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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lomonosov Tablebases

     I have mentioned the Lomonosov TBs a couple of times in previous posts but occurred to me that not everyone may know exacty what they are. The Lomonosov Tablebases are 7-men Endgame Tablebases that were constructed by Vladimir Makhnychev and Victor Zakharov at Lomonosov Moscow State University using their Supercomputer. They allow you to determine the certain result of any position with 7 pieces or less. One great advantage to owning ChessOK Aquarium 2014, Houdini 4 Aquarium, Houdini 4 PRO Aquarium, Chess Assistant 14 Starter Package and Chess Assistant 14 Professional Package is that you receive receive free access to the Tablebases until the end of 2014. And…the tablebases can be accessed directly from the Aquarium interface. If you don’t own these products you can still purchase a one year access to the tablebases from ChessOK until July 1, 2015 for $20.97.HERE

     Tablebases have, in some cases, drastically altered the understanding of endgame theory; some positions have undergone  complete reversal of results.  Tablebases have calculated mates in more than five hundred moves which is beyond a human.
     It's important to remember that tablebases ignore the fifty-move rule though and as a result in 1974 FIDE changed the rules several times to account for such positions, but then in 1992 they rescinded these exceptions and restored the fifty-move rule. In 2013, ICCF changed the rules for correspondence tournaments starting from 2014 - a player is allowed to claim a result based on a six-piece tablebase and the fifty-move rule is suspended and number of moves to mate is of no significance. Of course, all this information requires a lot of memory…the seven-piece tablebases require more memory than our home computer will ever have.

If you are serious about studying endgames or are a serious correspondence player, the Lomonosov Tablebases might be a worthwhile investment.

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