How to Beat Houdini at Chess

Houdini chess engine.

Below is a game I played against Houdini 3 on FICS. This version of Houdini is 64 bit running on a Intel Quad Core 2.93Ghz with 6Gigs of Ram. This was my first attempt against this program and I think I did pretty well. In fact, I believe that with an improvement or two I could have won. My apologies in advance for the sloppy pgn work. Hopefully, over the holiday break, I will put all the games on this blog into a chess viewer. In the mean time, you can view it here without my comments.

[Event “FICS rated standard game”]

[White “chessmusings”]

[Black “BlackDemon(C)”]

[WhiteElo “2161”]

[BlackElo “2649”]

[TimeControl “900+0”]

[Date “2012-11-27”]

[Time “20:42:00”]

[Result “0-1”]

1. e4 a6 {Houdini starts with rubbish. That said, I am an expert at playing this kind of “useful junk.”} 2. d4 {When your opponent does not match your first center pawn it is good to add another.} b5 3. c4 {Not intimidated by the reputation of Houdini, I start attacking.} e6 4. Nf3 Bb7 5. e5 Bxf3 {This has been played once before in Murray Chandler vs Wolfgang Schultz, Hamburg, 1980.} 6. Qxf3 Nc6 7. Be3 bxc4 {This is where the game becomes completely original.} 8. Bxc4 Nge7 9. Nc3 Rb8 10. O-O-O {White is winning in King Safety, Space, Time and Force.} Nf5 11. g4 {When you have the advantage you must attack.} Nxe3 12. fxe3 {I was very pleased with my position at this point. Now I just need to be accurate and aggressive} Bb4 13. e4 {This moves looks good because white is taking more of the center. However, I believe this to be my first mistake and it causes me problems shortly.} O-O 14. h4 {I am really in attack mode and did not see my opponent’s counter measures.} Na5 15. Qd3 {Once again this moves looks right. However, when you are playing a very strong computer perfection is necessary. I should have played Bf1.} c5 16. d5 Qc7 17. Na4 {Had I played d6 I could have saved the pawn but I am sure after black played Qb7 I would have had major king safety issues.} Qxe5 18. dxe6 {This opens the d-file for my rook and queen and could possibly cause king safety issues for black.} dxe6 19. Rhf1 Nxc4 20. Qxc4 Ba5 {Black is winning but I have a free move to do whatever I like.} 21. Rd3 {Creative, but this is objectively better:}) ( 21. Qxa6 Bd8 22. Nc3 Bxh4 23. Qd6 Qg5+ 24. Kb1 Qxg4 25. Qxc5 Rfc8 26. Qd6 Bg5 27. Rg1 Qh4 28. b4 )  Rb4 22. Qc2 Rxe4  23. Nc3 {If he takes g4 I will have one less pawn in my way during my assault on his king.} Rxg4 24. h5 {If computers had feelings he might be a little worried.}  Qxh5 {Another pawn out of my way.} 25. Rd2 {Preparing Rh2.}   Rb8  26. Rh2 Qg5+ 27. Kb1 h5  28. Ne4 Qd5 29. Rhf2 Rxe4 30. Rxf7 {Still loosing but at least I am attacking} Qe5 31. Qf2 {I believe I see a way to get at black’s king.} Re2 32. Rxg7+   Kxg7 33. Qf7+ Kh8  {And the black king survives my kamikaze attack. Still, I believe with a couple of improvements I could have been successful.} 0-1 *




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