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KvsF/X3D, Game Four (# 4.)

 Kasparov vs. Fritz X3D, Game Four (# 4.) 

  Pre-Game commentary on (the live) TV coverage.  

Anyone who plays or follows chess - and many who do not - are probably aware of by now that a chess match was held on TV in November of 2003. And most even know the names (or parties) of the two contestants: GM Garry Kasparov  and the computer program, (Virtual Reality's)  Fritz_X3D

ESPN  did an excellent job and assembled an expert team of commentators. And for the first time, it seemed that ESPN had dedicated itself to covering the entire game ... no matter how long it lasted. (Hallelujah!) 


  They were ... in no particular order:   
Many times U.S. Champion  GM Yasser Seirawan. (Maybe the only American to defeat both Karpov and Kasparov when they were the reigning world champions.)  "Yaz" has also won many top-class events. 

#2.)  GM Maurice Ashley - a still fairly young and a very dynamic player and teacher. (Ashley was also the FIRST Black American to become a GM.) Ashley is also an excellent commentator and covered the last match that Kasparov played against the computer. (Versus Deep_Junior.)

#3.)  Paul Hoffman - a well-known expert on computers, games and 
chess. (Hoffman has also written extensively on the subject as well.) 


The first thing ESPN did was to re-cap the match's progress ... basically tell the story of what had transpired thus far - albeit in as a flowery and in as  colorful a way as they could possibly could. (A draw in Game 1, a win for the computer in Game 2, {after a huge blunder}; and then a crushing win ... in a fairly closed position ... by Kasparov in Game Three.) 

Before the game, both GM Ashley and Seirawan were saying that Kasparov appeared to be very fired up. Seirawan was saying Kasparov was going for the gold and predicted that Garry would win. Hoffman said that in the last game, the computer, "played like a POTZER." (While this might be basically true, there is something incongruous about a non-master like Hoffman calling a computer  ...  which has already proven to have world-class tactics  ...  a "fish.")  

Everyone seemed to be all smiles and predicted a good result for Garry. Everyone seemed to be convinced Garry would win. 


But they all forgot a few basic facts: 
#1.)  The computer has no emotions. It is not ashamed of its performance in its last game. It cannot be embarrassed or ridiculed. It cannot be made to feel inferior. It does not CARE ... how fired up Garry is or how enthusiastic Garry is! It does not flinch when Garry slams down a piece. (No real pieces to manipulate in virtual reality, anyway.) It will simply grind away ... with its four super-integrated Xeon processors ... and continue to search ... with nearly PERFECT short-term tactics ... all the possibilities of the position that is laid before it. And it will do so ... at a rate of OVER ... FOUR MILLION POSITIONS PER SECOND!!!  (In one game, the computer had searched virtually all reasonable replies about 8 moves ahead. UNREAL!!) 

# 2.)  The computer has in its {practically infallible} memory ... every single game that Garry has ever played. Further, it has an opening book with literally thousands of different lines. And this opening book was prepared by some of the best and most savvy GM's in the business. Also - the computer does NOT get tired, get a headache .. and FORGET a line. (As a human often might.)

# 3.)  Garry has the Black pieces today ... he has  NEVER  defeated a good program with the Black pieces ... ... ... PERIOD!!  (End of story.) 

# 4.)  The Fritz team has proven ... over and over ... that they can ... 
TWEAK THIS BEAST!! For example, in the first half of the Fritz match with Kramnik, the computer seemed inept and nearly losing in every game. (Kramnik won two, and two were drawn.) Then after a few adjustments, the computer came roaring back ... won two games in a row, and in the end - Kramnik seemed rather happy to be able to make a draw. 


All things considered, I told all my friends that I expected a draw. (Although I truly feared a loss for Kasparov might be possible.) 

For example, in one of the games in the computer match with the program Deep_Junior, Garry got a VERY favorable position ... which many of the experts considered to be just winning. But in the end, Garry was unable to overcome the stout resistance of the box, and even blundered and lost. (I could only pray that this scenario did not repeat itself here.)  

In the end Kasparov did exactly what I predicted he would do. He came to the board with a variation which he had DEEPLY prepared. It would basically GUARANTEE him a draw ... IF (and only if) ... the metal monster found the very best moves. (Should the computer play less than best, it would obviously be in a lot of trouble.) And of course if the program did poorly or was not prepared for that particular line, then Garry would win as he did in the previous game. 

