Vladimir the First succumbed to Fritz the Tenth
Tuesday, 28 November 2006

The six-game match between the World Chess Champion Grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) and the tenth version of computer program Fritz started in Bonn (Germany) on Saturday 25 Nov 2006.

Vladimir Kramnik needed a win in the last game in order to draw the match, so after 1.e4 he, instead of 1...e5, selected a double-edged Sicilian defense. This resulted in a highly exciting game. Both sides displayed some fine maneuvering, and penetrated deeply into the core of the position, making the encounter worthy of a world championship match.

Alas, the computer depth surpassed the human one - Deep Fritz managed to parry all the opponent's threats and grabbed a pawn without any compensation, after which White's victory became just a matter of time... The final score of the match - 4-2 in the machine's favor.

The official site of the match

In the first game Kramnik, who had White, succeeded in getting a slight advantage in the endgame, which, however, proved insufficient for a win. Having exchanged all the men, the opponents agreed to draw on the 47th move.

In the second game the World Champion “outwitted” the program in the opening, gaining a more promising position. But then he went astray. First he carried out an exchanging operation, as a result of which he let his winning chances slip. Then he overlooked the opponent’s threat and was checkmated in one. The score in the match is now 1.5 - 0.5 in favour of “Deep Fritz”.

The Game 3 again featured the Catalan Opening. Fritz, playing Black, sacrificed a pawn and seized the initiative, utilizing the fact that the White's queenside lagged in development. Vladimir Kramnik had to turn to defense. Soon he decided to return the material and force a draw by an exchange sacrifice, building a fortress. The score is now 2-1 in favor of the program.

In the Game 4 the computer faced... another computer. Or, more precisely, a computer analysis. Fritz changed the opening, playing 1.å4, but Kramnik selected the Petroff and came out with a home-cooked novelty, which allowed him trading queens and transposing to an endgame. With accurate defense, Black managed to hold the balance. The match score is 2.5-1.5 in favor of the Machine. Kramnik's last real chance to equalize is December 3, when he has White for the last time.

Playing days - 25, 27, 29 November, 1, 3 and 5 December.

Adjourned session, if any, takes place on rest days.

Time control: 2 hours for the first 40 moves, then one hour for the subsequent 16 moves. After 56 moves or 6 hours of playing a game may be adjourned at Kramnik’s will.

Vladimir Kramnik
Fritz 10

For Vladimir Kramnik, this is a second match against the computer program Fritz. The first match was held in Bahrain in 2002, ending with the equal score 4:4. In the event of his win, the World Champion will get one million vs dollars. Kramnik’s appearance fee is half a million dollars. Over the last decade, starting from 1996, not a single strong grandmaster has been able to defeat the computer in a serious match. After 1997 all encounters between world champions and computer programs ended in draws. Of considerable interest are the match regulations which were changed better to suit human needs. Vladimir Kramnik may adjourn a game and also make use of a database of opening, similar to the computer’s. We are publishing the complete translation of the Regulations, as made by the www.chesspro.ru site.


Six games will be played on the days 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 where day 1 is 25 day of November 2006. The games commence at 3.00 pm and end at 9.00 pm at which time Mr Kramnik will have the right either to continue with the game or to adjourn it to the next day.

In each game the Players shall each have to make 40 moves in two hours followed by 16 moves per hour thereafter provided that in the event that a game has not been completed within six hours it may be adjourned to the following day at Mr Kramniks discretion when play will continue at the rate of 16 moves per hour for a further six hours.

Mr. Kramnik shall have the right to adjourn any game after 56 moves even if six hours of play have not been completed. Should this right be exercised, play shall continue on the following rest day at the rate of 16 moves per hour.

The winner of the match will be the first Player to score more than 3 points. It is intended to award the winner the World Chess Challenge Trophy.

In the event that the match is decided before the six games set out in paragraph “Dates” have been played, Mr Kramnik will continue to play until the conclusion of the sixth game or offer his services in any way agreeable to both Parties.

The match will be ruled and officiated by one arbiter. His decision regarding any interpretation of any of the rules of chess pertaining to this match shall be final and binding. The arbiter shall be selected by UEP and UEP shall inform Mr. Kramnik and Chessbase (CB) about the name of the arbiter as soon as possible but in no event later than 1 October 2006. UEP informs about its intention to contract Mr. Albert Vasse (Netherlands) being the arbiter of the WCC.

UEP shall have the right to announce a WCC Match Director who will be responsible for all necessary communication and administration during the match (with the Players, the Arbiter, the sponsors, the press, the local organisation at venue and other parties involved). For the avoidance of doubt: The Match Director has no influence or responsibility on the Arbiter’s decisions and shall have no influence regarding any interpretation of any rules of chess and any rules of the WCC which is solely a responsibility of the Arbiter.

The CB Team will designate an Operator and up to two Reserve Operators. The Operator is the only person who may interact with Deep Fritz during the game. The Operator may not interact with Deep Fritz while Mr. Kramnik’s clock is running. The Operator may adjust the clock times used by Deep Fritz only within 15 seconds of Deep Fritz’s clock being activated.

During the game, the Operator may be replaced by a Reserve Operator should the Operator be unable to perform for any extended period of time. Any replacement of Operator must be authorized by the Arbiter.

The Operator will take all reasonable measures to insure that their activities do not distract Mr. Kramnik.

The computer will consult an opening book during the game. During the match, the opening book may not be modified, except that up to 10 ply of additional moves may be added in the opening variation of the game which has most recently been played (not counting adjournment sessions) and the weightings of specific moves may be modified so that the different variations, already present in the opening book, will be preferred by the program.

All opening book modifications will be entered by the Arbiter before the game according to the material confidentially provided to them by the Deep Fritz Team. A member of the Deep Fritz Team will be present and if necessary guide the Arbiter through the necessary steps of operation.

