Not in chess obviously! But in Fantasy Football…
There was a Benildus double in this weekend’s Irish Times Sports Book of the Year feature. Former St Benildus pupil Richie Sadlier – RTÉ pundit and former senior international – took top billing for his book Recovering. The two other football books listed were Pep’s City, about some non-Benildus person, and One Night in Dudelange, by someone who’s played more games in Europe than Sadlier…!
There’s a free new site which can calculate a 7-game tablebase – i.e. the way to mate, if there is any, for every position with seven pieces on the board. It’s a useful guide for analysing endings, although it can come with a sting – so my final position against Ben in the club championships this year was winning, but it would have taken 44 moves until the next pawn move or capture (the site gives DTZ, or depth to zeroing, which is the number of moves until the 50-move rule resets), but I had already spent 8 moves without a capture or pawn move, so I would have been unable to win under the 50-move rule with best defence, including spite checks.
There are 423,836,835,667,331 legal 7-piece positions. This is around 100 times more positions than are available with 6 pieces – which were solved in 2005 – and around 100 times fewer positions than are available with 8 pieces, which of course will have much more depth to work out as well, so we won’t be seeing 8-piece tablebases any time soon.
The 7-game database takes up 18TB. By coincidence, 18TB hard drive were only invented last month, using microwave-assisted magnetic recording technology in a helium-filled drive.
Following from our previous look at a full head-to-head record in our Blitz Grand Prix, we’ve compiled the same stats for our senior club championships since its resurrection in 2014. There’s been six tournaments in that time, though the most number of times anyone has played anyone else is just three, which has happened ten times to date.
You can see all the individual records here
We’ll do one for the Frank Scott Shield too once this year’s competition is over, and links to all files will be in the links section of the site.
There’s been 23 Blitz Grand Prix tournaments over the past four years – and Ciarán has found a 24th that I wasn’t even aware of (partly because I didn’t play it). Which match has been played most often? Who of the 87 players to have played has drawn the most games? What is your own individual head-to-head record against everyone you’ve played? We have the answers!
The 43rd Olympiad gets underway today in Batumi in Georgia.