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Monday, November 27, 2006

World Chess Challenge 2006

World Chess Challenge 2006 - The Duel: Man Vs. Machine
Vladimir Kramnik vs. Chess Computer Deep Fritz
From November 25 to December 5, 2006 at the Federal Art Hall in Bonn
One million US dollars for Kramnik if he defeats Deep Fritz
Federal Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck is event patron Essen.
Classical World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik vs. the world's leading chess computer, Deep Fritz: The much-anticipated WORLD CHESS CHALLENGE (WCC) 2006 will be held from November 25 to December 5, 2006 in the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn. The exclusive sponsor of WCC 2006 is Essen-based energy and chemicals company RAG.

The kick-off press conference for WCC 2006 took place today in Essen. RAG Chairman of the Board of Management Dr. Werner Muller said, "We are delighted to make WCC 2006 possible. Chess fits in beautifully with our company. Chess calls for intelligent strategy, foresight and endurance. RAG is also pursuing a clear strategy that will allow our company to continue to grow and compete successfully in future. And foresight and endurance are essential for us to reach our goals, one move at a time. We can't wait to find out whether Kramnik's strategy will pay off and allow him to beat the world's leading chess computer. We'd like to wish him all the best."

The patron of WCC 2006 is Federal Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück, who noted, "I'm delighted that we managed to bring WCC 2006 to North Rhine-Westphalia and to Bonn. World Chess Challenge 2006, featuring Vladimir Kramnik and Deep Fritz, is a one-of-a-kind, high-level duel that promises to be a real treat for chess aficionados like myself as well as all fans of cultivated high-performance sports. I know this will be an exciting tournament!"

There will be six games in the duel between Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) and Deep Fritz (Germany), the chess computer developed by Hamburg-based Chessbase. If he is victorious, Kramnik will win one million US dollars. Otherwise, the World Champion will walk away with only half that amount.

Vladimir Kramnik said, "The machine is the clear favorite, but don't discount me just yet. I know some top players would be very nervous about playing the computer – they might even avoid this kind of match. That's understandable since a cut-and-dried defeat can affect your future game. Of course, this computing monster keeps getting better year by year, month by month, day by day: My opponentwill be incredibly strong. But I think I can still beat it. Whenever I can fight, I'm extremely motivated. After all, I might be the last human being to be able to defeat this machine. My team and I will be expending all our efforts to cut this so-called artificial intelligence down to size." WCC 2006 is being organized by Universal Event Promotion GmbH (UEP). "Along with millions of chess fans, I am delighted to be organizing this world-class event with RAG, our strong partner and exclusive sponsor, and Peer Steinbruck, our patron. The Federal Art Hall is a wonderful venue for this duel," stressed UEP Match Director Josef Resch. "In the year of computer science, the man vs. machine duel is more than just a scientific experiment; it is a cultural and sports highlight like no other."

So after years of technological change and progress, WCC 2006 will add a new chapter to the long history of chess duels between human and artificial intelligence. The two players - Vladimir Kramnik and Deep Fritz - have already clashed once: Back in 2002 in Bahrain, World Champion Kramnik
finished the match against the machine with a 4:4 tie.


Schedule for WCC 2006 in Bonn:
Game 1: Sa, November 25 3 p.m.
Game 2: Mo, November 27 3 p.m.
Game 3: We, November 29 3 p.m.
Game 4: Fr, December 01 3 p.m.
Game 5: Su, December 03 3 p.m.
Game 6: Tu, December 05 3 p.m.

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