1

What happened in this shoouout from Houdini ? Why did the program take so long to mate with the queen and why did it make such unlogical moves. Considering the valuations, I conjecture that the program used precalculated variations, but I am not sure. Beginning with a position king + queen against king, Houdini mates fast even at a very low level.

[Event "Stellung ausspielen (Houdini15aw32, 15p"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Neue Partie"]
[Black "Houdini 1.5a w32"]
[Result "0-1"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/8/8/3ppk2/8/3K1P1P/8/8 b - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "135"]

1... Kg6 {[%eval -160,15] [%emt 0:00:04]} 2. Kd2 {
[%eval -175,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} d4 {[%eval -227,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 3. Kd3 {
[%eval -271,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kh5 {[%eval -78,15] [%emt 0:00:06]} 4. Ke4 {
[%eval -91,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kg5 {[%eval -111,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 5. f4+ {
[%eval -115,15] [%emt 0:00:07]} exf4 {[%eval -115,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 6.   h4+ {
[%eval -115,15] [%emt 0:00:06]} Kg4 {[%eval -109,15] [%emt 0:00:01]} 7. h5 {
[%eval -109,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} f3 {[%eval -109,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 8. h6 {
[%eval -109,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} f2 {[%eval -109,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 9. h7 {
[%eval -109,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} f1=Q {[%eval -109,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 10. h8=Q
{[%eval -120,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qe2+ {[%eval -130,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 11. Kd5
{[%eval -130,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} d3 {[%eval -130,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 12. Qg7+ {
[%eval -130,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kf3 {(Kh4) [%eval -141,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 13.
Qf7+ {(Df6+) [%eval -141,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kg2 {
[%eval -141,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 14. Qg7+ {[%eval -141,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kf2 {
[%eval -141,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 15. Qh6 {[%eval -141,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qe3 {
[%eval -142,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 16. Qh2+ {[%eval -142,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Ke1 {
[%eval -225,15] [%emt 0:00:01]} 17. Kc4 {(Dh1+) [%eval -244,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
d2 {[%eval -448,15] [%emt 0:00:01]} 18. Qh1+ {[%eval -448,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
Kf2 {[%eval -448,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 19. Qh2+ {[%eval -436,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
Kf1 {[%eval -440,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 20. Qh1+ {[%eval -440,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
Kf2 {(Ke2) [%eval -436,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 21. Qh2+ {
[%eval -434,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kf1 {[%eval -420,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 22. Qh1+ {
[%eval -434,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Ke2 {[%eval -434,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 23. Qg2+ {
[%eval -414,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kd1 {[%eval -414,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 24. Qc6 {
[%eval -414,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qg3 {[%eval -414,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 25. Kb4 {
(Da8) [%eval -425,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qd3 {[%eval -420,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 26.
Ka5 {[%eval -420,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qd4 {(Db3) [%eval -998,15] [%emt 0:00:21]}
27. Ka6 {[%eval -1117,15] [%emt 0:00:24]} Ke2 {[%eval -1103,15] [%emt 0:00:03]}
28. Qe6+ {[%eval -1130,15] [%emt 0:00:11]} Qe3 {[%eval -1095,15] [%emt 0:00:01]
} 29. Qa2 {[%eval -1125,15] [%emt 0:00:03]} Kf2 {
(Ke1) [%eval -1163,15] [%emt 0:00:10]} 30. Kb7 {[%eval -2104,15] [%emt   0:00:30]
} Qe2 {[%eval -32695,15] [%emt 0:00:02]} 31. Qa7+ {
[%eval -32685,15] [%emt 0:00:02]} Kf1 {[%eval -32680,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 32.
Qa3 {[%eval -32678,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} d1=Q {[%eval -32678,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
33. Qh3+ {[%eval -32678,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qg2+ {
[%eval -32678,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 34. Qxg2+ {[%eval -32676,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
Kxg2 {[%eval -32672,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 35. Kc6 {
[%eval -32670,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qd4 {(Kf2) [%eval -32671,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
36. Kb5 {[%eval -32674,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kf2 {
[%eval -32674,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 37. Kc6 {
(Ka5) [%eval -32674,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kf3 {
(Ke2) [%eval -32667,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 38. Kb5 {
