Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine

Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine is a 2003 documentary film by Vikram Jayanti about the match between Garry Kasparov, the highest rated chess player in history and the World Champion for 15 years (1985–2000), and Deep Blue, a chess-playing computer created by IBM.

In 1997, Kasparov played his second chess match against Deep Blue, a computer designed specifically to beat Kasparov in chess. In the second game, Kasparov set a trap that most computers fall for. Deep Blue didn't fall for it. From this experience, Kasparov suspected IBM, the creator of Deep Blue, of cheating by using a human player during the game to increase the strategic strength of the computer. As metaphor for this suspicion, the film weaves in the story of the Turk, a hoax involving a chess-playing automaton built in the eighteenth century, but secretly operated by human beings. (The film also implies that Deep Blue's heavily promoted victory was a ploy by IBM to boost its market value.) Deep Blue went on to win the match in the sixth game, marking the first time in history that a computer defeated the World Champion in a match of several games.

The film was nominated for a 2003 International Documentary Association award. It was coproduced by Alliance Atlantis and the National Film Board of Canada.


Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine received mixed reviews from critics. Among the positive reviews, Lou Lumenick of the New York Post called Game Over a "solid documentary" that's "fairly suspenseful. Dennis Lim of the Village Voice called Game Over a "gripping documentary. Jami Bernard of the New York Daily News called it "a nail-biter."

Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle, however, called Game Over "a film with one big question and no visible attempt to find any answers. Numerous reviewers criticized Game Over for being biased toward Kasparov and making accusations against IBM without presenting evidence for its claims, including Robert Koehler of Variety, Kevin Crust of the Los Angeles Times, Michael Booth of the Denver Post, Liam Lacey of the Globe and Mail, Janice Page of the Boston Globe, and Ned Martel of the New York Times.

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