Highly evolved Leela creates wonderfully rare intriguing strategic opportunity from Sicilian Najdorf

Highly evolved Leela creates wonderfully rare intriguing strategic opportunity from Sicilian Najdorf


Hi all. There are several very exciting new
Leela chess games being played at TCEC Season 15 the Premier Division. This
is at a 90 minutes with 5 second increment. This game really caught my
attention against Komodo chess engine a very fierce engine that knocked out the
mighty Stockfish in the TCEC cup. In the last TCEC Cup, Stockfish was knocked out and Leela won the cup. We have the Sicilian defense and the theory given to both. It’s the
Sicilian Najdorf variation. f4 e6 Qf3 Qb6 Nb3 Queen c7
and this is the end of the book given. g4 very aggressive. b5
counter-attacking g5 now here for theoretical reference for high-level
over the board games a Kasparov game Judit Polgar against Garry Kasparov. Geneva 1996 saw Garry Kasparov playing Nfd7 here. This is quite a popular move
it’s actually more popular than b4 which is what Komodo played. And in that game
Kasparov managed to get an advantage in the endgame. Towards the end game.I’ll
just quickly show you flick through that game. So Judit Polgar was playing White
and Kasparov managed to get a winning endgame eventually. Queen’s came off after this move Knight
to c6 and black eventually mopped up all the pawns here on the dark squares
winning the endgame so that was an interesting game. That was eventually won at move 50. So that’s with the move Nfd7. So Komodo’s move is very
interesting. b4 has been played quite a few games as well. We have also a very topical and very high-level game here with b4. there’s a game where Jan
Timman was playing White against Mikhail Tal played in 1988 which saw the very shocking Nb5 from Jan Timman.
And Mikhail Tal with the black pieces managed to soak up the pressure and eventually
it was quickly decisive. Let’s flick through this game as well. Quite interesting stem games in
this very topical Sicilian Najdorf. Mikhail Tal put a lot of pressure on e4
there and crashed through. Quite crushing this one. Na6 –
end of a game that was quite crushing game. So it seems Nb5 might
might not be sound from the evidence of that game. But here in this game we have
G takes f6 from Leela so that’s the end of the theory.
And the two theoretical references I wanted to show you. So bxc3 Rg1 g6
here gxf6 is also possible but white gets it seems a small edge here
this position. If you look at it there’s quite good pressure on the d file. White has good control of c5 here so g6 Rg3 Nd7 e6. Now this it really started
to catch my attention. Okay the rooks attacked. Something has to be done about that. Bishop b7 but now isn’t this really scary for white to do?
Qxc3. White has if you look at the long-term aspects of the
position got a 3-1 pawn majority here on the Queen side. But in the short
term isn’t there’s something going on here? After Qxc3
Leela preserved the structure actually with this move Rxc3.
And you might think that isn’t this tactically impossible possible to play rook takes c3. So this is this is the moment it really caught my attention. I thought I must show you guys this game. So after dxe5 it looks as though Bishop b4
doesn’t have to be parried pinning the rook. But we have
just the casual F takes e5 just offering Bb4. But the
opportunity is not taken up here for Bishop b4. We have h5 instead. “Opportunity” is such nice words but is it such a great opportunity that’s the question
here. If let’s have a look at Knight takes e5 instead taking out a center
pawn. It seems here that kind of weakness of the last move neglecting and giving up c5 can be used with Knight c5 hitting the bishop and white gets a very nice
position for example like this is a very nice continuation. It seems after Knight
c5 it’s difficult for black. If Bishop takes then this position where the rook
going to the 7th and taking this pawn tactically because of rook c8 is going
to be a 3-0 pawn majority. White’s
got a big advantage there. So it’s very interesting anyway. Bb4
not being played immediately. But let’s have a look now at Bishop b4 so Knight
takes e5. Now let’s have a look at the immediate Bishop b4. Why wasn’t this
played? Is this 3-1 pawn majority really a killer here? I had to be very careful
when checking this variation. Bishop d2 Knight takes e5 is an example there’s
rook c7 here and white will be getting a small edge here. And the other line to
think about is just taking on c3. Bxc3 – so what is the big deal
here? White does have that bishop pair and has
solidified the center. There is a thorn pawn on f6. There is a 3-1
pawn majority. Let’s consider g5 as black wants to use the two-to-one pawn
majority here. Na5 Bd5. Bd4 maintaining the blockade. Well
kind of liberating the c-pawn. Still holding e5 and this
position it seems might be the way for Whites to play. With the knight switching
back with Nc4 it seems as though technically White is gaining the advantage here. It looks visually quite crushing as though these pawns are underway and the bishop is actually protecting the rook. So a4 and b5 might even be possible later. Because the bishops protecting the rook on a1. It looks as though the
pawns are really dangerous here so perhaps that’s why it was rejected by
the Komodo chess engine – the whole Bb4. So I thought this was
extremely curious playing on the pawn majority subtly in a way. So h5 Na5
is played hitting the bishop bishop d5 Knight c4.
The offer is taken up here with Bishop b4 in any case. We have Bishop d2. Bxc4 Rxc4. Is there enough here after Knight takes
e5? Three to one poor (3:1) pawn majority and “Thorn” pawn. There is also an a6 target which is now even further targeted with Ra4. Black castles with check here.
If a5 you might wonder what would happen. it seems Bishop g2 is pretty good here. For
example check and taking. It’s going be difficult for black.
And I suspect b4 if if the rook tries to hold around the a file. So basically
black castles with check here though. Instead of playing a5 and we have King
c3 Knight g4 so the a6 pawn is for the taking. But first we had Re1
stopping any pesky Ne3 perhaps.So Re1 and instead of taking on f6, b4 Nd5+ and Kb3. b4 gave the b3 square to the King without hemming in the pawns. That’s a really key consideration with
White’s pawn majority here not to hem in pawns. The lovely pawn majority is key. To make sure it gets its full potential and now finally this is taken. We have a 3-0 Q-side pawn
majority. And you might consider black has got a pawn majority over here but it’s a
race situation perhaps. Also White is not even the exchange down or
anything here. An interesting pawn majority
race scenario. So f5 – statistically though these pawns are all on the light squares
which is good for the light square bishop at the moment. Of course they can
be moved forward you’d think. b5 Rhe8. b6. White’s pawn is pretty
quick with tempo and then we have Bb5. And it’s black which actually does
give up the exchange here with Knight takes b6. If black tries to preserve the
rook with Re7 it seems as though here c4 is strong. For example Nxb6
Ra6 and here Nc8 for example here. This is very nice
for white. The pawns are big targets. This is overall better for white
and if we look at this again with King b7 c5 Nd5. And this taking on e6 again
white is significantly better here for example like this with a big advantage.
So it seems as though black is giving up the exchange and Komodo
really hasn’t lost any games up until this point (except to Stockfish). So is it really the case that it has worked this one out as well to be drawish. Because it up to now relatively undefeated in this tournament. This is Round 35. It might have lost the Stockfish of
course – I need to check that okay. I shouldn’t say that without checking but
anyway hasn’t lost that many games so we have Bishop takes e8 rook takes e8. Rd4. I’m pretty sure it did lose to Stockfish at least one or two. Stockfish
has been dominating the event so let’s just go with that assumption but apart
from that the other engines it has not lost any. Komodo is in general pretty solid.
so Na8 here rook g1 King c7 and this pawn drops off. And yes this
exchange up scenario isn’t that great for black as you might expect.
So let’s see some technique so the rook coming in over here picking off this
pawn. This h pawn moving and these pawns are
now targeted and White is going to use this H pawn basically. It’s not just
the exchange up, it’s the fact that is the outside passed h pawn is pretty dangerous here so
it’s pushed as well as the outside a pawn. So we’ve got two outside passed pawns stretching black’s pieces. The Knight cannot cope. This is like basically
giving up. The game actually ended here. So as an example continuation h6 Nxa7 h7. e3 Check. This is just an example continuation. We can use
that H pawn to get a winning position much more clearly. So I thought that
was an interesting game. What made the game special was this whole offer of the exchange sacrifice. But there is
a deeper context here. Pawn majorities are the key consideration. I thought it was quite interesting to
cover. Now I want to try and cover the other interesting games as I see from
this tournament. I want to get back into that. If you enjoyed this game video then
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22 thoughts on “Highly evolved Leela creates wonderfully rare intriguing strategic opportunity from Sicilian Najdorf

