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New rating record(s)

yes, again achieved a new rating record
for standard play (mostly 16/0) on the
top (computer) chess server playchess.com !
Now in the top 10 %, on about 11th place,
with a rating of 2669, not bad with some
skulltrails or xeons (8 cpus') in higher places. And
on ICC, with standard play place nr5 has been achieved
(handle bookbuilder).

So my repertoire with 1.e4, found with Bookbuilder,
after lots of testing and fine-tuning seems to
be confirmed, and is becoming quite solid.

some recent changes:

in the Ruy Lopez Zaitsev (9..Bb7) with black, i
dont play 16..g6?! anymore, as it doesn't give
much active counterplay; better seems the old
well known variation with 16..Nd7, and after
17 Ra3 f5! 18. exf5=! (or 18.Nh2 Qe7!)
Rxe1 19. Qxe1 Nxd5!

and yes chess looks drawish again..

more news later

Practical relevance/opening repertoire

Now after the previous ideas and perfect opening lines, whereby black can maintain a draw, one can (and indeed should) ask what's the practical relevance in chess..

Well first of all, by using such almost perfect opening lines, an opening book for a chess program becomes much better of course. Much better ? Well, at least slightly better. For example i've tested my Arena book against the main book by H.Schapp, and achieved improvements of about 60 Elo points. Not really very much, and indeed, the engine/tactics still are much more important.

So what's the relevance of such opening theory for human players ? Well, having thought about this a bit more, i suspect that the approach of finding 'best' opening
moves is not really suitable for human players, having not such perfect memory as computers of course.

Yet another approach can be worthwile, namely choosing opening lines which restrict the number of playable options
for the opponent. Does this mean choosing the sharpes…

Criticism, theory, etc.

In a recent discussion on Usenet, rec.games.chess.analysis
my 'conjecture' (hypothesis) that chess fundamentally is
a draw, was critized by some people. Trying to give
some evidence, i showed some standard comp-comp
games, eg. with Rl Zaitsev, and Queens Indian,
where black clearly could maintain a draw.
But people may still question such 'evidence'
of course, as there are many many other lines.

Yet, with perfect play for both sides, assuming
white tries to maintain some initial positional
advantage, i found that often Ruy Lopez, and
against d4 black Nimzo Indian or Queens Indian
are the result of such 'perfect'games.

Then again, one may wonder whats the relevance
of mentioning the RL Zaitsev variation as the
main drawing line for black after 1.e4 , as
white for example doesnt have to play 9.h3
in the Ruy Lopez. Well this doesnt matter,
otherwise i wouldnt have mentioned such
lines. Of course i also have analyzed other
possibilities, eg. with 9 d4, the Boguljubow
variation, …

Black is ok, chess is a draw with perfect play..

With some more Rybka analysis, i'm convinced that
chess is a draw, with perfect play for black.
After e4 e5!, and with the Ruy Lopez it seems not
possible anymore to obtain a structural advantage
for white. Neither with the Bobuljubow Ruy Lopez
variation (8.d4) nor with the Closed RL with 9.h3,
as not only the Zaitsev (10..Bb7) but maybe also
the Breyer (10..Nb8) can maintain equality
for black, i.e. equally valued positions.

Of course careful play for black is needed,
to anticipate any winning plans for white,
but i've analyzed these lines deep enough i think
that a draw seems 99.999 % likely with perfect
play for black.

If one would talk about 'solving' chess, ie.
trying to find a forced win for white against any
defence for black (like eg. in four-in-a-row) then
proving chess would be a draw, also would be a
'solution' of chess. So, i now can say that
chess has been 'solved', its a draw.. :)

'Proof':
*if* there would be a forced win for white…

Opening theory and the art of bookmaking

Having looked more in detail into 'my' repertoire,
i.e. the opening book(s) i made for Arena it
appears that gradually i'm getting into new theory.

This is because conventional theory, and also
most 'conventional' opening books are based on (top)
GM games. But the deeper you get into a line, the
fewer games there are, after which the theory gets
very dependent on just one or a few games.

The statistics then get unreliable, and it the of
course is interesting to analyze some of the most important/frequent positions with the top engine
Rybka (in the past most computer chess programs,
i.e. 'engines' were positionally not good enough
to make good moves/ evaluations, but with the latest
Rybka 2.3.2 i believe it can be used to make
professional/GM quality evaluations); this sometimes
leads to interesting results, eg. more solid defences
for black in lines such as the closed Ruy Lopez,
Zaitsev or Breyer variations (doing a full minimax
with the old Boo…

A new start

First of all best wishes to all for the new year 2008.

For this year, i've got some plans to renew my chess repertoire.
After comprehensive analysis and computer games with
the top engine Rybka, it appears that 1 e4 still is
slightly better than d4. Games by Rybka with the Noomen book,
and also human games by Anand seem to confirm this idea.

In my own computer-repertoire, there will be some changes,
and i will write them down in the e-book 'better chess opening play',
so i'm planning a new version, probably ready in a few months.
Writing down the new variations will take less time,
probably only a few weeks.

Some noticeable changes: the Caro Kann defense has become
stronger for black, and the 'best' line for white now isnt
the advance line anymore, but more in line with the
classical lines, with a few improvements of course.
Against Sicilian, both in the Kalashnikov/Pelikan/Sveshnikov
as well as the Najdorf (English attack with Be3!) it appears white
can maintain a positional a…