THE WEEK IN CHESS 131 - 12th May 1997 by Mark Crowther

Tel or fax      01274 882143 [Bradford England]
Produced for Thoth Communications Corporation part 
of Grandmaster Technologies Incorporated.

1) Introduction
2) Deep Blue takes historic victory
3) European Team Championships in Pula
4) First Saturday Tournaments May
5) Aruna Denmark
6) FIDE Open in Corsico, Milan by Graziano Ottolini

Games Section

IBM Man-Machine New York USA 1997   6
EuT-ch Pula CRO 1997              408
EuT-ch 1997 (women)               180
Aruna Copenhagen DEN 1997          30
FS IM May Budapest HUN 1997        51
FIDE Open Corsico ITA 1997         86

1) Introduction

My thanks to Ian Rogers, Kalyan Kolacha, Jon Tisdall, IBM Chess site, Damir Medik from Croatia, Laszlo Nagy, Graziano Ottolini, Lars Zwisler and all those who helped with this issue.

There is only one story this week. Kasparov's loss to a computer made front page news throughout the World and the images will be those which the general public will remember about chess for a long time. Kasparov's collapse in the final game of the match showed us something about Kasparov we didn't know. The strength of the computer is irrelevant the result counts most in the public's eyes. His lack of grace was also noticed. We will see the fallout, particularly if there is a return to World championship chess in the kind of purses available for these matches. Most of my time this week was spent on this match and I give my impressions.

There are lots of things such as national team championships to catch up with for next week. Meanwhile I hope you enjoy this issue.


2) Deep Blue takes historic victory.

Kasparov, Gary  -  DEEP BLUE       1-0   45  A07  Reti (1.Nf3)
DEEP BLUE       -  Kasparov, Gary  1-0   45  C93  Ruy Lopez
Kasparov, Gary  -  DEEP BLUE       1/2   48  A00  Irregular
DEEP BLUE       -  Kasparov, Gary  1/2   56  B12  Caro-Kann
Kasparov, Gary  -  DEEP BLUE       1/2   49  A07  Reti (1.Nf3)
DEEP BLUE       -  Kasparov, Gary  1-0   19  B17  Caro-Kann

New York USA (USA), V 1997
                             1   2   3   4   5   6 
DEEP BLUE             ----    0   1   =   =   =   1   3.5  2852
Kasparov, Gary  g RUS 2795    1   0   =   =   =   0   2.5      

Kasparov's loss to Deep Blue in New York last night was a landmark achievement for computer science. It marks nearly 50 years of steady work towards this goal. In a sport where the result is all he lost and no amount of recriminations, observations or accusations will change this. Kasparov put the reputation of chess on the line for his personal gain and prestige but the consequences for professional chess as a whole will be profound. Kasparov risked something that didn't belong to him and he lost it. I warned years ago that computer-human conflicts at chess were false publicity for the game because a loss such as this would forever undermine the status of chess. I hope that I am quite wrong.

Kasparov's post match news conference was a rambling piece of self justification and veiled and not so veiled insults to IBM. He took the match too lightly, he didn't feel like playing game 6, he should never have listened to his advisers etc. The main point to emerge is that he would like Deep Blue to play in normal tournaments and he seemed at one point to be offering a real World Title match to Deep Blue. It hasn't quite sunk in that this WAS the real match. He will be extremely lucky to get another match. He does not deserve another match.

What was strange was the way Kasparov lost the match. If he had been gunned down in a hail of tactics I could have understood. However a reasonably conducted match overall (games 1,3,4 and 5) had two games where he played worse than I have ever seen him. Game 2 was not quite as bad as game 6 (strictly speaking game 6 was effectively resigned by Kasparov on move 7) but it was still bad (see Ian Rogers comments below, in particular I agree with him that the perpetual is not especially important in judging Kasparov's play). His obsession with game two and his totally unprofessional behaviour in the final game suggest that he lost the mental battle with himself. Given his previous record against computers (he seems to lose a lot more often than he should to them) there is no reason to suggest that anything will change next time.

