Humans down but not out against computers

12/21/2005 – Chess grandmasters can still keep machines in check, says Veselin Topalov, the reigning FIDE World Chess Champion. "I find it fun playing computers. The only problem is that the psychological duel does not exist. You cannot bluff. You cannot count on unforced errors," he told Reuters. Full story.

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Ever since IBM's Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov – retired champion and reputedly the best player ever – in 1997, humans have failed to regain dominance over increasingly powerful computers. But according to Veselin Topalov, a 30-year-old Bulgarian who dominated the world chess organization (FIDE) championship in October, people still have a small chance to hold their own.


Veselin Topalov playing Fritz 8 in Bilbao in 2004

"I find it fun playing computers. The only problem is that the psychological duel does not exist. You cannot bluff. You cannot count on unforced errors," he told Reuters. "You have to find a special strategy completely different from what you would do against humans."


... and Deep Junior. Topalov scored 1.5 points in four games against computers

Computers dominate humans in stamina and "concentration" – they don't get tired or buckle under pressure – and are tactically far superior in measuring the power of a position or calculating whether an offence will succeed.


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