What if the chap who did the moves for Deep Blue vs Garry Kasparov was really just a shy chess genius?

So, what if Deep Blue’s mysterious “44th move” which baffled Garry Kasparov in the chess grand master’s groundbreaking “man versus machine” match was, in fact just the genius of the elusive “IBM Employee” who was publicly just moving the pieces for the computer? I know! We’ve all pondered it at some point, so I thought I’d look in to it, see if I can’t put this age old question ‘to bed’.

Kasparov, Deep Blue and “An IBM Employee”

My research points to a lowly former university caretaker, William Hunting, who had baffled the mathS department at MIT by anonymously[1] solving two advanced Fourier systems[2] set for linear algebra students, instead of actually keeping the institute clean. Hunting, a troubled soul, (the result of a difficult childhood) was immediately spotted and groomed by predatory Professor Stellan Skarsgärd. Over the months that followed Skarsgärd and Hunting became inseparable, doing lots of unnecessarily big sums without using a calculator, despite them now being allowed in to exams, essentially flirting by numbers[3]. Around this time, Skarsgärd introduced Hunting to his former college flatmate, 90’s heart-throb and physcologist Sean Maguire. Over the months that followed Maguire became a bearded but steady influence on the young caretaker.

With the help of Maguire, Hunting’s genius lead to an opportunity with Amstrad, although this was lost due to his insistence on going to see about a girl (who remains relatively unknown, which you have to assume means he didn’t find her)(or quite possibly did find her, only to be greeted somewhat uncomfortably with “Will?… Errrrm…. What are you doing here?… No really why are you here?… How did you get in?…. Listen, I’m a clichéd posh English bird and I just sort of had to have a bit of rough at college… it’s not you it’s just what society expects… I’m sorry, things might have been different if you worked for a high level, top secret CIA department and didn’t have a weird run but… well, you’re a bright chap you know how it is?”).

A rare photograph of Hunting(third from left) with a mystery ‘girl’.

Following his reappearance, Hunting took up a lowly role at IBM continuing to hide his maths genius in plain view. During this period he began working on a screenplay of his time growing up in Boston with hollywood star Ben Affleck(not that hiding anything from the vacant Ben Affleck can really be classed as genius), in the end producers decided that, due to a lack of interest in Affleck, they would instead focus on an unspecified 6 month period of the unknown cleaners life. It appears that around this stage Hunting came to the attention of the Deep Blue developers, apparently by scrawling all over their research at night when he was meant to be cleaning the labs. After months of begging him to stop ruining their work the Deep Blue programmers eventually struck a deal with Hunting, promising him the role of ‘IBM Employee’ on the TV(something which Hunting was apparently desperate to do to “show her”) if he’d just stop doodling all over their research.

A confused Hunting in 2007.

In reality the move was actually a dream for the IBM programmers, who knew the whole Deep Blue project was massively flawed and having tried to pull out of the ‘Man vs Machine’ match they were only too happy to let Hunting take the fall when the computer program inevitably crashed live on TV, which it secretly did on move 42 of the first game. At this point Hunting took over and eventually beat Kasparov[4]. Later baffled IBM programmers would take credit for victory, while the IBM employee who (publicly at least) had merely relayed the computer’s moves disappeared, apparently to see about a girl.

So where is this mysterious IBM employee now? Well, following his trouncing of Kasparov in the rematch of 1997[5](the same year he was rebuked for a second time by “the girl”) Hunting continued his work for IBM, specialising in the development of carbon nanotube transistors (technically he was in charge of maintaining the photocopiers, but later reports suggest he conducted much of the research and development himself, when the labs were closed).