IBM and Deep Blue

Having concentrated on Kasparov (because I think this is a chess magazine not a computer chess magazine) I should say some words about the match about the victors. Deep Blue has been IBM's chess project since 1989 when it recruited the programmers of Deep Thought. This was the start of their battle towards this day and all the professional praise they will get.

Feng-hsiung Hsu and shortly afterwards Murray Campbell started programming Deep Thought in 1986 and are the only two to make it through to this day. It is primarily their achievement along with the necessary financial support of IBM. Their program performed remarkably consistently throughout the match. It was certainly good enough to take care of some very passive play by Kasparov in game 2. The draws in games 3, 4 and 5 were the platform for its victory. The machine might be outplayed but it was very stubborn over being beaten. They too would have had worries at the start of the match. A big win by Kasparov was a possibility and this would have been very embarrassing. It would be interesting to know in a few weeks whether they too are a little disappointed. Perhaps a draw here and another years development might have suited them. They have to decide what to do in this post-GK victory world. Earth shaking targets seem few and far between and a reputation which can only diminish.

Perhaps they will wait a few years, get used to the technology they are testing and wait for further developments. Perhaps returning to chess in five years or so. It would be foolish to think they will take on all comers in numerous matches and tournaments over the next five years. This isn't a PC, it's a major piece of kit which requires financial resources and that requires a strong will and motivation to continue. Maybe they will allow a rematch, although why they should I don't know. Perhaps they will organise another challenge next year. I suspect it will be a while before we know. Maybe Feng will return to the internet! Also other computer programmers appear to be quite keen to have a go at Deep Blue with their own computers. Perhaps the next appearance will be in the World Computer Championships (maybe with one of their baby Deep Blue's they have).

So how strong is Deep Blue? It is impossible to say precisely. Kasparov was in a very strange mood throughout the match and at the highest level a decision here and there makes a deal of difference. Perhaps Kasparov did miss good opportunities in some games that a good player should find. I do know that games 2 and 6 were poor games by him but that is hardly the computers fault.

IBM made it pretty clear they were confident this time. Kasparov seemed to ignore this. He also has a very poor imagination if he thinks that the public will take anything other than the result on board. He talks about a "real" match when in fact this was it. I don't think they should have won this time but what difference does that make? I reserve my resentment for Kasparov.

IBM produced a superb event, a nice looking and informative web site (which had its faults of a certain disorganisation and overload during some parts of the match but which was on the whole very acceptable) and they didn't overplay things as far as propaganda is concerned.

How good is Deep Blue? Probably it is around 2650 against players with the correct mental attitude, 2700 against all-comers. One of the hardest things to do is to completely change your mental approach when playing machines, apparently weak or weird moves backed up with tactical tenacity, I don't find this especially pretty or enjoyable and don't get anything out of playing machines myself, but some enjoy the challenge. Its not really what I enjoy about chess. It's a guesstimate, perhaps we will never know. I didn't want to see such a match take place, but now it has things will never be the same again. That holds true for chess computer programmers as much as it does for the professional game. I hope that Feng's comment to me years ago that I shouldn't embark on a misguided campaign to save chess from computers because there was nothing to worry about comes true.


"Chess will never be the same again." Bill Hartston in the Independent after game 6.

"What we are witnessing is the strongest player versus Gary Kasparov" Louis Gerstner Chief Executive of IBM prior to game 5.

I predict that the Deep Blue team will "pick up their marbles and go home." They have garnered all the publicity they could ever dream of and come out victorious. Steve Harrington on the internet after game 6.

"It was over after game two. The computer was beyond my understanding and I was scared." Gary Kasparov at the final news conference.

Do you want a guy who resigns in a drawn position defending the honour of the human race? Well, he is the best we've got, but he appears to have a serious attitude problem (assuming this drama is not plotted by the hype merchants) if he starts resigning out of respect. GM Jon Tisdall after game two.

Viswanathan Anand described Kasparov as treating Deep Blue "like God" and "clearly showing exaggerated respect'' to it.

"Kasparov played in such a defensive way against the computer ... I've never seen him like that before... One could have played more aggressively without being overly bold. A defeat for Kasparov could only have one explanation ... It would not be the machine's victory, but Kasparov's over himself, because he has been too respectful and nervous.''

