Monthly Archives: February 2014


An unexpected win for Sidonia

So why is this win unexpected? It is a game between my chess program Sidonia and another chess engine called Parrot. However, Parrot is rated a fair bit higher than my program and I don’t recall ever drawing even against Parrot.

I have stopped the game below at the point shortly after Parrot queened a pawn. The game’s time controls were just 1 minute each, and at a glance the game looks lost for Sidonia. But Sidonia threw in a check and Parrot blundered by moving his king the wrong way. This allowed a rook fork followed by a knight fork: a nice little tactic, which allowed Sidonia to swindle a win.


Special Effects

Special Effects

I also found out on Wednesday that my phone does special effects. I knew it could do 3×3 pictures as I posted one a week or two earlier, but now I have discovered these effects too.

I am feeling a little guilty about the lack of chess content in these blog postings today. I think I could post a win by my chess program to rectify that. Yesterday some software I use auto-reposonded to a tournament request and so Sidonia was entered into a competition while I watched TV. My program then crashed and I was sanctioned – a caution – from the powers that be at FICS: the free internet chess server.

I still like the site. I was told off for abandoning mid tournament. At the moment Sidonia is back on there playing against marishka. Marishka plays the weirdest openings!


Enjoy a game of chess

Enjoy a game of chess

Come along and enjoy a game of chess at Denton Chess Club.

We had a home game on Wednesday. I’m sure Tim could tell us all about it. I know we won, but I was busy playing Stan. Often I find it hard to tell who is winning when I look at other people’s games, but last week, we seemed to have an advantage on every board I looked at.

I used to sometimes play bottom board for the first team. These days I don’t even make the second team. I guess that means one of three things.

  1. The club’s standard is getting better.
  2. We just have more members.
  3. I’m getting worse.

Two of those are good news. My rating has dropped. But I’m not so sure my chess is any different. Maybe some easier games would give me more of a fighting chance. So, a, third team game coming up soon for me. 🙂


Chigorin at it’s best…

This is a game stolen from a facebook posting by Joao. I’ve put it here so I can visualise it.

Denton 2 match rearranged.

As you can see from some clips of memos, a match has been rearranged.

Denton 2 will play Eccles on 14th May.

I have updated the fixture list.

Subject: Re: Denton 2 v Eccles
Hi all,
May 14 is okay by me.
Regards, Arthur.
From: David Kierman
Sent: 10 February 2014 10:42 AM
Subject: RE: Denton 2 v EcclesHI All
I have updated the MCF website to reflect this change..
Hi all
Denton 2 is scheduled to be at home to Eccles on Wednesday 19 March.
Manchester United is also playing that night, at home in the Champions League.
As you will appreciate, all sensible routes from Eccles to Denton take us close to Old Trafford, and the last time I got caught in United traffic, it took me over an hour to travel the four miles from OT to Eccles.
I would therefore like to request that the Denton 2 v Eccles match be rearranged.
Any Wednesday, apart from 12 March and 16 April, should be OK.
Please let me know what you think.
Matthew Pollard
Eccles Chess Club
From: Matthew Pollard
Date: 07/02/2014 08:57:10
Subject: Re: Denton 2 v EcclesHi David
May 14 is good for us, if everyone else prefers that date.
Cool Queen Move

Cool Queen Move – QxP

I was watching my chess program playing online and it played QxP.
The game was rather rapid and the opponent didn’t recapture, so
I thought I had just not seen some protection. The protection is a mate-in-two trap:
Bishop checks and rook checkmates.

So the queen cannot be taken.

Hmm. I need to learn to see further ahead. The mate would not be from the rook,
as the knight interposes. I guess it is c4 that delivers mate.


Incidentally, I love it when my program (Sidonia) plays against Marishka. Marishka is a homebrew computer program like mine, so I feel it is a fair fight, and Marishka plays very original openings resulting in exciting play.

Match photo

First post in a while

Here’s a picture from my phone. I found it can do 3×3 stuff, which saves me having to choose who’s photo makes it into the blog.

My chess program has made some stupid sacrifices, and it is usually playing black when it does it. So I suspect my evaluation function or something like that has a problem. Sometimes in chess you give things an absolute score, eg +2 if white is two pawns up or -3 if white is three pawns down. But at other times, you need a score which is from the player’s point of view, eg +3 if black is three pawns ahead and it is black to play.

Since white-to-move’s scores are the same in both absolute and relative scoring systems, getting the two confused is more likely to impact black. Black looks at a queen sacrifice and some software scores it -9. Then another bit of software might see it as black is 9 pawns equivalent ahead!

I wanted to post a game here, but I need to find an interesting game, or at least an interesting move!