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A computer triumph against man

Today's featured game is the most impressive computer victory I've seen against a human opponent. The tournament was the 1986 US Open in Somerset, N.J., with a Fidelity experimental model playing white against International Master David Strauss. The computer fell into a pet variation of Strauss's, but then, where a mere human being would likely have been demoralized and succumbed to one of various tactical ploys, the computer consistently found its best chance - and ultimately it was the IM who erred. Strauss had some consolation, though, in the $250 he received for splitting the $500 special prize awarded for the best game against a computer. Center Counter Defense Fidelity S-6 Strauss 1. P-K4 P-Q4 2. PxP N-KB3 3. P-Q4 NxP 4. P-QB4 N-N3 5. N-KB3 P-N3 6. N-B3 B-N2 7. P-KR3 O-O 8. B-K3 N-B3 9. Q-Q2 P-K4 10. P-Q5 N-K2 11. P-KN4 P-KB4 12. O-O-O PxP 13. N-KN5 (a) P-N6! (b) 14. P-B5 P-N7! 15. BxP N-B5 16. Q-K2 NxB 17. QxN (c) N-B4 18. Q-Q2 B-R3 19. N/B-K4 N-R5 20. KR-N1 B-B4 (d) 21. B-R1 P-N3 22. P-Q6! (e) P-B3 23. Q-K3 PxP 24. NxBP Q-N3 25. N-N3 Q-R3 26. Q-QB3 QxP 27. BxP (f) QR-Q1? (g) 28. B-Q5 ch K-R1 29. N-B5 (h) Q-N8 ch 30. K-Q2 N-B6 ch 31. BxN RxP ch 32. K-K2 RxR 33. RxR Q-B7 ch (i) 34. QxQ BxQ 35. R-KN1 B-B4 36. P-R4 R-QN1 37. P-N3 R-QB1 38. N-B7 ch K-N2 39. N-Q6 (j) R-B1 40. R-QR1 K-R1 41. RxP B-B5 42. N-B7 ch K-N1 43. B-Q5 K-N2 44. N-N5 ch (k)

A.Fidelity has a good ``book.'' So far it's all theory and supposedly leading to a substantial edge for White in all variations.

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B.Strauss had prepared this strong novelty, which apparently refutes existing theory. The idea is to meet 14.PxP with the exchange sacrifice 14.... RxB followed by 15.... NxBP, with excellent play. Black is now threatening 14.... P-N7; 15.BxP, NxBP. The play now gets very wild.

C.It was marginally better to recapture with the pawn, but Black still would stand well after 17.... N-B4.

D.A simpler way to keep the advantage was 20.... NxB; 21.RxN, B-B4.

E.The only realistic bid for counterplay.

F.The fearless bag of bits again finds the best try.

G.Black should now win with 27.... QR-N1; 28.B-Q5 ch, K-R1, when Black threatens 29....KR-B1, while 29.P-Q7, BxQP; 30.N-B5, Q-R8 ch decides in Black's favor.

H.This is the shot Black overlooked. His queen is trapped, and extricating her costs a piece.

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I.The queen is caught once again after 33.... Q-R7; 34.B-Q5.

J.Quite pretty. 39....RxN costs both prelates after 40.NxB ch.

K.The final insult. White annouces mate in five. Since any king move leads to an immediate mate (i.e., 44....K-R1 or K-R3; 45. RxP mate, or 44....K-B3; NxP mate), Black can only prolong matters by hurling pieces in the way with 44....B-Q2, etc.