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…
|Move||White (DPH)||Black (Chess Free Android App, level 9)||Comment|
|1.||P to Q4||Kt to KB3|
|2.||P to KB3||P to K3||The Paleface attack.|
|3.||P to K4||Kt x P|
|4. P x Kt||P x Kt||Q to R5 ch||The Queen's attack is louder than it is effective.|
|5.||K to Q2||Q x KP|
|6.||Kt to KB3||Kt to B3|
|7.||B to Q3||Q to Kt5|
|8.||Q to B1||Kt x P|
|9.||Kt x Kt||Q x Kt|
|10.||P to B3||Q to QR5|
|11.||P to QKt3||Q to R4|
|12.||K to B2||B to Q3|
|13.||Kt to Q2||B to K2||White now moves over to the offensive... Black fiddles with his Bishop, wasting another move...|
|14.||Kt to K4||P to KB4|
|15.||Kt to Kt3||Q to B4|
|16.||Kt to R5||0-0||
Black Castles into trouble.
|17.||Kt x P||K x Kt|
|18.||Q to B4||K to Kt1|
|19.||P to B4||P to Q4||Surprising that Black did not contest the long diagonal.|
|20.||B to Kt2||R to Q1|
|21.||Q to K5||Q to B7 ch|
|22.||B to K2||P to Q5|
|23.||QR to KB1||Q x P?||Another surprising move by Black...|
|24.||KR to Kt1||P to Q6 ch||Pinning 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 1||Q x KR1|
|26.||R x Q ch||K to B1|
|27.||B to R5||P to B4||The 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.