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Robert James Fischer vs Greenblatt (Computer)
"Man vs. Machine, 1977" (game of the day Oct-24-2018)
Computer Match (1977), Cambridge, MA USA
King's Gambit: Accepted. Bishop's Gambit Bledow Countergambit (C33)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-13-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Think it was Bronstein who played the first game against a computer tho ..
Oct-13-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <MissScarlett: <Hazz>, here's the original (CC1) <Fidelity Chess Challenger> that Bobby was duking it out with instead of Karpov:>

I had that! Only clear memory is once it had its queen on d7 and king on e8, with the e-pawn not having moved yet. I found Bxf7+ and Ne5+ winning the queen. I was as proud as if I'd won the Immortal Game.

One big problem old engines and patzers of all ages have is not really understanding the openings they memorize. I assume the Greenblatt program was playing "book" up through 6....0-0. But then it's on its own, and plays two second-rate moves in a row, ...Nxd5 and ...Bd6, at which point it's already pretty much lost. Neither one of those moves is visibly awful, though, and I can see a decent but underprepared human player making them. At at that point, after 9.d4, you either give back the pawn and concede your opponent a powerful pawn center + the f-file, or try to hang on to the pawn. If you're human and you know you're playing Bobby Fischer, you probably do the former; if you're a computer and don't even know you're playing chess, you pick ...g7-g5.

In short, those of us below master strength shouldn't be too sniffy about the way the Greenblatt program played.

Oct-13-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Only clear memory is once it had its queen on d7 and king on e8....>

I think you'll find you mean, 4g and 5h, respectively.

Oct-13-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <AylerKupp:

<<piroflip> Bobby take this machine apart for sure but I remember reading in a chess mag's report on this game that it had a rating of 185BCF. This equates to almost 2100!!>

Highly doubtful.>

From the chessgames GreenBlatt page:

<it acheived a USCF rating of 1243 in 1966>

Of course we don't know who it played after that, and if any improvements were made.

<No, 1200 baud modems were introduced in 1972>

Did they have modems where the phone line plugs in like today?

I only remember Ken Thomson using
"acoustic" modems.
(Id imagine a direct connection was more reliable vs "listening" and "speaking" your signals audibly)

Ken also had the first board I saw
that lit up the square of the piece you move and where it was going.

It was about 4 inches off the table to
accommodate the electronics. The pieces
were normal wooden pcs. However, if you looked on the bottom, the felt was off, the wood was gouged out, and crystals were epoxied in. When the board was scanned with Rf, the resonate frequency of the crystals told Belle what the position on the board was.

<Also see my "analysis" of the remote move transmission: Geller vs Fischer, 1965>

I played on the National Chess League.
(Telephone) There were 4 Boards, each board had a "runner" who would play the verbally transmitted move on your board(your response would be taken by your runner for verbal transmission to their runner).

I've heard it said Fischer was
handicapped due to longer/slower games.
From my standpoint, that was more than made up for by more time on the clock. We were updated on times every 10 moves. There were 20/40 minute periods where I actually used 2 mins on my clock. Since Fischer was one of the fastest players in the world, the time lag probably helped his opponents more.

With Fischer, you also needed to redefine "transmission error."

I've heard the story he had the move:
1.d4, he responded 1...Nf6, white's
response was 2.e5. Indicating d4 was wrong and e4 was actually the first move. When Fischer was told he could replay it, he just played what was on the board. Basically playing an unprepared Alekhine's Defense.

Oct-13-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <MissScarlett:

<Bobby Fischer May 17 1977

In the endgame it's almost impossible to lose to it.>>

That's hilarious!

Oct-13-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: At least, it appears that <Chess Challenger> recognised promotions. I heard of one program that didn't - the promoted pawn just hovered on the 8th rank in perpetual limbo.
Oct-13-18  RookFile: I remember that some of the old programs couldn't mate with king and rook against king, as long as you kept making your moves quickly.
Oct-13-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < RookFile: I remember that some of the old programs couldn't mate with king and rook against king, as long as you kept making your moves quickly.>

Were those "stand alone" chess computers with an actual board?

I remember when those were the most popular chess computer options, and at one point a company advertised their machine by saying it was capable of checkmating with knight + bishop :)

Oct-13-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: 13...c6 is definitely a "class player" type of move. By saying this I mean someone rated <2000 USCF.

This is a move by a player who (which) thinks he (it) has the initiative.

Um, sorry, no you don't!

Oct-14-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: The awful sad thing about this game is not the computer ... it's that we are staring at arguably the greatest Chess Player ever in his prime.
Oct-14-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <RookFile> My second favorite story about those early computers and their "playing ability" was a game that was published in either Chess Life or Chess Review in the mid to late 1960s. The computer, playing White, had a Pc2 and a Nc3. In response to Black's previous (and very threatening move) it played c2-c4 (!) blocking the threat. While it clearly knew that pawns could advance 2 squares on their first move, it didn't know that they could not jump over pieces! The commentators said something along those lines and indicated that c2-c4 was extremely convenient and that the arbiter, so to speak, let the move stand.

