GAME OVER: KASPAROV AND THE MACHINE (Vikram Jayanti). 85 minutes. Opens Friday (March 4). For venues and times, see Movies, page 91. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
You don't need to play chess to appreciate the drama in the 1997 death match between world chess champion Garry Kasparov and IBM's Deep Blue computer.
Oscar-winning director Vikram Jayanti's Game Over charts Kasparov's rise through the world's chess ranks up to the day he agreed to a rematch with the monolithic machine he'd defeated in 1996. He saw it as a scientific experiment. The film implies that IBM destroyed him to improve its profit margins.
After losing the second game of the six-game match, Kasparov never recovered his poise, proving that while computers may never be smarter than the humans who design them, they are also not susceptible to stress, fatigue or paranoia. Kasparov publicly accused IBM of cheating, and handed them a hollow victory.
Jayanti successfully recreates the tension that built up during the match, mixing footage of the games with present-day interviews, and making vivid the implications of a showdown in which, to quote one newscaster, "the very future of humanity was at stake."