Unfortunately ... for the pro-human faction, anyway ... the computer had been prepared very well by its team of 'handlers'  -  and played the line nearly perfectly. What then transpired was a draw more brilliant and more precise than what we saw in game one. (Something I did not think we would see again for 25-30 years!) 


Technical note:  Before the last game, the Fritz team made MANY adjustments to the program, and specifically updated the openings book. They also 'instructed' their charge to seek wide open positions, and to be a tad more aggressive. Of course the whole idea was to be sure that the computer program was ready for Garry and also presented the greatest possible challenge. 

Garry too made a few changes, in fact one very drastic change. (He had complained earlier that the true 3D board was too hard on the eyes and that he had a headache after every game.) He wound up turning the true "3D-effects" OFF for game four. Instead of the pieces jumping out at him, he instead went for the more traditional type of 3D board. (Instead of the pieces 'floating in air' they appear to have three dimensions, but the pieces stay confined to the interior of the rather large and very sophisticated monitor.) Garry later said that he was,  "much more comfortable" with this method, and felt almost completely at ease playing this way. 


Its official, the match is drawn!! For those who were disappointed, I can only say we saw about as much action as one could reasonably expect in just four games. 

The final game started as a Queen's Gambit Accepted. This was a tremendous shock ... I don't think too many people expected the Q.G.A. at all. (Kasparov commented at the end of this match that this was basically a gamble on his part ... he could not know what the computer's "book" was going to be. I think he was aiming for a line that is fairly new and leads to very unclear and extremely complicated play. But the computer team was NOT caught unawares ... and played the modern  7.Bb3. This is, of course, GM Vladimir Kramnik's modern treatment of this very venerable line.)  

Many thought that the computer had a very large advantage out of the opening, Yasser was saying that Garry would have to play the same line that he had played versus Kramnik, {in a previous OTB encounter}; and sacrifice his Queen. ('!') But Garry surprised everyone and came up with a brand-new method of handling a known position - but only after a fairly long think. 

Then the game proceeded to a very long series of forced blows - - - truly an incredible combination. It was almost comical to see the comments on US Chess Live and The Internet Chess Club. (Blitzin.) All  the lower-rated players were screaming and racking up mates - for BOTH sides!! (Almost mimicking what Seirawan had analyzed earlier.) But both Garry and the computer had it all figured out. They knew that this combination was best. 

It seems that all the moves were forced ... and a balanced position was reached. (Two Pawns, a Queen and Rook for both sides.) In the end, Garry was even hurling verbal jabs at the referee, complaining that it was over. And Garry was correct, after a couple more useless half-moves, they agreed that the position was level and that the game was a draw. 

Game # 4 (text-score only)  [ re-play on "chess games" ]  

  Fritz X3D (2675) - GM Garry Kasparov (2830)  
Human vs. Computer/Virtual Reality/in 3D 
  The Athletic Club, "In the Big Apple"  
  New York, NY (USA)  (Game # 4), 18.11.2003  


   NOTE:  Nearly all the sources, like TWIC, give the  wrong  move order for this game. (!!) 


 1.d4 d5;  2.c4 dxc4;  3.Nf3 e6;  4.e3 a6;  5.Bxc4 c5!?;  6.0-0 Nf6;  7.Bb3 cxd4;   
 8.exd4 Nc6;  9.Nc3 Be7;  10.Re1 0-0;  11.Bf4 Na5;  12.d5 Nxb3;  13.Qxb3 exd5; 
 14.Rad1 Be6;  15.Qxb7 Bd6;  16.Bg5 Rb8;  17.Qxa6 Rxb2;  18.Bxf6 Qxf6; 
 19.Qxd6 Qxc3;  20.Nd4 Rxa2;  21.Nxe6 fxe6;  22.Qxe6+ Kh8;  23.Rf1 Qc5;  
 24.Qxd5 Rfxf2;  25.Rxf2 Qxf2+;  26.Kh1 h6;  27.Qd8+ Kh7;  Draw agreed.



    (I originally posted the wrong move order for this game ... as did EVERYONE else. It is amazing, but 
     no one seems to have noticed the actual move order of this game - maybe because  it happened so 
  But AFTER watching the  tape ... over and over again ... it is blatantly obvious that the actual 
     move order was different. Specifically, he played ...e6; then ...a6; then ...c5; and only then did he 
     play the move ...Nf6. This is a simply a transposition, but important for no other reason than history!)


  Replay ChessBase's analysis.   Replay Mig Greengard's analysis on the X3D site.

