Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Round 2, Vortex vs. SMIRF, 1-0

Gothic Vortex vs. SMIRF, 1-0

Tonight's Gothic Chess game featured an interesting demonstration of the fully debugged version of Vortex, coupled with its new King Safety Heuristics and extended depth searching. Click the link above to replay the game.

The first six moves for White were in its opening book, and from the database of games I see this has been played a total of 14 times in the 7,214 games of Gothic Chess I have collected. Nothing extraordinary, just common moves in familiar territory.

Things get interesting in a hurry: After 11. Bg5!? Axc3 Gothic Vortex is down a pawn, as shown in the top diagram. However, white is already castled with all of its minor pieces developed with the Archbishop well positioned. Black is uncastled and would castle directly into a pending attack if it elected to do so with the likes of ....O-O Bxh6! ixh6 weakening the pawn structure irreversibly.

After 11...Axc3 black's Archbishop is threatening the white Queen on d1 and the Chancellor on e1. It appears white will go down this new Gothic Exchange (Chancellor for Archbishop once the Queen vacates d1) but Vortex uncorks 12. Ad2!!

The Queen is not en prise since 12...Axd1?? 13. Bxh6+ ix6 14. Axh6+! would be mate if the Chancellor could not intercede with 14...Cg7. White is presented with the luxury of not having to win back The Gothic Exchange right away since the Chancellor is now pinned by the Archbishop, so black's Archbishop is captured at once, with the Chancellor coming off on the next move.

The SMIRF program saw the threats after it searched ply 10, and it wisely avoided this whole line.

12...Axd2 13. Qxd2 Kg7 was played, and now black's king is not well defended.

Vortex deployed its Chancellor, having already completed a normal development with a king that is immune from threats, then it moves its pieces ever closer to the enemy king. It views white as being better, although down a pawn the entire time.

The shocker comes with 18. Nh5+!! giving up the Knight while still down a pawn, yet showing a score of +4.85 pawns. This is shown in the second diagram. SMIRF's score drops into the negative range, and the permanent damage is done.

Vortex announces mate in 8 with 22. Be4! after only 20 seconds elapsed for that move. A flawless game by the new Gothic Vortex.


Cartaphilus said...

This is the most amazing game of Gothic Chess I've ever seen! Hot damn Vortex is strong now!!

DuelingBishops said...

I would have never seen that move 18 in a million years! That is an amazing combination!

Victor Vector said...

If there was ever such a thing as a "perfect game" of Gothic Chess this was it! Vortex was never in danger. It created a mating attack from out of nowhere. Amazing game, totally amazing.

Martillo Program said...

Excellent game. I thought Martillo may have had chance against Vortex maybe, but not now. Too early to congradulate for winning the whole tournament but impressive game here for Vortex.

ChessCarpenter said...

The new version of Vortex is considerably stronger than the previous versions!! If I had to guess a rating increase it would be about 300-400 pts. higher. It is very efficient, but there is still room for improvement!

I think tactically is it stronger, but its positional play has been increased 10 fold, also it finds mates extremely fast :)

Many upgrades in this version in a short period of time, but Ed worked day and night to produce this version...KUDOS ED....great job!

ChessCarpenter said...

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and, "May your plates be full and your hearts content, but don't forget to watch your football".

LeanGurlSwimmer said...

Oh no, my poor smurfy smirf! I was cheering for you smurfy! Looks like big, bad, mean old Gothic Vortex is back like before. [extremely cute pout]

GothicChessInventor said...

ChessCarpenter is my ever-diligent tester, always reminding me that my work is never truly finished!


Even yesterday he sent me a game where he turned a loss into a win for himself because Vortex turned off a criticial component of its evaluation function at an inopertune time. It was an easy fix, but fortunately it has not come up yet in the tournament!

Thanks again to Rob for all of his hard work!

Smirf said...

LeanGurlSwimmer: I am sorry for disapponting my/SMIRF's fans by losing those first games. Ed obviously has done a good job in making his Vortex fit for the tournament. But SMIRF has been improved too, although that seems not to be done sufficiently ...

Nevertheless there is a chance for SMIRF's fans to see some better results during the games left, though the other participants probably will be hoping the same. ;-)

GothicChessInventor said...


I emailed to you Gothic Vortex 2.2.1, did you receive it?

Smirf said...

Yes, Ed, I got it with an email from you. But currently I have neither time left to repair or improve my SMIRF nor to check out your strong Vortex or any other strong GC program. I hope to restart with that next year, sorry.