Sports & Gaming

Computers and Chess

Garry Kasparov

Lesson time 09:12 min

The sting of Garry’s loss to Deep Blue has softened over the years. He looks back on that defeat and forward to the benefits of computers in chess training.

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Topics include: Playing Deep Blue • Computers Limiting Creativity


Deep Blue was as intelligent as your alarm clock. Though of course, losing to 10 million dollar alarm clock was not the most pleasant experience. But there was a general belief among computer scientists that chess could serve as an ultimate test for computer's intelligence, artificial intelligence. That was not the right approach. Because machines could conquer the game of chess by using the brute force of calculation. It was an important experiment. I won the first match. I was not successful in the second match. And IBM walked away, dismantled the machine. I understand the rationale of them doing it, because they had already won. They couldn't prove the result. I have to confess that my preparation for the second match was lousy. I didn't expect-- again, I have to give credit to IBM's scientific team. I didn't expect so much progress that they could make. Though of course, the conditions of the match will not 100% fair to a human player. I was under constant pressure, since IBM was not only player, but also an organizer. While analyzing these games 20 years later, I could realize that the quality of the match was not perfect-- far from perfect. For anybody who wants to realize how much progress machines have made since 1997, you can look at these games. And you will find out that some moves that were celebrated by chess world in 1997, Deep Blue moves, as a genius defense like in game five, these moves will be harshly criticized by chess engines today, correctly stating that I missed some of the big chances. And again, there were mistakes on both sides. But it was an important event since it moved forward man versus machine competition. The problem of human chess while facing a silicon monster is not that chess could be mathematically solved. That's one of the great misunderstandings. Chess is a mathematically infinite game. When I say mathematically infinite, it's probably an exaggeration. But when we talk about numbers like 10 power 45, which is more than number of atoms in the solar system, that's, let's agree, it's infinite. While we are talking about machines conquering the game of chess, probably it takes us to the wrong path, thinking about solving the game while we are talking about machines being superior to the best human players. And I can tell you with absolute confidence in a game between two humans, two best human players at the world championship match, there is nothing like perfect chess, perfect game. Some games are really good. But you can always find the tiny, tiny inaccuracy. I'm not talking about blunders or bad mistakes-- inaccuracies. A very good game played by a top player, say the world champion, say it's 50 moves-- it could be 45 good, solid moves, four great moves, but most likely it will be one tiny inaccuracy, which makes no difference when you face another human. The problem is, when you face t...

About the Instructor

At age 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world chess champion. After beating Bobby Fischer’s peak rating, he outranked his fiercest competitors for over twenty years. Now, Garry is ready to share the chess strategy that made him a six-time world champion. Through detailed lessons, including his favorite openings and advanced tactics, you will develop the instincts and philosophy to become a stronger player.

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Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov teaches you advanced strategy, tactics, and theory in 29 exclusive video lessons.

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