Did IBM Cheat Kasparov?
If you are familiar with Gary Kasparov's match against Deep Blue in 1997 then you may know about the controversy that ensued from Kasparov’s suspicion of IBM’s foul play. Recently, the “Great Recession” that has struck the world’s economy has dragged many businesses’ corrupt dealings into the light, revealing that monetary success is all that matters to them. Should IBM be included in this group?
After Kasparov lost the second game of his tournament match against Deep Blue, he was surprised by the computer’s human-like playing style and requested copies of Deep Blue’s previous chess games, but was denied. The following is an explanation of these events taken from Wikipedia:
“Kasparov claimed that several factors weighed against him in this match. In particular, he was denied access to Deep Blue's recent games, in contrast to the computer's team that could study hundreds of Kasparov's.
After the loss Kasparov said that he sometimes saw deep intelligence and creativity in the machine's moves, suggesting that during the second game, human chess players, in contravention of the rules, intervened. IBM denied that it cheated, saying the only human intervention occurred between games. The rules provided for the developers to modify the program between games, an opportunity they said they used to shore up weaknesses in the computer's play revealed during the course of the match. Kasparov requested printouts of the machine's log files but IBM refused, although the company later published the logs on the Internet. Kasparov demanded a rematch, but IBM declined and retired Deep Blue, which has been viewed by Kasparov as covering up evidence of tampering during the game.”
The video “Kasparov vs. The Machine” explains the theory that IBM’s chess team illegally aided Deep Blue in defeating Kasparov to impress the computer world. The video states that IBM’s stock rose 20% after Deep Blue’s victory! And isn’t it suspicious that, once accused of cheating, IBM did not initially allow the computer’s log files to be released? Even though IBM eventually released the log files, those could have been fabricated. In addition to that, IBM retired Deep Blue after achieving one of the biggest computer accomplishments ever. IBM shut down the program and never opened it again. Shouldn’t this success be modeled, improved, and researched further?
So what do you think? Was IBM a money hungry corporation that corrupted the match in order to increase profits, or did Kasparov just have a case of the old-fashioned “sour grapes?”