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Joseph Sentef vs Cray Blitz (Computer)
Mississippi State Championship (1981), Mississippi USA, rd 4, Sep-??
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Queen's Knight Variation (A16)  ·  0-1



Annotations by NN.      [53 more games annotated by NN]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-28-08  jerseybob: Why not 28.Rf1 right away? I'm not sure I get Bf3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: An historic game. The annotation states this was the first tournament game won by a computer over a master.

<jerseybob> At move 28, Fritz indicates White has a choice of several winning continuations.

Here are Fritz's top three choices: (10.29) (21 ply) 28.c4 Bd7 29.cxd5 exd5 30.Bxd5; (8.03) (20 ply) 28.Rf1 Kc7 29.Qe5+ Kd7 30.Qg5 Kc6 31.e4; (7.22) (20 ply) 28.Qg5 Kc7 29.Rf1 Qd8 30.Rf7.

Sentef's choice 28.Bf3 was also winning: (5.63) (20 ply) 28.Bf3 Kc7 29.c4 Bd7 30.cxd5+.

At move 30, the game score appears to be incorrect. Sentef's 30.Bg2?? allows 30...Nxf6. It seems unlikely that Sentef would have missed this, and certainly Cray Blitz would not have missed taking the queen.

I think it is probable that instead of 30.Bg2??, Sentef actual played 30.Qg5, then the game continuation of 30...Qe7 31.Qg6 is logical.

At move 34, Sentef had clear winning continuations with: (3.15) (18 ply) 34.Bg2 Bd7 35.Qb1 Re8 36.Qb4+ Kc7 37.Qxb7+, or (2.83) (18 ply) 34.c4 Bd7 35.c5+ Kc7 36.d5 Rdd8 37.d6+.

Instead of these winning continuations, Sentef played for simplification, and gave up most of his advantage: 34.Qg3? Qxg3 35.hxg3 Bd7 36.Rf8 Rc8, (.46) (23 ply) 37.Bh7 Rxc3 38.Rxg8 Rxg3+ 39.Kf2

At move 37, an alternative move 37.Rxc8 leads to a draw after: (.96) (23 ply) 37.Rxc8 Bxc8 38.Bh7 Ne7 39.Kf2 e5 40.g8Q Nxg8 41.Bxg8, (.81) (24 ply) 41...exd4! 42.cxd4 b5 43.Kf3 a5 44.g4 a4 45.g5 b4 46.Ke4 b3 47.Bxb3 axb3.

Cray Blitz could have made a draw clear with: (.06) (21 ply) 40...e5 41.Bxb7 Be6 42.Rd8+ Ke7 43.Ra8 exd4 44.Rxa7 Kf6.

Instead, after 40...b6, White has a little advantage in the following interesting line: 41.Ke3 e5, (.48) (20 ply) 42.Bf5! Rxf5 43.Rd8 exd4+ 44.Kxd4 Rd5+ 45.Kc3 Rc5+ 46.Kb2 Rb5 47.Ka1 Rg5 48.g8Q Rxg8 49.Rxg8, and this ending should be a draw.

Instead of 42.Bf5!, Sentef played 42.Ra8, giving Black a slight advantage. At move 43, Sentef could have played to trade off Black's last pawn, with a likely draw by: 43.Bf3! exd4+ 44.Kxd4 Be6 45.Rxa7 Rxf3 46.a4, (-.25) (22 ply) 46...Rf4+ 47.Ke3 Rg4 48.Ra6 Rxg7 49.Rxb6+.

Instead of 43.Bf3!, Sentef erred with 43.Kf2?. After 43.Kf2? Rxg7 44.dxe5+ Kxe5 45.Bf3 Be6, White still had drawing chances with 46.Re8! (-1.29) (23 ply) 19...Kf6 20.Rf8+, or (-1.22) (23 ply) 19...Kd6 20.a3. Additional analysis is needed to determine if White can draw after 46.Re8!.

