Wednesday, November 16, 2016


After using the search box above, I was surprised to find that none of my posts seems to have ever mentioned SARGON which seems to have been named after Sargon the Great, first ruler of the Akkadian Empire. Incidentally, the Scorpion King played by Dwayne Johnson supposedly arises from the remnants of the Akkadian tribe. I myself didn't play against SARGON, since our family had an Atari computer, but the Atari version has no eponym, so I decided to go with the winner of the first computer chess tournament. At the end of the 1982 Tron movie, the Master Control Program is defeated and he looks like an old man, implying the MCP was layered on top of a core computer chess program. In 6th grade, I played chess and even went to the state chess contest where I placed around a tie for 2-3. In 7th grade, I discovered computers and pretty much gave up chess until college. During the early years of computing, Atari Computer Chess on mere level 3 would be me so consistently that I rage quit chess. These days I have a Kindle with AI Factory's Chess Free on it. At maximum level 12, it is tactical enough that I have to be careful, but the opening book is not so good and there is definitely a horizon effect, so I can find and exploit its weaknesses. Here is the first time I beat it on maximum Level 12. The game is brief enough that following it on your blindfold board could be a nice exercise.

1. e3 {Van't Kruijs Opening} e5 2. Qh5 Nc6 3. Bc4 d5 4. Bb5 Bd6 5. Bxc6+ bxc6 6. Nc3 Nf6 7. Qd1 O-O 8. Nge2 a5 9. O-O e4 10. d3 {If you have never read The Art of Attack in Chess by Vukovic, I highly recommend the chapter on the Classic Bishop Sacrifice. Vukovic analyzes game after game with the standard piece placements and some variations to make the Greek Bishop sacrifice a success. I have only finished one tournament game that had this combination in it though. But it is the stuff of chess artistry that draws us to the game.} 10...Bxh2+ 11. Kxh2 Ng4+ 12. Kg3 Qg5 13. Na4 Nxe3+ 14. Kh2 Qxg2#

Take that, chess computer!

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