CHESS

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The Independent Culture
THE defeat of Mr Garry Kasparov by a hunk of silicon is a matter of deep shame for humankind. If we cannot beat computers at chess, what hope remains for the human race? Yet the defeat was avoidable, as I shall explain.

White: Deep Blue

Black: Garry Kasparov

Philadelphia 1996

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5?

A good move, but wrong against a machine. Now the game becomes wild and open, when the beast's massive calculations are an advantage. 2...Nf6 is the anti-silicon move.

3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Be2 e6 7.h3 Bh5 8.0-0 Nc6 9.Be3 cxd4 10.cxd4 Bb4?

Perhaps played to "get the opponent out of its book", but this fling into open spaces does more harm than good.

11.a3 Ba5 12.Nc3 Qd6 13.Nb5!!

Superb! A human would naturally reject this on the grounds that the knight will soon be chased back by a6. At a billion moves a second, however, Deep Blue knows for sure it will not.

13...Qe7 14.Ne5! Bxe2 15.Qxe2 0-0 16.Rac1 Rac8 17.Bg5! Bb6

17...Rfd8 was no better: after 18.Bxf6 Qxf6 19.Nxc6, the a7-pawn falls. Black must have wished he had contented himself with putting the bishop on e7.

18.Bxf6 gxf6

An unfortunate necessity. Taking with the queen allows Nd7.

19.Nc4 Rfd8 20.Nxb6 axb6

Now the knight on b5 is secure.

21.Rfd1 f5 22.Qe3 Qf6 23.d5! Rxd5 24.Rxd5 exd5 25.b3!! (see diagram)

Cool as a computer. White saves his b-pawn before taking on b6.

25...Kh8 26.Qxb6 Rg8 27.Qc5 d4 28.Nd6 f4 29.Nxb7 Ne5 30.Qd5 f3 31.g3

You don't scare me, Mr K. I've got it all worked out.

31...Nd3 32.Rc7 Re8 33.Nd6 Re1+ 34.Kh2 Nxf2 35.Nxf7+! Kg7

35...Qxf7 fails to 36.Qd8+!

36.Ng5+ Kh6 37.Rxh7+ resigns.

37...Kg6 38.Qg8+ Kf5 39.Nxf3 leaves Black with no hope.

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