Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine

Game Over: Kasparov and the MachineGarry Kasparov is arguably the greatest chess player who has ever lived. In 1997 he played a chess match against IBM's computer Deep Blue. Kasparov lost the match. This film shows the match and the events surrounding it from Kasparov's perspective. It delves into the psychological aspects of the game, paranoia surrounding it and suspicions that have arisen around IBM's true tactics. It consists of interviews with Kasparov, his manager, chess experts, and members of the IBM Deep Blue team, as well as original footage of the match itself.

The good parts of the movie is that you have interviews with Kasparov and the IBM team. Kasparov is a charming guy. The IBM team are open and friendly. The movie shows both the bad and good sides of Kasparov, who displays dignity and his temper when he is being pushed around by IBM. The Deep Blue team are interesting, but the IBM company does not come off well. They milk the match for all advertising they could get. The movie keeps touting that it was a victory of machine intelligence over Man, but the point I get from it is, several computer geeks and chess grand masters after years of effort can put together a program that can barely beat a world champion, if they take every single psychological and technical advantage they can.

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Ratings: 8.23/10 from 13 users.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • Atul Bhansali

    This is a great movie of the greatest living sport legend the world has seen. You will love Garry Kasparov for his humility!!! A must watch. IBM sucks.

  • Max

    hes just bitter. although they allude to the turk, they present no evidence that IBM cheated. gary's trap diddnt work and he got upset

  • jaccob

    when posed the same situation from game 2, the following current programs have been found to make the same (correct) move as deep blue: Fritz 11, Shredder 11, Rybka 3, Chess Tiger.

  • Mark

    Despite all of my admiration for Gary, I think he is indeed bittered by the progress, which demonstrates in a way the definite domination of digit in our society about that time. And I doubt if IBM should ever put at stake their credibility and pr by playing false.

  • Michael

    This is a good documentary, although it is really biased. As a computer scientist who has worked on chess engines before, the claims that this documentary made are ridiculous. Deep Blue was a major milestone for computing and artificial intelligence, and for IBM as a profit seeking company, it was of course also a major money maker. However, there is nothing wrong with that. The IBM team did a good job and deserved more recognition than they got. I have much respect for Kasparov, and still see him as one of the greatest chess players ever, regardless of his matches against computers.

  • Milan

    Even though the documentary did strongly point (without concrete evidence) to foul play by IBM, my own interpretation is that Kasparov's ego felt diminished, his invincibility disappeared - especially after game 2. He could not recover, even many years later Karpov beat him, and this is just my opinion - I think the ghosts from the past were responsible for that, because Kasparov is better then Karpov.

    With all this said, he is the greatest chess player ever, and I feel sorry for the agony and constant pressure he has created himself all because he could not phantom a computer could do that.

  • Anonymous

    I think bobby fisher is better than karpov and kasparov. And if IBM didn't cheat they would have had no issue with a rematch. I believe they cheated.

  • john

    this is a GREAT documentary... really interesting. i certainly didnt know there was so much mystery and intrigue surrounding this.

  • Tony Smith

    Sports legend? Lol, that's a stretch. Still, a fascinating documentary.

  • ben

    I really enjoyed the documentary. I too didn't know there was so much controversy surrounding the match.

    But I have to say, it really felt to me that Gary was just bitter and still after all the years couldn't let go that he was defeated.
    I didn't even think IBM played dirty. I mean, what happened? Gary saw some telescopes in the building across from him and he wasn't allowed to view Deep Blue's logs...

  • OblakRadosav

    Some say there ware 7 grand masters behind the scene that supported Deep Blue , one 3 times US champion that was ranked 10 in the world at one point.
    Its even said that it was Karpov himself behind Deep Blue from game two , cos IBM saw that they have no chance if they let computer play all 6 games ,witch also ment lose of millions of $ in every way for the company .
    And also Kasparov saw it , and he say it even now that he saw Karpov moves that are only characteristic for him.

    Who knows , but yet again Kasparov proven that even with all that 2000 000 000 000 combinations in a minute cant brake human mind = win ,1 draw missed after disapointment , 3 draws and one here you go you low life non emotional pigs have a win....

  • john

    um, what's with the whispering narrative? i could barely make out what mr. whisper was saying......

  • Unzar Jones

    Kasparov got beat, whether by machine or human intelligence, he needed to face that fact but was too insecure or weak of character.

    The "turk" images and continual biased references throughout the documentary tainted the film.

  • Toocool

    I didn't know much about this match against deep blue, you learn a great deal of things watching this documentary especialy events between games.

    Although you can't conclude that IBM cheated, you can't deny that this game wasn't friendly at all. In some way IBM wasn't trying to play chess, Kasparov couldn't see any games or any log... You can be sure, they tested the computer's moves against Kasparov's previous games so them saying it would be unfair to the computer giving logs isn't quite true.
    When you look with some perspective, you realise it's not a big win, still the team from IBM behaves like they crushed him... Well may be mentaly, but Kasparov was playing a computer they should have made the event way more relaxing and behaved in such a manner that it would down size that aspect which only affects one side.

