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Robert James Fischer vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
"Mad TV" (game of the day Jul-20-2015)
Fischer - Petrosian Candidates Final (1971), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 7, Oct-19
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Modern Variation (B42)  ·  1-0

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 14 OF 14 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-30-20  Malfoy: <Petrosianic>, you are quite right, but when your interlocutor refuses to talk about chess and goes on arguing on a personal note you are left with nothing but speaking his language.
Nov-30-20  SChesshevsky: <...according to which finding mistakes in Bobby's games...>

Nothing wrong with finding better options for any player. Think the problem is naming a reasonable move by a top player "a mistake".

Thinking Fischer missed the advantages of 22. a4 or black's possibilities with ...d4 ...Nd5 seems a bit naïve. Whether by you or Mueller. I'll give a pass to Mueller as he probably has an author's license to dramatize his article.

Seems Fischer simply went with a plan that offered potentially bigger rewards with no extra risk. A plan that coincidently worked.

Now I can see how one could argue that his plan choice wasn't practical, maybe over ambitious. But unless one assumes that Fischer did not even consider 22. a4 or the possibility of a ...d4 ...Nd5 response, which I would think unlikely, "mistake" is probably not the correct word to characterize Fischer's move.

Of course there are probably plenty of Fischer "mistakes" within his game history. But don't think 22. Nxd7 is one of them. Maybe most damning thing that can be said is 'maybe not best."

Nov-30-20  Malfoy: <SChesshevsky> and <Sally Simpson>, devoid of sarcasm your comments get many points. I think too that over the board Bobby's choice proved tremendously effective and telling of the confidence he had at this stage of the match. In this game he systematically turned down any attempt by Petrosian to complicate the game, and though objective analysis seems to prove that Black was at least as close to a draw as White to a win, I think that over the board Black found himself in dire trouble and went downhill psychologically in the first place, otherwise it cannot be explained why a master of counterplay like him played so passively and spurned his possibilities to get coordination and active play, which were tied to the quick advance of his passed pawn. That said, when commenting on Chessbase's blog I repeatedly observed that all that long analysis does not prove any automatic draw and that therefore it should be fair not to claim a definite outcome, since to me White keeps an advantage of some carlsenesque nature, which may easily escape the horizon of a silicon brain, especially along such a lengthy analysis. From my human point of view, however, it is quite clear that after the game continuation Black could have obtained a degree of activity and coordination that he could only have dreamt of after 22.a4. Apparently the bunch of exclamation marks that many authoritative commentatos accumulated over the years on 22.Nxd7 let anybody forget what Najdorf had understood at a glance.
Nov-30-20  Malfoy: <SChesshevsky: Nothing wrong with finding better options for any player. Think the problem is naming a reasonable move by a top player "a mistake".>

IMHO the problem is the confusion between over-the-board verdict and objective truth: the first is the one that counts for history and greatness, and it is undisputable, while the latter can and must be revised over time and it can sometimes plainly contradict the fformer, but it should never be taken as a sort of attack to the memory of the giants on whose shoulders we walk.

Nov-30-20  Malfoy: <Sally Simpson: You are threatening Bxa6, you have the open file. Black Rooks are tied up defending pawns (hence 23...Rd6 to free the a8 Rook. )>

Indeed a great picture for White, but dynamics count (or should have...) and after 23...d4! the capture on a6 is no longer a threat: 24.Bxa6 d3 and suddenly the black rooks become incredibly active. The real picture is that White's bishop may easily reveal itself a bad blockader, so IMHO the best course for White is to strengthen his position by means of quiet moves like a3, g3, Kf2 in some order, so to restrict the incoming Nd5, when contrary to the analysts I feel that he keeps a long-term edge, but nothing to quickly break the enemy position into pieces like in the game.

