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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fritz Baumbach

      Dr Friedrich (Fritz) Baumbach (born September 8, 1935 in Weimar, Germany) is a German CC Grandmaster. He was the World CC Champion from 1983 and 1989. He is also a strong OTB player having won the was also East German Championship in 1970.

      In the following game I have followed Baumbach’s notes. What makes the game interesting was comparing Baumbach’s notes to those of Houdini.
      In doing so I think it should be clear why, as previously stated, you can’t rely on any engine’s analysis when it comes to positional evaluations. Not that Houdini ever totally disagreed with Baumbach’s analysis; it’s just that he apparently judged White’s advantage to be greater than Houdini did. You can’t really put a lot of faith in Houdini’s analysis in this game anyway because I did not let it run for more than 30 seconds to a minute or two while looking over the game. This point is important because, as I’ve pointed out in previous posts, I doubt that the average engine user in server games ever lets his engine run more than that before playing its first choice. At Baumbach’s level that is not sufficient and there’s clearly a lot more to CC using engines than meets the average player’s eye.
      Another odd thing I noticed was at move 31 when Baumbach was talking about human moves vs. engine moves…it seems to me he may have gotten things backwards. Anyway, it’s curious that none of the engines I used selected 31.h6 immediately. Maybe if I had let them analyze a lot longer they might have, but I wasn’t that curious.
      I just thought it was interesting to compare a strong OTB/CC player’s opinions to a “down and dirty” look with engines. This game was played with post cards, not by e-mail or servers.
      Baumbach wrote a book, assisted by American author and CC GM Robin Smith and Swiss author and CC GM Rolf Knobel, about the World CC Champions. The games are deeply analyzed by the World Champions themselves as well as other strong players. Of course many of the games were pre-computer. The book is titled Who is Champion of Champions?

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