Lubomir Kavalek
International Chess Grandmaster
Posted: June 6, 2010 11:26 PM

Almost Human Chess Machines

Precision, mistake-free play and machine-like calculations were the highest accolades for the top chess players. Remember what the former world champion, Tigran Petrosian, said after he was eliminated by Bobby Fischer from the world championship cycle in 1971? “As soon as Fischer gains even a slightest advantage, he begins playing like a machine. You cannot even hope for some mistake.” Nowadays, it seems to be the other way around. “They played like human beings,” is the best compliment we can pay to chess computers. When they do play like us, we get emotional: we feel for them, love them and embrace them.

Chess computers were not only praised for making human-like moves, but they were also accused of playing them. The former world champion Garry Kasparov still holds a grudge against IBM’s Deep Blue computer after he was defeated by the machine in 1997. “It made human moves,” he said, implying that the computer was unfairly helped by the IBM team during the play. Despite seeing the game logs and reading the denials of the team members, Kasparov remains unconvinced.

Here is the full article.

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