Category Archives: Sidonia

Sidonia Chess Engine

My game from tonight

My game from tonight


The BLOG is back! And Halloween gambit too.

The blog software “WordPress” asked me if I wanted to update it years ago and I replied YES.

It downloaded so much software that the server thought I was spamming it, stopped half way through and locked me out.
So not only was the site broken, but I was not able to step in and fix it.

Then someone changed the password on the site. That’s just an excuse. I got custody of my daughter, and got a partner too. Despite numerous attempts to fix things, I never managed until today. I am celebrating by posting another Halloween gambit game my chess engine (Sidonia) won.

I regularly get the engine to play the Halloween gambit at Halloween. I figure it could be a nasty shock for the losers. It’s only once a year and its becoming a little ritual of mine.

Halloween again

It has been Halloween again, and like last year I tried setting up my chess program to play the Halloween gambit.
All in all it played 5 games and won all 5. In two of the games the opponent abandoned, probably due to a mixture of losing and knowing that they were playing a computer. That makes the games just seem incomplete. In another game, the opponent took Sidonia (my program) out of book quite early and the game became a long grind.

These are the two remaining games of the 5. My program rips the opponents apart.

Interestingly, FICS has marked these opponents as being programs too; I have only just noticed that. It’s something to look into. FICS is the free internet chess server: the web site where these games took place.


Update for Pablo

Hi all, Ivan here.

I had a message from Pablo recently where Pablo said: “Hi Ivan how have you been?”
This is my reply to Pablo, made public to update everyone at once.

Unlike Tim, I don’t think it interests everyone to have a photo
of every beer I drink posted on facebook. But I might make an
exception today and post a picture of my recent pint of Guiness. I am becoming an expert in Guiness. Ask me if you want to know how a black beer can have a white head on it, or how
the bubbles in a pint of Guiness can sink.

A lot has been happening recently that I have kept fairly quite about.
One of the things is my little girl Sophie is currently in the hands of social
services. Another is my ex-girlfriend wants us to sell our house and
I don’t have the money to buy out her share.

As a result, I have a habit of saying I am free to play in a chess match for Denton
in a week or two, which is true. And then come the day of the match, I forget.
Maybe I am getting old and demented. I rather hope its more a case of
having my mind on other things: possible legal cases in France from Christine
and the aftermath of one over here. The judge ordered that I be DNA tested.
(No, that’s not DNA as in National Dyslexic’s Association!)

I am supposedly not allowed to tell you the results as I could end up
in prison, but I can tell you that it’s quite sexy having a dishy young
lady lean across your lap in her car after putting on her tight
sky blue latex gloves and putting them in your mouth.
Well, it’s sexy afterwards actually, when you remember her and think about it.
At the time I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask her if she’d prefer
a pint to another half hour in the Stockport road works traffic jam.
Knowing my luck, I probably saved myself from the disappointment of
knowing she prefers the traffic jam.

To get my little girl back from social services I need to show that I
am a fit father. That means lots of things … a tidy house, that I am not
a child beater, etc.

I am very fortunate that I have a friend Amal, who came around
and helped me tidy the house. I am sure Merlin will not mention
the clout on the ear I gave him when the National Society for the Prevention
of Cruely to Children (NSPCC) came up to us in Manchester with their
collection tin. So I have my fingers crossed getting my little one back.

We are coming up to Halloween. I might dig out my chess program again.
On Halloween last year, I set it up to play the Halloween Gambit, if possible.
Of course it takes two to Tango, and most opponents played different openings.
Only two people allowed my program to play the Halloween Gambit.
I was delighted that they both lost. I hope I can repeat that again this year.

What else is new?

Fixtures. I went to the fixtures meeting for the Stockport
League and arranged matches for Denton Chess Club. They are on the blog,
but I need to mix them with the Manchester League Fixtures and present
them in a way that makes them simple to view. I am feeling tired and lazy though.

I have a bit of a crush on a supermarket checkout girl.
She’s the prettiest there, or at least that’s my opinion,
but if she wasn’t so pleasant, I’d go to another till to avoid waiting.
But she’s such an angel that I feel something is missing if she’s off sick
and I get served by someone else.

And how’s my chess? Slowly getting better I hope.

I am going to set myself a challenge. To play a game online tonight,
win against a higher rated player, and then post the game, with (hopefully)
something clever in it, even if its full of mistakes.

And … almost forgot to mention it. I act as the walk leader at times
on Saturdays for “Walking for Health”, leading walkers from the Droylsden
Leisure Centre (depart 10:30 Saturdays), walking to the cafe at Daisy Nook
(arriving about 12:00 or 12:15, and after a coffee there, returning
back along the disused canal. Anyone is welcome to come and join in.


