Deep Fritz defeats GM Volkov

12/31/2003 – Lot of excitement on the Playchess server: 29-year-old Russian GM Sergey Volkov faced a mean dual Xeon 3.06 GHz machine running the latest Deep Fritz 8 program. Even though both games were strategic affairs Fritz outplayed the GM (in the King's Indian!) and won the match 2:0. Here are details and the games.

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Deep Fritz is our latest and best, identical to the chess engine that stood up to the greatest chess player of all time. Millions of chess fans watched the games live on the Internet in November, as Garry Kasparov was forced to conceed a 2:2 draw against his opponent. After the match Kasparov said that the new program was clearly better than its predecessors, better than the Deep Junior program he had played in January and “stronger than Deep Blue.” At the Compute r Chess World Championship 2003 in Graz, Austria, Deep Fritz tied for first place with Shredder (both programs scored 9.5/11, Shredder won the playoff).

GM Sergey Volkov vs Deep Fritz 8

On December 29 and 30 the two man vs machine games took place on the Playchess server.

  • First game: Monday, December 29, 2003, 20:00 MET Paris/Berlin, 19:00h London, 2 p.m. New York).
    This game ended in an exciting win for Fritz.

  • Second game: Tuesday, December 30, 2003, 20:00 MET (Paris/Berlin, 19:00h London, 2 p.m. New York)
    This game was also won by Fritz.

Time controls: 120 minutes for the game + 10 sec increment for each move. Deep Fritz has white in the first game, as requested by the GM.

If Fritz has improved in its strategic understanding of the game, then it should be able to play strategic openings. This is what computer chess fans had been discussing. In the two games against GM Sergey Volkov Deep Fritz was not afraid to play the King's Indian, an opening that is traditionally quite fatal for computers. In both games it was successful, deeply impressing its opponent in the process. Volkov: "Deep Fritz plays like a very strong grandmaster!"

The players

Grandmaster Sergey Volkov, Russia, born 7.2.1974 Saransk, the administrative center of Republic of Mordovia, Elo 2642. Third place in European championship 2002, Russian champion 2000, Cup of Russia winner 2000, winner of tournaments in Minsk 1996, Kstovo 1997, Krasnoyarsk 1998, Krasnodar 1998, St Peterburg 1998, 1999, Antalyia 2002, Korintos 2002; vice champion in the European team championship 2000, Russian team champion 2000 and 2001, chess trainer in the "GM Volkov" chess school in Saransk.

Deep Fritz is running on a Diversimex Dual Xeon 3.06 GHz with 2 GB RAM, an ASUS Board, Windows XP Pro, about 50 GB of 2 to 6-piece endgames (six-piece endings without pawns), about 700 GB hard disk space (2x250, 2x120), etc. etc.

The tournament machine is owned by Martin Müller (left), a computer chess fan who plays a lot with his machine on the Internet (handle: Smurskie), Martin is 48 and lives in Zurich, Switzerland, and has staged a number of public matches against strong GMs.

Previous matches

These are the results Martin has achieved with his super computer:

Time controls 120 min + 10 min rest
26.12.01 Deep Junior 7 GM Pablo Zarnicki (ARG)
1-0
10.09.01 Deep Junior 7 GM Alexey Dreev (RUS)
draw
04.07.01 Deep Shredder 5 GM Alexey Dreev (RUS)
draw
30.05.01 Deep Fritz GM Pablo Zarnicki (ARG)
draw
05.08.01 Deep Fritz GM Alexey Dreev (RUS)
0-1
01.08.01 Shredder 5 GM Pablo Zarnicki (ARG)
draw
16.03.01 Shredder 5 GM Pablo Zarnicki (ARG)
1-0
04.03.01 Shredder 6 GM James Plaskett (ENG)
0-1
17.02.02 Shredder 5 GM Alexey Dreev (RUS)
0-1
21.02.02 Shredder 5 GM Alexey Dreev (RUS)
0-1
21.09.02 Shredder 6 GM Petr Kiriakov (RUS)
1-0
27.09.02 Shredder 6 GM Petr Kiriakov (RUS)
0-1
14.01.03 Shredder 7 GM Sergey Volkov (RUS)
1-0
15.01.03 Shredder 7 GM Sergey Volkov (RUS)
1-0
29.12.03 Deep Fritz 8 GM Sergey Volkov (RUS)
1-0
30.12.03 Deep Fritz 8 GM Sergey Volkov (RUS)
1-0

Time controls 60 min + 30 min rest
16.08.01 DF -GM Sergej Volkov (RUS) draw

Time controls 60 min + 0 min rest
26.05.01 Deep Fritz-GM Pablo Zarnicki(ARG) 1-0
26.05.01 Deep Fritz-GM Pablo Zarnicki(ARG) draw


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