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Rybka (Computer) vs Jaan Ehlvest
"One Fish Two Fish" (game of the day Aug-30-2007)
pawn odds match (2007) (unorthodox), ?, Mar-06
Chess variants (000)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-30-07  psmith: <Marmot PFL>
I am sure that if Rybka had both White and Black pieces and White started with a pawn down, Black would have all the winning chances and if White escaped with a draw that would be interesting.

Can RandomVisitor perhaps put this to the test?

Aug-30-07  soberknight: <Kerouac> Funnier than the actual pun, which I don't get.

This is a weird game. Pawn odds, but Ehlvest tries such a strange strategy to defend his kingside. Steinitz might have been proud. :)

Aug-30-07  Marvol: I think Ehlvest should have thought better about his opening. Here he plays a Slav as if nothing's odd, only at around move 8 to realise that, whoops, he really can't castle kingside, but also that he has already compromised his Q-side.

I mean, come on! How stupid are you? From move one he could have known that 0-0 was not an option.

Then he gets his king stuck in the centre and his queen on a7. Great.

Bad play, very naive.

<psmith> I think you are grossly overestimating the power of a rook pawn and similarly underestimating the power that a saved tempo means in the opening.

Oh and a last note, can't see a reason for this game to be game of the day. Really.

Aug-30-07  Morphystyle: I remember Ehlvest saying somewhere that the problem with having a pawn missing on the kingside is that it is difficult for black to be able to castle queenside with most openings, therefore white has an attacking advantage in games like this.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I recently read an article by Kaufmann in Chess Life regarding odds game. the choice of the h pawn is unusual for odds-play. I don't think this is a disadvantage for white at all. He gets significant compensation with the open h file.
Aug-30-07  psmith: <Marvol> Well, we'll have to disagree. I'd like to see some tests -- Rybka against itself, say -- as I suggested. I could be convinced.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: King Rook's Pawn-very strange odds.

Black seemed fixated on the a-file as he put all of his heavy forces there. Too bad this action was biting on granite,while his poor king was hounded into submission.

Aug-30-07  Marvol: <psmith> Mind you, I'm not saying I think it is an <advantage> to play without the h-pawn, just that I think white has compensation. But yes, I definitely do not agree with your assessment that white should be lost from move 1.

I'd guess the whole difference wouldn't be more than somewhere between 0.25 and 0.5 of a pawn.

It also depends on black being aware of the semi-open h-file from move one, not what Ehlvest did :(.

Aug-30-07  apple pi: I agree with <realbrob>, open positions favor computors anyways, and Rybka's attack depended on the rook to break up black's pawns. Maybe Ehlvest should have castled qs.
Aug-30-07  realbrob: <unixfanatic: Does any GM not look like an amateur versus Rybka?>

Yes, I think someone does not. As I said before Rybka can't make things appear out of a chess position just because it's an engine. What I mean is that almost every plan or move you can play on the board can be foreseen by a very strong (human) opponent, especially in the opening, where all the most common positions have been studied by chess theory.

I suppose Kramnik, Carlsen, Anand and so on could play very well against Rybka. Anyway this is just a guess, because going through's database you'll see that Rybka vs. Ehlvest is the only recorded match played by Rybka against a human opponent. If someone knows of matches between Rybka and strong GMs, please let me know.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Jack Kerouac: Ehlvest has left the building....>

Compare: Kasparov vs Ehlvest, 1978

Aug-30-07  scholes: rybka has played 3 odds matches till today ,

this game was played on 1st day of 1st match when ehlvest lost all of his games having no idea how to play pawn odds or having underestimated strength of rybka .After that all matches and games had been close

ps rybka was running on quad in all of these matches

Aug-30-07  xKinGKooLx: Very nice game - it shows that the rook blasting its' full power down the h file is worth a lot more than a measly h pawn. It might have given White an advantage. I think that some pawn "odds" games help the player that had the pawn removed, because it speeds development. However, it can make it harder to control the centre, say, if the e pawn was removed. Interesting.

This is my 50th post! I hope to make many more on the best chess site on the internet!

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: A Grandmaster being given pawn odds and get's his booty kicked. Times are a changing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <chancho: A Grandmaster being given pawn odds and get's his booty kicked. Times are a changing.>

Makes you wonder if Morphy's opponents were so weak after all.

Aug-30-07  ChessNe1: Ehlvest had left the building. This was not his best. Was he blindfolded?
Nov-14-08  apexin: well played Rybka.
Dec-18-08  WhiteRook48: <unixfanatic> Not every GM against Rybka looks like an amateur. Hiraku Nakamura won against Rybka in spectacular fashion- with 5 Bishops, 4 promoted.
Feb-01-09  WhiteRook48: and won him again with KQB vs K, but that doesn't matter
Feb-02-09  WhiteRook48: not sure that playing without h2-pawn is really a lot of a handicap. Come on! An open h-file is bound to be an advantage
Feb-05-09  WhiteRook48: GMs seem not be any match for Rybka
Apr-07-09  PeterWellington: I had Rybka (v2.2) play itself with these same pawn odds (5 minute game). From the start, Rybka only gave black around a 0.2 advantage.

As the game played out, white actually built up a strong advantage, at least theoretically (up over 3.0 at one point). The end game had white with a rook and three pawns (1 isolated, 2 connected) vs. knight and 3 pawns (connected).

White won another pawn but in the process got its rook trapped on a square where it couldn't move safely but couldn't be attacked. Neither side had a way to make progress so the game was drawn.

Jun-22-09  prinsallan: Rybka = saccing machine!
Jul-20-09  newzild: It makes me feel good about my draw with Rybka in a 5-minute blitz game last week - the silly 'puter played a bad line of the Spanish as black, I won a pawn, Rybka fought back, I returned the pawn for a perpetual check. Big smiles!
Dec-30-10  kevins55555: The Rook Has A Lot Of Life.
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