16 May 2022

25 Years Ago in Chess History

First up in A Year of Anniversaries (May 2022) is a match that marked the moment when the machines took the upper hand in chess.

25 years: Kasparov vs. IBM's Deep Blue • 1st match: Philadelphia, II, 1996; 2nd match: New York, V, 1997

A report on the match was one of several segments in a recent CNN 10 show, A Historic Chess Match (youtube.com), where it was preceded by the multiple choice question...

'Chaturanga is believed to be an early version of chess, originating in what place?' • Choose one: 'Persia, China, India, or Egypt.'

...(Raises hand and waves wildly, 'I know, I know!'). The segment incorporated 'an original CNN report from 1997'. Here is that report in standalone format.

In 1997, an IBM computer beats world chess champion... (2:19) • '[Published on] May 13, 2022'; the clip displays 'May 11, 1997; New York'.

The description said,

"He can't believe it", were the words the commentators had for a speechless Garry Kasparov, a world chess champion, after he lost to IBM's computer named Deep Blue. Watch how CNN covered the historic event 25 years ago.

At 50 seconds into the 1997 clip, then World Champion Kasparov started accusations that the match was not all that it appeared to be. When I was with About.com, I wrote a couple of articles exploring Kasparov's suspicions. Here they are on Archive.org:-

  • Feature: 'Game Over' : Did IBM Cheat Kasparov? (June 2005); subtitled, 'The film failed to ask the tough questions. The conspiracy theory is still open to speculation.'
  • Review: Game Over - Kasparov and the Machine (ditto); 'Directed by Vikram Jayanti. • Documentary about the 1997 man - machine chess match between World Champion Garry Kasparov and IBM's Deep Blue'

For more about the documentary, see Wikipedia's Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine (wikipedia.org).

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