  1. Q. Can Neural Networks help create Strategically deep opening novelties? 🤔😀😎🌍 Video: http://bit.ly/2VqixKF

    Replayable game: http://bit.ly/2IHArCD

    #chess #chessgame #ArtificialIntelligence #AI #MachineLearning #DeepLearning

  2. Season 15 is by far the strongest one yet. Stockfish and LCZero (Leela) have not yet lost a game through 38 or 39 rounds. Komodo, AllieStein, Houdini and Komodo(MonteCarlo) have been competitive. Fire and Ethereal are strong programs but have been taking a lot of losses. Some of the wins of stockfish have been impressive too. AllieStein is quite new and is likely to get stronger in a hurry. It's already dangerous.

  3. How the situation at 6:26 with white solidified but down an exchange transforms into a 3-1 pawn storm on the queenside is really amazing dynamics

  4. Before the White move b6 Stockfish and Leela both suggested that Komodo should play Rd6 stopping that pawn. The actual Komodo's move was treated as a significant blunder, losing on the spot.

  5. haha i love that you fact checked yourself, even for something as benign as how dominant komodo has been…refreshing to see

  6. It’s a shame every game in this division p are 16 forced moves. Leelas wings are clipped in games like this and it helps A/B engines tremendously. Tournament should be called middle game chess championships because I haven’t see one real game of chess yet. I’m not suggesting every game have no book but a variety of no book/ opening book moves would be infinitely more interesting.

  7. I love seeing the engines play Sicilian without too many book moves–great to compare to previous high level games.

  8. Re1 was very solid, just before playing b4 to be able to put the king on b3. And blacks best move was f5 due to the rook on e1 🙂

  9. Always love your passion for curious games and how good you are at giving attention to all the important lines.

  10. could you also include Lc0 and the AB engines eval at various points in the game? Would be interesting to see how clueless engines are.

  11. Neural networks are showing us a deeper insight into positional play. Typical chess engines don't show us protagonistic ideas that Leela sometimes does. Fascinating to see "her" development.

  12. kasporav lost against polgit since he cheated. V2k's responcible for quite a few ''grandmasters'' and i've even spotted a few transexuals in the game.

  13. KC .. what happened to your 5 Minute Mega Exciting Autopairings?
    Could you bring them back from time to time?

  14. Seems like White’s main advantage was development, especially after the queens came off. White’s rooks we’re creating mayhem when Black still had one buried on h8.

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