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Member since Jul-30-12
My career as chess analyst started at the end of the nineties of last century, some years before the famous match of the World Team against Kasparov 1999, where I also participated a member of the Team.

Having studied computer science, I developed an early interest in the algorithms of chess programs, which first appeared in dedicated chess computers and later as PC software.

Using them in correspondence chess, I recognized the limitations of these programs, especially the early PC programs were only strong with short range tactics.

So already to the end of the nineties of last century I thought about writing a chess program of my own, but with different algorithms that would overcome the limitations of contemporary software.

Because I also felt that my own knowledge of chess was not up to the task, I more and more started analysing openings, and I began with the Morra Gambit, because it is tactical and estimated as theoretically weak, which it is, according to current theory. But I found that its theory can be improved, so that White is not forced to lose the tempo gained by the gambit, as with some decisive lines of current theory.

Since then I studied the French, the King's Gambit, the Blackmar Diemer Gambit, the Queens Gambit, and other openings.

But I also analyzed endgames, motivated by a friend who is a renowned chess study composer.

In 2012 I participated in the World Team Game against GM Akobian and studied the Caro-Kann, and later, in 2013, I examined the Larsen opening the same way.

To realize the motivation of writing a chess program from scratch, I wrote a paper about the weaknesses of current chess programs, that you can find online here: (PDF:

So chess is more science and art than sports for me, although also for me it's very interesting to watch the games of today's top grandmasters live. Here one can see the differences of human and computer chess.

Computer chess is not perfect chess, only the endgame tables, which have stored the moves of very few pieces remaining on the board at the end of the game, offer perfect chess today, but no explanations, why a certain move is the best.

And whether chess can be solved in our life time, remains to be seen.

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>> Click here to see DcGentle's game collections. Full Member

   DcGentle has kibitzed 11734 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Jul-27-14 The World vs Naiditsch, 2014 (replies)
   Jul-27-14 DcGentle chessforum
DcGentle: <truefriends>: This was not a big effort of mine, I am busy with the WT game, we have a real winning chance there. But as I see it, <12. Ba4> won't get voted in... *hmmm* On the other hand, if I can show that this move has many winning lines, as it has already, who ...
   Jul-25-14 notyetagm chessforum
DcGentle: <notyetagm>: Sorry for the late reply, but thanks for this mate on move 5. Amazing, what people can overlook, but not only people, also engines. I am busy with the World Team game, as you may know.... ;-) We'll see. Ģ
   Jul-20-14 Leko vs Caruana, 2014 (replies)
DcGentle: Position after <14. Bf4> [DIAGRAM] Black to move
   Jul-19-14 Caruana vs Adams, 2014 (replies)
DcGentle: Yes, Caruana's performance in this tournament is very convincing, and this is an understatement.
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Chess means Analysis

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: <morfishine>: They said on the radio that not only in Germany people were celebrating, and the French started their fireworks for their National Holiday (which is today) even half an hour early, namely after Germany won the Cup. :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <DcGentle> My brother was working in Paris in 1998 when France won the Cup. He said the fans were delirious and partied literally all week. When he finally went back to work on Wednesday, he said there were still drunk, passed-out people lying along the curbs and gutters, and that was 3 days after the game!

Paris was a mob scene right after the win. My brother had to literally fight his way home as all the streets and side alleys were full of rowdy, drunk people. When he got back to his apartment, there were "50 or 60" people in his backyard who had confiscated the space to cook out and drink all night. Instead of complaining, he joined them :)


Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: <morfishine>: Yes, the French know how to celebrate, as it seems. :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <<parisattack>: What most adherents of current chess software don't know, finding any positions where the engines are clueless is easy.

Firstly: In January I made a study about the positional competence of current engines, which are most often used in correspondence chess. How did I do this? I went over quite some Carlsen games and tested, whether Houdini found the positional moves of this player. The results were not quite encouraging. The study is here (DcGentle chessforum).