"Kasparov, the current best player in the world can't beat DB, but, in light of that,Karpov or any of the next 10 super GM players could do it easily. Where's the logic in that. *I* simply get tired of seeing the continual stream of nonsense directed at DB." Robert Hyatt computer chess expert.

"Garry had committed a "finger-fehler"" Frederic Friedel, one of Kasparov's seconds on Kasparov's 7. ...h6 in the final game.

"The reality is he just flipped - big time - it was horrible to watch and his performance in the press conference was seriously gruesome as well. Having been close to some of his team and watched this match close up my damning conclusion is that he was a victim of his and his mother's obsession that some unseen force was at work. He just lost his belief, he was convinced something fishy was going on that he could not fight." Malcolm Pein in New York on game 6 and its aftermath.

"DB seems to be about 2700, it has effectively drawn a five game match against an out of form and baffled champion rated about 2800." Malcolm Pein in New York

Ian Rogers asked Malcolm Pein on compuserve. It is fairly typical of the GM's I have spoken to. They've played Kasparov and believe this wasn't anywhere near the strength they've come to expect.

"It seems very odd to give Deep Blue an estimated rating of 2700 just for beating a player who, for reasons unclear, was playing at below 2000 level (to be generous). Since you are in New York and have sources close to Kasparov, perhaps you can have them ask Garry:

(i) Why he played a seventh move in game 6 which was known to be as good as losing, one which he had tried for in a number of his own games with White?

(ii) Why, if the clock times are any indication, he then virtually stopped trying to hold the game after allowing the book 'sacrifice'?

(iii) Why, disregarding the silly finish, he played game two so as to allow a series of very well known themes which led inevitably to a winning position for White?

(iv) Why he managed to steer near-winning positions in games four and five directly to draws?

Do you agree, Malcolm, that Kasparov's performance and level of play was a disgrace, for whatever reason, and certainly not of International Master strength? Is Kasparov really such a weak player?"

Kasparov at the final press conference.

It emerged at the final press conference that Ken Thompson was monitoring the computer printout's as an impartial observer and reporting to Kasparov whether there was anything abnormal. His integrity, is I think, unquestionable. The full text of this press conference is available at:

Kasparov started by apologising for his appalling play in game 6 and then went on:

"I was a bit surprised to hear from C. J. [Tan head of the Deep Blue team who had just spoken.] that now they would like to co-operate on a less competitive level. The cooperation just stopped (loud, roaring applause.) [Then Kasparov appeared to be saying that he thought the spirit of the event would be similar to the one last year one of scientific adventure. If he believed that then he is either a fool or a nave.]

Soon I recognised it was a grave mistake, with all the consequences that I have to pay at the end of the match, and in the middle of the match. It was nothing to do about science. It was nothing to do about furthering the investigation of computer potential of chess. There was one zeal to beat Garry Kasparov. And when the big corporation with unlimited resources tries to do so, there are many ways to do that.

I resigned today. I think the crucial game was game two. And again, Mr. Newborn, I have to tell you that this is not up to you and Mr. Thompson to make a judgement whether computer can play these moves or not. This is obviously beyond our understanding. Deep Blue is so complex, and I recognise the complexity of this machine, the old interconnections that it will never come up with a same result even if it were under test, again, and again, and again. But what is most amazing, that it's -- Deep Blue as we saw in game one and a couple of other games still has generic computer problems. And I'm sure that this is not up to people in this room, not to me, not to Deep Blue team to say it was absolutely correct and perfect. I believe that these printouts, if they are available, wanted by all chess fans, all computer and chess fans around the globe, and I think that two or three under powerful computers will tell us whether any other machine can do the same thing as Deep Blue did in this match. My personal feelings, I doubt it. But again, we faced a machine that had no comparison to make moves that were beyond anybody's understanding. And I couldn't have anticipated it before I started to play. I have to tell you that game two had dramatic consequences and I never recovered after this game. Not because I lost this game. In fact, I could make a draw just instead of resigning. But because there were two major issues that are not yet resolved. Whatever people are saying here, I still do not understand how the most powerful and great machine couldn't see a simple perpetual check at the end of the game. I'm sure there will be answers provided. I'm sure there will be a lot of analysis later on.

