That was a mistake!
We all remember the moment.
Ben Kingsley staring at the monitor, his jaw goes slack, his eyes widen just a smidgeon, and then he says it...
"That was a mistake."
Questions abounded, everyone studied the board for the slightest clue what he might be talking about. The father quickly questions... "what... who... where?"
If you haven't seen the movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer" then please disregard, but if you have, you remember the moment. I highly recommend the film. It's Karate kid, but for chess!
Watching masters play chess can be much like this. We wait to see something happen, we strain at the board to discover some weakness in the position, something to attack. But in the end we just end up watching a beautiful game develop, and we're lucky if we recognize the attack before it's all over.
The message boards may ring with "Thats a mistake" by faithful Rybka watchers, but for us mere mortals, we don't see a thing.
All the more so when watching two computers play. We assume each individual move is perfect, the best move available, though we know that in the game as a whole, there are weaknesses in computer strategy, if not tactics.
Many think computer chess is soulless, unimaginative, even drab. Certainly it lacks in the human drama, and this can seem a large disparity from the intensity of a World Championship Match between two chess giants.
But the chess itself can be not only extremely instructive, but beautiful and "imaginative".
The Freestyle tournaments that go on have captured my attention in a big way. One of my favorite games to study came from such a tournament back in 2005. Humans armed with whatever computer program they wished clashed, and the chess was just amazing. The following is from tournament winner ZackS (two young non-titled players) against Rentner2 (I believe he was an IM).
A beautiful game full of all the artistry that one could want in a chess game.