02 May 2022

Thirtysomething Fritz

Toward the end of last year, Chessbase.com started a series titled 'Thirty years! Happy Birthday Fritz' written by Mr. Chessbase himself, Frederic Friedel. The first article in the series explained,

It was 1991. For five years ChessBase had been vigorously selling its professional database program, which most ambitious chess players, all the way up to the World Champion, were using to study the game. It could show you the latest opening trends, their success in present-day tournaments, or the performance of your opponents in these openings. It could give you examples of important endings, and show you how very strong players handled them.

What the database program couldn't do was to play a game against you, or advise you on the quality of individual moves. Why not, our company thought. A plan was born!

Here is the series of six articles:-

  • 2021-11-05: Part 1 • 'In November 1991, ChessBase launched its first chess playing program for PCs.'
  • 2021-11-09: Part 2 • 1992-2001, 'Kasparov and Fritz; Fritz vs. Deep Blue'
  • 2021-11-13: Part 3 • 'In 2003 there was a gigantic man - machine match in New York. Garry Kasparov faced "X3D Fritz"'
  • 2021-11-23: Part 4 • 2004-2005; 'AI Accoona ToolBar vs Rustam Kasimdzhinov'
  • 2021-12-09: Part 5 • 2002 Kramnik vs. Deep Fritz, Bahrain; 'Brains in Bahrain';
  • 2022-01-10: Part 6 • 2006 Kramnik vs. Deep Fritz, Bonn; 'First half of the match'

In fact, that last part was numbered 6.1 and promised, 'Part two of the epic man vs machine match in Bonn will follow shortly.' At the time I decided not to highlight the series until part 6.2 was available. Nearly four months later, it looks like something happened along the way. For an earlier, related post on this blog, see Searching for Fritz (June 2015; 'I looked for early mentions of a name that has been nearly synonymous with 'chess engine' for more than 20 years: Fritz.')

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