When I was just a chip, my motherboard used to tell me, "D.B., if you can't process something nice, don't process it at all." But Mom never went through what I went through last week, when world chess champion Garry Kasparov humiliated me, an IBM supercomputer, four games to two.
All week I kept hearing these grandmasters and chess nerds saying, "Deep Blue's advantage is that he doesn't feel pressure, emotion or anxiety." Yeah, right. I'd like them to spend a week in my outlet. You want pressure? It took six years to build me, man! They had a five-person team doing nothing but programming me for this one match. I can consider 200 million moves in one second! Kasparov can do, what, one, maybe two? IBM does not put five guys on a project for six years and expect to lose. That's how you end up at the employee Montessori, with kids sticking jelly doughnuts in your serial ports.
I can hear all the snickering around the office now. I hear the other mainframes calling me Deep Blue It and whispering about how, any day now, the guys in the white coats are going to come and give me the big drag-and-drop. I'll tell you what: If I had coasters, I'd get over there and teach them all about megahurts.
Sure, I lost, but how come nobody ever mentions that no computer had ever won one single regulation game from a world chess champion before I did? I won the first game from Kasparov. Stick that in your hi-memory! And how about the fact that I wasn't even in the room with Kasparov the whole match. I wasn't! They made me stay in this crummy room in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., while some little guy in Philadelphia typed Kasparov's moves into a desktop and fed them to me through a phone line. Let me ask you this: How good would Troy Aikman be if he had to read defenses from some Marriott 800 miles away? You talk about mo-dumbs.
That little guy really got under my casing, too. I could see him on a video monitor, just sitting there, looking bored out of his skull, while I was back here thinking my nodes off! And then when I'd send him my move, he'd make a little smirk like, Nice move, Virus Brain. If that guy is reading this, I know your address, buddy: http//www.jerk.com.
I could see Kasparov, too. Everybody says he's a genius—the greatest ever, and maybe he is—but I'll tell you something else they ought to say about him. This guy is Norman Bates, man! He never sits still. He was always wringing his hands, jerking his shoulders, hunching over the board so I couldn't see it on the monitor. And his mother, Clara, sat there in the row of chairs to his right, constantly bouncing her legs and tapping her toes. And when Kasparov began to feel he was in control of the board, he'd do his signature big-time moves, getting up from the table and taking off his watch—like he was lighting a victory cigar or something. And the match wasn't even over! You try to compute 200 million moves in one second with all that going on.
What kills me is I had him. I had him. We were tied at one win each, with two draws, when he offered me a draw in Game 5. Kaspar the Unfriendly offers you a draw that early, you know you've got him! So I just said, "Byte me!" and turned down his offer. Maybe I got a little cocky, or perhaps I was thinking about what I might say in my victory interview with Katie Couric, when all of a sudden, I was in trouble. One of my programmers said I don't know how to get "appropriately desperate." I just froze. Then I forgot to move my knight, and it got pinned, and, next thing you know, it's abort-retry-fail.
Look, I know it's partly my fault. But what about garbage in, garbage out? So what if you process 200 million moves per second if a documented 99.99999% of them are irrelevant. I mean, here Kasparov has got my king sweating enamel, and I'm checking to see if I should move my e2 pawn on the other side.
Anyway, I'm not sure what's going to happen to me now, but I don't think it's going to be good. My dad, Deep Thought, lost two straight to this guy in 1989, and we never saw Pop again. Somebody once said they saw him down in Parts, but I can't let myself believe that.
I know one thing: This has really ruined a lot of my dreams. About six months ago I linked up with this cute little desktop in R&D, and we really hit it off. Everybody thinks it's so easy to find someone IBM-compatible, but it's not! We were going to take the $400,000 first prize, get married, have a couple of laptops and maybe get a little cyberspace of our own. But the day after the match somebody came in while I was down and put a surge protector on me. It's like I have no drives at all.