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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Human vs. Machine Results Inconclusive

APKramnik playing the computer Deep Fritz in Germany on Saturday.
BONN, Germany -- World chess champion Vladimir Kramnik scratched but failed to dent his computer opponent in the first game of the Man vs. Machine match, which ended in a draw after 47 moves Saturday.

Kramnik chose the quiet Catalan opening against Deep Fritz, one of the world's top chess programs. After the game, he conceded that "it doesn't offer much advantage" but leads to the type of game that minimizes the computer's calculating prowess.

Since humans excel at long-range planning in quiet positions and computers can out-calculate humans by a factor of at least 1 million in complex situations, the accepted wisdom is that humans should strive for quiet positions and exchange queens early.

The queens came off on move 17, and that was about when Kramnik began to get the upper hand.

Deep Fritz's operator, Mathias Feist, shrugged that aside when asked about it later, saying: "Sometimes you cannot avoid exchanging queens."

The queen exchange inflicted doubled pawns on Deep Fritz's kingside but also gave the computer the bishop pair.

When they reached a bishop-versus-knight endgame, it became apparent that Kramnik's knight was a better piece than Fritz's bishop.

On move 28, American grandmaster Larry Christiansen said Kramnik had achieved the type of "no-risk situation" for which he was striving.

Another American grandmaster, Yasser Seirawan, thought Kramnik had "winning chances around here."

German grandmaster Helmut Pfleger agreed Kramnik was "always better and close to winning."

"I got certain pressure. It was rather close but never enough," Kramnik told reporters after the game. "I was never in the slightest danger. It was a logical draw."

Kramnik could not attempt to exploit the machine's weaknesses without undoubling its doubled pawns and exposing his own pawns as weaknesses. That gave Deep Fritz enough counterplay to hold on as the game simplified.

In the end, both sides had a single pawn in addition to their king and minor piece. With no winning chances, Kramnik ended the game by capturing Fritz's last remaining pawn with his knight.

Taking the knight would have left Deep Fritz with just a king and bishop, with which it is impossible to deliver checkmate.

Game two of the six-game match is scheduled for Monday. Deep Fritz will have White.

Kramnik is guaranteed a $500,000 for playing the match and will get $1 million if he wins the match.

He declined to offer any assessment of his chances after this game.

"It's too early to draw conclusions," he said.