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Wednesday, 29 January, 2003, 09:25 GMT
Kasparov clears key second match
Garry Kasparov during Tuesday's match
Kasparov has finally broken 'the spell'
Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov has played supercomputer Deep Junior to a draw in their second of six matches in New York.

It was psychologically a crucial result for the Russian former world champion who lost against the machine's predecessor, Deep Blue, in 1997 after losing the second match.

He was able to steer the computer

John Fernandez, a chess consultant for X3D Technologies
Kasparov, 39, beat Deep Junior, in their first game on Sunday in the series billed as the Man v Machine clash.

"The whole plan worked but because of this spell on game two, this pressure on me, I spent probably an extra half an hour to decide if I should save a draw or provoke more complications," he said after Tuesday's match at the New York Athletic Club.

Spectators said that the game, about a half-hour shorter than Sunday's four-hour match, was more intense and drew on new strategies.

'Sharp and aggressive'

Kasparov controlled play, using the Sicilian defence of employing his pawns to prevent Deep Junior's own pawns establishing an early advantage.

"It's considered the sharpest and most aggressive move," said John Fernandez, a chess consultant for X3D Technologies, a sponsor of the match.

"He was able to steer the computer into a position that was quite favourable."

About 3.5 million internet viewers watched the match on X3D's website.

One for the humans

Tuesday's result leaves Kasparov with 1.5 points to Deep Junior's 0.5 ahead of the next match on Thursday.

Kasparov will pocket $500,000 for the matches, organised by the World Chess Federation, but can earn an additional $300,000 if he wins the series.

On Sunday, it took the grandmaster just 27 moves to defeat Deep Junior.

After the game, a beaming Kasparov said the human race "still have some time before being wiped out by machines".

"I'm proud to represent the human race, and I'll do my utmost," he added.

The Israeli computer programme Deep Junior is a three-time world champion and had not lost to a human for two years before the New York series.

Unlike Deep Blue, capable of analysing 20 million moves a second, Deep Junior focuses more on strategy than capturing the opponent's chess pieces quickly.

Experts also say Deep Junior is designed to play the game more like a human would.

Chess genius

Born in the ex-Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, Kasparov - who is known as The Beast - became the youngest-ever world chess champion at the age of 22.

Vladimir Kramnik
Kramnik ended Kasparov's reign in 2000
He had held his title for 15 years, before finally losing to his former pupil, Vladimir Kramnik, in 2000.

The Russian grandmaster said he wanted a return match with Kramnik when the new champion was ready.

The current series ends on 7 February.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Emma Simpson
"The fans are rooting for Kasparov"
See also:

07 Oct 02 | Middle East
30 Nov 01 | Science/Nature
31 Jul 01 | Europe
02 Nov 00 | Europe
02 Nov 00 | Europe
23 Oct 99 | Science/Nature
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