After 46.a4? Rf7! 47.Ke3?, Sentef was clearly lost. At move 47, White's best try is 47.Re8 Kd6 48.Ke3 Bd7 49.Rg8 Bxa4, but Black is winning in this position.

Nov-30-09  RandomVisitor: White appears to have a strong position, from 19...Ba3? to 37.Bh7, and failed to secure the point.

Robert Hyatt reports that white was under time pressure through most of the critical periods of the game. At move 37, white had 14 moves to make in less than 8 minutes in order meet the time control.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Cray Blitz was doing ok until 13...Qd7?. A good alternative was: (-.60) (18 ply) 13...Bd7 14.Rb1 Qc7 15.Nf3 Rac8, or (-.60) (18 ply) 13...Qc7 14.Nf3 Nc4.

The unnatural 13...Qd7? took away the square that should have been reserved for his bishop, and at the same time removed the protection for the knight on a5.

White could have taken immediate advantage of 13...Qd7?, with 14.Nxe6! Qxe6 15.Qb5 Bd7 16.Qxa5.

After White missed 14.Nxe6, and played 14.Bd2?, Black should have replied with 14...Qa4!: (-.73) (21 ply) 14...Qa4! 15.Nf3 Bd7 16.Rfb1, (-.83) (20 ply) a6 17.c4 Nxc4 18.Rxb7 Rfb8 19.Rxb8+ Rxb8.

On his 15th move, White could have played (.14) (20 ply) 15.e4 Nxd2 16.exf5! Rxf5 17.Qd2, with about an equal game. Instead of 15.e4, White preserved his bishop by 15.Bc1, and after 15...Qa4 16.g4! h6 17.gxf5, he obtained a dangerous attack.

After 17.gxf5, Black should have tried (.00) (21 ply) 17...Rxf5 18.e4 dxe4 19.Nxe4 Bd7 20.Rb1 Bc6, with about an equal position. After 17...hxg5 18.fxg5 White had some advantage: (.37) (22 ply) 18...g6 19.f6 Kf7

Black's 18...Ba3?? was a serious error which gave White a winning position. A very strong reply for White would have been: (3.52) (18 ply) 19.Bxa3! Qxa3 20.Qh3! Nd2 21.g6, but White was also clearly winning in the game continuation: 19.g6 Bxc1 20.Raxc1 Nd6 21.Qh3.

Nov-30-09  RandomVisitor: Hopefully, the following analysis will add to what <Pawn and Two> has already contributed. Let's see what Rybka 3 thinks at 3 minutes a move:

Joseph Sentef (2262) - Cray Blitz (Computer)

Mississippi State Championship 0:49:24-1:22:54, 1981

[Rybka 3 ]

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 c6 3.Nf3 d5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.d4 Nc6 6.g3 last book move

6...Ne4 0.20/18
7.Bg2 0.14/19 Nxc3 0.38/22
[Rybka 3 : 7...g6 8.Bf4 Bg7 9.Qb3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 0-0 11.0-0 Na5 12.Qb4 f6 13.Nd2 e5 14.Be3 Rf7 15.Rad1 Nc6 16.Qb3 e4= 0.14/19 ]

8.bxc3 0.38/19 e6 0.38/19
9.0-0= 0.20/19
[Rybka 3 : 9.Bf4 Bd6 10.Bxd6 Qxd6 11.Qd3 0-0 12.0-0 f6 13.Rfe1 Bd7 14.e4 Rac8 15.Nd2 b6 16.exd5 exd5 17.Nf1 Rfe8 18.Ne3 0.38/19 ]

9...Bd6 0.60/19
[Rybka 3 : 9...Be7 10.Nd2 Qa5 11.Bb2 0-0 12.e4 dxe4 13.Bxe4 f5 14.Nc4 Qc7 15.Bg2 b5 16.Ne5 Bb7 17.Re1 Na5 18.Bxb7 Qxb7 19.Qf3 Qd5= 0.20/19 ]

