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REBEL 11.0 review

by Sune Larsson



Introduction

My background is the tournament player's. So, I will give you some impressions of Rebel 11.0 from this point of view. For a more technical description please read the other reviews also. Since two years back, I have worked very intensively with computerchess and Im familiar with almost all commercial programs and freeware. My main interests are to play myself vs chessprograms and databasing. This was my first acquaintance with Rebel - and Dos mode.

Installation

Okey, let's go. Rebel Tiger II installed easily like any Win-program. Step 2 - Rebel Century - my first meeting with a Dos program... Insert CD - start - run - type D:install - hit enter. Just here I faced an error message "couldn't find Install.exe in C:\R11". Created this folder and copied the Install.exe from the CD. And now everything worked.

Rebel 11 package

The CD comes with 3 playable programs, Rebel Century 3.0, Rebel Tiger 13.0 and Gambit Tiger 1.0. This is a lot of playing strength for the money! The big game database consists of some 800.000 games. A tip would be to closely have a look at the special files, containing games from 1850-1938. They show real good quality. The interfaces of Century and Tiger are simpler than found in some other commercials. For me, this CD is a clear cut buy mainly because of
  • 1) Several very strong engines
  • 2) The playing strength
  • 3) The interesting playing styles.
  • 4) The analyse features.
Rebel Century 3.0

The more I see of this engine and the interface, the more I like it! Never thought that could happen with a Dos program...RC plays a strong type of positional chess. Particularly the transition from middlegame to endgame and the endgame skills impress me. I have the feeling that RC:s playing strength might differ quite a bit, depending upon what kind of position is reached, after the opening.

The Anti GM option is an interesting feature to prevent closed positions. Check that one if you play yourself! RC comes with some ready made personalities. It's easy and great fun to construct your own. Which gives a lot of different Rebels... I called my latest Kramnik... The marks for "white stands better" etc. are not the ones familiar to me. But they are easily reversed in the Rebel.trl. Very nice is the "killing doubles" feature in the DB. The colors are adjustable all over the place, so it's possible to create your own comfortable playing enviroment.

The biggest board is big enough and in short this program just works. In my opinion RC is a very dark horse at coming tournaments. It has capacity of ending anywhere between places 1-6. This is a program that might prove to blossom fully in playing humans rather than computers. And the work of creating new and stronger (than default) personalities is happening right now!


Rebel Tiger II

Comes with Classic Tiger /Chess Tiger 13.0/ and Gambit Tiger 1.0. The interface is Chess Partner 5. This CP 5 has been improved and if you tweak a bit with the settings it will turn out very nice. The interface is important for me when playing. I am used to a big, full screen board, a clock at the top right and a movelist below. Pick the background of your choice, adjust the colors of the squares and movelist and off you go. One thing: The original pieces are not the best for playing on a big board. They get blurry with unsharp contures. A tip would be to work a little with the free WinBoard pieces. The new ones with contures for the white pieces. By creating a .bmp they can be excellently used in CP5! Been there done that - and now it's just a perfect interface for playing ! Oh, just added some color to the Gold Clock too. Interesting right now is the possibility to connect WinBoard engines to CP 5.

Chess Tiger is known to be a very strong program. In my opinion it clearly belongs to the top 3 in the world. With version 13.0 it looks like Tiger has recovered his old aggressivity.

The interesting novelty is the creation of Gambit Tiger. This animal a.o.t. has an increased King Value, which means that he is very good at executing and spotting king attacks. There are intense and aggressivity in the playing style. This is worth noticing, since the central concepts of GM play are activity and pressure. A GM can give up material to create one or two of these things. And this characteristic is to be found in Gambit Tiger. Further improvements of GT are to be expected and maybe also a GT tuned book?!

Here is a little example of Gambit Tiger's playing style. It is from one of my own 30' games vs GT.

White  Sune Larsson         

Black  Gambit Tiger 1.0          

Level  30'



1. d4 Nf6  2.Nf3 d5  3.c4 c6  4.Nc3 e6  5.e3 Nbd7  6.Qc2 Bd6  7.a3



In most games I like to play my own game without relying on "theorie" 

and stuff. Might as well...since the opening repertoire is very rusty, 

mildly spoken. Heavy influenced by Fischer, I have opened all my 

previous tournament games with 1.e4...



7.-dxc4  8.Bxc4 Qc7  9.0-0 e5  10.h3



No surprises wanted on h2, also keeping an eye on g4. Black's push in 

the center with e5 is the correct way to go.



10.-0-0  11.b4 exd4  12.Nxd4 a5  13.b5 Nb6  14.Bd3 c5  15.Nf5 c4  

16.Be2 Bh2+ 17.Kh1 Qc5  18.Nd4 Bb8



After an interesting manoeuvre, black is now looking for the kill on 

the long diagonals.



19.Bb2 












19...g5!!?? 



This is an extraordinary computermove! A clear cut bayonet attack. Black 

has a lot of activity and two dangerous bishops sweeping down towards 

the white king. The black Queen is ready to take action on the kingside, 

the push g4 is in the air. Mildly spoken, I began to feel very 

uncomfortable. 



Pressure and activity yes, but not from me. I tried this position (after 

19.Bb2) with 3 different top programs.



Program A  played  19.-a4

Program B  played  19.-Rd8

Program C  played  19.-Bd7



And Gambit Tiger played out the bayonet attack with 19.-g5!?  This move 

was not considered among the first 5 choices by the other 3 top programs.



Very interesting.



How the game ended?  Well, as they say,  that's another story...



Sune Larsson