I'm sure I'm in the wrong position today to complain, because it will be written tomorrow that Garry Kasparov couldn't lose properly, couldn't be a sportsman, to accept his defeat, I can even name the newspapers that will write this. Yes, so be it, you know. Again, I understand, I fully understand all the consequences of the result of this match.

But I think it's very important for all of us to state today that Deep Blue now must enter competitive chess. You know, have the team play a normal event, play a world championship match, under proper conditions, and the scrutiny that every chess player has to go through.....

I think it's time for Deep Blue to prove that that was not a single event it could play. I think it's time for Deep Blue to start playing real chess. And I personally assure you, everybody here, that if Deep Blue will start playing competitive chess, I personally guarantee you I'll tear it to pieces -- some of them probably too shy to show up, they can hire the entire GM force of the United States of America, it will not help, because we know how the machine -- how a machine plays. Put it into competitive chess, put it in a fair contest, not that one, make IBM a player, not a sponsor at the same time, and we will see what is going on happen.

[Quite rich coming from Kasparov given the indignities that Anand had to go through during his PCA match against Kasparov. What did Kasparov say about not criticising sponsors?]

And I think it is just the beginning. And I have to apologise again, I am ashamed by what I did at the end of this match. But so be it. I feel confident that the machine hasn't proved anything yet. It's a much better machine than the Philadelphia. It was clear from day one. But it's not yet ready, in my opinion, to win a big contest. That's my belief. And again, you can trust me; you can defy me, as a loser, I deserve that to some extent, but I think it's just the beginning. Thank you. (Audience applause.)

The future?

"Perhaps that will be the next grand challenge... convince FIDE to drop the *huge* computer membership fee, let a few programs begin to play on the FIDE circuit, try to earn IM/GM norms, run thru the candidates cycle, and play in a legit world championship match. Right now, that's pretty much impossible..." Robert Hyatt computer chess expert restates his long term wish.

With Kasparov's suggestion that he play a "real" match against Deep Blue and enter tournament play this question will inevitably be discussed. Is it right that those who have no interest in playing these machines should suffer for Kasparov? Man-Machine challenges at least rule out the sophistry about what constitutes reference materials, memory and so forth. These questions which I have abandoned considering would return if they were to play real chess tournaments (A computer consulting a CD of endgames is using its memory, a player consulting the same CD is using reference material. The subject is more like philosophy than anything else and anyone who has engaged in them for a while realises how futile they are). Exhibition events are controlled under different rules and should in my opinion clearly remain separate.

3) European Team Championships in Pula

Whilst all the media attention was focused on New York most of the best players are playing in Pula in Croatia. The event runs between 5th-15th of May. I will be covering the event in more detail next week but a look at round one will show a slashing attack from Bareev. England are ELO favourites for the event with Sadler starting with 5/5. The event has its own internet site with all the games and results every day. The games and results are up to round 6.

The European Team Championships

Men's standings

 1 CROATIA I                12
 2 RUSSIA                   10.5
 3 ENGLAND                  10.5
 4 BELARUS                  10
 5 LATVIA                   10
 6 HUNGARY                  10
 7 ISRAEL                   9.5
 8 ESTONIA                  9.5
 9 ARMENIA                  9.5
10 GERMANY                  9.5
11 LITHUANIA                9.5
12 SLOVAKIA                 9
13 AZERBAIJAN               9
14 GEORGIA                  8.5
15 NETHERLANDS              8.5
17 GREECE                   8.5
18 ITALY                    8
19 SWITZERLAND              8
20 POLAND                   8
21 SPAIN                    7.5
22 CROATIA II               7.5
23 SWEDEN                   7
24 FRANCE                   7
25 SLOVENIA                 7
26 CZECH REPUBLIC           7
27 TURKEY                   6.5
28 FINLAND                  6.5
29 IRELAND                  6
30 F.Y.R.MACEDONIA          5.5
31 AUSTRIA                  5.5
32 PORTUGAL                 5
33 SCOTLAND                 4.5
34 WALES                    3

Women's standings.

