KRAMNIK - FRITZ 4.0 - 4.0


 

Fritz Defends to Draw Game 8 and the Match! Final Score: 4-4

The Brains in Bahrain Man-Machine match is over and has finished in a 4-4 draw, with two wins each and four draws! Game 8 was the shortest game of the match, a 21-move draw. The World Champion was unable to make any progress against Fritz's solid defense. It was a tremendous result for Fritz, particularly after starting out with only half a point from the first three games. Both sides said they would be happy to play a rematch.

Kramnik was the big favorite at the start and was disappointed at his failures in the second half of the match, in which he scored two losses and two draws. He said that he had started with a lot of respect for Fritz and now he had even more for the program and the team behind it. How much respect? Well, the last time an opponent escaped from Kramnik with a 21-move draw with the black pieces it was Garry Kasparov!

 

 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Final
Vladimir Kramnik
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1
1
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0
0
=
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4
Deep Fritz
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0
0
=
1
1
=
=
4


In game 8 Fritz blinked first by declining Kramnik's invitation to play one of the sharpest openings in chess, the Botvinnik Semi-Slav. Instead if played solidly, steering the game into the calm waters of the Queen's Gambit Declined. Then it was Kramnik who was left without a clear course of action. Only by taking extreme chances could he play for a win, but that would also mean chances for a loss, and this time it was the human's turn to blink and offer a draw.

The Fritz team had examined the weaknesses exposed by Kramnik and they defended them well in the final four games after a disastrous start. Kramnik picked the program apart in simplified positions in games 2 and 3, and was close to doing it again in game 4. Things would be quite different after the two rest days at the halfway point.

After some expert opening coaching by the Fritz team of Frans Morsch, Alex Kure, and Mathias Feist, the program kept the queens on the board and the pressure on Kramnik in the next two games to turn the match around. In game 5 Kramnik blundered in a difficult position and had to resign immediately. In the spectacular game six Kramnik sacrificed a knight for a blistering attack on the black king. Only computer-perfect defense could save black's position, and Fritz slowly gained the upper hand. When finally Black was crashing through, Kramnik resigned. Only the next day would show that he had resigned in a position he could have defended, perhaps the most shocking development of the match. (Game 6 analysis.)

Games 7 and 8 were short draws, Kramnik clearly unwilling to risk sharp battles against the super-program after losing games five and six. Chessplayers know when they are not at their best, and if Kramnik had played hard to win those games it is very possible he would have suffered another loss. With the drawn match Kramnik collects $800,000 and ChessBase, the makers of Fritz, will donate their $200,000 share to charity, the European Youth Chess initiative. (Quick, how does one become a member?)

So ends a match that will be remembered for its early demonstrations of anti-computer chess by Kramnik, and for the later display of excellent anti-human chess by Fritz! All the participants and guests will long remember the hospitality provided by the Kingdom of Bahrain, its rulers and inhabitants. Chess is in good hands on this island and this match will do much to promote the royal game here, just as Bahrain will be promoted by the marvelous competition we have just witnessed.

In the next few days we will have all the games, analysis, photos, reports, and contact information available at www.brainsinbahrain.com . That includes exclusive interviews with world champion Kramnik and the entire Fritz team.


 

Did Kramnik Resign a Drawn Position in Game 6?!

Source from the official site:
Shades of Deep Blue-Kasparov are now more present than ever here in Bahrain. So far out analysis has been unable to find a forced win for Black from the final position of game six!

Did the world champion resign a drawn position, as did Kasparov in game 2 of his rematch with Deep Blue? What we can say for sure is that he resigned far too early as there was plenty of fight left in the white position.
Can you find a win for Fritz?  More... >>>


The Human

The "monster"


 

02.10.2002

The spectacular opening ceremony of the match was honored by the participation of His Highness Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Commander-in-Chief of the Bahrain Defense Force. World Champion Kramnik also delivered a speech, the full text of which is below.

His Highness selected one of two covered falconers on behalf of the World Champion to decide which color he would have to start the match. A few members of the Deep Fritz team showed brief smiles when a falconer holding a black bird was uncovered by the Crown Prince. Kramnik will begin the match with the black pieces on October 4! Deep Fritz will have white in all the odd-numbered games.

Of course in a match this is no disadvantage for the Champion because an equal number of games will be played with each color. However, it is usually considered a sign of good fortune to win the draw and begin with white. We will soon bring a full photo report of the opening ceremony. Below is the complete text of Vladimir Kramnik’s speech.

 


30.09.2002

World Champion Vladimir Kramnik arrived in the Kingdom of Bahrain Saturday night. He was welcomed at the airport by the president of the Bahraini sports organization and the Russian ambassador.

Kramnik will have a few days to acclimate himself to his surroundings. The first of the eight games begins Oct. 4 at 3:00pm local time (12:00pm GMT). The size of Kramnik's entourage matches that of the team he had with him in London, 2000, when he took the world title from Garry Kasparov. Chess firepower included German Grandmaster Lutz and International Master Nalbandian. The champ was also accompanied by his representative and physical trainer.

No doubt Kramnik will need to maintain top condition against a machine opponent that will never tire. In 1997, the last time a world chess champion faced a computer, a nervous and tired Kasparov lost the match against Deep Blue when he was terribly defeated in the final game.