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PNFS: Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine

PNFS: Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine

Sorry this event has been and gone


  • Wed 17 Aug ’11, 5:30pm
  • Wed 17 Aug ’11, 8:00pm


Downtown Cinemas, 70 Broadway Ave, Palmerston North


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Waged membership: $85.00
  • Unwaged membership: $70.00
  • Triple feature card: $30.00
  • High school student: $30.00

Directed by Vikram Jayanti
Canada/UK, 2003, 90mins

The trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9UMt-8gfW8

Intercut with feature film sequences and structured as a psychological thriller, this compelling film leads us into the brain of the brilliant chess player Gary Kasparov.

In 1985, this Russian was the youngest world champion ever. He was the undisputed leader of the international chess scene until May 1997, when, under the scrutinising eyes of the assembled world press, he lost a match to a machine, the IBM computer, Deep Blue.

The controversial match lasted nine days, in which six games were played. Six years later, Kasparov, the International Grand Master, visits the scene of the catastrophe. With a mixture of self-mockery and frustration he recalls memories of his defeat against the machine.

Illustrated by archive footage, the match is reconstructed. First, the Grand Master looks too self-confident; later he is exhausted and crushed. Many of the others involved explain how they experienced the match, including scientists and Grand Master consultants who had been responsible for the performance of the supercomputer.

Kasparov keeps asserting that he has been taken, in one way or another. To him, a machine is stupid by definition. The scientists, however, are convinced that this was a defining moment: the birth of the ‘intelligent’ computer had become a reality.

“Jayanti's film cleverly, if controversially, lays out a scenario that has less to do with the advance of computer science and more to do with a nasty mix of bruised egos and corporate arrogance run amok. The pacing of each game builds to an intense pulse as Kasparov first wins, and then is so soundly defeated in game two that it seems to weaken him psychologically.

As Kasparov views it, Deep Blue's winning moves transcended a machine's limits, raising the spectre of human intervention. The film runs with the accusation, spicing it with visuals of other famous chess-playing "machines" that turned out to be fronts for human players, including clips from Raymond Bernard's silent film, The Chess Player, which climaxes with Oz-like human manipulations of such a contraption.

Though no proof of the charges is uncovered (Benjamin, a chess grandmaster, Campbell and Feng, the computer developers, are mum on the subject), others, such as reporter Jeff Kisselhof, suggest IBM wanted to defeat Kasparov at all costs as means to prove company's computer supremacy. The film notes more than once that IBM stock shot up 15% immediately after Kasparov retired from the match.” - Robert Koehler, Variety

Did you know?
Deep Blue – was a hulking one and a half ton IBM supercomputer

Two screenings- 5.30pm and 8pm at Downtown Cinemas
Members only. Palmerston North Film Society Membership is available at the door before each screening and lasts for one full year.

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