Nov-30-20  Petrosianic: <Malfoy>: <Petrosianic, you are quite right, but when your interlocutor refuses to talk about chess and goes on arguing on a personal note you are left with nothing but speaking his language.>

I know what you mean. Still, it doesn't help much just to hear that one move is better than another. I need to understand why. The move with the highest eval is not necessarily the best for a person to play. And if a move gives enormous practical chances, that are theoretically soluble, but probably not in the short span of a game, then saying it "throws away" the win is maybe an exaggeration. (Maybe not, if a4 wins much more easily).

Now, if it's the case that Black can draw by force after Nxd7, but not after a4, then all bets are off. But I'd want to see first that he really can draw by force.

Nov-30-20  Malfoy: <Petrosianic: Still, it doesn't help much just to hear that one move is better than another. I need to understand why.>

Perfect, me too. Actually I too don't like all those tons of computer lines without any comment and during their discussion my contribution was limited to suggesting ideas, plans and setups without resorting to detailed computer analysis in my turn. Let it be clear once and for all: that Fischer "threw the win" by playing 22.Nxd7 is a claim I reported, not that I share it. It indeed made a sensational case and ultimately won the game, though not without ups and downs, contrary to the other myth of Fischer's "crystal-clear play", but most probably *is not* (present tense) the best move in the position, because it allows Black too much freedom: preserving a clear space advantage and a dominating knight counts for more than forcing a "Fischer's endgame" at a stage in which a definite outcome is still far away. At least this is what *I* conclude when trying to extract concepts from that endless analysis before I fall asleep. If *you* try the same task you may well get a different picture.

<if it's the case that Black can draw by force after Nxd7, but not after a4, then all bets are off. But I'd want to see first that he really can draw by force.>

Well, here it is a matter of perspective. Over decades 22.Nxd7 has been surrounded by a halo of exclamation marks, but the point is: does it really deserve such hype, objectively? From this perspective it is up to White to demonstrate at least a decisive advantage, if not a win, since after 22.a4 I find it much more difficult to give Black some good advice, given how passive his pieces are left.

I repeat it: in both cases I find it premature to speak of a winning plan, so to me the article's claim is exaggerated, but I agree that after 22.Nxd7 White has much more trouble keeping things under control than after 22.a4.

Nov-30-20  Petrosianic: <Malfoy>: <,,,after 23...d4! the capture on a6 is no longer a threat: 24.Bxa6 d3 and suddenly the black rooks become incredibly active.>

Well, let's look at the obvious first. Say White goes right after the pawn. 23...d4 24. Rc6 Nd5 25. a3 Nf4

That doesn't work. Black actually looks better already if White is <that> impetuous.

But it does look like the use of d5 is one of the advantages of d4. White has to guard against both Nb4 and Nf4 (and maybe even Ne3).

However, whether or not White can improve on this will take some study. Maybe Ra5.

You know, I don't suppose there's any chance that after 23...d4 24. Ra5 Nd5 that Fischer would have played 25. Bxh7?, is there? He's done that kind of thing before, you know.

Nov-30-20  Malfoy: <Petrosianic: But it does look like the use of d5 is one of the advantages of d4. White has to guard against both Nb4 and Nf4 (and maybe even Ne3).>

Indeed it does! Also Nc3 is a possibility, as like Ne3 it guards the d-pawn promotion square, attacks the a-pawn and from there Black can sometimes offer the pawn sacrifice Nb5 in order to possibly jump back to c7 helping the defence. It is precisely because of such possibilities that, if no direct initiative succeeds (see below), I'd rather consolidate the pawn structure with a3 and g3 in the first place.

<However, whether or not White can improve on this will take some study. Maybe Ra5.>

24.Ra5 is another of the direct tries which, as far as I can see, fail to yield what they promise, but it seems a critical one: 24...Nd5 (nonetheless) 25.b5 Nf4 26.Bf1 d3 27.Rxa6!? is the mainline given in the Chessbase article, when according to the commentator both 27...Rxa6 and 27...Rb8!? should give Black equality in the long run, but it is a lengthy line with a number of deviations, like many others in the analysis, so everything should be looked at carefully. You know, every long analysis contains at least one mistake... However the Leitmotiv is the usual one: Black disdains his a6 pawn and concentrates on central counterplay.

