Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stockfish on iPad versus Houdini on Windows

In my earlier blog "Can you believe your eyes ?", I showed that black is busted after the natural continuation 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bh5 7.g4 Bg6 8.Ne5 e6 9.Qf3 c6 10.g5 Nd5 11.Bd3.

I showed the various line, and came up with a great white 18th move, ie 11...Nd7 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.00 Qe7 15.Bd2 f5 16.gxf6 gxf6 17.Bxg6+ Kd8 18.Kh1 !! Now reader "Anonymous" challenged my assessment and indicated "...After 18.Kh1 black has 18...Bh6 with only a slight edge for white."

Humm, That's strange, let's look at the line after 18...Bh6 (diagram).

My Stockfish app on my iPad immediately indicates 19.Ba5+ as clearly winning for white, whilst Houdini on my Windows PC only shows a very small edge for white ??  What's happening ? Could it be that Stockfish on my small iPad is better than Houdini on my serious Windows operating system ??

After 19.Ba5+ b6 20.Rae1, Houdini on Windows suggests 20...Rc8. Stockfisk on iPad answers 21.Bc3 (diagram). The disagreement continues as Houdini on Windows suggests a small advantage for white ( +0.23 ) whilst Stockfish on iPad sees a large white lead ( +1.5 ). Who is right ?

In this position, Houdini on Windows plays 21...Bg5, which is answered by Stockfish on iPad by 22.Bf5. Houdini on windows now defends with 22...Rc6 (diagram).

The disagreement continues : iPad says : 23.Re2 ( +0.8 ) Windows shouts : 23...Qf7. iPad plays 24.Bd3. Windows 24...f5 (diagram)

Houdini on Windows sticks to his earlier judgement and still sees a tiny white advantage ( +0.15 ), whilst the assessment by Stockfish on iPad has changed dramatically. From an earlier +1.5, it has now dropped to 0.5.

Who is right ? I guess Houdini on Windows is right, but actually... I dont care. I am happy that both engines, playing on such a master level, have problems assessing this position. I just shows the Blackmar Diemer is a serious chess opening leading to hugely complicated positions.

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