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  Kasparov versus Fritz-X3D ... associated news stories  

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Below are a few, select news stories that I decided to save on this match. (This site - as much as anything else - is dedicated to recording EXACTLY the history of events ... as they happened.) It has been my experience that you can NOT count on a web site maintaining this material for very long. MOST of the good stuff is usually deleted ... usually after just a few months. 

Of course you realize it is simply impossible to save everything!! There are already literally hundreds of web pages with news about this match!!!!! Much as I would like to, I cannot save everything. So I am trying just to save a sampling of what is out there. 

It is NOT my intention to violate anyone's copyright! Anytime ANYONE has complained about the use of a story or a picture, I always apologize and immediately remove the offending picture or story. 

If you would like to have a story or a picture removed, please e-mail me and let me know!! 

 Rage Against the (Chess) Machine 

By  Leander Kahney  (From HotWired)   02:00 AM / Nov. 10, 2003 PT  (Also by this reporter) 

While Neo slugs it out with Agent Smith on the silver screen, chess champ Garry Kasparov is about to face off against a different -- but no less formidable -- computer adversary in New York this week. 

In what's becoming an annual tradition, Kasparov will take on the world's best chess-playing computer program, ChessBase's Fritz, for a $200,000 purse.


The four-game match, running from Nov. 11 to 18 at New York's Athletic Club, is once again billed as "Man versus Machine," but with an added twist.

The match is the "first official world chess championship in total virtual reality," proclaims organizer X3D in the best carnival-barker tradition. "A chess spectacle like none ever seen before."

Playing a special version of Fritz, which has been given a 3-D interface, Kasparov will sit in front of a monitor wearing a pair of 3-D glasses. The board will appear to float in front of Kasparov's face. Keeping it virtual, Kasparov will use voice commands to stop the clock and move his pieces.

Despite the 3-D gimmick, the tournament is a serious test of the state of computer chess, said Mig Greengard, a chess writer and one of the tournament's commentators.

"It's the world's best player against the latest, greatest iteration of the beast," said Greengard.

Greengard said Fritz is synonymous with computer chess; it's the standard-bearer used by all the world's top players.

While there's a version of Fritz for standard PCs, Kasparov will face the software running on a four-processor Xeon server, which will be capable of assessing about 3 million moves a second.

Vladimir Kramnik -- Kasparov's current nemesis -- played an earlier version of the program in 2002 in Bahrain (the "Brains in Bahrain") and drew. In similar fashion, Kasparov drew against Deep Junior, a competing program, in New York earlier this year.

"The software keeps getting stronger and the hardware keeps getting faster," said Greengard. "This thing is really strong. It's stronger than the one (Deep Junior) he played a year ago.... Put it this way, they don't get any weaker."

In the history of chess, this is the era of computer chess, Greengard said. Instead of Fischer and Spassky we have Kasparov and the PC.

"(Kasparov) likes the grandeur," Greengard said. "He takes it very seriously. (Playing computers) is the definition of his era. It's what distinguishes the Kasparov era of chess. He's not in this for the paycheck. He really takes the 'defender-of-humanity' thing seriously."

Greengard said Fritz is a formidable opponent. "When other players play him (Kasparov), they worry about the kinds of things he worries about when he's playing a computer." Things like preparation, thinking ahead, covering all the moves, avoiding blunders and especially style. Computers don't play like humans.

"When playing a computer, you have to consider every single legal move, because that's what the computer does, and it can be exhausting," Greengard said. "Kasparov's intuition, which is his great strength, is overruled by the brute-force method."

On the other hand, Greengard said, the almighty computer is beginning to look vulnerable. Citing a statistical analysis of human and computer matches by Jeff Sonas in ChessBase, it looks like humans are starting to fight back.

"For years, it was seen as inevitable that computers would get stronger and dominate," he said. "But humans are getting smarter about playing them. We're adapting. We're adjusting. We're getting stronger."

In next week's match, Greengard favors Kasparov. Although Kasparov has a couple of handicaps -- the 3-D glasses may mess with his concentration ("He won't be buying a new pair of shoes that day," is how Greengard put it) -- Kasparov likely won't be exhausted by the relatively short, four-match tournament.

But program manager John Fernandez said, "I'm very confident of our chances. As an opponent, (Kasparov) is the best in the world. It's going to be a very interesting match, but I like our chances."

