Paleface Attack Defeats Android Chess Free App…

I’ve recently been playing a lot of chess games on the Chess Free App for my Android Motorola Xoom . The engine uses the Treebeard programme, which is said to imitate a more human approach to playing chess.

Treebeard was developed by Jeff Rollason, CEO and founder of the independent UK PC games company AI Factory. The Treebeard system has been deeply influenced by Jeff Rollason’s experience in the design and development of his Shogi (Japanese Chess) program Shotest.

The Android Chess Free app is an excellently designed programme, very attractive, and smooth to operate, with good graphics, but the CPU on level 10 only plays at the 1400-1500 ELO level.

The other night I played a game as White on Level 9. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but have since found out that my opening was the Paleface Attack. I was simply reacting to Black’s 1. … Kt to KB3 by opting for 2. P to KB3. It worked a treat in drawing out the Black Queen while allowing me to rustle up a defence of my King and a counter attack on the King Side, using a Knight sacrifice to open up a path to the Black King.

The computer made one or two surprising – all too human – moves, such as faffing around with the Bishop for a couple of moves, castling into trouble, and then allowing the Queen to be pinned against the King.

Here’s how the game went…

MoveWhite (DPH)Black (Chess Free Android App, level 9)Comment
1.P to Q4Kt to KB3
2.P to KB3 P to K3The Paleface attack.
3.P to K4Kt x P
4. P x KtP x KtQ to R5 chThe Queen's attack is louder than it is effective.
5.K to Q2Q x KP
6.Kt to KB3Kt to B3
7.B to Q3Q to Kt5
8.Q to B1Kt x P
9.Kt x KtQ x Kt
10.P to B3Q to QR5
11.P to QKt3Q to R4
12.K to B2B to Q3
13.Kt to Q2B to K2White now moves over to the offensive... Black fiddles with his Bishop, wasting another move...
14.Kt to K4P to KB4
15.Kt to Kt3Q to B4
16.Kt to R50-0

Black Castles into trouble.
17.Kt x PK x Kt
18.Q to B4K to Kt1
19.P to B4P to Q4Surprising that Black did not contest the long diagonal.
20.B to Kt2R to Q1
21.Q to K5Q to B7 ch
22.B to K2P to Q5
23.QR to KB1Q x P?Another surprising move by Black...
24.KR to Kt1P to Q6 chPinning the Queen.

The threat of the Pawn fork is illusory and restores the Bishop's support of the Queen on the long diagonal.
25.K to Kt 1Q x KR1
26.R x Q chK to B1
27.B to R5P to B4The Bishop escapes from the Pawn and shuts down the King's escape route.
28.Q to Kt7 ++

And here is chess expert Bastian describing and playing through a very different game using the Paleface attack.

David Hurley


  1. Ive beaten the free chess program on my galaxy s3 around 160 times on level 12. I think it’s treebeard. I always play some variation of barcza or pirc or kings indian

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