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Stockfish (Computer) vs AlphaZero (Computer)
AlphaZero - Stockfish Match (2018), London ENG, Jan-18
Pirc Defense: Austrian Attack. Weiss Variation (B09)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Having picked up the 'Game Changer' today from the bookstall I did a Carlsen and 'skimmed through it on the bus going home. My jaw bounced off the seat when I saw this position. (It's on page 112 under the title 'Anything for Open Lines.')

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Alpha plays 8...c4 and then b5.

I've had this position with a different move order.

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 ...

Trying to get 2...d5 out of me.

No problem I play a Pirc and never say the 'Pirc Defence' within earshot of me, when I play it, it's the Pirc Attack!

2...c5 3. d5 d6 4. e4 g6 5. f4 Bg7 6. Nf3 O-O 7. Bd3 *

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The difference being I have no Knight on a6 but more importantly...White has not castled. I play c4 and b5.

Been looking for the game the last time I played it about 9 years ago in an Edinburgh congress. It was a draw. If I recall he did not take the 2nd pawn. Chances are I left the score sheet in the pub.

Mathew Sadler reckons Alpha plays it because he does not like the Black position. I play it because I like the Black play and there are cheapo's galore.

Alpha gives the position before the pawn sacs a low eval which justifies Mathew's comment but between you and me I think me and the machine are on the same wave length.

After the second pawn sac and 10...Nxe4 Mathew writes that he admires the creativity but Black is actually just a pawn down for little compensation. (later he adds he does not think this opening idea will catch on...)

I've only skimmed though it but any more comments like that and I see I'm going to have to re-write the whole book because people are not understanding what my kindred electrical spirit is up to.

Black does not seek 'compensation', White does.

Black has stuck White with the onus of holding onto an extra pawn. That is White's 'compensation' for allowing Black to have open files, ranks and diagonals.

The extra pawn is a responsibility. That means something will be tied down defending the said pawn. That defender has lost it's mobility and mobility is the secret of Alpha Chess.

Not bad, two skim throughs and I'm an inspired 'Game Changer' expert.

Thanks K.P. I've not been this excited about a chess book since I got my hands on 'Chess for Zebras' (Rowson) here is my review:

and 'Chess Traps and Stratagems' (no review, just a picture) by the jolly Reverend E. E. Cunnington. (which was actually my first ever chess book.)


Aug-21-19  GrenfellHunt: Agreed. This is stunning. As a long-time Pirc player, I'm shaking my head. AlphaZero turns the Pirc into a Benko Gambit (one file over!), and simply pummels White with the open files and diagonals. Stockfish succeeds in defending White's position; a lot of other players will be hard-pressed to do so.
Apr-19-20  SChesshevsky: <...After the second pawn sac and 10...Nxe4 Matthew writes...Black is actually a pawn down for little compensation...>

Maybe not full compensation but probably enough for black to be pretty happy.

The e5-pawn advance is always on mind for black in the Pirc. Eliminating that likely reduces the chances for any serious white kingside pressure. Plus it makes d5 weak and increases the scope of the Bg7. All together it appears decent compensation.

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