   Click  HERE   to see this game with NO annotations, on a js re-play board.   
(You don't need a chess set.) 

   Click  HERE   to see this game with my annotations, BUT!! ... this is text-only.   

   Post-Game Press Conference & Interview with Kasparov  

Kasparov on Game # 4

(I will post a rough  transcript  of the post-game interview with Garry later.) 

  A.J.'s selected (Kasparov) quotes    (From the post-match Interview.)  

(Referring to 

(After game three."I was in an excellent mood."  "I was prepared for a fight." 

"This ____ computer ... it just doesn't understand!" (A small joke.) 

"It was many, many hours ... deciding what opening that I should play." 

"I was a bit surprised when the machine played 1.d4, I was expecting a KP opening." 

... "Daddy, you must NOT lose!"  (Garry had spoken to his 7-year old son on the 
telephone the day before the last game.) 

"The opening line (that I chose) ... was just a gamble." 

"The big question was ... 
  how far and how deep did the computer's opening book go?" 

(Stay tuned for a complete transcript of the "post-match" interview.  Dec. 19, 2003.) 


READ  the entire transcript of the post-game interview Garry gave after Game Four. 
(Posted:  Wednesday; December 24th, 2003.)  


  Kasparov, X3D Fritz end series in tie  

Grant McCool in New York  |  November 19, 2003 08:49 IST

World No 1 chess player Garry Kasparov's latest attempt to conquer a computer programme ended in a tie on Tuesday when he drew the fourth and final game of his match against 'X3D Fritz', which had voice-recognition and virtual reality features.

Kasparov, 40, said after the weeklong match at the New York Athletic Club that computer programmes were stronger now than the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue he took on in 1996 and 1997, the benchmark for man vs machine contests.

"Machines are getting better, but we humans are also learning," said Kasparov, considered by chess experts to be the best player in the history of the ancient game. "Today, I know much more about computers than six years ago."

The grandmaster and the computer's programmers agreed to a draw in Tuesday's fourth game after about 90 minutes and just 27 moves, the shortest game of the series that began with a November 11 draw. X3D Fritz won the second game last Thursday when Kasparov blundered. The grandmaster won comfortably on Sunday.

In chess, one point is awarded for a win and a half point for a draw. The match ended in a 2-2 tie.

In February in New York, Kasparov tied a six game match 3-3 with Israeli-built world chess computer champion Deep Junior. A version of German-built Fritz tied an eight-game match 4-4 last year with world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia.

Azerbaijan-born Kasparov lost his world title to Kramnik in 2000 but is still rated No 1 in International Chess Federation rankings. X3D Fritz is a combination of Fritz software that is sold commercially and the New York-based X3D Technologies company's virtual reality software.

Kasparov played without physically moving pieces on a board. He sat in front of a monitor wearing black 3-D glasses that made the image of the board appear to float in front of him. In another departure from tournament chess and other computer matches, Kasparov announced his moves into a voice-recognition programme.

Chess experts said Kasparov handled the technology well.

"One of the questions before the match was whether the 3-D environment would be very difficult for Garry and he has shown that he can tie a match in a 3-D situation," said David Levy of the International Computer Games Association, which sanctioned the match broadcast on several chess web sites and the ESPN2 US cable TV sports channel.  


  x3dboard.jpg, 07 KB

Game 4 drawn, 
match finishes tied 2-2.


X3D Fritz tempted Garry Kasparov to enter a variation that had worked for him before. Kasparov declined the machine's ploy and played through sharp complications to reach safe harbor and a draw with the black pieces. After 27 moves there was total equality and simplifications and the draw was agreed. 

[ more ]   (From the X3D web site.)  


   Click here to read a story on the drawn match!!  (x3d-01.jpg, 03 KB)

   Click here to see lots of cool photo's!!  (x3d-02.jpg, 03 KB)

Kasparov vs X3D Fritz match finishes 2-2 after game four draw

19.11.2003  Things cooled down as quickly as they had heated up in game four of the Man-Machine World Championship in New York City. Kasparov worked out of a difficult opening to reach a draw with black against X3D Fritz. The match ended in a two-two draw with a win for each player and two draws. 

(From the ChessBase web site)


I will endeavor to have all the games of this match analyzed as quickly as possible. 

Return  to my  Home Page  for this site.   Return  to the main page for Kasp. vs. F/X3D. 


This page was last updated on 02/17/06 .

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