Mayor Bloomberg invites us to New York

1/18/2003 – The Kasparov-Deep Junior match is just a week away. Today we received an official announcement from New York Mayor Michael R Bloomberg, who writes: "It is my pleasure to welcome the 'Man vs. Machine' tournament to New York City. People from around the world will enjoy the fierce competition between one of the world's most strategic and intuitive minds and the latest advances in artificial intelligence." Here is the full message from Mayor Bloomberg.

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January 17, 2003

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Podziba
announce "Man vs. Machine" Chess Championship
World's #1 Ranked Player Will Square Off Against Reigning Computer Champion

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Sports Commissioner Kenneth J. Podziba today announced that New York City will host a world-class chess championship between the world's #1 ranked chess player, Garry Kasparov, and Deep Junior, the reigning computer chess champion. This "Man vs. Machine" tournament will be the first World Chess Championship sanctioned by both the Federation Internationale des Echecs (F.I.D.E), the international governing body of chess and the International Computer Game Association (I.C.G.A). The Championship will be held at the New York Athletic Club from January 26th through February 7th in six classic time-controlled matches with a prize fund of $1 million.

"It is my pleasure to welcome the 'Man vs. Machine' tournament to New York City featuring the world's number one ranked chess player, Garry Kasparov, and the world's reigning computer chess champion, Deep Junior," said Mayor Bloomberg. "People from around the world will enjoy the fierce competition between one of the world's most strategic and intuitive minds and the latest advances in artificial intelligence."

Deep Junior, three-time world champion, won the last official world chess championship for computers in July 2002 at the 7th Computer Chess Olympiad in Maastricht, Netherlands, against 18 other computer programs. It was created by Israeli programmers Amir Ban and Shay Bushinsky.

"The World Chess Federation welcomes the showcasing of one of its major events in the City of New York, the media capital of the world. I can think of no greater place to hold the event," said Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, president of F.I.D.E.

Garry Kasparov said, "I'm delighted to be back in the Big Apple. My opponent is the holder of three world computer chess championship titles. I look forward to competing against this formidable opponent developed by Israeli scientists who understand the ongoing involvement and relationship between man and machine."

Commissioner Podziba said, "This momentous match will undoubtedly add to the debate over who is the greater strategist, the finer thinker, man or computer? I can't think of a better place to hold this fiercely contested championship than in the world's most competitive city."

The event is being sponsored by X3D Technologies Corp., a New York City based company that brings games, computers, entertainment and education to a three-dimensional virtual reality format.

Elliot Klein, CEO of X3D Technologies, Corp. said, "Our mission at x3dworld.com is to use our cutting edge 3D technology to improve education and entertainment to help kids develop analytic thinking as they interact and learn on their PC."

In conjunction with the "Man vs. Machine" tournament, X3D Technologies will donate 5,000 electronic chess games to Chess-in-the-Schools, a non-profit organization that teaches chess to 38,000 students in 160 New York City public schools. The company will also hold a fundraiser during the tournament with all the proceeds benefiting a scholarship fund for the winning individuals and teams in an upcoming Mayor's Cup Chess Championship. The Mayor's Cup will be hosted by Chess-in-the-Schools and the New York City Sports Commission.

"We are grateful to X3D Technologies for their generous contribution and support," said Marley Kaplan, president and chief executive officer of Chess-in-the-Schools. The games will serve as a reward for the participants and they will also serve as a wonderful learning tool to help them further advance their chess-playing skills. In addition, X3D's fundraising support will help provide scholarships for many economically disadvantaged students throughout New York City."

In November 1985, at the age of 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest World Chess Champion when he beat Anatoli Karpov. This made him the 13th World Champion and he had already become the number one ranked player in the world. In January of 1990, Kasparov created two milestones in chess history. First, he moved past Bobby Fischer's best rating of 2785 and secondly, he became the first player in history to break the 2800. From December 1981 to February 1991, Kasparov made chess history by not losing a single event in nearly 10 years.

In 1999, after winning the three major events of that year, he created a new milestone by topping the 2850 ELO ratings mark. Kasparov, who was in the forefront of the former Soviet Union's anti-communist movement, still resides in Moscow.

The match may viewed live on www.x3dworld.com. The time controls shall be 40 moves in two hours for each player, followed by 20 moves in one hour for each player, followed by 30 minutes for each player.

Game 1 Sunday January 26th
Game 2 Tuesday January 28th
Game 3 Thursday January 30th
Game 4 Sunday February 2nd
Game 5 Wednesday February 5th
Game 6 Friday February 7th

Contact: Andrew Gould, Sports Commission, 212-487-5665
Belinda Banks, S&S Public Relations, 718-320-4898

Full match details


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