 1 GEORGIA                  7
 2 HUNGARY                  6
 3 ENGLAND                  5.5
 4 ARMENIA                  5.5
 5 GREECE                   5
 6 GERMANY                  5
 7 RUSSIA                   5
 8 CZECH REPUBLIC           5
 9 AZERBAIJAN               4.5
10 ISRAEL                   4.5
11 F.Y.R.MACEDONIA          4.5
12 CROATIA I                4.5
13 POLAND                   4.5
14 SPAIN                    4.5
15 ROMANIA                  4
17 LATVIA                   4
18 FINLAND                  3.5
19 LITHUANIA                3.5
20 FRANCE                   3.5
21 SLOVAKIA                 3.5
22 SLOVENIA                 3.5
23 CROATIA II               3.5
24 AUSTRIA                  3.5
25 NETHERLANDS              3
26 ITALY                    2.5
27 PORTUGAL                 2.5
28 IRELAND                  1.5
29 SWEDEN                   1.5
30 TURKEY                   1.5

4) First Saturday Tournaments May

Laszlo Nagy reports:

The May version of the traditional FIRST SATURDAY tournament in Budapest in Hungary has begun. The IM tournament is category III, 14 players from 7 countries. The ELO average is 2308, the IM-norm is 9,5 points. After 9 rounds Siegfried Baumegger leads clearly with 6.5/9 although he still needs 3/4 for an IM norm.

Budapest HUN (HUN), V 1997                                  cat. III (2308)
                                     1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4
 1 Baumegger, Siegfried  f AUT 2360  * 1 0 . 1 = = = 1 1 . . 1 .  6.5  2471
 2 Czebe, Attila         m HUN 2325  0 * 1 1 . = . = . 1 = = = .  5.5  2400
 3 Lopushnoy, Denis        RUS 2290  1 0 * . . = = . . = 1 = 1 =  5.5  2399
 4 Stillger, Bernhard    f GER 2315  . 0 . * = = 1 1 0 . 1 = . 1  5.5  2383
 5 Karatorossian, David    ARM 2235  0 . . = * . . 0 1 1 1 1 0 1  5.5  2386
 6 Eperjesi, Laszlo      m HUN 2340  = = = = . * . . . = 1 1 = 0  5.0  2351
 7 Richardson, John R    f ENG 2360  = . = 0 . . * 1 = 1 0 = 1 .  5.0  2349
 8 Kahn, Evarth          m HUN 2370  = = . 0 1 . 0 * = . 1 = . =  4.5  2300
 9 Abbasov, Farid          AZE 2220  0 . . 1 0 . = = * . 0 = 1 1  4.5  2307
10 Lauber, Arnd            GER 2360  0 0 = . 0 = 0 . . * . 1 1 1  4.0  2267
11 Jetzl, Joerg            AUT 2245  . = 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 . * . . 1  3.5  2224
12 Koch, Wolfgang Max    f GER 2355  . = = = 0 0 = = = 0 . * . .  3.0  2187
13 Toth, Andras            HUN 2245  0 = 0 . 1 = 0 . 0 0 . . * =  2.5  2142
14 Velcheva, Maria      wm BUL 2285  . . = 0 0 1 . = 0 0 0 . = *  2.5  2125

First Saturday Web Page

Organiser Laszlo Nagy has started a news page for Hungarian Chess. It will be updated at least once a week on a Saturday and possibly more frequently. The news will be available at his web site:

You can contact Laszlo Nagy in the following ways:

Postal address: H-1101 Budapest, Hungaria krt. 5.-7. XI.ep.I.em.7. Tel-fax: int-(361)-263-28-59

E-mail address: or

5) Aruna Denmark

Organized by the K.41 Chess Club Copenhagen, Denmark May 2nd-11th 1997

Jóhann Hjartarson won the Aruna Tournament in Copehagen. He scored a fabulous 2739 performance and drew only three games. Lars Zwisler reports. The event is covered on the internet.