<You know, I don't suppose there's any chance that after 23...d4 24. Ra5 Nd5 that Fischer would have played 25. Bxh7?, is there? He's done that kind of thing before, you know.>

LOL! Actually he would do that kind of thing months later, in the subsequent match :-)

Dec-01-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Malfoy,

I would not put myself down as a 'Fischerite.' more of chess player who despairs everytime some saviour of the game (this time a renowned endgame expert no less.) shows us the way.

You mentioned Tal and his unsound combinations. They won because the OTB problems he set his opponents were too difficult to solve over the board. This is part of the game. Trickery, sleight of hand, playing the man, getting into positions you like or where you can give full rein to your imagination. Practical OTB play.

The reknowned endgame expert agrees with me/us/everyone. He wrote:

"From a practical point of view it [22.Nxd7+] has merit as White's strategy is now very clear: he will use the white-squared bishop to put Black under pressure – and Fischer liked to play and excelled in bishop vs knight endgames. In a practical game and with the clock ticking it is very difficult to hold Black's position after 22.Nxd7+"

He is 100% correct. Clear strategy, Fischer's Bishop v Knight ending, the clock ticking, difficult to hold position. This is what Fischer saw.

To look at the game with a cold unthinking, unblinking computer claiming it is solving riddles - (what riddle? The lad himself summed it up in that excellent paragraph why Fischer played it.)

What follows is typical computer Sat Nav analysis by a machine telling us how to get from A to B without considering the experience of the driver, the weather, the state of the road or would we like the scenic route.

And this leads us to, all previous comments and !'s should be 'thrown into the sink'. I think the computer analysis should be tossed in the sink, the plug pulled and sink steralised.

On a personal level when I first saw the game not long after it was played I could not see what all fuss was about. Fischer is chopping wood to get tore in the IQP that is what Tarrasch (my hero - not a Fischerite.) told us to do. As you get better you see the full reasoning, but even now I'd not put it up there amongst the best 50 moves ever played.

Yes it is one of the most famous moves ever played, but so is Bxh2 in game one of Fischer-Spassky '72.

If the internet was up and running then I'd have posted something like my mate offramp did.

Fischer vs Petrosian, 1971 (kibitz #281)

"I read that after Fischer's 22.Nxd7!!!! that Najdorf ran onto the street screaming; Tal tried to set fire to the board with a blowtorch; Bronstein rang the Argentinean High Commission and recited a Kurt Schwitters poem, and Larsen sat in the corner of the room saying Da-da da-da da-da..."

(just re-read your post, you said 'apparently thrown in the sink'. OK I'll let you off.)

***

Dec-01-20  Petrosianic: <Sally Simpson>: <They won because the OTB problems he set his opponents were too difficult to solve over the board. This is part of the game. Trickery, sleight of hand, playing the man, getting into positions you like or where you can give full rein to your imagination. Practical OTB play.>

Yes, it just seems a little odd coming from Fischer, who was less prone to that kind of play than most. Remember, they said that Fischer played like a computer before that was a compliment.

If 22. Nxd7+ was a good move, then, from a practical point of view at least, 21...Bd7 was probably a bad one. Perhaps Black should have tried Re7, h6, or something like that.

Dec-01-20  Malfoy: <Sally Simpson: I would not put myself down as a 'Fischerite.'>

I did not put you down as such, either. I was referring to others. However I find way more interesting your previous message, <devoid of sarcasm>, as I told both to you and to <SChesshevsky>, a reply of mine to which you might have overlooked:

<IMHO the problem is the confusion between over-the-board verdict and objective truth: the first is the one that counts for history and greatness, and it is undisputable, while the latter can and must be revised over time and it can sometimes plainly contradict the former, but it should never be taken as a sort of attack to the memory of the giants on whose shoulders we walk.>

Dec-01-20  Malfoy: <Petrosianic:
If 22. Nxd7+ was a good move, then, from a practical point of view at least, 21...Bd7 was probably a bad one. Perhaps Black should have tried Re7, h6, or something like that.>

