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Subject: cct4/Part 1 : Operator report for Bringer

Author: Peter Berger

Date: 10:33:32 01/21/02


OK, so take another operator report from the first weekend of cct-4 :-).

After last year's success for Bringer in cct-3 where it finished 9th and managed
to beat mighty Hiarcs expectations for cct4 were moderate. Again an even
stronger field of competition - and getting a similar result will be difficult.

But just as for cct-3 the tournament schedule fitted the release policy very
well. A new,stable, thoroughly tested version of Bringer had just been released
by its programmer Gerrit Reubold ( Bringer 1.9 , that you can download at
http://www.reubold.onlinehome.de ) - and it is this exact version that is
competing in cct-4. So no last minute changes or similar.

Also being a lazy operator there was no book preparation this time. I simply
took the three repertoire files I found in my Bringer folder and  decided which
one to use before the games started .

I haven't analyzed the games so far, so take this as something even worse : an
operator's first impression ;-) :

1st round : Celes - Bringer 0-1
.
Bringer being the clear favourite here it had to play with a very tiny opening
book. After Celes' unusual 4.Bc1 both were out of book and I think in the next
moves Bringer reached the worst position it had in the whole tournament so far -
very cramped. Celes was buggy though and sacrified first a pawn and then a rook
for nothing right away and the game lasted only 14 moves. The Celes programmer
was very unhappy with his engine's performance and decided to use an older
version of his program for the next rounds.

2nd round : Bringer - Goliath Blitz 1/2

A sharp opening lead to a position which looked like a little advantage for
white at first sight. But very fast it transformed to a position where Goliath
had the bishop pair agaist two knights in a quite open position. But the minor
pieces were traded fast and a drawn double rook endgame was reached soon. This
game was distracted by several disconnections from my side - the Goliath
operator showed very good sportsmanship by not protesting ; it was really
annoying. It turned out that it was a defect cable that caused all the trouble
and after it was replaced next rounds were back to normal (thanks for the tip,
Thomas Mayer). Until these problems were solved I was _extremely_ nervous all
the time : " Will the connection stand ?" So I didn't have any fun watching this
game ..

3rd round : Bringer - Gandalf 5 1/2

Bringer chose an extremely drawish opening here :-) - the four knights and the
most drawish line possible in it .. Right after the opening it already looked
dead drawn. But Gandalf managed to make progress slowly and in the end a pawn
ending was reached that looked extremly dangerous. But with cool defense and a
little help from the tablebases a draw was reached ; in a quick analysis I
wasn't able to find a win for Gandalf in the endgame.

4th round : Zarkov - Bringer 1/2

After the game the Zarkov operator said : "It was drawn all the time" . Probably
true  :-) - but watching the game was entertaining . In a solid Scheveningen
Bringer managed to equalize fast. I had a funny little discussion with Gerrit
Reubold about Bringer's 27...g5!? while we were watching. This looked extremely
risky and weakening to me. He didn't seem to disagree but pointed out that we
both probably dont play well enough anymore to judge the engines here :-) .Both
engines seemed to agree that Bringer was slightly better now but it was never
enough to win . Somehow Bringer's free pawn got weak later and now Zarkov seemed
to be a little better - but again : it was not enough to achieve anything real.
This game will be interesting for me to analyze later.

5th round: Bringer - Hiarcs 1-0

So, here we are - Hiarcs again. I was quite sceptical about Bringer's chances in
this game to say the least. Another game which requires more serious analysis.
Opening looked fine for white but then Hiarcs started with very good positional
manouvres. Hiarcs sacrified a pawn to increase the pressure and it reached what
looked like a very promising , dangerous position.. And then it started to
slowly squeeze poor Bringer and I expected the worst. But Bringer defended well
and coolly all the time - and well , as long as there is an extra pawn there is
always hope :-). And yes - as the result suggests at some point Hiarcs must have
stretched the position too much and was too optimistic. So Bringer managed to
win in the endgame. An exciting game to watch - and definitely a big success for
Bringer beating Hiarcs the second tournament in a row. But Hiarcs made some very
impressive moves in this game, too - I am really looking forward to its release
!

6th round: Searcher - Bringer 1/2

I knew how dangerous Searcher is and was quite happy that Bringer was able to
get a draw here - Searcher was 5th last year in cct-3 but still the game was
somehow an anti-climax . Searcher chose a quiete line of the sicilian and here I
think this one was really drawn right from the start during all the game. Equal
opening, equal middlegame, equal ending .. - Searcher was true to its name and
seemed to search one or two plies deeper than Bringer all the time which
impressed me.
Only interesting question was the Searcher's evaluation of the late endgame as
it saw itself up by 2.X all the time which looked a little suspicious and one
would have expected something closer to 0.00 instead.
But as it was clear that there was simply no chance that even a bug can spoil
the game for Searcher a draw was agreed at last.

So here we are after the first weekend with Bringer at 10th place with 4.0/6 .
It is still too early and _everything_ is still possible (even a _very_ bad end
result) with all the strong engines in the field. But taking into account the
well-known and strong opponents it played without losing a game so far - it was
definitely a successful weekend for Gerrit Reubold IMHO.

My general impression of the tournament so far is that the cct's have become
more regular events by now. There were very little discussions compaired to the
last tournaments and from what I have seen the atmosphere was friendly. I am
looking forward to next weekend.

Regards,
pete



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