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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Hydra (Computer)
Man vs Machine 120'/40+60' (2004), Bilbao Esp, rd 1, Oct-06
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Check Variation Intermezzo Line (E15)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-24-05  GreatGrecosGhost: 15. e3? is a mistake by Ponomariov. He blocks in his terrible bishop for the rest of the game with this move. He follows a plan of opening the file and dominating it with his major pieces while ignoring his minor pieces entirely.

Black's plan involves activating his queen and minor pieces and finishes black with a nice sacrifice to create a passed pawn that will cause white to have to dump major material.

It seems Ponomariov was too concerned with playing the man by creating a completely closed game as an anti-computer strategy, that he ignored the fact that he should have been playing the board. This is one of the few games that shows a computer systematically exploiting a human grandmaster's positional blunder.

Sep-07-05  ryanpd: This is a remarkable game. Consider: It's a human vs machine match. In a closed position, white goes pawn hunting on the queenside, but black is building a dangerous attack on the kingside- but it won't come to frutition before many moves have passed. White miscalculates and ignores the attack, greedily grabbing pawns, only to find out too late that he doesn't have time to stop the kingside offensive.

Sound like a typical computer game? Yeah, if you don't know that White was the human! It seem Hydra's intuition was even better than that of the Grandmaster in this case.

Jan-28-06  THE pawn: Really interesting stuff here:

<The Ponomariov vs Hydra game is, in my view, an example of high drama at the chessboard. Watching the game develop we see White taking complete control of the a-file, establishing a rook in a menacing position and eyeing a backward black pawn on c6. Meanwhile Black, the program, appeared to be floundering, for example when it played its bishop to g5 attacking a very well protected white pawn on e3. But look what happened over the next few moves. Black's feeble pawn on c6 was eaten up, while Black lashed out on the king side with the advance of its h-pawn, which looked at first sight like desperation. But it was not desperation. At that point in the game, despite being a pawn down, Hydra was displaying a plus score – it was searching so deeply that it already knew that it stood better. And within another couple of moves what had, at first, seemed like clutching at straws, was revealed to be a blistering attack against which it was almost impossible to suggest a defence for White. Maybe there was one, of sorts, by sacrificing the exchange with Rxf6, but whether it would have enabled White to survive is highly doubtful.>

Apr-28-06  rook h3: very interesting! it's fascinating how white looks like's he's doing alright, great even, but slowly white's position starts to dissolve and black is in complete control.
Nov-30-06  Prokofiev fan: What was the point of hydra's 15...Bb4+? Is there an advantage for hydra to have White's Bishop at c3 instead of b2?
Nov-30-06  rizhanin: It is a theoretical variation.They believe,that playing 5...Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 the black minimizes white's options.If the white moves then Bc3,the knight has to go to d2,a less active square,than c3.If Nc3 instead,the bishop isn't controlling the big diagonal.
Feb-05-07  belgradegambit: To me one look at the position after 25...h5 reveals white's problem: all his heavy armour is tied up on the queenside leaving his king undefended.
Feb-19-07  Shark82: Possible end after 33. ... - e3 34. Qa3 e2 35. Bb2 exf1=N+ 36. Rxf1 Qe2 37. Rg1 Bxg1+ 38. Kxg1 Qe1+ 39. Kg2 Rbe8 and white has to give up his queen to prevent mate by 40... Re2+ 41. Kf3 Rf2+ 42. Kg4 Qe4+ 43. Kg5 Qf5# 0-1
Jul-28-07  unixfanatic: I highly doubt if any human could beat Hydra unaided at a standard time control - with this machine, you're very thankful to get a draw!

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