10.Qc2= 0.25/18
[Rybka 3 : 10.Nd2 Qa5 11.Bb2 Be7 12.c4 0-0 13.Nb3 0.60/19 ]

10...0-0 0.57/18
[Rybka 3 : 10...Qc7 11.e4 h6 12.Bd2 0-0 13.c4 dxc4 14.Qxc4 Bd7 15.d5 b5 16.Qxb5 exd5 17.Qxd5 Be6 18.Qh5 Rab8 19.Rfd1 Rfd8 20.Rac1 Qb7= 0.25/18 ]

11.Ng5 0.35/20
[Rybka 3 : 11.e4 h6 12.Nd2 Be7 13.Rb1 Qc7 14.Qd3 Rd8 15.Nb3 b6 16.Re1 Bb7 17.exd5 exd5 18.Bf4 Qd7 0.57/18 ]

11...f5 0.35/19
12.f4 -0.39/20
[Rybka 3 : 12.c4 Nxd4 13.Qd3 h6 14.Qxd4 hxg5 15.Bb2 Qe7 16.cxd5 e5 17.Qe3 Bd7 18.Rac1 g4 19.Rc2 Rac8 20.Rfc1 Rxc2 21.Rxc2 b6 22.Qb3 Rc8 23.Rxc8+ Bxc8 24.Qc4 0.35/19 ]

12...Na5 -0.31/19
13.Qd3 -0.53/19
[Rybka 3 : 13.Nf3 Bd7 14.Ne5 Rc8 15.Bd2 Qc7 16.Rfb1 b6 17.a4 Bxe5 18.fxe5 h6 19.Bh1 Nc4 20.Bf4 Bc6 21.Rf1 -0.31/19 ]

13...Qd7 0.80/20
[Rybka 3 : 13...Bd7 14.Rb1 Rc8 15.Nf3 b6 16.Ne5 Qc7 17.Rf3 Nc4 18.Qd1 Be7 19.Qd3 Bc6 20.Bd2 Ba8 21.Bc1 -0.53/19 ]

14.Bd2 -0.64/19
[Rybka 3 : 14.Nxe6 Qxe6 15.Qb5 Bd7 16.Qxa5 b5 17.a4 a6 18.Ba3 Bxa3 19.Rxa3 Bc6 20.Bf3 Rfd8 21.axb5 Bxb5 22.Re1 Rac8 23.Rb3 Rd6 24.Kg2 Rd7 25.Rbb1 Rdc7 0.80/20 ]

14...Nc4 0.28/19
[Rybka 3 : 14...Qa4 15.g4 -0.64/19 ]

15.Bc1 -0.57/20
[Rybka 3 : 15.e4 fxe4 16.Nxe4 Qf7 17.Nxd6 Nxd6 18.Bc1 Nc4 19.Re1 Bd7 20.a4 Rfe8 21.a5 Bb5 22.Qc2 Rac8 23.Ba3 Nxa3 24.Rxa3 Re7 0.28/19 ]

15...Qa4= 0.00/21
[Rybka 3 : 15...Qc7 16.Nf3 Bd7 17.Rb1 Rac8 18.Ne5 b6 19.Bh1 Be7 20.Bd2 Rfd8 21.Be1 Be8 22.Bf3 Nxe5 23.fxe5 Qc4 24.Bd2 -0.57/20 ]

16.g4 -0.01/19 h6 0.00/20
17.gxf5 0.00/19 hxg5 0.49/19
[Rybka 3 : 17...Rxf5 18.e4 Rf8 19.Nf3 dxe4 20.Qxe4 Bd7 21.Ne5 Bb5 22.Ng4 Bc6 23.Qxe6+ Kh8 24.Qe2 Rae8 25.Bxc6 Qxc6 26.Qg2 Qd7 27.Ne5 Bxe5 28.fxe5 Rxf1+ 29.Qxf1 Qg4+ 30.Kh1 Qe4+ 31.Kg1 Qg4+ 32.Kh1 Qe4 0.00/19 ]

