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2001: A Chess Space Odyssey

2001: A Chess Space Odyssey

Jun 22, 2007, 12:00 AM 9 Fun & Trivia


In 1968, Stanley Kubrick (a strong chess player himself) directed 2001: A Space Odyssey.  It is probably the most famous man vs. computer chess games in film.  The movie features an astronaut, Dr. Frank Poole (played by Gary Lockwood), playing a chess game with the white pieces against the HAL-9000 computer (voice by Douglas Rain).  The game in the movie is from an actual game, Roesch vs. Schlage, Hamburg 1910.  The initial position in the movie is after Black’s 13th move.  The astronaut says, “Umm…anyway, Queen takes pawn.  OK?”  HAL responds, “Bishop takes Knight’s pawn.”  The astronaut says “Hmm, that’s a good move.  Er…Rook to King One.”  HAL responds, “I’m sorry Frank.  I think you missed it.  Queen to Bishop Three (this should have been Queen to Bishop Six - the computer was cheating).  Bishop takes Queen (this is not forced).  Knight takes Bishop.  Mate.”  It is not a mate in two, but a mate in three.  The astronaut responds, “Ah…Yeah, looks like you’re right.  I resign.”  The moves are said in English  descriptive instead of  the universal algebraic notation.



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