In The Age of Intelligent Machines, which he wrote in 1986-1989, Kurzweil predicted that a computer would defeat the human world chess champion by the end of the 1990s. He also noted that computers were gaining about 45 points per year in their chess ratings whereas the best human playing was essentially fixed, and so projected the cross-over point at 1998. In fact, Deep Blue did defeat Gary Kasparov in a highly publicized tournament in 1997. However with this week's final game, we have the current reigning computer program, Deep Fritz, only able to achieve a 4-4 tournament tie with world chess champion Vladimir Kramnik, so what IS happening. Well............
The Deep Fritz computer chess software only achieved a draw in its recent chess tournament with Vladimir Kramnik because it has available only about 1.3% as much brute force computation as the earlier Deep Blue's specialized hardware. Despite that, it plays chess at about the same level because of its superior pattern recognition-based pruning algorithm. In six years, a program like Deep Fritz will again achieve Deep Blue's ability to analyze 200 million board positions per second. Deep Fritz-like chess programs running on ordinary personal computers will routinely defeat all humans later in this decade.