    The documentary was some times slow paced and could be less than 1 hour long. The whispering voice was a bit annoying but still worth seeing.

  • Ashman

    I know IBM is hiding something,it's very evident from the fact that at the end when they ask him to open up deep blue to show the viewers , he says it's locked and then gulps, this is often a sign of deep emotion and deception while lying, they definitely were hiding something and still are

  • Mike

    I know that this documentary is really really biased, I've watched it multiple times since it came out, but the thing that still really strikes me is that IBM was allowed to communicate with Deep Blue the entire time.

    Kasparov was not allowed to communicate with anyone.

    That is what really made me wonder, you know what are they telling the machine? Why not at least give Kasparov the input logs, not necessarily all the variations the computer considered, but at least the logs of what IBM was typing?

    I don't know... This documentary makes IBM and Kasparov look bad IMHO. It makes Kasparov look like a paranoid nut and IBM looks like they cheated. Both of which I don't believe are true.

  • Jay

    Didn't watch the documentary yet, but didn't Kasparov accuse IBM of beaming microwaves into his head to screw up his chess playing ability?

    Pretty sure he is a nut :)

  • Jeremy

    I enjoyed the content of the documentary, but some elements were awful. The strange music tones; the clicking, mechanical sounds that accompanied the equally strange cut-scenes to the Turk throughout; the odd, whispered voice that narrated occasionally as if sharing some great secret; all of this added up to me not enjoying this documentary when I really wanted to. Great content, amateurish presentation.

  • Lightfoot

    I did't experience the film as biased, it did well at presenting a puzzle.
    Kasparov was quite sure the best player of his time, probably the best ever, and his doubts were not only emotional, but solidly backed with experience of the chess machines of his time, and he sure was an expert at that, too, if ever there was one.
    IBM had a great commercial interest, and that alone IS enough to raise doubts.

    What happened there, has surely got the attention of everyone who wrote (=coded) thereafter, so it doesn't add anything fair, or just worthwhile, to state that he played a bit below the ideal optimum, or that nowadays programs reach or even surpass the performance of DeepBlue.

    It may as well be that IBM cheated, they knew what was at stake, they wouldn't let anyone know. I mean, they invested millions into that victory, and they earned even more millions from what happened. You won't find a motive better that that, and they surely had the opportunity.

    I understood the whole "Turk" analogy as presenting exactly that puzzle. It might have been cheating, IBM had the opportunity to prove that it wasn't, but they didn't even try.
    So all we can do is guess this way or another, and the movie seemed to present exactly that, to me. Good docu.

  • http://www.altobandera.com Sanabio

    Great documentary

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Louis-Carrillo/1308580458 Louis Carrillo

    this documentary was as amazing as it was provocative.....i think it cuts to the heart of the issue....why compete, why aspire to victory, why learn,why do we remember, why search for meaning, and why do we search for understanding.....we do so because those qualities in combination with other qualities define us as human beings....that's why we create these powerful computers from the beginning......for assistance .....for advantage.... Remember, if there was manipulation.....it wasn't Deep Blue at the helm. It was another programmer or HUMAN authoring the changes or adjustments. A pure machine couldn't even value the purpose of competition to begin with....so then , why would it cheat. This documentary touts man versus machine....but i can only see man versus other men ( be it the IBM team or IBM corp.) ....or more specifically....man versus himself....Garry seems to be a man who can derive meaning from past glory and from past defeat....this is what makes him great for the ages..his ability to learn,and his ability to improve......as for the machines....well the day that true Artificial Intelligence and realization of self becomes possible.....then the real board will change forever.....we may see that yet......thank you for posting this fantastic documentary. : )

  • CSNY

    HAHAHAHAHA. The whisper

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WN2CHPYUE2MB6CGTJS74Q7ET4Y Lee

    I agree with the review. Even if you assume that IBM did not use any human intervention, it still did not dominate. Deep blue won 2 matches to 1 with the rest being draws. Wow, big deal. They spent all this money and had a team of experts and beat him twice. If a computer is truly dominant it should win every match. The computer has a built in advantage also. It does not have emotions. Gary was obviously mentally exhausted in Game 6 and basically gave up. He also could have forced a draw in game 2 if he would have played it out. I think they psyched him out. They didn't win. They just wore him down psychologically

  • http://www.facebook.com/emarks1 Mark Sutherland Jr.

    1:08:05 At that point in the Doc. I find it hard to watch the IBM programers talk about "all I did was program a computer to play chess" When throughout the whole film the listener can clearly see the IBM team was not only psyching Kasporov out, they were thoroughly enjoying it. A perfect example was the nature of there attitude towards not allowing the press to write the truth about the accusations. There inability to allow Kasparov to see the machines printouts. They were clearly in a, this is US vc YOU stance, and they knew the match was set before the sixth game was played. I would love to see a rematch played out. This time with some type of gaming commission at the helm and not the IBM and there powerhouse team of nerds. Somthing set up more fair for all partys involved..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Xercès-Des-Stèles/100002540053129 Xercès Des Stèles

    Whispering for the narration of a documentary; bad idea.