At the conclusion of each game the Arbiter will attempt to replicate the opening of the game on a computer which has the opening book and program as delivered to the Kramnik Team and the Arbiter. If they find any discrepancies, the Deep Fritz Team is required to explain these to the satisfaction of the arbiter.

If a violation of this rule is determined by the Arbiter, the penalty may include loss of the game.

As long as Deep Fritz is “in book”, that is playing moves from memory and not calculating variations, Mr. Kramnik sees the display of the Deep Fritz opening book. For the current board position he sees all moves, including all statistics (number of games, ELO performance, score) from grandmaster games and the move weighting of Deep Fritz. To this purpose, Mr. Kramnik uses his own computer screen showing the screen of the Deep Fritz machine with book display activated.

As soon as Deep Fritz starts calculating variations during the game the operator informs the arbiter. The arbiter confirms this on the screen of the playing machine and then shuts down the second screen.

The use of a database of endgame positions (“Tablebase”) is permitted only if the tablebase contains positions with a total five total pieces or less, including kings.

When Deep Fritz identifies the board position in a tablebase, it must inform the Arbiter, who will then stop the clocks.

In the presence of the Arbiter, the Operator will inform Mr. Kramnik that the position has been located in the tablebase.

If the position is evaluated by the tablebase as winning for the side played by Deep Fritz, the Operator will inform Mr. Kramnik of that fact in the presence of the Arbiter. The game will continue, unless Mr. Kramnik chooses to resign.

If the position is evaluated by the tablebase as winning for the side played by Mr. Kramnik, the Operator will inform Mr. Kramnik of that fact in the presence of the Arbiter. The game will continue unless the Deep Fritz Operator chooses to resign.

If the position is evaluated by the tablebase as a draw, the Operator will inform Mr. Kramnik of that fact in the presence of the Arbiter. This will constitute an offer of a draw. The game will continue, unless the offer is accepted prior to the completion of Mr. Kramnik’s next move.

It is recognized that the program will access tablebases in its calculations. The above rules apply only when the position on the board is present in the tablebase.

Mr. Kramnik may offer a draw at any time, regardless of whose turn it is. The Operator is authorized to accept or decline the draw on behalf of Deep Fritz.

The Operator may offer a draw on behalf of Deep Fritz, however a draw may not be offered unless a previous offer by Mr. Kramnik has been declined.

If Mr. Kramnik feels that the position is clearly drawn, he may notify the Arbiter and the Operator that he is making a claim of “technical draw”. The Arbiter will stop the clock. Mr. Kramnik will then explain his reasoning, and the Operator is obliged to accept the draw unless Deep Fritz can demonstrate that in the previous ten moves progress has been made.

The Arbiter will determine the validity of the claim, and his decision shall be final and binding. Should he uphold the claim, the game will be declared drawn. If he rejects the claim, then the game continues.

During the deliberations regarding a technical draw, the clocks will remain stopped. In the event the Arbiter reject the claim, the penalty will be deduction of the lesser of 5 minutes, or 10% percent of Mr. Kramnik’s remaining time. In the event a second claim of a technical draw is rejected in the same game, a 25% penalty will be assessed.

Software or hardware failure is defined as the inability of the program to deliver a legal chess move to the operator.

In the event of an obvious software or hardware failure, the arbiter will stop the clock and give the Deep Fritz Team 5 minutes to decide whether to resume with the same machine or replace it.

After 5 minutes have elapsed, the arbiter will reactivate the clock.

Before making a move, the Deep Fritz Team will indicate to the arbiter that they are ready to resume play. The arbiter will immediately inform Mr. Kramnik.

After the Deep Fritz team informs the arbiter, any move made by the machine must be accepted as part of the game.

Should the Deep Fritz Team decide that hardware repairs cannot be made, they may substitute a machine which is either configured exactly the same as the designated playing hardware, or may switch to a dual-processor or single processor machine. The Arbiter must approve any hardware modification or substitution, and may carry out tests to determine whether the provisions of this article are being met.

After the conclusion of each game, the Deep Fritz Team shall provide a printout of the computer analysis of the game to the Arbiter and the Kramnik Team. This printout includes evaluation, search depth, expected move and thinking time.

After each game, the Arbiter will be provided with an opportunity to compare the opening book used in the game with the opening book used in previous games.

By October 1, 2006, Mr. Kramnik and the arbiter will receive the final match version of Deep Fritz. After this date only bug fixes are done on the engine, for example obvious crashes or obvious positional errors. No positional knowledge will be added. Should the engine be modified in any way after 1 October 2006 Chessbase will notify Mr. Kramnik’s team and the Arbiter in writing about this specific change and demonstrate its effect on a test position. In any case Chessbase guarantees that any change after October 1, 2006, will not influence general playing style and tactical strength and confirms that the engine code remains practically unchanged after October 1, 2006.

From 1 October 2006 on, the Deep Fritz team will be ready on the request of the Kramnik team to install the final match version on Mr Kramnik’s trainings machine. The Deep Fritz team shall inform Mr. Kramnik and the organizer (UEP) by no later than 1 October 2006 about the specifications of the hardware which will be used during the WCC. In co-operation with a possible hardware producer and Chessbase the organizer (UEP) will make their best endeavours to provide Mr. Kramnik a trainings machine being similar with the machine during the WCC.

At any stage in the match, the Kramnik team may copy the exact playing engine directly from the tournament machine under supervision of the arbiter. The Deep Fritz Team is not required to disclose the exact hash table size for the match. It is understood that hash table size does not influence playing style but rather introduces a small element of non-determinism into the move selection process. The Deep Fritz Team has to notify the Arbiter of the Hash table size so that they can reproduce the programs calculations.