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Man vs machine

The Baron vs Aronjan

Man vs. Machine Chess960 Match

Two draws, two happy players

Eric van Reem

The first-ever man vs. machine Chess960 match between (GM) Levon Aronian and the Dutch program The Baron, a creation of Richard Pijl, ended 1-1. Both games ended in a draw. Pijl was pleased with the result, but Aronian was also happy not to have lost against the computer. “It is always very tricky to play against computers, and I did not want to risk too much”.

The games

The starting position of the first game:

Levon Aronian (ARM) – The Baron (NL) Game 1

A position with the knights on a1 and b1, the bishops are on g1 and h1!

1.Nb3 g6 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g4 Nb6 4.f4 f5 5.gxf5 Qxf5 6.0-0-0 ?! Interesting move, however, Levon Aronian had a black-out and forgot the castling rules! He wanted to put his King on b1, but his opponent showed him patiently how to castle “a-side”: put the King on c1 and take your rook from c1 to d1. 6...Rf8 7.Bxb6 cxb6 8.Bxc6 Rxc6 Aronian prefers to play with knights rather than bishops. 9.e3 Bc4 10.Qg2 Kc8 11.Nd4 Bxd4 12.exd4 e6 13.d3 Bd5 14.Nxd5 exd5 15.Kb1 Re6 16.a4 Qxf4 17.Ref1 Qd6 18.Rxf8+ Qxf8 19.Qxd5 Qb4 20.b3 Kc7 21.Rf1 Qc3 22.Qc4+ Qxc4 23.bxc4 Without Queens it has become very difficult for both players to win the game 23...Re2 24.h4 Rg2 25.Rf7 h5 26.d5 Rg4 27.Rg7 Rxh4 28.Rxg6 Rh2 29.Rh6 h4 30.Kb2 h3 31.Kc3 Rh1 32.Kd4 h2 33.Kc3 Kd8 34.Rh8+ Ke7 35.Rh7+ Kf6 36.Rh8 Kg7 37.Rh5 d6 38.Rh3 Kg6 39.Rg3+ Kh5 40.Rh3+ Kg4 41.Rh8 Kg3 42.Rg8+ Kh3 ½–½ Although The Baron showed a plus score of 0.79, it is impossible to win with black.

The Baron (NL) – Levon Aronian (ARM) Game 2

Starting position game 2:

Probably a difficult position, even for the computer. The Baron thought about 3 minutes and then played 1.d4 ...and Levon Aronian invested 5 minutes for his crucial first move.1... c5 2.dxc5 Qxc5 3.a3 b5 4.b4 Qc8 5.e4 e6 6.Be2 a6 7.c4 bxc4 8.Qxc4?! Hmmm. We don´t like this move. Programmers should have learned one lesson from several man vs. machine matches: keep the Queens on the board! “I could have implemented this strategy in my program, but it is impossible to keep an eye on every aspect of the game. I am happy that my Chess960 Baron is running so well”, Pijl replied. This is also important in Chess960. Now it is easy for Aronian to equalise. 8... Qxc4 9.Bxc4 Ng6 10.Bd4 h5 11.Nfd2 h4 12.0-0 Bxf6 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.Re3 Kg7 15.Nb3 Rc8 16.N1d2 Rhd8 17.g3 d5! This is a good move that frees black position and leads to an easy draw for black. 18.exd5 Bxd5 19.Nc5 a5 20.Bxd5 Rxd5 21.Ndb3 axb4 22.axb4 Nc6 23.Rc1 Nge7 [ 23...Nxb4? 24.Nxe6+!±] 24.h3 Nxb4 25.Re4 Nd3 26.Rg4+ Kf8 ½–½

Rapid chess world champion

Blitz with Anand

In each game:: Anand 2min./1sec. vs 5min./2.sec.
4 places are auctioned off.

August 4th starting 6:30 p.m.



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