Human beats Computer : Elements, Logic, Strategy – Part 1


Silicon Monsters are  still beatable…         

When you have a match between such different opponents, you have to look at the different strengths and weaknesses of both sides during the competition.

Playing against a chess computer means facing something that doesn’t have any nerves – similar to sitting across the table from an IRS agent during a tax audit.

 It’s quite clear, what the weaknesses of a human being are – primarily our vulnerability to an outside interference. We could catch a cold, be easily distracted, and so on. Obviously, we are not in the position to calculate as deep as the machine, but we can compensate for it with other factors.

 It’s less clear what the weaknesses of the machine are, but for a computer specialist or a chess specialist, it is not difficult to indicate them either.

Of course, on the top of any evaluation in machine’s rank, we always see the material. It always tries to translate quality and time factors into the numbers that are representing the mathematical balance of the material.

As for the opening strategy, which is quite a dangerous part of the game now, since there is too much of theory and many lines that can be exploited further by the GM-team supporting the machine.

My first principles in the game against Computers to avoid the main lines and to accept inferior position after the opening, hoping that outside of the theoretical routes the machine would lose its horizons and would start making positional mistakes. The negative side is that such a strategy dramatically limits your active opportunities, but anyway, this decision worked perfectly well in many examples. Computers may overestimate their chances and will made several positional mistakes, which gave me a serious positional advantage.

For example, Fritz may to weaken its King without big hesitation, simply destroyed its King’s pawns’ protection and did not pay much attention to the King’s safety before it becomes too late.

Now we will see some examples “How to beat your computer”.

 I would like to start with some very illustrative games to demonstrate my first experience against Computer Junior, that was played in Nir Ganim tournament with the rapid time control 15 minutes +10 seconds per move. We played two games and I will show my first principles already combined many years ago.  

Alterman,B – Computer Junior [A12]

Nir Galim blitz, 1995  

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c6 3.b3 d5 4.Bb2

 First of all would be good to escape from the book Opening theory. Almost always the Computer has a problem , when it’s out of the Opening book immediately after first 3-4 moves and  when it has too many pieces on the board. 

 4…Bg4 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Be2 e6 7.h3



Of course mistake. “Junior” doesn’t like to lose a tempo and just exchanged his bishop, now white gets the bishops pair, which is promising slight , but long term advantage for me . Better was 7…Bh5  

8.Bxf3 Bd6 9.Be2 dxc4?                

Another positional mistake. White has a dream to open the position for their bishops, but “Junior” opens the position for White’s favor!    


10.bxc4 0–0 11.0–0 Qc7 12.Nc3 Rfd8 13.Qc2 a6 14.Rac1 e5 15.Rfd1  

White has already clear positional advantage, but still not a winning position. I continue to play without risk and tactical complication, and once again “Junior”  goes astray.  

 15…Nc5 16.d3 Ne6 17.Bf1  


It works ! My prophylactic  moves finally gives “Junior” some feeling that he may activate his position on the kingside.    

18.Ne2 h4 19.d4  

Finally after a good preparation I start an action in the center. Black has created himself a clear target – weak pawn on h4, in the nearest future I  should launch the kingside attack.  

 19…e4 20.d5!  

 20… Nc5

“Junior” doesn’t feel a danger , allows me to destroy his kingside. Better was [20…cxd5 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Rxd5 with a clear advantage].  

21.Bxf6 Bh2+ 22.Kh1 gxf6 23.Nd4 Rac8 24.dxc6 bxc6  


Finally white’s Queen is just a move away from the kingside. White’s attack becomes unstoppable. 

 25…Be5 26.Qg4+ Kf8 27.Nf5 Ne6 28.Qxh4 Kg8 29.Qxe4 Kf8 30.Qh4 Kg8 31.c5 a5 32.Bc4! 

 One more piece comes into attack, which completely ruins black’s position.    

32…Rb8 33.f4 Bb2 34.Rxd8+ Rxd8 35.Rf1 Rd2 36.Rf3 Rd1+ 37.Kh2 Rd5                               

 And black resigned due forthcoming 38.Rg3+ and 39.Qh8 mate.  



3 Responses

  1. an interesting post today …..

  2. Fascinating game. Of course, it takes great tactical skill just to avoid letting the computer complicate the game. I think that computers are now so strong, that ‘anti-computer’ moves are the only way to beat them. It seems to be a different type of chess that is required.

  3. Agree Ryan, Today when Kramnik can’t compete with Fritz , it is hard to suggest any other strategy than “anticomputer chess”…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s