Chess fans will be able to watch the matches move by move, in real time, on the Wired News site using a special X3D pop-up. The games will be held on Nov. 11, 13, 16 and 18, starting at 1 p.m. EST. Each game will last between three and six hours.

The matches can also be followed on ESPN. For the first time, the cable sports channel will cover the entire match -- nearly 18 thrilling hours of live chess.

Kasparov in first virtual chess match

Alfons Luna

 NOVEMBER 10, 2003 


FORMER world chess champion Gary Kasparov will play against the computer "X3D Fritz" this week in a virtual match in which the board is in cyberspace and the pieces are moved by voice command.

The event marks the first time man and machine have battled over a chessboard "in total virtual reality," according to the International Computer Games Association and the United States Chess Federation. 
The four games, November 11, 13, 16 and 18 at the New York Athletic Club, will be broadcast live on the internet at

The 40-year-old chess great will play wearing three-D glasses, gazing at a chess board that appears to float in the air, dictating the movement of his pieces with voice commands, and rotating the board with a joystick. 

"It's pure concept: man versus machine with nothing in between," Kasparov said at a press conference Friday. 

He said the lack of a physical board and chess pieces would not immediately affect his thought process, "but I suspect it will in the long term, so we'll find out". 

"In the 25 years of my professional chess career I used to move the pieces. It's all environment, a framework of the game that my mind is used to working with," he said. 

"I hope that I will adjust myself and I will be able to live with this voice activating system, with the machine, the different angles, the joystick." 

The match is Kasparov's third against a computer since he lost to Deep Blue in 1997 and tied with Deep Junior in February of this year. 

"In 1997 I was not successful playing Deep Blue, last time was a draw, and this time should be better," he said. 

"Five years from now, it will be impossible to beat a machine in long matches," he predicted. 

X3D Fritz is an upgraded version of Fritz, the machine which then-world chess champion Vladimir Kramnik played in Bahrain in 2002, tying him four to four. 

Hungarian chess champion Susan Polgar called the games "a wonderful promotional match". 

"It will bring a lot more new people to chess," she said. 

Although she has never played a machine in public, Polgar uses training software. "It's a very different experience," she said. 

"With people there's a lot of psychology involved, while against the computer it's pure perfection," she said. 

Kasparov is considered the world's best chess player although he lost the world champion title to Kramnik in 2000. 

Agence France-Presse 

Kasparov loses 2nd game of virtual chess series

By MADISON J. GRAY (Associated Press Writer)  November 13, 2003, 6:57 PM EST 

NEW YORK -- International chess master Garry Kasparov lost the second game in his match against the computer program X3D Fritz after a three-hour battle.

The Thursday result in the "Man vs. Machine" four-game series at the New York Athletic Club leaves Kasparov at a heavy disadvantage after a draw in the first game: The computer has 1.5 points, and Kasparov has a half-point.

Kasparov, who had black pieces and moved second, blundered late in the game, allowing X3D Fritz's queen, its most powerful piece, to penetrate deep into the Russian-born champion's territory. Kasparov, unable to recover or defend his king, resigned the game on the 39th move.

Chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley, who covered the game for ESPN, said Kasparov's blunder was "terrible."

"He just made a mistake," Ashley said, "and the computer pounced."

Kasparov must take the remaining two games to win the match; the computer program can take the match with two ties or a win. The match could finish in a draw.

Even if he loses, Kasparov will earn $150,000 for the match. If he wins, his reward is $200,000, and a draw earns him $175,000.

Ashley, the chess analyst, said Kasparov looked defeated.

"He looks as if he's saying to himself, `I can't beat this thing,"' Ashley said. "But he's had losses before and come back, so we'll see."

X3D Fritz, a 12-year-old German program and former world computer chess champion, defeated its IBM rival Deep Blue in 1995. It can compute more than 5 million chess positions per second.

After the game, Kasparov did not speak of any strategies for the next two games. He only confessed his mistakes.

"You work hard for three hours, you get a very promising position, you make a blunder," he said, "then you go home."

Generally considered the greatest chess player of all time, Kasparov was world champion between 1985 and 2000, with a tournament record second to none. After relinquishing his world title in 2000, he responded by taking first place in the next 10 major international events. (Editor's note: He has also been the number one player - continuously!!!, and without interruption! - by rating for almost 20 years. {A.J.G.})

It is not the first time Kasparov has been challenged by a computer.

