Mc Greggor and the IBM deep blue chess match

9 Jul

Gary Kasparov playing the IBM Deep blue computer in 1997

“In his book Chess Metaphors, Diego Rasskin-Gutman points out that:

A player looking eight moves ahead is already presented with as many possible games as there are stars in the galaxy.

Another staple, a variation of which is also used by Rasskin-Gutman, is to say:

There are more possible chess games than the number of atoms in the universe.

I was watching a video with Gary Kasparov last night, he had a few infamous chess games with the IBM deep blue computer  in 1997.

One of the interesting points he said was in preparing for the game was:

Since I was playing a computer, that no one had ever played before, I could not look at its previous games in competitions to see its logic and flow. It was a complete unknown as to what the outcome would be.

It would appear chess players develop a playing flow in their career, Kasparov would analyse moves he considered brilliant and two years later would consider those moves average.

IBM had all the data of Gary Kasparov’s games before the games, but he on the other had nothing on the program IBM developed. At the time he did not know what a disadvantage this would be to him as he could not prepare as he normally would.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.

If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Which I thought was interesting, as a few days ago, I heard something similar in the buildup to the Mc Gregor V Mayweather boxing fight.

The biggest fight in history is coming up soon20

Colin Mc Gregor has never had a professional boxing fight, so there is no videos to analyse, Mayweather on the other hand has as forty-nine fights and lots of amateur fights, there is plenty of videos about his fighting style.

Mc Gregor said:

I knows every shot Mayweather has been hit with

And a few other things we know about Mc Gregor:

  • He is thirteen years younger
  • Has a longer reach
  • He hits harder
  • He likes to trash talk, and that key to sell big fights
  • His last fight, he trained with military precision

Mc Gregor’s trainer said this about his last fight:

“If I was to sum it up, there’s order to this training camp,” Kavanagh said during a recent appearance on ESPN’s Five Rounds podcast. “There’s no chaos. Everything is very disciplined, very military style. Beforehand, it was kind of done on Conor’s whim, how he felt on a certain day.

“This training camp has been based on cycles. Every day, we start at 1 p.m. sharp. In the evenings, we do cardio training. Everything is measured, nothing is left to ‘How you feeling?’ We have a performance doctor taking care of the performance side of things, I’m taking care of the fighting side of things, everybody is working together and nothing we’ve done before comes close to comparison for this one.”


The boxer Mayweather like Gary Kasparov the chess player, in that he doesn’t really know what he is coming up against

Gary’s talk at Google


One of the points Kasparov makes is:

“Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process.”

You don’t have to have the pattern-recognition capabilities of a grandmaster to see that a dominant approach to achieving good results is becoming visible. This approach consists of teamwork among humans and computers, with each playing to its comparative strength. The good news for this team is that each partner is strong precisely where the other is weak, a happy situation known as Moravec’s paradox .

It’s fiendishly hard to give computers intuition, or to make people consistent and error-free. Luckily, we don’t have do. Environments as different as chess and medicine are showing us that the right approach is to let people exercise their intuition and creativity, supported and double-checked by their computer assistants as part of a well-designed process. This approach yields better outcomes than a purely automated one (which, in turn, does better than a purely human one, in chess and many other domains).

And I learned about Moravec’s paradox

It is comparatively easy to make computers exhibit adult level performance on intelligence tests or playing checkers, and difficult or impossible to give them the skills of a one-year-old when it comes to perception and mobility


After all the primary reason we have a brain is for the complex body movements

And the bad news is, you wont be seeing robot ballet any time soonballet-dancers


The message from Kasparov is simple…

Don’t fear intelligent machines. Work with them



I think Mc Gregor’s process and data analysis is going to get him a win in August…

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