Chess champ Kramnik loses match to Deep Fritz, 4:2

December 5th, 2006

fallen kingWorld champion chess grand master Vladimir Kramnik has lost his six game match with the computer program Deep Fritz 4 games to 2. From a NYT story:

Mr. Kramnik fell behind in the match when he lost Game 2 by walking into a checkmate in one move with hardly any pieces remaining on the board, a mistake that ranks as one of the biggest in championship-level chess history. Needing a win today to tie the match, Mr. Kramnik took some chances, eventually lost a pawn, and was then outmaneuvered by the computer.

This is the second time that the reigning world human chess champion has lost to a computer — Garry Kasparov lost a 1997 six-game match against IBM’s Deep Blue. It may also be the last time for such a Man vs. Machine match over chess. The raw power of computer systems continues to increase and our software only gets better. The action is likely to shift to games that are still a challenge for computers to play at the highest level, such as poker or go.

I think it won’t be the same, though. Chess was iconic as a game for the brainiest and most intellectual of people. 40 years ago the very idea that a machine could play chess was still astounding. Now you can buy Deep Fritz, or at least a version of it, for less than twenty dollars.

Let’s break out the booze and have a ball, If that’s all there is.