John Sharples
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A haunted mind
Kasparov and the machines
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The physical location of Deep Blue's 1997 victory over Garry Kasparov can be seen as a site of twentieth-century uncanny, a scientific experiment gone wrong. This chapter presents Vikram Jayanti's documentary Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine which revisits the contest and demonstrates how the ghost of Baron von Kempelen's machine could infect and destabilise narratives of scientific progress, rational thought, and modernity. Jayanti's documentary centres on the idea of a hero chess-player defeating the invading presence of mechanised thought. The incursions which Anthony Vidler highlights are shown by Jayanti in the form of surveillance cameras, windows stretching from floor to ceiling, harshly lit corridors, and access-controlled doors. This is the technology of the modern Gothic haunted house. The chess-player is a Gothic figure. Its human and machine forms became conjoined in Kasparov's encounter with Deep Blue in the haunted houses of late- twentieth-century New York.

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A cultural history of chess-players

Minds, machines, and monsters


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