How to Beat a Chess Computer – Part 2

Effective pruning is crucial to making sure that we only consider the best moves. People are believed to be skilled at spotting the best moves in a position. We must also ask how larger we should grow the tree. Of course, time constraints that come with tournament play limit our choice.

At the same time, we shouldn’t stop during a sequence of captures and recaptures as the evaluation function could present incorrect conclusions. So much of the work in computer-based chess focuses on making sure that the variations tree is appropriately grown. Let’s overview the strengths and weaknesses that can impact the game against computer.


Openings: The majority of modern chess programmes feature an extensive opening book and thus play in line with the best theory in numerous lines. Computers sometimes, however, can find themselves lost when their opening books comes to an end and they are asked to think for themselves.


Special positions: For example, Zugzwang can be hard for computers. Pieces are positioned on okay squares, there might be a small number of pawn moves that could be made before one side has no choice but to make a worsening peeve move. Therefore, the computer is unable to see the forthcoming doom.

Non-standard endgames- Computers depend on endgame pre-defined evaluation. Based on material left, as opposed to position nuances. An example would be in the Deep Blue – Kasparov match in 1996, there featured an opposite coloured Bishop ending.

Just two games later, however, the chess computer decided that the opposite colour Bishops gave a more end game nature to the position, while in the particular position, then opposite colours Bishops had an important role to play from an attacking standpoint, as opposed to being a drawing factor.

There are numerous examples of a chess computer losing a simple endgame, with many of these being from ‘lost’ positions. For weaker players, however, a computer’s endgame weaknesses might be more difficult to take advantage of as you would need to be able to skillfully play endgames.

How to beat computers

Breaking rules of thumb– The evaluation function in chess computers is essentially a set of ‘rules of thumb’ and when assigned a position where the rules don’t apply, it done’s stop following them. The one reception is if it can see the consequences.

Opening choices against a first-rate tactician– When coming up against such a player, you should attempt to steer clear from open positions, where tactical awareness and basic centralisation strategies predominate. However, openings that often result in quiet positions give you a better chance against a computer.

Bookish opponent– A strategy that has seen some success is to deviate from book early on. Many Grand Masters don’t apply this strategy- it could well be the case that they are aware of all the latest analysis- maybe even more so than the machines. For weaker players, however, the strategy is a useful one and is god practice for the club player to think through opening plans.