Needless to say, with that kind of demonstrated "playing ability", Black won easily.

Oct-14-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<thegoodanarchist> This [13...c6] is a move by a player who (which) thinks he (it) has the initiative.>

You mean something like 14...Nxc4 in Portisch vs Tal, 1964? See my comment there in Portisch vs Tal, 1964 (kibitz #27).

Oct-14-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<harrylime> The awful sad thing about this game is not the computer ... it's that we are staring at arguably the greatest Chess Player ever in his prime.>

WHAT !!! Did you actually used the phrase "<arguably> the greatest Chess Player ever <in his prime>." ????? Are you feeling all right? Or are you mellowing in your old age? Please don't.

Oct-14-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi AylerKupp,

I think he is talking about Greenblatt who after this game went onto claim that Humans had fixed World Chess.

Oct-14-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: Could be a Monday puzzle.

20...? Black to find the only move that allows mate in one.

Oct-14-18  AlicesKnight: <MissScarlett, Keypusher et al> I still have my Chess Challenger, in working order. From those distant days.... I regard it with some affection. It was handy when multi-tasking on some long, complicated and uninteresting work-at-home stuff - to glance at the CC for a few seconds and make a response was light relief when on about level 5 or 6 (not 1 or 2 when I agree it played help-mate at times). <MissScarlett> Thanks for the Youtube clip; my version came in a smart plastic briefcase, and has the correct algebraic marking, so perhaps I have a 'second edition'. The little lights on the display flick slowly back and forth as if to say "I'm alive and thinking....", unlike some silicon - cute.....
Oct-14-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Sally Simpson> I think he is talking about Greenblatt who after this game went onto claim that Humans had fixed World Chess.>

You're probably right, I don't know how I could have missed that. Thanks for setting me straight!

And I also missed that in the past he had referred to Fischer as "the computer". Thirty lashes with a wet tablebase!

Oct-15-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <AylerKupp: <<harrylime> The awful sad thing about this game is not the computer ... it's that we are staring at arguably the greatest Chess Player ever in his prime.>

WHAT !!! Did you actually used the phrase "<arguably> the greatest Chess Player ever <in his prime>." ????? Are you feeling all right? Or are you mellowing in your old age? Please don't.>

Ok I maybe had some kinda fainting fit there ! lol lol

RJF IS the Greatest and this game is pretty historic.

Oct-16-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Sally Simpson: Hi AylerKupp,

I think he is talking about Greenblatt who after this game went onto claim that Humans had fixed World Chess.>

1. Russians fix chess
2. Humans fix chess
3. Humans own computers
4. Humans fix computers
5. Computers own humans

Oct-24-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: 19.Rc1! At first glance I thought Fischer was joking, caring about an unimportant pawn - but with this move the queen is in severe trouble,and will soon be unable to defend h7 (or h6, as it came).
Oct-24-18  Whitehat1963: Crushing! But wouldn’t most grandmasters have found these moves?
Oct-24-18  Violin sonata: Bobby Fischer played a king's gambit, before this he often playing against it, even he had made a defense in the King's gambit. I'm sure he did it now as an exception, I think Bobby Fischer can be a strong king's gambit player with the positional sense.

I like white position after the move 10.Nxg5, I think it gains the initiative and tempo for white and this is proven after 14.Bxf4 Qg7 15.Nf6+ black position has been pressed. Well played by Fischer.

May-22-19  The Boomerang: Greenblatt? :)

Kasparov beat the much stronger, Deep Thought. Deep Blue 1996, took rounds off Deep Blue 1997 and Deep Junior 2003.

Jul-13-19  Chesgambit: Cambridge 1977 no reated
maybe Greenblatt elo 2100
Jul-13-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Chesgambit> Cambridge 1977 no reated . maybe Greenblatt elo 2100>

The Greenblatt program (actually MacHack VI) was definitely rated. In fact, according to Greenblatt (Computer), It was the first program to play in a tournament against humans and achieved a chess rating, 1243 in 1966. It played under the pseudonym "Robert Q". And according to https://www.computerhistory.org/col... it achieved a rating of 1400 in Feb. 1967. A paper published in 1969 (https://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/ha...) indicates that its rating was advancing quickly, reaching 1450 in Apr 1967.

It was also the first program to draw and then win a game against a human player in tournament play (https://www.chess.com/article/view/...).

In 1966 MacHack VI was running on a PDP-6 computer, but in the early 1970s it was rehosted to run on a PDP-10, a much faster computer (~ 500K ops vs. the PDP=6's 200K ops) with much more memory (the PDP-6 Greenblatt used had only <16K> words of memory for both program and data, although it could support 32K). So I suspect that the version that played Fischer in 1977 was a lot stronger than the version that played in that tournament in 1966/1967. Which probably isn't saying much.

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