Deep Fritz strikes twice to tie match at 3-3

Strong play by chess computer Deep Fritz 7 allied to a single blunder in each game by world chess champion Vladimir Kramnik has seen the computer win two successive games to draw level at 3-3 in the human vs. computer chess match in Bahrain.

Trailing 3-1 at the weekend, Deep Fritz won the fifth game when Kramnik, fending off a determined onslaught by the computer, made a mistake described by commentators as "the worst blunder of his career" in the 34th move, and resigned immediately after Deep Fritz's next move.

In the sixth game, Kramnik pondered his 19th move for 42 minutes and then gambled on an exchange of pieces in a direct attack on Deep Fritz's king. But the computer found a way out of the desperate position, which had the effect of turning the tables on Kramnik. Deep Fritz mounted a counterattack which forced Kramnik to resign in the 34th move.

Experts commenting on the match have suggested that Kramnik has not fully appreciated that playing against a computer is different from playing against another human.

Referring to the sixth game, international chess master Malcolm Pein said: "I cannot understand why Kramnik should throw away a nice steady advantage on a madcap idea like this. This is no way to play against a computer."

The "Brains in Bahrain" match is now tied with two games to go, with the momentum behind the machine. Deep Fritz has the white pieces, and thus the advantage of playing first, in game seven which takes place on Thursday.

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David Legard

PC World
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