Vladimir Kramnik, the reigning world champion, was soundly defeated today by Deep Fritz v.10 in the final game of the RAG tournament. Kramnik, who was getting increasingly boxed in, tendered his resignation at the 47th move. The win gave Fritz the championship title, who had two wins and 4 draws against its human opponent. Kramnik never came close to defeating Fritz in any of the games. By virtue of this victory, we have to assume that Fritz 10 is the best chess playing entity on the planet.
Kramnik was in the unenviable position of having to play as black in a must-win game. He opened very competently with the Sicilian Defense and looked very good until about the 20 move mark. In fact, most of the commentating experts were ecstatic about Kramnik's early development and Fritz's back-tracking.
But as shown time and time again, it's one thing to sense that you have a good position against the machine, and an entirely other thing to actually execute a win. Over the next several moves, Fritz recovered and maneuvered itself such that Kramnik was absolutely hogtied. It didn't help that Kramnik made some questionable moves; he had far too many pieces that were inert and out of the action. Kramnik thought he might have achieved a small victory by sacrificing queens at the mid-stage (a recurring strategy utilized by Kramnik who strove to simplify the board), but it proved to be of no real gain.
I'm going to mull over these results and put together an article about the current state of chess and what the future might hold for man versus machine interactions.