BRAINS IN BAHRAIN

09 OCTOBER 2002:
BRAINS IN BAHRAIN

Chess champ trounces Deep Fritz computer

Wednesday, October 9, 2002
Posted: 9:47 AM EDT (1347 GMT)

MANAMA, Bahrain (Reuters)
– World champion Vladimir Kramnik outwitted the world’s most powerful
chess computer Deep Fritz to win the third game in a match dubbed the “Brains
in Bahrain” contest. Fans of the human were rooting for him to pull off
another victory during game four on Thursday.


    The 27-year-old
Russian, playing with black pieces, beat German-developed Fritz in 51 moves
to lead the eight-game series 2.5-05. The first game was drawn.


    Fritz
is capable of evaluating 3.5 million moves per second and the man-versus-machine
contest is a sequel to Gary Kasparov’s 1997 battle with super-computer
Deep Blue in New York. The computer won that contest.


    Kramnik,
who was crowned world champion in 2000 when he beat compatriot Kasparov
in London, will get $1 million if he wins, $800,000 if the match is drawn,
and $600,000 if he loses.


    Fritz
won the opening skirmish even though he began with the aggressive Scotch
Opening, precisely the kind of tactical maneuver experts say computers
do not understand well.


    As he
had done in the previous two games, Kramnik confused Fritz with an early
gambit of queens and then slowly outplayed the computer in a brilliant
display of chess.

    The queenless
middle game had a rigid pawn structure which Kramnik could pick apart at
leisure.


    Kramnik
said he knew he was winning as early as move 19.a3, when Fritz weakened
its pawns on the king’s side.


    Under
the new rules, Kramnik was given the computer two weeks before the contest
to practice against the new software and assess its style.