I was playing as white against my Excalibur tonight at level 20 and had the following game.1. d4 d5; 2. c4 dxc5; Queen's Gambit Accepted... 3. Nf3 Bf5?! This is one I really can't figure out. It seems he's offering either some major initiative/space, or something more as you'll see in a moment. The game continued as such...4. Nc3 Nf6; I'm preparing an e4 advance and he's trying to stop it. 5. Bc5 Nc6; I'm willing to play with two knights to a bishop because I feel comfortable that with a successful e4 advance, I'll have plenty of space for advanced knight posts as well as give my opponent a poor doubled pawn structure. 6. Bxf6 exf6 Another one I can't figure out. Why take with the e pawn rather than the g pawn? Really the only thing I could think was that he wants a kingside castle with a good pawn structure, and doesn't want an isolated h pawn. Regardless, this allows me the e4 advance I was seeking.7. e4 This forces his bishop elsewhere, allows me to recapture my pawn (at c4) while simultaneously developing my bishop, and gives me a HUGE space advantage in the center. This to me looks to be a very advantageous position for white.Its next move (really the next few moves) shocked me. 7. ... Be6? I was so shocked that after I drew the first game (thanks to a few blunders on my part), that I had to play it again to see if the computer just made a mistake. Can anyone tell me what's up with this? 8. d5 Bxd5 and I was left with a bit of question of what to do next. Down two pawns and guaranteed a minor piece advantage, I decided I didn't especially feel like allowing the queens to hang around on the board, nor did I want my e pawn to move to become isolated on the d file. 9. Qxd5 Qxd5; 10. Nxd5 and there it is. I'm up a knight, down two pawns (with one of its ready to fall, so really only down one pawn), and threatening the rook fork by 11. Nxc7. Its next move was a 10. ... 0-0-0 kingside castle.The second game I played I cleanly won. I can't figure out why the computer would have moved the bishop to e6 though. Anyone have any explanation that might find some reasoning? The only thing I could think is that the computer hopes that I capture at d5 at some point with my pawn, thus having that isolated pawn to attack and a two or three pawn majority after a capture. Other than that, I can't figure out why this move would be at ALL beneficial.The other move I can't figure out as whether or not it's any good is the 3. ... Bf5 move. To me it begs for an e4 advance, and with that spacial advantage and the poor pawn structure black would have, I'm very happy to play with two knights against his two bishops. Am I wrong in saying that? Is there some better way for me to proceed through this than what I did?Any insight would be much appreciated. I know it's just a computer and not the greatest, but at level 20 it plays a pretty good game and I would not expect it to make the careless 7. ... Be6 at any level past level five. Honestly at level 20 I would expect that it wouldn't play 3. ... Bf5 unless it gives black some sort of advantage that I'm not seeing, or seems to feel that playing with two bishops and an open file for a rook due to doubled pawns is better suited than two knights, initiative, and tons of central space.Chris
Is that supposed to be 5. Bg5?
never mind....obviously if Bxf6....sorry....hadn't gotten that far.
I must agree with your assessment. I don't know what the computer was thinking. Perhaps the digital display on your excalibur is broken and you were really playing level 2? ;) I have an Excalibur (Kingmaster II), but never use it. The microscopic pieces annoy me just as much as the super-slick surface of the playing area. As many times as I've had the pieces fly everywhere in my eforts to press on them hard enough to register a move, it's amazing I still haven't lost any pieces. How tough is level 20 supposed to be?
PSU,There is nothing horrid about 3....Bf5, its just a variation where Black might actually try to play B:b1, leading to more unorthodox positions,but you sidestepped all that when you played Nc3.The major/textbook problem with the Queens Gambit (QG)after Black plays e6 is the Bishop buried on c8, therefore Bf5 is a move searching for freedom, even though it may allow e4 with tempo, forcing the B back to g6. By the way, after your Bg5, Blacks better reply is Ne4.The disgusting Be6 allowing the fork is just a matter of computer programming, which will make the computer materialistic, a trait that is only good if coupled with a deep search into the position, several moves (also called "ply") ahead. In the case of Excalibur, your level 20 obviously is set to what it looks like "ply 1", therefore it can only see up to Be6,where it then evaluates the position as favourable to Black. If it were set to look deeper, I believe it would see d5 coming and alter that previous judgment to "unfavourable", and not play Be6.In the future, try to play only the highest levels on the machine, and if it turns out that you are still able to beat it consistently, it is time to move on to something stronger (it happened to me).
Thanks to all for the insights.By the way, after your Bg5, Blacks better reply is Ne4.I had believed this, being that it would block the e4 advance and the knight could rest somewhat comfortably on e4 causing a bit of havoc for a short while. As I don't have a board (the one here is set up in mid-game) in front of me to use, I can't think what my reply would be to Ne4. I'll look at that a bit later.The disgusting Be6 allowing the fork is just a matter of computer programming,I wanted to make sure of this, and that I wasn't missing something. I now have two people, one of whom is classified as an expert, telling me I'm not crazy, so I feel pretty comfortable with that.In the future, try to play only the highest levels on the machine, and if it turns out that you are still able to beat it consistently, it is time to move on to something strongerI don't think I'm there yet. The highest level is level 76. I got the machine a few months ago, but don't play it very often, mostly because I don't have a lot of time to sit down and dedicate an hour or two at a time to a game. I should do more of it. I'm working my way up, five levels at a time. I spanked level 15 a few days ago, so I moved up to level 20. If I can beat it again (using a different opening) I'll prolly start moving up by 10 or 15 levels at a time.The level 76 is rated at 1650 if I recall correctly. I don't think I'm near that yet. I see two major flaws in my game which I'll get into in another post. It would be good practice though...maybe I'll just jump right to it. :-)Chris
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