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Subject: "Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine"

Tonight I saw a sneak preview of "Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine," which is scheduled for wide release, here in Toronto at least, tomorrow. The movie's best aspect is its intriguing premise: that IBM might have rigged the 1997 tournament between Kasparov and Deep Blue. The evidence is neither convincing, nor is it easily dismissible. Anyone who needs answers will be left unsatisfied. Anyone expecting a chess movie will also be unsatisfied, since the camera rarely focuses on a board; there is next to no detailed analysis of the games. In fact, the movie is obviously trying to reach an audience that does not necessarily play chess. Finally, anyone expecting a first-rate documentary will remain unsatisfied. The camera work is amateurish, and the editing, continually shifting from shots of Deep Blue to shots of the Turk, becomes cheesy. This film wants to be "60 Minutes," but it ends up being "Hard Copy." Nevertheless, as I say, the premise is intriguing; and the evidence, disturbing. It is not a 'must see', but if you go without great expectations and enjoy a mystery...



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Game Over for Documentary

I was a bit disappointed with this documentary. It seemed less interested in investigative reporting than in conspiracy theory. I don't doubt that IBM played hard ball and sorely used Kasparov during the rematch (I mean they wouldn't even let Gary see any of the games Deep Blue played in preparation for the match! Very un-sportsman-like), but life isn't fair. I think that this film succeeds in one thing: illustrating that the match (and the movie) are both best forgotten.

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