As I wrote somewhere earlier, I think that 21...Bd7 in itself was not bad, but it was part of an overall faulty plan, which started with the previous 20...Rea7 and, had White played 22.a4, maybe had its point in 22...a5 23.b5 Rc7, though analysis shows that after 24.Rc1 it fails tactically and just leaves Black with a hopeless position, so Black would have had to switch to rather depressing alternatives like 22...Bc6, 22...Bc8, 22...g6 etc. If Petrosian had really expected 22.a4, as Kasparov maintains, then 22.Nxd7 must have been shocking for him, hence its enormous over-the-board value.

Dec-01-20  Petrosianic: I may be misjudging the position myself, but I just don't like 22. a4 that much. It seems premature. White can't get b5 in yet, and I'd like to keep the option of protecting the b pawn with a3 in my pocket a little longer.
Dec-01-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Malfroy,

I did see that post but did not comment on it as my views are well known and I agree.

"...the problem is the confusion between over-the-board verdict and objective truth..."

We are on the same page here and agree, but I explain it better! :)

The truth is the final result. In this case 1-0. It is bland computer based conjecture that causes the confusion.

Human assesment on the why and how what happened is best because most of us have been there. We fall back on OTB experience and can give valid reasons why such a move was played.

A computer has the bare score and none of the baggage a human v human game brings. You cannot even give it a simple instruction like one player is in time trouble, so analyse accordingly. It can't.

This is not getting to the truth, it is a total misuse of a chess computer. A waste of time and sadly all too common from people who should really know better.

(Here I'm thinking our 'acknowledged endgame expert' has got the hump because of endgame tablebases - what are they up to now. 8 pieces, 9 pieces? His world is crumbling. Who needs him and his books when a tablebase is a click of the mouse away. So he picks on the late middlegame, where he is not an acknowledged expert...but thinks his computer is. ;) )

***

Dec-01-20  Petrosianic: <The truth is the final result. In this case 1-0. It is bland computer based conjecture that causes the confusion.>

You're committing The Fallacy of Division here, claiming that what's true of the whole is true of each individual part. If that were true, then EVERY White move in the game would deserve two exclams.

Dec-01-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi Petrosianic,

I've been committing the Fallacy of Division my whole life. I cannot change now.

These computers are doing new tricks...and I'm an old dog.

***

Dec-02-20  Malfoy: <Petrosianic: I may be misjudging the position myself, but I just don't like 22. a4 that much. It seems premature. White can't get b5 in yet, and I'd like to keep the option of protecting the b pawn with a3 in my pocket a little longer.>

I find your objections reasonable. However, the point of 22.a4 is simply to avoid Bb5, while at the same time gaining further space. As I already wrote, to me the position does not seem ripe for decisive actions yet, whatever White plays, but a decision must be made: either you bank on your space advantage, so you play to increase it and keep the black pieces as passive as possible, or you play for a trade of advantages, like Bobby did, and accept to significantly relieve Black's lack of room in exchange for the long-term advantage of the better minor piece, which adds to the other one given by better pawn structure. In the game, Black's only remaining chance to equality was a change in dynamics, but he didn't find the way to it.

Dec-02-20  Malfoy: <Sally Simpson:
The truth is the final result. In this case 1-0. It is bland computer based conjecture that causes the confusion.

Human assesment on the why and how what happened is best because most of us have been there. We fall back on OTB experience and can give valid reasons why such a move was played.

A computer has the bare score and none of the baggage a human v human game brings. You cannot even give it a simple instruction like one player is in time trouble, so analyse accordingly. It can't.

This is not getting to the truth, it is a total misuse of a chess computer. A waste of time and sadly all too common from people who should really know better.>

I disagree almost entirely, though I suspect that this is a highly subjective matter. IMHO games like this should be part of the cultural background of any decent player, but let us forget this for a moment. Let us suppose that you are a trainer and that you propose this position to one of your pupils as a (indeed high-level) decision-making test: it doesn't matter at all who played it or in which clock situation or stage of the match or whatever other conditions. You let him think over it, then discuss the answer with him. Objective truth of the position is what really counts, in whatever way it is established, and the deeper you analyze the better the quality of the test and of your training task.

