Fritz's strongest opponents

by ChessBase
10/23/2002 – Not Vladimir Kramnik, or even Garry Kasparov or Vishy Anand. Last week Fritz faced 490 pounds of brawn – world champion boxers Vitali and Vladimir Klitschkos. Both hat PhDs in Sports and Philosophy and are great chess fans. The Klitschkos wanted to soften the machine which was giving their friend Vlady Kramnik a bit of trouble in Bahrain. Fritz offered a draw in a winning position. Talk about machine intelligence! Read about it in our illustrated report.

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Vitali is 31, was born in Belovodsk, Kyrgyzstan, is married and has a two-year-old son. He has a PhD in Sport Science and Philosophy, lists politics, music, computer, kite surfing, diving as his main interests and hobbies. loves pancakes with curds, carrot juice, photography, Steve Martin, Julia Roberts and chess. Brother Vladimir is 26. He was born in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, has a PhD in Sport Science and Philosophy, loves art, music, magic, diving, wakeboarding, new technologies, lists pancakes with caviar as his favourite food and chess as his favourite leasure activity.

Vitaly is 6' 8 1/4" (2,00 m) tall, weighs 245 lbs (112 kg), has a 46 1/2" (118 cm) chess, a 78" (198 cm) reach and 17 1/2" (43,5 cm) biceps. Vladimir is 6' 6" (1,98 m) tall, weighs 243 lbs (110 kg), has a 47 inch chess (118 cm), a 79" (200 cm) reach and 18" (44,5 cm) biceps. Vitaly has a professional record of 29 fight, losing one and winning 28 by K.O. Vladimir has fought 38 bouts, lost just one, and won 35 by K.O. Their next fights: Vitali will fight Larry Donald in Dortmund on 23 November. WBO champion Vladimir will face manadatory challenger Jameel McCline in Las Vegas on 7 December. Lennox Lewis is the ultimate goal.

From the boxing ring to the chess board

Last Friday these two giants of the boxing world visited the ChessBase office in Hamburg. The reason they give on their web site is that, a day before the final round of the $1 million Man vs Machine event in Bahrain their friend chess world champion Vladimir Kramnik enlisted their help to wear down the machine. So they visited the Hamburg offices of Chessbase for a pre-bout sparring with Fritz. Playing on the Fritz Server against the program in Bahrain, Vitali proved that his "Punching Professor" tag is more than just a stage name! He almost took the machine over the full distance. "It may have been a points decision for Deep Fritz, but the computer at least had its pride dented."

Vitaly and Vladimir Klitschko in the ChessBase office

Vladimir plays a friendly against the Ukrain chess wunderkind Sergey Karjakin

Frederic Friedel operates the computer opponent 4000 miles away in Bahrain

Vitaly playing Fritz (in the background) Vladimir watches and chats

Vitaly got into a bit of trouble against the machine after a mouse slip. Soon after
that Fritz offered the boxing champ a draw. Talk about machine intelligence!

Vladimir during the intense confrontation with the machine

Older brother Vitaly during the game against Fritz

Naturally the TV cameras catch everything for the news

Matthias Wüllenweber of ChessBase (middle) helps out with the server operation

Vitaly also needs some tips in how to play with and against Fritz

He has played more than a hundred games against Fritz, and lost them all

The brothers often play a game against each other

Vladimir gets a copy of our latest program: Fritz & Fertig


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