February 15, 1996 in Nation/World

Chipping Away At ‘Deep Blue’ Supercomputer Offers Draw To Kasparov In Fourth Match

Associated Press
 

An exhausted Garry Kasparov and the IBM supercomputer “Deep Blue” battled to a draw Wednesday, leaving the first regulation match between human and machine tied at 2-2 after four games.

“I’m really tired,” said Kasparov, who will play the final two games Friday and Saturday. “If I was playing a human opponent, they would be too. I feel pressure. The computer does not.”

Computer operator Murray Campbell, an IBM research scientist, offered the draw after the 50th move, and Kasparov accepted. An offer from Kasparov for a draw had been rejected by “Deep Blue” after the 41st move.

Kasparov said he was pleased with his play and that he was able to defend himself in some awkward positions the computer had created.

“It’s a very new type of game that any human grandmaster has to play,” said Kasparov. “Your opponent will never miss any short-term, tactical combinations.”

For much of the early going Wednesday, Kasparov held a slight advantage. That began to dissipate when he had to rush to complete six moves in 13 minutes to finish his allotted 40 moves in the first two hours.

The computer, by comparison, had 38 minutes to finish its six moves.

After that, the experts said the computer at some points was acting as if it were playing for a draw.

Monty Newborn, one of the tournament organizers and a computer science professor at McGill University, said he believes the computer has played better than Kasparov expected.

“The computer is an eel. You think you’ve got it by the neck and it squeezes out.”

The intense pressure of playing a supercomputer with the ability to calculate billions of moves each minute appeared to wear on Kasparov.

At one point, after the Russian grandmaster made what observers said was a masterful 25th move, the computer crashed and Kasparov became visibly frustrated, leaping up from the chess table and pacing.

“Garry played a very daring move,” said computer scientist Frederic A. Friedel, a longtime friend. “He was at a fork where he could go on to a dramatic and drastic attack, and at that moment, it goes down.”

Within 15 minutes, the IBM team had re-established contact with the machine in Youngstown Heights, N.Y.

After the match, Kasparov said he was more frustrated with this computer glitch than he had been with others.

“It was a crucial moment of the game, and you’re so full of all these emotions and it’s difficult to control yourself,” he said.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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