Man vs machine shocker: Kramnik allows mate in one

by ChessBase
11/27/2006 – Vladimir Kramnik played another wonderfully profound game, piling the pressure on Deep Fritz on the black side of a Queen's Gambit Accepted, and taking the computer to the edge of defeat. As usual the computer defended tenaciously and by move 34 Fritz had equalised and the game was clearly drawn. And then Kramnik overlooked mate in one!

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The chess duel Man vs Machine, Vladimir Kramnik vs Deep Fritz is being staged from November 25 until December 5th. It is sponsored by the RAG AG, one of Europe's largest energy companies. The venue is the National Art Gallery in Bonn, Germany. Schedule:

Game 1: Saturday 25.11.2006 15:00 h
Game 2: Monday 27.11.2006 15:00 h
Game 3: Wednesday 29.11.2006 15:00 h
Game 4: Friday 01.12.2006 15:00 h
Game 5: Sunday 03.12.2006 15:00 h
Game 6: Tuesday 05.12.2006 15:00 h

There will be full live coverage on the Playchess server, as well as on the official site and a number of partner sites.

Game two

Kramnik played the unusual 3..b5 in the Queen's Gambit Accepted, an ancient move that is listed in the databases as being played against Greco in 1620! It made its modern reentry as a surprise prepared against Garry Kasparov in a simultaneous exhibition back in 1993. His friend GM Max Dlugy was brought in all the way from the US to captain the Bankers Trust team at the London simul and he brought 3..b5 with him (although eventually Kasparov won the game).

Fritz operator Mathias Feist ready to face the world champion

The Fritz screen at the start of the second game

Kramnik's second Carsten Hensel makes sure he has coffee and water

The greeting in the blue light of the giant board projection

As it did today, it typically transposes into a known line of the Slav, but it's still a rare bird and one no doubt especially prepared by Kramnik, who raced through the opening and beyond, barely pausing think at all until move 17, when he had already reached a comfortable position with black. With no way to prevent the freeing move ..c5, Fritz found a curious plan of relocating its queen to the kingside. The maneuver 18.Qe2-h5 created some tactical threats with Bxh6 but Kramnik kept things under control. He simply chopped off the white bishop on e3 and looked forward to excellent winning chances in the endgame with his 2 vs 1 pawn advantage on the queenside.

The game is under way...

... and the photographers have five minutes to take pictures with a flash

After that the players are left to play in peace on the stage

A view of the playing hall, with the players on the stage and the arbiter on the left

High up in the balcony the annotators speak their live commentary

Yasser Seirawan's English language commentary is streamed for the Internet audience

After smoothly gaining the advantage Kramnik continued to play quickly, perhaps a little too quickly. On move 33 he captured on c1, apparently believing that Black was winning easily after 33..Bxc1 34.Nxf8 Qe3. Since that move contains a fatal flaw, 33..Re8 should have been played. Black's queenside pawns would still give him chances. Instead, Kramnik played one of the most unbelievable blunders ever seen at this level of chess, allowing mate in one with a half and hour still on his clock. The win was already gone by this point, Fritz having several ways to play for a perpetual check draw by repetition after 34..Kg8 35.Ng6. White will check with the queen next and then repeat with the knight. Still, that would have been a much more equitable way to end the game.

Deep Fritz 10 - Kramnik,V (2750) [D10]
Man vs Machine Bonn, Germany (2), 27.11.2006
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 b5 4.a4 c6 5.Nc3 b4 6.Na2 Nf6 7.e5 Nd5 8.Bxc4 e6 9.Nf3 a5 10.Bg5 Qb6 11.Nc1 Ba6 12.Qe2 h6 13.Be3 Bxc4 14.Qxc4 Nd7 15.Nb3 Be7 16.Rc1 0-0 17.0-0 Rfc8 18.Qe2 c5 19.Nfd2 Qc6 20.Qh5 Qxa4 21.Nxc5 Nxc5 22.dxc5 Nxe3 23.fxe3 Bxc5 24.Qxf7+ Kh8 25.Qf3 Rf8 26.Qe4 Qd7 27.Nb3 Bb6 28.Rfd1 Qf7 29.Rf1 Qa7 30.Rxf8+ Rxf8 31.Nd4 a4 32.Nxe6 Bxe3+ 33.Kh1 Bxc1 34.Nxf8. Now 34...Kg8 35.Ng6 Bxb2 36.Qd5+ Kh7 37.Nf8+ Kh8 38.Ng6+ is the forced draw. But Kramnik played 34...Qe3??

35.Qh7# 1-0. [Click to replay]

Kramnik played the move 34...Qe3 calmly, stood up, picked up his cup and was about to leave the stage to go to his rest room. At least one audio commentator also noticed nothing, while Fritz operator Mathias Feist kept glancing from the board to the screen and back, hardly able to believe that he had input the correct move. Fritz was displaying mate in one, and when Mathias executed it on the board Kramnik briefly grasped his forehead, took a seat to sign the score sheet and left for the press conference, which he dutifully attended.

Kramnik relaxed, confident and "still in book" at move 15

The swiveling world champion who has pulled the computer into his prepared line

Deep Fritz, which expected 33...Re8 with advantage for Black, registers Kramnik's 33...BxRc1

Kramnik waiting for Fritz to play the only move, 34.NxRf8...

Fritz intends to play the move and sees a forced draw. The above is a shot of the live computer screen, and shows that Fritz was running at 9.462 million positions per second and had searched to a depth of 18 ply (plus 53 ply selective) in 28 seconds.

Fritz captures the rook and is displaying the draw

Kramnik contemplates the position for a few minutes. Then he played 34...Qe3???

To his horror Fritz replies with 35.Qh7 mate.

Kramnik has left, and Mathias Feist still can't believe what has happened


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