hype about A0 is going nowhere.>

The opening was assigned to it. Skepticism looks more attractive if dressed in the robes of knowledge, rather than the track suit of ignorance.

Jan-09-19  john barleycorn: <keypusher: ...

The opening was assigned to it. Skepticism looks more attractive if dressed in the robes of knowledge, rather than the track suit of ignorance.>

Understand who will. Definitely, the reply got an "intellectual" touch I can't relate to.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I'm assuming this is the same opening with the colours reversed.

AlphaZero vs Stockfish, 2018

Ended in a draw

Of course, nevermind the opening:

< rd 13375711149937763525 >

That's a lot of rounds.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Why does black allow 11.Qxb7? Looks like a free pawn with no risk.
Premium Chessgames Member
  JointheArmy: <Not even AlphaZero can make the Chigorin work for black>

Was about to make this post before I read this.

Jan-10-19  siggemannen: My book on chigorin don't mention Qb3 though, just says: Rb1!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

One cannot just look at the result, look at the opening and then come to a conclusion after 70+ moves that the opening is unplayable.

The Chigorin is getting written off due to the final position from this game

click for larger view

Guess we had better tell everyone to stop playing the Sicilian. this is the final position from Romanishin vs Timman, 1979

click for larger view

O Cvitan vs Marjanovic, 1982 produced this:

click for larger view

from a Semi-Slav Defence. Better toss that opening in the bin as well.


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <SallySimpson> Iím always baffled by these completely idiotic posts you make from time to time, because generally speaking youíre pretty smart.

Absolutely no one is saying Chigorin Ďs Defense is bad because A0 lost with it. Theyíre saying that Chigorin Ďs Defense is bad, period. They didnít decide it was bad based on this game. They already thought it was bad.

Why do they think it is bad? Probably because strong players mostly stay away from it (and a few have criticized it). It doesnít look good to engines, either. HMM, Stockfish seems to think giving that pawn away is the best Black can do.

Jan-10-19  gokusano: Chigorin is a fighting defense and creates opportunity for both sides. However, results were not favorable for black. I think the defense suits chess warriors or those with volatile temperament who would risk all for a win.
Jan-11-19  SChesshevsky: Does seem the Chigorin might not be the best defense to d4 but you do get what you pay for.

Black does mess up whites pawn structure and gets to chop some wood but gives white a big center and two bishops. Plus some initiative to get the resulting open lines.

Maybe if black can equalize and get to an level endgame there's chances but equalizing seems tough.

Interesting and clever is A0's choice to give up a pawn and it ends up with the worse structure but gets the open lines and initiative. Might have worked if it wasn't for the bishop pair.

Wondering if this idea was tried before or a A0 creation?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi K.P.

A bad opening is one that gets walloped under 20 moves time and time again with weaker players beating stronger players.

This game went into a double chance middlegame, a slight error could have swung it the other way. As Black that is all some players need/want a set of positions that require exact play from White to hold the edge knowing that is beyond most humans.

The main reason why the good guys do not play as Black it in important games is because the good guys as White can tame it and often come out of the opening with the two Bishops. This does always guarantee a White win, but it rarely loses. The Good Guys as Black want more from an opening.

GM. Alexander Morozevich rolled it our from time to time with good results Repertoire Explorer: Alexander Morozevich (black)

But that is the good guys. The majority here are not GM's or IM's they/we are average players who will play average players and if you can get into a playable middlegame v an average player then you have chances.

I'm simply advising it's wrong to think one will get a win by playing legal moves v the Chigorin because AlphaZero could not eek out a win. (it took Stockfish 70+ moves and was in no way the fault of the opening.)

It Chigorin is not a bad opening, it scores OK at the lower levels because it creates off the beaten track positions where the average White can slip up and Black familiar with the positions the Chigorin creates can spots shots.

Also see this post: Stein vs Reshevsky, 1966 (kibitz #3)


I like AlphaZero's pawn sac. It's a very human reaction. Usually when a box sacs a pawn it's because it is still following it's theory or there is an immediate gain. Here it seems to go for activity rather than a dour defence which shows very refreshing 'thinking' for a computer.


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Sally> if you think Iím going to argue the merits of this defense with you youíre mistaken. Iíve played much worse and had plenty of fun doing it. I just want you to read what other people say and understand it. I know you can.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <keypusher...Skepticism looks more attractive if dressed in the robes of knowledge, rather than the track suit of ignorance.>

Lot of posters like to wear track suits; fortunately, neither you nor <Geoff> are among them.

Jan-11-19  zanzibar: <perf> spent a little time up at Winter Hill during your stay in Somerville did you? Ha!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi K.P.

" if you think Iím going to argue the merits of this defense...."

Debate. K.P. we never argue.

Just feel we would not be doing our job properly, (old timers passing on our experience), and remind the young un's of their Tartakower regarding openings.

If it's classed as dodgy then therefore it is playable.

I think playing a known dodgy opening focuses you from move one and you are already firing on all pistons.

It also puts the White player under pressure. They now have to win, the shame of allowing even a draw against an beat opening would be too much for them.

Whether the young un's take it onboard is up to to them.

Hi Perfidious:

(you too are part of the old codger brigade, we have to attempt to put something back.)

Me, 16 years old in 1966 wearing a tracksuit.

Those leather balls weighed a ton when wet and if you headed the ball on the laces you needed stitches.


Jan-12-19  zanzibar:
Jan-25-19  RookFile: It does seem rather lame. White got two bishops and a pawn. Black got some tactical tricks, which don't work in computer land.
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