18.fxg5 0.29/16 Ba3? 3.72/18
[Rybka 3 : 18...Qe8 19.g6 exf5 20.Bxd5+ 0.29/16 ]

Nov-30-09  RandomVisitor: continued:

19.g6 2.92/18 Bxc1 2.92/18
20.Raxc1 2.76/16 Nd6 3.72/20
[Rybka 3 : 20...Qe8 21.Qh3 Rxf5 22.Rxf5 exf5 23.Bxd5+ Kf8 24.Qh8+ Ke7 25.Qxg7+ Kd6 26.e4 Nd2 27.Qf6+ Be6 28.Qe5+ Kd7 29.exf5 Bxd5 30.Qxd5+ Kc7 31.Kh1 Ne4 32.g7 Nf2+ 2.76/16 ]

21.Qh3 3.52/19 Rxf5 3.72/19
22.Qh7+ 3.52/19 Kf8 3.52/19
23.Qh8+ 3.52/19 Ke7 3.52/18
24.Qxg7+ 3.52/19 Kd8 3.14/18
25.Rxf5 2.68/17 Nxf5 2.94/17
26.Qf6+ 2.75/17 Ne7? 6.37/14
[Rybka 3 : 26...Kc7 27.Qe5+ Kb6 28.e4 Ne3 29.Qd6+ Ka5 30.g7 Bd7 31.Rb1 b6 32.Rb3 Nc4 33.Qf8 Rxf8 34.gxf8Q Qxa2 35.Qb4+ Ka6 36.exd5 exd5 37.Bxd5 Na5 38.Bc4+ Kb7 39.Qe7 Kc8 40.Be6 Bxe6 41.Qxe6+ Kd8 2.75/17 ]

27.g7 6.21/14 Qe8 5.60/15
28.Bf3 4.96/18
[Rybka 3 : 28.c4 8.54/12 ]

28...Kd7 5.13/17
29.Rf1 4.96/15 Ng8 6.39/17
30.Qg5 4.79/21
[Rybka 3 : 30.Qf8 7.61/14 Nh6 31.Bg4]

30...Qe7 4.79/20
31.Qg6 4.40/17 Kd6 4.97/17
32.e4 4.91/15 dxe4 6.13/14
33.Bxe4? 3.73/19
[Rybka 3 : 33.Qg3+ e5 6.13/14 ]

33...Qh4 3.74/17
34.Qg3+? 0.84/27
[Rybka 3 : 34.Bg2 Bd7 35.Qb1 Re8 36.Qb4+ Kc7 37.Qxb7+ Kd8 38.Qb8+ Ke7 39.Qb4+ Kd8 40.Qa5+ Ke7 41.Qc5+ Kd8 42.c4 Qh6 43.Qe5 Qg6 44.h4 Nh6 45.h5 Qg4 46.Rf8 Qd1+ 47.Bf1 Kc8 48.Rxe8+ Bxe8 49.Qxe6+ 3.74/17 ]

34...Qxg3+ 0.84/28
35.hxg3 0.84/27 Bd7 0.94/26
36.Rf8 0.94/26 Rc8 0.94/24
37.Bh7= 0.20/27
[Rybka 3 : 37.Bxb7 Re8 38.c4 Ke7 39.c5 Bb5 40.c6 Rxf8 41.gxf8Q+ Kxf8 42.c7 Bd7 43.c8Q+ Bxc8 44.Bxc8 Ke7 45.Kf2 Kd6 46.g4 e5 47.dxe5+ Kxe5 48.Kg3 Ne7 49.Bb7 Kf6 50.Kh4 Ng6+ 51.Kh5 Nf4+ 52.Kh6 0.94/24 ]