Secondly: In my Game Collection: Positional Masterworks you can choose any game, and when going over it with the engine of your choice it will stumble sooner or later, because the human plan is much different from the computer style. And mostly humans are right here, and not the engines.

Thirdly: There is a certain 4 bishop endgame that I solved with <long hard work>, because this will help me very much with my engine. You can find this here: DcGentle chessforum. Current engines are clueless.

All the best,

Very, very interesting work! I suppose if you can identify and quantify these 'positional positions' the battle would be at least half over in your pursuit of a new paradigm engine.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: <parisattack>: Hi! Well, positional play is the backbone of chess, any engine which could really calculate the how-to of this way to play the game would be miles ahead of current software, I am quite sure about it. Current methods will never be able to deal with it, it can become rather deep rather quickly, too deep for any engine running stupidly over the game tree. In order to tackle positional play, new methods are required, and I hope I am on the way.

Planning is the key. Especially Carlsen games often have deep plans. But also the 4 bishop endgame I analyzed cannot be won without a plan. Endgames are more educational, because the themes are easier to identify...

In the normal middlegame anything is more fuzzy. You can have situations, which can be solved with either tactical play or purely positional play, this is really true. But as I see it, tactical play only is a variety of positional play, as strange as this may seem. For people always talked about chess being essentially tactics, and anything which looks strategically or positional would be resolved by tactics in the end, provided that the search is only deep enough. This is wrong, there are very many positions, which cannot be tackled with tactics at all. My understanding is just the other way around, funny, isn't it?

We'll see.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: Well, the Berlin Wall also belongs to these category of positions which only can be solved by positional play.

A part of the concept against this opening that I presented on the World Team pages, was following line, which was not easy to find and took me quite some time and research efforts:

[Event "Berlin defense analysis"]
[Site "MyTown"]
[Date "2014.06.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "White"]
[Black "Black"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "C67"]
[Annotator "Gentle,DC"]
[PlyCount "175"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 Bd7 {<Black wants to move his king to c8.>} 10. Rd1 Kc8 11. Ng5 {<attacking f7.>} Be8 {<forced.>} 12. Nge4 {<evading a kick by pawn h7 and covering c5. This move already was applied by Kasparov against Kramnik.>} b6 {< preparing the home for Black's king, b7. This artifical castling takes a lot of time, which can be used by White efficiently.>} 13. a4 a5 {<Black cannot tolerate an attack on pawn b6, with the impact that Black's queenside pawn structure will gat a new hole, namely b5, later.>} 14. b3 {< White wants to develop the bishop to b2.>} Kb7 15. Bb2 Be7 {<Even after Black developed his bishop to e7, this piece has hardly any good squares. Exactly this is White's strategy, make Black's pieces look stupid.>} 16. Rd3 Rd8 17. Rad1 Rxd3 {<forced.>} 18. Rxd3 Kc8 19. f3 {< controlling g4 for a white pawn and clearing a path for the white king.>} Bd7 20. Ne2 c5 21. c4 {<Now Black's queenside pawns are blocked. Because White's pawns are on light squares, the ideal preparation for the endgame is the trade of a knight for Black's light squared bishop.>} Re8 22. Kf2 Bc6 23. g3 {< White is not interested in chasing away the knight yet, because it cannot do much harm there.>} Kb7 24. h4 {<gaining space on the kingside.>} Rf8 {< protecting f7 against a possible knight attack from g5.>} 25. N2c3 h5 (25... Nd4 {<is not so good due to>} 26. Nd5) 26. Ne2 g6 {<The "Open" Berlin defense has become quite closed now, and this is White's intention: Make the white knights dominate the black bishops.>} 27. Nf4 Rg8 28. Ke2 {<helping to guard the d-file.>} Rc8 {<Black is already quite helpless.>} 29. e6 Be8 30. g4 Nd4+ 31. Bxd4 cxd4 32. exf7 Bxf7 33. Rxd4 {< Even after the game opened again, Black's bishops have no good squares.>} Re8 ( 33... Bxh4 {<fails due to>} 34. Rd7 Be8 35. Rg7 hxg4 36. Nd6+ {<winning the rook.>} ) 34. g5 Bd6 35. Nd5 Be5 36. Rd3 c6 37. Ndf6 Re7 38. Rd8 {< If White's pieces can invade, it's the beginning of the end for Black.>} Kc7 39. Rf8 Be6 40. Ne8+ Kb8 41. f4 Bb2 {<forced!>} 42. Kf2 Bh3 43. N8d6+ Kc7 44. Rg8 {< Pawn g6 will fall.>} Bf5 45. Kf3 Bg4+ 46. Kg3 Bd1 47. Rxg6 {< White has not won yet, but the rest is technique.>} Bc2 48. Kf3 Bd1+ 49. Ke3 Bc1+ 50. Kd3 Bxf4 51. c5 bxc5 52. Nc4 Bxb3 53. Nxc5 Bxc4+ 54. Kxc4 Bd6 55. Rh6 Re5 56. Ne6+ Kd7 57. Nd4 Re4 58. Kd3 Rg4 59. Rxh5 Bg3 60. Rh7+ Kd6 61. Nf3 c5 62. h5 c4+ 63. Kc2 Rf4 64. Nd2 Rf2 65. Kd1 Kd5 66. g6 Bf4 67. Rd7+ Ke6 68. Rd8 Bh6 69. Nxc4 Rf5 70. Ra8 Rxh5 71. Ra6+ Ke7 72. Ke2 Kf8 73. Rxa5 Rh4 74. Kd3 Kg7 75. Ra6 Rh3+ 76. Ke4 Rh4+ 77. Kd5 Rh5+ 78. Ne5 Bf4 79. Ra7+ Kg8 80. Re7 Bd2 81. Ke6 Rh4 82. Ra7 Be3 83. Ra8+ Kg7 84. a5 Ra4 85. Kd5 Bf2 86. Kd6 Bd4 87. a6 Bxe5+ 88. Kxe5 {<is a endgame table base win for White>} *

