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Subject: CCT5 & NoonianChess

Author: Charles Roberson

Date: 22:14:27 01/24/03



   The tournament was great fun. Tiring, but fun. I prefer the format at
   WCCC 2002, but it would be too much for all tournaments to be like that.

   The competition was great. I have lots of analysis data. The talk on ch 64
   "compfortably numb" (pun intended). I enjoyed the IM commentary and Volker
   performed excellently as TD. I hope to see more like these several times a
   year. You can't get better competition without an expensive trip to Europe.

   Version 3.4 was used. It is 2x faster than 3.3 and more knowledgable:
       better king safety, mobility, ...
   It averaged a ply deeper than the Maastricht version even at half the time
   control.

   I'll comment on some of the games as the theme seems repeatable.

   Game 1: Searcher - NoonianChess 1-0
       I tried our a virtually untested new book. Ran into a bug on move 6.
      This caused the drop of a bishop for 2 pawns. Amazingly, Noonian played
      quite well after this -- it used its center pawn advantage to control
      the center and the game. Then a mistake on move 34; KxB should have been
      the move (a free bishop and now Noonian would be up a full two pawns).
      But seems there is a bug that caused the mistake. Analysis from CM8000
      revealed that after 34 ... KxB, Noonian can force the win of the other
      bishop but alas Searcher could for a draw by perpetual check or 3frp.

      So, I was happy with the game and use my old tournament book for the
      rest of the tournament.

   Game 3: NoonianChess - PostModernist  0 - 1
      Noonian gained a draw from PM in WCCC 2002. It was a great experience
      competing against Andrew so, I was quite happy to do it again. Noonian
      stayed in book for 10 or so moves. Noonian makes questionable bishop
      moves on moves 17 and 18. (remember game 1 -- mistake in not taking a
      free bishop). Noonian does not make the same mistakes when given the
      positions but it does if the game is played to that point (a bug a bug
      -- or is it something to dig into). After this, PostModernist performs
      excellently in controlling the game.

    Game 4: Matacz - NoonianChess 0 -1
      Noonian won a pawn and created a passer on the A file by move 21. The
      rest of the game centered on this one pawn. Noonian pushed the pawn and
      Matacz spent most of the rest of the game keeping the a pawn from
      promoting. There were times when I thought Noonian had stronger moves but
      I'm not sure (I haven't analyzed it deeply but the stronger moves
      involved a bishop -- hmm bishop problem sounds like a theme to me).
      Finally, Matacz is able to capture the pawn on a2. However, Noonian has
      too many threats on the king which causes the win of material and the
      eventual mate of Matacz. A long game. After the first two, I kept
      wondering when is the bug going to happen again and lose this one.
      The great part of live games!!!!

    Game 5: NoonianChess - Aristarch 1 - 0
      The opening had me on the edge of my seat. Noonian was agressive from the
      start with an attack on Aristarch's king side. I had some of
      that "Australian speed skater luck": Aristarch lost its connection
      for more than 15 minutes and forfeited the game.

     Game 6: Pepito - NoonianChess  1 - 0
      I was happy that Noonian held its own to move 35. Pepito sacs a rook for
      the bishop and things go down hill from there. A rook for a bishop --
      hmm is there an issue with bishops?

     Game 7: NoonianChess - Amyan 0 - 1
      NoonianChess plays well from opening to midgame. I was happy to move
      25. Noonian has a nice position. I need to analyze this deeply to see
      what really happened. At move 35, Noonian has a passer and seems there is
      a lot of potential for a win. However, at move 41 Noonian gives up a rook
      for a pawn and knight. I suspect it liked 3pawns and a knight vs a rook
      and a pawn -- especially considering 2 of Noonians pawns are passers.
      Amyan forces the trade of all this and the ending is a forced draw.
      However, I didn't have egtb's and move 65 is a mistake. I loaded this
      position into Noonian latter and it doesn't make the mistake. Another
      bug to fix. Also, this the second game in live tournament competition
      lost due to lack of egtb's -- the first is Goliath Lite - NoonianChess
      Maastrict WCCC 2002.

    Game 8: Czolgista  - NoonianChess 0 - 1
      I expected to win this one as the programs met in competition on ics this
      week. However, Czolgista froze up on move two and lost on time having
      made only one move. Wow, that Austrailian speed skater luck was with me.

   Game 9: NoonianChess - XiniX  1 - 0
      This is my favorite game. I have not analyzed it yet but I can't wait.
      This game had classic horizon effect issues. Both sides had chances in
      the middle game. So, it was quite exciting. Forget the edge of my seat --
      I was pacing during this one. At move 30, Noonian considers itself up
      2.8 pawns. The kibitzing made this far more interesting than without it.
      For a series of moves Noonian and Xinix agree with the scores that
      Noonian is up 3 pawns. Then Xinix searchers a little deeper and claims
      the score is even. A move later (move 45), Noonian thinks it is down
      4/10 of a pawn. After several moves of 3 pawns up, now both programs
      call it even. (so where is this bug?). Oh no -- on move 46 both programs
      claim XiniX is up 3 pawns. At move 47, both programs claim the game is
      even again. Are these programs fickle or what? At move 48, Noonian is
      up 2 pawns. (Yes, both programs are searching 10+ ply deep per move or
      so claims the kibitzing). Noonian makes move 49 and kibitzes that it is
      up a queen!!! XiniX agrees and resigns.

     Again the tournament was great!!! Thanks to IM Schroer and Volker.
     Thanks to all the participants for the games and the entertainment
     on ch 64.
     Also, big thanks to my wife for giving me a weekend in front of a PC.
     Hmm -- did I just define nerd or geek?





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