Letter to Andy Soltis

February 1, 1992

I.G.M. Andy Soltis
c/o Chess Life


In the light of your March column in Chess Life, you may be interested in the results of the MacHack Memorial East-Central New Jersey Elementary School Computer Chess Championship. The following last-round game was played by the two strongest computers to determine the champion. Notes by the players.

White: Why Check?
Black: Cheap Thought

1. P-QN3

Next to a disk failure, Larsen's Opening is the best way to get an opponent out of the book.

1. ... P-KB4

The most aggressive response to White's slow opening. Already Black has possibilities of a decisive attack.

2. B-N2

The hidden point of my previous move. Black is unexpectedly forced onto the defensive.

2. ... K-B2

Consolidating the kingside. White must now make a speculative sacrifice to retain the initiative.

3. P-K4

Striking at the heart of Black's position. On my printout I gave this move two exclamation points, but perhaps three would be more appropriate.

3. ... Q-K1

Preparing 4... P-K4 with the better position. White's faulty strategy should prove fatal in the long run.

4. PxP

I had to prevent 4... P-K4. Both sides were now in severe time trouble.

4. ... P-KR3

This looks risky at first, but I saw in a flash that 5. Q-R5 was not mate.

5. Q-N4

With the brilliant threat of 6. Q-N6 mate. Unfortunately my opponent saw it coming.

5. ... P-KN4

Continuing with my plan of expanding on the kingside. With my flag hanging, this was the only move I had time to consider anyway.

6. PxP e.p. mate

At this point both players claimed a win and the arbiter was summoned. Unfortunately it had been loaded with the wrong diskette, and instructed the players to roll ten-sided dice. They did so and were both slain by giant trolls.

Very truly indeed,

Col. G. L. Sicherman

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