You may say you don't like all those tons of computer lines without any human justification, and I would promptly agree, I don't like them too. But then we should throw into the sink (eh eh!) things like Kasparov's analyses on his MGP series, the vast majority of Dvoretsky's books and of his pupils like Aagaard, or even Hubner's nightmare ones on Chess Informator, long before the computer era.

I am an old fox too, and working analytically on my own games has been my default self-training method for ages: being pretty self-critical I have always been revising my own notes over time, it helps me a lot to appreciate how my chess understanding proceeds with more knowledge and experience; being also an IT professional, overall I rate the advent of computer analysis tools very positively, though initially I would not accept at all that they could refute the evaluations of a seasoned FM, let alone those of my idols. Today I think they are an invaluable help, but a thing I do agree with you is that how they are used counts.

Dec-02-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi Malfoy,

Although you say you disagree almost entirely I agree with:

"Let us suppose that you are a trainer..."

That is what you use these things for training and looking for TN's where you will have to nudge the thing to the position you want it to look at and then YOU! decide whether or not you can handle the coming positions. (of course you could play v the thing and good luck with that.)

And the background of a game matters, it helps you to understand why such a move was played, he needed a win, he wanted a draw, time trouble, this was not a blunder he set a trap he saw the refutation but went for it anyway.

Ideally you let it run over your own games seeing if you missed a tactic or two - it won't tell you why you missed it, but it can point it out.

Do you think active players waste there time leaving a computer running over old games on the chance it may find better moves.

(those that cannot think up a fresh idea for an article do - as I said before it is a cop out, look at what my computer has found, anybody could do it. Me and you could have done that ChessBase article and neither of us is an 'acknowledged Endgame expert' - what ever that is.)

No they will look at old games to see if they themselves can spot something - before 1990 this is what all players did and chess pre-1990 produced some fantastic players.

Now days a computer will confirm or deny their analysis, this is the correct use of a computer.

Not grabbing a game, claiming there is a riddle attached to it and then butcher it. The tool is not being used correctly and this type of article is all too common. A waste of time, space and the little amount of energy the writer put into it.

in this case this game it has one good instructive moment. 'don't be dogmatic about not trading pieces on good squares v pieces on bad squares, you are trading one advantage for another - pure Steinitz.

Then the strength of Rooks on the 7th, going for positions you know you can handle. But there are dozens of other better games to use as examples.

The Kasparov Series.
At first I very dubious Kasparov's MGP series. I'd be looking at games I have already seen but this time with Fritz vomit all over them.

But I got the set very very cheap (£10 the lot) and they read very well. The analysis is skipped, not interested. More interested in what the great man himself has to say regarding chess and positions. His comments and the reasoning why a move was played, without any analysis, are invaluable.

The best writers use very little analysis, they explain things human to human rather than a page of splurge ending in +0.89. (90% - 100% of long computer analysis in books and on forums never gets played out - a complete waste of time.)

Another great thing about the pre-90's era. It produced some wonderful books and it has a proven track record of helping to produce some great players.

There is lot of computer riddled tripe out there today where the 'author' has plugged in a computer and added very little comment wise.

You think to yourself, how did that take to write?

***

Dec-02-20  Malfoy: <Sally Simpson: That is what you use these things for training and looking for TN's where you will have to nudge the thing to the position you want it to look at and then YOU! decide whether or not you can handle the coming positions.>

Well, "the thing" is useful also in different contexts. No need to be a GM to spot 23...d4 by myself as a reasonable try to save Black. Nice dynamic idea, but does it work? You could setup a calculation test out of it, you could just enjoy studying its developments (this is my case), or... you could write an article around it asking the readers' help to solve a riddle :-) In all these cases too "the thing" happens to be quite helpful in order to double check your thoughts. OK, I would have written that bloody "Solution to the Riddle" quite differently, so THAT is the problem, not "the thing" nor post-90 top players nor post-90 books (one for all: "Learn from the Chess Legends" by Mihail Marin).

