Computers are very clever beasties – at least most of the time. Sadly their matches against each other are deadly dull. The games virtually never have strong strategic lines of thinking – which is the main thing that makes chess absorbing (for me anyway – a battle is waged: a story is told). Still, for my sins, I occasionally check out their games which are usually very long and involve some small tactical edge emerging and then gradually being converted into a win – or just winding down into a draw.
Chessbomb is a great site where you can watch chess tournaments from all round the world, move by move as the games unfold as well as a powerful computer analysis of the positions as they unfold. The computer is usually a very accurate judge of how things are going. Anyway, you can also watch computers grinding away against each other. One such tournament, underway now, is TCEC S1 Division 2. What does all that mean? I have no idea, but it’s a computers’ comp.
While working away on other things last night I kept the occasional eye on the game in round 9 between Protector 1.36.387 and Junior 12.0. [I’ve just figured out how to provide a direct link. NG] And something very strange unfolded. Protector was smart enough to get itself an entirely won game against Junior which is a seriously good program. When I checked out the game this morning Protector had flipped its lid. It didn’t seem to know that to endgames you should try to hang onto the pawns you have (they’re don’t make them any more after the start of the game.
No human beings were hurt in the hosting of the game (I presume) but some programmer’s bonus may have been cut. Seriously, the thing seems to have blown some gasket. I could have won the endgame against Junior!