Alexander Morozevich and Donald Hutson

In Battlebots’ heyday (i.e. when they were on television), there were some fascinating machines, and then there were the wedges.

Wedges are shaped like a cheese wedge. A wedge just moves at a high speed and tries to run up underneath its opponent, functioning as a ramp and sending the other bot flying and flipping. (Preferably onto or underneath the arena’s built-in implements of destruction.) Some wedges added weapons of their own, but they were largely ornamental. In my estimation wedges were popular because they don’t require much thought. Make wedge, drive straight at opponent. Zzzz.

At the other end of the Battlebot spectrum stood Donald Hutson. Hutson created Tazbot, which was a unique, spastic monstrosity that didn’t look like a threat to win it all, but was simply fascinating to watch in combat and much harder to beat than you might have guessed. Hutson also created the more refined Diesector, which was just the coolest superheavyweight bot. A gaping pincer maw and two arms like sledgehammers. Much operator skill required, but 1000x more entertaining than a wedge.

Morozevich is the Donald Hutson of chess.

Here’s Diesector giving a wedge what it deserves.

Morozevich is currently in Bosnia doing the same thing to a bunch of mere 2600s.

9 thoughts on “Alexander Morozevich and Donald Hutson

  1. I didn’t watch Battlebots; mainly because I felt they were cheating having a human radio-control the machines. My feeling is they should be autonomous. Was that Bill Nye, the Science Guy in the corner there?

    Anyway, How’s this for inspiration?: I was watching Ilya Krasik play bullet online (For you non-chess players, that’s chess where each side gets one minute… for the *entire* game. It’s not so much chess as a random set of opposing moves) when all of a sudden, he stops making moves. He sends me a message that his house got hit by lightning and he got knocked off his chair! He still won the game.

    In honor of the event, I chose the opening Krasik was playing at the time, an O’Kelly Sicilian (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 a6!) followed quickly by a Sveshnikov-like … e5. This is an opening system full of positional concessions (“You can’t play THAT!”) for Black that requires precision and years of study to master. I’ve never played it before.

    I drew a player rated 150 points higher than me.


  2. I have purchased a Scooba. My family jokes about our “army of robots.”

    I didn’t make clear that the game I played was an actual tournament game at the club last night, not an online blitz game.

  3. I seemed to have inherited the “axe” of my son’s high school battle bot the team built. It sat in my basement when he went off to college… now he just graduated and moved to DC… I might have to return it to him now that he has his own space.

  4. DK – ha! I had the misfortune once upon a time to walk into the local CompUSA store wearing a red polo knit shirt. I was beseiged instantly (’cause nobody could ever find any REAL employees to help at CompUSA… weird how that store is gone, huh…)

  5. This post embodies exactly why I love your site so much.

    Many customers don’t even bother noting the colors, which leads to some issues if I head to say, Target, directly after work. “Hello, sir, you are wearing a tie, so you must work here?” Um, no, please notice I’m wearing forest green and no name tag unlike the actual Target employees.

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