Whilst on holiday in 2002, Hunting was saved from a near fatal accident by French trawlermen. Tragically, the accident left Hunting suffering from acute amnesia and multiple personality disorders. In the years following the accident Hunting lead a troubled life, having turned his back on IBM, chess and photocopiers, he lived in a bizarre fantasy world believing himself to be four different people – John Michael Kane, Dr Martin Harris, Gilberto de Piento and most notably Jason Bourne. Hunting resisted attempts to monitor and help with his condition and was last seen jumping in to New York’s East River in 2007, perhaps still trying to solve the mysteries of Project Treadstone[6] or possibly just to see about a girl.

Hunting’s story forms the basis of the 2011 film “Unknown”, starring Liam Neeson as the forgetful central character, I wouldn’t bother personally, it’s rubbish.

Liam Neeson (right) as Hunting and Frank Langella as Sean Maguire in ‘Unknown’.

    1. Some reports suggest it was ‘anonymous’ although if it was anonymous you’d have thought he’d have waited until the students went home at 3.30 or done it in the holidays(they have enough of them) and not in front of the staff.
    2. Obviously I know what they are and I could definitely explain them, in fact I could probably have solved them myself, but you probably won’t understand anyway.
    3. The relationship between the ageing Professor and Hunting forced the Professor’s “assistant” Tom out of the picture. From then on Tom led a tragic life trawling Ivy League universities before turning his back on academia forever. In 2005, Tom surfaced in Wyoming taking a summer job herding sheep, although the season was cut short Tom did develop a strong bond with fellow sheep ‘cowboy’ Ennis Del Mar and the pair returned the following year, but failed to get work amid allegations of homosexuality.
    4. Deep Blue won the first game but Kasparov came back to narrowly win the match 4-2.
    5. Deep Blue battered Kasparov 3½-2½
    6. Hunting believed Project Treadstone hid the truth behind his identities, from the time of his accident he continued to search for its mysteries. In 2004, CIA Deputy Director Ward Abbot dismissed any reference to ‘Treadstone’ as anything other than an experimental gaming program, a theoretical-exercise that had been terminated due to high cost.

As if you read all that?!? You must be a worse sleeper than me… I can recommend “Unknown”(Neeson, 2011) for extreme cases of insomnia or if that doesn’t work you could try “Salt”(Jolie, 2010), but be very careful, it is a genuinely appalling film and will almost certainly destroy your faith in humanity, potentially forever(assuming of course you are not an idiot)(if you are, or if you have no issues with the idea of a middle aged anorexic woman as an action hero then give it a go, you deserve everything you get).

Categories: Educational, History | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MB – The College Years: “Things that are shit”

Life in 1997 was pretty sound on the whole, the thoroughly marvellous Konnie Huq had just started on Blue Peter (she’d continue for 11 years, although somewhat pointlessly for the last few as it’s quite hard to justify Sky+’ing Blue Peter as a 29 year old), although a New Labour coup had just installed Tony Bliar as Divine Leader it prompted one of my favourite childhood memories(clearly back then I was an ‘adult’, but with the benefit of hindsight and specifically the benefit of seeing 18 year olds balloon around the pub I can confirm they are most definitely ‘children’) of the Bliarists dad dancing to Dr Cox’s “Things Can Only Get Better” and Mama Box leaning forward, turning off the TV and muttering with a shrug “Well that’s us shitted, might as well have a coffee while we’re still allowed”, The Spice Girls launched Channel 5 and Ginger wore most of a marvellously patriotic dress to the Brits, King Kev had the “I’d love it if we beat them” meltdown and I went off to do colouring in at college.

20120919-093825.jpgImagine then if you will, my shock when I found myself flicking through an old college studio notebook to discover a list entitled “Things That Are Shit”, was life not as carefree and delicious as I remember? A troubling discovery, but one which will provide historians and social commentators with an invaluable and personal insight in to a lost generation and the daily trials, worries and stresses of 20th century youth. This document will surely be whipped away by the British Museum soon, so before then I want to share it with you.

