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How Did Garry Kasparov Lose a Chess Game to a Computer?

In the Star Trek universe, cadets attending Starfleet Academy must take the Kobayashi Maru final exam. Because the test is rigged so that no cadet can successfully save ship and crew, the point of the exam is simply to observe the cadet's decisions while in a command situation. Similarly, chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov had the supercomputer Deep Blue to keep him humble. The supercomputer was developed by IBM and was supposed to be as good as any human at the age-old game of chess. Kasparov had bragged that no computer could beat him, but Deep Blue managed it. Years later, however, some scientists now believe that Deep Blue's victory was actually due to a programming bug.

According to one of Deep Blue's programmers, at one point the computer couldn't decide what move to make, and it ended up making a self-sacrificial move that seemed overly sophisticated to Kasparov, making the grandmaster nervous. The program was tweaked so Blue couldn't repeat the mistake, but Kasparov was already shaken by the move and it affected his mental game and subsequent play decisions. Deep Blue dominated the second game.

More about Garry Kasparov:

  • In 1985, Kasparov became the world's youngest chess champion at age 22.
  • Kasparov initially supported both Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin in their efforts to create a democratic government in Russia. He has since become a vocal opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Kasparov retired from professional chess in 2005 and is now the chairman of the Human Rights Foundation's International Council.
Amy Pollick
By Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at WiseGeek. With experience in various roles and numerous articles under her belt, she crafts compelling content that informs and engages readers across various platforms on topics of all levels of complexity.
Discussion Comments
By anon995610 — On May 13, 2016

At the topmost world level, any play is always a psychological game. Also, nobody could ever win in that level without a strong psychological mental state. So it may be considered as a trick also.

Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at WiseGeek. With...
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