He won against Deep Blue in 1996, but an upgrade of the machine defeated him the following year. Earlier this year, he drew against the Deep Junior Israeli chess program.

In the current "Man vs. Machine" match, the chessboard is suspended in the air on a screen in front of Kasparov, who wears 3D glasses, voice-activates the chess pieces and uses a joystick to rotate the virtual board.

The International Computer Games Association and the U.S. Chess Federation have sanctioned the match as the first official world chess championship in virtual reality.

The match continues with Game 3 on Sunday and Game 4 on Nov. 18. The games can be followed on the Web site of the sponsor, Manhattan-based X3D Technologies Corp. 


A story from the "Newsday-dot-com" web site.


Kasparov wins in computer chess match   2003-11-17 11:02:59


BEIJING, Nov 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Chess great Garry Kasparov on Sunday virtually shut down computer program "X3D Fritz" to score a vital win in the third game of his latest man vs. machine match. 

World No. 1 Kasparov, 40, had a winning position with the white pieces after only 16 moves and coasted until the computer's programmers resigned on its 45th turn after more than four hours of play. 

  In the early stages, Kasparov seized a black pawn and built a wall of pawns that restricted his opponent to ineffective moves that were ridiculed as "silly" by chess experts at the New York Athletic Club venue. 

The grandmaster's victory was what he needed to stay in contention in the four-game match. The first game was drawn Nov. 11 and the computer won the second game on Thursday after Kasparov blundered. 

The match is tied at 1-1/2 points each. One point is given for a win and a half point for draws. The fourth and final game was scheduled for Tuesday with the winner to collect $200,000. 

"Many of black's (X3D Fritz) moves have been very strange," grandmaster Joel Lautier of France said in commentary on the Web site "It's amazing how computers can play so strongly sometimes and then produce silly moves like today." 

German-built Fritz plays as well as a strong grandmaster, but chess programs generally do not perform well in closed positions because they cannot calculate ahead as clearly as they can in open, tactical battles. 

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 is playing without physically moving pieces on a board. The Azerbaijan-born grandmaster sits in front of a monitor wearing black 3-D glasses that make the image of the board appear to float in front of him. He announces his moves into a voice-recognition program. 

The contest is the latest in Kasparov's quest to outsmart computers at the ancient game. He defeated IBM supercomputer Deep Blue in 1996, lost famously to an improved Deep Blue in 1997 and in Feb. 2003, tied with Israeli-built world chess computer champion Deep Junior. 

Man vs. Machine World Chess Championship ... 
ends in draw 

Story,  Thursday - November 20, 2003. 


After treading a delicate path in game four, Garry Kasparov has drawn both the final game and the match against X3D Fritz in the latest Man vs. Machine World Chess Championship. 

The first and last games of the match were drawn with X3D Fritz winning game two and Kasparov winning game three. The result still earns Kasparov $175,000 and the golden trophy - although X3D Fritz is storing a copy of the trophy in virtual reality given that it was a draw according to reports from x3DChess.

Game four was the shortest game of the match. Playing black pieces, Kasparov steered out of danger in the opening phase and after 27-moves a dead-drawn position was reached and the game was ended by mutual agreement.

Kasparov said after the game that despite outplaying the machine overall, a critical mistake in game two had cost him the match.


Read more analysis at the

         Man versus machine chess match drawn - New Scientist
       Humanity counts in chess battle - BBC News
       Kasparov and Computer End 3-D Chess Series in Tie - Reuters
       BBC News - CNN International - and more   

  Click HERE (or here) to see another news story.  

  Kramnik at the chessboard ... sweating the details against Fritz.

Man vs. Machine the endless fascination
09.11.2003 Chess matches between humans and machines are enthralling. They attract large numbers of spectators next week it will be millions on ESPN while most human tournaments are struggling to find more spectators than participants. Ram Prasad looks back at fourteen years of man vs. machine encounters.  

  (From the ChessBase website.)  

  Kasparov ... with the requisite shades - to peer into the "cyber-world."

May the Force be with him
08.11.2003  "Remember the first 'Star Wars' movie? The only way to destroy the Death Star was to find this one little spot, this weakness, and blow it up. With computers it's the same." At the opening ceremony Garry Kasparov spoke about the ordeal he has to go through in his match against X3D Fritz.  (From the ChessBase web site.) 



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