37...Rxc3 0.20/26
38.Rxg8 0.20/26 Rxg3+ 0.20/27
39.Kf2 0.20/26 Rg5 0.20/24
40.Be4= 0.05/23
[Rybka 3 : 40.Ke3 Ke7 41.Kf4 Rg1 42.Be4 b6 43.Bf3 a5 44.Bh5= 0.20/24 ]

40...b6= 0.20/24
[Rybka 3 : 40...e5 41.d5 b5 42.Ke3 Ke7 43.Ke2 a5 44.Kf3 Rg4 45.Bc2 Rg5 46.Ke3= 0.05/23 ]

41.Ke3 0.20/24 e5 0.50/24
[Rybka 3 : 41...Ke7 42.Kf4 Rg1 43.Bf3 a5 44.a3 b5 45.Ra8 Rxg7 46.Rxa5 Rg1 47.Ra7 Kd6 48.Ra6+ Ke7 49.Ke5 Rg5+ 50.Ke4 Be8 51.Kf4 Rf5+ 52.Ke3 Rg5 53.d5 exd5 54.Kf4= 0.20/24 ]

42.Ra8 -0.27/25
[Rybka 3 : 42.Bf5 Rxf5 43.Rd8 exd4+ 44.Kxd4 Rd5+ 45.Kc3 Rc5+ 46.Kb2 Rb5+ 47.Ka1 Rg5 48.g8Q Rxg8 49.Rxg8 Bc6 50.Kb2 Bd5 51.Rg6+ Kc5 52.Rg7 a5 53.Ra7 Kc6 54.Ka1 Kc5 55.Kb1 0.50/24 ]

42...Rg3+ -0.24/24
43.Kf2 -1.04/24
[Rybka 3 : 43.Bf3 exd4+ 44.Kxd4 Be6 45.g8Q Bxg8 46.Be4 Rg7 47.Rd8+ Ke7 48.Ra8 Kf6 49.Rf8+ Kg5 50.Rf5+ Kg4 51.Rf1 Rd7+ 52.Ke3 Be6 53.Rg1+ Kh4 54.a4 Rc7 55.Rg6 Bg4 56.Kf4 Rf7+ 57.Ke5 Kg3 58.Rg8= -0.24/24 ]

43...Rxg7 -1.01/22
44.dxe5+ -1.04/27 Kxe5 -1.04/26
45.Bf3 -1.04/25 Be6 -1.04/23
46.a4 -2.31/22
[Rybka 3 : 46.Re8 Kd6 47.a3 Rg8 48.Rxg8 Bxg8 49.Ke3 Bd5 50.Bd1 Kc5 51.Kd3 b5 52.Bc2 Bb7 53.Bb1 a5 54.Kc3 Bd5 55.Bd3 -1.04/23 ]

46...Rf7 -2.12/21
47.Ke3?? -5.77/15
[Rybka 3 : 47.Re8 Kd6 48.Ke3 Bd7 49.Rg8 Bxa4 50.Rg6+ Kc7 51.Bd5 -2.12/21 ]

47...Rxf3+ -5.79/17
48.Kxf3? -#17/14
[Rybka 3 : 48.Kd2 a5 -5.79/17 ]

48...Bd5+ -#16/14
49.Ke3 -#24/13 Bxa8 -#23/12
50.a5 -#23/10 Be4 -#22/11
51.Kd2 -#15/8 Kd4 -#15/11
52.Kc1 -#15/11 b5 -#14/14
53.Kb2 -#15/12 Kc4 -#15/13
54.a6 -#14/10 b4 -#15/10
55.Ka2 -#6/5 Kc3 -#6/4

Dec-02-09  jerseybob: OK Pawn and Two and RandomVisitor, thanks for answering my question. Now go get some sleep!
May-30-18  Caissanist: Since this was the first time a human master lost a tournament game to a computer, the game has been reprinted in many articles and anthologies over the years. Sentef, however, was quite unhappy about losing out on the state championship in this manner, so most game scores identify white as "human".

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