By the way, I applied positional concepts like restriction of pieces here, which I also want my engine to use.


Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <DpGentle: You can have situations, which can be solved with either tactical play or purely positional play, this is really true.>

Here is the most recent try to explain the relationship between these two concepts.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: Thanks for this interesting link <cro777>! I agree with many things the author said, but especially in chess one has to differentiate between strategy on the one side, and positional play and tactical play on the other.

For example in our WT game one strategy at move 7 would have been "queenside expansion". This is a synergistic chess principle, gaining space on the queenside.

But once you have recognized that this could be a viable strategy, you have to examine the means at your disposal. These means are mainly pawn moves grabbing space. But one consequence would have been, that Black's dark squared bishop would have been pushed back and would have emerged as a prime target for restriction, which is part of positional play. And here we see it: Positional play is a means to realize a strategy, tactics also belongs to the tool box of strategy realization.

But both sides, the tools and the overall principle depend on each other. Without the proper positional or tactical play no strategy can be realized, and it's hard to find a strategy in the first place, if no tools are available. Sometimes it also can be hard to find a strategy, if some tools are around, but they are in conflict with each other, or if many tools are around, and then you have to do a selection.

Strategy is a high level abstraction is chess. My engine will try to "decipher" chess positions in order to find the proper strategy and plans realizing it.


Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <My engine will try to "decipher" chess positions in order to find the proper strategy and plans realizing it.>

Out of curiosity, at which stage are you with the development of your engine?

Are you using already a prototype when srutinizing lines in the world vs. Naiditsch game?

Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: <john barleycorn>: No, there is no prototype. But I can test some future features of my engine, for example parts of the planned positional play, which consists out of several components. One of them is the restriction of pieces, and this was applied in the above line against the Berlin Wall. But it's only the method, there is no software involved. Methods must be clear, otherwise you cannot construct an algorithm.

