Some questions to H Kruse WCH finalist


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Thibault de Vassal    (2018-09-24)
Some questions to H. Kruse, WCH finalist

After that the last FICGS chess WCH final match finished, the choice was made again to ask a few questions to Eros Riccio's challenger: Herbert Kruse, for the 2nd time. He kindly accepted to answer it so let's learn a bit more on our top-ranked correspondence chess player.


Hello Herbert, you're not really a player to introduce as you're very active here and at several chess websites for years, with outstanding ratings in each one (as far as I know), you're the 1st FICGS CUP winner & several times FICGS WCH challenger, each time facing "the wall" Eros Riccio, what could you tell us about yourself particularly as a chess & correspondence chess player?

- i began late with 16 to play my first tournament game, but with 18 i already was kicked out of a night club in company with tony miles ;) (dresscode) had vlastimil hort as trainer for a short time and played in teams with gutman, michalchisin, klovans, gipslis and some other GMs. corr chess i began, because i love to find the truth and because of freestyle, where i began to build very strong computers

What kind of computers do you build? Is it all dedicated to chess?

- i have several dual xeon e5 computers with 64gb ddr3 and 16 to 20 real cores and they all play chess ;)

Once again, GM Eros Riccio managed to draw the 12 games of the match. What are your feelings on these games? How did you estimate your chances to destabilize your opponent in the openings and to create complications enough with White (or Black)?

- this time my feelings were neutral. 1% chances to win, but i hoped he would lose his concentration if i began more games with him (we played 6 other games at the same time)

Doesn't "1% chances to win (the match)" mean about 0.17% to win only one game with White, even when losing one with Black? Isn't it a bit pessimistic after all, or is it the new so called Riccio-effect? :)

- if the strongest players face each other there is no win possible, except some has a mouse slep or forgot something during human interfacing

When did you start playing correspondence chess and what changed since that time? What attracted you most in the game?

- 2004 and evaluation of the position is the key point of improvement since then. attractive was to be better than actual world class players :)

Could you tell us anything on the way you work chess and play your correspondence games? Any tip or secret? (nothing to lose to ask :))

- with black i play for fastest way to 0.00 and with white i try every promising way to make a game for a longer time complicated

Do you use several ones at the same time when analyzing a game? (still grabbing some tips)

- i only use the newest stockfish versions of brainfish and corchess because the other engines are not so good. because i have many games i decide which one gets the most cores and time and let them run in infinity mode until i am happy that can be after 1 week or more sometimes.

You're not far to rank 2nd as a poker player at FICGS, you obviously started to take on Big Chess as well. What other games do you play? Did you consider to play Go already?

- i played go against the german champion and lost so i quit :)) played backgammon money game and internet (in fibs with kit woolsey i played over 100 matches) in bridge i was best bidder in germany 1994 to 1995, but dont play much nowadays

Do you have specific goals to achieve as a player?

- 2 goals, since a long time: be ficgs world champion and win one german bridge championship

How do you imagine correspondence chess evolution within a decade? What kind of engines/computers do you expect to use and what will look like centaur chess according to you? (in other words, what part will remain to the human player in the decision?)

- i think the engines today are already unbeatable, so in 20 years the would still not lose and chess is dead since about 4 years

What did you think about Google Deepmind's Alpha Zero performance vs. Stockfish?

- it was a joke because they let a bad version of stockfish play. i would not have lost one game against az0 and maybe won 2 til 5 out of 100

Conditions of this AlphaZero vs. Stockfish match were very specific (opening books, unbalanced hardware...) What weaknesses did you detect in AlphaZero play?

- it was the lack of precision, what would let it lose against stockfish in its tuned newest version but i look from a view of a player who is used to play with deep 60 :)

It seems that computers did not completely take on Bridge yet, what do you expect within a decade?

- i have not seen bridge programms, but the game is so easy that it must be already mastered by computers

Graham Kerr    (2018-09-25 03:58:57)
Some questions to H. Kruse, WCH finalist

Thank you to Herbert for taking the time to answer these questions...
I have played correspondence since the 90s, by snail mail at first then online. I had always resisted engine-assisted correspondence but a post by Herbert in another forum was what prompted me to give it a try ;-)

Paul Larwinski    (2018-11-19 16:36:24)
Some questions to H. Kruse, WCH finalist

sad that there is no comment from GM Eros

for example why no won games here ? next time for sure

Thibault de Vassal    (2018-11-19 21:31:46)
Some questions to H. Kruse, WCH finalist

It seems to me that Herbert & Eros both gave an answer to this question.