Waiting to go dancing again tonight, but was able to finish this up first.
It’s a 1997 news report. 90s style graphics show the title “man vs machine.” The anchor talks about how its game six in a chess match between the best human chess player in the world and a computer.
The credit sequence shows computer code and archival footage of chess matches.
We cut to 1969. A six year old Joel Benjamin stares as two men play chess in Prospect Park. His mother runs up to him frightened and tells him never to run off like that again. Joel is transfixed on the game and doesn’t even notice his mother. As his mother scoops him into her arms he says, “Queen to Rook four.” The two men look at each other dumbfounded.
It’s 1976 and Joel is studying for the National Elementary chess championship. He is in class but is hiding chess books in his text books.
There is a tense championship game but Joel is victorious. Shortly after winning he becomes the youngest ever US chess master.
Headlines of papers and chess magazines show Joel becoming more and more successful. There are Russian papers showing Garry Kasparov winning championships as well.
Things build up into a Rocky 4 Russia US rivalry. It’s a huge televised event. Joel is visibly nervous.
The chess match is cut really fast to try to make it seem interesting. It’s close but Kasparov pulls out the win. There are shots of people in Russia cheering.
It’s the 90s now. Joel is depressed. He feels like he let America down. He gets a call out of nowhere saying they have a job to offer him. Joel is weirded out. He asks for details but the man on the other end of the phone says that it would be easier if he saw it himself.
Joel shows up to a sketchy warehouse. It’s empty expect for a group of people in one corner of the building. He is greeted warmly by CJ Tan. He asks what all this is about but CJ cuts him off and sits him behind a chess board and tells him to play. “Who am I playing, you?” “Oh Joel, the question is ‘what am I playing?'”
After the game CJ explains how he just played Deep Blue Jr, a scaled down version of the computer system that is going to take down Kasparov, with his help. This is his way to get revenge for himself and America.
There is a montage of Joel helping the engineers to input opening chess moves. We watch as the computer improves over time.
We cut back to 97. We go through the first 5 of 6 matches. It’s back and forth. It all comes down to the last match. Kasparov makes a mistake in the beginning and ends up losing.