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Kasparov Beats Computer; Evens Match at 1-1

February 12, 1996

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ World chess champion Garry Kasparov outmaneuvered a computer Sunday, rebounding from an opening-round loss and evening the six-game series at one win apiece.

Kasparov won the match in 73 moves with a triumphant display of long-range tactical thinking over Deep Blue, an IBM computer which has a calculating capacity of 200 million moves a second.

Feng-hsiung Hsu, the architect and principal designer of Deep Blue, ceded defeat after 5 hours, 45 minutes.

After the match, Kasparov said he had a key strategy for attacking the computer he referred to as ``the monster.″ He discovered that by moving for safe positions rather than direct attacks, he could lull the machine into opening its defense.

``If you threaten, the machine will counterattack,″ he said. ``But if there is no threat, the machine will go about its business and eventually give you an opportunity.″

Grandmasters observing the match said it takes a genius of Kasparov’s caliber to recognize the moment and exploit it.

``Kasparov managed to develop a plan that extended beyond the computer’s horizon,″ said observer David Levy, vice president of the International Computer Chess Association. ``Arguably, the computer didn’t know what was going on.″

Kasparov, 32, had suffered a startling loss in the first round when the computer took advantage of the Russian’s wide-open, aggressive attack.

In the second round, Kasparov began cautiously with the conservative Catalan opening.

By consolidating his position and his pieces, he forced the computer to go on the attack.

In the 11th move, Kasparov made a gambit that had grandmasters puzzled, then smiling in appreciation. He captured a pawn, but exposed his queen, violating a fundamental rule known even to novices. But the gamble drew the computer into spreading its pieces and weakening its defense.

``That’s why he’s the best,″ said grandmaster Dan Heisman.

The tide turned strongly in Kasparov’s favor with his 19th move, when he offered a pawn the computer promptly captured, irrevocably weakening positions around its king.

In Saturday’s opening game, Kasparov ceded defeat on the 37th move when Deep Blue pinned his king between a knight and a rook.

Play resumes Tuesday in the series, which coincides with the University of Pennsylvania’s celebration of the 50th birthday of the ground-breaking computer ENIAC.

The duel is the first to pit human against machine for a regulation, six-game chess match. The winner will receive $400,000 with the remaining $100,000 going to the loser. If Deep Blue wins, the money goes to IBM researchers working on the computer.

Kasparov, a Russian citizen who was born in Azerbaijan, became the youngest world chess champion at age 22 when he defeated Russian Anatoly Karpov.

In 1989, he proved critics wrong by handily defeating Deep Thought, IBM’s prototype for Deep Blue.

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