Things That Are Shit

By MB, aged 18 1/2

Walking home from somewhere and a lollipop lady stops the traffic so you can cross, even though you’re 18… is shit.
When something costs 1p less than a fiver and you walk away leaving the penny with the cashier only to be shouted back as you’re leaving “You forgot your penny change”… is shit.
Falling over in front of fit birds… is shit.
Walking around naked and scolding your willy on a hot iron… is shit.
Old women who don’t shave… are shit.
Catching your dick in your fly… is shit.
Frozen pizza… is shit.
Finding Jesus… is shit.
Sitting on a still warm toilet seat… is shit.
Songs Of Praise… is shit.
Having no inner monologue around idiots… is shit.
Dung… is shit
Not being able to stop commentating on your movements when drunk… is shit.
Being reminded of the chat up line you tried in The Griffin on Friday… is shit.
Getting your bike wheel caught in a grid… is shit.*
Market research women with beards… are shit.

So there it is, no mention of “Journalists who refer to any semi promising footballer from a faraway land as ‘the Turkmenistani Messi’…are shit” or “People that say ‘They say’ as the beginning of a comment or [traditionally] flawed advice to try and sound learned and/or pass any future blame…are shit”, but on the whole it’s fairly timeless stuff.

There are one or two question marks which have arisen with the benefit of 15 years of hindsight, chiefly as I don’t remember(and I’m fairly sure I’d remember) burning Little MB on an iron it suggests this is either a truly bizarre teenage fear I had or it is based on a chum’s experience. Furthermore if I did burn the little gentleman on an iron I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t announce it to my contemporaries so which of them told me? Still, these are the sort of details the historians will no doubt be arguing over for years to come. Also, the level of potty mouthery used is, nowadays, resigned for conversations with grown ups(ie Over 40’s)(in 6 years and 2 months, this will be amended to ‘Over 50’s) when I develop some form of bizarre Tourette’s type syndrome where I make references to topics I have previously never discussed or thought about before in my life. Notably, and relatively recently when I decided, or rather my ‘illness’ decided, at a pleasant afternoon gathering that “Motorboating**” was a perfectly logical topic of conversation to strike up with The Bar Manager’s parents.

Suffice to say – “Trying to explain ‘Why’ someone would want to ‘Motorboat’, particularly when you have absolutely no idea or desire to do so yourself… is shit.’


*Somewhat intriguingly I didn’t have a bike from about 15 onwards, due to having no desire to become a postman, elderly librarian or au pair, so I’ll put that one down to a reference to ‘Big’ Chris*** who broke his arm going over the handlebars of his racer on the way in to college and subsequently spent the majority of his BTEC with his colouring in arm in various different casts.
**I assume you’ll have gathered I decided to discuss, with actions, the other type of Motorboating… (No boat required, just a willing or unsuspecting lady)(Got it? Yep, that one)(Very proud)
***I think I’ll also credit him with the “Not being able to have a w##k because your arm is in plaster… is shit” one, which I didn’t put in due to not being a social retard.
(Incidentally, I want it on record that despite the fact that this post is specifically about 1997, I have not mentioned Princess Diana, car crashes, the French etc… In your face Daily Mail)
Categories: History | Leave a comment

All You Really Need To Know About… History and that.

20120521-114704.jpgIt’s exam season and as the selfless public servant you know MB to be, today sees the  launch of The Box’s very own “All You Need To Know About…” revision guides. Featuring the stuff you actually need to know, without any of the chaff and fillers that teachers would have you believe is important in order to bulk out their curriculum, justify their whinging and excuse their striking and such.

The ultimate irony is, of course, that if the NUT actually used my simplified syllabii(I’ll have Geography, Books, RE and Economics covered shortly) teachers and students alike would have even more holidays, benefiting the UK’s ailing tourist industry, in turn stabilising the economy, encouraging investment and creating growth. This would enable Dave and the rest of the gang at No.10 to snap up some bargains(specifically Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy), as Europe continues to struggle. This would provide the foundation of the New British Empire which could expand at will over the next decade, picking off all the decent bits of the Eurozone and allowing us to surround France and keep a closer eye on them. Within a few years this New British Empire, which would probably last for a thousand years, would take the Yanks back under it’s wing and start the lengthy process of getting them to speak(and spell) correctly.

