Who is the best chess player of all time? Often such question generates endless debates in internet chess forum and involves the names of: Fischer, Kasparov, Carlsen and Karpov…
Strangely none of them, also if they are truly great players, would be able to withstand a freeware like Stockfish set at few seconds per move, the mythical AlphaZero which created so much controversy with its match behind closed doors, or a recent evolution like Fat Fritz 2. I think the year in which the chess engines showed their superiority over the best of humankind, was 2006 when the reigning world champion: Kramnik, lost a match against Deep Fritz, a chess program developed for Chessbase, running on a desktop computer available to everyone.
For those curious about the above mentioned match, I will give here the games taken by the latest Megabase 2021 by Chessbase, a real great database to have!
In Megabase 2021 they are deeply annotated, but to avoid problems with copyright issues, I give the games as they were played.
Now we are in 2021, and obviously I’m not mentioning all the other chess software and apps which also play at least 500 points above the best humans, because it’s simply impossible to keep track of all of them.
Few days ago I acquired Fat Fritz 2, and I was curious to see how it would score against some apps on my Ipad Pro.
The first app/engine I tried was PlayMagnus, and I plan to test many more in future articles.
I set Fat Fritz 2 (from now on called FF2) with a time of 5 seconds per move. The engine would reach a depth of 40 with just 5 seconds!! This means the engine is actually calculating lines 20 moves deep.
I tried to use the Play Magnus App at a strong level, but it seems one needs to pay to play against the strongest levels, so I set up for Magnus Carlsen at age 29 because it was free.
The first game against a Magnus Carlsen 29 years old ended when the app crashed, in a hopeless lost endgame, I guess Magnus doesn’t like to be smashed to dust by Fat Fritz 2!
Second game by move nine FF2 is out of opening theory, and begins to go at depth 40!
But once more, when reached move 36 the app crashes! I guess at Play Magnus they don’t really check their products. However also in this case FF2 was indicating 0% chances White could win the game.
We reach the 4th game, to finally see the Play Magnus App not crashing, and resigning.
Now it’s quite possible that all these wins are due to better opening library. My understanding is that Chessbase has Mr. Silver, the creator of Fat Fritz, who spends a lot of time researching and improving Fat Fritz. If this is the case, then it’s quite important to own Fat Fritz 2, because it means we have the last word in terms of opening research, and theoretical updates made by Mr. Silver.
And since we surely want also to create our own opening repertoire for OTB tournaments, then Fat Fritz could become an indispensable resource.
In any case without further ado, here the games played during the match. Fat Fritz 2 has shown a dominance over Play Magnus Age 29, which is similar to the one Fischer had against the rest of the world in his run to the world championship in 1970-72.
Final Thoughts: the Play Magnus app needs a lot of improvement. They ask money to subscribe, and gain access to different players, but it was rather disappointing to see the app crashing game after game, especially in lost positions in which a human would resign.
The play Magnus app cost about $35 a year, it seems quite expensive for the quality they give. On the other hand Fat Fritz never crashed, and I never witnessed such total dominance of an engine over another. The Ipad Pro is one of the latest releases of Ipads, and the cost is above an average desktop and even more than a good laptop, around $1200.