Thursday, June 2, 2011

Botvinnik Semi-Slav

After having lost badly yesterday evening against a well prepared opponent in a fierce Botvinnik Slav game, I thought it would be a good idea to look up the correct line in the de-facto standard book on this complicated opening : "The Botvinnik Semi-Slav" by IM Steffen Pedersen, published in 2000.

I saw that the line I played was not even listed - so I guess it was really that bad - but what puzzled me more, was the author's bold statement in the foreword :

"...In these Fritzy times, it is fairly easy to check analysis to a resaonable degree of accuracy, but with the highly complicated positions which make up most of this book, chess engines are often not that trustworthy, or to be more exact need far more time and have to be 'taken down the road' all the way. Naturally, various chess engines have been of great help during my work, but when analysing such complicated positions as arise in the Botvinnik System or the Anti-Moscow variation, intuition counts for a lot. For example, I wonder whether a computer will ever be able to find Sergei Ivanov's amazing 22...Rh5!! to be found in the introduction to Chapter 2...."

Well, Steffen, I checked out this position on my laptop and guess what, Houdini 1.5a identified 22...Rh5 is a fraction of a second - it did not have to be 'taken down the road' at all. Also, if finding this move is intuition - then my laptop seems to be very human indeed...

This great example convinces me once again that computer analysis is by far the most important thing in analysing complicated openings, like the Botvinnik Slav or the Blackmar Diemer. Computers are not only capable of analysing deeper using brute force, now they seem to have human characteristics also !

No comments:

Post a Comment