Man versus Machine
the aftermath

Greetings fellow Chess Fans.

I ask that you bare with me as I write this. I'm still somewhat in a state of shock as to what has happened today. Gary Kasparov has lost a chess match. Normally that is not such a big deal. After all, Gary is a human being and being a human being, he will have his good days and his bad days like everyone else. But today, he lost a match that in my opinion, he could not afford to lose. For he did not just simply lose to another human chess player...oh no....he lost to Deeper Blue, IBM's mega-computer designed exclusively to crunch numbers like nothing this world has ever seen with a very sophisticated chess playing program thrown in for good measure.

This lost has forever tainted Gary Kasparov in my eyes. No longer will I see him as perhaps the greatest chess player of all time. No; I will always remember him as the first human chess champion to lose against a computer in a best of 6 series under normal tournament conditions. I can understand the machine taking a match or maybe perhaps 2 but not the entire battle. This was an absolute shocker when I saw it happen. Kasparov is supposed to have an iron will and a fierce desire not to lose but in that last match, he played like someone afraid for his life. Too often he seemed to employ an exotic choice of chess openings to try to confuse the machine. This was not the Gary Kasparov that I remember watching as he would decimate an opponent with wild and bold moves. Perhaps the pressure of knowing what could happen to him should he lose was too much for him to bare and it distracted him to the point where he could no longer play effectively.

I know that if it had been me, I would have not wanted to play that last match with the whole chess world watching it's outcome. The pressure to succeed would have made things extremely difficult for me. Of course, I am just still learning chess theory and tactics so it would be understandable if I would lose. But not Gary Kasparov. The Gary Kasparov that I know and love to watch play would have fought Deep Blue, tooth and nail, before resigning the way that he did. Somehow it seems to me as though almost some sort of a fix was in. I mean think about it for a moment. What could Gary Kasparov gain by beating Deep Blue once again like he did last year? Nothing except for his own personal satisfaction. But by losing to Deep Blue, it makes IBM hardware so much more valuable and makes a possible rematch for the tie-breaker, next year or whenever it is held, that much more interesting.

Personally, if you don't mind my attempt at levity for a moment, I will be contacting Fox Mulder of the FBI. I think there was a conspiracy here and he and Scully are going to have to research this closely. I think someone replaced Kasparov with a clone and this would explain the result of the match because nothing else in my mind can explain how someone, who people consider to be perhaps the greatest chess player of all time, could play like he did in that last match. I was so looking forward to a excellent last match but it seemed to end before it even started.  I think that the pressure was just too much for him to bare and he was worn down mentally. Somehow, Chess will never be the same after that lost suffered by Gary Kasparov to Deep Blue.

I would love to see Gary Kasparov get another chance to get revenge on Deep Blue but it seems that the IBM team that helped create Deep Blue is not willing to allow that to happen. Kasparov has asked them for a opportunity to play again but it seems that according to IBM, Deep Blue has been retired.

I would be interested in everyone's thoughts and comments. If it seems like I am being harsh, I apologize. The shock is probably causing me to really hate what has happened and is it making me sick with disgust to know that a machine beat our very best. Email your comments to:

Back to the Chess Page