Anyway, it’s important that I don’t make too big a deal out of what may appear at first glance to be an aimless ramble, and it certainly isn’t for me to take the credit for saving this once great land, but I will not cease from mental fight, nor shall my pen sleep in my hand, until we have built New Britannia, in Europe’s green and pleasant land.

All You Really Need To Know About…

Modern history and that.

The first guide will tackle ‘Modern History’, all the important stuff that’s happened in the last century or so. Right then kids, straight in, no messing around…

1901- US President “Wild Bill” McKinley assassinated by Leon Czolgosz(31 points) in a row over whether you’re allowed names in Scrabble.

1901- Queen Victoria dies after a record 94 years on the throne.

20120521-111041.jpg1903- Less than a century after various British and French powered flights(Stringfellow, Gillard, Temple de la Croix, Ader…) the Wright Flyer becomes the first American flying machine, which essentially makes it the first flying machine.

1905- Albert Einstein invents the only equation anyone will ever remember from school, although no one actually knows what it explains.

1905- Russian Revolution Part 1. Never really caught on.

1906- Earthquake measuring 7.8 on the ricther scale nails San Francisco. Blamed on San Andreas.

20120521-111122.jpg1912- The Titanic sinks, the Olympic and Britannic don’t[1]. Meaning visitors to Belfast will forever have the Harland & Wolff shipyard pointed out as the place where the Titanic was built. Odd boast.

1914-Serbian terrorist plot overshadowed by decision to call themselves The Black Hand Gang.

1917- Russian Revolution Part II and III: Tsar for the memories.

20120521-111158.jpg1919- Treaty of Versailles ensures The Hun know their place once and for all and won’t cause any more grief.

1922- Benito Mussolini invents being a pouting, demented fascist leader, not very good at it, overshadowed by Austrian lad.

1928-Alexander Fleming’s discovery of Penicillin hailed as best thing since… something really significant…

1928- Sliced bread invented, hailed as best thing since Penicillin.

1933- Jerry appoint an Austrian decorator as Chancellor. He boldly vows “Give me 10 years and you won’t recognise Germany”.

1938- Orson Wells’ “War Of The Worlds” radio play causes panic in America when listeners believe the play to be actual news footage. The play was believed largely due to the imminent and very high likelihood of a Martian invasion and in no way because Americans are idiots.

20120521-111139.jpg1938- Nev Chamberlain lays down the law at the Munich conference, prevents another world war and is able to announce “Peace in our time”.

1939-Adolf Hitler and Joe Stalin sign Molotov Ribbentrop pact, splitting Poland and allying Germany and Russia. Went well.

1941- Mount Rushmore completed by American with nothing better to do, despite there being a depression on and such.

1945- Admiral Karl Donitz appointed Reichspräsident of Germany, immediately forges ahead with radical overhaul of German domestic policy, pioneered right to buy scheme and introduced a policy of surrendering in any outstanding World Wars.

1948- The US invents Israel, ensuring lasting peace in the middle east.

1951- South Africans forced to carry ID cards to identify their race[2]

1951- Harry Truman signs shock peace accord with Japan, ending World War II.

1952- “Queen” Elizabeth II agrees to keep the throne warm until Charles is ready.

20120521-110600.jpg1957- Jokers mocking the Soviet space program are left red faced when Comrade Laika bravely pilots Sputnik 2 into space, tragically she dies in space as the Soviet’s hadn’t quite got round to working out the whole ‘returny’ bit(oh, and ‘she’ was a dog).

1961- Churchill’s suggestion of an iron curtain proves impractical, East Germany opts for a ‘wall’ instead.

1963- JFK assassinated by the CIA.[3]

1965- The US, having had better ideas, sends troops to Vietnam.

