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Greenblatt (Computer) vs Ben Landey
Massachusetts State Championship (1967), rd 3
Sicilian Defense: General (B20)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-05-13  Graham1973: This is where it all starts, the first rated chessplayer to lose to software.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: If only someone had pulled the plug, round about then.....
Jun-05-13  DWINS: This can't be the correct gamescore. 12.Qxd6??? just loses the queen for nothing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: I'm not at all surprised that a 1967 computer program would play a move like 12.Qxd6, though it is a bit fishy that a 1510-rated human wouldn't take the queen, and then gave away his own queen two moves later.

According to an interview with Richard Greenblatt, the loser was a "local legend" named Ben Landy, who had also played the program to a draw in its first tournament a month earlier. Given Landy's extremely weak play in this game, and the fact that the program lost every other game in both tournaments, I suspect that he was going for a bit of chess immortality, trying to be the first guy to draw against a computer in a tournament, and then the first to lose.

Jun-06-13  RookFile: Anybody who has known the rules of chess for a month looks at playing 12....Bxd6 for black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: It looks like the game score is in fact wrong. The game was annotated by none other than Bobby Fischer, in his column in Boys Life in August 1968. Bobby gives white's 10th move as a4, and black's as Bh6+. After 11. Kb1 b4, he gives 12. Qxd6 a "!". Btw, the opponent's name was Landey, not Landy. Fischer's column is here:
Aug-07-13  GumboGambit: What Puzzles me is the venue. How can a computer be eligible for a State Championship?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <Gumbo> Typo. It was the solid-state championships.
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  diceman: 2. d4

The Greenblatt Sicilian!

Apr-15-16  Mendrys: An interesting excerpt from the link that Caissanist posted above: <Dear Mr. Fischer:
...Have you ever played a computer? What do you think of the chance of a copmuter of grandmaster strength and possibly becoming world champion?

I've never played a computer. Eventually, though, I think a computer can become champion. After all, it can't be as hard as getting a man on the moon. But I hope it doesn't happen during my lifetime!>

Well, he was right on one count and wrong on the other! Though, technically not champions in that they've never played a human for such a match they were the superior players before he died. Even then it was possible to see that computers would inevitably become stronger than any human.

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  alexmagnus: By contrast, Euwe said around 1970 that computers will not reach IM level within 100 years.
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  thegoodanarchist: <alexmagnus: By contrast, Euwe said around 1970 that computers will not reach IM level within 100 years.>

The good Dr. Machgielis Euwe (Max Euwe) was not familiar with Moore's Law, it seems to me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Since Max Euwe died in 1981, I guess he didn't live to see an engine reach IM strength.

But I am not sure when that happened. Maybe one of our resident wonk chess/chess engine historians knows?

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