How To Beat A Chess Engine With Less Thinking

There is a strategy to beat a chess program without thinking too much by just following basic principles like force, mobility, and safety. I had a chance of playing tournament chess during my childhood years and I would like to share to you some things that might be a great help especially for intermediate players. Nowadays, we are lucky to find strong opponents by just downloading free chess programs like Stockfish. For this discussion I will use its Android Version, Droidfish.

The Stockfish Chess Engine has a high estimated Elo Rating, around 3000 plus and that is very intimidating so I chose level 5 because this is the level that I have been experimenting. I will try to make also some posts for different levels and different chess topics in the near future. Although the title is too broad to explain, I will show you only one game as a basis for my explanation wherein I played Black in a closed KIngs Indian Defense.

You should always remember that Chess programs have weakness on closed games but they are excellent on open and tactical games.

 

King’s Indian Defense

White (Droidfish)        Black (michaelnel)

 

  1. c4                        Nf6
  2. Nf3                      g6
  3. d4                       Bg6
  4. Nc3                     O-O
  5. e4                       g6
  6. Be2                      e5
  7. O-O                     Nc6
  8. d5                       Ne7

Position after Black’s 8th move, Ne7

For intermediate players, I presume that you have a basic knowledge of King’s Indian Defense. Eight moves could be enough. In this position, forces, mobility, and safety are almost equal. I will refer to these basic principles as we analyze the moves and try to incorporate this idea in your game.

  1. h3                       b6
  2. Be3                     h6
  3. Qd2                    Kh7
  4. Rae1                   Nd7

position after White’s 12th move, Rae1

After White’s 12th move, his King’s Rook has no mobility unless he plans a breakthrough on the f-file via f4. Now I will prevent him by making my own breakthrough.

  1. Qc2                     f5
  2. Nh4                     f4

 

Position after Black’s 14th move, f4

In this position, I think I have the advantage because White’s King is somewhat in danger. His King’s Rook has no mobility compared to my King’s Rook. Forces are imbalance because Black’s pieces are ready to launch a Kingside attack.

  1. Bc1                     a6
  2. Nf3                     g5
  3. b3                      Ng6
  4. Nh2                    Nf6
  5. Ng4                    Nxg4
  6. hxg4                   Nh4
  7. Qd3                    Bd7
  8. Ba3                     Qc8
  9. Qd1                    Rf7
  10. Kh2                    Qf8
  11. Bf3                     Qc8
  12. Bb2                    Qf8
  13. a3                      Qc8
  14. Be2                    Qf8
  15. f3                       Re7

 

Position after White’s 29th move, f3

This Chess Engine always tries to avoid a draw so when he realized that I had a repetition of moves, he played f3 instead of Bf3. This move restricts more his mobility. All I need now is to open the King’s Rook file via h5.

  1. Rf2                      Qf7
  2. Rh1                     Kg8

 

Position after White’s 31st move, Rh1

At last, White has finally liberated his King’s Rook and will try to join the battle on the h-file.

  1. Kg1                      h5
  2. gxh5                    Qxh5
  3. a4                        Qg6
  4. a5                        Kf7
  5. Qa1                     Bf6

 

Position after White’s 36th move, Qa1

It seems that White can not join the fight on the Kingside so he tries to counterattack on the Queenside. The same principle applies. White’s King is not safe. Your attack should continue to build up on the Kingside.

  1. axb6                     cxb6
  2. Qa3                      g4

 

Position after White’s 38th move, Qa3

Black’s pawn at d6 is not safe but it does not matter. White’s King is still in danger.

  1. fxg4                      Bxg4
  2. Bxg4                     Qxg4
  3. Qxd6                     Rg8

 

Position after White’s 41st move, Qxd6

In this position, White has just captured the poisoned pawn at d6. There is no time to defend the rest of my Queenside pawns.  I will use my Queen’s Rook to join the KIngside attack.

 

Position after Black’s 41st move Rg8

When the King is in danger, nothing else counts. White can capture all the pawns on the Queenside but his material advantage will not suffice to draw.

  1. Qc6                      Rg7
  2. Rh2                      Nf3+
  3. Rxf3                     Qxf3
  4. Qxb6                    Qg3
  5. Kh1                      Kg6
  6. Rh3                      Qe1+
  7. Kh2                      Rh7

 

 

Position after White’s 48th move, Kh2

You will notice here that White’s minor pieces can not join the battle. I will make a rook exchange on the h-file to remove his piece that guards the King and I will exploit the absence of his forces on the Kingside to launch my final attack.

  1. Qg1                     Qg3+
  2. Kh1                      Bg5
  3. Rh2                      Rh2+
  4. Qxh2                    Rh7
  5. Qxh7+                  Kxh7

 

Position after Black’s 53rd move, Kxh7

 

White has no choice but to lose his Queen. The rest is technique.

  1. c5                        f3
  2. gxf3                     Be3
  3. b4                       Qg1#

 

Based on this game, the following tips should be remembered:

  1. Chess Engines have weakness on closed games. Try to practice closed defense like the one above.
  2. When materials are equal, try to concentrate your forces for a Kingside attack.
  3. Try to exploit your opponent’s weakness particularly his lack of mobility.
  4. When you have a decisive attack, do not try to waste time depending your pawns.
  5. Chess is fun so why think too much? Just remember Force, Mobility, and Safety.

 

Hope you have some fun in your games.

 

featured image source: pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

23 thoughts on “How To Beat A Chess Engine With Less Thinking

  • at 12:47 am
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    Reply
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    Permalink

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  • at 12:01 am
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  • at 6:57 am
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    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

    Reply
    • at 12:39 am
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      I am not sure about this but maybe you can try to mark those messages as spam in your email acccount.

      Reply
  • at 1:55 pm
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    An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

    Reply
    • at 12:38 am
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      Thank you. I presume that your colleague’s favorite defense against the d4 opening is the King’s Indian Defence. It is a good defense if you want less thinking because the position can be closed to avoid tactical situations which are always favorable for the chess engine.

      Reply
  • at 7:46 am
    Permalink

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    • at 12:40 am
      Permalink

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      Reply
  • at 2:42 pm
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    I?d have to check with you here. Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

    Reply

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