1966- Star Trek aired for the first time. Not worthy of note other than without it The Bar Manager would never have uttered the famous “Star Trek is brilliant because it’s true, not now but it will be” line.

1969- Neil Armstrong becomes the first man on “the moon”[4] apart from the cameraman who clearly doesn’t count.

1972- Watergate scandal. That nice Mr Nixon gets caught doing what every government agency, President and News Of The World editor has been doing for years before and ever since.

20120521-111108.jpg1974- President Nixon resigns and delivers the most cringeworthingly awkward resignation/cheerio/thank you speech in modern history as he thanks everyone he’s ever met apart from his wife Pat(seriously, check out the body language when they leave the White House… Awkward).

1977- Star Wars released. Despite dying in a galaxy far, far away Yoda later appears in Vodafone adverts casting doubts over whether it is actually a true story, like Star Trek.

1979- Margaret Thatcher becomes first “lady” Prime Minister, Dennis Thatcher briefly becomes the face of p***y whipped husbands, until Maggie rings her little bell for more gin.

1980- John Lennon assassinated, UK music industry refuses to send anyone apart from Blunt, Morrison and Pop-Factor winners to America until further notice.

1981- Around 750 million people around the world watch Lady Diana Spencer marry King to be(Lol) Prince Charles.

1981- Around 750 million people around the world need to have a long hard look at themselves.

1982- Argentina invade the Falklands, Thatcher single handedly wins the resulting war.

1982- Michael Jackson releases Thriller, influencing a whole generation of old people. Most of whom insist on doing the walk infront of me whenever I’m in any form of rush.

1985-Mikhail Gorbachev becomes leader of USSR. Very busy, he does not notice paint drip from downstairs bathroom until many years later, covers it up with a trilby.

1989- Conversion of Berlin wall. Along with current Premier League referee Anthony Taylor, I sold bits of the wall(gravel from the playground) to contemporaries at school the same morning, including Daniel Law who came back and bought more after lunch for his dad.

1990- Nelson Mandela freed, students everywhere left do-gooder-crusade-less, leading to a huge rise in vegetarianism.

1991-Tim Berners Lee invents the Internet, never got round to patenting it due to wife mithering him to get off the computer so she could find some sunglasses like Sinita’s on ASOS. Luckily it never really caught on(OMG! imagine if it had, he’d be like sooo totally rich).

1993- Lorena Bobbit cut off… I can’t even type it.

1997- Princess Diana killed by asylum seekers, the gays and gluten[5].

1997- Scientists master cloning and finally manage to establish some sort of uniformity to sheeps.

1998- “Titanic” most successful film ever, despite Celine Dion and Belfast taxi drivers.

1998- No one thinks to ask the 250 secret service personnel trialling the President at all times about “that woman” or indeed that dress.

1999- The world ends due to the Y2K bug.

There were a few other events of note, but this lot, with a bit of padding out will easily get you an A. Which should in turn, get you £10 from your parents(assuming of course your parents have to bribe you to pass exams, like some of the go-getters I found myself at school with)(the sort of people who might, for instance, then invest some of this hard earned money in actual pieces of the Berlin wall)(which as historians will no doubt confirm, was built almost entirely from gravel and/or playgrounds).

[1] The Britannic did sink a bit, but not until 1916, and it hit a mine, so hardly worth a mention really.

[2] It is unclear how many South African police were actually registered blind, but no doubt ID cards(presumably in braile) were crucial to distinguish between the white and coloured population.

[3] The Box makes a famous cameo in Oliver Stone’s film JFK, due to being in the background during filming in a park in Washington when on a lacrosse tour when The Box was a dashing youth. Still waiting for royalty cheque, should have employed a better/an agent.

[4] “The Moon”, Edwards Air Force Base, CA 93524, USA

[5] Information courtesy of The Daily Mail.

Categories: Educational, History, Revision | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.