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Subject: How to beat Gothmog

Author: Anthony Cozzie

Date: 07:02:39 01/08/04


I've been trying to get some good test positions to rewrite my kingsafety with,
and playing Gothmog will give you those :) Usually Zappa is slightly better than
Gothmog.  It is stronger tactically (gets more nps and does not do all dubious
forward pruning) and its mobility is good enough that it plays reasonable moves
most of the time.  Usually Zappa will get its wins in the endgame, but Gothmog
will get in enough king attacks that the score is close.  During one of the test
games, this position came up (Zappa-white, Gothmog-black):

[D]r2qk2r/pb4pp/3bn3/1P1ppp2/8/BQP5/P2NBPPP/R4RK1 b kq - 4 17

Where Gothmog evaluated itself as +1, and Zappa thought it was about equal -
which is of course ludicrous since black has a big advantage. I was less than
happy with Zappa being blown off the board in 20 moves and not even realizing
it, so I wrote some code to evaluate control of the board.  But I made a mistake
and tuned it way too high.

What was amazing was the result.  Every game went like this:

Zappa pushes pawns
Gothmog sacrifices a piece for the pawns
Gothmog thinks its down .5
Zappa thinks its up 2
Zappa wins back pawns and the game with its extra piece/exchange

Result: Zappa scores 86% - +18-0=7.

Moral of the story: If you want to beat Gothmog, triple your space evaluation.

anthony

caveat: This was done under Arena, with the arena books, which need a bit of
work.



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