CHESS CHAMP KASPAROV IN VIRTUAL REALITY CHESS MATCH

MANILA, NOVEMBER 10, 2003 (REUTERS) Chess champ Garry Kasparov, left, shows off the X3D viewing glasses he'll wear next week during his virtual reality chess match in New York.

There will be no chess board and no pieces when world No. 1 Garry Kasparov plays the latest so-called man vs machine contest next week, just a computer monitor and a chessboard image as seen through 3D glasses. Former world champion Kasparov, 40, pits his genius against “X3D Fritz,” a combination of Fritz, the most dominant chess software, with X3D Technologies company software that specializes in virtual reality.

THE FOUR-GAME MATCH starts Tuesday at the New York Athletic Club with the other games scheduled for Nov. 13, 16 and 18.

Each game, which can last up to seven hours, will be broadcast on several chess Web sites.

Kasparov will wear 3D glasses while sitting in front of a monitor showing the board. Promoters said the glasses will have the effect of making the board’s image realistic, floating in front of him, but Kasparov will have to adjust to not being able to reach out, touch the pieces and move them.

“I don’t know how much negative pressure this virtual environment will have on my mind,” Kasparov said Friday at a news conference to promote the event.

Kasparov will speak his moves through a voice-recognition program and a human operator will make sure the computer records them correctly.

The X3D Fritz program can consider about 3 million chess positions per second, and would likely beat 99.9 percent of human competition, said John Fernandez, chess consultant with X3D Technologies Corp.

Kasparov tied his last, six-game match against a program, the Israeli-designed world computer chess champion Deep Junior, in New York in February.

Azerbaijan-born Kasparov is considered by chess experts to be the greatest player in the history of the ancient game. He is still ranked No. 1 ahead of world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia by the International Chess Federation, known by its French acronym FIDE.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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