25 years ago, a computer controlled the chess king

Right hand under his chin, black eyes, Gary Kasparov looks at the chessboard for the last time, annoyed, before suddenly leaving the table. It’s a thunderclap: the chess king has just been hit by a computer. On May 11, 1997, an instrument knocked out the world champion for the first time since a control match. This date will mark the history of the discipline and shed light on the shining possibilities of artificial intelligence.

The champion lost after six games against IBM’s Deep Blue

The 34-year-old, who has been the master of world chess since 1985, “Bakur Ogre”, lost to IBM’s Deep Blue Supercomputer with a final score of 3.5 to 2.5 after six games. In front of the camera from all over the world, who came to film the show in New York, the shock tasted like an insult to Prachanda Kasparov. Did he not assure that he would stand by the machine at least until the dawn of the next millennium?

A year ago, the Russians knocked out Deep Blue with a score of 4 to 2. But its designers have consistently improved the 1.4-ton monster, now capable of counting 200 million locations per second.

“Computer has not proved anything yet”

Shaken by his defeat, the champion still refuses to acknowledge the superiority of the machine. “Computer has not proved anything yet”He was speaking at a news conference after the match, according to AFP. “A man, the best player in the world, breaks down under pressure,” he explains, referring to himself, “but you can lose the computer, it has many weak points.” Far from comforting the victim with the promised 400 400,000, he denounced IBM for not giving him access to previous games played by machines that were able to analyze all of his own.

He even went so far as to accuse people of helping the computer during the match and regretting not having it. “Set some conditions” So that the game is “Honest”.

Other players in the world of Cream of Chess, who have experienced live confrontation, have also refused to consider the Grandmaster’s defeat as a tipping point. Asked by the press, they point to a series of bad choices by the Russian champions. For some, his obsessive need to understand the blows of the machine without concentrating on winning was deadly to him.

Many years later, a book would reveal a secret information from one of the developers of Deep Blue: a computer error tipped the game. Unable to choose between several moves, the machine would play randomly during a game, destabilizing Kasparov for the rest of the collision.

“With a little concealment”His defeat appeared to him “A Victory for Mankind”

Either way, Deep Blue’s victory has pleased IBM, as well as its interest in computer skills. “It’s not about human struggle against machines, but about how we humans can use technology to solve complex problems.”, IBM project manager Chung-Zhen Tan erupts after the match. And to appreciate what artificial intelligence will bring in many fields, from financial analysis to the study of natural, weather or earthquake events.

Kasparov, the vengeful, will draw twice against the computer in 2003. But time will finally soothe his wounded ego. After the 1997 defeat, “I was devastated”He made his debut in 2019 in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Le Temps. “But with a little concealment.”His defeat appeared to him “A Victory for Mankind”Since it is predictable “Width of range of activities that can be assisted by technology”.

From now on, chess legends are concerned about the digital giants’ excesses on individual freedom: “We have to hold them accountable.”He made the request in an interview with AFP in November 2021.

Leave a Comment