Keeping chess fans worldwide in suspense, world chess champion Garry Kasparov and IBM's computer, Deep Blue, reached a draw yesterday in game three of a six-game chess tournament.
The contestants are now tied with 1-1/2 wins each, with Deep Blue the victor for the first game and Kasparov for the second.
Formidable a chess player as Kasparov is, Deep Blue has an advantage over humans because it can calculate 50 billion to 100 billion moves within 3 minutes, which is the time allowed for each player's move.
Computers don't become tired or distracted and are immune to the psychological rigors of the game, said IBM research scientist Murray Campbell. He added that Deep Blue is incapable of making a short-term tactical error although strategic mistakes may become apparent later in a game.
Nonetheless, Kasparov, in an interview after the third game with tournament moderators, said he is not impressed by the computer's skills and has no opinion on its strength as an opponent.
"It is really too early to make any long-term predictions, but you have to find an average because in game one the computer played with the rating of the best players in the world," said Kasparov. "In game two it made mistakes that most players would avoid."
For front-row seats at the event, go to the ACM Chess Challenge site.