Kramnik-Deep Fritz: First game ends in a draw

by ChessBase
11/25/2006 – Game one finished in a draw after Deep Fritz defused the opening danger to reach a roughly equal endgame. Kramnik paid Fritz the compliment of using the same Catalan opening he played against Topalov in their recent world championship match, but although White was in control it was never quite enough to tip the balance. Express report.

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The chess duel Man vs Machine, Vladimir Kramnik vs Deep Fritz is being staged from November 25 until December 5th. It is sponsored by the RAG AG, one of Europe's largest energy companies. The venue is the National Art Gallery in Bonn, Germany. Schedule:

Game 1: Saturday 25.11.2006 15:00 h
Game 2: Monday 27.11.2006 15:00 h
Game 3: Wednesday 29.11.2006 15:00 h
Game 4: Friday 01.12.2006 15:00 h
Game 5: Sunday 03.12.2006 15:00 h
Game 6: Tuesday 05.12.2006 15:00 h

There will be full live coverage on the Playchess server, as well as on the official site and a number of partner sites.

Game one

Game one was a vintage Kramnik effort against Deep Fritz. The world champion's precise and methodical style is dangerous against humans and ideal against computer. Kramnik employed the same tranquil Catalan opening he used against Veselin Topalov several times in their world championship match. It's just the sort of line to squeeze a mild positional advantage with minimal risk, something that's especially important when facing a computer looking at eight million moves per second.

To no one's surprise, Kramnik declined several invitations to complicate. Fritz offered the two rooks for the queen on move 14, but after 14.Qxa8 Bb7 15.Qxf8+ Kxf8 there are few targets for the rooks and one of the tenets of playing against a computer is to remove both powerful queens, not just your own! A few moves later Fritz calmly played 15.Rfd8, which allowed a combination Kramnik declined. 16.Bxf6 Qxf6 were played and then 17.Ng5 attacks h7 and discovers an attack on the Bb7 at the same time. But Black can ignore h7 and get a fine position after 17..Bxg2 18.Qxh7+ Kf8 19.Qh5 g6! 20.Qh4 Qd4.

Kramnik settled for doubling Black's pawns and getting a tiny endgame edge that was more optical than real. Fritz played some unorthodox moves but never seemed in doubt of the eventual draw. An impressive control game by Kramnik, although it should be much harder to achieve with the black pieces on Wednesday.

Kramnik,V (2750) - DEEP FRITZ [E03]
The Duel Bonne GER (1), 25.11.2006
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.Qa4+ Nbd7 6.Qxc4 a6 7.Qd3 c5 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.Nf3 0-0 10.0-0 Qe7 11.Nc3 b6 12.Ne4 Nxe4 13.Qxe4 Nf6 14.Qh4 Bb7 15.Bg5 Rfd8 16.Bxf6 Qxf6 17.Qxf6 gxf6 18.Rfd1 Kf8 19.Ne1 Bxg2 20.Kxg2 f5 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.Nd3 Bd4 23.Rc1 e5 24.Rc2 Rd5 25.Nb4 Rb5 26.Nxa6 Rxb2 27.Rxb2 Bxb2 28.Nb4 Kg7 29.Nd5 Bd4 30.a4 Bc5 31.h3 f6 32.f3 Kg6 33.e4 h5 34.g4 hxg4 35.hxg4 fxe4 36.fxe4 Kg5 37.Kf3 Kg6 38.Ke2 Kg5 39.Kd3 Bg1 40.Kc4 Bf2 41.Kb5 Kxg4 42.Nxf6+ Kf3 43.Kc6 Bh4 44.Nd7 Kxe4 45.Kxb6 Bf2+ 46.Kc6 Be1 47.Nxe5 ½-½ [Click to replay].

A full report will follow later tonight...

Mathias Feist of ChessBase shakes hands with Vladimir Kramnik at the start of game one. In the background Dr. Werner Müller, head of RAG, and Peer Steinbrück, the German finance minister.

The game starts with 1.d4 by Kramnik

The game is under way

Fritz is out of book and starts computing

A truly impressive spectacle for the audience in Bonn

Matthias Feist operating Deep Fritz, Vladmir Kramnik operating a human brain


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