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Boris Alterman vs Deep Fritz (Computer)
"The Alterman Wall" (game of the day Mar-28-2008)
KC Human-Machine (2000), KasparovChess INT, rd 9
Bird Opening: Dutch Variation (A03)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-26-09  WhiteRook48: and I always marvel at it
Jan-27-09  WhiteRook48: 1. f4 is an interesting way to open
Jan-28-09  WhiteRook48: did Alterman have the pawn wall in mind from the beginning?
Jan-29-09  WhiteRook48: how frustrating for Deep Fritz!
Jan-31-09  WhiteRook48: I don't want to set a record, but why 39...Bxb6? it just seems pointless
Feb-04-09  WhiteRook48: this was one of the only games in which a human won
Mar-29-10  gauer: A wall of 6 ♙s on the 4th rank occurs as early as Cochrane vs Mohishunder, 1855.
Oct-01-10  eightbyeight: Whiterook48's wall of short postings is longer than this wall.
Feb-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: 11.Kxe2 is beautiful. It stops the Bishop escaping via c2, and leads to the win of a key central pawn. The computer may have calculated that White's loss of castling rights was adequate compensation, but the King turns out to be safe.

Alterman then plays to snuff out counterplay. As ...f5 is impossible due to Nxe6, he simply leaves the Bishop on e4 until he has to take it, getting in useful prophylactic moves such as b4.

Later we see the same idea repeated: clamp down, create a weakness, extract a concession ... but don't actually cash it in until you've choked the counterplay. Exquis.

Nimzo put it better: Restrain, Blockade, Destroy.

Jan-08-12  King Death: The position after 26.e4 must be unique. The hypermoderns would have approved.
Jan-08-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I thought of S Mariotti vs Gligoric, 1969, but Mariotti only attacked with six pawns in that game. I once saw a game between Bernard Parham and Allen Kornfeld where Kornfeld advanced all his pawns to the fourth rank by move 15 or so. His pawns looked pretty imposing, but he lost.
Jan-08-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < Jan-24-09 WhiteRook48: 26. e4!! is a sign of great superiority >

I agree. Sometimes when I play chess, my opponent likes to built a wall on their 3rd rank. I sometimes do so on my 4th rank. I always break through though (they make blunders).

Jul-06-12  KnightPusher: Hah, I love it. He punked that computer. Still, he might've been sweating after his wall was broken up, after all if he'd gone to all this beautiful trouble and lost it would be a reverse-punking.
Jun-30-13  hudapri: Always very interesting to see where the Achilles heel is. That way of winning the pawn is somehow beyond the machine (although this is from 2000). Great game, and great formation on move 26. Go humans!
Aug-06-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is another wall that I have just come across - A Martin- BO Donahue, Blackpool 1978, after 14. h3:


click for larger view

http://streathambrixtonchess.blogsp...

Jan-22-14  davide2013: It is very interesting to listen GM Alterman commenting this game, because he gives a clear explanation of his ideas behind most moves, and they are based on sound positional principles. It is also great to see how GM Alterman navigates through the middlegame using timeless principles of avoiding the opponent to have counterplay, How he weakens Black's position, and traps the enemy pieces.
Mar-18-14  Cemoblanca: 26.e4!! Wowzy! Wonderful game on both flanks.
Mar-18-14  Cemoblanca: I liked also the moves 38.Qc4!/39.Nd2! & 41.Qe2! Anticipated 38...Bd8/39...Bxb6/40...Nxb6 & without the ladys on the board it was certainly easier for White to win this 1. I really enjoyed the whole concept of White. A strategical masterpiece.
Aug-23-14  Mudphudder: I think this is a good game example of how computers can be weaker than humans in evaluations of closed positions.
Aug-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: The top computers of today would crush the Fritz of 2000. Still a great game.
Nov-11-14  engineerX: Strange decision by Alterman to exchange Black's Queen which was trapped on h5 on move 41. Though of course he was already a piece up.
Nov-30-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Around move 20, I think White starts to see the possibility of having all 8 pawns abreast on the 4th rank. This isn't a plan in any real sense - nobody sets out from the start to do such a thing. But when the possibility comes in sight, it becomes an aesthetic option as much as a practical one.

Very occasionally, imaginative players like Tal allow aesthetic possibilities to trump pragmatic choices.

Here, Fritz suggests 20.a4 -- but 20.Nd2!, clearing a path for the e-pawn, is the aesthetic choice.

Nov-30-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Black's 25...Nb6 seems designed to encourage White to push the 8th pawn. If Black was human, I'd assume this was a psychological ploy -- "Go on, you can't resist having all 8 pawns abreast, can you?".

But Black is an engine. And they don't 'think' like that -- uh, do they?

Feb-02-19  Albanius: 26 e4 threatening f5 was played to exploit the position of the B Q, already intended by W's 23rd move according to Alterman's notes. http://www.balterman.freeservers.co...

He says he didn't even notice the wall at the time.

Feb-02-19  scholes: After white 35 move almost all black pieces were trapped. And since black knight was trapped on open file, it was going to fall soon after white piled queen and rook on a file.
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