Dec-02-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<offramp> During games, humans have very different 'event horizons' to a computer. A human will sometimes calculate 5 moves in advance then assess that future position. Computers don't do that, they simply continue calculating in the hope of reaching a Tablebase win/draw.>

Aaaah, this discussion thread seems interesting, so pardon me for butting in. But I don't understand your statement. A human chess player will calculate as many moves in advance as he/she is capable of calculating, sometimes more than 5 and sometimes less than 5. And when we do that we take into account the time that we think we have available before having to make a move, considering the number of moves we still have to make before reaching the time control.

Computers do exactly the same thing, and determining how much time they can devote to calculating their next move is the responsibility of the chess engines' Time Management function. And, like humans, sometimes computers get it wrong and lose on time.

But computers don't "hope" and they only have a certain amount of time to devote to calculating what their next move should be. Even when doing infinite analysis when their Time Management function is effectively turned off, they will continue to calculate until commanded to stop by their human overseer or until they crash due to a software bug, a hardware malfunction, a power outage, or some other sinister virus that only affects silicon units.

And, while calculating, they relatively seldom reach positions within the realm of their tablebases, unless the position, either the one in the actual game or one that has arisen during its move search, has reached the realm of their tablebases. So, possible goals aside, the vast majority of the time they decide which move to play based on their evaluation of the lines it has investigated and not a tablebase result.

Humans don't do things much differently, particularly in endgames. In an endgame, if we are not exactly sure how to proceed, we continue playing in the "hope" that we will arrive at an endgame position that we know is either a win or a draw, depending on our goal at this point in the game. So you could consider our human knowledge of which endgames are won, which are drawn, and how to achieve our desired result as our "tablebases". And the top players have much larger "tablebases" than the rest of us.

Dec-02-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<offramp> Computers use blunt calculation to evaluate a move, so they will always play the move with the highest evaluation. Humans have shown that these are not always the best.>

<Sally Simpson> and I have had many discussions along these lines. First of all, <offramp>, you are right, but you left out who the computer's and the human's opponents were. Moves that might be "best" in a game between humans may not be "best" in a game between computers.

And humans seldom play against computers, at least not at the top level, because the outcome is a foregone conclusion in a game played without odds given to the human, either in terms of material, time, or both. So, if we're talking about chess games at the top levels, we're effectively talking about games between computers and games between humans.

In games between humans the "best" move to play, particularly when the game seems likely to be lost, is the move that gives the best practical chances to either salvage a draw, convert a likely loss to a possible win, or delay the likely loss as long as possible in order to give the opponent more chances to make a mistake. If it turns out that the move made is not objectively the best and it reduces the number of moves that the opponent needs in order to win, it's not a great loss since the game was likely lost anyway.

And in a game likely to be won in either human vs. human or computer vs. computer, the "best" move(s) are those which realize the win or achieve a clearly drawn position in the shortest number of move. Oh, you and I might prefer the move that has the greatest appeal and is most emotionally satisfying, even though it might then take more moves for the player to win. But in a game between humans, that "not best" move entails some risk since there is a possibility of a mistake made by the player on the way to the win, particularly if the winning line is complicated. Whether that greater appeal compensates for the risk is a decision to be made by us humans (computers wouldn't do that), but I think that in most games between top human players, particularly if their time is short and there's a large amount of prize money involved, that the top human player will likely select the move(s) leading to the shortest win, or at least the move(s) with the least amount of risk to achieve the desired results.

In a game between computers using classic chess engines (i.e. those that use iterative deepening and minimax) the "best" move to play is the move that has the highest evaluation, even if it's only 1 centipawn. What other move should it play? There is no advantage for it to play a move other than the "best" move since if the engine doesn't do so its opponent will likely find the best reply and might convert a likely lost position to a likely draw or even a likely win, or cause the likely win to be delayed.

