Board 2

White: Gandalf 5.0
Black: Kenneth Frey (MEX)

Download game in pgn-format.

16 December 2002 - Draw by mutual agreement.

Comment from Kenneth Frey

Dear chessfriends, 

A short opinion and my thoughts during the game might complement the match, without any lengthy analysis. I felt quite happy after the first moves. White must improve on the variation if he pretends to keep the advantage. Black is comfortable after 16.Nxe4. I guess choosing an opening is as difficult for Gandalf as for the rest of us. As children we learned not to bring out the queen early, and this games just proves the accuracy of the axiom, as her majesty was forced back with no glory. 

Now the first important and difficult decision was reached : to keep the tension, take on d4 or play 16...c4. Every modern master has warned against releasing the tension, because with a secure center, white then has a free hand on the kingside. Certainly white´s prospects there could not be taken lightly. I think my choice was correct, but only narrowly. 

Gandalf had the very difficult task of proving that 16...c4 wasn´t accurate, but 18.h3 gave me the impression he couldn't solve the strategical complexities. I couldn't figure out why he thought the move was necessary. White must play sharper before black's queenside begins to roll. This could be achieved by bringing the queen or a rook to e4 and push the h-pawn to h4 and h5. So white's critical point is his 18th move. 

Then came the hideous 20...Nxc3. It stopped any attacking chances on the kingside but killed the game that now turned very dull. The alternative was the double-edged 20...Qd7 21.Qe4 Rfd1 or 21.Re4 a5 with interesting possibilities for both sides, but white must find how to increase the pressure on the black king. Unfortunately I have lost my analysis of the position because I had little time to write down the variations at that period. In general, white is not without chances and the spectrum of a mate finally haunted me. So I failed to test Gandalf properly, but the little I saw is quite impressive. 

My thanks to Gordon for his friendship and efficient management of Gandalf, to Marijus Kulvietis, our captain, always ready to take another challenge and Rebel, now a familiar company for me, after annotating every game in the Odyssey 2001 tournament. Kenneth Frey

Comment from Gordon Rattray

Dear chessfriends,

As mainly a spectator myself, I can't comment much on the game directly.  However, I enjoyed playing a part and it was interesting to watch Gandalf analyse upon receiving a move from Kenneth.

Once out of its opening book, Gandalf's numerical evaluation of the game positions didn't change very much.  I think at the very most it once estimated about 0.3 of a pawn in its favour.  The final position was evaluated at 0.0.  So, in summary, Gandalf estimated that the game was almost level throughout.

It is of great credit to both players that they didn't concede any disadvantages during such high level play.  Congratulations to Kenneth for playing so well, and congratulations to Steen for writing Gandalf.


Kenneth Frey
       Operator of Gandalf on Board 2:
Gordon Rattray

Personal information:
Age: 28
Country: Scotland, UK. (City: Glasgow)
Occupation: Software engineer
Interests: computer chess and AI in general
Used hardware for this match: 2 separate Athlon 1.1 Ghz PC's using 200 Mb hash tables and all 3, 4 and 5 man endgame tablebases.