Chess Program vs. Chess Mentor

Today only I read about Houdini 3 on claiming that it was the ultimate chess Guru and describing its benefits.

Before going to show some facts, in my personal opinion chess engine never take place of chess mentor. My opinion is based on some of my personal experiences; here I would like share one of them. I am playing the Caro-Kann but against the Exchange Variation I lost many games against my friends despite taking the advice of a chess engine (Houdini and Rybka). But then my mentor GM Nigel came into the picture and suggested to me that your knight should be on f8 and take care of pawn breaks on f5; to be honest I improved my the results to around 90 to 95%. Another typical example is learning openings using computers but often the move suggested strong by the computer is not useful in the long run and creates bad positions after some moves.

In the following game at Tata Steel chess event 2011, a game between Nepomniachtchi,I (2733) – Anand,V (2810) [B90] where V. Anand accepted draw.

Why draw when the engines say Black has a big edge? Hold on guys. It is a fortress and our engines cannot understand it yet! One of the few moments in which the human is still superior to computers!

Another classic example of chess engine’s mistake occurred in the eighth world championship game between Karmnik and Leko in 2004 when chess engines computed the queen sacrifice by Kramnik, 24.Qxe2, as winning for Kramnik into evaluating the position after Leko’s entirely winning 25…Qd3!!, before the engines started to doubt and reduce the score. Kramnik confirmed later in the press conference that this queen sacrifice was prepared and checked using chess engines during his preparation. (Maybe today’s engines count that position accurately?)

Here is the game….

No doubt that chess engine has its own advantages but I gave full points to chess mentor over engine.