  • stefanobrentano

    I agree with Louis Carrillo. Was this really man vs machine when there was human intervention in between matches? This was a great marketing ploy by IBM - 'Big Blue'. The doc' touches on the way Big Blue was perceived at that time as the big cumbersome computer corporation whose strength was in hardware. The 15% rise in IBM shares following the win shows what this event did for the PR of IBM. Did it herald the point at which AI overcame mankind like the huge rise in share value indicated? Not at all but this was part of what the IBM PR machine wanted us to think. However it may have been the point at which IBM turned the corner and was seen as more then just a hardware manufacturer by the general public.

  • Pysmythe

    Well, I've been on a real chess kick lately, and the way I feel right about now, I would whip this machine's a55, one way or the other.
    Hold my beer.

    On the serious side, the paranoia and conspiracy notions that have always prevailed at the highest levels of chess have always fascinated me, and although Kasparov always tended to whine when he lost, I think he may have had something here. These games are online, and, if looked through carefully, even a decent player can see a considerable difference between game 1 and game 2 that just seems too surprising and inexplicable, like going from playing your gifted niece to playing a grandmaster overnight. And to say that that level of improved play was just down to a few adjustments done over such a short time does seem very suspect. And the fact that they refused to let him see the machine's game logs, to give him an idea of it's play, AND to see whether or not there might have been cheating, I'm sorry, but that is just bullsh_t, ok, not a fair way to measure it's real playing strength at all, and not a way to shore up your credibility among those who know the game at that level. Grandmasters are always able to study their opponents play beforehand; for Christ's sake, that's HOW they prepare...If IBM was so goddamned confident in their machine's invincibility, and their honesty, why wouldn't they do that? And that they eventually released "the actual game logs" years later doesn't cut it much with me, personally... I mean, after all, you're being asked there to trust in the integrity of a corporation... and anything can be doctored, given enough time.

  • dewflirt

    Morning Pysmythe, sounds like you might be up for a bit of chess boxing! Think the computer might win on points though, technical K.O! ;)

  • Irish Sweetness

    Invested millions? IBM's share price and total worth was at stake.

  • Guest

    Some people commenting here seem to have absolutely no idea what they're talking about.

    2:30

    "And basically IBM did not grant him a rematch. Which was another huge
    controversy. Because when Gary won in '96, he offered right away a
    revenge match to the computer."

    Q "Why dont you think IBM wanted a rematch?"

    A "Consider this: The day that Deep Blue beat Kasparov, IBM's stock rose by 15%"

    Sure, he didn't take the loss too well. But his concerns were legit that
    there
    may have been some underhanded tactics being employed by IBM in order
    to sucure the match in their favor. It wouldn't surprise me if
    this
    were the case. It is well known that when Kasparov demanded to see
    printouts of Deep Blue's "thinking" processes, IBM refused him. Deep
    Blue was not located in the playing room, but in another room that
    nobody else could see. Kasparov wanted to verify for certain that it was
    actually Deep Blue he was playing, and not anyone else. However, some
    time after the match, IBM reluctantly published some printouts which
    were very difficult to understand for anyone but expert computer
    scientists and those directly involved with Deep Blue's development.
    Personally, I find it hard to understand why IBM did not simply make a
    public demonstration with Deep Blue to show that the machine was
    actually able to replay some of the controversial moves. In addition,
    they didn't even give the Champion the courtesy of a rematch. Instead,
    they had the machine disassembled before anyone could learn anything about its play. Pure a-holes.

    So I think if anyones' integrity is to be questioned in this debacle, it's definitely IBM's.

  • hypervisor

    Some people commenting here seem to have absolutely no idea what they're talking about.

    2:30 "And basically IBM did not grant him a rematch. Which was another huge controversy. Because when Gary won in '96, he offered right away a revenge match to the computer."

    Q "Why dont you think IBM wanted a rematch?"

    A "Consider this: The day that Deep Blue beat Kasparov, IBM's stock rose by 15%"

    Kasparov's concerns were legit that there may have been some underhanded tactics being employed by IBM in order to sucure the match in their favor. It wouldn't surprise me if this were the case. It is well known that when Kasparov demanded to see printouts of Deep Blue's "thinking" processes, IBM refused him. Deep Blue was not located in the playing room, but in another room that nobody else could see. Kasparov wanted to verify for certain that it was actually Deep Blue he was playing, and not anyone else. However, some time after the match, IBM reluctantly published some printouts which were very difficult to understand for anyone but expert computer scientists and those directly involved with Deep Blue's development.

    Personally, I find it hard to understand why IBM did not simply make a public demonstration with Deep Blue to show that the machine was actually able to replay some of the controversial moves. In addition, they didn't even give the Champion the courtesy of a rematch. Instead, they had the machine disassembled before anyone could learn anything about its play. Pure a-holes.

    So I think if anyones' integrity is to be questioned in this debacle, it's definitely IBM's.