English version:

Copenhagen DEN (DEN), V 1997                            cat. X (2478)
                                       1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
 1 Hjartarson, Johann      g ISL 2585  * = = 1 = 1 1 1 1 1  7.5  2739
 2 Danielsen, Henrik       g DEN 2490  = * 0 = = 1 1 = 1 1  6.0  2601
 3 Sokolov, Andrei         m LAT 2480  = 1 * = = = 0 = 1 1  5.5  2557
 4 Keitlinghaus, Ludger    m GER 2515  0 = = * = = = 1 = 1  5.0  2516
 5 Petursson, Margeir      g ISL 2565  = = = = * = 0 = = 1  4.5  2468
 6 Hansen, Sune Berg       m DEN 2505  0 0 = = = * = = 1 1  4.5  2475
 7 Mortensen, Erling       m DEN 2450  0 0 1 = 1 = * 1 0 0  4.0  2438
 8 Aagaard, Jacob            DEN 2440  0 = = 0 = = 0 * 1 1  4.0  2439
 9 Hillarp Persson, Tiger  m SWE 2475  0 0 0 = = 0 1 0 * 1  3.0  2353
10 Fuglsang, Flemming        DEN 2275  0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 *  1.0  2149

6) FIDE Open in Corsico, Milan by Graziano Ottolini

155 players took part in the chess festival helded in Corsico, Milan from May 1st to 4th. The tournaments was organized and directed by Walter Ravagnati. NM Marco Sbarra won the main open reserved to players with FIDE rating. The other winners were Roberto Pace (over 1699), Antonino D'Amico (over 1499) and Claudio Pinotti (beginners).

            nome                     ctg. punti buh.  ps  id  nv  cc
  1'   1-SBARRA Marco              SV -M  5.0   19.0
  2'  25-PODINI Francesco          MI CM  4.5   18.5
  3'   3-NATALUCCI Fabrizio        MI -M  4.5   16.5
  4'  13-EVERET Alexandro          CR -M  4.0   19.5
  5'   7-UBEZIO Marco              VC -M  4.0   18.0
  6'   9-ZOLDAN Matteo             MI CM  4.0   16.5
  7'   2-GRINZA Andrea             TO FM  4.0   15.5
  8'  27-PROFUMO Alberto           GE -M  3.5   19.5
  9'   6-RODIGHIERO Giuseppe       VC CM  3.5   18.0
 10'  28-CASTALDO Folco            TO CM  3.5   17.5
 11'  11-MARCOLI Paolo             MI CM  3.5   17.0
 12'  15-SCOTTI Umberto            TO CM  3.5   16.5
 13'   8-PIANTONI Roberto          BG -M  3.5   15.0
 14'  17-RANIERI Fabrizio          TO CM  3.0   18.0
 15'   5-FARAONI Enrico            TO CM  3.0   17.0
 16'  26-OPPICI Gabriele           MN CM  3.0   11.5
 17'   4-CAZZANIGA Walter          MI -M  2.5   18.0
 18'  18-DORIGHET Claudio          MI CM  2.5   17.0
 19'  16-FACCHETTI Gianni          MI -M  2.5   16.5  2.0
 20'  30-GORI Andrea               MI CM  2.5   16.5  1.0     2
 21'  23-TOMASI Diego              TN CM  2.5   16.5  1.0     1
 22'  19-VICARI Luigi              MO CM  2.5   15.5
 23'  10-CARUSO Daniele            MI CM  2.5   15.0
 24'  29-CAPECE Adolivio           MI -M  2.5   13.0
 25'  22-RADICE Luca               MI CM  2.0   17.0
 26'  24-DUARTE Riccardo           PV CM  2.0   12.5
 27'  20-BONUGLI Carlo             PR CM  1.5   15.5
 28'  12-ROSSI Giampiero           CO -M  1.5   11.0
 29'  21-DALLAGLIO Giovanni        TN CM  1.0   15.0
 30'  14-MAZZOTTI Carlo            MI CM  1.0   12.0

* Cazzaniga-Dallaglio 0-0 by forfait