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Garry Kasparov is arguably the greatest chess player who has ever lived. In 1997 he played a chess match against IBM's computer Deep Blue. Kasparov lost the match. This film shows the match and the events surrounding it from Kasparov's perspective. It delves into the psychological aspects of the game, paranoia surrounding it and suspicions that have arisen around IBM's true tactics. It consists of interviews with Kasparov, his manager, chess experts, and members of the IBM Deep Blue team, as well as original footage of the match itself. Written by
I'm not sure who this movie is targeting. There are interesting tidbits
concerning the history of the challenge to make a chess machine. These
might intrigue both chess fans and non-fans alike, though much more
could be made of this, as the history is richer than even this film
implies. More could also be made of the history between Kasparov and
his arch-rival Karpov (two almost perfectly matched players, though
you'd never guess from this movie). More could be made about the
connection between chess champions and paranoia, or between chess and
politics in the USSR (a connection which makes one understand better
why chess players are so paranoid).
Instead, the makers of this film push the silly idea that IBM's Deep
Blue beat Kasparov in '97 because of human intervention (ie, IBM
cheated). The film bases this on one piece of evidence: Kasparov
believes his loss in game two of the match was the result of a move
that no computer would ever make. This is made all the sillier because
a typical home chess program (Fritz 7) makes the very same move as Deep
Blue after only a moment's thought. The film also claims that IBM never
released the logs of Deep Blue's analysis after the game (just go to
IBM's historical site concerning this match, and you will see this is
Are documentaries getting lazier with their facts, or am I just finally
wising up after years of taking them at their word?
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