World Chess Challenge: Kramnik vs. Machine
From November 25th to December 5th 2006, World Champion Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) and Deep Fritz (Germany), will be squaring off against one another in the Man vs. Machine duel. This competition will be held in the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn. The exclusive sponsor of WCC 2006 is Essen-based energy and chemicals company RAG.
There will be six games in the duel. If he is victorious, Kramnik will win one million US dollars. Otherwise, the World Champion will walk away with only half that amount.
ICC WEBCAST Schedule
(All times are US eastern. Add 5 hours for GMT. Add 6 hours for CET)
- Game 1: Saturday, November, 25th at 9 a.m.
Mig Greengard and GM Joel Benjamin
- Game 2: Monday, November, 27th at 9 a.m.
IM Bill Paschall and GM Larry Christiansen
- Game 3: Wednesday, November, 29th at 9 a.m.
IM Bill Paschall and GM Joel Benjamin
- Game 4: Friday, December, 1st at 9 a.m.
IM Bill Paschall and GM Larry Christiansen
- Game 5: Sunday, December, 3rd at 9 a.m.
IM Bill Paschall and GM Gregory Kaidanov
- Game 6: Tuesday, December, 5th at 9 a.m.
Dan Heismann and Vasik Rajilich
Press conference with the presentation of the Match [Photo: official site]
Time Control of the games
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 Kramnik's discretion when play will continue at the rate of 16 moves/hour for a further six hours.
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. If 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 machine is the clear favorite, but don't discount me just yet. I know some top players would be very nervous about playing the computer – they might even avoid this kind of match. That's understandable since a cut-and-dried defeat can affect your future game. Of course, this computing monster keeps getting better year by year, month by month, day by day: My opponent will be incredibly strong. But I think I can still beat it. Whenever I can fight, I'm extremely motivated. After all, I might be the last human being to be able to defeat this machine. My team and I will be expending all our efforts to cut this so-called artificial intelligence down to size."
So after years of technological change and progress, WCC 2006 will add a new chapter to the long history of chess duels between human and artificial intelligence. The two players – Vladimir Kramnik and Deep Fritz – have already clashed once: Back in 2002 in Bahrain, World Champion Kramnik finished the match against the machine with a 4:4 tie.
Kramnik vs Machine. INTRO by John B. Henderson
FORMER Scottish chess champion IM David Levy, the original Man vs. Machine trailblazer, once made a series of famous bets throughout the late 1960s and 1970s that no computer would defeat him in 10 years.
In 1978, Stanford emeritus professor John McCarthy, one of the world’s leading researchers in artificial intelligence (AI) who accepted Levy's bet, paid out in full. Levy, a computing gaming guru, is nothing if not careful with his money from my own personal experience of dealing with him and opted not to repeat the wager.
He correctly figured that the machines were on the march and mankind was doomed in chess. In his latest book, Robots Unlimited, Levy, President of the International Computing Games Association, is now predicting that robots will not only be consistently beating us but after the game they will be making us a consolatory cup of coffee and offering us words of sympathy!
A sobering thought indeed, but years before the first computer was actually built, famed British mathematician Alan Turing foresaw the machine not only playing chess, but beating the human world champion – and this was during the Second World War at the secret headquarters of Bletchley Park, as he led the group that broke the notorious German Enigma code.
Chess, it is thought, has the right combination for AI of human flair alongside serious number-crunching. And sure enough, when the first computers were delivered to the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in the 1950s the scientists immediately started to program it…to play chess. The quest had begun. And for 50 years, the holy grail of the science of AI was a chess computer beating the world champion. It was almost an obsession in the community, with many academics dedicating their entire careers to achieving this goal.
That momentous day came on May 11, 1997 in New York, when IBM’s Deep Blue historically became the first computer to beat a reigning world champion, as Garry Kasparov succumbed to a very public and humiliating defeat. From that fateful day, the machine has almost ruined the mystique of chess by its sheer calculating ability. Yet despite this, nine years on Man vs. Machine in chess continues to intrigue both the media and the academic community.
The beginning, but not THE END ... yet [Photo: IBM Research]
The latest silicon vs. carbon trial of strength starts tomorrow, as another world champion, Vladimir Kramnik, puts his reputation on the line as he takes on Deep Fritz in a $1m six-game match to be held in the Art and Exhibition Hall in Bonn, Germany.
Asked how he estimates his chances, Kramnik in a pre-match press conference reacted cautiously: "Fritz examines millions of moves per second. It is extraordinarily difficult to play against such a calculating monster. Right from the start you are walking on a very narrow ridge, and you know that any inattentiveness will be your downfall. It is a scientific experiment and I will have to fight very hard for my chance."
Now, if I were a brave betting man like my fellow countryman David Levy, I’d put what little money I have on the outcome ending in a 3-3 draw (+1 -1 =4). But then again, I’m the sort of guy who in the past has lost more shirts than a Frat House launderette.