Vladimir Kramnik lost the sixth game of his match against the computer prgoram Deep Fritz today. He thereby lost the match by a score of 4-2.
The finla game saw the super sharp Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defense. This was in stark contrast to the careful positional play of the earlier games. The computer managed to prove, once again, it’s general superiority in tactical positions. The machine played the opening in somewhat bizarre fashion, and did not appear to have much advantage out of the opening. But it was able to keep up the pressure, and seized on a few sloppy moves by Kramnik to bring about a winning endgame. An impressive game by the machine.
I don’t know how many of the matches we will see in the future. Certainly the point is made that the top computers now play chess better than the top humans. The New York Times has a good summary of things:
Today’s outcome may end the interest in future chess matches between human champions and computers, according to Monty Newborn, a professor of computer science at McGill University in Montreal. Professor Newborn, who helped organize the match between Mr. Kasparov and Deep Blue, said of future matches: “I don’t know what one could get out of it at this point. The science is done.”
Mr. Newborn said that the development of chess computers had been useful.
“If you look back 50 years, that was one thing we thought they couldn’t do,” he said. “It is one little step, that’s all, in the most exciting problem of what can’t computers do that we can do.”
Speculating about where research might go next, Mr. Newborn said, “If you are interested in programming computers so that they compete in games, the two interesting ones are poker and go. That is where the action is.”
I’m not sure if Go really holds much interest from a computer programming standpoint, since it is ultimately the same sort of game as chess. But a computer that can play poker well would be a bit creepy!