Kramnik vs Deep Fritz: Game three drawn

11/29/2006 – The third game in the National Art Gallery in Bonn, Germany, saw Deep Fritz playing some surprisingly strategic moves. These included a pawn sacrifice for initiative in an inbalanced position on the black side of an Open Catalan. In the end the computer was pressing for a win, but Vladimir Kramnik defended well and the game ended after 44 moves in a draw. Full 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 is full live coverage on the Playchess server, as well as on the official site and a number of partner sites.

Game three

The first move for game three is executed jointly by Reinhard Rauball, the president of the famous German soccer club Borussia Dortmund, and his striker Alexander Frei.

Frei has scored 31 goals in 52 games and is one of the most successful Swiss players in history. He is a great fan of chess, and of unusual jeans.

Kramnik,Vladimir (2750) - Deep Fritz 10 [E03]
Man vs Machine Bonn, Germany (3), 29.11.2006
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.Qa4+ Nbd7 6.Qxc4 a6 7.Qc2. Vladimir Kramnik once again used the Catalan, varying from game one, when he played 7.Dd3. 7...c5 8.Nf3 b6 9.Ne5 Nd5 10.Nc3 Bb7 11.Nxd5 Bxd5N. Deep Fritz deviates from past games in which the knight was captured with the pawn. 12.Bxd5 exd5 13.0-0 Nxe5 14.dxe5. The exchanges are what Kramnik wants, so he can use his superior experience after the simplification. But here the position is asymmetrical and there is a lot of activity that favours the computer. 14...Qc8 15.Rd1 Qe6


Here everyone was expecting 16...d4, 16...Rd8 or 16...Qxe5. There was general consternation at a "materialist" computer sacrificing a pawn for purely positional considerations. 16...Be7 17.Qxd5 Rd8 18.Qb3 Rxd1+ 19.Qxd1 0-0. Deep Fritz has avoided trading queens, and despite being a pawn down sees a slight advantage for Black. 20.Qb3 c4. No way José, Fritz wants to keep the queens on the board and play for a win. 21.Qc3 f6. Another surprising move, trying to keep things nice an complicated.

22.b3 Rc8 23.Bb2 b5 24.Qe3 fxe5 25.bxc4 Rxc4 26.Bxe5 h6. Another unexpected move by the computer, which is still a pawn down but calmly improves its position. 27.Rd1 Rc2 28.Qb3 Qxb3 29.axb3 Rxe2 30.Bd6 Bf6 31.Bc5 a5 32.Bd4 Be7.

33.Bc3? a4! Material is balanced, and Fritz is on the attack. 34.bxa4 bxa4. Black has a dangerous passed pawn and intends to torture White in this advantageous endgame. 35.Rd7 Bf8 36.Rd8 Kf7 37.Ra8 a3

Looking very dangerous for White? The world champion has a solution ready, in the form of an exchange sacrifice: 38.Rxf8+! Kxf8 39.Bb4+ Kf7 40.Bxa3 Ra2 41.Bc5 g6 42.h4 Kf6 43.Be3 h5 44.Kg2.

This blocade position is a theoretical draw, which Fritz operator Mathias accepted for the computer, although Deep Fritz would have liked to battle it out, fruitlessly, for another hour or two. The result: ½-½. [Click to replay].

For Vladimir Kramnik this was a calming-down catch-your-breath game, after the devastating loss in the previous encounter. Once again he got the better of the opening, but he had to register that Fritz played extremely well and had winning chances. Kramnik has only one more white game, but he has shown that he is capable of attacking the computer when he is black. Apart from the egregious blunder he has been looking very solid and there is no guarantee (for Deep Fritz) that he will not turn this match around.

Current standing

 Vladimir Kramnik
Deep Fritz 10

Spiegel Online broadcast

The game was broadcast with live audio commentary directly from the site, in German by GM Helmut Pfleger and GM Klaus Bishoff; and in English it is by GM Yasser Seirawan.


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