By now most of our readers are acquainted with the ongoing $50 000 solving competitions going on in the GoldChess portal. But what actually stands behind the platform and what makes it unique?
On the one hand, Goldchess has a lot in common with the discipline of solving chess problems in that the competitors look for precisely defined solutions. It is, however, a truly modern form of solving, as it involves playing against a computer engine, the CEEC (Chess Elite Educational Computer). On the other hand, Goldchess is a mirror image of a practical game of chess: you need to beat an actual opponent. Even though the CEEC is not very strong – its strength roughly corresponds to that of an 1800 FIDE-rated player – it does pose difficulties to competitors pursuing the solution. Not only does the player need to uncover the engine’s weaknesses through persistent interaction, but he/she also needs to find the solution faster than other competitors to secure the prize. Solving Goldchess problems is creative in that the competitors need to meticulously search through a large number of new positions (unlimited takebacks allowed), evaluate them and estimate the chances that the problems’ instructions are satisfied. Precise border conditions allow the competitors to show their adaptation skills and promote those who operate the fastest.
Finding solutions different from those intended by the author is fair game as long as all the conditions are satisfied. Experience shows that this situation is not uncommon. For example, at this year’s Goldchess Polish Championship, none of the three medalists found the author’s solution and yet managed to satisfy all of the problem’s requirements as specified by the author. In the 8th round of the Rosija-America tournament at www.goldchess.com, two players succeeded in finding the author’s solution (one of the conditions in this particular case was that the exact solution be found).
One may develop an edge in solving Goldchess problems in multiple ways. Being a very strong chess player is definitely helpful, but it does not guarantee a win. There have been multiple cases already where an amateur competitor managed to beat strong opposition of professional chess players.
A notable advantage of Goldchess problems over solving regular chess problems is that the former do not lend themselves to being cracked by the strongest engines. Tests with Rybka, Houdini and Fritz have all shown that one cannot simply load the position and let a top engine deliver the required solution. The engines do not satisfy border conditions of, for instance, a checkmate on move 30. This, in turn, confirms that having a high chess rating is not necessarily advantageous.
Goldchess is a new type of quality chess problem solving. It is a “new way of chess.” Feel free to visit the website of www.goldchess.com. We have a Contest for the most beautiful chess game (everybody is welcome to submit their games), a Genius Test with prizes of $100, a free game Gold0 with a weekly prize of $50, as well as the revolutionary America-Rosija Tournament with a $50.000 prize pool!
The 1st edition of the America-Rosija Tournament is a replay of the Anand-Gelfand World Championship Match. The problems’ positions are taken from the actual games of the match. The 2nd edition will have positions taken from the first match Anand-Carlsen! The entry fee to take part in the tournament is $30. Anybody can join the tournament at any time and compete for the prizes.