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Early setback for chess champ Kasparov

Garry Kasparov
Garry Kasparov: Under pressure  

LONDON, England (CNN) -- World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov's 15-year hegemony is under threat from his former pupil and challenger, fellow Russian Vladimir Kramnik.

The 25-year-old drew first blood in their $2 million 16-game title match in London to take a one point lead on Tuesday.

The master versus pupil challenge could be a defining moment for the game. Kasparov, 37, has dominated chess since becoming the youngest world champion in 1985. Now he is up against perhaps his toughest human opponent in recent years.

Indeed, the world number one has in the past recognised that his former protégé, who is also the world number two, has the "right stuff" to succeed him as the 14th world champion of the royal game, a title line that goes back as far as 1886.

Vladimir Kramnik
Vladimir Kramnik: Young pretender  

Kramnik was specially selected by Kasparov to be his second, or coach, in his last defence five years ago against India's Vishy Anand -- a decision that the champion could rue.

Like no other challenger before him in 114 years of world championship matches, Kramnik knows intimately the champion's preparation, his tactics, his thought processes and, if any, his weaknesses.

And, unlike Kasparov's previous challengers of recent years -- Britain's Nigel Short in 1993, and Vishy Anand in 1995 -- Kramnik has a near-even score against the champion and certainly looks psychologically tougher than both Short and Anand.

However, perhaps the significant statistic between the two players is Kasparov's legendary match record. He has never lost a match to a human. His only defeat was to IBM's supercomputer Deep Blue in 1997.

The match at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, west London, is due to end of November 4 with play on Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Score after two games: Kasparov 0.5-1.5 Kramnik

Game two: Kramnik-Kasparov Gruenfeld Defence 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 cxd5 Nxd5 5 e4 Nxc3 6 bxc3 Bg7 7 Nf3 c5 8 Be3 Qa5 9 Qd2 Bg4 10 Rb1 a6 11 Rxb7 Bxf3 12 gxf3 Nc6 13 Bc4 0-0 14 0-0 cxd4 15 cxd4 Bxd4 16 Bd5 Bc3 17 Qc1 Nd4 18 Bxd4 Bxd4 19 Rxe7 Ra7 20 Rxa7 Bxa7 21 f4 Qd8 22 Qc3 Bb8 23 Qf3 Qh4 24 e5 g5 25 Re1 Qxf4 26 Qxf4 gxf4 27 e6 fxe6 28 Rxe6 Kg7 29 Rxa6 Rf5 30 Be4 Re5 31 f3 Re7 32 a4 Ra7 33 Rb6 Be5 34 Rb4 Rd7 35 Kg2 Rd2+ 36 Kh3 h5 37 Rb5 Kf6 38 a5 Ra2 39 Rb6+ Ke7 40 Bd5 1-0

Celeb status for Deep Blue
August 28, 2000

Brain Games Network chess match centre
The London Chess Centre
Kasparov Chess

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