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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Impressive Performance by HIARCS

Thanks (again) to Kirk who informs us that HIARCS found the winning plan in the Knaak-Geller position given below. Very impressive! For those that don’t know the 2nd World Chess Software Championship was held from November 24 to 26, 2011, at Tilburg University, in The Netherlands. One thing I noticed about this tournament was that everyone had to use the same hardware so that helped level the playing conditions.
The final standings:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
P
1
4w½
2b1
bye
3w1
5b½
4b½
2w½
bye
3b½
5w1
2
bye
1w0
3b1
5w½
4b½
bye
1b½
3w1
5b1
4w½
5
3
5w½
4b1
2w0
1b0
bye
5b1
4w½
2b0
1w½
bye
4
1b½
3w0
5b0
bye
2w½
1w½
3b½
5w½
bye
2b½
3
5
3b½
bye
4w1
2b½
1w½
3w0
bye
4b½
2w0
1b0
3

I am not familiar with the HIARCS program but according to the Chessbase website it is famous for its human-like playing style and its ability to come up with the unexpected. Recent HIARCS versions are known for sharp attacking chess. More importantly they claim that HIARCS 12 has been enhanced through a new deeper search and evaluation of dynamic possibilities. They comment, “This new approach enables HIARCS to play interesting, distinctive aggressive chess while being sensitive to the needs of the position.” and its play has been improved in quiet positions because it is “more selective about the variations it explores to achieve a better understanding than previous versions leading to much stronger play.”

Actually, I’m not familiar with any of the engines in this event, BUT…the fact that HIARCS discovered 22.Bc2 and then followed it up with the correct plan of Bb3, Nf4 and Rbd1 really is quite impressive.

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