Nov 27th, 2006 by ravi
Kramnik throws away Game 2

In an act of sheer blindness, Kramnik ignores a mate in 1 situation, throwing away Game 2 of the RAG World Chess Challenge pitting him against Deep Fritz (a computer). It’s a nerve-racking … see it here (Shockwave Flash).

Kramnik Fritz Game 2

The image above is a screen grab from the Flash version (linked to above) and shows the state of things right before the mate. It’s Kramnik’s (black) turn to play and rather than avoid the mate in 1 he moves 34… Qe3!

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  • Doyle Saylor says:

    Some work on the hippocampus indicates it is most acutely aware of novelty. I’ve seen this effect in chess games I’ve played. The position assumes a certain fixity that a new move sometimes does not stir the sense of ‘novelty’ or a one move mate. How often does a one move mate come up in such games? I would think from my experience not often, and yet the threat must be instantly recognized if not seen before then.

    The hippocampus is regulatory of emotions (threats) and therefore how well we recognize threats. So the interplay between a rational look at the position which is detached into a variety of scenarios and the ‘threat’ of mate in one can be a very telling kind of signal about how we think in combination of different modes of thought.

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