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Mac Hack VI (Computer) vs Robert James Fischer
"Cyberpunk 1977" (game of the day Nov-13-2021)
Computer Match (1977), Cambridge, MA USA
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Opocensky Variation (B92)  ·  0-1



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Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < Joshka: Another chapter in Bobby's life that nothing has been written about, at least nothing I have come across anyway. Who arranged for Bobby to play ? What were the provisions? Where were the games played? When in 1977? Where did Bobby stay. Was he a guest of MIT? Nothing is ever written, and no one steps forward to discuss how all this was arranged!!!>

Here is what I have from the book "Kasparov versus Deep Blue" by Monty Newborn:

<in 1977, Doug Penrod began the <Computer Chess Newsletter> from his home in California. It was the forerunner of the <ICCA Journal>. Penrod became ill about a year later, and Ben Mittman took over the publication. In 1983, when I was elected president of the ICCA, the current <ICCA Journal> began under the editorship of Jaap van den Herik... Penrod published three games that Bobby Fischer played against MAC HACK (Greenblatt) in his second issue. The games were sent to him by Fischer. Fischer toyed with the computer in winning all 3 games. Exactly when the games were played is not known. In a letter to Penrod published in the first issue of the newsletter, Fischer said he felt he could give the computer a queen and a rook and still win.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I think I saw one of the games published in a newspaper in 78 or 79. The games were played by phone or by fax machine. Fischer was probably gifted a few $thousand dollars to do this, as he never did anything for free after 1972.

Seriwan noted in his book "No Regrets" about the '92 rematch with Spassky that at some time in the 80s when these standalone chess computers were getting stronger Fischer approached Seriwan and asked if he get one to him (for free, of course). Maybe Fischer was quietly developing a little respect for the computers as analysis partners.

Aug-29-17  Petrosianic: The first game was published in Byrne's column in The New Zork Times.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I think I saw a reprint of that, in a regional newspaper. Byre's column would sometimes appear in smaller papers, if it was a big happening, like a wc match or maybe deep blue vs Kasparov, that kind of thing.
Jul-28-18  hdcc: <HeHateMe> "Fischer was probably gifted a few $thousand dollars to do this [...]"

It's far more likely that he was given a few $thousand dollars...

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <HeMateMe:

Maybe Fischer was quietly developing a little respect for the computers as analysis partners.>

...or maybe the first chess computer was getting old.

Nov-26-19  oolalimk1: ba7 was condemed as bad 14 years ago. your computer picked it today.time to upgrade ?.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: My college calculus professor was telling the group about an experience he had with early chess programs. He was a strong player, around 2300 (early 1980s). IBM had a program and hardware probably similar to Greenblatt, perhaps a little bit of an upgrade. They were looking for a GM to sic their beast on, had a few $thousand offered, as an incentive. Somehow the name Walter Browne, an inveterate gambler, came to them. Not sure where Browne actually was, but the IBMers set up their hardware at this professor's house. The game was conducted by phone or by modem.

He said that a tricky ending was drawn by repetition, I think Q vs. R, no pawns on the board. Browne wanted to be paid and he put forth a quickly typed up analysis showing how he could win the final position on the board in less than 50 moves. The IBM reps decided to allow this and Browne won the wager. He was only going to get paid if he won.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: We have to appreciate the programmers' sense of irony. "We'll set up the computer so the B gets trapped on the penultimate rank asap." Even if it didn't get caught, it mobilised the WQ for a few moves.

click for larger view

"Rings a bell, Bobby?" Spassky vs Fischer, 1972

As said above, terrible play by the machine. Could have resigned before the end as they do now, but then they played until mate probably because assessments were not evolved enough.

For info here are the two other games Bobby vs Scrap Iron.
Fischer vs Greenblatt, 1977
Greenblatt vs Fischer, 1977

The pun, is it just a reference to the video game Cyberpunk 2077 or is there more? Had to google it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <The pun, is it just a reference to the video game Cyberpunk 2077 or is there more?>

Who needs more? Fischer launched the punk revolution in 1975 with <Anarchy in the FIDE>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <HeMateMe> Your professor's account is incorrect. Here is what actually happened:

<In 1977 [Ken] Thompson's Belle chess machine used the endgame tablebase for a king and rook against king and queen and was able to draw that theoretically lost ending against several masters (see Philidor position#Queen versus rook). This was despite not following the usual strategy to delay defeat by keeping the defending king and rook close together for as long as possible. Asked to explain the reasons behind some of the program's moves, Thompson was unable to do so beyond saying the program's database simply returned the best moves.

