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Subject: Rybka @ CCT8

Author: Vasik Rajlich

Date: 16:49:30 02/26/06


First of all, really big thanks to Peter for organizing and running a really
good tournament. A lot of the active programs were there, and the tournament was
well managed and fun. It's also cool to get the programmers all in one place. I
wanted to get a bunch of work done this weekend, but it was really hard to pull
myself away from the show :)

Also big thanks to Enrico Carrisco and the Hiarcs team. We had some server
connection problems when playing against them, and at one point they would have
been within their rights to claim a forfeit win, which they didn't. We
appreciate this, and I think those who followed the tournament did too. I'm glad
to see Hiarcs win the blitz tournament.

Thanks finally to Jay Urbanski for operating Rybka and handling the opening
book. (Jeroen's book is in .ctg format, which doesn't allow straightforward
kibitzing.) Some of the spectators were especially impressed with the bookline
from Spike-Rybka, although in the interest of objectivity I am going to say that
the variation is unclear. :)

The following are some brief comments about Rybka's games:

1) Rybka-Averno, 1-0
A roughly equal endgame arose right in the opening, but Averno picked a
suspicious plan with 15. .. f5 and could never find good squares for his pieces.

2) Baron-Rybka 0-1
Baron grabbed a very poisonous pawn in the opening, and soon could not find
anything better than returning three pawns in order to survive.

3) Rybka-Thinker 1/2-1/2
The opening was pleasant for Rybka, as thinker got a passive position. Rybka
mistakenly traded queens, easing black's problems, and could never come up with
anything constructive to do. Black eventually even got a bit of pressure, but
Rybka had no trouble liquidating the position.

4) Hiarcs-Rybka, 0-1
From a quiet opening position, Hiarcs uncorked 13. Rxd5, sending the game into
some serious complications. It doesn't make much sense for me to comment about
this without a lot of analysis - the game is complex, and somewhere along the
line turned in black's favor. Some of the spectators pin the problems on 13.
Rxd5 itself, but I am not yet convinced about this.

5) Rybka-Junior, 1/2-1/2
An equal and fairly quiet endgame arose right from the opening. When Junior
lashed out with 22. .. f5, Rybka took the chance to go into an imbalanced rook
ending with chances for both sides. Rybka then horribly misplayed this endgame
and spent ten or fifteen moves struggling to draw.

6) Zappa-Rybka, 0-1
From a dull position with symmetrical pawns, Rybka managed to get an initiative
on the queenside and enter a somewhat better KQB v KQB endgame in which Zappa
had some small weaknesses and a worse bishop. It's not clear how black could
break through if white just sits on the position, but Zappa went for activity at
the wrong moment and black was able to convert the resulting pawn-up queen
ending.

7) Rybka-Frenzee, 1-0
Rybka misplayed Frenzee's unorthodox opening, and rather than defend a passive
inferior position, chose to give up a pawn. At first the compensation was
minimal, but Rybka worked up an initiative on the queenside and gradually took
control over the kingside as well.

8) Spike-Rybka, 0-1
A long sharp book line left white with an extra pawn and the bishop pair, but
with a compromised king and an awkward knight on b5. Spike played a few
unnatural moves, most notably 20. Na3, and Rybka quickly got a decisive
advantage. Incredibly enough, Rybka failed to find the crushing 24. .. Qf4
because of the infamous underpromotion bug. Fortunately, the alternative was a
very pleasant endgame, which was gradually converted.

9) Rybka-Ikarus, 1-0
Ikarus never managed to equalize. Rybka got an initiative on the queenside,
first taking black's light-squared bishop, and then a rook for minor piece and
two pawns in a position with a totally open queenside.




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