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Gerhard Reichenbacher vs Arno Nickel
"Reichenbacher Falls" (game of the day Jan-01-2014)
FRG jub40 qg16 corr8687 (1986) (correspondence), Germany
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Panov Attack. Main Line (E54)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Sherlock Holmes resigned, here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: Reichenbach Falls is where the dastardly Prof. Moriarty met his end at the hands of Sherlock Holmes, only for Holmes to fake his death too in the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short story "The Final Problem"
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: The sort of game that Nimzo-Indian advocates love to play, with a powerful Knight vs. a Bishop obstructed by its own pawns. The zugzwang at the end is quiet but decisive; 55.K-any,Nxd6; 56.Bxd6,Kxd6; 57.Ka2,Kd5 and White's King cannot get to the King side in time for defense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: A great game by Arno Nickel showing his mastery of the zugswang motif. Capablanca must be applauding.
Jan-01-14  King Sacrificer: Nimzo-Indian?
Jan-01-14  morfishine: <sleepyirv> Interesting information on 'Reichenbach Falls'

Any idea what it has to do with this game?

Jan-01-14  Cemoblanca: <morfishine: Any idea what it has to do with this game?>

I only know & here is a short storyline: At the end of the Civil War, a colonel hunts down a man with whom he has a grudge.

You know, sooner or later the pawn on c3 would have fallen & the game at the end too. Finally, we can say that Nickel had systematically "hunted down" Reichenbacher to the "bitter end" in this 1. Great game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Some day I'm going to recreate the game that Holmes and Moriarty played in the movie version.
Jan-01-14  RandomVisitor: Notice that this game is a correspondence game played in 1986-87. The following article paints the picture of what computer chess was like at this time period:

A talented American "Postal" chess player gives his opinion on computers in correspondence chess, circa 1986-1988

From the NM Alex Dunn correspondence chess column 'The Check is in the Mail' in the <April 1986 Chess Life and Review>

Dr. Robert Reynolds, a master in both postal and over the board play, is a psychologist at Fordham University. In the following letter, he offers a personal view and a challenge to computer programmers: "The question of how strong chess computers might be in correspondence chess may be important to both the development of computers and to the understanding of human chess skill. Thus far, the emphasis has been upon developing main-frame computers which calculate as quickly as possible. This strategy has lifted a few computers as high as 2200 in over the board play. In the case of postal chess, one might suppose that a match between Belle, HI TECH or Cray Blitz and a human would favor the analytical power of the computer. However, we need not worry much about it. Adriaan de Groot showed some 20 years ago that the higher levels of human chess are distinguished by quick sight of the board and analysis of fewer total moves. Search heuristics and general positional evaluation become more and more important for humans at just that level of playing strength where computers emphasize long-winded algorithmic calculation. Until there is a new generation of computers capable of parallel-processing, current computers will rarely be able to calculate far enough ahead (even if given three days) to reach a decisive outcome. I agree with one of my postal opponents, U.S. co-champion Ken Plesset, that 'Chess is 90 percent tactics, but the [other] 10 percent is more important.'

"My prediction is that present-day computers would be no better in a relative sense at correspondence chess. In postal terms, this would be a rating between 1650 and 1750 [JLJ - the postal chess rating system was different at this time]. But if anyone still believes that computers are a threat - or even a possible aid at the higher levels - <I will wager $500 on a match of four games, played under the same rules for human postal correspondence chess>. My opponent may consult books, but he cannot have access to or seek adjustment from auxiliary programs of either the mechanical or human variety. Whatever the result we would certainly learn from such a match." - <Sincerely, Robert I. Reynolds.>

From the <September 1988>, NM Alex Dunne postal chess column 'The Check is in the Mail: The Creative Edge' in <Chess Life and Review> magazine:

"Robert Reynolds is a name the postal world should keep in mind. We will probably be hearing much more about this gentleman from New York City. Robert recently won the 6USCCC with a powerful 13 1/2 - 1/2 score...