Most grandmasters declined to play against the computer in the queen versus rook endgame, but Walter Browne accepted the challenge. A queen versus rook position was set up in which the queen can win in thirty moves, with perfect play. Browne was allowed 2½ hours to play fifty moves, otherwise a draw would be claimed under the fifty-move rule. After forty-five moves, Browne agreed to a draw, being unable to force checkmate or win the rook within the next five moves. In the final position, Browne was still seventeen moves away from checkmate, but not quite that far away from winning the rook. [Browne vs Belle, 1978 ] Browne studied the endgame, and played the computer again a week later in a different position in which the queen can win in thirty moves. This time, he captured the rook on the fiftieth move, giving him a winning position (Levy & Newborn 1991:144–48), (Nunn 2002:49).>

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Ah, the good old days when computers were horrible. I love how the machine trolled Fischer with the absurd 17.Ba7, cruelly reminding him of his equally ludicrous Bxh2?? against Spassky.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Extremely bad pun.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <HeMateMe>, commenting on Browne vs Belle, 1978 13 years ago, gave a somewhat different, but equally bogus, account:

<Feb-23-08 Premium Chessgames Member HeMateMe: I was a college student in Minnesota, and our calculus professor said that he was part of a group who set up the exhibition where Browne played these 50 movers against computer programs. The instructor spoke to the computer people and said "Which GM would we ask to do this? Well, we thought, Which GM likes to gamble? And we thought of Browne. According to the calculus guy, Browne was offered a sum of money if he could win in 50 moves or less. Although he didn't beat the 50 move limit, he was able to demonstrate a winning varation that would have won, a few moves later. So they gave him all of the prize money that had been wagered. I don't know if there was a seperate appearance fee of sorts just for showing up.>

<Sisyphus> demonstrated the same day that this was untrue, quoting the same Wikipedia article I just cited.

Nov-13-21  Cheapo by the Dozen: I played against the Greenblatt program back in the day. It was terrible. I no longer am sure of the when and where, but at a guess it was at a school I last attended in 1972.
Nov-13-21  Cheapo by the Dozen: And yes -- early chess programs would typically play reasonably for a while and then fall apart, just as happened in this game.
Nov-13-21  Z truth 000000001: <Cheapo> due to getting out of book play, maybe?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: You guys are being a bit harsh on <NoMatesHe>. He got the player, the type of ending and the number of moves involved correct; the rest is mere detail.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Well, it was an off hand conversation with someone from 40 years ago. I'm sure you could go call the academic up and yell at him, but he's long dead. Or, more likely, he explained correctly that it was a proposition bet and not an actual game but i remembered the moment differenty.

I hope this hasnt caused you two dummies too much pain, scarred your lives in some way...

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <HeMateMe> We're the dummies? You're the guy who keeps spouting bullcrap after people point out to you that it's bullcrap. You once also claimed that I was an anti-Semite, an utterly baseless claim that you pulled out of your ass and refused to retract after its baselessness was pointed out to you. Stop lying.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Wait till your hear what he said about <John Bonham>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <You're the guy who keeps spouting bullcrap after people point out to you that it's bullcrap...>

Damn, <FSR> you're a miserable person. Why don't you switch to the decaf and get a life?

Forty years ago I had a college professor speak to his class for two minutes about an event that occurred in his life regarding computer chess. So I don't remember the conversation word for word....What the hell is wrong with you?

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <HeMateMe> In 2013, <Sisyphus> pointed out to you that your statement was untrue. But eight years later, you're still spouting lies.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <FSR: <HeMateMe> Your professor's account is incorrect. Here is what actually happened:>

Even the Wiki is somewhat inaccurate.
I'll clear this up when I get a chance.

I knew Ken Thompson.
Played Belle many times, at both Ken's home, and Bell Labs.

I was there when Browne played the Queen vs Rook ending.

Dec-07-21  rwbean: SF051221 - 12. c4 is +1.02 (48 ply) ... great work getting to such a big plus score so far out of the book against Fischer.

9. ♕d3 is a very rare move (12 games) on FICS opening explorer, but then gradually transposes back to a popular line, 11... ♗xd5 with 649 games and 11... ♖c8 with 17 games. White scores 58% with 12. c4 (12 games).

Then just throws it away in the next few moves. e.g. 14... d4 15. ♗g5 h6 16. ♗h4 ♖c3! (-2.14, 44 ply)

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