Chess

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The Independent Culture
THE SIEMENS giants ended in Frankfurt on Friday in yet another triumph for Garry Kasparov. As I noted yesterday, this was his fourth victory in a row this year following Wijk aan Zee, Linares and Sarajevo; and it confirms him - if confirmation were needed - as the dominant player of the age. Indeed, in view of the tough opposition, he is surely the strongest player thus far in chess history.

Unbeaten throughout - though he did survive some tricky moments in his second game against Anand, which I gave here briefly on Friday - Kasparov won one game against each of the others and drew the rest for a final tally of 7.5/12. This brought him well clear of Anand, who fought back well in the latter two cycles, and Kramnik - who had a bad third cycle but was unbeaten apart from it - on 6/12 and Karpov, who faded very badly at the end, on just 4.5.

In the second section, the ridiculously misnamed "Masters", it was nevertheless Fritz 6 which ended up first, ahead of the assorted grandmasters on 9.5/14.

Despite their tiredness, the others did somewhat better against the computer in the second cycle, where it scored 4.5/7 rather than 5; but the program's ruthless exploitation of errors and total lack of fatigue added up to this splendid result which however, presents the organisers with something of a headache since they've agreed that it should qualify for the top section next time - but this may prove offputting to some of the other "giants".

After Fritz's 9.5/14 came Leko and Topalov 9, Svidler 7.5, Judit Polgar and Lutz 6 and, most surprisingly, two very strong players at the bottom: Morozevich on 5.5 and Michael Adams on just 3.5.

Happily some balance was restored when Fritz met Anand on Saturday and Sunday for a revenge match, following its 1.5-0.5 victory against him last year. This time, Anand did succeed in downing the monster 2.5-1.5, albeit with a certain amount of good fortune. Perhaps the most interesting moment came, not in the win but rather in the perilous position shown here.

Anand vs Fritz 6

(second game)

Although Black is a piece up, the result would remain problematical, in view of White's very solid kingside structure, even if Black exchanged a pair of rooks and won the a pawn. But after 32 ...Rxa2? 33 Rdd2! Fritz's operators agreed an immediate draw in view of the eternal pin. Obvious to a human being - but I presume any machine, Deeper Blue included, would still, like Fritz, evaluate it as won for Black.

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