If the total algorithm is finished and not too complicated, it can be simulated by humans even without an actual computer at hand. I wrote a short article <What is an algorithm?> --> mistermac chessforum and the ensuing sample is so easy, you can try this on a sheet of paper. In 1951 Alan Turing devised a first chess program algorithm without having the necessary computer at hand and simulated this in a game against a colleague. <kingcrusher> made a video about this game, which you can watch here:

My algorithm is not finished, and so I couldn't simulate the whole system, but I could simulate parts of it. My program is much more complicated than current programs, which have a simple search compared to mine.

Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: ok, thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <waustad: Rapport won with a mate in 5 in the first round of the Politiken Cup. Here is an ephemeral link:>

Egads, it's not a <MATE IN 5>, it's a mate *on* move 5(!).

My first chess teacher was an advocate of the <BUDAPEST GAMBIT> with Black. He was *always* trying to get this mate with reversed colors whenever he had to play a fish.


click for larger view

4 ...Nb8-d7??

click for larger view

5 Ne4-d6#! 1-0

click for larger view

[White "Rapport, Richard"]
[Black "Rogers, Tim L"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Round "01"]
[Date "Mon Jul 21 2014"]
[WhiteClock "1:31:00"]
[BlackClock "1:25:00"]

1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Qe2 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nd6# 1-0

Jul-25-14  truefriends: Could you please give me (the start of) your mainline after <12.Ba4>...?

All i can find are positions which are (very slightly) better for black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: Hi <truefriends>!

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. Nbd2 Ne7 8. d4 exd4 9. cxd4 Bb6 10. Re1 Bg4 11. h3 Bh5 12. Ba4 c6 13. Bb3 h6 14. a4 d5 15. e5 Nd7

Currently I have 2 mainlines, this one seems to be the better one.

But I can tell you, to win here, I needed to be daring. It's the start of a nice kingside attack line. Whether your engines will find it, is doubtful.


Jul-26-14  truefriends: Ok, so you are using Houdini.
I mostly use SF and Komodo...

May i suggest <15... Nh7> as an improvement from black?! Even my <Houdini 4> agrees (only after i force the move).

After your <15... Nd7?!> the move e5-e6 gains in strength in some lines, black should avoid this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: <truefriends>: Thank you, maybe I looked <15... Nh7> already briefly, I will look into this closer. On d7 Black's knight would support the pawn push c5, which is thematic and occurs in my mainline. Of course <... Nh7> must be investigated as well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: By the way, I use other engine as well, Komodo of course, Sting (being a SF derivate), Critter, Gull, and Rybka at times as well. One has to be fexible with engine usage, there is a rule when to switch to a different engine: If one engine running in multi-variant mode has very similar evals in all variants, it may be a position problem, or an eval problem, I switch to Komodo or Rybka then. Rybka is good in closed positions.
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <DcGentle:
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. Nbd2 Ne7 8. d4 exd4 9. cxd4 Bb6 10. Re1 Bg4 11. h3 Bh5 12. Ba4 c6 13. Bb3>

What is your suggestion after 13....Ba5 and Black switching target d4 for e4?

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <DcGentle: It's not only mobility. It's the context of factual constraints which matters in our situation.>

Activity is real goal. Mobility is extremely important because piece value is highly correlated with mobility. That's why the context of factual constraints to mobility in our current position must be taken into consideration.

Discussions about computer assistance have always been popular in these challenges, but our game so far has nothing to do with computers (although some voters might be influenced by positive or negative computer evaluations). In effect, we have played according to the plan, but our plan was wrong. That's why our opponent has obtained a comfortable position without much effort (without any computer assistance). So far he has simply followed his game against Zhigalko.

Our strategy (plan) was to avoid exchanges and try to keep the position as complex as possible. But, as explained earlier, in the type of position we are dealing with (where the opponent is able to attack our pawn center with ...d5, ...c5 or ...f6), the complexity is not our ally. We need to make the position simple, but not simpler, as Einstein would say. Try to find a solution in this direction.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: <cro777>: Thanks, I am on the way. For us, the first target has to be improvement of our pieces. We should have deviated earlier from mainstream theory, but at move 12 we still have a chance. If we'll opt for <12. Qb3>, though, for me the door to a possible win of White has been slammed shut and my motivation to continue with this game will be on zero. In this case the only hope is a mistake of Black, but this is a hope only...

