Kasparov gets the blues in half-time draw

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The world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, gave another unconvincing performance against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue, when he drew the third game from a clearly superior position. Scores therefore remain level at one win each with one draw at the halfway stage of the match. The result of the third game, however, was considerably overshadowed by what happened in the aftermath of Deep Blue's victory in game two.

When that game ended, there was general agreement that Kasparov had been convincingly outplayed. But after feverish argument among the grandmasters at the match in New York, the inescapable conclusion was that Kasparov's resignation had been premature. For he had overlooked a resource that would have enabled him to salvage a draw.

To add to the indignity, one of the computer's programmers appeared on stage at the Equitable Center to announce that Deep Blue itself had confirmed that Kasparov could have saved the game. Kasparov was quoted as saying: "It played so brilliantly I didn't think to check it."

The theme of man's intimidation by machine continued in the third game. By an unusual choice of opening moves, Kasparov got the machine out of its vast library of analysis. Left to its own resources, Deep Blue left itself with a passive position. Kasparov sacrificed a pawn to obtain what looked like a complete grip, but seemed to lose confidence. Rather than continue his attack, he exchanged his best-placed piece to regain his pawn, leaving himself with insufficient advantage to have any serious chance of a win. When Kasparov offered a draw, Deep Blue's team accepted with alacrity.

Before this match, Kasparov was known as a man of supreme self-confidence who never overlooked tactical resources. But the past two days have shown that he has been severely rattled by this machine that can think at up to three billion moves a second.

The Tabloid, page 22