The Chess Variant Pages



A Nightrider Chess game against Dabbaba

In summer/autumn 1998 Benjamin Good from Pittsburgh played 2 e-mail games against Dabbaba (programmed by Jens Bæk Nielsen, Denmark).

Dabbaba was allowed up to an hour pr. move on a Pentium II 233 Mhz.

A chess variant called nightrider chess was played. The knights make long moves in this variant.

Benjamin Goods uscf chess rating is somewhere in the range of 1500-1600, and he had a hard time in this difficult variant against the computer. You have to be aware right from the beginning: 1.e4?,Nxe4!

Here is the first game. (a positive score means Dabbaba thinks white has the best position)

Game 1.
White: Benjamin Good
            ------------- information on Dabbabas move ---------------
   whites   seconds Dabbabas   score   depth      Dabbabas expected  
   move     used    move             (next move)  line
----------------------------------------------------------------------
1.   d2-d4  2119     d7-d5       8      8,1       e2e3 c8d7 g1e2
2.   e2-e3  3328    Nb8-d7       3      7,23      g1d7 c8d7
Dabbaba now forces exchange of a couple of nightriders now because 
of the threats 3.-,Nxa1 and 3.-,Nxg1.

3.  Ng1xd7  3470    Bc8xd7      24      8,10      b1h4 a8b8 h4d2
White thinks he gains a pawn now, but misses blacks reply.
(look at Dabbabas expected line: 4.Nh4,Rb8 - attack and defense of b7!)

4.  Nb1xd5  3291    Bd7-g4!     -7      8,17      d5c7 d8c7 d1g4
White should now capture on c7 to get a pawn more for the nightrider.

5.  Qd1xg4? 1608    Qd8xd5    -166      8,1       g4d1 e7e5
After 5 moves there is only one nightrider left.
But that is enough to make this game quite special.
After this game I have adjusted the value of the nightrider from 
550 to 625, so the position-evaluation in this game would have been
75 lower.

6.   c2-c4  3284    Qd5-a5+   -128      8,23      e1d1 g8f6
If now 7.Bd2???,Qxd2# - Ng8 covers d2!
White did not see that when he played 6.c4.
The position of the white king becomes bad now.

7.  Ke1-d1  3287     e7-e5    -191      7,23      f1d3 g8f6 g4e2
8.  Qg4-f3  1670    Ng8-c6    -146      7,1       f1d3 e5d4 e3d4
9.  Bc1-d2  1467    Bf8-b4!   -269      8,1       d2c1 a8d8 d4d5
Dabbaba considers 10.Bc1 as the best move, but who wants to play that?
After 10.Qe2 black captures twice on d2 and wins a pawn on d4. 
After 10.d5,Ne7 11.Bxb4,Qxb4 black threats on both b2 and h1.

10. Bd2xb4  2179    Qa5xb4    -294      8,1       d1c2 e5d4 f1d3
White could consider 11.Qe2 to cover b2, and if black plays 11.-,e5xd4 
white can recapture with check. But instead black plays 11.-,0-0-0 with 
big pressure on d4 (12.d5??,Nxe2). White can try 12.Qg4+,Kb8 (if now 13.Qxg7?,Qxb2 14.Rc1,Nxd4! with mate in 6 according to Dabbaba; fx 
15.Bd3,Nf3!), but if Dabbaba plays against itself from here this line occurs: 13.Kc2,exd4 14.Qxg7,Rhg8 15.a3,Rxg7 16.axb4,Nxb4+ 17.Kb3,Nxf2 18.Rg1,dxe3 and white can resign.   

11.  b2-b3  1221     e5xd4    -319      7,1       e3d4 c6d4
Dabbaba also considered 11.-,Ng8 with matethreat on d2...

12. Qf3-e4+ 1683    Nc6-e7    -657      8,1       g2g3 e8c8
White could now try 13.g3,0-0-0 (threats -,Nc3+) 14.Bh3+,Kb8 15.Kc2,Qc3+ 16.Kb1,Qxe3+! (discovered check by Ne7!)
Other lines are not much better.

13. e3xd4?  3303      0-0     -730      7,22      f1d3 e7c3
Unpins Ne7 that threats on c3 and h1 now. Game over.
Dabbaba could also have played 13.-,0-0-0 14.Qg4+,Kb8 15.g3,Qc3!
(better than 15.-,Rxd4 16.Qxd4,Nf5+ 17.Qe3)

14. Bf1-d3  3277    Ne7-c3+   -677      7,35      ----
White could mate if black captured Rh1.

15.Resigns.

max nodes pr. move: 18728 at move 11.
min nodes pr. move: 17145 at move 12.



Written by Jens Baek Nielsen.
WWW page created: May 27, 1999.