A change from chess

I decided this weekend – for one reason or another – to tidy up at home.

I started a bit on the garden today, where the flagstones at the front had stuff growing out from the gaps between them.

It still looks a mess but it is significantly better. The stuff I pulled out of the gaps was enough to fill a wheelie bin. I wonder how much I will manage to get done before I run out of steam. Gardening is far from being my favourite pastime.

I did once have a special tool for clearing out the gaps. It was a wire brush where the wires lined up front to back like this |. I couldn’t find it so I went to B&Q and they only had one where the wires line up side to side like this -. I did my bit of gardening with the new one. And then, as soon as I had finished, I went to put the tool away, and I found the one I had been looking for. Life’s like that eh?

Sidonia software demonstation game

Yestereday Ivan was showing off his chess program to someone from work and this is how the game went.  In the days of Paul Morphy, he would often trounce his opposition, perhaps a famous politician or wealthy businessman, and Morphy’s game would be published with “anon” for his opponents name. I have done the same here, as the game was for fun, to show my software at work, and was not a serious attempt to beat it.

Sidonia crashed once, right at the handover from the opening book handover from the GUI (Arena) to the start of thinking by the Chess Engine (Sidonia), but simply restarting Sidonia handled that with no interruption to the game. That is the beauty of a stateless chess engine protocol like UCI (Universal Chess Interface) compared to the older X-board interface.

More on the game might be added here later!



Halloween – Nightmare on FICS (Free Internet Chess Server)

It’s halloween and my chess program (Sidonia) is playing on the internet again for the first time in as long as I can remember. In honor of the occasion the chess engine is playing (if the opponent also makes the right starting moves) THE HALLOWEEN GAMBIT.

The game starts fairly normally: Kings pawns come out followed by the four knights. White then sacrifices a knight and black probably already has a winning position. But if Black is not aware of how best to play the Hallloween Gambit, he can try to hold onto the piece advantage gained in the opening and things can rapidly go wrong and become a nightmare.

Here is one of Sidonia’s games from tonight.

Denton Chess Club player grades

Here are the grades of the players

30 Graded players found.

Ref Member Name Sex Age Club Standard Previous Rapidplay Previous
105395E Gold Boulden, David M Denton 137 A 141 A 130 E
108722J Silver Connor, Michael I M Great Lever 153 A 152 A 145 B 158 A
114717B Silver Lysons, John SM M Denton 147 E 152 E
120512C Gold Toole, Dave M Stockport 163 A 171 A
127703A Silver Kolbusz, George M Denton 161 D 161 E 172 F
130379L Moan, Francis E M Denton 149 C 149 A 133 C 130 C
157121H Lesnik, Eric M Denton 102 A 104 A 103 B 105 B
157128L Gold Cawley, Paul F M Stockport 182 A 184 A
157129B Ryan, John M Denton 156 B 160 B 144 D 146 E
157724E Furlong, Malcolm J M Denton 92 E 90 E
171288D Bronze Boyd, Philip A M Denton 113 B 108 B
188042B Silver Cook, Dave W M Denton 111 B 111 A
241589G Gold Jaunooby, Ali Reza M Denton 202 A 205 A 195 C 197 A
259332E Gold Burke, Mitchell R M 3Cs 175 A 171 A 189 A 184 A
273804B Gold Holt, David N M Denton 133 A 138 A
277220G Bronze Williamson, Alan M Denton 83 B 85 B
278481G Silver Urwin, Ivan M Denton 111 C 108 B
279774E Silver Renshaw, Mick J M Macclesfield 128 A 130 A 99 D 99 D
282157G Ryder, Arthur M Denton 104 D 104 D
282176L Gold Hilton, Tim M Denton 168 A 164 A 179 B 162 A
288556G Lopez Gomez, Jose Pablo M Denton 188 A 182 A
292506A Antal, Laszlo M Denton 180 A 176 A
292512G McIlvenna, Stewart M Denton 79 C 77 C
292513J Menchelli-Lombardo, Giorgio M Denton 104 D 106 C
296556C Raychev, Rostislav M Denton 172 B 176 D
297139C Abdullayev, Shami A M Azerbaijan 181 D 194 E 187 E 187 E
298501K Maycock, A Lee Denton 60 E
298596C Silver Thestrup, Sixten M M Denton 211 D 221 F
299171J Miranda, Tomas Cristian 13 Denton 69 F 92 F
904265K Ireland, Tom Denton 119 D 82 F