23 July 2018

Four Fatal Openings

In my previous post in this series on chess engines, Stockfish Wins TCEC Season 12, I noted,

The openings were dictated by the TCEC organizers [...] Since all 50 openings were played once with each engine as White, it's possible to group openings based on their success characteristics. [In the table I developed:] There were four openings where both engines won as White.

The following set of diagrams show the final move dictated by the organizers in the four fatal opening sequences.

For each of those four variations, the following paragraphs give the opening ECO code and name assigned by the organizers, the opening moves that were dictated, and the first independent moves played by the engines -- Stockfish (S) & Komodo (K) -- through the move where they diverged.

Games 51-52 (26.1-26.2)

B78: Sicilian: Dragon, Yugoslav, Main Line, 12.h4 Nc4
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.O-O-O Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5 12.h4 Nc4 13.Bxc4 Rxc4 (diagram)
S-K: 14.Qd3
K-S: 14.h5

Games 55-56 (28.1-28.2)

C57: Two Knights: Traxler, 5.Bxf7+
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ Ke7 (diagram)
S-K: 6.Bc4 Qe8 7.Nc3
K-S: 6.Bc4 Qe8 7.c3

Games 89-90 (45.1-45.2)

A56: Benoni: Czech, 5.e4 Be7 6.g3 O-O 7.Bg2
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e5 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 Be7 6.g3 O-O 7.Bg2 (diagram)
S-K: 7...a6
K-S: 7...Na6

Games 95-96 (48.1-48.2)

B06: Modern: 3.Nc3 d6 4.Be3 a6
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Be3 a6 5.Qd2 b5 6.f3 Nd7 7.h4 (diagram)
S-K: 7...h5 8.Nh3
K-S: 7...h5 8.a4

This is only the starting point for a real analysis. What characteristics of the diagrammed positions proved to be fatal to the losing engines? I'll leave this question for another time.

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