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X3D Fritz Doesn't Hit the Books

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Game three of the Kasparov-X3D Fritz match was a horrific display of the worst of computer chess. (From one perspective. It was also a nice control game by Kasparov.) The game was basically lost on move five when the computer, still in book, played 5...a6. This allowed Kasparov to close the game and although the machine was in book for a while longer, it could have easily been determined in advance that X3D Fritz was hopeless in this position. Basically that's what the computer's "book trainer" is supposed to do. It's not about finding stunning novelties, but get the machine safely to positions it can play well.

Alex Kure, the Fritz Team's book guy, has a very tough job. Imagine trying to prepare for Kasparov and ruling out thousands of variations that could lead to: 1) positions with locked centers, 2) trading the queens, 3) static pawn structures in which the human can pick the machine apart in the endgame.

Much of this goes into the massive opening books that are included with every program. The books are tuned and tell the program which lines to play how often and which moves to avoid completely. It was therefore interesting to find that 5...a6 is prohibited in the book that is included with Fritz 8. (See image) Kure was hoping Kasparov would play a line he had played before, but was outfoxed.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 1, 2003 2:48 AM.

    Can You Forfeit Me Now? Part II was the previous entry in this blog.

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