Monday, June 26, 2017

OK Computer

According to WZebra, the genius othello computer, my move to e8 wasn't that bad, it was still roughly a draw at that point. My winning line was an entirely unfathomable one spinning out of me playing b6, which I would never have thought of in a million years. But that's computers for you. They're not so great. I bet WZebra would explode if I ask it to define love, or tell it that everything I say is a lie and I'm lying now.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

There's no room 54 either

If you go past room 53, the corridor goes round another couple of corners and ends with 55, 56 and 57, all clustered together.

But anyway, the second day of the othello was exactly as successful as the first, if by that you understand that I ended today also on a total of four wins for the weekend. I lost to Helen, who usually does beat me though I always feel I should have won, and then was well and truly thrashed by Imre and Iain. Before that last game I realised there could still be a permutation of results that would end in me coming fifth and missing out on the semi-finals, but it didn't happen, and I ended up in fourth. Final round-robin results:

1: 7 pts [342] LEADER Imre (79) {GBR}
2: 5 pts [302] HAND David (2357) {GBR}
[278] BARRASS Iain (2047) {GBR}
4: 4 pts [206] PRIDMORE Ben (4019) {GBR}
5: 3 pts [190] ARNOLD Roy (2006) {GBR}
6: 2 pts [180] DEXTER Helen (100002) {GBR}
7: 1 pt [168] KYTE Bruce (2078) {GBR}
[126] STEPHENSON Ken (2001) {GBR}

So the semi-finals were David against Iain, and me against Imre. As the highest-placed in the round-robin, he had choice of colour and went for white, which was fine by me. I much prefer playing black, and I'm fairly sure I was black for most or all the times I've beaten him in the past.

You can play along with our game on LiveOthello - and the other games too, if you're the kind of person who comes to this blog to read about people other than me. But if you're looking at mine, pay particular attention to my move 27 to d1, which removes Imre's access to practically everything - it's such a lovely move that even though I thought it would probably turn out to be very bad, I just had to play it.

And then my move 31 to e8, Ian and Guy commenting on the game there were pretty sure was wrong, and so was Imre after the game... but I really didn't want to play h2 simply because I felt it was very important to keep the white disc on g3. I was probably entirely wrong about that, but I thought it could only lead to a situation where Imre's playing e1 without flipping f2, and everything goes badly for me from there.

But anyway, it was a fun game! And at least it wasn't an outright massacre like our first game today (that one ended 56-8). After the semis (David won the other, maintaining his record of only losing to me and Imre this weekend), we went to the pub across the road for lunch, which for some reason they took hours to serve us, and came back to find the final already in progress. And a fascinating game it was, too - David looked well ahead, but let Imre back in to claim a 32-32 draw in the end. Which (and never let me mock Roy's insistence on having a rule for every unlikely eventuality again) meant that Imre, having won the round-robin, becomes the British Othello Champion, for I think the 14th time. 34 years after the first time, and 24 years after the last time there was a draw in the final. Historic!