Kasparov to play computer again

Garry Kasparov, center, the world's top-ranked chess player, wears 3D glasses to view a television screen during a news conference in New York Thursday. Kasparov will play against the chess-playing computer Deep Junior in a series of matches January 26 to February 7 in New York. The competition will be broadcast live in three dimensions by X3D Technologies and in 2D on the Internet.

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Published: Saturday, January 25, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 25, 2003 at 12:43 a.m.
NEW YORK - Call it Man vs. Machine - The Rematch.
Chess legend Garry Kasparov, still bitter about losing six years ago to the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue, is about to take on a machine programmers say is an even more cunning opponent.
In six games beginning Sunday, Kasparov will match wits with an Israeli-programmed computer called Deep Junior. And this time, Kasparov says, it's a fair fight.
"Deep Blue was more about PR, selling the story, scaring the human race," he said in what might be described as chess trash-talk. "This machine is a real opponent. It's not hiding behind a curtain."
Kasparov's 1997 defeat at the hands - or chips - of Deep Blue was seen as a watershed moment for technology. But Kasparov has claimed the computer might have received human hints, and he complains it was quickly dismantled after the event.
By contrast, his six games against Deep Junior, beginning Sunday in New York, will be sanctioned by the international governing body of chess and will be subject to a human appeals committee to guarantee fairness.
"It's no longer a corporate thing," said the 39-year-old Russian. "No side has any significant advantage."
The chess world is watching closely. Kasparov is regarded as the greatest player in history, and Deep Junior - which hasn't lost to a human in two years and has been tuned up along the way - is billed as the world champion computer.
"This match will be a very significant for the chess world, and for humankind as well," World Chess Federation president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said. "We'll be rooting for the human."
Deep Junior can process 3 million chess moves per second. That is far fewer than Deep Blue's 200 million, but its programmers say Deep Junior thinks more like a human, choosing strategy over simply capturing pieces quickly.
"Raw power of the computer is not everything," said Amir Ban, one of Deep Junior's programmers. "It's very important how efficiently you use that power. It's equipped with more quality chess knowledge."
Kasparov, who has held the world's No. 1 ranking since 1984 despite occasional losses to humans, will be paid $500,000 by the governing body, the World Chess Federation, for playing Deep Junior. He will pocket an additional $300,000 from the organization if he beats the computer.
The games will be played at the New York Athletic Club through Feb. 7 and will be broadcast over the Internet by a company called X3D Technologies.
Kasparov admits his mind is less than clear as he prepares for the match. An Israeli bank is suing him for $1.5 million it lost bankrolling his Web site, which shut down last year after running out of money.
"I hope I can put it behind me," he said. "That's one of the advantages the computer enjoys. It doesn't care about anything but power failure."

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