Kramnik Leads Computer 3 To 2 In Chess Match
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DEEP FRITZ FIGHTS BACK IN CHESS CHALLENGE
By Will Knight
October 14, 2002
The computer program Deep Fritz fought back to inflict defeat on world chess
champion Vladimir Kramnik on Sunday in game five of a million-dollar contest
between man and machine.
The world champion still leads by three points to two in the eight game
series, having previously won two and drawn two. Deep Fritz took the latest
game after Kramnik mistakenly made a move that he had previously ruled out
At a press conference, Kramnik admitted: "Such things can happen -- humans
blunder sometimes. Computers remember everything, so it is difficult to
prepare. Maybe I'm slightly more tired."
Deep Fritz may gain further advantage as the gruelling contest continues.
Most games have taken more than five hours and Kramnik is likely to become
ever more fatigued.
In previous games, Kramnik has deliberately tried to reduce the sheer
number-crunching advantage of his computer opponent by exchanging queens
early in the game. Removing the two most powerful pieces from the board
reduces the potential for complexity in each game.
But in game five, Kramnik chose not to swap queens, which some observers
believe turned Deep Fritz into a much more powerful opponent.
The match comes five years after IBM computer Deep Blue defeated then world
champion Gary Kasparov by 3.5 points to 2.5. Unlike Kasparov, Kramnik was
able to practise against his computerised opponent, to simulate the studying
of a human opponent's previous games.
The team behind Deep Fritz is also forbidden from reprogramming its player
for each new game. They are only allowed to vary the openings selected by
Deep Fritz runs on more modest hardware than IBM's Deep Blue but is still
rated as a better chess-playing machine.
Deep Blue was constructed from specially designed computer chips and can
consider 200 million moves a second. Deep Fritz uses eight Pentium desktop
chips and can work through a more modest three million moves a second. But
its programmers say more intelligent algorithms make better use of available
resources. Deep Fritz demonstrated this advantage by beating Deep Blue in
The computer player also won the right to challenge Kramnik after defeating
all its other computer opponents in a competition held in April 2001. The
man versus machine match, dubbed the "Brains in Bahrain", will earn Kramnik
$1 million if he wins, $600,000 if he loses and $800,000 if the result is a
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