Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cautious Kasparov Plays to a Draw against Computer

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cautious Kasparov Plays to a Draw against Computer

Article excerpt

World chess champion Garry Kasparov and his electronic nemesis, IBM's Deep Blue computer, remained tied at 2 points each Wednesday after playing to a draw in Game 4 of their six-game series.

Kasparov offered the draw after the computer made its 56th move of the five-hour match. The machine immediately accepted. It was the second straight day that the 34-year-old Russian and Deep Blue finished in a deadlock.

Kasparov and the supercomputer split the first two games of the match, played Saturday and Sunday. On Wednesday, the computer played white and had the first move, an advantage sometimes compared to serving in tennis. As in the first three games, Kasparov played cautiously at the outset, seeking to avoid engagements that would allow the computer to take advantage of its superior calculating skills. Kasparov's Game 4 opening was a notable departure from his traditionally aggressive opening strategy. "There's no chance he'd play this opening against a human opponent," said John Fedorowicz, a chess grandmaster from Manhattan who watched a closed-circuit telecast of the game at a midtown skyscraper. Kasparov sacrificed a pawn on his 20th move, giving him room to maneuver his queen, rooks and knights. To reduce the pressure, Deep Blue advanced pawns around its king, creating weaknesses in the computer's position. Kasparov then infiltrated Deep Blue's position with his rooks, and on his 35th move recaptured a pawn from Deep Blue. "This left (Kasparov) with an advantage," said Manhattan grandmaster Ilya Gurevich. "His pieces were more active." Deep Blue's sacrifice of a pawn its 37th move brought the machine's rooks into play, but the machine failed to take full advantage of the pieces, and Kasparov was able to penetrate with his own rooks. Around the 45th move, Deep Blue tried to obtain a draw by repeating moves, but Kasparov ignored the offer, choosing to play on. …

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