Friday, October 23, 2015


The news-articles which every day brings are maybe not that topnotch as in the days of its predecessor chessvibes (as HK5000 earlier wrote in the article computerchess), the new blogs on which I got to know, surely largely compensate. On everybody can start its own blog which means a lot of garbage must be disregarded before finding the goodies. A nice selection is the one proposed by : recent top-articles. If you still have some extra spare time then I recommend to follow also the blog of the Australian grandmaster David Smerdon

The added value of the blogarticles for shouldn't be underestimated. A well written article can easily achieve 10.000 views. I consider this a lot for an article not covering a running top-tournament although I immediately have to admit that reading good blogs can be pretty addictive. Besides if you know a good chess-blog which I didn't earlier refer to then you can definitely do me a favor by writing it down below in a reaction.

The subjects treated on are very diverse so everybody will find something interesting. There are educational articles (with e.g the famous trainers IM Silman and Bruce Pandolfini), historical articles (the house-specialist is without doubt Batgirl), thematic articles, stories and even cartoons (only Jose Diaz).   Staff-member Pete has a reputation of publishing regularly posts creating controversy. Recently he challenged the reader to criticize the choice of the jury, having awarded a beauty-price out of a huge amount of submitted copies of games played in Millionaire chess open at Las Vegas. The beauty-price has the value of an entry-ticket to next's edition which isn't small if you notice the amounts payed by players for this year's edition.

As the winner contained a huge number of mistakes, many readers were disappointed. White already blunders early in the game his queen but fights back and even wins eventually the game. It is this fighting spirit which mainly pleased the jury. However in a reaction this so called fighting spirit was minimized as white only continued the game to avoid his game being published in some magazine as a miniature. On the other hand perfect play isn't the equivalence of beauty. I played in 19 of my last 100 games without any mistake (if we consider the standard explained in my article annotations)  and none of them can be considered special. I win often games punishing the mistakes of my opponents by simple technical means. I also have a couple of perfect drawn games in which both sides played super cautious and after exchanging most pieces achieved a dry endgame. The couple of short draws neither convince and the few games which do look bright are almost completely based on thorough preparations as in the recent game below.
[Event "TSM tornooi"] [Date "2015"] [White "Brabo"] [Black "Verhasselt, K."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B78"] [WhiteElo "2316"] [BlackElo "2050"] [PlyCount "67"] 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 {(The most popular continuation but the first time I get it on the board in an official game. Fortunately I had looked at it in my preparations just before the game.)} 11. Bb3 Ne5 12. Kb1 Re8 13. h4 h5 14. g4 hxg4 15. h5 Nxh5 16. Bh6 e6 $6 {(This mainline has theoretical problems today. Probably best is Kh7 here although white seems still to obtain a modest advantage.)} (16... Kh7 $1 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. fxg4 Bxg4 19. Nf5 Bxf5 20. exf5 Rh8 21. fxg6 Nxg6 22. Ne4 $5 d5 23. Rhf1 $1 e6 $14) 17. Rdg1 Qf6 18. fxg4 Bxh6 19. Qxh6 Qg7 20. Qd2 Nf6 21. g5 Nh5 22. Nce2 Nc4 $6 {(Again the most popular move but the alternatives are slightly stronger.)} (22... Kf8 $5 23. Rh4 $1 b6 $5 24. Rd1 $1 Rc5 $1 25. Nf4 Nxf4 26. Qxf4 Ke7 27. Rdh1 Kd8 28. Rh7 Qf8 29. Nf3 Qe7 $16) ( 22... Bc6 $5 23. Rh4 $5 a5 24. a3 $1 a4 25. Ba2 d5 26. Nf4 $5 dxe4 27. Rxh5 Rcd8 28. Qc3 $16) (22... a5 $5 23. a4 $1 Nc4 $1 24. Bxc4 $1 Rxc4 25. b3 Rb4 $1 26. c3 $16) 23. Bxc4 Rxc4 24. b3 Rc5 25. Ng3 Nxg3 26. Rxg3 Rec8 27. Rgh3 e5 28. Rh6 $146 {(The first new move as in 3 older games Rh4 was played which also wins. I vaguely remember having seen this position at home on my computer and that the engine recommends Rh6.)} exd4 29. Qh2 Kf8 30. Qxd6 Kg8 31. Qxd7 R5c7 32. Qh3 Kf8 33. Rh8 Ke7 34. Rxc8 {(I strongly suspect that I have seen this final position before.)} 1-0
The novelty arrived at move 28. By the way this is an improvement of my old record covered in my article copycats. Besides I already had seen the novelty at home on my computer and the rest of the game isn't that difficult. No I prefer watching a game with mistakes if this is within certain boundaries of course. Personally I think blundering a queen is too much but which mistakes are acceptable? Let us first have a look of which kind of mistakes exist. I consider 3 categories of mistakes: technical mistakes (linked to the strength of the player), forced errors (mistakes made in time-trouble, fatigue so avoidable in normal circumstances) and concentration mistakes (inexplicable blunders). It is interesting to find out which mistakes are occurring most frequently. For this I again use my personal database (as done before in my article to study openings). Contrary to a commercial database, my games are analyzed and on top also contain lots of background-information about e.g. time-consumption,.. To execute the work in a couple of hours, I only processed my most recent 100 played games.
Chessmistakes details last 100 games played by Brabo
Chessmistakes overview last 100 games played by Brabo
Despite the small-scale study I believe we do see some clear trends. My rating was more or less stable over the 100 games and I played a very evenly spread of player's strength.
1) Concentration mistakes are rare for experienced clubplayers and can't be linked to a rating. Remember my article grandmasternorm for stefan docx in which a double concentration blunder of Stefan was shown.
2) I don't make a distinction between the magnitude of the mistakes but it is not at all a surprise that the number of technical mistakes declines when the rating of a player increases.
3) It is neither a surprise that I commit more technical mistakes against higher rated players as the problems become more complex to be solved. An exception is  the lowest rating-slice which probably can be explained as the result of  playing regularly a sub-optimal move to avoid any complex position. I also want to remark that the actual methods to detect cheating insufficiently take this aspect into account.
4) Maybe the most stunning is the drastic increase of the forced errors in the highest rating-slice for both sides. In this slice my opponent is higher rated so more willing to take risks contrary to my more careful approach against lower rated players. An other explanation is that the problems which need to be solved in the highest rating-slice anyway take more time.

I don't doubt that the number of mistakes also largely depends on the type of player. However I would be surprised if no similar trends can be discovered. If we connect beauty at quality and combativeness then we first need to look at the games between top-players. However the definition of beauty isn't the same for everybody as different accents can be added. So I do understand that a sensational turnaround can be so wonderful that mistakes are just considered as beauty marks.



  1. I just ran into your wonderful blog yesterday. My head is spinning with the amount of information you have. Very nice job!

    I am new to computer chess. You are clearly very advanced in your computer and chess know-how! I have a question about the specifications of the computer you prefer/recommend to use for computer chess analysis and game preparation. Could you please advise as to what processor speed, RAM etc is recommended. Are there any specific brands you use? Also which chess engines are you using now?

  2. People on are definitely better positioned than myself to answer your questions.
    The faster your processor and the more RAM, the better. Unfortunately it is the price which mainly decides what kind of processor and RAM I buy in the end. My last computers were less than 500 euros so very modest HW. I don't use any specific brands (I have today AMD and Intel).

    As engines I use Stockfish and Komodo which are currently considered as the strongest.