Who Is Better: Computers or Humans?

During the period of 1970s to the 1980s, the question as to whether or not computer chess would be able to top human chess players remained in the minds of computer enthusiasts.

In 1968, International Master David Levy made a wager that no computer program would be able to defeat him in a period of ten years. He was true to his word by defeating Chess 4.7, which was the most powerful chess program at that time. However, he admitted that it would not take long before he would be defeated by another program. Eleven years later, Levy succumbed to Deep Thought in an exhibition game.

However, Deep Thought still was not among the ranks of human world champions. It was beaten twice by current world champion Garry Kasparov in 1989.

Seven years later, Deep Blue took revenge for the lost of its fellow program after overcoming Kasparov in a tournament time control format. It was the world champion's first taste of defeat to computers using such format. However, Kasparov, regained his wits and won three and drew two of the last five games for a resounding win.

In May of the following year, an updated Deep Blue beat Kasparov 3 to 2 in a rematch. However, Kasparov claimed that IBM cheated by using a human to boost the strategic power of Deep Blue. Although not regarded as an official tournament, it prompted many to conclude that the strongest chess player was a computer. After the match, Deep Blue was dismantled and never played a match again.

There were other games pitting computer chess against humans that are worth mentioning as well.

In 1998, Rebel 10 destroyed then second ranked player Viswanathan Anand 5-3. However, most of these games were not played in the usual time control format. In eight games, half were blitz games where the computer won three out of the four. A couple of games were semi-blitz which Rebel 10 won as well 1 - . The other two games were regular tournament format games which Anand won 1 to .

In January 2003, Garry Kasparov played with a commercial chess program called Junior in New York. The match ended in a draw 3-3. In the last two months of 2006, World Champion Vladimir Kramnik played Deep Fritz. The computer chess prevailed 4-2. He lost a game and then drew the nest four games. In an effort to level the match in the final game, Kramnik resorted to using a more aggressive Sicilian Defense but to no avail as he was defeated.