Kasparov to be pitted against computer

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> The world's no. 1 chess player Garry Kasparov is going to play a game of chess with voice-activated moves posted on a virtual board against a computer.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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New York :

The world's top-ranked chess player would be playing a hi-tech game against a computer, with voice-activated moves posted on a virtual board. "A machine has an advantage. It doesn't even know if it's winning or losing," Garry Kasparov said yesterday. "A human being is influenced by many things - by personal emotions, by the weather. In a few years, it will be virtually impossible for a human being to match a computer." The chess player from Moscow is ready to compete against a computer programme called the X3D Fritz. The four-game match is scheduled for November 11, 13, 16 and 18 in New York. The games can be followed on the website of the sponsor, Manhattan-based X3D Technologies Corp. In the "Man vs Machine" match, the chessboard will be suspended in the air on a screen in front of Kasparov, who will have to wear 3D glasses, voice-activate the chess pieces and use a joystick to rotate the virtual board. The mature champion At 40, Kasparov is considered a mature champion by chess standards. But he says playing a computer helps keep his chess brain in shape. "To play a machine takes much more energy and resilience - it requires a perfection that is not required playing a human being," he said during a news conference. "In three or four hours, my mind could be rebelling against this situation." John Fernandez, X3D's chess consultant, described chess as "a mental sport". "It's a psychological thing, and a chess player is a routine freak: Get your pieces in place, write down the moves, press the clock. His entire routine is gone," he said. "The glasses can be a little strange, if you've never worn glasses, which he doesn't. He's been practicing." Big prize Even if he loses, Kasparov will earn $150,000 for the match. If he wins, his reward is $200,000, and a draw earns him $175,000. Kasparov's match against the computer follows the release of his book "My Great Predecessors, Part I" - a personal analysis of the great masters that has produced ripples in the chess world. Chess experts have discovered some analytical flaws, which Kasparov proudly defended in an internet article as "defects", which he said "unexpectedly turn into virtues" by eliciting lively discussion among chess lovers. Setting the record Generally considered the greatest chess player of all time, Kasparov was world champion between 1985 and 2000, with a tournament record second to none. After relinquishing his world title in 2000 to fellow Russian Vladimir Kramnik, he responded by taking first place in the next 10 major international events. It is not the first time Kasparov has been challenged by a computer. He won against the "Deep Blue" IBM computer in 1996, but an upgrade of the machine defeated him the following year. Earlier this year, he managed a draw against the "Deep Junior" Israeli chess program. "This time, I hope I'll be better," he said. The International Computer Games Association (ICGA) and the United States Chess Federation (USCF) have sanctioned the match as the first official world chess championship in virtual reality.