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Subject: PostModernist in CCT3

Author: Andrew Williams

Date: 10:06:05 05/28/01


ICC Computer Chess Tournament 3

My program, PostModernist, partcipated in the 3rd
Computer Chess Tournament on ICC. PM managed 16th
place with 4 points. I can't stress enough how much
fun this tournament was. IM Jonathan Schroer was
providing commentary and he was *hugely* entertaining.
I'd strongly urge anyone who has a winboard/xboard
compatible program to get it playing on FICS/ICC and
enter the next tournament!

My thanks to James Swafford who set it up, the various
ICC admins who acted as TDs and to IM Schroer for his
enthusiastic commentary.

I've put some brief comments on PM's eight games below:

Game 1 PostModernist 1-0 Tristram

I felt sorry for James Swafford after this game. He'd clearly
put a lot of effort into arranging CCT3, but in Tristram's
first game it picked a *terrible* line from its big book. PM's
first search returned a score of +5.75 and Tristram didn't get
into the game at all.


Game 2 Crafty 1/2 PostModernist

After a lot of exchanges, crafty emerged pawn up. There ensued
a long struggle, for much of which crafty's eval suggested +1.5,
while PM thought -0.75. Crafty had the initiative throughout, but
couldn't force the win. A tense struggle was eventually drawn by
agreement.


Game 3 PostModernist 1/2 Searcher

A great game. Searcher had an awkward opening and PM pushed hard.
An interesting feature of this game was the comparison between PM's
eval and Searcher's. For a long time, PM said +3.something while
Searcher's view was -1.something. I think this is an interesting
position:

[D] 3k4/4bR2/8/8/1p6/7P/rP1B2P1/6K1 w - -  acd 14; acn 18171648; acs 64; ce
+280; fmvn 44; hmvc 1; id "PostModernist vs SearcherX, move 44"; pm Rxe7

In this position, PM went for Rxe7. I've looked at this position
a bit, and I can't see a win after this. In some ways, it *looked*
right. But then if I could play chess, I wouldn't have written PM.
Searcher defended the resulting position brilliantly, putting its
King in front of the connected passers on the right and using its
rook to prevent PM's King from getting involved. I had the thought
after seeing this that Searcher could do well in CCT3. A good game
with a nice ending.


Game 4 Diep 1-0 PostModernist

A good finish by Diep here, after an interesting exchange sacrifice
to allow it to castle (I think). PM was undone by a pin, combined
with an advanced passed a-pawn which it had ignored. A fine move by
Diep follows:

[D] 3r2k1/5qnp/P7/2p2p1p/8/1r1BPP2/QB3RP1/6K1 w - - fmvn 42; hmvc 3; id "diep vs
PostModernist, move 42"; sm Bf1

Diep's move here was Bf1. It takes PM 57 seconds to find it.



Game 5 PostModernist 1/2 Shrike

PM drew with Shrike in CCT1 as well. Here was another case of a
wide gap in evaluations. For most of the game, Shrike's and PM's
evaluations were more than two pawns apart! PM had RRNN+3p vs
Shrike's RRB+6p  Shrike really liked his passers and the high
scores it was emitting had me worried for a while. But in the
end PM blockaded them and managed to release his h-pawn. Shrike
held it together though, and by the end, in a dead drawn position,
PM had an eval of +10.75. How embarassing. Actually, apart from
my embarassment, this was another really interesting ending.



Game 6 Shredder 1-0 PostModernist

Yuk! PM drew with Shredder in CCT1. Here, in a promising position,
PM had a rush of blood to the head, and unaccountably swopped its
Queen for one of Shredder's rooks. PM proudly displayed an eval of
+4.1  To say that I had my doubts would be putting it mildly! PM now
had only one asset left, but since it was a passed a-pawn of course
it ignored it completely. To make matters worse, when I tried to
explain to the enthralled spectators why PM had committed suicide,
I was accused of sounding like Vincent Diepeveen! Normally, the author
of such a comment would have been subjected to a torrent of abuse, but
I was having too much fun to really care.



Game 7 PostModernist 1-0 Chezzz

I was happy with this win. To be honest though, Chezzz was heavily
outgunned (a celeron 466 vs PM's Athlon 1200). Also it didn't have
an opening book and doesn't ponder yet. This put it at a huge
disadvantage, although the opening it came up with was OK. The
problem came after it had castled K-side and PM took the Knight
on f6. Chezzz recaptured with the g-pawn, opening up his kingside
to attack.



Game 8 Chester 1/2 PostModernist

A fun game. I chat with Steve Timson quite a bit on ICC and we both
enjoyed this game. Chester does a little better than PM in their
matches, so I was bit worried - the more so when PM went for a
rather eccentric Caro-Kann. IM Schroer commented that PM shouldn't
read books on unorthodox opening. Actually, PM shouldn't read
*webpages* about unorthodox openings. Anyway, PM castled q-side and
chester lost no time in swapping Rook for Knight with a wide open
king position to aim at. PM's King took one look at the situation
and ran back to the centre. For most of the game, Chester had an
edge, but somehow it seemed to slip away, and PM generated some
back-rank mate threats. These were pretty feeble, however, and
the game ended in a tablebase draw. This is Chester's nice exchange
sac:

[D] 2kr2nr/pp2bpp1/n1p1q3/3p1p2/3P1B1p/3Q1N1P/1PP1NPP1/R4RK1 w - - fmvn 17; hmvc
0; id "ChesterX vs PostModernist, move 17"; sm Rxa6


Cheers

Andrew



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