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Kasparov and Deep Blue 15 years on … and how to improve your chess game

Kasparov and Deep Blue 15 years on … and how to improve your chess game

Kasparov and Deep Blue 15 years on … and how to improve your chess game

It's not just 15 years since Plusnet was born - it's also 15 years since Garry Kasparov was beaten by an IBM computer in a 6 game chess match. Read on for more about the match and the future of AI, and find out how you can you’re your broadband to help you to play like a Grand Master… On May 11 1997, Garry Kasparov became the first world chess champion to be defeated by a computer in match play under standard tournament time controls. The IBM computer, known as Deep Blue, beat Kasparov by 31/2 to 21/2 in the six-game match. We're marking the 15th anniversary of Deep Blue's win by taking a look at the famous match and the future for AI - and showing you how you can use your home broadband to help you to learn chess or improve your game.

Kasparov vs. Deep Blue

Kasparov's match with Deep Blue is the probably the most famous human vs. computer chess match in history - but it wasn't the first time that the Russian Grand Master had tested his skills against a machine. He had beaten a computer known as Deep Thought - named after the computer in Douglas Adam's 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' books - easily in 1989. Kasparov first played against Deep Blue, which had been designed by the same team of scientists as Deep Thought, in Philadelphia in February 1996. Deep Blue won the first of the 6 games, but Kasparov went on to win the match. In May 1997, a rematch took place. Deep Blue had been heavily upgraded and had been given the nickname 'Deeper Blue' as a result. Twice as fast as the original version, it could now calculate more than 200 million positions per second - and, although Kasparov won the first of the six games, Deep Blue took the match, winning the second and sixth games. The third, fourth and fifth games of the match were draws.

Controversy surrounding the Deep Blue rematch

Kasparov made a number of allegations about the rematch, including claiming that whilst the Deep Blue team could study hundreds of his previous games in order to help them to programme the computer, they denied him access to information about Deep Blue's past games. He also stated that he believed human chess players intervened during the course of the games, particularly the second - an allegation which IBM strongly denied. According to IBM, the only human intervention took place between games, something which the rules allowed for. The Kasparov vs. Deep Blue rematch and the controversy surrounding it later became the subject of a documentary, Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine (2003), directed by Vikram Jayanti:

AI and the future

In the 15 years since the match took place - and Plusnet started - huge leaps have been made in the field of Artificial Intelligence. As far as computerized chess goes, it's improving all the time. In 2005, a computer named Hydra beat British Grand Master Michael Adams; in 2006, world champion Vladimir Kramincik was defeated by a program called Deep Fritz; and Pocket Fritz, a PDA programme, won the Mercusor Cup in Argentina in 2009. But developments like this are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the computing and AI. One of the many features of AI which is constantly being developed, for example, is natural language processing. And according to a report by the Centre for Future Studies [.doc] commissioned by us earlier in the year, this is likely to be driven further forward during the next 15 years: "By 2027, a computer could pass the “Turing test”, with humans being unable to tell whether they are speaking to a machine or to another human. CGI characters will be indistinguishable from real people," was one of the predictions made in our report by expert futurist Dr. Frank Shaw.

Improve your chess game on t'internet

We can't all play chess like Deep Blue or a Grand Master - but you can use your Plusnet home broadband to help you improve your game. Whether you're just starting out or having been playing for years, you'll find websites and online resources to suit you. Here are just a few ways in which you can use broadband to help you make the right moves: • Get some great tips at a dedicated chess site - Chess is one of the most popular games in the world, so it's not surprising there are some great chess websites out there. One of the best resources on t'internet is - it's packed with articles, video tutorials and puzzles, and also has a virtual chess coach feature, online chess tournaments and games, and forums where you can talk to other chess players. • Shop online - Whether you're looking for a chess board, instructional books or the latest chess software, you'll find it all online. You can shop at big retailers like Amazon or, for something a little different, head to a specialist chess store. The London Chess Centre, stocks a great range of products for chess fans and you'll also be able to order copies of Chess Magazine, its flagship publication, via the site. • Check out some classic moves - YouTube's the place to go if you want to learn from the Grand Masters. There are some fantastic videos on the site which show classic games, move by move, including the controversial Game 2 of Kasparov's 1997 match against Deep Blue: Do you remember the Kasparov vs. Deep Blue 1997 rematch? What did you think about it? Do you play chess online? How do you use your broadband to improve your chess game? How do you think developments in AI will affect us in future? Let us know below…

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