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Johnny Hector: A Fearless, Sword Swinging Chess Engine!
Computer Chess

Johnny Hector: A Fearless, Sword Swinging Chess Engine!

Way back in August I wrote an article where I introduced a chess engine personality called “Johnny Hector”, which plays sword-swinging, crazy attacking chess!

This is the type of violent chess that’d have even the most seasoned tournament player quaking in fear.


This is the maestro whose play I have tried to emulate with an engine personality.

Today I’m proud to show you four recent games which are not only beautiful, but very instructive for you guys  keen on improving your chess, as well as having a lot of fun!

So let’s begin.

As mentioned, Johnny Hector 1.0 plays nothing like a chess engine and you’ll actually feel like you’re playing against a real live person on the other side of the board.

He’s designed to play like the famous Swedish Grandmaster and I believe I’ve come pretty close to an accurate imitation of his amazingly bold style.

When he sacrifices a piece…it could be a brilliancy, yet it might also be a blunder!

Just like an aggressive human.

It’s up to you to refute his idea!

In the video above, I showcased 4 games where key tactical/dynamic ideas were laid bare and analyzed the games in detail for you.

This knowledge will serve you well in  your own games, so make sure you watch the video and squeeze every lesson from it you can!

Here are some key takeaways from today’s video lesson.

Johnny Hector 1.0 Chess Engine Killer Ideas:

ZChess 2.00 vs Johnny Hector 1.0

Johnny keeps the queens on with 21…Qa5 and, soon begins to open lines for a queenside via an …a6 break.

Johnny Hector plays 21…Qa5!, avoiding the queen swap and continuing an attack which would eventually lead to a winning advantage.

Johnny Hector 1.0 vs Ktulu 9

Against a very strong opponent, Johnny bravely sacrifices a knight with 16.Nxg6!! and demolishes black in a beautifully instructive attacking gem.

Johnny Hector 1.0 vs Ktulu 9
Johnny plays the jaw-dropping 16.Nxg6!!

LambChop 10.99 vs Johnny Hector 1.0

A strong positional chess engine, LambChop confidently pushes Johnny’s pieces around with his pawns, all the while neglecting his development. Johnny is having none of this “bullying crap” and goes on the offensive with 10…Nxd5!!.

LambChop 10.99 vs Johnny Hector 1.0
Johnny spots his opponent’s atrocious development and sacrifices a piece for immediate attack.

Johnny Hector 1.0 vs Mephisto Gideon Professional

In a very human-like game, Johnny launches a vicious attack on Mephisto’s Pirc Defense and destroys the solid 2500 ELO engine like it’s child’s play.

Johnny Hector 1.0 vs Mephisto Gideon Professional
Johnny launches his pieces at the kingside and demolishes an old classic positional engine.

Key Chess Lessons for Club Players:

  • How to lock  an opponent’s pieces up with zero mobility assuring that despite his material advantage, his hands are tied! (just attack him at your own leisure once he can’t move).
  • Why strong players prioritize the initiative and don’t mind sacrificing one, two or even three pawns in order to gain time (and a powerful attack).
  • How to cut off the enemy king’s escape first, rather than merely checking mindlessly (this simple concept often makes checkmate guaranteed, yet is overlooked by most club players).
  • A knight+passed pawn can defeat a rook if well-coordinated and utilized forcefully.
  • If you’re on the attack (especially after having sacrificed material), DO NOT exchange queens and try not to exchange other pieces as well.
  • Attacking chess is all about timing, timing, timing…if you’re ahead in the race – FORGET about material or whose “up” on points.

Wanna give Johnny Hector 1.0 a try for yourself?

Get it below.

Chess Downloads Section:

Get the Johnny Hector Engine Download

ALSO gotta check out the games from the videos 😉

Games PDF download (all games from the video)

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Chess Coach, Computer Chess Nut, Copywriter, Language Learner, Philosopher and Nice Guy Living in China.
  • Robert Flesher says:

    Diable pop-up blocker does not work

  • I really enjoyed reading your articles. You have done a good job explaining concepts and ideas.
    Thank you!

  • Miguel Eduardo Silva says:

    theres no link to download the engine, how I download it??

    • Gotta turn off your browser’s popup blocker, Miguel. You’ll need to join the mailing list to download stuff. I’m happy to host the files, but not for everyone – just those on the ChessnCognac mailing list. It’s very exclusive you know haha 🙂

  • Mathieu Rodi says:

    The link is not there!

    • Mathieu Rodi says:

      and its not even in the view-source.

      • John Wessel says:

        Brendan , I used 3 different browsers and saw no d/l link for hector. Please post a working download link ?

    • Emerson Meyer says:

      The link is there… disable your pop up blocker

  • pls, Brendan, fix that link!

    • What’s wrong with it? Works on my end. Several others have successfully downloaded it today too. Can you explain the error?

      • PDF link is fine, it ends up with dropbox opened in new tab on left ckick.
        Johnny Hector 1.0 Engine Pack only appears to be clickable (showing hand instead of arrow on hover) but literally nothing happens if you try to left click it or try to open it via right click. Inspecting the link itself reveals nothing but style and color (Johnny Hector 1.0 Engine Pack). PDF link below reveals link itself when inspected, like it supposed to). Tried with Firefox, Chrome, IE doesn’t even show the link.. even with a proxy just to be sure if location was the issue but without sucess.

        Anyway, thank you for the site. It’s really great and informative.

        • Emerson Meyer says:

          Disable your pop up blocker

    • Look right above this chat box in the Chess Downloads Section for “Johnny Hector 1.0 Engine Pack”. 😉

      • pepe the frog says:

        I did but for some reason it does not work for me. (Chrome 56 64bit). Will try with Firefox..

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