Kramnik Squeezes the Machine to Win Game 2!

The champion induced Fritz to make several mistakes in the early going and the program never recovered. Fritz fought back tenaciously, but Kramnik kept firm control of the position throughout and now leads the match 1.5-0.5.

The Fritz team was more than a little embarrassed when their brainchild tossed the move 12…Bf8?? on the board, returning its bishop to its original square! This bizarre move was something even the lowliest human player would never consider. It made perfect sense to Fritz, as it thought that the best move for Kramnik was to retreat his knight, in which case Fritz would have repeated its move too, settling for a draw. Of course Kramnik had no intention of repeating and Fritz’s move was exposed for the terrible blunder it was.

It wasn't completely one-sided. Fritz fought back and shocked Kramnik with some typical computer tactics. In the press conference he admitted that he never imagined 27…Bc4+! and the tactics that followed. "Only a computer would find and play something like that," Kramnik said, "I was completely shocked."

He didn't lose his head, however, and after a long think he found his way through the complications. Kramnik kept firm control of the position and retained the structural and other positional advantages he earned after Fritz's poor opening play. His active king and rook dominated the board and Fritz's pieces were reduced to completely passive defense.

In the final position the king and pawn endgame is hopeless for black. It's not easy to figure out, however, and GM commentator Nigel Short was critical of the Fritz Team's decision to resign. "At least for the thousands of chess fans out there who will see this game and not understand why black resigned," he said. "There are several long variations for white to calculate, many choices to make, it's not that simple. Black should have played on for at least 10 more moves."

In game three Fritz will be back with the white pieces and the boys from ChessBase are eager to strike back. It seems unlikely that they will allow the Berlin Defense that Kramnik drew so easily with in game one.

The 2nd game. Kramnik wins

[Event "Man vs Machine"]
[Site "Bahrain"]
[Date "2002.10.06"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Kramnik(GM)"]
[Black "Deep_Fritz(C)"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D27"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. dxc5 Qxd1 8. Rxd1 Bxc5 9. Kf1 b5 10. Be2 Bb7 11. Nbd2 Nbd7 12. Nb3 Bf8 13. a4 b4 14. Nfd2 Bd5 15. f3 Bd6 16. g3 e5 17. e4 Be6 18. Nc4 Bc7 19. Be3 a5 20. Nc5 Nxc5 21. Bxc5 Nd7 22. Nd6+ Kf8 23. Bf2 Bxd6 24. Rxd6 Ke7 25. Rad1 Rhc8 26. Bb5 Nc5 27. Bc6 Bc4+ 28. Ke1 Nd3+ 29. R1xd3 Bxd3 30. Bc5 Bc4 31. Rd4+ Kf6 32. Rxc4 Rxc6 33. Be7+ Kxe7 34. Rxc6 Kd7 35. Rc5 f6 36. Kd2 Kd6 37. Rd5+ Kc6 38. Kd3 g6 39. Kc4 g5 40. h3 h6 41. h4 gxh4 42. gxh4 Ra7 43. h5 Ra8 44. Rc5+ Kb6 45. Rb5+ Kc6 46. Rd5 Kc7 47. Kb5 b3 48. Rd3 Ra7 49. Rxb3 Rb7+ 50. Kc4 Ra7 51. Rb5 Ra8 52. Kd5 Ra6 53. Rc5+ Kd7 54. b3 Rd6+ 55. Kc4 Rd4+ 56. Kc3 Rd1 57. Rd5+ 1-0