[%eval -32683,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kg3 {[%eval -32684,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 39.
Kc6 {[%eval -32686,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kf2 {[%eval -32686,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
40. Kc7 {[%eval -32688,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qd5 {
[%eval -32688,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 41. Kb6 {[%eval -32688,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
Qc4 {[%eval -32687,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 42. Ka5 {
[%eval -32687,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qb3 {[%eval -32687,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 43.
Ka6 {[%eval -32688,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qb4 {[%eval -32684,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
44. Ka7 {[%eval -32684,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qd4+ {
(Db5) [%eval -32680,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 45. Kb8 {
(Ka8) [%eval -32679,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qc3 {
(Dc5) [%eval -32677,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 46. Ka7 {
[%eval -32678,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qb2 {(Dd4+) [%eval -32679,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
47. Ka8 {[%eval -32677,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qc3 {
[%eval -32677,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 48. Kb7 {
(Ka7) [%eval -32677,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qc5 {[%eval -32676,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
49. Ka6 {(Kb8) [%eval -32677,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qb4 {
[%eval -32678,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 50. Ka7 {[%eval -32675,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
Kg1 {(Db2) [%eval -32675,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 51. Ka6 {
[%eval -32677,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kf1 {[%eval -32677,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 52.
Ka7 {[%eval -32678,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qb5 {[%eval -32679,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
53. Ka8 {[%eval -32680,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kg2 {
(Kf2) [%eval -32672,15] [%emt 0:00:01]} 54. Ka7 {
[%eval -32673,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kf2 {[%eval -32672,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 55.
Ka8 {[%eval -32672,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qd3 {
(Dd5+) [%eval -32672,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 56. Kb7 {
(Ka7) [%eval -32672,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qf3+ {[%eval -32671,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
57. Ka7 {[%eval -32672,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qc6 {
(Db3) [%eval -32672,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 58. Kb8 {
[%eval -32672,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qc4 {(Dc5) [%eval -32672,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
59. Ka8 {[%eval -32672,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qc3 {
(Db3) [%eval -32672,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 60. Kb7 {
(Ka7) [%eval -32672,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qc5 {[%eval -32672,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
61. Ka6 {[%eval -32659,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Ke2 {
(Ke1) [%eval -32650,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 62. Kb7 {
[%eval -32654,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kf3 {[%eval -32650,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 63.
Ka6 {[%eval -32661,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qb4 {[%eval -32761,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
64. Ka7 {[%eval -32762,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qb5 {
[%eval -32762,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 65. Ka8 {[%eval -32763,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
Ke4 {[%eval -32763,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 66. Ka7 {
[%eval -32764,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kd5 {[%eval -32764,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 67.
Ka8 {[%eval -32765,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Kc6 {[%eval -32765,15] [%emt 0:00:00]}
68. Ka7 {[%eval -32766,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} Qb7# {
[%eval -32766,15] [%emt 0:00:00]} 0-1
1
  • Adding a tag is considered to be an edit. But where is the problem ? – Peter Apr 1 '15 at 11:43
1

How did you run the game? Did you run it by a fixed-depth? How much time did you give to the engine? I assume that you gave the engine either too little time or a fixed depth. In this case, the engine might not know the shortest way for a mate, because to the engine any move that doesn't lose the queen is the same. It only starts moving the king, when it sees a mate in its search horizon.

2
  • The depth was 15 half-moves. Your explanation is convincing. The computer only cares for 50-move-rule and three-times-repetition, but does not necessarily search the shortest mate, although this would be better chess. +1 and accept. – Peter Apr 1 '15 at 10:32
  • Probably, it is assumed anyway that the program has access to the tablebases. – Peter Apr 1 '15 at 10:33

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