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Sharansky is Deep Blue’s Latest Victim

June 4, 1997
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In a chess battle between man and machine, the machine won — again.

This time it was Natan Sharansky, Israel’s minister of trade and industry, who faced off against Deep Blue Jr., a scaled-down version of the supercomputer that beat world chess champion Gary Kasparov.

The latest match took place Monday at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

The match, comprised of three games, lasted less than two hours. Deep Blue Jr. analyzed 20 million moves per second and won all three games.

“It was a pleasure to play against the impressive capabilities of the computer,” Sharansky said in a statement after the match.

While at IBM, Sharansky got a preview of future technology, including the latest in weather forecasting and imaging and speech recognition.

Sharansky, who says he perfected his chess skills while a prisoner-of- conscience in the Soviet Union, is no stranger to challenging chess matches.

Last year he beat Kasparov during a chess match in Israel. Kasparov was playing 25 games simultaneously at the time.

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