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The River Remembers- February 10, 1996- Man Loses Chess Game To Computer

Chess has always been a thinking man’s game. It involves strategy, forethought, and a certain degree of risk-taking. If your pawn tries to take the queen and it backfires, ooooh boy. Watch out. Worlds will collide. Chess has also always been a gentleman’s game. That’s why, when a gentleman lost a chess game to a computer, the proverbial “stuff” hit the fan. Gary Kasparov, or just Kasparov, was at one time one of the best chess players in the world, second perhaps only to Bobby Fisher. That’s why, when he lost the first game of a 6-game-match to “Deep Blue,” a computer processed by IBM, who was capable of evaluating 200 million moves per second, the world was stunned. Babies cried. Women screamed. Prince changed his name. Kasparov eventually won the match, and took home the prize money, but the damage was done, and plans for the Will Smith film iRobot, where machines were smarter than humans, were put into place. The world would never be the same. Speaking of machines, an estimated 6 million people watched the chess match via the internet. In related news, an estimated 6 million people were dateless that night.

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