Just now we have a certain control. We can prepare everything for a kingside attack, or some other action, depending on the moves of the opponent.

We'll see.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: <<john barleycorn>: What is your suggestion after 13....Ba5 and Black switching target d4 for e4?>

This is my second mainline, which has been analyzed to a white victory already. White can win with <15. Re3> hopefully.


Jul-27-14  truefriends: <DcGentle: Rybka is good in closed positions.>

Talking about closed positions. In a recent CC game my opponent (black) offered a draw in this position.

click for larger view

I am very curious what your Rybka thinks about this position ;-)

Or any other engine you use...

Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: Well, this is not a draw.

I needn't even tell Rybka anything, it won automatically.

[Event "Endgame"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.07.27"]
[Round "?"]
[White "truefriends"]
[Black "N.N"]
[Result "*"]
[Annotator "Gentle,DC"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3rn1k1/1p2qppb/pP1p2n1/P1bPp3/4P1Pp/N1Q2P1P/1B2N1B1/2R4K w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "53"]

1. Nc4 Rc8 2. Nd2 Rd8 (2... Nf8 3. Nb3 Nd7 4. Ba3 Qg5 5. Qe1 Qd8 6. Nxc5 Nxc5 7. Kh2 Bg6 8. Bxc5 dxc5 9. f4 Qe7 10. Qc3 f6 11. g5) 3. Nb3 Bf2 4. Rc2 Qd7 5. Bf1 Ne7 6. Qd3 Qa4 7. Rc1 Rc8 (7... Ng6 8. Kg2 Bg3 9. Qc4 Qxc4 10. Rxc4 Bf4 11. Nxf4 Nxf4+ 12. Kf2 Kf8 13. Nc1 Ke7 14. Nd3 Nxd3+ 15. Bxd3 f6 16. Ke3) 8. Kg2 Rxc1 9. Nexc1 Bg3 10. Qc4 Qd7 11. Nd3 Ng6 12. Bc1 Kf8 13. Ndc5 (13. Bd2 Kg8 14. Nbc1 Nf4+ 15. Nxf4 Bxf4 16. Bxf4 exf4 17. Ne2 g5 18. Qc3 Qd8 19. Nd4 Qa8 20. Bd3 Bg6 21. Be2 Kf8 22. Nc6 f6 23. Nd4) 13... dxc5 14. Nxc5 Qe7 15. Nxb7 Qxb7 16. Ba3+ Kg8 17. Qxa6 Qb8 18. b7 Nf8 19. Qc6 f5 20. gxf5 Bxf5 21. exf5 Qa7 22. Qb6 Qxb6 23. axb6 e4 24. fxe4 Nd7 25. Bb5 Nef6 26. Be7 Kf7 27. d6 *


Jul-27-14  truefriends: Don't think your analysis was very deep?!

Black has a better defensive setup.

For example... play continued: 32. Nc4 Rb8 33. Nd2 Qg5 34. Nb3 Be3 and blacks DSB is much better on e3 than f2 in your line.

click for larger view

35. Rc2 Ne7 36. Qd3 Qh6 37. Ba3 Kf8 38. Nd2 Kg8 39. Nc4 Bg5

click for larger view

Just to give an idea. Btw <Houdini 4> still thinks this position is a draw. But my <SF/K> team didn't ;-)

We are at move 50 now. And H has finally seen the winning setup for white. Can you spot the idea?! Which piece plays a crucial part in whites winning plan (starting from the last diagram).

Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: <truefriends>: This was not a big effort of mine, I am busy with the WT game, we have a real winning chance there.

But as I see it, <12. Ba4> won't get voted in... *hmmm*

On the other hand, if I can show that this move has many winning lines, as it has already, who knows.

By the way, if you have a winning plan, congratulations!

as I said, I am currently extremely busy... but this may change this week, who knows.


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