"Reynolds further states, 'Over two years ago I made a challenge in this column that I'd play any of the top ranked computers in a correspondence match under standard rules. I have not received an acceptance and probably never will. The challenge is a way of highlighting the relative weakness of computers. One might think that an average of three days per move would favor the computer with its ability to rapidly process large numbers of moves. Not so. Even computers dedicated to chess do not gain much in depth with an extra three days of analysis. The tree of possibilities grows so fast that the gain would amount to only five or six half moves. At the end of its analysis, the computer must stop and evaluate. Unless a decisive position has been reached, nothing much will have been gained.'

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Wonder what the estimable Dr Reynolds had to say on the topic a scant ten years on, much less by the end of his life....
Jan-01-14  RandomVisitor: More follow-up on computers and chess, in 1986:

From the <June 1986 Chess Life and Review> Postal Chess column 'The Check is in the Mail' of NM Alex Dunne:

Thanks go to our readers for their impassioned, logical, statistical, pro-human and computer-friendly responses to the February 1986 'The Check is in the Mail' column. The attitudes towards that column, a piece dealing with the use of computers in postal play, ranged from 'the death of postal chess' to 'cybernetic symbiosis.'

From the large number and the heightened tone of the responses, it is obvious that the issue of computer use is, like computers themselves, here to stay. Here is what some of our readers have to say...

Dave Long (Falls Church, Virginia): 'The final defense seems to be the nature of the postal player, who probably will have but little interest in using computers.' ...

Stephan Gerzadowicz from East Templeton, Massachusetts: 'But WHY would anyone use a computer? To see 'his' rating go up? To win prize money (so he could buy postcards for the machine)? To win a trophy (so he could photograph it with the computer)? Why play chess or tennis? Why run or lift weights? What does Mr. X do for exercise - pay the kid next door to run five miles for him?' ...

An anonymous reader (Mr. Y?) from Long Beach, California, sent in what is perhaps the best analysis of the problem. Mr. Y. favors allowing computer aid. His argument runs as follows: If a player moves up into a new rating class with the help of a computer, then the players in his initial class will be rid of him. His new opponents, on the other hand, will be stronger and will be better equipped to battle him and his machine.

Thus we meet a new tragi-comic figure: the <'computer junkie'> trapped in a chess world where, to stay afloat, he must rely on his machine because he is not strong enough to make his own moves...

Jan-01-14  RandomVisitor: <perfidious>Obituary:

Robert Ivan Reynolds

(7/20/50 to 3/10/13)

Dr. Bob, as he was lovingly known, passed away leaving a void in many people's lives. It was a full and fulfilling life even though cut short by cancer. <As a teenager, he became chess champion of Santa Barbara> and was a guest lecturer at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History on astronomy. Bob attended UCSB and did his graduate work at the University of Chicago and Rutgers University. Upon receiving his Ph.D. in Psychology, Bob taught at Nasson College in Maine, and Fordham and Yeshiva Universities in New York. At the age of 44, he became interested in natural medicine and entered the College of Naturopathic Medicine in Arizona where he received his ND. Upon his return to Santa Barbara, he set-up his practice. He also taught multiple classes in health at Santa Barbara City College, had a radio program, <was a Master Chess Champion, published two books and had just completed a third book before he became ill.> Among Bob's extensive adventures, his travels included Yugoslavia, Bhutan, Iceland and Shiraz, Iran where he barely got out of the country before the hostage takeover. Bob loved helping people; that was his primary goal in life....

Published in The Santa Barbara News-Press Online Edition from Mar. 29 to Apr. 2, 2013

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <RandomVisitor> If you would like to post your last three entries also at his page Prof. Robert I Reynolds
Jan-01-14  morfishine: <Cemoblanca> Thats interesting
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Zugzwang:all dressed up and NO PLACE to GO!

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