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About Grazza

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  1. I was a "VIP" guest this weekend at the First Annual Michigan Chess Festival. I created some puzzles for this event, and as there are a few chess enthusiasts here at DW, I'm posting them here too in case they are of interest. The attachment to this post includes PDFs of the handouts I gave out at the event. There is an easy sheet and a harder one.

    The harder puzzles are similar to those in some of the early chapters of my new book The Gambit Book of Instructive Chess Puzzles, which was recently published in the UK, and is soon to be released in the USA. I spent way too much time on this book, but am happy with the outcome.


    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. Grazza


      The Second Annual Michigan Chess Festival took place in early November. I suppose if it hadn't, then the name of last year's event wouldn't have made much sense.

      I was again invited to be a tournament guest, and was spared the hard work of actually playing. While I don't have any way to post the lecture I gave, here is this year's handout, this time with 9 puzzles. None of them are dead easy, and some are distinctly tricky. The puzzles are on page 1 and the solutions on page 2.

      If you'd like something a bit simpler, then the Kindle edition of my puzzle book has just been published, and the free sample is quite large, and is all from the "easy" Chapter 1. Best viewed on an actual Kindle device (or Kindle for PC; click on "Send Sample Now"), as the online "Look Inside" sample doesn't support the pagebreak code.


    3. Csonicgo


      I wonder how good Crafty is at solving these presets now that its parallel code isn't stupid anymore. I just got it compiling on a Pentium 200 MMX and have been dying to try it in serial mode as well.

    4. Grazza


      It would do rather well, as would any good modern engine running on decent hardware. These puzzles are designed to provide useful training for human players. If I had been intending to create puzzles that would be hard for computers to solve, then my selection criteria would have been very different.

      Some of the later ones in my puzzle book are actually tricky for computers to solve in a reasonable time, though this depends on the details of the program, its settings, resources and, obviously, the hardware.

      I actually tested Stockfish (one of the top current engines) running on an Android device to see how well it could solve the 300 puzzles in my book. I don't have the exact score to hand, but recall that it achieved a "rating" of about 2900*. This was when given about the same time as you'd get in a tournament game to decide on a move, and applying the same marking criteria as described in the book.

      <small>* The self-rating scale was based on some testing, but obviously must be taken with a large pinch of salt.</small>