Darn Last Round

Wardog wins the 43rd Engine Masters Tournament

by Arno Nickel

March 15, 2020. Three players fought an exciting fight til the very end: Thor, Mario Radocchia (Canada), TheForce, Mel Holm (Switzerland) and Wardog218, James Gipson (USA). The first two had already won prizes in previous tours. Thor was running Eman 5.01, TheForce LeelaZero (lc0) and Wardog218 Eman XXX2, so that means Stockfish and Leela were their favoured engines, and books and hardware made the difference. After round 11 these three were the only ones contenders with a +2 score, and with two rounds to go it didn‘t look like all of them would climb up to +3. Yet, in round 12 Thor defeated Ocirema, Jose Moreira (Portugal), in an Italian Game and thus entered the last round as top favorite. His close rivals had drawn their games. Now, in round 13, Thor had another Italian Game, but this time as Black against Spaghetti_Chess, Alberto Gueci (Italy), who managed to convert an advantage after the queens had left the board.

Spaghetti_Chess (2502) – Thor (2520) [C55]
43rd ENGINE MASTERS, Sunday 15th March, Infinity Chess (13), 15.03.2020

[WhiteEngine "Eman Chimera_CTG"]

[BlackEngine "Eman 5.01 64-bit POPCNT"]

1.e4 e5 2.f3 c6 3.c4 f6 4.d3 c5 5.0–0 d6 6.c3 a5 7.e1 0–0 8.h3 h6 9.b5 b6 10.bd2 e7 11.d4 g6 12.c4 c6 13.xb6 xb6 14.d3 a4 15.c2 b5 16.d3 b6 17.c2 a6 18.e3 d7 19.b4 e6 20.d2 fd8 21.a3 c4 22.b1 b5 23.xc4 xc4 24.b2 h5 25.ad1 hf4 26.b1 e6 27.h2 h4 28.xf4 exf4 29.e5 g6 30.a2 f5 31.e6 d5 32.b1 g5 33.c2 f5 34.xf5 xf5 35.xf5 e7 36.d3 g6 37.c4 dxc4 38.xc4 d6 39.e4 g5



It might look like Black could block White‘s pawns, but ... 40.h4! g7 41.h3 f6 42.g4 g8 43.hxg5+ xg5+

If 43...hxg5, so 44.h1! b5 45.a2 f5 (or 45...g7 46.h6+ g6 47.h7 g7 48.xg7 xg7 49.xg5; 45...dd8 46.h6+ g6 47.h7 f8 48.f7+ xf7 49.exf7 g7 50.xe7) 46.e7 e8 47.h7 xe7 48.exe7 xe7 49.f7+ g6 50.xe7.

We see, how strong White‘s passed pawn is – irresistable!


Not 44.xf4 b5 45.a2 xg2 conceding counterplay to Black.

44...g6 45.b5 c5 46.h1 xd4 47.xh6 xe4 48.xe4 e5+ 49.d3 g7 50.h1 f8 51.h3 b6 52.f3 g6 53.d2 e4 54.d5 e5 55.a2 g5 56.g3 f6 57.b1 e7 58.xf4+ xe6 59.xa4 d5+ 60.d3 c8 61.c3 g5 62.h4 d6 63.a4, 1–0.


At the same time Wardog218 and TheForce won their White games – what a thrilling round!

Wardog218 (2535) – Ugnatniama (2423) [A30]

43rd ENGINE MASTERS, Sunday 15th March, Infinity Chess (13), 15.03.2020

[WhiteEngine "Eman XXX_2"]

[BlackEngine "AI-8.9_M"]

1.c4 c5 2.f3 c6 3.g3 g6 4.c3 f6 5.g2 g7 6.0–0 d6 7.d4 cxd4 8.xd4 d7 9.c2 g4 10.d2 h5 11.h3 h6 12.c1 c8 13.h2 b8 14.e1 f5 15.b3 0–0 16.g5 e8 17.f3 f6 18.d2 h6 19.e4 g5 20.d5 g6 21.b4 e6 22.e3 e5 23.xe5 dxe5 24.b5 fd8 25.b3 f8 26.a4 e8 27.fd1 b6 28.b4 f7 29.xd8 xd8 30.a5 xb4 31.xb4 c8 32.f1 c7 33.c5 bxc5 34.b3 f7 35.c4 b8 36.d1 g7 37.a6 h4 38.d6 e8 39.b6 axb6 40.xb6 xb6 41.xb6 xb6 42.xb6 f7