Robert Kimmerle
executive branch in a nation of one

Friday, October 04, 2002
Today was the first day of the grudge match between Vladimir Kramnik, world chess champion, and Deep Fritz, piece of software. Despite the '70s-era boxing-ubermatch name (not quite "Rumble in the Jungle", is it?) and commensurately outlandish hyperbole ("on the line: one million dollars and human dignity"), this is still interesting stuff. This is a reprise, of course, of the Kasparov-Deep Blue series. Since then, Kramnik nabbed Kasparov's title and Deep Fritz beat some other program in a challenge match; apparently Kasparov was depressed after being whipped by a snarl of silicon and hasn't recovered.

This is primarily interesting for two reasons: 1) it brings to mind the hysterical Moxy Fruvous riff about the first match, and 2) Kramnik's approach to the match is precisely the opposite of Kasparov's: rather than trying to out-think the computer, he intends to deliberately confuse it with unorthodox moves.

A very good background of the match appeared on Wired's site last month; today's first game, with the computer playing white, was a draw.

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