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Subject: CCT3 comments - Arasan

Author: Jon Dart

Date: 09:22:33 05/27/01



Arasan's been having a hard time in CCT3. I've been real busy
in my real job (writing commercial Java software), so I haven't
had a lot of time to tinker with it lately. The version that's
playing in CCT3 is pretty experimental. It is on new hardware,
though (Athlon 1.3GB) and I have enhanced it to support tablebases.

In round 1 it had White against DeepFritz and was bold enough
to play the King's Gambit. It was out of book at move 6 and
lost quickly. I have a few openings in "never play" status in
the opening book. I haven't put the KG in there (yet), because
I think it's playable and by now Arasan has a reasonably good
knowledge of the opening. In this variation, 6. g3 or 6. h4
are both known instead of 6. O-O, and may be better. But
apparently Arasan didn't have any games won or drawn with White
in these lines. This isn't an excuse: I didn't really expect
to do any better against Fritz, and a better opening likely
wouldn't have helped.

Next round Arasan was up against Watcherz (Gnu Chess 5.0 on
a Pentium III/800), which was a last-minute entrant. Gnu has
been a real giant-killer in this tournament, at one point
being tied with Shredder! Arasan was just fine, until this
point:

[D] 2r4k/p6p/4Q1p1/nr6/8/2qR4/P4PPP/4R1K1 b - -

when it played Qxd3. The rook cannot be taken: this is fatal.
Arasan never recovered, and lost. It takes the version that
was playing 28 seconds on an Athlon 1.3GHz to avoid Qxd3,
so it had a good chance to avoid it in the game. But it didn't.
Curiously, Arasan 5.4 avoids it right away, while version 5.2
fails low at ply 11 but still sticks to Qxd3 past a minute
of search.

Losing to Gnu was pretty painful, as Arasan is generally stronger.
At least I had company there :-).

Next game Arasan beat Monsoon. Arasan had white and Monsoon played
a variant of the Dragon Sicilian. I don't know much about the
Dragon but this doesn't look like a main line. Arasan started a
nice pawn storm with 32. g4, followed by 39. f4 and 40. f5,
and shortly had Monsoon helpless.

In round 4, against Tristram, Arasan played a variant of the English
(A19) that had its Knight retreating to Nf8. GMs play this but it
seems like a bad choice against computers. I would prefer d5 instead
of c5 after c4 Nf6 Nc3 e6 e4, which is ECO code A18 and seems to
lead to a less cramped game. Arasan got a bad case of the cramps
here, couldn't castle, and was under attack. But it hung on, and
entered an ending with down material, which it finally drew after
a long struggle. It's no fun spending most of the game with a score
of -2 or so.

More comments later .. Arasan lost in round 5 today, against Tinker.








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