Of course, the "best" move that the engine determines might not objectively be the best. The engine's evaluation function might have a flaw that causes it to misevaluate the position, or the time available to determine the "best" move might not be enough to perform a sufficiently deep search to verify that indeed the move with the highest evaluation is indeed the "best". You can see that when a computer's ranking of its best moves changes from search ply to search ply, particularly in complicated positions.

With chess engines, typically neural network-based engines like AlphaZero, LeelaC0, and hybrids like Komodo MCTS) that don't always use iterative deepening and minimax but instead use MCTS (Monte Carlo Tree Search) which determines the probability of scoring (win or draw) for each of the candidate moves being considered, typically based on the simulation of many games from that position. So in this case, probabilities being what they are, it is possible that the move that indicates the largest scoring probability is not objectively the "best" move to play, particularly if there is not enough time available for it to play a sufficient number of simulated games in order for the results of the simulations to be statistically somewhat valid.

Dec-02-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<offramp> There is one thing that clever GMs don't do, though, and that is waste time deciding between two lines which have a tiny difference in evaluation between them.>

Here is a newsflash for you: Computers also don't waste their time deciding between two lines which have a tiny difference in evaluation between them, and they haven't done that for decades, going back to the 1960s and possibly earlier. Alpha-beta pruning incorporated into chess engines about that time eliminates from consideration those lines that are <guaranteed> not have significantly better evaluations than the lines already considered, and search tree pruning heuristics eliminate many more lines from consideration. That's why the top chess engines, primarily Stockfish, can reach large search depths relatively quickly, much more quickly (by several orders of magnitude) than if they attempted to evaluate every possible line.

And, once <only> the most promising lines have been evaluated, determining which line has the best evaluation among those probably takes much less than a microsecond. So there isn't very much time "wasted".

Really, you should acquire a better understanding of how computers and chess engines work before you attempt to so "confidently" make pronouncements about what they do.

Dec-02-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***
Hi AylerKupp,

Yes we have had many discussions on this subject. You are always welcome.

My chief anti computer stance is always the same. Yes used correctly, a valuable tool.

Though studying the game without one also works. It works better IMO. A book, board and a quiet place to study. Bliss!

If computers are so good at improving players and turning them into GM's then were are they?

One or two gifted individuals appear and climb up through the ranks but the vast majority of these people who claim it's the 8th wonder of the world have not improved at all.

It's all a con, a ploy to get money out of them. That Nigerian Prince must be kicking himself for not thinking of this 'Get Good Quick' scheme first.

---

Hi Malfoy,

I think I'd have been more impressed if the lad (our endgame expert) had showed us one his own 'bread and butter' games.

A standard game, not a wonderful brillo, a bog standard game that the good guys turn up and play without breaking sweat.

Where he saw from the middle game what kind of ending he was heading for and how he chopped the right pieces to get there and a few nuances in the ending.

Good players talking about their own games are much more beneficial because they did not use a computer during the game so they have no need to use one when explaining what was going on in their mind.

It's when people start looking at other players games the computer comes out and it takes over often sending the reader down a path neither player considered and the deeper it goes the more adrift from reality they become.

This is either sheer laziness or the writer cannot explain what is happening in a coherent manner so they squirt the reader with computer gunk knowing the reader cannot complain because this is what they expect (and sadly want)

If by the slimmest of small chances somebody actually plays over a computer variation and finds a flaw the 'author' can blame the computer.

I asked AylerKupp if computers are so good then where are all the GM's. We should be tripping over them on every forum.

However Chess authors have suddenly appeared in the 100's. It's easy. Grab a game, any famous game, they are copyright free don't you know.

Feed it into a computer, gush and fawn about the good moves it finds, drop clichés on the bad moves, it cannot point out bad or plausible human moves, it's a machine, so look for the human moves that the computer gives a lower eval to.

Add in a funny anecdote about either player and cha-ching.

***

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